Town of Greece, NY
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Greece 1-17-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire prevention and building construction — See Ch. 114.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 157.
Zoning — See Ch. 211.
[1]
Editor’s Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 128, Historic Preservation, adopted 4-18-2006 by L.L. No. 2-2006, as amended.
A. 
This chapter shall be known as the "Town of Greece Historic Preservation Law."
B. 
Legislative purpose and intent. Pursuant to the provisions of § 96-a and Article 5-K of the New York General Municipal Law, it hereby is declared a matter of public policy that the protection, enhancement, perpetuation and use of buildings, structures, places and sites of historic, architectural, cultural or aesthetic value, when practicable, is in the public interest of the Town of Greece. It is the purpose and intent of this chapter to:
(1) 
Safeguard the heritage of the Town by protecting and enhancing the landmarks which represent cultural, social, economic, political and architectural history.
(2) 
Foster civic pride in the beauty and history of the Town.
(3) 
Protect and enhance the attractiveness of the Town to homebuyers, visitors, shoppers and residents, and thereby provide economic benefits to the Town and its residents.
(4) 
Conserve and improve the value of property within the Town.
(5) 
Foster, encourage and advise the preservation, restoration and rehabilitation of structures.
(6) 
Ensure the harmonious, orderly and efficient growth and development of the Town.
This chapter shall take effect and be in force immediately. The Town's prior historic preservation law, adopted by the Town Board on April 18, 2006, as Local Law No. 2 of 2006, together with all amendments thereto, is repealed and supplanted by this chapter as of its effective date.
A. 
Word usage. For purposes of this chapter, the following provisions and rules shall apply to the use of words:
(1) 
Words used or defined in one tense or form shall include other tenses and derivative forms.
(2) 
Unless specifically indicated otherwise, words used in the singular sense shall include the plural sense, and words used in the plural sense shall include the singular sense.
(3) 
The masculine gender shall include the feminine gender.
(4) 
The word "person" shall include natural persons and juridical persons, including but not limited to associations, firms, partnerships, corporations, cooperative associations, trusts, estates, political subdivisions, municipalities, governmental agencies, public benefit corporations and any other similar entities.
(5) 
The word "shall" is mandatory and means that compliance is required.
(6) 
The word "may" is permissive and means that compliance is not required.
(7) 
The word "used," as applied to any lot, structure or portion thereof, shall be construed to mean "used or intended, designated, arranged or designed to be used."
(8) 
References to specific laws, ordinances, codes, rules or regulations or sections thereof shall be construed to include the addendum "as from time to time amended," and shall be construed to include any succeeding or superseding authority.
(9) 
References to a specific public official or agency shall be construed to include agents, designees, and successors.
B. 
All words in this chapter which are not hereinafter defined shall carry the meanings which are derived from customary use of the English language. If a dispute should arise, the Building Inspector shall be responsible for determining which specific meaning is appropriate for a word which has more than one meaning and which is not defined in this chapter. Any appeal of such determination by the Building Inspector may be considered by the Board of Zoning Appeals.
C. 
Definitions. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ALTERATION
Any act or process which changes one or more of the exterior architectural features of an official landmark.
ARCHITECTURAL STYLE
The combination of distinctive features, manner, technique or principles of architectural design, expression or execution, which is characteristic of a particular person, group, school, movement, place or era, and which is recognized by one or more of the following:
(1) 
The National Register of Historic Places.
(2) 
Historic American Buildings Survey.
(3) 
Historic American Engineering Record.
(4) 
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
(5) 
National Trust for Historic Preservation.
(6) 
Society of Architectural Historians.
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
The Town of Greece Board of Zoning Appeals.
BUILDING
A structure, wholly or partially enclosed within exterior walls, or within exterior or party walls, and a roof, which may afford shelter to persons, animals or property.
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
A document evidencing approval by the Planning Board of a proposal to make a material change in the appearance of an official landmark.
CHAPTER
Chapter 128, Historic Preservation, of the Code of the Town of Greece.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The Code Enforcement Officer appointed pursuant to Chapter 114, the Building Construction, Fire Prevention and Energy Code of the Town of Greece, and herein referred to as the "Code Enforcement Officer" or the "Building Inspector."
CODE ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL
The Building Inspector, Fire Marshal and all certified code enforcement officials as appointed pursuant to local law.
CONSTRUCTION
Any act of erecting an addition to an existing structure, building, site or object or the erection of a new principal or accessory structure on a lot or property.
DEMOLITION
Any act or process that destroys, in part or in whole, an official landmark.
EXTERIOR ARCHITECTURAL FEATURES
The architectural style, design, general arrangement and components of all of the outer surfaces of an official landmark, as distinguished from the interior surfaces enclosed by such exterior surfaces, including but not limited to the kind, color and texture of the building materials and the type and style of all windows, doors, lights, signs and other fixtures.
FIRE MARSHAL
The Fire Marshal of the Town of Greece, New York, appointed pursuant to Chapter 114, the Building Construction, Fire Prevention and Energy Code of the Town of Greece.
LANDMARK
A building, structure, object, place, site or parcel of land which possesses one or more of the following characteristics:
(1) 
Association with persons or events of historic significance to the Town, region, state or nation.
(2) 
Illustrative of historic growth and development of the Town, region, state or nation.
(3) 
Embodies distinctive characteristics of a type, period or method of construction or representing the work of a master builder, designer or architect, or possesses unique architectural, archeological or artistic qualities.
OFFICIAL LANDMARK
A landmark on which the Planning Board, by action pursuant to this chapter, has conferred official designation, with all attendant protections, requirements and restrictions.
PLANNING BOARD
The Town of Greece Planning Board.
REMOVAL
Any relocation of a building, structure or object on its site or to another site.
(1) 
Work done in and on any official landmark.
(2) 
Replacement of any part of an official landmark for which a permit issued by the Building Inspector is not required by law, and where the purpose and effect of such work or replacement is to correct a deterioration or decay of or damage to such official landmark or any part thereof and to restore the same as nearly as practicable to its condition prior to the occurrence of such deterioration, decay or damage.
STRUCTURE
Any assembly of materials forming a construction framed of component structural parts for occupancy or use, or a portion thereof, including but not limited to buildings.
TOWN
The Town of Greece, Monroe County, New York.
TOWN CLERK
The Clerk of the Town of Greece, New York.
A. 
The Planning Board hereby is authorized to carry out the purpose and intent of this chapter, and shall have the powers and duties herein described.
B. 
The powers and duties of the Planning Board shall include:
(1) 
Promulgation of rules and regulations as necessary for the conduct of its business; and
(2) 
Adoption of criteria for the identification of significant historic, architectural and cultural landmarks; and
(3) 
Provisions for surveys of significant historic, architectural and cultural landmarks within the Town, upon the request of the Town Board; and
(4) 
Determining whether to designate a landmark as an official landmark, when so requested by the owner of such landmark; and
(5) 
Making recommendations to the Town government concerning the use of state, federal or private funds to promote preservation of landmarks within the Town; and
(6) 
Making recommendations to the Town Board and the Board of Zoning Appeals, when requested by said boards, concerning applications before said boards relating to properties that include landmarks; and
(7) 
Approval or disapproval of applications for certificates of appropriateness pursuant to this chapter.
C. 
The Planning Board shall conduct business pursuant to this chapter at regularly scheduled meetings of the Planning Board, or on the call of the Chairman of the Planning Board.
D. 
A quorum for the transaction of business pursuant to this chapter shall consist of four of the Planning Board members, and any action taken by the Planning Board pursuant to this chapter shall require not less than a majority of its full authorized membership.
E. 
The staff of the Department of Development Services shall serve as staff to the Planning Board.
A. 
The Planning Board shall investigate, pursuant to requests from affected property owners, possible premises or areas to be designated as an official landmark.
B. 
Upon the request of the owner of a landmark, the Planning Board may designate an individual building, structure, object, place, site or parcel of land as an official landmark if such landmark:
(1) 
Possesses special character or historic or aesthetic interest or value as part of the cultural, political, economic or social history of the Town, the region, state or nation; or
(2) 
Is identified with historic personages; or
(3) 
Embodies the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style; or
(4) 
Is the work of a designer whose work has significantly influenced an era; or
(5) 
Represents an established and familiar visual feature of the community because of its unique location or singular physical characteristic.
C. 
Prior to the designation of any building, structure, object, place, site or parcel of land as an official landmark, the Planning Board shall send a notice of such proposed designation by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner of the landmark who requested such designation. Said notice shall describe the premises proposed for such designation and shall request the owner's written concurrence with such designation. If the Planning Board does not receive a written response from the owner of such proposed official landmark within 30 days of the date of the returned receipt for said notice, it shall be assumed that such owner does not concur with the proposed official landmark designation.
D. 
If the owner of a proposed official landmark concurs with such official designation, the Planning Board shall send a notice to such owner by certified mail, return receipt requested, announcing a public hearing by the Planning Board to consider such designation. The Planning Board shall hold such hearing not less than 20 days nor more than 30 days after such notice is mailed to the owner of such proposed official landmark. Upon the mailing of said notice to the owner of such proposed official landmark, no permits shall be issued by the Building Inspector for the premises subject to such proposed official landmark designation unless and until the Planning Board has made its decision on such designation.
E. 
The Planning Board shall hold a public hearing prior to designation of any official landmark. The Planning Board, the owner of such proposed official landmark and any interested parties may present documentary, testimonial or other evidence at said hearing regarding the historic, architectural or cultural importance of such proposed official landmark.
F. 
Following the hearing, the Planning Board shall make a determination and shall send its decision to the owner of the affected premises. It also shall forward notice of each property designated as an official landmark to the Town Supervisor and the Town Clerk. The Town Clerk shall deliver each such notice, including a recording certificate, to the Office of the Monroe County Clerk for recording. Recording by the Office of the Monroe County Clerk shall be documented by submittal to the Town Clerk of the stamped recording certificate, which shall be maintained in the office of the Town Clerk.
No person shall carry out any exterior alteration, restoration, reconstruction or new construction of or to an official landmark nor shall any person cause an official landmark to be demolished or moved without first obtaining a certificate of appropriateness from the Planning Board.
A. 
In deciding upon an application for a certificate of appropriateness, the Planning Board shall not consider changes to interior spaces, unless such spaces are open to the public, nor changes to architectural features that are not visible from a public street or right-of-way. The Planning Board's decision on approving or disapproving a certificate of appropriateness shall be based upon the following principles:
(1) 
Any alteration of an official landmark shall be compatible with its historic, special or unique character; and
(2) 
Any new construction attached to or appurtenant to an official landmark shall be compatible with the historic, special or unique character of such landmark.
B. 
In applying the principle of compatibility to alterations or new construction, the Planning Board shall consider the following factors:
(1) 
The general design, character and appropriateness for the official landmark;
(2) 
The scale in relation to the official landmark itself, surrounding premises and the neighborhood;
(3) 
Texture and type of construction and their relation to similar features of other premises in the neighborhood;
(4) 
Visual compatibility with surrounding premises, including but not limited to proportion of the premises' front facade, proportion and arrangement of windows and other openings within the facade, roof shape and the rhythm of spacing of premises on streets, including setback; and
(5) 
The importance of historic, architectural or other features to the significance of the premises.
A. 
Prior to the commencement of any work requiring a certificate of appropriateness, the owner shall file an application for such certificate with the Planning Board. Application for a certificate of appropriateness shall be filed with the Building Inspector on such forms as may be prepared for that purpose. The application shall contain:
(1) 
Name, address and telephone number of applicant; and
(2) 
Location and photographs of premises; and
(3) 
Elevation drawings of proposed changes; and
(4) 
Perspective drawings, including relationship to adjoining premises; and
(5) 
Samples of materials to be used; and
(6) 
Where the proposal includes signs or lettering, a scale drawing showing the type of lettering to be used, all dimensions and colors, a description of materials to be used, method of illumination and a plan showing the sign's location on the premises.
B. 
No building permit shall be issued for work which requires a certificate of appropriateness unless and until the Planning Board has issued such certificate. The certificate of appropriateness required by this chapter shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any building permit or other approval that may be required by any other chapter of the Code of the Town of Greece, or by any other governmental agency.
C. 
The Planning Board shall approve, approve with modifications or deny an application for a certificate of appropriateness within 60 days from the receipt of a completed application for such certificate.
D. 
The Planning Board shall hold a public hearing on the application for a certificate of appropriateness, at which time an opportunity shall be provided for proponents and opponents of the application to present their views.
E. 
All decisions of the Planning Board on a certificate of appropriateness shall be in writing. A copy of such decision shall be sent to the applicant by registered mail and a copy filed with the Town Clerk and the Building Inspector. The Planning Board's decision shall state the reasons for such decision.
F. 
A nonrefundable fee shall accompany each application for a certificate of appropriateness, which fee shall be established from time to time by the Town Board.
An applicant whose application for a certificate of appropriateness has been denied by the Planning Board may apply to the Board of Zoning Appeals for relief from landmark designation on the grounds that such designation constitutes a hardship. In order to prove the existence of hardship, the applicant shall establish that:
A. 
The premises are incapable of earning a reasonable return, regardless of whether the return represents the most profitable return possible; and
B. 
The premises cannot be adapted for any other use, whether by the current owner or by a purchaser, which would result in a reasonable return; and
C. 
Efforts to find a purchaser interested in acquiring the premises and preserving them have failed.
A. 
After receiving written notification from the Planning Board of the denial of an application for a certificate of appropriateness, an applicant may commence the hardship application process. No building permit or demolition permit shall be issued unless the Board of Zoning Appeals makes a finding that a hardship exists.
B. 
The Board of Zoning Appeals shall hold a public hearing on the hardship application, at which time an opportunity will be provided for proponents and opponents of the application to present their views.
C. 
The applicant shall consult in good faith with the Board of Zoning Appeals, local preservation groups and interested parties in a diligent effort to seek an alternative that will result in preservation of the premises.
D. 
The Board of Zoning Appeals shall approve, approve with modifications or deny an application for a hardship within 60 days from the receipt of a completed application for such hardship.
E. 
All decisions of the Board of Zoning Appeals shall be in writing. A copy of such decision shall be sent to the applicant by certified mail, return receipt requested, and a copy shall be filed with the Town Clerk, the Building Inspector and the Chairman of the Planning Board. The Board of Zoning Appeals decision shall state the reasons for granting or denying the hardship application.
F. 
The Board of Zoning Appeals shall conduct business pursuant to this chapter at regularly scheduled meetings of the Board of Zoning Appeals, or on the call of the Chairman of the Board of Zoning Appeals.
All work performed pursuant to a certificate of appropriateness issued under this chapter shall conform to any requirements included therein. It shall be the duty of the Building Inspector to inspect periodically and, upon completion of any such work, to determine compliance. If work is found that is not being performed in accordance with the certificate of appropriateness, upon notification and verification of such fact by the Planning Board, the Building Inspector shall issue a stop-work order and all work shall cease immediately. No further work shall be undertaken on the project as long as a stop-work order is in effect.
A. 
This chapter shall be administered and enforced by the Building Inspector. The Building Inspector shall be assisted by a staff consisting of code enforcement personnel.
B. 
The Building Inspector and Fire Marshal may, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. or, if different, during normal business hours, enter any building or premises within the Town for the purpose of making an inspection or investigation to ensure compliance with this chapter.
C. 
Posting with placards.
(1) 
The Building Inspector shall be authorized to affix to any designated landmark a placard for the purpose of notifying the owner, occupants and the general public that such designated landmark is subject to enforcement proceedings by the Town of Greece. The placard may be placed anywhere on such designated landmark that the Inspector determines will be readily noticeable and accessible.
(2) 
The nature of the placard to be used may be determined by the Building Inspector based upon the nature of the problem or condition. The placard may specify "Keep Out" or "Not To Be Occupied Until a Certificate of Occupancy Is Issued" or "Not To Be Demolished or Reconstructed Until a Permit Is Issued" or "Stop Work" or any other form of notice, or any combination of the above notices deemed appropriate by the Building Inspector.
(3) 
No person shall remove, deface, conceal or destroy any such placard affixed by the Building Inspector.
A. 
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance and repair of any exterior architectural feature of an official landmark which does not involve a change in design, construction materials or outward appearance.
B. 
No owner or person with an interest in an official landmark shall permit the premises to fall into a serious state of disrepair so as to result in the deterioration of any exterior architectural feature which would produce a detrimental effect upon the character of the premises. An example would include but not be limited to deterioration of any feature so as to create a hazardous condition which could lead to the claim that demolition is necessary for the public safety.
Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Planning Board relating to designation of an official landmark, hardship or a certificate of appropriateness may, within 30 days of the filing of the decision in the office of the Town Clerk, file a written application with the Board of Zoning Appeals for review of such decision. The Board of Zoning Appeals shall schedule a public hearing on the matter without unnecessary delay.
A. 
General requirements. The requirements contained hereinafter shall apply to any public hearing held pursuant to this chapter regarding a proposed official landmark designation, an appeal of or relief from such designation or a certificate of appropriateness. Any notice of such public hearing shall specify the location of the subject premises, the structure or building that is under consideration, the current zoning of the subject premises and the date, time and place of the public hearing.
B. 
Notices of public hearing.
(1) 
Publication of notice. Notice of a public hearing shall be published once in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town not less than 10 days before such hearing.
(2) 
Written notice. Written notice of a public hearing shall be mailed to the owners of all premises that adjoin or are directly across the street from the subject premises. If the owner of the subject premises owns or has a financial interest in adjoining premises, the written notice requirements also shall apply to the boundary of such adjoining premises.
C. 
Minutes. Minutes of public hearings shall include any documentary, testimonial or other evidence presented regarding the historic, architectural or cultural importance of an official landmark or proposed official landmark designation and also may contain staff reports, public comments or other evidence offered before the public hearing is closed. The minutes also shall show the vote of each member upon every question or, if absent or failing to vote, shall indicate such fact.
A. 
Commencement of proceedings. Whenever the Building Inspector has inspected any official landmark and has determined that such official landmark is in violation of this chapter, the Building Inspector may terminate any building permit issued, terminate any hardship application before the Board of Zoning Appeals, or commence proceedings to cause the cleanup, repair, or rehabilitation of such official landmark.
B. 
Routine action. Whenever the Building Inspector determines that an official landmark is in violation of any provision of this chapter, he shall give notice of such violation as herein provided.
(1) 
Notice. Such notice of violation shall be given by first-class mail, addressed to the last known owner at the address as shown by the records of the Monroe County Clerk, and within five calendar days of such mailing, such notice also shall be given by:
(a) 
Personal delivery upon the owner of such official landmark; or
(b) 
Personal delivery to the occupant of the building, structure or premises, or to the person or individual using the land or to the person allegedly responsible for such violation and/or to the holder of the certificate of appropriateness; or
(c) 
Posting such notice on the official landmark where a violation is determined to exist.
(2) 
The depositing of such notice into a depository, maintained under the exclusive control of the United States Postal Service, shall be deemed sufficient to satisfy the mailing requirement.
(3) 
Such notice of violation shall be in writing and shall specify the alleged violation and shall provide a reasonable time of not less than five days for compliance and shall be served as stated above. Such notice may contain an outline or mention of the remedial action that will be taken to effect compliance in the event the owner, occupant, agent or operator does not comply with said notice within the time period specified therein. The Building Inspector may extend the compliance time specified in any notice issued under the provisions of this chapter where there is sufficient evidence of intent to comply within the period specified, provided that reasonable conditions exist which prevent immediate compliance.
C. 
Emergency action. Whenever the Building Inspector determines that a condition exists which poses an immediate threat to an official landmark, he may, without prior notice, issue a notice citing the violation and ordering that such action be taken as is necessary to remove or abate such violation. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, such order shall be effective immediately upon mailing, delivery or posting of the notice of such violation as herein provided.
(1) 
Notice. Such notice of violation shall be given by first-class mail, addressed to the last known owner at the address as shown by the records of the Monroe County Clerk, and within five calendar days of such mailing, such notice also shall be given by:
(a) 
Personal delivery upon the owner of such official landmark; or
(b) 
Personal delivery to the occupant of the building, structure, premises or real property or to the person or individual using the building, structure, premises or real property or to the person or persons allegedly responsible for such violation and/or to the holder of the certificate of appropriateness; or
(c) 
Posting such notice on the official landmark where a violation is determined to exist.
(2) 
Such notice of violation shall be in writing and shall specify the alleged violation and shall provide a reasonable time of not less than five days for compliance and shall be served as stated above. Such notice may contain an outline or mention of the remedial action that will be taken to effect compliance in the event the owner, occupant, agent or operator does not comply with said notice within the time period specified therein. The Building Inspector may extend the compliance time specified in any notice issued under the provisions of this chapter where there is sufficient evidence of intent to comply within the period specified, provided that reasonable conditions exist which prevent immediate compliance.
A. 
Whenever a notice referred to above has been given, and the violation continues to exist beyond the time specified in the notice or notices, the Building Inspector may authorize the work to be done and the cost thereof may be paid out of general Town funds.
B. 
The Town shall be reimbursed for the cost of the work performed or services rendered by direction of the Building Inspector, as hereinabove provided, by assessment and levy upon the lots or parcels of land wherein such work was performed or such services rendered, and the expense so assessed shall constitute a lien and charge on the real property on which it is levied until paid or otherwise satisfied or discharged and shall be collected in the same manner and at the same time as other Town charges.
The Code Compliance Officer shall have the following alternative remedies for enforcement of this chapter. The Building Inspector shall have the authority, pursuant to the New York State Criminal Procedure Law, to issue an appearance ticket subscribed by him, directing a designated person to appear in a designated local criminal court at a designated future time in connection with the alleged commission of a designated violation of this chapter or any order made thereunder.
Any person who fails to comply with any provision of this chapter or fails to comply with any notice, order or directive of the Building Inspector after expiration of the time for compliance established in accordance with this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment not to exceed 15 days, or both, for such violation. In the event of any failure to so comply, each and every day that such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense, and the penalties prescribed above shall be applicable to each such separate offense.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section, article or part of this chapter shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section, article or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.