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 4-18-2006 by L.L. No. 2-2006. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire prevention and building construction — See Ch. 114.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 157.
Zoning — See Ch. 211.

§ 128-1 Purpose.

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 the use of buildings, structures, places and sites of historic, architectural, cultural or aesthetic value is in the public interest of the Town of Greece. It is the purpose of this chapter to:
A. 
Safeguard the heritage of the Town by protecting and enhancing the landmarks which represent cultural, social, economic, political and architectural history.
B. 
Foster civic pride in the beauty and history of the Town.
C. 
Protect and enhance the attractiveness of the Town to home buyers, visitors, shoppers and residents, and thereby provide economic benefits to the Town and its residents.
D. 
Conserve and improve the value of property within the Town.
E. 
Foster, encourage and advise the preservation, restoration and rehabilitation of structures.
F. 
Ensure the harmonious, orderly and efficient growth and development of the Town.

§ 128-2 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 a designated landmark.
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 Greece Historic Preservation Commission of a proposal to make a material change(s) in the appearance of a designated landmark.
COMMISSION
The Greece Historic Preservation Commission.
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, a designated landmark.
EXTERIOR ARCHITECTURAL FEATURES
The architectural style, design, general arrangement and components of all of the outer surfaces of a designated landmark, as distinguished from the interior surfaces enclosed by said 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.
LANDMARK
A building, structure, site, object or parcel of land which possesses one or more of the following characteristics:
A. 
Association with persons or events of historic significance to the Town, region, state or nation.
B. 
Illustrative of historic growth and development of the Town, region, state or nation.
C. 
Embodies distinctive characteristics of a type, period or method of construction or representing the work of a master, or possesses unique architectural, archeological or artistic qualities.
REMOVAL
Any relocation of a building, structure or object on its site or to another site.
A. 
Work done in and on any designated landmark.
B. 
Replacement of any part of a designated landmark for which a permit issued by the Town 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 designated 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, including buildings.
STYLES OF ARCHITECTURE
Style recognized by one or more of the following:
A. 
The National Register of Historic Places.
B. 
Historic American Buildings Survey.
C. 
Historic American Engineering Record.
D. 
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
E. 
National Trust for Historic Preservation.
F. 
Society of Architectural Historians.

§ 128-3 Historic Preservation Commission.

There is hereby created a Commission to be known as the "Greece Historic Preservation Commission" (the "Commission").
A. 
The Commission shall consist of seven members to be appointed by the Town Board. Members shall be residents of the Town who shall have a demonstrated interest, competence or knowledge of historic preservation. The members shall have demonstrated an ongoing interest and familiarity with one or more of the disciplines of history, historic architecture, planning, archeology, historic preservation or a closely related field. Membership on the Historic Preservation Commission by a licensed architect is both encouraged and preferred.
B. 
The staff of the Department of Development Services shall serve as staff to the Commission.
C. 
Commission members shall serve for terms of three years. Members may be reappointed. If a vacancy shall occur other than by expiration of term, the Town Board shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term. The Town Board shall have the power to remove any member of the Commission.
D. 
The Chairperson of the Commission shall be appointed by the Town Board to a two-year term, after first being nominated by the members of the Commission.
E. 
The powers of the Commission shall include:
(1) 
Promulgation of rules and regulations as necessary for the conduct of its business;
(2) 
Adoption of criteria for the identification of significant historic, architectural and cultural landmarks;
(3) 
Provisions for surveys of significant historic, architectural and cultural landmarks within the Town;
(4) 
Designation of identified structures or resources as landmarks;
(5) 
Increasing public awareness of the value of historic, cultural and architectural preservation by developing and participating in public education programs;
(6) 
Making recommendations to the Town government concerning the use of state, federal or private funds to promote preservation of landmarks within the Town;
(7) 
Making recommendations to the Town Board of Zoning Appeals and the Planning Board concerning applications before these boards relating to properties that include landmarks; and
(8) 
Approval or disapproval of applications for certificates of appropriateness and hardship applications pursuant to this chapter.
F. 
The Commission shall meet at least four times a year. The Town Board may remove members who are absent for three consecutive meetings from the Commission. Meetings may be held at any time on the written request of any three of the Commission members or on the call of the Chairperson of the Commission or the Town Supervisor.
G. 
A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of four of the Commission members, and any action taken by the Commission shall require not less than a majority of its full authorized membership.

§ 128-4 Criteria and procedures for designation of landmarks.

A. 
The Commission shall investigate, pursuant to requests from affected property owners, possible premises or areas to be designated as a landmark or landmark site.
B. 
The Commission may designate an individual structure as a landmark if it:
(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;
(2) 
Is identified with historic personages;
(3) 
Embodies the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style;
(4) 
Is the work of a designer whose work has significantly influenced an era; or
(5) 
Because of a unique location or singular physical characteristic, represents an established and familiar visual feature of the community.
C. 
Prior to the designation of any building, structure, place or site as a landmark, the Commission shall send a notice of such proposed designation by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner of such proposed landmark. Said notice shall describe the premises proposed for such designation and shall request the owner's written concurrence with such designation. If the Commission does not receive a written response from the owner of such proposed landmark within 30 days of the date of the returned receipt for said notice, it shall be assumed that said owner does not concur with the proposed landmark designation.
D. 
If the owner of such proposed landmark concurs with the proposed landmark designation, the Commission shall send a notice to said owner by certified mail, return receipt requested, announcing a public hearing by the Commission to consider said designation. The Commission shall hold said hearing not less than 20 days nor more than 30 days after such notice is mailed to the owner of such proposed landmark. Upon the mailing of said notice to the owner of such proposed landmark, no permits shall be issued by the Building Inspector for the premises subject to such proposed landmark designation unless and until the Commission has made its decision on such designation.
E. 
The Commission shall hold a public hearing prior to designation of any landmark. The Commission, the owner of such proposed 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 landmark.
F. 
Following the hearing, the Commission 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 a landmark to the Town Supervisor and the Town Clerk. The Town Clerk shall deliver each such notice, including a recording certificate, to the Monroe County Clerk's office for recording. Recording by the Monroe County Clerk's office shall be documented by submittal to the Town Clerk of the stamped recording certificate, which shall be maintained in the Town Clerk's office.

§ 128-5 Certificate of appropriateness for alteration, demolition or new construction affecting landmarks.

No person shall carry out any exterior alteration, restoration, reconstruction or new construction of or to a landmark nor shall any person cause a landmark to be demolished or moved without first obtaining a certificate of appropriateness from the Commission.

§ 128-6 Criteria for approval of certificate of appropriateness.

A. 
In passing upon an application for a certificate of appropriateness, the Commission shall not consider changes to either interior spaces, unless such spaces are open to the public, or to architectural features that are not visible from a public street or right-of-way. The Commission's decision on approving or disapproving a certificate of appropriateness shall be based upon the following principles:
(1) 
Any alteration of a landmark shall be compatible with its historic, special or unique character; and
(2) 
Any new construction attached to or appurtenant to a landmark shall be compatible with the historic, special or unique character of the landmark.
B. 
In applying the principle of compatibility to alterations or new construction, the Commission shall consider the following factors:
(1) 
The general design, character and appropriateness for the landmark;
(2) 
The scale in relation to the 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.

§ 128-7 Certificate of appropriateness application procedure.

A. 
Prior to the commencement of any work requiring a certificate of appropriateness, the owner shall file an application for such a certificate with the Commission. 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;
(2) 
Location and photographs of premises;
(3) 
Elevation drawings of proposed changes;
(4) 
Perspective drawings, including relationship to adjoining premises;
(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 such proposed work until the Commission has issued a certificate of appropriateness. The certificate of appropriateness required by this chapter shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any building permit that may be required by any other chapter of the Code of the Town of Greece.
C. 
The Commission shall approve, approve with modifications or deny an application for a certificate of appropriateness within 60 days from the receipt of the completed application.
D. 
The Commission shall hold a public hearing on the application, at which an opportunity shall be provided for proponents and opponents of the application to present their views.
E. 
All decisions of the Commission shall be in writing. A copy shall be sent to the applicant by registered mail and a copy filed with the Town Clerk's office and the Building Department. The Commission's decision shall state the reasons for such decision.
F. 
A nonrefundable fee shall accompany each application, which fee shall be established from time to time by the Town Board.

§ 128-8 Hardship criteria.

An applicant whose certificate of appropriateness has been denied may apply to the Town Board 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;
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.

§ 128-9 Hardship application procedure.

A. 
After receiving written notification from the Commission of the denial of a certificate of appropriateness, an applicant may commence the hardship process. No building permit or demolition permit shall be issued unless the Town Board makes a finding that a hardship exists.
B. 
The Town Board 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 Town Board, local preservation groups and interested parties in a diligent effort to seek an alternative that will result in preservation of the premises.
D. 
All decisions of the Town Board shall be in writing. A copy 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 Chairperson of the Historic Preservation Commission. The Town Board's decision shall state the reasons for granting or denying the hardship application.

§ 128-10 Enforcement.

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 assure 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 Commission, 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 Town of Greece Building Inspector. The Building Inspector shall be assisted by a staff consisting of the Assistant Building Inspectors, clerks, typists and any other employee or person designated by the Town Board or Building Inspector to assist in carrying out the duties of the Building Inspector.
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 of Greece for the purpose of making an inspection or investigation to ensure compliance with this chapter.

§ 128-11 Maintenance and repair required.

A. 
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance and repair of any exterior architectural feature of a landmark which does not involve a change in design, construction materials or outward appearance.
B. 
No owner or person with an interest in a designated 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 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.

§ 128-12 Appeals.

Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Commission relating to designation of a landmark, hardship or a certificate of appropriateness may, within 30 days of the filing of the decision in the Town Clerk's office, file a written application with the Town Board for review of such decision. The Town Board shall schedule a public hearing on the matter without unnecessary delay.

§ 128-13 Public hearing requirements.

A. 
General requirements. The requirements contained hereinafter shall apply to any public hearing held pursuant to this chapter regarding a proposed 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 a designated landmark or proposed 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.

§ 128-14 Violations; notice.

[Amended 8-17-2010 by L.L. No. 7-2010]
A. 
Whenever the Building Inspector or his/her duly authorized representative has inspected any building or premises and has determined that said building or premises is in violation of this chapter, the Building Inspector may terminate any building permit issued, terminate any hardship application before the Commission, or commence proceedings to cause the cleanup, repair, or rehabilitation of the building, structure, premises or real property.
B. 
Whenever the Building Inspector or his/her duly authorized representative determines that a building, structure, premises or real property is in violation of any provision of this chapter, he/she shall give notice of the violation or violations as herein provided.
(1) 
Such notice 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 shall be given by:
(a) 
Personal delivery upon such owner or owners of property, or
(b) 
Personal delivery to the occupant of the building or premises, or to the person or individual using the land or to the person or persons allegedly responsible for such violation and/or to the holder of the certificate of appropriateness.
(c) 
Posting the notice on the building, premises or land where the violations are deemed to exist.
(d) 
The depositing of the notice into a depository, maintained under the exclusive control of the United States Postal Service, shall be deemed sufficient to satisfy the mailing requirement.
(2) 
Such notice 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 or his/her duly authorized representative may extend the compliance time specified in any notice issued under the provisions of this chapter where there is evidence of intent to comply within the period specified, provided that reasonable conditions exist which prevent immediate compliance.
C. 
Whenever the Building Inspector or his/her duly authorized representative has determined that a condition exists which poses an immediate threat to the building, structure, premises or real property, he/she may, without prior notice, issue a notice citing the violation and ordering that such action be taken as is necessary to remove or abate the violation.
(1) 
Such notice 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 shall be given by:
(a) 
Personal delivery upon such owner or owners of the property; 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.
(c) 
Posting the notice on the building, structure, premises or real property where the violations are deemed to exist.
(2) 
Such notice 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 or his/her duly authorized representative may extend the compliance time specified in any notice issued under the provisions of this chapter where there is evidence of intent to comply within the period specified, provided that reasonable conditions exist which prevent immediate compliance.

§ 128-15 Action in cases of noncompliance.

[Amended 8-17-2010 by L.L. No. 7-2010]
A. 
Whenever a notice or notices referred to above have been given, and the violations continue to exist beyond the time specified in the notice or notices, the Building Inspector or his/her duly authorized representative may authorize the work to be done and pay the cost thereof 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 or his/her representative, 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.

§ 128-16 Appearance tickets.

[Amended 8-17-2010 by L.L. No. 7-2010]
The Town of Greece Code Compliance Officer or his designee shall have the following alternative remedies for enforcement of this chapter. The Building Inspector or his/her representative shall have the authority, pursuant to the New York State Criminal Procedure Law, to issue an appearance ticket subscribed by him/her, 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.

§ 128-17 Penalties for offenses.

[Amended 8-17-2010 by L.L. No. 7-2010]
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 or his/her representative 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.

§ 128-18 Severability.

[Added 8-17-2010 by L.L. No. 7-2010]
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.

§ 128-19 When effective.

[Added 8-17-2010 by L.L. No. 7-2010]
This chapter shall take effect immediately.