Town of Tonawanda, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 215-38 Permitted uses.

[Amended 1-30-1984 by L.L. No. 1-1984; 10-20-1997 by L.L. No. 4-1997]
A. 
In a C General Business District, no building, structure or lands shall be used, structurally altered or erected which are intended, arranged or designed to be used for other than the permitted uses in a residential district, M-F Multifamily Dwelling District or the C-1 Restricted Business District or for one or more of the following:
(1) 
Retail sales of merchandise and services free from dust, fumes, smoke, odor, gas, noise and vibration.
(2) 
Hotel.
(3) 
Motel.
(4) 
Restaurant.
(5) 
Theater.
B. 
Special use permit cases shall be permitted as indicated in Article XIV.
C. 
All activities, except automobile parking, shall be conducted wholly within an enclosed structure erected in conformance with § 215-39 of this chapter. The displaying, storing and selling of seasonal-type merchandise and products which are related to the retail activities carried on in the structure erected in conformance with § 215-39 of this chapter, except as described in Subsection D hereof, are permitted outside of an enclosed structure, provided that said merchandise and products are neither subject to harm by exposure to the elements nor hazardous, harmful or injurious to abutting premises.
D. 
Seasonal outdoor dining shall be permitted by special annual permit in accordance with Article XXV, § 215-164, of this chapter.
E. 
Residential uses in the C General Business District must comply with residential property line setback restrictions and applicable restrictions.

§ 215-39 Construction standards. [1]

[Amended 11-18-1985 by L.L. No. 8-1985; 6-7-1993 by L.L. No. 3-1993; 4-7-1997 by L.L. No. 2-1997]
A. 
The exterior walls of any building erected in a C General Business District to be used for the permitted uses set forth in § 215-38 shall be of any type of construction as identified by the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, provided that distance separations as specified for such construction are adhered to and all other requirements of said code are complied with.
[Amended 10-20-1997 by L.L. No. 4-1997]
B. 
No structure shall exceed 45 feet in height, except that chimneys, towers or similar structures, whether located upon and constituted as an integral part of a principal structure or erected separately, may be erected above the height limit specified, but are limited to, a height not exceeding 60 feet above the average finish grade. Mechanical space for building equipment placed on the building roof may be permitted above the maximum height specified, provided that such mechanical space is set back a minimum of 15 feet from any exterior walls, does not exceed 15 feet in height (above the finish roof line of the building upon which it is installed) and is adequately screened from view.
[Amended 10-20-1997 by L.L. No. 4-1997]
C. 
Towers and antennas shall comply with the provisions contained in Article XXIV of the Code of the Town of Tonawanda.
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 54, Building, Plumbing and Electrical Standards.

§ 215-40 Use restrictions.

A. 
Gasoline filling stations and auto repair shops shall be of the drive-in type, and no operation therewith shall be allowed between the building line and the street or in the street, and no pump island shall be located within 10 feet of the street line. See § 215-72.
B. 
The keeping, storing and/or parking of a vehicle or trailer with an unladen weight of 10,000 pounds or more is prohibited in a C General Business District, except for those vehicles used for delivery purposes where the vehicle is removed from the property within each 24 hours.

§ 215-41 Storage tanks for flammable liquids.

[Amended 1-30-1984 by L.L. No. 1-1984; 12-19-1988 by L.L. No. 7-1988; 10-20-1997 by L.L. No. 4-1997]
A. 
The total capacity of gasoline that may be stored at filling stations located in a C General Business District shall be limited to 48,000 gallons, to be entirely of underground storage, with a maximum capacity of individual tanks to be 12,000 gallons, and shall be installed in accordance with rules and regulations of the National Fire Protection Association and inspected and approved by the Code Enforcement Officer. These rules and regulations shall apply to all underground storage tanks containing flammable liquids.
[Amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
B. 
Aboveground liquid storage tanks shall be constructed, protected, located and maintained in accordance with the latest rules, regulations and specifications of the National Fire Protection Association.
C. 
Propane exchange facilities shall be installed, protected, located and maintained in accordance with the latest rules, regulations and specifications of the National Fire Protection Association. Such facilities shall be protected against vehicle impact by barriers or pipe bollards approved by the New York State Department of Transportation, or other approved means.

§ 215-42 Business streets.

For the purpose of this chapter, the 1/2 of a dedicated right-of-way abutting the plot, lot or lots zoned for C-1 Restricted Business or C General Business shall be considered and hereinafter defined as a "business street." This shall apply to both a restricted business street and a general business street.

§ 215-43 Use of business lots.

Any lot facing on a business street is a business lot. If the owner of the business lot shall own or acquire property abutting the rear of said business lot, the property so owned or acquired may be used for business purposes in conjunction with the lot or lots of said owner facing on said business street, but not otherwise; provided, however, that the combined total depth that may be used for business purposes, which shall include the business lot and the property abutting the rear thereof, shall not exceed 150 feet, measured from the nearest line of the business street on which such business lot faces, except that, on Delaware Avenue and Niagara Falls Boulevard within the limits of the Town of Tonawanda, the depth of the premises that may be used for business purposes shall not exceed 200 feet measuring from the nearest line of said business street line of said business street and except that on Sheridan Drive the depth of premises that may be used for business or restricted business purposes shall be the depth of the business lots facing on Sheridan Drive or 150 feet, measured from the nearest right-of-way line of Sheridan Drive, whichever is greater. Any building or accessory structure placed on said business frontage, as hereinbefore extended, shall not be placed closer than 10 feet from any residential street line of said business lot as so extended by such addition thereto or as shown on Plate E.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Plate E is included at the end of this chapter.

§ 215-44 Business lots parallel to and facing intersecting residential streets.

When a street designated as a business street shall have lots running parallel thereto and facing intersecting residential streets, the lots adjacent to the business street shall be deemed business lots, and business uses shall be allowed to a depth from the business street of not over 150 feet and only when utilized as an accessory use to the current business occupying the lot bordering on the business street. On Delaware Avenue, Niagara Falls Boulevard, Sheridan Drive and Grand Island Boulevard, a building constructed thereon shall not be located less than 15 feet from the adjacent lot line, as shown on Plate E,[1] and not less than 10 feet from the residential street lot line and the required distance from the business street, as established by this chapter according to the width of the business street, provided that in the case of corner lots having frontage on Delaware Avenue, Niagara Falls Boulevard or Grand Island Boulevard, the business depth shall be interpreted as 200 feet, and in the case of corner lots having a frontage on Sheridan Drive, zoned for business or restricted business, the depth of such lots that may be used for business purposes shall be the depth of such business lots or 150 feet, measured from the nearest right-of-way line of Sheridan Drive, whichever is greater. The setbacks from the residential side street lot line need not be more than three feet, provided that the building is set back 65 feet from the front property lines. (For accessory structures, see § 215-51.)
[1]
Editor's Note: Plate E is included at the end of this chapter.

§ 215-45 Front yards.

A. 
In the case of any business lots fronting on Delaware Avenue, Niagara Falls Boulevard, Sheridan Drive or Grand Island Boulevard, the front yard depth shall not be less than 65 feet. This provision may be modified by the Zoning Board of Appeals. See Plate L for an exception regarding Niagara Falls Boulevard as per conditions noted.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Plate L is included at the end of this chapter.
B. 
The front yard depth of any lot facing that part of Sheridan Drive between Grand Island Boulevard and Kenmore Avenue shall not be less than 35 feet. This provision may be modified by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
C. 
The front yard in any business district not covered by Subsections A or B of this section or § 215-79 shall be as established by adjoining business buildings or adjoining residential buildings which front on the business street, whichever is the greater, the front yards of which have not been diminished in depth in any manner.
D. 
In all other cases, the front yard shall be a variable depth according to the street widths on which located and as shown by B on Plate G.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Plate G is included at the end of this chapter.

§ 215-46 Side yards.

A. 
For interior lots in a C General Business District, no side yard shall be required, provided that the walls for such buildings are constructed in accordance with the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code for zero clearance; provided, however, that side yards adjoining side yards of a residential or restricted business property shall be eight feet.
[Amended 10-5-1998 by L.L. No. 1-1998]
B. 
For corner lots, a side yard of variable width shall be required as shown on Plate G;[1] except, however, that where the building is set back from the front street line 65 feet or more, the minimum side yard shall be three feet and shall comply with Plate I.[2]
[1]
Editor's Note: Plate G is included at the end of this chapter.
[2]
Editor's Note: Plate I is included at the end of this chapter.
C. 
The side yards for accessory structures on a corner lot in a C General Business District shall be all on the street side; that is, the accessory structures shall be built on the lot line away from the street, as shown on Plate F.[3] The side yard for an interior lot abutting the ends of lots facing another street shall be as shown on Plate G under Column D.[4]
[3]
Editor's Note: Plates F and G are included at the end of this chapter.
[4]
Editor's Note: Plates F and G are included at the end of this chapter.

§ 215-47 Projections into yards.

[Amended 12-19-1988 by L.L.. No. 7-1988]
A. 
In a C General Business District, steps may project into a front or side yard on a corner lot or into the front yard of an interior lot.
B. 
A vestibule may project into a required front yard only. A vestibule may project ahead of the front building line six feet, provided that the total width of such shall not exceed 25% of the total frontage of the building.
C. 
A canopy or cornice, constructed of noncombustible material, may project into a required front yard and may also project into a required side yard of a corner lot on the intersecting street side where there is a minimum eight-foot side yard.
[Amended 3-26-1990 by L.L. No. 2-1990]
D. 
A canopy or cornice, constructed of noncombustible material, may project ahead of the building line six feet, provided that there is a height of not less than eight feet from the grade.
[Amended 3-26-1990 by L.L. No. 2-1990]
E. 
Canopies over fuel-dispensing islands may project into the required setback to within six feet of the property, provided that the edge of the fuel-dispensing island is located a minimum of 20 feet from the property line; the minimum height clearance under the canopy is 11 feet; and the canopy face depth does not exceed three feet.
[Amended 12-30-1991 by L.L. No. 1-1991; 10-20-1997 by L.L. No. 4-1997]

§ 215-48 Rear yards.

The rear yard depths shall be governed by the following conditions:
A. 
When abutting the side yard in a C General Business District, the depth shall be as shown under Column C of Plate G.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Plate G is included at the end of this chapter.
B. 
When abutting the rear end of lots also in a C General Business District, this depth in each case shall be as shown under Column E of Plate G.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Plate G is included at the end of this chapter.
C. 
When abutting on an alley running along the rear of lots in a C General Business District, this depth shall be as shown under Column D of Plate H.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Plate H is included at the end of this chapter.
D. 
The rear yard of a C General Business District whose lots abut the side lot lines of a residential district shall have a depth of 15 feet for buildings 30 feet or less in height. For buildings higher than 30 feet, this distance shall be increased one foot for each additional five feet in height. This condition is shown on Plate E.[4] Said rear yard shall be maintained free from storage of any merchandise, containerized or not, or any empty containers, supplies and/or maintenance items.
[4]
Editor's Note: Plate E is included at the end of this chapter.
E. 
The rear yard in a C General Business District whose lots abut the rear lot lines of a residential district shall have a depth of eight feet. Said rear yard shall be maintained free from storage of any merchandise, containerized or not, or any empty containers, supplies and/or maintenance items.

§ 215-48.1 Landscaping.

[Added 10-20-1997 by L.L. No. 4-1997; amended 10-5-1998 by L.L. No. 1-1998; 7-2-2001 by L.L. No. 1-2001]
A. 
All buildings (except one- and two-family dwellings), yards, sidewalks, open spaces, parking areas, storage areas and service areas shall be landscaped in a manner which will harmonize with the proposed buildings and the surrounding commercial area.
B. 
The Town shall require landscaping in the form of appropriate shrub and tree plant materials arranged in rows or clusters, and designed as buffers, screens or hedges which give attractive definition to the street edges or other areas of a lot, or to screen a lot along its lot lines with adjacent properties, or to screen utility buildings, refuse collection areas, storage areas, cooling systems or other similar structures, and other similar installations and features, or to provide landscaped islands or planted sub-areas which punctuate otherwise developed internal portions of a site, in conjunction with appropriate combinations of decorative fences, walls and berms. Landscaping shall be used to give relief and natural beauty to sites within the C General Business District. Emphasis shall be given to landscaped treatments along the principal street edges of a site.
C. 
Areas between street curbing or the edge of rights-of-way and sidewalks on Town-owned streets shall be landscaped. Erie County and New York State rights-of-way may be improved with stamped colored concrete, brick payers, or other approved material.
D. 
Tree planting spacing patterns of one tree for no less than every 30 linear feet of distance in a regular pattern along site edges adjoining principal business streets is required. Landscaping patterns along street right-of-way lines shall be consistent with the unobstructed view corridor standards established by § 215-8, entitled "Sight obstructions," which requires that shrubs and similar materials generally not be higher than three feet above adjacent street grade and that street trees have branches generally no lower than 12 feet above adjacent street grade in order that views not be obstructed for approaching or departing vehicles.
E. 
General Business properties which immediately abut residential properties or uses shall install a combination of minimum six-foot-high opaque fencing and tree plantings spaced no farther than 30 feet center to center, or shrub plantings located no farther than five feet center to center, along all property lines abutting residential uses.
[Amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 6-2007]
F. 
Within large off-street parking areas measuring 25,000 square feet or more in area, the paved area for parking shall be interrupted by landscaped islands or divider strips placed within rows of parking spaces so that no row of parking exceeds 15 spaces without being interrupted by a landscaped island (a mid row island). The landscaped islands shall have a minimum width of eight feet and a minimum length of 36 feet and shall be planted with two deciduous trees for each landscaped island. The islands shall be curbed or provided with an acceptable alternative edge definition material.
G. 
All plants, trees and shrubs shall be planted in accordance with a planting schedule provided by the applicant and approved by the Town. Landscape materials selected shall be appropriate to the growing conditions of this climatic zone. All trees shall be plant species having a minimum caliper of three inches measured two feet above ground level at the time of planting, an average crown spread of greater than 15 feet at maturity and trunks which can be maintained in a clean condition, free of branches from grade to generally 12 feet above grade along principal street edges and 10 feet above grade elsewhere. Trees having an average mature spread of less than 15 feet may be substituted by grouping the same so as to create the equivalent of a fifteen-foot crown. Shrubs shall be a minimum of two feet in height when measured immediately after planting. Hedges, when measured, shall be planted and maintained so as to form a continuous visual screen within two years after time of planting.

§ 215-49 Permitted subordinate uses.

A use subordinate to the permitted uses above specified or an industry of limited capacity incidental thereto shall be allowed, provided that the same does not render the permitted use secondary and provided that trailer camps, cabins, tourist camps or camps shall not be constructed, permitted or used in a C General Business District.

§ 215-50 Multiple dwellings.

In a C General Business District, the percentage of the lot area which may be occupied by multiple dwellings shall not exceed 50%, and the number of square feet of the lot area per dwelling unit shall not be less than 1,100 square feet. Apartment hotels, motels, transient dwellings, motor hotels, motor courts and no-bedroom or so-called one-bedroom efficiency apartments are exempt from this regulation.

§ 215-51 Permitted accessory structures.

Should the principal structure on a lot not occupy the entire area outside of the front, side or rear yards, accessory structures shall be permitted to occupy the balance of the lot allowed to be occupied, except that such accessory structures shall not occupy the area provided for parking of vehicles in accordance with the off-street parking requirements as provided in Article XIII.

§ 215-52 Automobile repair shops, gasoline stations, automobile detail shops and automobile dealers. [1]

[Amended 1-30-1984 by L.L. No. 1-1984; 9-12-1988 by L.L. No. 4-1988; 10-20-1997 by L.L. No. 4-1997]
A. 
The business of selling, dealing in, detailing or repairing new or used vehicles, whether such vehicles are owned by the business establishment or owned by individuals, shall not be carried on and conducted in an A First Residential, B Second Residential, M-F Multifamily Dwelling, C-1 Restricted Business or C General Business District, except that a dealer in new vehicles having and maintaining a permanent vehicle showroom in a C General Business District may in connection therewith and as an accessory use thereto sell and deal in secondhand or used vehicles, provided that the same shall at all times be in good state and condition, can be operated under their own power and shall comply with all of the requirements of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York for operation thereof on the public highways. In a C General Business District, the premises on which such secondhand or used vehicles are located must be on or immediately adjacent to the premises upon which the new vehicle dealership is located. No more than three such secondhand or used vehicles shall be allowed on any adjacent used vehicle lot for each such new vehicle on the premises occupied by the facility dealing in new vehicles. Notwithstanding the above, a New-York-State-registered auto repair shop may apply for a special use permit pursuant to Article XIV of this chapter for permission to sell secondhand or used vehicles in connection with the operation of a New-York-State-registered auto repair shop and accessory thereto.
B. 
In all cases where auto repair is an activity upon the premises of a permitted establishment, no more than five unlicensed vehicles being repaired on the premises or more than 10% of the total vehicle storage and repair capacity of the entire premises, whichever is less, shall be kept, stored or worked upon in any way within the outdoor portions of the premises at any one time, and no unlicensed vehicle shall be allowed to remain on an outdoor portion of the premises for longer than two weeks at any one time. Portions of sites used for this purpose shall be screened from public view through fencing and landscaping.
[Amended 10-5-1998 by L.L. No. 1-1998]
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 121, Junk, Sale of; and Ch. 203, Vehicles, Abandoned or Junked, Outdoor Storage of.