Town of Tonawanda, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 9-9-1996 by L.L. No. 8-1996; amended 11-24-2003 by L.L. No. 6-2003]

§ 215-70.6 Purpose and intent.

The purpose and intent of the Waterfront Business District shall be as follows:
A. 
In accordance with the Town of Tonawanda Waterfront Land Use Plan and the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP), to provide for a planned district that will promote and accommodate the development of business uses which are designed to recognize the unique and irreplaceable character of the Niagara shoreline region. The uses will take advantage of views of the area, and provide a buffer between the waterfront public uses, the City of Tonawanda and the light industrial areas of the Town.
B. 
To encourage flexibility in design and use of sites within the shoreline area while preserving the unique environmental features and maintaining or reviving the aesthetic qualities of the waterfront area. The flexibility of design will be accomplished by establishing minimal dimensional requirements for principal uses combined with site plan review and design standards which will ensure development which is compatible with the goals of the Town of Tonawanda.
C. 
To promote the most desirable use of land and direction of building development in accordance with the Town's vision and LWRP which protects the character of the waterfront region and the established patterns in adjacent development, thereby maintaining land values and protecting and improving the Town's tax revenue.

§ 215-70.7 Permitted uses.

Only the following uses shall be permitted with site plan approval as set forth in Article XXIII:
A. 
Public and private parklands, trails and recreation areas.
B. 
Business and professional offices.
C. 
General laboratories for testing and research.
D. 
Research and development.
E. 
Assembly of component parts.

§ 215-70.8 Specially permitted uses.

Only the following uses shall be permitted with a special use permit as indicated in Article IXF and with site plan approval as set forth in Article XXIII:
A. 
Retail, restaurant and lodging.
B. 
In-service training schools for employees, provided that such use is incidental to one of the principal uses.
C. 
Nursery schools or day-care centers to primarily serve employees in the district.
D. 
Warehousing and distribution facilities representing less than 50% of the square footage of the total leasable area of the facility. Such specially permitted use must be accessory to the primary allowable use.
E. 
Any other commercial use which is determined by the Town Board, in consultation with the Town Planning Board, to be similar to other permitted or specially permitted uses, and which is compatible with the purpose and intent of this district.

§ 215-70.9 Accessory uses and structures.

[Amended 6-17-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
Accessory uses and structures, as defined in this Code, which do not exceed the thresholds set forth in § 215-151, shall be allowed as permitted by the Town Building Department.

§ 215-70.10 Dimensional requirements.

The dimensional requirements in the WB District shall be as follows:
A. 
Minimum lot size and frontage. The required minimum lot size and frontage shall be based on the amount of land necessary to adequately accommodate the proposed principal use as well as all parking, loading, landscaping, open space, setbacks, public access and traffic access.
B. 
Front yard setback: minimum of 50 feet, measured from the nearest street right-of-way.
C. 
Side yard setback: minimum of 25 feet.
D. 
Maximum lot coverage: The total overall coverage of all principal and accessory buildings and structures, parking areas and other paved or service areas on any lot shall not exceed 65% of the total lot area. The remainder shall be open green space and/or landscaped areas.
E. 
Height restriction: The maximum building height shall not exceed 50 feet.

§ 215-70.11 Additional design standards and requirements.

The following additional design standards and requirements shall apply throughout the district. In addition, all development within 500 feet of River Road shall conform to the requirements of the River Road Overlay.
A. 
Two Mile Creek and Rattlesnake Creek Buffers. A minimum of 50 feet on either side of Rattlesnake Creek, Two Mile Creek or their tributaries shall be maintained in its natural state or as landscaped open space. The setback distance shall be measured from the average adjacent high-water line of the water body. The applicant is encouraged to protect the natural drainage elements within the project area and to provide a means of public access along any drainage element or within the fifty-foot buffer area where it is appropriate or desired to integrate the preservation of the drainage features into the open space element of the project design and accommodate trails.
B. 
Landscaping, screening and buffering.
(1) 
Landscaping shall be provided and maintained to enhance the general appearance of the development, supply a visual break of the built environment and give relief to otherwise developed interior portions of the site to harmonize with the proposed buildings and the surrounding areas. Appropriate shrubs, trees and plant materials shall be arranged in beds, rows, islands, berms and clusters as foundation and area plantings, and may give definition to street edges and provide screening. They shall not, however, impede public views of the river.
(2) 
Significant existing vegetation shall be preserved, where practical, in any required waterfront or public access setback or buffer area. The applicant shall be encouraged to incorporate existing trees and other significant vegetation into the overall site plan to the extent feasible.
(3) 
The applicant shall submit a landscape plan with the site plan. The landscape plan shall be prepared by a landscape architect or arborist and describe the plant species, their locations and size at planting and maturity. All plants, trees and shrubs shall be planted and maintained 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.
(4) 
The landscape plan shall provide adequate landscaping or screening for all utility buildings, loading docks, refuse collection areas, cooling systems, storage areas and all other similar structures, installations and features.
(5) 
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 shall be 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.
(6) 
All trees shall be plant species having a minimum caliper of 2 1/2 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.
C. 
Parking.
(1) 
Parking shall comply with Article XIII of this chapter for the number of parking spaces required and the standards for the design of parking areas. If the site is within the River Road Overlay District, the provisions of the Overlay shall supersede other parking requirements.
(2) 
Employee parking facilities developed as structures or surface lots shall not be located within any setback areas or in the front of any building.
(3) 
Employee parking areas shall be paved with a concrete or blacktop paving, paving brick or comparable hard surface approved by the Town Building Department, shall have curbing or bumper guards where needed and, except for driveways and other entrances, shall be properly drained and screened from view from the street.
(4) 
Parking areas for visitors, customers or clients may be located within a setback area (required front or side yards), provided that at least 50% of the area is landscaped. Such parking areas must be paved with concrete or blacktop paving, paving brick or other comparable hard surface approved by the Town Building Department and shall be properly drained. A landscaped buffer of at least five feet shall be provided between any parking area within the setback area and the property boundary.
(5) 
Parking areas shall not exceed 10,000 square feet in area unless interrupted by a minimum fifteen-foot-wide landscaped strip. Median requirements may be relaxed if the parking lot configuration is irregularly shaped.
(6) 
No loading docks shall be permitted on any portion of a building which faces a street; provided, however, that if two or more building walls face a street or a public right-of-way, then loading docks may be permitted if adequate landscaped screening is provided.
D. 
Signage. Signage shall comply with Article XXII of this chapter.
E. 
Fencing.
(1) 
The use of fencing is discouraged within this district, except as needed for the purposes of screening features such as storage areas, utility buildings and similar types of structures or installations.
(2) 
No fence shall be erected within any setback area. Fences shall be limited to six feet in height.
F. 
Storage of materials.
(1) 
Required service areas, required loading areas and outdoor storage areas shall be located so as to not be visible from public streets, public pedestrianways or public open space. To the extent possible, service, loading and storage facilities should be architecturally incorporated into the building or architecturally treated with walks, fencing and landscaping. Where these facilities are visible from public or private pedestrian areas, public streets or public open space, they shall be completely screened with opaque materials.
(2) 
Outside storage that is located within 150 feet of the district boundary shall not exceed 12 feet in height. Elsewhere in the district outside storage shall be limited to 20 feet in height.
G. 
Utilities and communications facilities. No utilities or communications facilities shall be installed above ground in front or side yards. Where feasible, all utility and communications facilities shall be installed under ground, in a manner prescribed by the regulations of the government agency or utility company having jurisdiction. All facilities shall be planned so as to anticipate future needs and shall be sited and sized to reduce future capital costs.
H. 
Access to the rear of these properties and to the surrounding properties must be considered in the design and layout of any proposed use.

§ 215-70.11A Performance standards.

Uses in this district shall be no more intrusive in impacts than is typical for standard office uses.