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]

§ 215-70.18 Purpose and intent.

The purpose and intent of the WID Waterfront Industrial District shall be as follows:
A. 
In accordance with the Town of Tonawanda Comprehensive Plan, to provide for a planned district for industrial development of a manufacturing, processing and/or assembly nature, as well as wholesale and warehousing activities.
[Amended 2-23-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
B. 
To accommodate these types of uses while maintaining the character and integrity of the surrounding land uses and the waterfront region in general, and protecting them from unreasonable adverse impacts.
C. 
To encourage water-dependent or water-enhanced industrial or commercial uses on lands that are located along the Niagara River.
D. 
To promote uses that will provide job opportunities and strengthen the Town's tax base.
E. 
To maintain appropriate design standards within the Tonawanda waterfront region.

§ 215-70.19 Permitted uses.

[Amended 6-17-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013; 8-29-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
Only the following uses shall be permitted with site plan approval as set forth in Article XXIII. Only the following uses shall be permitted with site plan approval by the Town Planning Board and after having received comments from the Town's Development Services Staff, according to the process set forth in the site plan regulations:
A. 
Public and private parklands and trails.
B. 
Boat storage facility.
C. 
Light industry.
D. 
Assembly of component parts.
E. 
Wholesale business and storage.
F. 
Warehousing and storage of goods for distribution.
G. 
Public utilities.
H. 
Research facilities, including laboratories and testing facilities.
I. 
Business offices or medical professional buildings.

§ 215-70.20 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. 
Service or repair of an industrial nature.
B. 
Retail sales of merchandise and/or services.
C. 
Nursery schools and day-care centers to primarily serve employees in the district.
D. 
Commercial laundry plants; bottling plants.
E. 
Any other commercial, industrial or warehousing use which is determined by the Town Board, in consultation with the Town Planning Board, to be similar to permitted or specially permitted uses, and which is compatible with the purpose and intent of this district.

§ 215-70.21 Use restrictions.

A. 
Residential dwelling units shall not be permitted, except for temporary quarters, such as for a plant watchman or caretaker, that do not constitute a primary residence.
B. 
Junkyards, waste transfer or disposal, land mining and stockyards shall not be permitted.

§ 215-70.22 Accessory uses.

The following uses are permitted as an accessory use to a permitted or specially permitted use, subject to site plan approval as set forth in Article XXIII.
A. 
Storage structures subject to height screening conditions.
B. 
Clinics, cafeterias and recreational facilities for the exclusive use of employees of the principal use.
C. 
Garages, pump houses, water towers and storage tanks.
D. 
Other customary accessory structures incidental to primary permitted or specially permitted uses.

§ 215-70.23 Dimensional requirements.

[Amended 8-29-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
The dimensional requirements in the WID Waterfront Industrial District shall be as follows:
A. 
Minimum lot size: two acres.
B. 
Minimum lot width at the front (frontage): 100 feet.
C. 
Front yard setback: minimum of 50 feet, measured from the nearest street right-of-way line.
D. 
Side yard setback: minimum of 25 feet.
E. 
Lot coverage. Building coverage shall be limited to 40% of the lot area. Total coverage of the lot with impervious or paved surfaces shall be limited to 75%.
F. 
Height restriction. The maximum building height shall not exceed 50 feet. The Town Planning Board shall have the power to establish maximum heights of less than 50 feet after SEQRA and site plan review where such height limitation is required to preserve important views or maintain the overall aesthetic quality of the waterfront area.

§ 215-70.24 Design requirements and standards.

[Amended 2-23-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
The following design standards and requirements shall apply throughout the district. In addition, all development within the coastal zone (from the Niagara River to 500 feet inland of River Road) shall conform to the requirements of the River Road Overlay and comply with the standards for review and design set forth in § 215-152E(3).
A. 
Building design.
(1) 
Buildings with long unbroken, unfenestrated walls should be avoided. Variation in building footprint, exterior wall offsets, facade textures and treatments and rooflines are encouraged to create a visually interesting though cohesive design impact.
(2) 
All buildings shall have durable exterior finish materials that cover all exterior walls. Generally, buildings are expected to have brick or other finish masonry, stone, precast concrete, finish-grade wood (such as clapboard or shingle) or their equivalent or better for exterior finish. In proposing other exterior building materials, the applicant must show that the material is appropriate to the use proposed and will not significantly impact the overall visual quality of the waterfront experience. The most stringent quality standards will be applied to buildings in locations most visible to people in public spaces enjoying the waterfront experience.
(3) 
Facades of buildings that face public open space, public streets and bicycle/pedestrian pathways shall include design features such as building entries, windows, arcades, overhangs, canopies and related elements that create visual interest. Such architectural elements, finish colors and building lighting shall be coordinated to create a coherent and visually pleasing impression. Extensive uninterrupted blank walls shall not be permitted.
B. 
Two Mile Creek and Rattlesnake Creek buffers. A minimum of 50 feet on either side of Rattlesnake Creek, Two Mile Creek or its tributaries shall be maintained in its natural state or as landscaped open space. The setback distance shall be measured from the average 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.
C. 
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 shall 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, 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.
D. 
Parking. Parking shall comply with Article XIII of this chapter and meet the following additional standards:
(1) 
All parking areas shall 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.
(2) 
Employee parking facilities developed as structures on surface lots shall not be located within any setback areas. Employee parking areas shall have bumper guards where needed and, except for driveways and other entrances, shall be properly screened from view from the street.
(3) 
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. A landscaped buffer of at least five feet shall be provided between any parking area within the setback area and the property boundary.
(4) 
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.
(5) 
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.
E. 
Signage. Signage shall comply with Article XXII of this chapter.
F. 
Fencing. No fence shall be erected within any setback area. Fences shall be limited to six feet in height.
G. 
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. These height limits shall not apply to external boat storage, as allowed under Subsection F(3), below.
(3) 
External boat storage of a single boat on a cradle shall be allowed at the discretion of the Building Department.
H. 
Utilities and communications facilities. No utilities or communications facilities shall be installed above round in front or side yards. All utility and communications facilities shall be installed so as to anticipate future needs and shall be sited and sized to reduce future capital costs.

§ 215-70.25 Performance standards.

A. 
General requirements.
(1) 
All uses subject to the requirements of this section may be established and maintained if their operations are approved by the Town Planning Board as being in conformance with the standards and regulations limiting dangerous and objectionable elements, such as dust, smoke, odor, fumes, noise, or vibration. In approving the site plan, the Town Planning Board shall decide whether the proposed use will conform to these applicable performance standards or to any additional performance standards required by state or federal laws or which are generally recognized performance standards for a given industry.
[Amended 8-29-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
(2) 
Uses subject to the performance standards procedure. Only manufacturing and research, experimental and testing laboratory uses and uses accessory thereto shall be subject to the performance standards procedure in obtaining a building permit. However, if the Planning Board has reasonable grounds to believe that any other proposed use violates any of the performance standards, then the applicant shall comply with the performance standards procedure.
[Amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007; 8-29-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
(3) 
Enforcement provisions applicable to other uses. Initial and continued compliance with the performance standards is required of every use. Provisions for enforcement of continued compliance with performance standards shall be invoked by the Code Enforcement Officer against any uses if there is reasonable grounds to believe that the performance standards are being violated by such use.
[Amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
B. 
Performance standards procedure.
(1) 
An application for a building permit or certificate of occupancy for a use subject to the performance standards procedure shall include a plan of the proposed construction and a description of the proposed machinery, operations and products and emission of any dangerous and objectionable elements. The applicant shall also file with any such plans and specifications an affidavit acknowledging his understanding of the applicable performance standards and stating his agreement to conform to the same at all times. During the course of site plan review, the Town Planning Board will determine if the applicant's proposal falls within the performance standards.
[Amended 8-29-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
(2) 
Expert consultants.
(a) 
The Town may require a report by one or more expert consultants retained by the applicant to advise as to whether the proposed use will conform to the applicable performance standards. The applicant shall also submit a written report showing the manner in which the proposed use will comply with the performance standards.
(b) 
The continued effectiveness of the certificate of occupancy shall be conditioned on the continuous conformance of the applicant's completed buildings, installations and uses with the applicable performance standards.
C. 
Performance standards.
(1) 
Fire and explosive hazards. All activities involving, and all storage of, flammable and explosive materials shall be protected at all times with adequate safety devices against the hazard of fire and explosion and adequate fire-fighting and fire-suppression equipment and devices standard in industry. Burning of waste materials in open fires is prohibited at any time The relevant provisions of state and local laws and regulations shall also apply.
(2) 
Vibration.
(a) 
No vibration shall be produced which is transmitted through the ground and is discernible without the aid of instruments at or beyond the lot lines, nor shall any vibrations produced exceed 0.002g peak at up to a frequency of 50 cycles per second, measured at or beyond the lot lines using either seismic or electronic vibration-measuring equipment.
(b) 
Vibrations occurring at higher than a frequency of 50 cycles per second or a periodic vibration shall not induce accelerations exceeding 0.001g. Single-impulse periodic vibrations occurring at an average interval greater than five minutes shall not induce accelerations exceeding 0.01g measured at the lot line.
(3) 
Noise. Noise levels at the proposed facility must be controlled to prevent sound levels beyond the property line exceeding the ambient sound levels as shown in Table I. If background sound levels, excluding any contributions from the proposed new facility, exceed the limits in Table I, then the operations at the proposed facility must not cause a sound level exceeding the background.
Table I
Noise Level Limits*
Receiving Land Use (decibels A)
Time Period
Residential
Commercial
Industrial
7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
65
65
75
11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
50
65
75
*NOTE: Sound levels will be measured as Leq energy equivalent. The "Leq" is defined as the equivalent steady state sound level that contains the same acoustic energy as the time-varying sound level during a one-hour period exceeded no more than 10% of the time. The noise levels must comply with measurements taken using a Type 1 general purpose sound level meter, Type 2 or corresponding special sound meters Type S1A or S2A. All sound-monitoring equipment shall comply with the latest version of the ANSI standards.
(4) 
Smoke. The density emission of smoke or any other discharge into the atmosphere during normal operations shall not exceed visible gray smoke of a shade equal to or darker than No. 2 on the standard Ringelmann Smoke Chart. (A Ringelmann Smoke Chart is a chart published by the United States Bureau of Mines, which shows graduated shades of gray for use in estimating the light-obscuring capacity of smoke.) These provisions applicable to visible gray smoke shall also apply to visible smoke of a different color but with an apparent equivalent capacity.
(5) 
Odor. No emission shall be permitted of odorous gases or other odorous matter in such quantities as to be readily detectable when diluted in the ratio of one volume of odorous air emitted to four volumes of clean air. Any process which may involve the creation or emission of any odors shall be provided with a secondary safeguard system so that control will be maintained if the primary safeguard system should fail.
(6) 
Fly ash, dust, fumes, vapors, gases and other forms of air pollution. No emissions shall be permitted which can cause any damage to health, animals, vegetation or other forms of property or which can cause any excessive soiling at any point beyond the boundaries of the lot. The concentration of such emission on or beyond any lot line shall not exceed 0.1 of the maximum allowable concentration (Threshold Limit Values) set forth in the Industrial Code Rule No. 12, relating to the control of air contaminants, as regulated by the New York State Department of Labor, or any subsequent standards.
(7) 
Electromagnetic interference.
(a) 
No use, activity or process shall be conducted which produces electric and/or magnetic fields which adversely affect public health, safety, and welfare, including but not limited to interference with normal radio, telephone or television reception from off the premises where the activity is conducted.
(b) 
It shall be unlawful to operate or cause to be operated any planned or intentional source of electromagnetic radiation that does not comply with the current regulations of the Federal Communications Commission regarding such sources of electromagnetic radiation. It shall be unlawful if such radiation causes an abnormal degradation in performance of other electromagnetic radiators or electromagnetic receptors of quality and proper design. The determination of abnormal degradation in performance and of quality and proper design shall be made in accordance with good engineering practices, as defined in the latest principles and standards of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, the Institute of Radio Engineers and the Electronic Industries Association. In case of any conflict between the latest standards and principles of the above groups, the following precedence in interpretation of the standards and principles shall apply: American Institute of Electrical Engineers, the Institute of Radio Engineers and the Electronic Industries Association.
(8) 
Radioactive materials. The handling of radioactive materials, the discharge of such materials into the air and water and the disposal of radioactive wastes shall be in conformance with all applicable federal and state regulations.
(9) 
Heat. Heat emitted to any or all points shall not at any time cause a temperature increase on any adjacent property in excess of 5° F., whether such change is in the air, on the ground, in a natural stream or lake or in any structure on such adjacent property.
(10) 
Glare.
(a) 
Direct glare. No such direct glare shall be permitted, with the exception that parking areas and walkways may be illuminated by luminaries so hooded or shielded that the maximum angle of the cone of direct illumination shall be 60° drawn perpendicular to the ground. Such angle may be increased to 90° if the luminary is less than three feet above ground. The cone of illumination shall not extend beyond the property lines.
(b) 
Indirect glare. Indirect glare shall not exceed that value which is produced by an illumination of the reflecting surface, not to exceed 0.3 footcandle (maximum) and 0.1 footcandle (average). Deliberately induced sky-reflected glare, as by casting a beam upward for advertising purposes, is specifically prohibited.
(11) 
Liquid, solid, gaseous or hazardous waste. No discharge shall be permitted at any point into a public sewer or stream or into the ground, except in accord with standards approved by the State and County Departments of Health, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and local ordinances, of any materials of such nature or temperature as can contaminate any water supply or otherwise cause the emission of dangerous or offensive elements. There shall be no accumulation of solid wastes conducive to the breeding of rodents or insects.