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]

§ 215-150 Legislative and local authority; purpose.

[Amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007; 6-17-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
A. 
Authority. This article is enacted pursuant to the authority granted to the Town Board of the Town of Tonawanda in Article 16 of the Town Law of the State of New York and § 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York. This article now supersedes and modifies § 274-a of the Town Law of the State of New York in that procedures are included herein for an optional sketch plan review process, a preliminary site plan review process and a final site plan review process.
B. 
Purpose and intent.
[Amended 8-29-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
(1) 
The purpose of this article is to define procedures for the Town Planning Board with assistance from the Town's Development Services Staff for review of development proposed throughout the Town to ensure that design elements are in compliance with the protection of the health, safety and overall welfare of the community. The intent of site plan review is to evaluate site plans and require changes consistent with minimizing conflicts which may result between the site layout and design of proposed uses and natural site conditions and features and/or existing or planned adjacent uses. Site plan review is also responsible for ensuring that development comply with clearly calculated planning goals and policies such as are provided in the Town's Comprehensive Plan and other area-specific planning documents.
(2) 
Toward these ends these regulations provide site plan review submission requirements and evaluation criteria to allow the Town Planning Board, with assistance from the Town's Development Services Staff, to make a fair and informed decision as to whether the development, as proposed, is in compliance with concern for the health, safety and welfare of the environment, Town residents and adjacent uses.
C. 
Town Planning Board authority to review site plans. The Tonawanda Town Board authorizes the Town Planning Board to review, approve, approve with modifications or disapprove site plans on a Town-wide basis. The Town's Development Services Staff are authorized to review and make recommendations to the Planning Board on these site plans. In this regard, the Town's Development Services Staff are authorized to recommend such reasonable conditions and restrictions as are directly related to and incidental to a proposed site plan. The Planning Board shall review and may approve such conditions and restrictions and add any additional ones it finds reasonable which shall constitute a final site plan. Before final approval, the Planning Board must complete SEQR.
[Amended 8-29-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]

§ 215-151 Applicability.

[Amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007; 6-17-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
A. 
Uses requiring site plan approval. Prior to the issuance of a building permit in any zoning district or a permit for a change in use or approval of a special use, the Town shall require site plan review in accordance with the provisions of this article. Site plan review is required for all new land use activities, including new structures, new uses, expansions of existing structures, excavation operations, new special uses and legal conversions of existing buildings to other uses, except those specifically exempted in the following section.
[Amended 8-29-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
B. 
Exempted uses. The following land use activities are exempted from the site plan review requirements of this article.
(1) 
Construction of a single one- or two-family dwelling on an approved building lot, including residential subdivisions, meeting the dimensional requirements of this chapter. This exemption does not apply to proposed residential projects in the W-R and W-1 Districts.
(2) 
Permitted accessory structures to one- and two-family dwellings.
(3) 
Ordinary repair or maintenance or interior alterations to existing structures or uses. For industrial or commercial structures, this exemption is limited to alterations that do not substantially change the nature or use, including additions or alterations which will not increase the gross floor area of the existing structure by more than 25% or 20,000 square feet, whichever is smaller, within any three-year period.
(4) 
Exterior alterations or additions to one- and two-family dwellings.
(5) 
Incidental landscaping or grading.
C. 
Existing uses and structures. This article does not apply to uses and structures that are lawfully in existence as of the date this article is adopted. Any use that would otherwise be subject to this article, which has been discontinued for a period of six months or more, shall be subject to review pursuant to the terms herein defined before such use is resumed. Any use or structure shall be considered to be in existence; provided that such use or structure has started construction prior to the effective date of this article and is fully constructed and completed within one year after the effective date of these regulations.
D. 
Uncertain applicability. Any person uncertain of the applicability of the provisions of this article to a given land use activity may apply in writing to the Town's Planning and Development Department for a written jurisdictional determination. This determination may be appealed by the applicant to the Town's Zoning Board of Appeals.
[Amended 8-29-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]

§ 215-152 Procedures.

[Amended 8-29-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
A. 
Site plan review and approval process. Site plan review shall follow a two-step process: preliminary site plan review and final site plan review and approval. For significant or complex projects, there is an optional sketch plan step which precedes the review process and may be undertaken to expedite the site plan approval process.
B. 
Optional sketch plan submission.
(1) 
The applicant may request a sketch plan conference to be held between the Town's Planning and Development Department and the applicant prior to the preparation and submission of a formal site plan. The conference provides the Town's Development Services Staff with an opportunity to review the basic site plan concept, to advise the applicant as to potential problems and concerns and to review with the applicant submission requirements to generally determine the information to be required with the site plan. The sketch plan conference is also an opportunity to discuss development plans for the applicant's entire holdings, including phasing, and to define the project and phases to be submitted for site plan review.
(2) 
At the sketch plan conference, the Town's Planning and Development Department will determine if the proposal is in conformity with the adopted Town Comprehensive Plan and any other approved plans. To the extent feasible, the Town's Development Services Staff shall provide the applicant with an indication of whether the proposal, in its major features, is acceptable or should be modified before expenditures for more detailed plans are made.
(3) 
In order to accomplish these objectives, the applicant shall provide three copies of the following information at a date specified by the Town prior to the date when the Town's Development Services Staff will discuss the sketch plan:
(a) 
A sketch plan shall include the locations and dimensions of principal and accessory structures, locations of ingress and egress, parking areas, signs, existing and proposed vegetation and other existing or planned features; a narrative describing anticipated changes to existing topography and natural features; a description of environmentally sensitive features, including all regulated wetlands, and proposals for their protection; proposed water supply and sewage and waste disposal facilities; provisions for stormwater drainage, recreation and open space; and, where applicable, measures and features to comply with flood hazard and flood insurance regulations.
(b) 
A map showing the applicant's entire holdings, the parcel under consideration for site plan review and a general description of all properties, subdivisions, streets, rights-of-way, easements and other pertinent features within 500 feet of the boundaries of the parcel, including property uses.
(c) 
Developers of land adjoining state or county highways are advised to consult with the District Engineer of the New York State Department of Transportation or County Highway Superintendent at the sketch plan stage in order to resolve problems of street openings or stormwater drainage at the earliest possible stage in the design process.
(4) 
Upon review of the sketch plan, the Town's Development Services Staff may waive requirements for submission of application materials. Submission requirements shall only be waived for developments for which, due to character, size, location or special circumstances, such information is not required in order for the Town's Development Services Staff to properly perform site plan review. In this regard, a finding must be made by Development Services Staff that such requirements are not requisite in the interest of the public health, safety or general welfare or inappropriate to a particular site plan.
(5) 
Within six months of the optional sketch plan and/or the sketch plan conference, the applicant shall submit to the Town's Planning and Development Department a copy of the preliminary site plan and any related information. This information shall be submitted to the Town's Planning and Development Department 10 days prior to the meeting at which acceptance is requested. If six months elapses between the original sketch plan submittal and the submission of the preliminary site plan, a resubmission of an updated sketch plan may be required.
C. 
Procedures for preliminary site plan review.
(1) 
Preapplication procedures. Prior to the submission of the preliminary site plan, the applicant may meet with the Director of Community Development or designated representative to discuss the proposal. The purpose of such a meeting is to make clear all Town requirements and subsequent steps necessary in the site plan approval process. The applicant will be informed of the optional sketch plan conference with the Town's Development Services Staff. Prior to submission of the preliminary site plan, the applicant shall meet with the Director of Community Development or his designated representative to discuss specific concerns of the Town's Development Services Staff.
(2) 
Application for preliminary site plan acceptance. To apply for preliminary site plan acceptance, an applicant shall complete a preliminary site plan application with contents in accordance with Subsection D of this section, which application can be obtained from the Town Clerk or the Town's Planning and Development Department. The application form shall specify the number of copies of each map and the report that must be submitted for preliminary site plan acceptance. The application form shall be filed with the Planning and Development Department together with the nonrefundable application fee. The application fee shall be set by the Town Board by resolution.
(3) 
Acceptance of preliminary site plan application. The Town's Planning and Development Department shall, within 30 days of a preliminary site plan application being filed, determine whether to accept the application as ready for processing and begin the review process or to reject the application as not ready for processing. Applications deemed not ready shall be returned to the applicant, without prejudice, with a letter stating the application's deficiencies.
(4) 
Segmentation. The preliminary site plan application and associated maps shall include all proposed phases of development. Preliminary site plan acceptance shall be based on the total planned project in order to facilitate the assessment of all potential development impacts. The Town's Planning and Development Department shall consider applications not ready for processing where there is reason to believe the application applies to only a segment of the total planned development. In such situations, the Town's Planning and Development Department shall return such application to the applicant together with a letter stating the basis for its determination.
(5) 
Referral to other agencies and boards.
(a) 
Coordinated review. The Town's Planning and Development Department may refer the preliminary site plan for review and comment to the Town Planning Board, local and county officials or their designated consultants.
(b) 
Required referral. Before final acceptance of the preliminary site plan, and where applicable, the Town's Planning and Development Department shall refer the plan to the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning for its review and approval, pursuant to § 239-m of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York.
(c) 
Where appropriate, in waterfront designated districts, the preliminary site plan information submitted for acceptance shall be sent to the New York State Department of State.
(6) 
The Director of Community Development shall certify on each preliminary site plan or amendment whether or not the plan meets the requirements of all zoning and subdivision regulations other than those of this article regarding preliminary site plan acceptance.
(7) 
The Director of Community Development, upon completion of preliminary site plan review, shall state any conditions which the applicant must meet prior to receiving preliminary site plan acceptance for review by the Planning Board.
(8) 
In the case of a proposed development which is phased over a number of years, the applicant shall submit an overall plan for the total development of the project and a phasing plan. If the overall plan for this project is approved and the first phase of the project is approved, then the first phase of the project continues on to final site plan review and approval. If there is no substantial change in the overall plan or the phasing plan of the project, each succeeding phase of the development need only be reviewed for final site plan approval. If there are substantial changes to the overall plan or the phasing plan, the Director of Community Development shall require subsequent phases to go through preliminary site plan review.
(9) 
The Town's Planning and Development Department shall conduct a review of the preliminary site plan in accordance with Subsection E of this section.
(10) 
Action taken on application.
(a) 
The Town Planning Board shall act on this application within 45 days after the applicant has been notified that the preliminary site plan application has been accepted as complete ready for processing by the Town's Planning and Development Department, unless the deadline is extended by mutual consent. The forty-five-day review period does not begin until such time that the Town's Planning and Development Department notifies the applicant that the application is ready for processing and the materials submitted are acceptable for review.
(b) 
The Development Services Staff may include recommendations of modifications to be incorporated in the final site plan, and conformance with said modifications shall be considered a condition of approval. If the preliminary site plan is found to not be acceptable, the Planning Board shall state the reasons for such findings. In such a case, the Planning Board may recommend further study of the site plan and resubmission to the Town's Planning and Development Department after it has been revised or redesigned.
(11) 
State Environmental Quality Review Act compliance. The applicant shall demonstrate compliance for any actions subject to SEQR prior to final site plan approval. The SEQR determination shall be made by the Planning Board upon recommendation by the Town SEQR Committee before the Planning Board approves the final site plan.
D. 
Content of the preliminary site plan.
(1) 
Any person, before applying for a building permit, change of use or special use permit, or before undertaking any new land use activity at any location within the Town for which this article requires preliminary site plan review, shall submit a preliminary site plan together with appropriate supporting information to the Town's Planning and Development Department for review and approval in accordance with the requirements, standards and procedures set forth in this article.
(2) 
All such preliminary site plan maps and accompanying reports shall be prepared by a civil engineer or surveyor licensed to practice in the State of New York. Such plans and information shall be of sufficient detail to permit an adequate review by an architect, civil engineer, surveyor, land planner or other competent person. The preliminary site plan shall be drawn at a scale of 50 feet to one inch or larger. The Town Development Services Staff may, at its discretion, waive any preliminary site plan submission requirements which are not relevant to the proposed use and site. Generally, the preliminary site plan shall include the following information:
(a) 
Legal data.
[1] 
The name and address of the owner of record.
[2] 
The name and address of the person, firm or organization preparing the map.
[3] 
The date, North point and written and graphic scale.
[4] 
Sufficient description or information to define precisely the boundaries of the property. All distances shall be in feet and tenths of a foot. All angles shall be given to the nearest 10 seconds or closer. The error of closure shall not exceed one in 10,000.
[5] 
The locations, names and existing widths of adjacent streets and curblines.
[6] 
The locations and owners of all lands within 200 feet of the site boundaries, as shown on the latest tax records, and Tax Map identification numbers.
[7] 
The location, width and purpose of all existing and proposed easements, setbacks, reservations and areas dedicated to public use within or adjacent to the property, to include public infrastructure as well as parks, walkways, accessways and permanent open space.
[8] 
A complete outline of existing deed restrictions or covenants applying to the property.
[9] 
Existing zoning within 500 feet of the site's perimeter.
[10] 
Tape location map and the distance to the nearest public street right-of-way intersection.
(b) 
Natural features.
[1] 
Existing contours with intervals of two feet or less, referred to a datum satisfactory to the Town Building Department.
[2] 
The approximate boundaries of any areas subject to flooding or stormwater overflows.
[3] 
The location of existing watercourses, New York State and federal wetlands, wooded areas, rock outcrops, trees with a diameter of six inches or more measured three feet above the base of the trunk and other significant existing features.
[4] 
A grading plan including stabilization and erosion control measures to be used during and after construction.
(c) 
Existing structures, utilities, communication facilities and other features.
[1] 
The size and location of uses and outlines of all existing structures, drawn to scale, on and within 100 feet of the lot line.
[2] 
Paved areas, sidewalks and vehicular access between the site and public streets.
[3] 
Traffic flow patterns within the site, entrances and exits, loading and unloading areas and curb cuts on the site and within 200 feet of the site boundary. The Town Building Department may, at its discretion, require a detailed traffic study for large developments or for those in heavy traffic areas to include:
[a] 
The projected number of motor vehicle trips to enter or leave the site, estimated for dairy and peak hour traffic intervals.
[b] 
The projected traffic flow pattern, including vehicular movements at all major intersections, likely to be affected by the proposed use of the site to.
[c] 
The impact of this traffic upon existing abutting public and private ways in relation to existing road capacities and intersection levels of service. Existing and proposed daily and peak hour traffic volume as well as road capacities and intersection levels of service shall also be given.
[4] 
The locations, dimensions, grades and flow direction of existing sewers, drainage ditches, culverts and water lines, as well as other communication facilities or underground and above round utilities within or adjacent to the property.
[5] 
Other existing development, including fences, retaining walls, landscaping and screening.
[6] 
Historic or archaeological resources on or adjacent to the site.
(d) 
Proposed development.
[1] 
The location, size (in acres or square feet), type of construction and exterior dimensions of proposed buildings or structural improvements. For residential uses, information to include the number of units by type and the gross density per acre. For commercial and industrial structures, identify the amount of gross floor area proposed for retail sales, services, offices and other uses. In all cases, the relationship of various uses and buildings to one another and their scale must be clearly shown. (Note: Elevations and/or sections illustrating front, rear and side profiles drawn to the same or larger scale as the site development plan may be required by the Town Building Department or Planning Board. The elevations and/or sections shall clearly delineate the bulk and height of all buildings and other permanent structures included in the proposal and the height and dimension of all signs.)
[2] 
The location and design of all uses not requiring structures, such as off-street parking and loading areas and solid waste storage areas.
[3] 
The location, direction, power and time of use for any proposed outdoor lighting.
[4] 
The location, size, design and materials for all proposed permanent outdoor signs.
[5] 
The location and arrangement of proposed means of access and egress and on-site circulation, including sidewalks and other pedestrian access, driveways, fire lanes and other emergency zones or other paved areas. Profiles indicating grading and cross sections showing width of the roadways, location and width of sidewalks and construction materials.
[6] 
A landscaping plan showing location, type and size of all proposed plantings, including trees, shrubs and ground coverings, as well as a planting schedule. The dimensions of any required landscaped screening or buffer areas shall be clearly marked.
[7] 
The description of the water supply system, including location and size of all proposed water lines, valves and hydrants, and of all sewer lines and alternate means of water supply, storm and sanitary sewer.
[8] 
An outline of any proposed easements, deed restrictions or covenants.
[9] 
Any contemplated public improvements on or adjoining the property.
[10] 
Any proposed new grades, indicating clearly how such grades will meet existing grades of adjacent properties.
[11] 
A drainage plan showing existing and proposed watercourses, proposed detention/retention facilities and calculations of the impact to existing drainage created by the proposed development. (Note: Contour intervals of one or two feet may be required where appropriate for grading and drainage plans.)
[12] 
The location of outdoor storage and the waste receptacles and proposed screening for such.
[13] 
The location and construction materials of all existing or proposed site improvements, including drains, culverts, retaining walls and fences.
[14] 
The location, design and construction materials of all energy generation and distribution facilities, including electrical, gas and solar energy.
[15] 
If the site plan indicates only a first stage, a supplementary plan shall indicate ultimate development.
[16] 
The percentage of the site dedicated to the provision of open space and the location and development of all proposed buffer areas, including indication of proposed vegetative cover.
[17] 
Any setbacks of other dimensional information required by this chapter.
[18] 
A record of applications and approval status of all necessary permits from federal, state, county and local agencies.
[19] 
The estimated project construction schedule.
[20] 
An estimate of the total cost of the proposed site improvements which shall be confirmed by the Code Enforcement Officer or Town Engineer.
(e) 
The following additional submission requirements apply to preliminary site plans for projects within the W-MU, WB, RHC and WID Districts:
[1] 
Elevation plan and building material details for all buildings, facades or structures visible from existing or proposed public streets or open spaces, including the Niagara River.
[2] 
The location of existing and proposed pedestrian and bicycle public accessways on and within 200 feet of the site boundaries, including clear demarcation of striping and signage designed to maintain separation of passenger and commercial vehicles, pedestrian and bicycle circulation.
[3] 
For proposed projects in the WB, RHC, WMU and WID Districts, graphic representation of existing and proposed views across the site to the Niagara River from public streets and open spaces.
(f) 
Any other information required by the most current checklist prepared by the Town's Development Services Staff in order to conduct its review or information requested at the sketch plan conference.
(g) 
Any other information deemed by the Town's Development Services Staff to be necessary to determine conformity of the site plan with the spirit and intent of this article and the Town Comprehensive Plan or other adopted planning studies.
(h) 
A stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) consistent with the requirements of Chapter 73, Stormwater Management, of the Code of the Town of Tonawanda, if applicable. The SWPPP shall meet the performance and design criteria and standards in § 73-9 of the Code of the Town of Tonawanda. The approved final plat shall be consistent with the provisions of Chapter 73 of the Code of the Town of Tonawanda.
E. 
Preliminary site plan review guidelines.
(1) 
Factors for consideration during preliminary site plan review. The Town's Planning and Development Department's review of a preliminary site plan shall include, but is not limited to, the following considerations:
(a) 
The adequacy and arrangement of vehicular traffic access and circulation, including intersections, road widths, channelization structures and traffic controls.
(b) 
The adequacy and arrangement of pedestrian traffic access and circulation, including separation of pedestrians from vehicular traffic, sidewalks, linkages, control of intersections with vehicular traffic and pedestrian convenience.
(c) 
The location, arrangement, appearance and sufficiency of off-street parking and loading areas.
(d) 
The location, arrangement, size, design and general site compatibility of buildings, lighting and signs. Such consideration may include compatibility of construction materials, design and theme relationship of uses by type and scale.
(e) 
The adequacy, type and arrangement of trees, shrubs and other landscaping constituting a visual and/or noise deterring buffer between the proposed use and adjoining uses or properties or between uses on the site.
(f) 
In the case of an apartment complex or multiple dwellings, the adequacy of usable open space for playgrounds and informal recreation.
(g) 
The adequacy of stormwater management and sanitary waste disposal facilities.
(h) 
The protection of adjacent properties from noise, glare, unsightliness or other objectionable features.
(i) 
The adequacy of water supply facilities.
(j) 
The adequacy of structures, roadways and landscaping in areas susceptible to flooding, ponding or erosion.
(k) 
The preservation of and compatibility with natural features and surrounding uses.
(l) 
The overall impact on the neighborhood, including compatibility of design and effect on the environment.
(m) 
Conformance with the Town Comprehensive Plan and other plans which the Town uses as a guide for appropriate development.
(2) 
Standards for review and design. The Town Planning Board, in reviewing site plans, shall consider the standards set forth below:
(a) 
All buildings in the plan shall be integrated with each other and with adjacent buildings and shall have convenient access to and from adjacent uses.
(b) 
Individual buildings shall be related to each other and to structures and open spaces in the surrounding area in architecture, design, mass, materials, placement and connections to harmonize visually and physically.
(c) 
Treatment of the sides and rear of all buildings, where appropriate, based on visibility, shall be comparable in amenity and appearance to the treatment given to street frontages of these same buildings.
(d) 
The design of buildings and the parking facilities shall take advantage of the natural topography of the project site where appropriate.
(e) 
All buildings shall be arranged to avoid undue exposure to concentrated loading or parking facilities, wherever possible, and shall be oriented to preserve visual and auditory privacy between adjacent buildings.
(f) 
All buildings shall be accessible to emergency vehicles.
(g) 
Landscaping shall be an integral part of the entire project area and shall buffer the site from and/or integrate the site with the surrounding area, as appropriate.
(h) 
Primary landscape treatment shall consist of shrubs, ground cover and shade trees and shall combine with appropriate walks and street surfaces to provide an attractive development pattern. Landscape materials selected should be appropriate to the growing conditions of the Town's environment.
(i) 
Whenever appropriate, existing trees shall be conserved and integrated into the landscape design plan.
(j) 
There shall be an adequate, safe and convenient arrangement of pedestrian circulation facilities, roadways, driveways, off-street parking and loading space. Such circulation activities should be segregated wherever possible.
(k) 
Roads, pedestrian walks and open space shall be designed as integral parts of an overall site design, be properly related to existing and proposed buildings and be appropriately landscaped.
(l) 
Buildings and vehicular circulation areas shall be arranged so that pedestrians moving between buildings are not unnecessarily exposed to vehicular traffic.
(m) 
Landscaped, paved or appropriately surfaced and comfortably graded pedestrian walks shall be provided along the lines of the most intense use, particularly from building entrances to streets, parking areas and adjacent buildings.
(n) 
The materials and design of paving, light fixtures, retaining walls, fences, curbs, benches, etc., shall be of good appearance, easily maintained and indicative of their function.
(o) 
Lighting shall be adequate to provide safety and security. Lighting shall generally illuminate only the site in question and shall definitely not negatively impact adjacent uses.
(p) 
Parking facilities shall be landscaped and screened from public view to the extent necessary to eliminate unsightliness and the monotony of parked cars.
(q) 
Parking facilities shall be designed with regard for orderly management, topography, landscaping and ease of access and shall be developed as an integral part of an overall site design.
(r) 
Any above-grade loading facility shall be screened from public view to the extent necessary to eliminate unsightliness.
(s) 
Off-street parking and loading requirements required in this chapter shall be satisfied.
(t) 
Drainage of the site and surface waters flowing therefrom shall not adversely affect adjacent properties or public roadways.
(u) 
All site improvements, where required, shall comply with the requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
(3) 
Criteria for review of design in Waterfront (WMU, WB, RHC and WID) Districts only. There are some additional aspects of development activities in the waterfront districts that are likely to impact the health, safety and general welfare of the community and the goals of the Waterfront Region Master Plan. Therefore, site plans in these districts are subject to the following additional review standards except where specifically limited to one or more of the districts. Such standards may be waived by the Town Planning Board as part of its site plan review authority if the proposed development is in keeping with the intent of this chapter and the Waterfront Region Master Plan and offers an innovative development/design solution for the site in question. In this regard, a finding must be made by the Planning Board that any such requirements are not requisite in the interest of the public health, safety or general welfare or inappropriate to a particular site plan.
(a) 
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.
(b) 
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.
(c) 
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.
(d) 
It is especially important in the waterfront districts to design on-site circulation to minimize conflicts between passenger and commercial vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. Therefore, separated circulation should be provided to the extent practicable. Clear identification of biking and walking paths through striping and/or signage is required within parking areas and at driveways and road crossings. Common driveways and interconnected parking areas should be provided whenever possible to minimize the number of curb cuts and to concentrate and control turning movements on to River Road or other collector roads.
(e) 
Bicycle and walking paths should be parallel to major roadways or driveways and shall form an interconnected network of path facilities within a property or group of properties. Wherever practicable, every effort should be made to interconnect on-site pathways to the larger regional network of paths which include the Riverwalk and Isle View Park.
(f) 
Contour grading, where both the horizontal and vertical slopes are varied to reflect naturally occurring land forms, is preferred. Grading shall be minimized to the extent possible, and all finished grades shall blend with existing off-site grades.
(g) 
Berming as a grading or visual buffer solution shall be avoided in the W-1 and W-R Districts to preserve the existing level or gently rolling topography along the riverfront.
(h) 
Buffering elements in the form of landscaping and plant materials are important to preserve the character and stability of adjacent uses of different types and to enhance the visual and aesthetic image of all waterfront districts. Buffer areas may be used for passive recreation activities and may contain bicycle or pedestrian pathways, provided that such activities do not compromise the primary buffering function of such areas.
(i) 
The proposed development shall preserve visual access to the water to the maximum extent possible. Within the W-1 and W-R Districts, a minimum of 30% of the shoreline shall be contained within view corridors visible from River Road or other traveled public ways. The minimum width of a view corridor shall be 25 feet. Satisfaction of this requirement shall be measured by dividing the number of linear feet of river view preserved in a view corridor by the total river view in a single ownership. No buildings, walls, or other opaque structures shall be permitted within view corridors. Nonopaque structural elements such as gazebos, pergolas, bandshells or open market or festival stalls are permitted within view corridors.
F. 
Final site plan review and approval.
(1) 
Final application. Upon receiving acceptance from the Director of Community Development on a preliminary site plan, the applicant shall submit a final site plan to the Town's Planning and Development Department for review and approval by the Planning Board. Prior to any approval, the Planning Board must make its SEQR findings and issue its SEQR determination. If more than one year has elapsed since the Director of Community Development issued preliminary acceptance, and if conditions have substantially changed, the Director of Community Development may require resubmission of the preliminary site plan for possible revision prior to referral to the Planning Board.
(2) 
Procedure for final site plan approval.
(a) 
Within 62 days of the receipt of the completed final site plan from the Planning and Development Department, the Planning Board shall issue its SEQR determination and render a decision on the final site plan. The time period in which the Planning Board must render a decision on the site plan may be extended by mutual consent of the applicant and the Planning Board.
(b) 
Approval. Upon approval, the Planning Board shall endorse its approval on a copy of the final site plan and shall immediately file a copy of the final site plan in the Town Clerk's office. At this time a building permit may be issued if the project conforms to all other applicable requirements. A copy of the written statement of approval shall be mailed to the applicant by the Town Building Department by certified mail. The written statement shall contain a list of modifications or conditions if required.
(c) 
Disapproval. Upon disapproval of the site plan, the decision of the Planning Board shall immediately be filed with the Town Clerk and a copy thereof mailed to the applicant by certified mail along with a letter stating the reasons for disapproval.
(d) 
A final site plan, following approval by the Planning Board, shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of such approval. The applicant may request an extension of time to initiate the required site improvements, provided that the applicant can show reasonable cause for the inability to initiate such improvements within the one-year period. If the application for extension is not approved the Planning Board shall give reasons why this extension was not granted.
(3) 
Content of the final site plan. The final site plan shall include the site plan construction sheet and a drainage report. The site plan construction sheet shall include:
(a) 
All the information required for preliminary site plans.
(b) 
The lines of existing and proposed streets and sidewalks immediately adjoining and within the site, including geometric layout of proposed streets.
(c) 
The names of existing and proposed streets.
(d) 
Typical cross sections of proposed streets.
(e) 
Profiles of proposed streets at suitable vertical scale showing finished grades in relation to existing ground elevation.
(f) 
The layout of proposed buildings, parking areas and any other proposed structures or uses.
(g) 
The location, size and profile of any existing and proposed sewers (stormwater or sanitary), manholes, drain inlets, catch basins, water mains and pipes on the property or into which any connection is proposed.
(h) 
Provisions for water supply and sewage disposal and evidence that such provisions have been reviewed and approved by the Erie County Department of Health, the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning or the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, as necessary.
(i) 
The location of survey monuments. Before acceptance of the dedication of the highways or streets, a certificate by a licensed land surveyor must be filed certifying that the above monuments have been placed where indicated on the map.
(j) 
Plans and typical cross sections of proposed sidewalks or other pedestrian linkages, if applicable.
(k) 
A development plan, including landscaping, for any proposed park or playground within the site.
(l) 
A landscaping plan consistent with the landscaping requirements of this chapter.
(m) 
Specifications or references to Town standards for all facilities to be constructed or installed.
(n) 
Certification by a licensed professional engineer, licensed landscape architect and a licensed land surveyor as evidence of professional responsibility for the preparation of the construction sheet.
(o) 
The boundaries of the site and information to show the location of the site in relation to surrounding property and streets, including names and tax account numbers for adjacent sites. In whatever manner is practical, the site boundary shall be referenced from two directions to established United States Coast and Geodetic Survey monuments or New York State Plan Coordinate monuments. In the event that such monuments have been obliterated, the site boundary shall be referenced to the nearest highway intersections or previously established monuments. Any combination of types of reference points may be accepted which would fulfill the requirement of exact measurements from the boundary to reference points previously established for or by a public agency.
(p) 
The lines and purposes of existing and proposed easements immediately adjoining and within the site.
(q) 
The lines, dimensions and areas in square feet of all property that is proposed to be reserved by deed on the site.
(r) 
A legal description of all areas to be dedicated to the Town.
(s) 
A stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) consistent with the requirements of Chapter 73, Stormwater Management, of the Code of the Town of Tonawanda, if applicable. The SWPPP shall meet the performance and design criteria and standards in § 73-9 of the Code of the Town of Tonawanda. The approved final plat shall be consistent with the provisions of Chapter 73 of the Code of the Town of Tonawanda.
(4) 
A landscaping plan consistent with the landscaping requirements of this chapter and consistent with any stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP), prepared in accordance with § 215-152F(3)(s) hereof, shall be submitted.
(5) 
Final site plan review. The Town Planning Board shall consider the factors, standards and criteria of Subsection E of this section in evaluating the final site plan for approval.

§ 215-153 Guaranty of site improvements.

A. 
General. Subsequent to the granting of site plan approval, no certificate of occupancy shall be issued until all infrastructure and improvements shown on the site plan are installed or a sufficient performance guaranty has been provided by the applicant for infrastructure and improvements not yet completed.
B. 
Performance guaranty options. In order that the Town has the assurance that the construction and installation of infrastructure and improvements such as storm sewers, water supply, sewage disposal, sidewalks, parking and access roads will be constructed in accordance with Town standards and/or any site plan approval modifications, the Code Enforcement Officer or Town Engineer may require that the applicant enter into one of the following agreements with the Town:
[Amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007; 8-29-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
(1) 
Furnish a bond executed by a surety company in a dollar amount equal to 150% of the cost of construction of such infrastructure and improvements as shown on the plans. Such bond shall be based on an estimate furnished by the applicant, confirmed by the Code Enforcement Officer or Town Engineer and approved by the Town Board.
(2) 
Deposit a certified check payable to the Town in amount equal to 150% of the total cost of construction of such infrastructure and improvements as shown on the site plan and confirmed as in Subsection B(1) herein.
C. 
Conditions.
(1) 
The performance guaranty shall be to the Town and shall provide that the applicant, his/her heirs, successors, assigns or his/her agent will comply with all applicable terms, conditions, provisions and requirements of this chapter and will faithfully perform and complete the work of constructing and installing such infrastructure or improvements in accordance with the approved site plan.
(2) 
Any such performance guaranty shall require the approval of the Town Board.
(3) 
Certified checks shall be made payable to the Town of Tonawanda and will be placed in an escrow account established by the Town for this purpose.
(4) 
Letters of credit shall require the approval of the Town Board in consultation with the Town Attorney as to form, sufficiency and manner of execution and shall be duly notarized.
D. 
Extension of time. The construction or installation of any infrastructure and improvements or facilities (other than roads), for which a guaranty has been made by the applicant in the form of a bond or certified check, shall be completed within one year from the date of approval of the site plan. Road improvements shall be completed within two years from the date of approval of the site plan. The applicant may request an extension of time to complete such improvements, provided that the applicant can show reasonable cause for the inability to complete such improvements within the required time. The extension shall not exceed six months, at the end of which time the Town may use as much of the bond or check deposit to construct the improvements as necessary. The Code Enforcement Officer may also grant the applicant an extension of time whenever construction of improvements is not performed in accordance with applicable standards and specifications.
[Amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
E. 
Schedule of infrastructure and improvements. When a performance guaranty is issued pursuant to the preceding subsections, the Town and applicant shall enter into a written agreement itemizing the schedule of infrastructure and improvements in sequence with the cost opposite each phase of construction or installation, provided that each cost as listed may be repaid to the applicant upon completion and approval after inspection by the Town of such improvement or installation. However, 10% of the guaranty shall not be repaid to the applicant until one year following the completion and inspection by the Town of all construction and installation covered by the check deposit or performance bond.
F. 
Inspections. Inspections during the installation of infrastructure and improvements shall be made by the Code Enforcement Officer or other assigns to ensure conformity with the approved plans and specifications as contained in the contract and this chapter. The applicant shall notify the Code Enforcement Officer or other assigned personnel when each phase of infrastructure and improvements is ready for inspection. Upon acceptance of infrastructure and improvements, the Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a letter to the applicant or his/her representative that provides sufficient evidence for the release by the Town of the portion of the performance guaranty as designated in the contract to cover the cost of such completed work.
[Amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
G. 
Phased development. The Code Enforcement Officer may further request, subject to Town Board approval, that the applicant deposit a separate performance guaranty for each phase of development proposed. In this event, 5% of the performance guaranty shall be withheld from the applicant until 60 days following the completion, inspection and acceptance by the Town of all construction and installation covered by such deposit. No subsequent phase of development shall be undertaken until each earlier phase has been completed and approved by the Code Enforcement Officer or other assigns.
[Amended 3-26-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
H. 
Review fees. Costs incurred by the Development Services Staff for consultation fees or other extraordinary expenses in connection with review of a proposed site plan shall be charged to the applicant, with prior notification.
[Amended 8-29-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]