[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson 12-16-2008 by L.L. No. 28-2008. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building construction — See Ch. 101.
Environmental quality review — See Ch. 131.
Zoning — See Ch. 295.
Editor's Note: This local law also superseded former Ch. 249, Steep Slopes, adopted 2-16-1993 by L.L. No. 1-1993, as amended.
A fundamental responsibility of the Planning Board is protection of the people and the land within the borders of the Village. The topography of Hastings-on-Hudson is hilly and characterized by steep slopes and rocky outcroppings. Construction on such terrain has the inherent risk of causing damage to the ecology.
In the past, the inability to build on such sites created a natural form of protection. Recent developments in the technology of construction have now exposed more sensitive sites to development and, consequently, potential risk to the environment. In addition, the scarcity of buildable land has made these sites more desirable.
Steep slopes are environmentally sensitive areas and a valued natural resource. The Planning Board recognizes the need to protect these areas from any adverse effects of disturbance in order to ensure the public health, safety and general welfare. At the same time, the Planning Board recognizes the need to achieve a balance between protecting the public interest and safeguarding the rights of property owners regarding the use of their land.
Steep slopes, including vegetation and rock outcroppings located on them, are important environmental features that contribute significantly to the visual impression one forms when traveling through Hastings-on-Hudson. Areas that are highly visible from roadways, other public places and adjacent and nearby properties are particularly important in maintaining Hastings-on-Hudson's character. Overdevelopment of or improperly managed disturbance to these areas are detrimental to the visual character of Hastings-on-Hudson.
It is in the public interest to regulate, preserve, protect and conserve steep slopes so as to maintain and protect the natural terrain and its vegetative features, preserve wetlands, water bodies and watercourses, prevent flooding, protect important scenic views and vistas, preserve areas of wildlife habitat, provide safe building sites and protect the subject property and adjoining properties by preventing erosion, creep and sudden slope failure.
The intent of this chapter is twofold: to preserve steep slopes to the greatest extent practicable and to regulate their use by minimizing the deleterious effects of development on slopes both to adjacent and nearby properties.
The MR-C and the CC Districts are excluded from the application of § 249-5 because of the existing development and the desired density in these downtown districts and other provisions in the Zoning Code to control the height of buildings in these districts.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The ratio of vertical to horizontal distance, measured in
a minimum area of 1,000 square feet.[Amended 12-20-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
Slope is to be determined from on-site topographic surveys prepared with a two-foot contour interval. The vertical rise is to be measured, on the basis of two-foot contours, in a ten-foot horizontal length.
[Amended 12-20-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
Any construction, development, paving, regrading, or stripping of vegetation that might affect or create a steep slope requires steep slope approval granted in accordance with this chapter.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to the MR-C and CC Districts.
[Added 12-20-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
In any application involving the review of a cluster subdivision plat, submitted pursuant to Village Law § 7-738, the Board of Trustees or the Planning Board, whichever is vested with final authority in determining the maximum number of dwelling units that would be permitted if the land were subdivided into lots conforming to the minimum lot size and density requirements of otherwise applicable zoning regulations, shall first subtract from the square footage reflected in the plat that amount of land which is restricted from development or disturbance, pursuant to § 249-5 of this chapter.
[Amended 12-20-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
Applications for steep slope approval shall include the following information in addition to any other information required by this chapter or by the Building Inspector:
A detailed site plan of the property showing, at a scale of not less than 10 feet equals one inch, the applicant's entire property, the adjacent properties, and existing streets and showing the following information:
The location of all existing and proposed structures and paved surfaces on the applicant's property and any existing septic systems and wells on such property;
The location of the proposed area of disturbance on the applicant's property and its relation to neighboring properties' structures, roads, watercourses and wetlands;
The location on the applicant's property of all existing watercourses, wetlands, marshes, wooded areas, rock outcrops, single trees with a diameter of eight inches or more measured three feet above the base of the trunk, and all other significant existing land features; and
The existing grades on the applicant’s property, indicating proposed paved areas, storm drainage facilities, retaining walls and ground cover, as well as the location of trees and ornamental shrubs. Site topography must be colored, cross-hatched or otherwise marked to show different slope categories.
A landscaping plan for the applicant's property, indicating proposed paved areas, storm drainage facilities, retaining walls and ground cover, as well as the location of trees and ornamental shrubs.
Architectural plans, elevations, sections of the structures and related improvements.
A statement prepared by a licensed architect, registered landscape architect or engineer describing:
The methods to be used in overcoming foundation and other structural problems created by slope conditions, in preserving the natural watershed and in preventing soil erosion;
The methods to be used to eliminate or mitigate water runoff on all adjacent properties and any other property that will be naturally affected by increased water runoff; and
The methods used to minimize the impact of changes in topography on adjacent and nearby properties through landscaping, retaining walls and terracing of gardens.
A plan submitted under the seal of a licensed professional engineer showing and certifying the following:
All existing and proposed natural and artificial drainage courses and other features for the control of drainage, erosion and water.
The calculated volume of water runoff from the slope(s) and from the lot in question, as unimproved.
The calculated volume of water runoff from the slope(s) and from the lot in question, as improved.
The existence, location and capacity of all natural and artificial drainage courses and facilities within 500 feet of the lot which are or will be used to carry or contain the water runoff from the slope(s) and the lot.
A statement made under the seal of a licensed professional engineer certifying that:
Proof that all adjacent property owners have been notified of the steep slope application and of the Planning Board meeting at which it will be considered. Notice shall be provided in accordance with § 295-143C, except that only adjacent property owners need be notified.
The application shall be reviewed by the Building Inspector who shall determine whether the application is complete and includes all information and submissions required by this section. If the Building Inspector determines that the application is complete, (s)he shall review it and refer it to the Planning Board with his or her recommendation.
The Planning Board shall review the application and all information and submissions and, within 60 days of the receipt of a complete application, shall approve, approve with condition or deny the application.
The Planning Board may grant a special hardship exception to an applicant who cannot meet the requirements of § 249-5 of this chapter, provided that the applicant demonstrates that:
The proposed construction/disturbance is not contrary to the objectives of this chapter;
The steep slope area or areas will be disturbed to the minimum extent consistent with the objectives of this chapter;
Appropriate mitigation measures will be taken to prevent, to the maximum extent practical, the adverse environmental effects of such disturbance of the steep slope area; and