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City of Middletown, NY
Orange County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Middletown 6-12-1997 by L.L. No. 3-1997 (Ch. 68 of the 1971 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 420.
Zoning — See Ch. 475.
There is hereby established a City Planning Board pursuant to Article 3 of the General City Law of the State of New York.
A. 
The City Planning Board shall consist of seven members and shall be appointed by the Mayor, with approval of the Common Council, and the Mayor shall have the authority to remove any member of the Board for cause and after public hearing.
B. 
Not more than three members of the Board shall hold any other public office or position in the City, and their terms shall terminate with the term of the Mayor selecting them; however, members of the Common Council are ineligible for appointment.
C. 
The terms of the members of the Planning Board first appointed shall be so fixed that the term of one member shall expire at the end of the official year in which such members were initially appointed. The terms of the remaining members first appointed shall be so fixed that one term shall expire at the end of each official year thereafter. At the expiration of the term of each member first appointed, his or her successor shall be appointed for a term which shall be equal in years to the number of members of the Board.
D. 
If a vacancy shall occur otherwise than by expiration of the term, it shall be filled by appointment of the Mayor for the unexpired term, with approval of the Common Council.
E. 
The members of the Planning Board shall receive no compensation for their services as members of the Board. The City officials or employees on such Board, if any, shall not, by reason of membership thereon, forfeit their right to exercise the powers, perform the duties or receive the compensation of the City office or position held by them during such membership.
A. 
The Mayor shall designate a member of said Planning Board to act as Chairman thereof, or, on his failure so to do, the Planning Board shall elect a Chairman from its own members.
B. 
The Planning Board shall have the power and authority to employ experts and a staff and to pay for their services and such other expenses as may be necessary and proper, not exceeding, in all, the appropriation that may be made for such Board, excepting and providing that all salaries shall be fixed and determined by the Common Council.
C. 
The Planning Board may adopt rules and regulations in respect to procedure before it and in respect to any subject matter over which it has jurisdiction, after public hearing by the Planning Board and subject to the approval of the Common Council.
D. 
Cost of professional services required in special use permit, site plan and subdivision review process.
[Added 7-13-2009]
(1) 
On all applications for special use permit approval or site plan approval or subdivision review to the Planning Board, the applicant shall pay the actual cost of engineering, planning or other professional services which may be reasonably required by the Planning Board in the processing of the application.
(2) 
The sums of money deposited pursuant to this Subsection D shall be placed in an escrow account to cover such costs, which account shall be drawn against in the course of the review of the particular application. Subsequent deposits shall be required as needed.
A. 
The Planning Board may prepare and change a comprehensive Master Plan for the development of the entire area of the City, which Master Plan shall show existing and proposed streets, bridges and tunnels and the approaches thereto, viaducts, parks, public reservations, roadways in parks, sites for public buildings and structures, zoning districts, pierhead and bulkhead lines, waterways and routes of public utilities and such other features, existing and proposed, as will provide for the improvement of the City and its future growth, protection and development and will afford adequate facilities for the public housing, transportation, distribution, comfort, convenience, public health, safety and general welfare of its population.
B. 
The Planning Board may advertise and hold public hearings when it desires, notice of which hearings shall be advertised at least once in an official newspaper or in a newspaper of general circulation in said City at least five days before each such hearing.
C. 
The Master Plan and all modifications thereof shall be on file in the office of the Planning Board, and the Planning Board shall file certified copies in the offices of the Commissioner of Public Works and the City Clerk.
[Amended 1-7-2008]
D. 
If the Common Council undertakes the preparation and approval of a comprehensive Master Plan for the City, then the Planning Board shall review such Master Plan prior to adoption by the Common Council, and the Planning Board shall submit its report and recommendations with respect to the Master Plan to the Common Council within such period of time as determined by the Common Council.
The Common Council may, by resolution, provide for the reference of any matter or class of matters to the Planning Board before final action thereon by the Common Council and Mayor, with or without the provision that final action thereon shall not be taken until said Planning Board has submitted its report thereon or has had a reasonable time, to be fixed in said resolution, to submit its report.
The Planning Board shall have full power and authority to make such investigations, maps and reports and recommendations in connection therewith relating to the planning and development of the City as to it seem desirable, provided that the total expenditures of said Board shall not exceed the appropriation for its expenses.
A. 
For the purpose of providing for the future growth and development of the City and affording adequate facilities for the housing, transportation, distribution, comfort, convenience, safety, health and welfare of its population, the Common Council may, by ordinance or resolution, authorize and empower the Planning Board to approve plats showing new streets or highways. Before such approval is given, a public hearing shall be held by the Planning Board, which hearing shall be advertised at least once in an official paper or in a newspaper of general circulation in said City at least five days before such hearing. Such public hearing must be conducted within 62 days from the day an application for approval is received. The Planning Board may thereupon approve, modify and approve, or disapprove such plat. The approval required by this section, or the refusal to approve, shall take place within 62 days from and after the date of the public hearing; otherwise such plat shall be deemed to have been approved, and the certificate of the City as to the date of submission of the plat for approval and the failure to take action thereon within such time shall be issued on demand and shall be sufficient in lieu of the written endorsement or other evidence of approval required. The ground of refusal of any plat submitted shall be stated upon the records of such Planning Board.
B. 
The ordinance or resolution authorizing the Planning Board to approve plats shall make it the duty of the City Clerk to file with the County Clerk of Orange County a certificate showing that said Planning Board has been so authorized, and said City Clerk shall issue the certificate of failure to take action as aforesaid.
[Amended 1-7-2008]
C. 
The approval by the Planning Board of a plat showing one or more new streets or highways, or the certificate of the City as to the date of the submission of such plat and the failure of the Planning Board to hold a public hearing within 62 days of the date the application was filed or to take action therein within 62 days of the public hearing, shall expire 90 days from the date of such approval or of such certificate, unless within such ninety-day period such plat shall have been duly filed or recorded by the owner in the office of the County Clerk of Orange County.
A. 
If the Common Council has given the Planning Board the authority to approve plats showing new streets or highways and before the approval by the Planning Board of a plat showing a new street or highway, such plat shall also show in proper cases and when required by the Planning Board a park or parks suitably located for playground or other recreation purposes.
B. 
In approving such plats the Planning Board shall require that:
(1) 
The streets and highways shall be of sufficient width and suitable grade and shall be suitably located to accommodate the prospective traffic, to afford adequate light and air, to facilitate fire protection and to provide access of fire-fighting equipment to buildings and shall be coordinated so as to compose a convenient system conforming to the Official Map and properly related to the proposals shown by the Planning Board on the Master Plan;
(2) 
The land shown on such plats shall be of such a character that it can be used safely for building purposes without danger to health or peril from fire, flood or other menace;
(3) 
Suitable monuments have been placed at such block corners and other necessary points as may be required by the Board, and the location thereof is shown on the map of such plat;
(4) 
The parks shall be of reasonable size for neighborhood playgrounds or other recreation uses; and
(5) 
All streets or other public places shown on such plats shall be suitably graded and paved and that sidewalks, streetlighting standards, curbs, gutters, street trees, water mains, sanitary sewers, fire alarm cables and necessary ducts, fire signal boxes and storm drains or combined sewers shall be installed all in accordance with standards, specifications and procedure acceptable to the appropriate City departments or, alternatively, that a performance bond sufficient to cover the full cost of the same as estimated by the Planning Board or other appropriate City departments designated by the Planning Board shall be furnished to the City by the owner; provided, however, that the Planning Board may waive, subject to appropriate conditions and guaranties, for such period as it may determine, the provision of any or all such improvements as in its judgment of the special circumstances of a particular plat or plats are not requisite in the interests of the public health, safety and general welfare.
C. 
Such performance bond shall be issued by a bonding or surety company approved by the Corporation Counsel of the City, or by the owner with security acceptable to the legislative body, and shall also be approved by such Corporation Counsel as to form, sufficiency and manner of execution. Such performance bond shall run for a term to be fixed by the Planning Board, but in no case for a longer term than three years; provided, however, that the term of such performance bond may be extended by the Planning Board with the consent of the parties thereto.
(1) 
If the Planning Board shall decide at any time during the term of the performance bond that the extent of building development that has taken place in the subdivision is not sufficient to warrant all the improvements covered by such performance bond, or that required improvements have been installed as provided in this section and by the Planning Board in sufficient amount to warrant reduction in the face amount of said bond, or that the character and extent of such development require additional improvements previously waived for a period stated at the time of fixing the original terms of such bond, the Planning Board may modify its requirements for any or all such improvements, and the face value of such performance bond shall thereupon be reduced or increased by an appropriate amount so that the new face value will cover the cost in full of the amended list of improvements required by the Planning Board, and any security deposited with the bond may be reduced or increased proportionately.
(2) 
In the event that any required improvements have not been installed as provided in this section within the term of such performance bond, the legislative body may thereupon declare said performance bond to be in default and collect the sum remaining payable thereunder, and upon the receipt of the proceeds thereof the City shall install such improvements as are covered by such performance bond and are commensurate with the extent of building development that has taken place in the subdivision, but not exceeding in cost the amount of such proceeds.
D. 
In making such determination regarding streets, highways, parks and required improvements, the Planning Board shall take into consideration the prospective character of the development, whether dense residence, open residence, business or industrial.
A. 
No plat of a subdivision of land showing a new street or highway shall be filed or recorded in the office of the County Clerk or Register until it has been approved by a Planning Board which has been empowered to approve such plats, and such approval be endorsed in writing on the plat in such manner as the Planning Board may designate. It shall be the duty of the County Clerk or Register to notify the Planning Board in writing within three days of the filing or recording of any plat approved by such Planning Board, identifying such plat by its title, date of filing or recording, and official file number. After such plat is approved and filed, subject, however, to review by court as provided by § 38 of the General City Law, the streets, highways and parks shown on such plat shall be and become a part of the Official Map or plan of the City. The owner of the land or his agent who files the plat may add as part of the plat a notation, if he so desires, to the effect that no offer of dedication of such streets, highways or parks or any of them is made to the public.
[Amended 4-23-2007 by L.L. No. 1-2007]
B. 
Formal offers of cession to the public of all streets, highways or parks not marked with such notation on the plat shall be filed with the Planning Board prior to the approval of the plat by the Planning Board. In the event that the owner or his agent shall elect not to file his plat prior to the expiration date of the validity of such approval provided in § 97-6, then formal offers of cession shall be deemed to be invalid, void and of no effect on and after such expiration date.
C. 
Every street shown on a plat that is hereafter filed or recorded in the office of the County Clerk or Register as provided in this section shall be deemed to be a private street until such time as it has been formally offered for cession to the public and formally accepted as a public street by ordinance of the Common Council or, alternatively, until it has been condemned by the City for use as a public street.
[Amended 4-23-2007 by L.L. No. 1-2007]
No public municipal street utility or improvement shall be constructed by the City in any street or highway until it has become a public street or highway and is duly placed on the Official Map or plan. No permit for the erection of any building shall be issued unless a street or highway giving access to such proposed structure has been duly placed on the Official Map or plan, which street or highway shall have been suitably improved to the satisfaction of the Planning Board in accordance with standards and specifications approved by the appropriate City departments as adequate in respect to the public health, safety and general welfare for the special circumstances of the particular street or highway or, alternately, a performance bond sufficient to cover the full cost of such improvement as estimated by such Board shall be furnished to the City by the owner. Such performance bond shall be issued by a bonding or surety company approved by the Corporation Counsel of the City, or by the owner with security acceptable to the legislative body, and shall also be approved by such Corporation Counsel as to form, sufficiency and manner of execution. The term, manner of modification and method of enforcement of such bond shall be determined by the Planning Board in substantial conformity with § 97-7 of this chapter. Where the enforcement of the provisions of this section would entail practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship, and where the circumstances of the case do not require the structure to be related to existing or proposed streets or highways, the applicant for such a permit may appeal from the decision of the administrative officer having charge of the issue of permits to the City Zoning Board of Appeals, and the same provisions are hereby applied to such appeals and to such Board as are provided in cases of appeals on zoning regulations. The Board may, in passing on such appeal, make any reasonable exception and issue the permit subject to conditions that will protect any future street or highway layout.
[Amended 4-23-2007 by L.L. No. 1-2007]
The Planning Board is authorized simultaneously with the approval of any such plat either to confirm the zoning regulations of the land so platted as shown on the Official Zoning Map of the City or to make any reasonable change therein, and such Board is hereby empowered to make such change with approval of the Common Council. The owner of the land shown on the plat may submit with the plat a proposed building plan indicating lots where group houses for residences or apartment houses or local stores and shops are proposed to be built. Such building plan shall indicate for each lot or proposed building unit the maximum density of population that may exist thereon and the minimum yard requirements. Such plan, if approved by the Planning Board and Common Council, shall modify, change or supplement the zoning regulations of the land shown on the plat within the limitations prescribed by such bodies in said ordinance or resolution, provided that for such land so shown there shall not be a greater average density of population or cover of the land with buildings than is permitted in the district wherein such land lies as shown on the Official Zoning Map. Such building plan shall not be approved by the Planning Board unless in its judgment the appropriate use of adjoining land is reasonably safeguarded and such plan is consistent with the public welfare. Before the Board and Common Council shall make any change in the zoning regulations, there shall be a public hearing preceded by the same notice as in the case of the approval of the plat itself. A written notice of any proposed change or amendment affecting property within the protectively zoned area of a housing project authorized under the Public Housing Law, as such area is shown on an approved Zoning Map filed with the officer charged with enforcement of zoning regulations, shall be given to the housing authority erecting or owning the project and to the government providing financial aid or assistance thereto at least 10 days prior to the date of such public hearing. On the filing of the plat in the office of the County Clerk or Register, such changes, subject, however, to review by court as provided by § 38 of the General City Law, shall be and become part of the zoning regulations of the City, shall take the place of any regulations established by the Board of Estimate or other legislative authority of the City, shall be enforced in the same manner and shall be similarly subject to change.