[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Somers 7-18-1991 by L.L. No. 2-1991. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fees — See Ch. 95.
[Amended 9-10-1992 by L.L. No. 13-1992; 12-9-2010 by L.L. No. 9-2010]
The Town Board, the Planning Board, the Open Space Committee or the Zoning Board of Appeals, in the review of any application, may refer any such application presented to it to such engineering, planning, legal, technical or environmental consultants or professionals employed by the Town, as such Board or Committee shall deem reasonably necessary to enable it to review such application as required by law. Charges made by such consultants shall be in accord with charges usually made for such services in the metropolitan New York region or pursuant to an existing contractual agreement between the Town and such consultants. Charges made by the town shall be in accord with the hourly rates upon which the employee's actual salary is based and fringe benefits and reasonable overhead. All such charges shall be paid on submission of a town voucher. In the event that an application is required to be reviewed by more than one Board, then, in such event and to the extent practicable, both Boards shall use the same consultants, who shall, in such case, to the extent practicable, prepare one report providing the data, information and recommendations requested. In all instances, duplications of consultants' reports or services shall be avoided wherever possible in order to minimize the cost of such consultants' reports or services to the applicant. The above fees are in addition to any and all other fees required by any other section of this chapter or any other town ordinance or regulation of the Town Code.
[Amended 5-17-2012 by L.L. No. 3-2012]
At the time a referring Board requests the services of a professional employed or retained by the Town in the review of an application presented to it, the referring Board shall adopt a scope of services to be performed and request a maximum fee proposal from the professional to whom the referral is made.
At the time the maximum fee proposal is received by the Board, it shall be placed on the Board's next available agenda for review with the applicant. In the event the Board and the applicant agree with the maximum fee proposal, the Board may approve same. In the event the Board and the applicant disagree with the maximum fee proposal, the Board may adjourn the matter until such time as the professional is available to attend a Board meeting to further review its fee proposal with the applicant or some other arrangement is agreed upon among all parties.
Until such time as the Board and the applicant are in agreement with the scope of services and fee proposal, an application shall not be deemed complete, and all relevant time periods shall be tolled pending resolution of same.
In the event the professional submits a request to the Board to amend the scope of services or otherwise increase the maximum fee proposal, the procedure described above shall be utilized for its approval.
At the time of submission of any application, or thereafter, the reviewing Board may require the establishment of an escrow account, from which withdrawals shall be made to reimburse the town for the costs of professional review services. The applicant shall then provide funds to the town for deposit into such account in an amount to be determined by the reviewing Board based on its evaluation of the nature and complexity of the application. The applicant shall be provided with copies of any town voucher for such services as they are submitted to the town. When the balance in such escrow account is reduced to 1/3 of its initial amount, the applicant shall deposit additional funds into such account to bring its balance up to the amount of the initial deposit If such account is not replenished within 30 days after the applicant is notified, in writing, of the requirement for such additional deposit, the reviewing Board may suspend its review of the application. A building permit or certificate of occupancy or use shall not be issued unless all professional review fees charged in connection with the applicant's project have been reimbursed to the town. After all pertinent charges have been paid, the town shall refund to the applicant any funds remaining on deposit.
All fees required pursuant to this chapter shall be collected by the Clerk of the Board having jurisdiction over the application.
This chapter shall be applicable to applications pending at the time it shall become effective, unless the reviewing Board shall determine that its application would be impracticable, unfair or unjust in the particular circumstances. Where this chapter shall be applicable to a pending application, it shall, in such event, require an applicant only to pay for professional fees for services rendered after it shall have become effective.