[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Warwick 5-6-1970 by L.L. No. 1-1970 (Ch. 132 of the 1973 Municipal Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board hereby finds that poor quality of design, excessive uniformity and dissimilarity of buildings and land developments adversely affect the desirability of the immediate area and neighboring areas for residential and business purposes or other purposes and, by doing so, impair the stability and value of both improved and unimproved real property in such areas, prevent the most appropriate development and use of such areas, produce degeneration of property in such areas with attendant deterioration of conditions affecting the health, safety and general welfare of the community and create an improper relationship between the taxable value of real property in such areas and the cost of municipal services provided therefor. It is the purpose of this chapter to prevent these and other harmful effects of such exterior appearance of buildings and land developments erected or altered in any neighborhood and thus to promote and protect the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the community, conserve the value of buildings and encourage the most appropriate use of land within the Town.
[Amended 4-26-2007 by Res. No. R2007-148]
There is hereby created an Architectural Review Board which shall consist of seven members who shall serve with no compensation. All members of the Board shall be specially qualified by reason of training or experience in art and architecture, community planning, land development, landscape architecture or relevant business and profession to judge the effects of a proposed building or land development upon the desirability, property values and development of surrounding areas. At least one member of such Board shall be a registered architect in the State of New York. The members of the Architectural Review Board shall be appointed by the Town Board, which shall designate a Chairman thereof. The term of office of each member shall be three years, except that the initial appointment of one member shall be for one year, two members for two years and two members for three years. The Town Board shall have the power to remove any member for cause. Vacancies shall be filled by the Town Board for the unexpired term of any member whose place has become vacant.
Meetings of the Architectural Review Board shall be held bimonthly and at such other times as the Chairman may designate. A majority of said Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The Architectural Review Board shall keep minutes of its proceedings. All reports, recommendations or decisions made by the Board must have the approval of the majority of the Board and shall be officially filed with the Town Clerk. All meetings of the Board shall be open to the public. Applicants to the Architectural Review Board shall provide a full set of plans and accompanying data for its use and permanent file. The applicant shall not take any action prior to receiving a decision from the Architectural Review Board. The Architectural Review Board must take action within 20 days of the date of any referral to the Board as required in § 5-4. The applicant may be requested to appear to review with the Board any submission to it. The Architectural Review Board shall have the power from time to time to adopt, amend and repeal rules and regulations not inconsistent with this chapter.
The Building Inspector shall promptly refer to the Architectural Review Board every application for development or subdivision of land, including plans and specifications of residences thereon and all commercial, industrial, institutional and recreational structures, filed with the Town Planning Board or Building Inspector's office. The applications shall be referred to the Architectural Review Board within seven days, provided that they conform in all respects to all other applicable laws and regulations and ordinances. This chapter shall not apply to an application for a single- or two-family residence or residential accessory structure on individual property when not part of a major or minor subdivision, except that the Building Inspector, in his discretion, refer such an application to the Architectural Review Board if it appears, in the light of the standards set forth in § 5-5, that there is a need for such referral. The Architectural Review Board may disapprove any application referred to it, provided that such disapproval shall be by a two-thirds vote. Such disapproval shall be communicated to the Building Inspector within 10 days of the decision, and no building permit shall be issued in the case of such properly communicated disapproval.
The Architectural Review Board shall base its recommendations on the following criteria: No building or structure or land development shall be so detrimental to the desirability, property values or development of the surrounding area as to provoke one or more of the harmful effects set forth in § 5-1 by reason of:
Excessive similarity to any other structure existing or for which a permit has been issued or to any other structure included in the same permit application, facing upon the same or intersecting street of the proposed site in respect to one or more of the following features of exterior design and appearance:
Apparently identical front, rear or side elevations.
Substantially identical size and arrangement of either doors, windows, porticoes or other openings or breaks in the elevation facing the street, including reverse arrangement.
Other significant identical features of design, such as but not limited to material, roofline and height or other elements, provided that a finding of excessive similarity shall state not only that such excessive similarity exists, but also that it is of such a nature as to be reasonably expected to provoke one or more of the harmful effects set forth in § 5-1.
Other significant identical features of site design, such as but not limited to setbacks and alignment with streets and other structures.
Excessive dissimilarity in relation to any other structures existing or for which a permit has been issued or to any other structures included in the same permit application, facing upon the same or intersecting street of the proposed site in respect to one or more of the following features:
Gross floor area.
Height of building or height of roof.
Other significant design features, such as materials or quality of architectural design, roof structures, chimneys, exposed mechanical equipment and service, service and storage enclosures, signs, landscaping, retaining walls, fences, lighting posts and standards, provided that a finding of inappropriateness exists, but not only that such inappropriateness exists but also that it is of such a nature as to be expected to provoke beyond a reasonable doubt one or more of the harmful effects set forth in § 5-1.
The Architectural Review Board shall consult with and advise the Town Planning Board with respect to any site plan on which it is required to pass under the provisions of this chapter. The Planning Board will make the final recommendation on every application presented to the Architectural Review Board. However, recommendation of the Architectural Review Board to the Planning Board shall be discussed and voted upon in public session of the Planning Board.
The Architectural Review Board is hereby directed to formulate a clearly stated procedural outline designed to carry out the intent of this chapter. Such procedure shall be submitted to the Town Board for approval in the form of a Town Board resolution.