Village of Geneseo, NY
Livingston County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Geneseo 10-19-1998 by L.L. No. 8-1998. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Electrical standards — See Ch. 48.
Fire prevention and building construction — See Ch. 61.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 65.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 86.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 109.
Zoning — See Ch. 130.
Construction specifications — See Ch. A135.
Pursuant to the provisions of § 96-a and Article 5-K of the New York State General Municipal Law, it is hereby declared as a matter of public policy that the protection, enhancement and perpetuation of landmarks and historic districts is necessary to promote the economic, cultural, educational and general welfare of the public. Inasmuch as the identity of a people is founded on its past, and inasmuch as the Village of Geneseo has many significant historic, architectural and cultural resources which constitute its heritage, this chapter is intended to:
A. 
Protect and enhance the attractiveness of the Village of Geneseo to home buyers, visitors, shoppers and residents, and thereby provide economic benefits to the Village and its citizens.
B. 
Protect and enhance the landmarks and historic districts which represent distinctive elements of the historic, architectural, and cultural heritage of the Village of Geneseo.
C. 
Foster civic pride in the beauty and history of the Village of Geneseo.
D. 
Conserve and improve the value of property within the Village.
E. 
Promote the harmonious, orderly and efficient growth and development of the Village.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ALTERATION
Any act or process which changes one or more of the exterior architectural features of the structure designated as a landmark or any structure or building in an historic district or which substantially changes the character, ambience, aesthetic or historical value of an historic district.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Geneseo.
BUILDING
A structure wholly or partially enclosed by walls and a roof, affording shelter to persons, animals or property.
EMERGENCY ALTERATION
An alteration necessary to avoid risk of physical injury, to avoid loss of structural integrity and to maintain habitability.
EXTERIOR ARCHITECTURAL FEATURES
The architectural style, design, general arrangement and components of all of the outer surfaces of any building or structure, including but not limited to the kind and/or texture of the building material and the type and style of all windows, doors, lights, signs and other fixtures appurtenant to said building or structure.
HISTORIC DISTRICT
Any area which contains places, sites, structures or buildings which have a special character and ambience or historical value or aesthetic interest and which represent one or more periods or styles of architecture of an era of history and which cause such area to constitute a distinct section of the Village.
HRB
The Historic Review Board of the Village of Geneseo.
LANDMARK
Any place, structure or building of historical value or aesthetic interest by reason of its antiquity or architectural design or as part of the development, heritage or cultural characteristics of the Village, town, county, state or country.
LANDMARK SITE
A parcel or part thereof, including open space, on which is situated a landmark, and any abutting parcel or part thereof constituting part of the premises on which the landmark is situated.
STRUCTURE
Any assembly of materials forming a construction framed of component structural parts whether or not for occupancy or use, including buildings.
VILLAGE
The Village of Geneseo.
There is hereby created a board to be known as the "Historic Review Board (HRB) of the Village of Geneseo," hereinafter referred to as the "HRB."
A. 
The HRB shall consist of five members to be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Village Board of Trustees. Members shall have a known interest in historic preservation and architectural development within the Village of Geneseo.
(1) 
To the extent of availability in the Geneseo community, consideration should be given to balancing representation on the HRB so as to include such expertise as an architect or architectural historian, an attorney, a person familiar with local history, a licensed real estate broker and a local merchant/businessperson.
(2) 
At least one member shall have demonstrated significant interest in and commitment to the field of historic preservation, either by involvement in a local historic preservation group, employment or volunteer activity in that field, or other serious interest in preservation.
B. 
Historic Review Board members shall serve for a term of three years, with the exception of the initial term of one of the members which shall be one year, two which shall be two years and two which shall be three years. Members may be reappointed with a limit of two consecutive three-year terms. Members who have served two consecutive three-year terms will be eligible for reappointment after an absence of one year from membership on the HRB. The Mayor shall appoint any replacement member of the HRB to complete an unexpired term.
C. 
The chairperson of the HRB shall be appointed by the Mayor.
D. 
The powers of the HRB shall include:
(1) 
Appointment of professional consultants as necessary to carry out the duties of the HRB, compensation of whom shall be only as approved by the Village Board.
(2) 
Promulgation of rules and regulations as necessary for the conduct of its business.
(3) 
Adoption of criteria for the identification of significant historic, architectural and cultural landmarks and for the delineation of historic districts.
(4) 
Provisions for surveys of significant historic, architectural and cultural landmarks and historic districts within the Village.
(5) 
Designation of identified structures or resources as landmarks or historic districts, with the approval of the property owner(s).
(6) 
Increasing public awareness of the value of historic, cultural and architectural preservation by developing and participating in public education programs.
(7) 
Making recommendations to the Village Board concerning the utilization of state, federal or private funds to promote preservation of landmarks and historic districts within the Village.
(8) 
Approval or disapproval of applications for certificates of approval pursuant to this chapter.
(9) 
The HRB may, upon request, advise owners of property or structures within the Village on the physical and financial aspects of preservation, renovation, rehabilitation and reuse.
(10) 
The HRB may undertake any other action or activity necessary or appropriate to the implementation of its powers and duties, or to the advancement of the purposes set forth in this chapter.
E. 
The HRB shall meet at least monthly, but meetings may be held at any time on the written request of any three of the HRB members or on the call of the Chairperson or the Mayor. The HRB shall provide the Village Clerk with a schedule of its regular monthly meetings.
F. 
A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of three of the HRB's members, but not less than a majority of the full authorized membership may grant or deny a certificate of approval.
A. 
The HRB may accept for designation an individual historic, architectural or cultural landmark, or a group of properties as an historic district if:
(1) 
The HRB agrees that said property meets the standards as established by this chapter for designation as a local landmark, in that:
(a) 
The property possesses special character or historic or aesthetic interest or value as part of the cultural, political, economic or social history of the locality, region, state, or nation;
(b) 
The property is identified with historic personages;
(c) 
It embodies the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style;
(d) 
It is the work of a designer whose work has significantly influenced an age; or
(e) 
Because of a unique location or singular physical characteristic, the property represents an established and familiar visual feature of the neighborhood.
(2) 
The HRB agrees that said properties meet the standards as established by this chapter for designation as an historic district, in that:
(a) 
The district contains properties which meet one or more of the criteria for designation of a landmark; and
(b) 
By reason of possessing such qualities, the area constitutes a distinct section of the Village of Geneseo. The boundaries of each historic district designated henceforth shall be specified in detail and shall be filed, in writing, in the Village Clerk's office for public inspection.
(3) 
The property owner(s) agrees, in writing to the HRB, that his/her/their building(s), site(s) or structure(s) be permanently designated for inclusion as historic or culturally significant and such owner(s) agrees to abide by the rules as provided for in this chapter.
B. 
The HRB will notify the owner(s) of property which the HRB believes is worthy of designation as a landmark or landmark district and request that the owner(s) meet with the HRB at an agreed-upon meeting date to discuss the possibility of such designation and agree, or not, whether to pursue such designation proposal.
C. 
If, after the meeting, the owner(s) of the property shall agree to such designation and the HRB should vote that said property be given final designation and the owner(s) of the property shall execute a written designation in recordable form:
(1) 
The Building Inspector shall be informed that no building permit shall be issued except as hereafter explained in this chapter.
(2) 
The Village Clerk shall be informed that said property has been designated as a landmark and shall record such designation with the office of the Livingston County Clerk.
No person who has accepted historic designation shall carry out any exterior alteration, restoration, reconstruction, demolition, new construction or moving of a landmark or property within an historic district, nor shall any person make any material change in the appearance of such property, its grounds, signs, sidewalks, fences, steps, paving, light fixtures or other exterior elements, without first obtaining a certificate of approval from the Historic Review Board.
A. 
The HRB's decision shall be based upon the following principles:
(1) 
Properties which contribute to the character of the historic district shall be retained with their historic features altered as little as possible.
(2) 
Any alteration of existing properties shall be compatible with their historic character, as well as with the surrounding district.
(3) 
New construction shall be compatible with the district in which it is located.
(4) 
New additions and adjacent or related new construction shall be undertaken in such a manner that, if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the historic property and its environment would be unimpaired.
B. 
In applying the principle of compatibility, the HRB shall consider the following factors:
(1) 
The general design, character and appropriateness to the property of the proposed alteration or new construction.
(2) 
The scale of proposed alteration or new construction in relation to the property itself, surrounding properties and the neighborhood.
(3) 
Texture and materials and their relation to similar features of other properties in the neighborhood.
(4) 
Visual compatibility with surrounding properties, including proportion of the property's front facade, proportion and arrangement of windows and other openings within the facade, roof shape and the rhythm of spacing of properties on streets, including setback.
(5) 
The importance of historic, architectural or other features to the significance of the property.
A. 
Prior to the commencement of any work requiring a certificate of approval, the owner shall file an application for such a certificate with the HRB. The Code Enforcement Officer shall notify the HRB of all applications for building permits involving landmarks or structures located in an historic district. (See §§ 61-8 to 61-18 of the Village Code.[1]) The application shall contain:
(1) 
The name, address and telephone number of the applicant.
(2) 
The location and photographs of the property.
(3) 
Elevation drawings of proposed changes, if necessary.
(4) 
Perspective drawings, including relationship to adjacent properties, if necessary.
(5) 
Samples of materials to be used.
(6) 
Where the proposal includes signs or lettering, a scale drawing showing the type of lettering to be used, all dimensions and colors, a description of materials to be used, method of illumination and a plan showing the sign's location on the property.
(7) 
Any other information which the HRB may deem necessary in order to visualize the proposed work.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Ch. 61, Fire Prevention and Building Construction, Art. II, Building Construction, §§ 61-8 to 61-18, was superseded. See now Ch. 61, Fire Prevention and Building Construction.
B. 
No building permit shall be issued for such proposed work until a certificate of approval has first been issued by the HRB. The certificate of approval required by this chapter shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any building permit that may be required by any other ordinance of the Village. Emergency alterations shall be exempt from the strict application of this chapter. However, any emergency alterations shall be to the minimum extent necessary to restore the structural integrity, habitability and general safety of the premises.
C. 
The HRB shall approve, approve with modifications or deny the application within 45 days from the receipt of a completed application. The HRB may hold a public hearing on the application at which an opportunity will be provided for proponents and opponents of the application to present their views.
D. 
A certificate of approval or approval with conditions shall expire one year after the date of issuance if the work requiring such certificate has not been initiated, and it shall expire 24 months after the date of issuance if the work has not been completed.
E. 
All decisions of the HRB shall be in writing. A copy shall be sent to the applicant by registered mail and a copy filed with the Village Clerk's office for public inspection. The HRB's decision shall state the reasons for denying or modifying any application.
A. 
An applicant whose certificate of approval has been denied may apply for relief on the ground of hardship. In order to prove the existence of hardship, the applicant shall establish that:
(1) 
The property is incapable of earning a reasonable return, regardless of whether that return represents the most profitable return possible.
(2) 
The property cannot be adapted for any other use, whether by the current owner or by a purchaser, which would result in a reasonable return.
(3) 
Efforts to find a purchaser interested in acquiring the property and preserving it have failed.
(4) 
There exists financial inability to perform the required repairs or restoration.
A. 
After receiving written notification from the HRB of the denial of a certificate of approval, an applicant may commence the hardship process. No building permit or demolition permit shall be issued unless the HRB makes a finding that a hardship exists.
B. 
The HRB may hold a public hearing on the hardship application at which an opportunity will be provided for proponents and opponents of the application to present their views.
C. 
The applicant shall consult in good faith with the HRB, local preservation groups and interested parties in a diligent effort to seek an alternative that will result in preservation of the property.
D. 
All decisions of the HRB shall be in writing. A copy shall be sent to the applicant by registered mail and a copy filed with the Village Clerk's office for public inspection. The HRB's decision shall state the reasons for granting or denying the hardship application.
All work performed pursuant to a certificate of approval issued under this chapter shall conform to any requirements included therein. It shall be the duty of the Building Code Enforcement Officer to inspect periodically any such work to assure compliance. In the event that work is found that is not being performed in accordance with the certificate of approval, or upon notification of such fact by the HRB, the Building Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a stop-work order and all work shall immediately cease. No further work shall be undertaken on the project as long as a stop-work order is in effect.
A. 
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance, repainting and repair of any exterior architectural feature of a landmark or property within an historic district which does not involve a change in outward appearance.
B. 
No owner or person with an interest in real property designated as a landmark or included within an historic district shall permit the property to fall into a serious state of disrepair so as to result in the deterioration of any exterior architectural feature which would, in the judgment of the HRB, produce a detrimental effect upon the character of the historic district as a whole or the life and character of the property itself.
C. 
Examples of such deterioration include:
(1) 
Deterioration of exterior walls or other vertical supports.
(2) 
Deterioration of roofs or other horizontal members.
(3) 
Deterioration of exterior chimneys.
(4) 
Deterioration or crumbling of exterior stucco or mortar.
(5) 
Ineffective waterproofing of exterior walls, roofs or foundations, including broken windows or doors.
(6) 
Deterioration of any feature so as to create a hazardous condition which could lead to the claim that demolition is necessary for the public safety.
A. 
Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall result in the termination of any permits issued or any proceedings commenced under the provisions of this chapter, and penalties for offenses thereof shall be under the enforcement procedures laws of the Village. Penalties shall be consistent with the Village Zoning Ordinance[1] for violations, as an offense.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 130, Zoning.
B. 
Any person who demolishes, alters or constructs a designated property, or permits such a property to fall into a serious state of disrepair, in violation of this chapter, shall be required to restore the property and its site to its appearance prior to the violation. Any action to enforce this subsection shall be brought by the Village Attorney. This civil remedy shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any criminal prosecution and penalty.
Any person aggrieved by a decision of the HRB relating to a certificate of approval or hardship may, within 30 days of the filing of the decision in the Village Clerk's office, file a written application with the Village Board of Trustees for review of the decision.
Where this chapter imposes greater restrictions than are imposed by the provision of any law, ordinance, regulation or private agreement, the provisions of this chapter shall control. Where greater restrictions are imposed by any law, ordinance, regulation or private agreement than are imposed by this chapter, such greater restrictions shall not be affected by this chapter.
No decision to carry out or approve an action subject to the provisions of this chapter shall be rendered by any department, board, commission, officer or employee of the Village of Geneseo until there has been full compliance with all requirements of this chapter. This shall not prohibit environmental, engineering, economic feasibility or other studies, preliminary planning or budgetary processes, nor the granting of an application relating only to technical specifications and requirements, but not authorizing commencement of action until full compliance with this chapter has been met.