This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Zoning Law of the Town of Dover."
This chapter regulates the location, design, construction, alteration, occupancy, and use of structures and the use of land in the Town of Dover, dividing the town into land use districts.
This chapter is enacted pursuant to the authority and power granted by the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York, Article 2, § 10 et seq., and Chapter 62, Article 16, of the Consolidated Laws, in conformance with the Town of Dover Master Plan, adopted by the Planning Board on September 21, 1993, to protect and promote public health, safety, comfort, convenience, economy, natural, agricultural, and cultural resources, aesthetics, and the general welfare, and for the following additional specific purposes:
To conserve the natural resources and rural character of the town by encouraging development in appropriate locations and by limiting building in areas where it would conflict with the town's predominantly rural pattern and scale of settlement;
To minimize negative environmental impacts of development, especially in visually and environmentally sensitive areas such as East and West Mountain, the Swamp River, along the Ten Mile River and its tributaries, in aquifer and aquifer recharge areas, and on steep slopes, erodible soils, wetlands and their buffers, floodplains, active farmlands, and other designated open space resources;
To encourage a range of business activities in appropriate locations which are compatible with the town's rural character and scale, concentrating retail businesses in and near hamlets, and allowing large-scale business and industry in well-buffered locations with good transportation access;
In recognition of the economic value of Dover's natural beauty and environmental amenities, to protect the integrity of scenic views, ridgelines, agricultural land, existing and potential recreation areas, waterways, ground and surface water supplies, ecological systems, wetlands, wildlife habitat, and natural vegetation, and to maintain environmentally significant open space in its predominantly undeveloped state, in order to preserve the open and rural character of the town;
To preserve and protect lands and buildings that are historically significant and enhance the aesthetic and architectural quality of the entire community;
To encourage the continuation of agriculture and the preservation of open space, and to avoid regulating agricultural uses in a manner that unreasonably restricts or regulates farm structures or farming practices;
To encourage other economic activities that require large areas of contiguous open space, such as forestry, tree farming, and recreation, as well as the support services and industries that add value to these uses, such as wood products and tourist facilities;
To regulate building density in order to concentrate population in appropriate locations where municipal infrastructure is available, and to ensure access to light and air, conserve open space, facilitate the prevention and fighting of fires, minimize the cost of municipal services, and accomplish the other purposes enumerated in § 263 of the Town Law of New York State;
To integrate harmoniously different types of housing and varied land uses in hamlet centers to encourage pedestrian activity and reduce automobile traffic;
To provide a range of housing opportunities for all segments of the local population with due consideration for regional housing needs;
To protect residences from nonagricultural nuisances, odors, noise, pollution, and unsightly, obtrusive, and offensive land uses and activities;
To improve transportation facilities in areas designated for intensive settlement and to maintain a network of smaller country roads in areas designated for low-density development and the protection of open space, agriculture, steep slopes, and rural character;
To reduce traffic congestion on major roads by establishing a pattern of settlement and circulation that reduces the need for driving, provides alternative routes between destinations, and encourages walking, bicycling, and the use of commuter rail and other forms of public transportation;
To encourage the conservation of energy and the appropriate use of solar and other renewable energy resources;
To provide a flexible system of land use regulation that enables the town's economy and population to grow, while preserving the most important natural, historic, scenic, architectural, and cultural features; and
To base such flexible land use regulations on the unique characteristics of the landscape, the needs of the people of the Town of Dover, the rights of landowners to make economically beneficial use of their land, and the impact of proposed land uses on the natural and human environment, and to avoid patterns of development that adversely affect the scenic, historic, rural, and natural character of the town.
Editor's Note: See the Town Law.
All provisions of this chapter shall be construed to fulfill the purposes stated in § 145-3 above.
The Town of Dover encourages development that is compatible with the existing character of the town. To that end, the Town Board has adopted Local Law Number 3 of 1997, which provides for architectural design review by the Architectural and Community Appearance Board of Review for all structures subject to site plan review by the Planning Board and/or greater than 1,000 square feet in gross floor area. Single-family and two-family residences and accessory structures are exempt from architectural review unless such structures are referred for architectural review by the Building Inspector pursuant to that local law. In addition, the Town Board hereby adopts as advisory guidelines the illustrated design guidelines published by the Dutchess County Department of Planning in 1994, titled "Hamlet Design Guidelines and Rural Development Guidelines" (hereinafter the "Guidelines"). Where this chapter specifically requires that the Guidelines be followed, they shall be mandatory. The Guidelines shall be adapted to the specific requirements of this chapter as the reviewing board deems appropriate.
In their interpretation and application, the provisions of this chapter shall be held to be the minimum requirements for the promotion of the public health, safety, convenience, comfort and general welfare. It is not intended by this chapter to interfere with or abrogate or annul any easement, covenant, or other agreement between parties; provided, however, that when this chapter imposes a greater restriction on the use of structures or land or on the height of structures, or requires larger open spaces, or imposes any higher standards than are imposed or required by any other statute, law, ordinance, rule, or regulation or by any easement, covenant, or agreement, the provisions of this chapter shall control. Where the requirements of this chapter differ from the requirements of another statute, law, ordinance, rule, or regulation, the more restrictive shall govern.
[Added 7-26-2000 by L.L. No. 1-2000]
By Local Law Number 1 of the year 2000 the Town of Dover has adopted the "Greenway Connections: Greenway Compact Program and Guides for Dutchess County Communities," as amended from time to time, as a statement of land use policies, principles and guides. In its discretionary actions under this chapter, the reviewing agency shall be guided by said statement of policies, principles and guides.