Village of Irvington, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Irvington 11-19-1962. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 95.
Zoning — See Ch. 224.

§ 9-1 Purpose.

[Amended 10-18-1965 by L.L. No. 2-1965; 10-17-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983; 2-1-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010; 4-6-2015 by L.L. No. 4-2015]
The Village Board hereby finds that in order to protect the property, safety and health of the inhabitants of the Village of Irvington, it is desirable to establish a Board of Architectural Review to pass on the exterior appearance of all buildings and other structures to be constructed, reconstructed or altered. In addition, in order to protect the historic and architectural character of the Irvington Historic District, it is desirable to have the Board of Architectural Review pass on applications to demolish architecturally and historically significant buildings in the Historic Overlay District. In particular, the purposes of this chapter are to:
A. 
Improve the exterior appearance of buildings and other structures throughout the Village.
B. 
Continue the harmonious development of the Village.
C. 
Prevent the impairment of the property values of improved and unimproved property.
D. 
Protect the historic character of the Village, including, in particular, the Irvington Historic District, which as of January 2014, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

§ 9-2 Structural requirements.

[Added 10-18-1965 by L.L. No. 2-1965]
All residences to be constructed hereafter in the Village of Irvington shall conform to the following requirements:
A. 
Except for attached one-family dwellings, houses adjacent to each other in any direction shall not look alike. Minimum variety in appearance shall be achieved by changes in any two of the following factors when approved by the Board:
[Amended 10-19-2016 by L.L. No. 9-2016]
(1) 
Exterior materials.
(2) 
Fenestration, where changes are the result of omission, grouping or adding windows, including bay and full-height windows.
(3) 
Geometry of the structure where this is the result of plan changes, roof slope changes exceeding 15º, roof ridge direction changes or ridge height different by at least five feet; the addition or deletion of breezeways, porches and similar features, of at least 200 square feet in floor area; or the provision of dormers or mansard or hip roof configurations.
B. 
In approved subdivisions when building permits are applied for, location of all houses on the lots adjacent to and opposite the one being applied for shall also be shown.
C. 
Where three or more houses front on a straight or slightly curved street or road, they shall not be similarly oriented with equal front yard dimensions. In such cases one of each of three houses shall be located with either an increased front yard of at least 10 feet or oriented differently by at least 30º.

§ 9-3 Board created; membership and terms of office.

There is hereby created a Board of Architectural Review which shall consist of five members, who shall serve without compensation. All members of the Board shall be residents of the Village of Irvington, and at least one member shall be a registered architect licensed by the State of New York. The members of the Board of Architectural Review shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees for a term of five years, and the Board of Trustees shall have authority to remove any member of such Board of Architectural Review for cause after public hearing. The Board of Trustees shall designate one member of the Board of Architectural Review to be Chairman, and the Board of Architectural Review shall designate one of the members as Acting Chairman and one as Secretary. The respective terms of the members first appointed shall be one, two, three, four and five years from and after their appointments. The term of all appointments shall expire at 12:00 noon on the first Monday of April. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term of the members whose place has become vacant. The Village Clerk or Deputy Clerk shall act as the Clerk of the Board.

§ 9-4 Meetings; powers.

[Amended 9-18-1967 by L.L. No. 1-1967]
Meetings of the Board of Architectural Review shall be held on the second and fourth Monday each month and at such other times as the Board shall determine. The Chairman, or in his absence the Acting Chairman, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses. A majority of said Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The Board shall keep minutes of its proceedings showing the vote of each member upon each question, or if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and shall also keep copies of the examinations and other official actions. The Board shall have power from time to time to adopt, amend and repeal rules and regulations, not inconsistent with law or the provisions of this chapter, governing its procedure and the transaction of its business and for the purpose of carrying into effect the standards outlined in § 9-6 hereof.

§ 9-5 Site development plan applications.

[Added 2-1-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010[1]
Every application for site development plan approval for the construction, reconstruction or alteration of any building or structure shall be referred to the Board of Architectural Review for its recommendation and report to the Planning Board. This referral shall be in addition to the referral required by § 9-6.
[1]
Editor’s Note: This local law also redesignated former §§ 9-5 through 9-9 as §§ 9-6 through 9-10, respectively.

§ 9-6 Building permit applications.

[Amended 9-18-1967 by L.L. No. 1-1967; 10-17-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983; 4-15-2003 by L.L. No. 5-2003; 2-6-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
Every application for a building permit for the construction, reconstruction or alteration of a one- or two-family dwelling or any other structure in excess of 2,000 cubic feet of cubical content, or for a permit for the erection of signs, solar energy equipment, walls or fences, shall be filed with the Building Inspector at least 10 days prior to the next scheduled meeting of the Board of Architectural Review, and such application shall be approved or disapproved by the Board of Architectural Review, provided that the Building Inspector has certified that the application is appropriate for review by the Board of Architectural Review.

§ 9-7 Disapproval of application.

[Amended 2-1-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010]
The Board of Architectural Review may disapprove any building permit referred to it, provided that such disapproval shall be by majority of all the members of the Board present at any meeting where said vote is taken, and provided that the Board finds that the construction, reconstruction or alteration for which the permit was applied would not be compatible with the purposes set forth in § 9-1 and thereby be detrimental to the desirability, property values or development of the surrounding area or not be in keeping with the harmonious development of the district in which the proposed structure is to be located. Any such finding shall not be based on personal preference by the members of the Board of Architectural Review as to taste or choice of architectural style, but shall be limited to the harmonious development of the district and the Village of Irvington.

§ 9-8 Denial or issuance of building permit.

[Amended 9-18-1967 by L.L. No. 1-1967]
The Building Inspector shall refuse any building permit application disapproved as provided in § 9-6. If the Board of Architectural Review shall approve or fail to act on any building permit application referred to it under § 9-5 within 15 days of the date of the first scheduled meeting following the filing of the application of a building permit in accordance with § 9-5 hereof, the Building Inspector shall forthwith issue the permit as applied for.

§ 9-9 Appeals.

[Amended 8-15-2016 by L.L. No. 7-2016]
A. 
Findings of fact. Any person aggrieved by the action of the Board of Architectural Review (ARB) in disapproving a building permit application may request the ARB to make formal findings of fact. Such request shall be filed in the office of the Village Clerk within 20 days after the date of such disapproval. If such a request is made, the ARB shall make findings of fact within 30 days after the request is filed, file them in the office of the Village Clerk, and send a copy of them to the requesting person.
B. 
Appeal to Board of Trustees.
[Amended 7-17-2017 by L.L. No. 5-2017]
(1) 
Within 30 days after delivery of the ARB decision to the applicant, or within 20 days after the findings of fact are filed, if findings are requested, the aggrieved person may take an appeal from the ARB's disapproval to the Board of Trustees of the Village of Irvington by serving a written notice on the Village Clerk.
(2) 
A public hearing shall be held by said Board on every appeal and application made to it. A notice of such hearing and of the substance of the appeal or application shall be given by publication in the official newspaper(s) of the Village at least 10 days before the date of such hearing. The applicant shall be required to notify any property owners within 200 feet of the subject property by a method of mail or a delivery service company providing proof of mailing or delivery or by personal service of such notice on the property owners, evidenced by their signature as acknowledgment of receipt of such notice on a form supplied or similar to one supplied by the Village Clerk. Said notice shall describe the substance of the appeal or application; advise the recipient of the date, time and place of the hearing; and shall advise the recipient that copies of the application or appeal and all papers filed with the Board by the applicant or appellant with respect thereto will be furnished to the recipient by the applicant or appellant upon request. On or before the date of the public hearing, the applicant or appellant shall file with the Board a verified statement evidencing compliance with the notice provisions of this subsection. Should the Board deem it advisable, it may require the notification of property owners within a distance of up to 500 feet of the subject property.
C. 
Remand to ARB. If the Board of Trustees reverses the action of the Board of Architectural Review, it shall remand the application to the Board of Architectural Review for approval and the imposition of reasonable conditions, or other further action, consistent with the decision of the Board of Trustees. Any such subsequent decision of the ARB shall be appealable to the Board of Trustees.
[Amended 7-17-2017 by L.L. No. 5-2017]

§ 9-10 Conflicting laws suspended.

This chapter shall supersede such provisions of the Building Code of the Village of Irvington[1] and applicable provisions of the laws of the State of New York to the extent that they conflict with or are contrary to the provisions of this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 95, Building Construction.

§ 9-11 Demolition of buildings in Historic Overlay District.

[Added 4-6-2015 by L.L. No. 4-2015]
A. 
Approval required. Every application to demolish (Note: The term "demolish" is defined in the Zoning Code at § 224-197.) a contributing building (Note: "Contributing buildings" in the Historic Overlay District are those identified in Appendix A to the Irvington Zoning Code.) in the Historic Overlay District shall be referred by the Building Inspector to the Board of Architectural Review (ARB) for its approval or disapproval.
B. 
Application. An applicant seeking to demolish such building shall provide the following information:
(1) 
Legal description, property address and age of building.
(2) 
Names, addresses, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, and signatures of the applicant and the building owner.
(3) 
Detailed explanation of the reason demolition is requested.
(4) 
All appraisals obtained within the last two years by the owner or applicant in connection with the purchase, financing or ownership of the property, if any exist.
(5) 
Date the property was purchased and purchase price.
(6) 
Any listing of the property for sale or rent, price asked, and offers received, if any, within the previous two years, including testimony and relevant documents regarding:
(a) 
Any real estate broker or firm engaged to sell or lease the property;
(b) 
Reasonableness of the price or rent sought by the applicant; or
(c) 
Any advertisements placed for the sale or rent of the property.
(7) 
If the reason for demolition relates to the safety of the building, a report from a licensed engineer or architect with experience in rehabilitation as to the structural soundness of the building and its suitability for rehabilitation.
(8) 
If the reason for demolition relates to the safety of building, written detailed cost estimates to restore or repair the structure.
(9) 
Economic incentives and/or funding available to the applicant through federal, state, local government or private programs.
(10) 
Description of the proposed replacement project in sufficient detail to permit the ARB to visualize the proposed replacement.
(11) 
Where only a portion of the building is sought to be demolished, photographs of the building in its existing condition and of adjacent buildings, drawings depicting what is being removed or modified, and drawings depicting what the building will look like after reconstruction or modification.
[Added 3-6-2017 by L.L. No. 2-2017[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also renumbered former Subsection B(11) as Subsection B(12).
(12) 
Such other information as the ARB finds necessary to make its determination.
(13) 
The ARB may waive the provision of any of the above information if it does not believe it is relevant to its determination.
[Added 3-6-2017 by L.L. No. 2-2017]
C. 
Public hearing.
(1) 
The ARB shall hold a public hearing on the application for demolition.
(2) 
Notice of such hearing shall be given by publication in the official newspaper(s) of the Village at least 10 days before the date of the hearing.
(3) 
In addition, the applicant shall erect a sign facing each public street on which the property abuts, giving notice that an application for demolition has been made. The sign, on a placard to be provided by the Village, shall be posted not less than 15 days immediately preceding the hearing date and shall be displayed continuously until the application is decided. The sign shall be placed to assure visibility from the street. Prior to the public hearing, the applicant shall provide proof that the sign was posted as required by this subsection. The applicant shall remove the sign the day after the application is decided.
(4) 
A written record shall be made of the public hearing and the ARB's deliberations on the application.
(5) 
During the public hearing, the ARB may solicit expert testimony or opinion by an architect, real estate consultant, and/or other professional experienced in historic properties and rehabilitation, on any question relevant to its determination.
D. 
Criteria for approval. The Board of Architectural Review shall not approve the application for demolition unless the applicant establishes all of the following:
(1) 
For buildings sought to be demolished for safety reasons:
(a) 
The building represents a hazard to the safety of the public or the applicant or owner.
(b) 
The safety hazard cannot be corrected within economic means reasonably available to the applicant or owner.
(c) 
Good faith efforts to find a purchaser interested in acquiring the property and preserving it have failed.
(2) 
For buildings sought to be demolished for reasons other than safety:
(a) 
The property is incapable of earning a reasonable return on investment, regardless of whether that return represents the most profitable return possible.
(b) 
The property cannot be adapted for any other use, whether by the current owner or by a purchaser, that would result in a reasonable return.
(c) 
Good faith efforts to find a purchaser interested in acquiring the property and preserving it have failed.
(3) 
Notwithstanding Subsection D(1) and (2), where the demolition is of a substantial portion of the building (see definition of “substantial portion” in the Zoning Code at § 224-197), rather than of the entire building, the applicant must demonstrate that the demolition and its proposed replacement, if any, will not be incompatible with the historic character of the building nor of the historic district.
[Added 3-6-2017 by L.L. No. 2-2017[2]]
[2]
Editor's Note: This local law also renumbered former Subsection D(3) and (4) as Subsection D(4) and (5), respectively.
(4) 
In deciding the application for demolition, the ARB may consider whether the owner has created his/her own hardship through waste and neglect, thereby permitting the property to fall into a serious state of disrepair.
(5) 
In determining whether to approve or disapprove an application for a demolition permit, the ARB shall consider only the exterior features of the building and shall have no jurisdiction to consider changes to interior walls or spaces that do not affect the exterior appearance of the building.
E. 
Replacement plan. The Building Inspector may not issue a permit for demolition until a proposal to replace the building or portion of the building to be demolished receives all required approvals from the Planning Board and ARB. In the event that the applicant intends to maintain the site of the demolished building as open space, the ARB must approve a landscape plan.
[Amended 3-6-2017 by L.L. No. 2-2017]
F. 
Decision. The ARB may approve or disapprove the application for demolition. Its decision must be in writing and must state the reasons for approval or disapproval. The written decision must be provided promptly to the applicant and to the Building Inspector.
G. 
Appeals. Any person aggrieved by the ARB's disapproval of an application for demolition, within 30 days of delivery of the decision to the applicant, may appeal the decision to the Board of Trustees by serving a written notice on the Village Clerk. The Board of Trustees shall review the record made before the Board of Architectural Review and may reverse or affirm its decision or remand it to the ARB for further findings.

§ 9-12 Solar energy equipment.

[Added 2-6-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
A. 
For any application for a building permit for solar energy equipment, written notice of the application and the date, time and place of the meeting at which it will be considered must be given to all adjacent property owners not less than 10 days prior to the meeting date. (NOTE: “Adjacent property” refers to any neighbor that shares a property line with the subject property as well as neighbors across any street from the subject property.) Notice shall be by a method of mail or a delivery service company providing proof of mailing or delivery or by personal service of such notice on the property owners, evidenced by their signature as acknowledgment of receipt of such notice on a form supplied or similar to one supplied by the Village Clerk. Proof of service of the notice shall be filed prior to or at the meeting at which the application is considered.
B. 
In reviewing building permits for solar energy equipment, notwithstanding § 9-7, the Board of Architectural Review shall follow the Solar Energy Equipment Guidelines adopted by the Board of Trustees.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Said guidelines are included as an attachment to Ch. 224, Zoning.
C. 
The homeowner must demonstrate to the Board of Architectural Review that all reasonable options have been considered to achieve compliance with the Solar Energy Equipment Guidelines.