Chapter 260, Subdivision of Land, of the Code of the Town of Fallsburg provides for the clustering of proposed developments as authorized under § 278 of the Town Law of the State of New York. The Planning Board may approve cluster developments in all districts according to the procedures and requirements specified below. The purpose of this provision is to provide flexibility in the design and development of land in such a way as to promote the most appropriate use of land, to facilitate the adequate and economical provision of streets and utilities, and to preserve the natural and scenic qualities of open space; specifically to preserve hilltops, long scenic views and stream corridors and natural areas along lakefronts.
Minimum site area. The minimum site area for a cluster development shall be 15 contiguous acres in the HR-1 and R-1 Zones. The minimum site area for a cluster development shall be 35 contiguous acres in the REC-1 and REC-2 Zones.
[Amended 12-22-2014 by L.L. No. 8-2014]
Common open space. Not less than 35% of the gross area of a cluster development shall be devoted to common open space, of which not less than half of that must be usable open space. Such land is to be owned or controlled jointly by all residential property owners within the cluster development and is to be used for recreational purposes or preserved in its natural state; or at the option of the Town and applicant, some or all of the open space may be dedicated as parkland to the Town of Fallsburg; or placed in a conservation easement with a land trust.
Building permit. Only buildings and structures approved by the Planning Board on a site plan may be built.
Intensity of use. The applicant must initially submit a conventional subdivision plan, using all current regulations and restrictions, including § 310-5.4, Environmental constraints, of this chapter. The Planning Board will use the conventional subdivision plan in calculating the maximum number of dwelling units allowable. Under no circumstances shall the number of dwelling units approved in the cluster development be in excess of this number. The maximum number of dwelling units shall not be approved if, in the judgment of the Planning Board, the site plan does not indicate adequate design and management of open space areas according to the following criteria:
Separation between units. All one-family, two-family and semidetached dwellings shall require a minimum separation distance of 31 feet of green space between buildings. The only items permitted within this separation distance are walkways, and landings or decks of less than five feet in width. No porch or similar structure shall protrude or be installed into this required separation. If fire flow calculations can be met, then the required separation distance between buildings can be reduced to a minimum of 25 feet.
[Amended 12-22-2014 by L.L. No. 8-2014]
Yard requirements. An undisturbed vegetative buffer of at least 50 feet shall be provided along the side and rear property lines for any cluster development along with a one-hundred-seventy-five-foot front yard vegetative setback. Only the driveway shall be permitted in the front yard setback requirements. With the exception of minimum lot areas, lot widths and side, front, and rear yards, a cluster development shall comply with all other provisions of this chapter, including provisions for subdivision plat approval.
[Amended 12-22-2014 by L.L. No. 8-2014]
Utilities. Any cluster development shall be served by central water and central sewer facilities, each approved by the appropriate state agency or other entity having jurisdiction. All water, sewer and gas lines, power, telephone, cable and other communication services shall be installed underground in compliance with state and local regulations.
Ownership. All common land and facilities shall be in single ownership or control.
Organization. A cluster development shall be organized as a homeowners' association approved by the Attorney General of the State of New York, by the Town Attorney and the Town Board. The Town Planning Board shall review and approve the articles of incorporation and the character of said homeowners' association to ensure that the intent and purpose of this section are carried out.
Homeowners' association. When considering the application, the Planning Board shall, in part, require the cluster development to meet the following conditions:
The homeowners' association or its equivalent shall be established as an incorporated nonprofit organization operating under recorded land agreements through which each lot owner and any succeeding owner is automatically a member, and each lot is automatically subject to a charge as provided in the charter of the homeowners' association.
Title to all common property, exclusive of land set aside for public schools, shall be placed in the homeowners' association, or definite and acceptable assurance shall be given that it automatically will be so placed within a reasonable period of time to be determined by the Planning Board.
Each lot owner shall have equal voting rights in the association and shall have the right to the use and enjoyment of the common property.
Once established, all responsibility for operation and maintenance of the common land and facilities shall lie with the homeowners' association.
Dedication of all common land areas shall be recorded directly in the subdivision plat, or shall be referenced on the plat to a dedication in a separately recorded document. Resubdivision of such areas is prohibited. The dedication shall:
Save the title to the common property to the homeowners' association free of any cloud of implied public dedication;
Commit the developer to convey the areas to the homeowners' association at the approved time to be determined by the Planning Board;
Grant easements of enjoyment over the area to the lot owners;
Give the homeowners' association the right to borrow for improvements upon the security of the common areas; and
Give to it the right to suspend membership rights for nonpayment of assessment or infraction of published rules.
The homeowners' association's life shall be perpetual; and it shall purchase insurance, shall pay taxes, shall specify in its charter and bylaws annual homeowners' fee and provision for assessments. The association shall have the right to proceed in accordance with all necessary legal action for the foreclosure and enforcement of liens, and it also shall have the right to commence action against any member for the collection of any unpaid assessments in any court of competent jurisdiction.
The developer shall assume all responsibilities as previously outlined for the homeowners' association until a majority of the dwelling sites are sold, at which time the homeowners' association shall be established automatically.
Permanence of land use. Covenant shall be established and filed or recorded, prior to conveyance of any lots, limiting all lots to residential use and all common lands to open space uses. No buildings or structures may be erected on such common lands except as shown on the approved site plan.
Deeds. Each deed to each lot sold by the original developer, his successor and all subsequent owners shall include by reference all recorded declarations, such as covenants, dedications and other restrictions, including assessments and the provisions for liens for nonpayment of such.
Prior to the issuance of a building permit in a cluster development, a site plan shall be submitted to and approved by the Planning Board.
Nothing contained in this article shall relieve the owner or his or her agent or the developer of a proposed cluster development from receiving subdivision plat approval in accordance with Chapter 260, Subdivision of Land. In approving the final plat for a cluster development, the Planning Board may modify the acreage requirement for recreation areas required by Chapter 260, Subdivision of Land, provided that the common area dedicated meets all other requirements of Chapter 260, Subdivision of Land.
Prior to site plan approval, the developer shall file with the Planning Board a performance bond to ensure the proper installation of all park and recreation improvements shown on the site plan and a maintenance bond to ensure proper maintenance of all common lands until the homeowners' association is established. The amount and period of said bonds shall be determined by the Town Board upon the recommendation of the Planning Board, and the form, sufficiency, manner of execution and surety shall be approved by the Town Attorney and the Town Board.