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Town of Athens, NY
Greene County
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In considering applications for subdivision of land, the Planning Board shall be guided by the standards set forth hereinafter. Said standards shall be considered to be minimum requirements and shall be waived by the Board only under circumstances set forth in Article V herein.
A. 
Character of land. Land to be subdivided shall be of such character that it can be used safely for building purposes without danger to health or peril from fire, flood or other menace.
B. 
Conformity to Official Map and zoning regulations. Subdivisions shall conform to the Official Map of the Town and Chapter 180, Zoning.
C. 
Specifications for required improvements. All required improvements shall be constructed or installed to conform to the Town specifications, which may be obtained from the Town Engineer.
D. 
Reasonable and necessary costs incurred by the Planning Board for professional review of an application shall be charged to the applicant pursuant to Chapter 153 of the Athens Town Code.
[Added 2-24-2003 by L.L. No. 3-2003]
A. 
Width, location and construction. Streets shall be of sufficient width, suitably located and adequately constructed to conform to the Comprehensive Plan, if such exists, and to accommodate the prospective traffic and afford access for fire fighting, snow removal and other road maintenance equipment. The arrangement of streets shall be such as to cause no undue hardship to adjoining properties and shall be coordinated so as to compose a convenient system.
B. 
Arrangement. The arrangement of streets in the subdivision shall provide for the continuation of principal streets of adjoining subdivisions and for proper projection of principal streets into adjoining properties which are not yet subdivided, in order to make possible necessary fire protection, movement of traffic and the construction or extension, presently or when later required, of needed utilities and public services, such as sewers, water and drainage facilities. Where, in the opinion of the Planning Board, topographic or other conditions make such continuance undesirable or impracticable, the above conditions may be modified.
C. 
Local streets. Local streets shall be so laid out that their use by through traffic will be discouraged.
D. 
Special treatment along major streets. When a subdivision abuts or contains an existing or proposed major street, the Board may require marginal access streets, reverse frontage with screen planting contained in a non-access reservation along the rear property line, deep lots with rear service alleys or such other treatment as may be necessary for adequate protection of residential properties and to afford separation of through and local traffic.
E. 
Provision for future resubdivision. Where a tract is subdivided into lots substantially larger than the minimum size required in the zoning district in which a subdivision is located, the Board may require that streets and lots be laid out so as to permit future resubdivision in accordance with the requirements contained in these regulations.
F. 
Dead-end streets. The creation of dead-end or loop residential streets will be encouraged wherever the Board finds that such type of development will not interfere with normal traffic circulation in the area. In the case of dead-end streets, where needed or desirable, the Board may require the reservation of a twenty-foot-wide easement to provide for continuation of pedestrian traffic and utilities to the next street. Subdivisions containing 20 lots or more shall have at least two street connections with existing public streets or streets shown on the Official Map, if such exists, or streets on an approved subdivision plat for which a bond has been filed.
G. 
Block size. Blocks generally shall not be less than 400 feet nor more than 1,200 feet in length. In general, no block width shall be less than twice the normal lot depth. In blocks exceeding 800 feet in length, the Planning Board may require the reservation of a twenty-foot-wide easement through the block to provide for the crossing of underground utilities and pedestrian traffic where needed or desirable and may further specify, at its discretion, that a four-foot-wide paved footpath be included.
H. 
Intersections with collector or major streets. Local or secondary street openings into collector or major streets shall, in general, be at least 500 feet apart.
I. 
Street jogs. Street jogs with center-line offsets of less than 125 feet shall be avoided.
J. 
Angle of intersection. In general, all streets shall join each other so that for a distance of at least 100 feet the street is approximately at right angles to the street it joins.
K. 
Relation to topography. The street plan of a proposed subdivision shall bear a logical relationship to the topography of the property, and all streets shall be arranged so as to obtain as many of the building sites as possible at or above the grade of the streets. Grades of streets shall conform as closely as possible to the original topography.
L. 
Other required streets. When a subdivision borders on or contains a railroad right-of-way or limited access highway right-of-way, the Planning Board may require a street approximately parallel to and on each side of such right-of-way at a distance suitable for the appropriate use of the intervening land (as for park purposes in residential districts or for commercial or industrial purposes in appropriate districts). Such distances shall also be determined with due regard for the requirements of approach grades and future grade separations.
A. 
Widths of rights-of-way. Streets shall have the following widths. (When not indicated on the Comprehensive Plan or Official Map, if such exists, the classification of streets shall be determined by the Board.)
Type of Street
Minimum Right-of-Way
(feet)
Minimum Pavement
(feet)
Major
66
30; five-foot shoulder
Collector
60
25; five-foot shoulder
Local
50
20; five-foot shoulder
Rural
50
22; six-foot shoulder
B. 
Improvements. Streets shall be graded and improved with pavements, curbs and gutters, sidewalks, storm draining facilities, water mains, sewers, streetlights and signs, street trees and fire hydrants, except where waivers may be requested, and the Planning Board may waive, subject to appropriate conditions, such improvements as it considers may be omitted without jeopardy to the public health, safety and general welfare. Pedestrian easements shall be improved as required by the Town Engineer. Such grading and improvements shall be approved as to design and specifications by the Town Engineer or Superintendent of Highways.
(1) 
Fire hydrants shall not exceed a distance of 600 feet along streets when a public or private water system is installed and shall conform to current American Water Works Association (AWWA) standards.
(2) 
Streetlighting facilities. Lighting facilities shall be in conformance with the lighting system of the Town. Such lighting standards and fixtures shall be installed after approval by the appropriate power company and the authorized Town Electrical Inspector.
C. 
Utilities in streets. The Planning Board shall, wherever possible, require that underground utilities be placed in the street right-of-way between the paved roadway and street line to simplify location and repair of lines when they require attention. The subdivider shall install underground service connections to the property line of each lot within the subdivision for such required utilities before the street is paved.
D. 
Utility easements. Where topography is such as to make impractical the inclusion of utilities within the street rights-of-way, perpetual unobstructed easements at least 20 feet in width shall be otherwise provided with satisfactory access to the street. Wherever possible, easements shall be continuous from block to block and shall present as few irregularities as possible. Such easements shall be cleared and graded where required.
E. 
Grades. Grades of all streets shall conform in general to the terrain and shall not be less than 1/2% nor more than 6% for major or collector streets or 10% for local streets in residential districts, but in no case more than 3% within 50 feet of any intersection.
F. 
Changes in grade. All changes in grade shall be connected by vertical curves of such length and radius as meet with the approval of the Town Engineer so that clear visibility shall be provided for a safe distance.
G. 
Curve radii at street intersections. All street pavement lines at intersections shall be rounded by curves of at least 15 feet radius and curbs shall be adjusted accordingly.
H. 
Steep grades and curves; visibility of intersections. A combination of steep grades and curves shall be avoided. In order to provide visibility for traffic safety, that portion of any corner lot (whether at an intersection entirely within the subdivision or of annex street with an existing street) which is shown shaded on Sketch A shall be cleared of all growth (except isolated trees) and obstructions above the level three feet higher than the center line of the street. If directed, ground shall be excavated to achieve visibility.
I. 
Dead-end streets (culs-de-sac). Where dead-end streets are designed to be so permanently, they should, in general, not exceed 1,000 feet in length and shall terminate in a circular turnaround having a minimum right-of-way radius of 50 feet and pavement radius of 40 feet. At the end of temporary dead-end streets a temporary turnaround with a pavement radius of 40 feet shall be provided, unless the Planning Board approves an alternate arrangement.
J. 
Watercourses. Where a watercourse separates a proposed street from abutting property, provision shall be made for access to all lots by means of culverts or other structures of design approved by the Town Engineer. Where a subdivision is traversed by a watercourse, drainageway, channel or stream, there shall be provided a storm easement or drainage right-of-way as required by the Town Engineer and in no case less than 20 feet in width.
K. 
Curve radii. In general, street lines within a block deflecting from each other at any one point by more than 10° shall be connected with a curve, the radius of which for the center line of the street shall not be less than 400 feet on major streets, 200 feet on collector streets and 100 feet on local streets.
L. 
Service streets or loading space in commercial development. Paved rear service streets of not less than 20 feet in width or, in lieu thereof, adequate off-street loading space, suitably surfaced, shall be provided in connection with lots designed for commercial use.
M. 
Free flow of vehicular traffic abutting commercial developments. In front of areas zoned and designed for commercial use or where a change of zoning to a zone which permits commercial use is contemplated, the street width shall be increased by such amount on each side as may be deemed necessary by the Planning Board to assure the free flow of through traffic without interference by parked or parking vehicles and to provide adequate and safe parking space for such commercial or business district.
A. 
Type of name. All street names shown on a preliminary plat or subdivision plat shall be approved by the Planning Board. In general, streets shall have names and not numbers or letters.
B. 
Names to be substantially different. Proposed street names shall be substantially different so as not to be confused in sound or spelling with present names, except that streets that join or are in alignment with streets of an abutting or neighboring property shall bear the same name. Generally, no street should change direction by more than 90° without a change in street name.
A. 
Lots to be buildable. The lot size, width, shape and arrangement shall be such that in constructing a building there will be no foreseeable difficulty for reasons of topography or other natural conditions in securing building permits to build on all lots in compliance with these regulations, the New York State Health Department regulations, the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and the Town zoning regulations, if such may exist. Lots should not be of depth as to encourage the later creation of a second building lot at the front or rear.
B. 
Side lines. All side lines of lots shall be at right angles to straight street lines and radial to curved street lines, unless a variance from this rule will give a better street or lot plan.
C. 
Corner lots. In general, corner lots should be larger than interior lots to provide for proper building setback from each street and provide a desirable building site.
D. 
Driveway access. Driveway access and grades shall conform to specifications of the Town Driveway Ordinance, if one exists. Driveway grades between the street and the setback line shall not exceed 10%.
E. 
Access from private streets. Access from private streets shall be deemed acceptable only if such streets are designed and improved in accordance with these regulations.
F. 
Monuments and lot corner markers. Permanent monuments meeting specifications approved by the Town Engineer as to size, type and installation shall be set at such block corners, angle points, points of curves in streets and other points as the Town Engineer may require, and their location shall be shown on the subdivision plat.
A. 
Removal of spring and surface water. The subdivider may be required by the Planning Board to carry away by pipe or open ditch any spring or surface water that may exist either previous to or as a result of the subdivision. Such drainage facilities shall be located in the street right-of-way where feasible or in perpetual unobstructed easements of appropriate width.
B. 
Drainage structure to accommodate potential development upstream. A culvert or other drainage facility shall, in each case, be large enough to accommodate potential runoff from its entire upstream drainage area, whether inside or outside the subdivision. The Town Engineer shall approve the design and size of the facility based on anticipated runoff from a ten-year storm under conditions of total potential development permitted by Chapter 180, Zoning, in the watershed.
C. 
Responsibility for drainage downstream. The subdivider's engineer shall also study the effect of each subdivision on the existing downstream drainage facilities outside the area of the subdivision. This study shall be reviewed by the Town Engineer. Where it is anticipated that the additional runoff incident to the development of the subdivision will overload an existing downstream drainage facility during a five-year storm, the Planning Board shall notify the Town Board of such potential condition. In such case, the Planning Board shall not approve the subdivision until provision has been made for the improvement of said condition.
D. 
Land subject to flooding. Land subject to flooding or land deemed by the Planning Board to be uninhabitable shall not be platted for residential occupancy nor for such other uses as may increase danger to health, life or property or aggravate the flood hazard, but such land within the plat shall be set aside for such uses as shall not be endangered by periodic or occasional inundation or improved in a manner satisfactory to the Planning Board to remedy said hazardous conditions.
A. 
Recreation areas shown on Comprehensive Plan. Where a proposed park, playground or open space shown on the Comprehensive Plan is located in whole or in part in a subdivision, the Board shall require that such area or areas may be dedicated to the Town or county by the subdivider if the Town Board approves such dedication.
B. 
Parks and playgrounds not shown on Comprehensive Plan.
(1) 
The Planning Board shall require that the plat show sites of a character, extent and location suitable for the development of a park, playground or other recreation purpose. The Planning Board may require that the developer satisfactorily grade any such recreation areas shown on the plat.
(2) 
The Board shall require that not less than three acres of recreation space be provided per 100 dwelling units shown on the plat. However, in no case shall the amount be more than 10% of the total area of the subdivision. Such area or areas may be dedicated to the Town or county by the subdivider if the Town Board approves such dedication.
C. 
Information to be submitted. In the event that an area to be used for a park or playground is required to be so shown, the subdivider shall submit, prior to final approval, to the Planning Board, three prints (one on permanent reproducible material) drawn in ink showing, at a scale of not less than 30 feet to the inch, such area and the following features thereof:
(1) 
The boundaries of said area, giving lengths and bearings of all straight lines and radii, lengths, central angles and tangent distances of all curves.
(2) 
Existing features, such as brooks, ponds, clusters of trees, rock outcrops and structures.
(3) 
Existing and, if applicable, proposed changes in grade and contours of said area and of the area immediately adjacent.
D. 
Waiver of play designation or area for parks and playgrounds.
(1) 
In cases where the Planning Board finds that due to the size, topography or location of the subdivision, land for park, playground or other recreation purpose cannot be properly located therein or if in the opinion of the Board it is not desirable, the Board may waive the requirement that the plat show land for such purposes. The Board shall then require as a condition to approval of the plat payment to the Town of an amount per gross acre as specified in the Town's current rate schedule which otherwise would have been acceptable as a recreation site. The amount of land which otherwise would have been acceptable as a recreation site shall be determined in accordance with the standards set forth in Subsection B.
(2) 
Such amount shall be paid to the Town Board at the time of final plat approval, and no plat shall be signed by the authorized officer of the Planning Board until such payment is made. All such payments shall be held by the Town Board in a special Town Recreation Site Acquisition and Improvement Fund to be used for the acquisition of land that is suitable for permanent park, playground or other recreational purposes and is located so that it will serve primarily the general neighborhood in which the land covered by the plat lies and shall be used only for park, playground or other recreational land acquisition or improvements. Such money may also be used for the physical improvement of existing parks or recreation areas serving the general neighborhood in which the land shown on the plat is situated, provided that the Planning Board finds there is a need for such improvements.
E. 
Reserve strips prohibited. Reserve strips of land which might be used to control access from the proposed subdivision to any neighboring property or to any land within the subdivision itself shall be prohibited.
F. 
Preservation of natural features. The Planning Board shall, wherever possible, establish the preservation of all natural features which add value to residential developments and to the community, such as large trees or groves, watercourses and falls, beaches, historic spots, vistas and similar irreplaceable assets. No tree with a diameter of eight inches or more as measured three feet above the base of the trunk shall be removed unless such tree is within the right-of-way of a street as shown on the final subdivision plat. Removal of additional trees shall be subject to the approval of the Planning Board. When lakes are a part of a proposed development, stumps which are under water shall be cut to ground level or removed completely at the discretion of the Planning Board.