Town of Fallsburg, NY
Sullivan County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 12-22-2009 by L.L. No. 4-2009[1]; amended 2-25-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
[1]
Editor's Note: Sections 1 and 2 of this local law provided the following:
Section 1. Title. This law shall be entitled "A local law adopted Architectural & Building Form Guidelines, creating an Architectural Review Board and amending Chapter 130, Zoning, of the Town of Fallsburg, New York."
Section 2. Legislative intent. The purposes of this local law and creation of an Architectural Review Board shall be to: A. Promote those qualities in the environment that enhance or maintain value in the community; B. Foster the attractiveness and functional utility of the community as a place in which to live and work; C. Seek to preserve the character and quality of Fallsburg's heritage by maintaining the integrity of those structures that have a distinctive character or are of special historic significance; D. Protect certain public investments within the hamlet centers; E. Emphasize aesthetic concerns in the interest of the community; F. Raise the level of community expectations for the architectural quality of its environment.
A. 
Appointment. There is hereby created an Architectural Review Board to administer this article. The members of the ARB shall be appointed by the Town Board of the Town of Fallsburg and shall consist of five members, all of whom shall be residents of the Town of Fallsburg. Members shall serve without compensation. Of the members first appointed, three members shall be appointed for two-year terms, and two members shall be appointed for one-year terms. Their successors shall be appointed for two-year terms. Vacancies shall be filled by the Town Board for unexpired terms of any members whose position on the ARB shall become vacant. One member of the ARB shall also be a member of the Town Planning Board.
B. 
Members. The ARB members shall, insofar as possible, be chosen for qualification and training in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, construction, planning, design or other related disciplines.
C. 
Chairman. The Town Board shall, from time to time, designate one member of the ARB as Chairman.
D. 
Quorum. Three members of the ARB shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Decisions of the ARB shall be the result of a majority vote of the membership.
E. 
Meetings shall be held on a monthly basis each month or as circumstances require at the call of the Chairperson on notice. ARB meetings shall be conducted under the Open Meetings Law.[1] The Board is also authorized to make site visits.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Article 7 of the Public Officers Law.
F. 
Minutes. The ARB shall keep minutes of its proceedings, including recommendations and rulings made concerning each application.
G. 
Coordination with other Town agencies. The ARB shall coordinate its activities with the Code Enforcement Officer, the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Town Board to promote quality and efficiency in the review process. The ARB may issue, inter alia, advisory reports or recommendations relating to the visual environment.
No material change in signage, roofing, windows, or exterior building design, coloration, finish or trim shall take place without the prior review and approval by the ARB pursuant to these provisions. These provisions may apply to a change in use that is not subject to site plan review if it falls within the ARB's jurisdiction as described below:
A. 
Jurisdiction. Architectural Review Board review and approval shall be required for the following actions concerning buildings and/or structures:
(1) 
Proposed painting or alteration of exterior architectural features, outside of the approved historical color pallet; or placement of signs on any buildings or structures within the MX, B-1 or NB Zoning Districts.
(2) 
Proposed construction of buildings or structures or erection of freestanding signs in a MX, B-1, or NB Zoning District.
(3) 
Proposed construction or alteration of any buildings or structures in a MX, NB or B-i zone that is subject to site plan review or special permit review.
(4) 
The proposed alteration of any building within the Town that is listed on the National or State Register of Historic Places.
(5) 
The Planning Board may, at its discretion, request the input from the ARB regarding the landscaping plan as it pertains to site plan review for any development before the Planning Board for any zone in the Town of Fallsburg.
B. 
Review of proposed construction. The ARB shall review and approve the exterior architectural features of proposed construction, additions, alterations or remodeling of buildings or structures in the zones affected, and prior to the issuance of any building permit and; where site plan approval is required, prior to the granting of final approval of the site plan or the signing of any site plan. In cases where site plan approval is required, the ARB shall be considered as performing one aspect of the overall site plan review, in coordination with the Planning Board.
C. 
Signs. The ARB shall have the authority to review, upon the referral of the Code Enforcement Officer, and approve or disapprove, signs intended to advertise businesses, pursuant to Chapter 234 in the Town Code labeled "Signs," regardless of zone.
D. 
Advisory reports. The ARB may render advisory reports whenever requested to do so by another board.
E. 
Effect on other reviews. The approvals required herein shall be in addition to any site plan or special permit approval presently required by law, subject to the following:
(1) 
To the extent possible, the ARB and the Planning Board and/or Zoning Board shall conduct their reviews concurrently, and shall coordinate their reviews to avoid delay, expense and repetitious procedures for the applicant.
(2) 
Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, the Planning Board shall retain exclusive jurisdiction over all elements of the site plan other than architectural features, color and design. For example, where site plan approval is required, the Planning Board shall exercise exclusive review authority over landscaping, screening and fencing pursuant to its site plan authority. At the Planning Board's discretion, it may ask for ARB review and/or input regarding this topic.
A. 
Preapplication conference. Applicants are encouraged to informally discuss their proposals with the Code Enforcement Officer or ARB at a meeting prior to formal submission of an application. These informal discussions may include reviews of preliminary design concepts.
B. 
Submission procedures. All applications shall be submitted to the Code Enforcement Office for a determination of whether ARB review is required.
(1) 
Building permit applications. Applications for signs or modification, reconstruction of remodeling, or other construction not requiring site plan or special permit approval, shall also be submitted to the Code Enforcement Office (CEO) for a determination as to whether referral to the Architectural Review Board is required.
(a) 
If the proposal is merely to replace the existing color or paint to the approved historical color pallet, sign or material substantially in kind, the CEO may approve said proposal without referral to the Architectural Review Board.
(b) 
If the CEO determines that the proposed change in color or material is not merely a replacement substantially in kind, or if he is uncertain, he shall refer the proposal to the Architectural Review Board.
(2) 
Site plan and special permit applications. Applications for construction of any buildings or structures that also require site plan or special permit approval shall be submitted to the CEO as part of the submission for the site plan or special permit. If the proposed project falls within the ARB's Jurisdiction, the CEO shall forward the application to the ARB within seven days of the receipt of a completed application meeting the above standards.
C. 
Materials. Applications for ARB approval shall include the following:
(1) 
A properly completed application for architectural review.
(2) 
A copy of any application for site plan or special permit, including copies of any maps or plans submitted, if applicable.
(3) 
Plans and elevations of existing and proposed buildings or structure(s) shall be prepared by a registered architect and/or professional engineer or professional draftsman or designer, showing the architectural features of all existing and proposed construction, and the details of all elements of exterior design, including exterior materials, colors and texture, roof design (including mechanical equipment which will protrude above the roof), awnings and other decorative elements. The plans shall also show the relationship of the proposed structure(s) to neighboring structures as to height, scale, size, design, rhythm, setback, materials, texture, facade treatment and sign location and treatment. Such information shall be at a scale and of a quality to enable the ARB to assess the appearance of the proposed structure(s) and their relationship to their surroundings. Where necessary for such purposes, the Board may require perspective renderings or scale models to be submitted. The above requirements may be modified by the CEO or the ARB depending on the nature of the project.
(4) 
Notwithstanding the foregoing, where a renovation or modification does not require site plan approval, the drawings need not be prepared by a licensed professional, but must clearly portray the architectural features to be reviewed. If the proposed project involves repainting that will change the existing color scheme, the applicant shall provide an eight-inch-by-ten-inch photo of the building or structure along with color samples selected from the Benjamin Moore Historical Color Preview Palette.
(5) 
A description of all exterior materials. Samples of all exterior materials and color samples shall be brought to the ARB meeting.
(6) 
State environmental quality review compliance. The applicant must include an Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) and any other necessary documentation to comply with SEQR (such as a EAF Visual Assessment Addendum), unless a lead agency other than the ARB is designated. No application shall be considered complete until a negative declaration has been issued by the lead agency.
A. 
The ARB shall review the exterior architectural features of the proposed construction, additions, alterations or remodeling, and evaluate them in accordance with the adopted guidelines set forth in the Architectural and Building Form Guidelines, as such may be amended from time to time.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Section 5 of L.L. No. 4-2009, adopting this article, provided for the adoption of the document entitled "Architectural & Building Form Guidelines" (Design Guidelines), which document shall provide general guidelines and principles appropriate to the site design of commercial and industrial properties as well as the architectural features of commercial and industrial buildings, along with visual examples of attractive and effective application of such design principles for use in the development of site plan applications, building elevations and as a basis for the Architectural Review Board's review of such applications. The current version of said document is on file in the office of the Town Clerk.
B. 
The Architectural Review Board shall give strong consideration to architectural design and aesthetic considerations, including architectural elevations, facade treatments, building exterior finish and ornamentation, signage, windows, and lighting, in order to convey an attractive appearance and to help restore the hamlet centers to an appearance consistent with that promoted by the design guidelines. For both new structures and replacements, renovations and alterations, the appearance, color, material, texture, and design of structures, including roof pitch and building mass, and the size, shape, location and number of window and door openings shall be reviewed by the Architectural Review Board as to their consistency with the Architectural and Building Form Guidelines and to their compatibility with adjacent buildings so as to avoid unnecessary or inappropriate contrast with surrounding structures.
C. 
The Architectural Review Board may seek architectural review input and advice on the applicant's submission from an architect, engineer or other professional as it deems necessary. The applicant shall be required to establish an escrow account, in an amount to be determined on a case-by-case basis by the ARB, for the purpose of covering the Town's cost for said consulting services.
D. 
In exercising its authority, the Board shall consider costs of materials, availability of materials, and the needs and objectives of the project sponsor. The Board shall make every reasonable effort to find a means of achieving the applicant's goals in conformance with the purposes of this article. Where the ARB has objections to a proposal, it shall make every effort to work with the applicant in developing an economically feasible plan to address the ARB's objections.
A. 
Authority of the Board. The Board may either approve, approve subject to specific modifications or submission of additional data or material, or disapprove the proposed exterior architectural features of the construction, additions, alterations or remodeling.
B. 
Approval. Approval shall be based upon a finding that the proposed construction, additions, alterations or remodeling meets the adopted guidelines set forth in the Architectural Review and Building Form Guidelines.
C. 
Approval subject to modifications. Approval with modifications shall be based on a finding that the exterior architectural features of the proposed construction, additions, alterations or remodeling would meet the guidelines set forth in the Architectural and Building Form Guidelines if certain modifications were made, or that the ARB requires additional data or material to grant approval to the proposed project. The findings shall set forth the specific modifications necessary to meet such guidelines, and/or the specific data or material required to satisfy the Board's requirements.
D. 
Disapproval. Disapproval shall be based on a finding that one or more exterior architectural features fail to meet the guidelines of the Architectural and Building Form Guidelines, and cannot be altered to meet such guidelines by one or more particular modifications. Disapproval may also be made if the applicant has failed to submit reasonably necessary elevations, renderings, samples or specifications sufficient to enable the Board to review the application.
E. 
Coordination with Planning Board on site plan reviews.
(1) 
The ARB is not required to hold a separate public hearing on the application for architectural approval. However, during the Planning Board hearing, the public is entitled to comment on any issues relating to the architectural elements of the site plan, and any such comments shall be noted in the minutes and immediately transmitted by the Planning Board Secretary to the Architectural Review Board.
(2) 
The ARB shall promptly submit comments to the Planning Board concerning the visual impact issues and any other environmental issues relating to the architectural features. Where practicable, the ARB may also forward informal comments to the Planning Board on any review that the ARB has undertaken. All such comments should be submitted to the Planning Board prior to the close of the public hearing.
F. 
Time for decision.
(1) 
The ARB shall not issue a final decision on the application until after the close of any Planning Board public hearing on the site plan, so that any public comments may be transmitted, and a negative declaration or SEQR findings have been issued by the Planning Board as lead agency, or until the ARB has made its own SEQR determination, if there is an uncoordinated review or the action is not subject to Planning Board review.
(2) 
The ARB shall render its decision within 31 days after the close of the public hearing on the site plan, for projects that also require site plan review. Where the project does not require site plan review, the ARB shall act within 62 days of referral of the full application, including architectural elevations. If the applicant does not submit reasonably necessary elevations or other reasonably necessary documents at the outset, the sixty-two-day period shall not begin to run until such elevations and other documents are submitted.
(3) 
If the ARB shall fall to act within the time periods set forth above, then it shall be deemed to have approved the application, unless the applicant shall have requested or agreed to an extension of time for the ARB review.
G. 
Filing of decision. The decision of the ARB shall be filed in the office of the Town Clerk within 10 business days after such decision is rendered, and a copy thereof mailed to the applicant.
H. 
Expiration of approval. ARB approval shall expire one year from the date of approval, unless an extension is granted by the ARB at the request of the applicant prior to the expiration. Only one six-month extension shall be permitted. When recommendations are made by the ARB upon referral from the Planning Board, the expiration of approval will be at the discretion of the Planning Board.
A. 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall not issue any permit, including a building permit, seasonal operating permit, operating permit or a certificate of occupancy, for any construction, additions, alterations or remodeling, the architectural features of which have not been approved, or which have been disapproved by the ARB. The Code Enforcement Officer may approve a building permit for proposed construction, additions, alterations or remodeling conditionally approved by the ARB, or grant a seasonal operating permit, as soon as the conditions specified in such conditional approval have been fulfilled, provided that the proposed construction, additions, alterations or remodeling otherwise qualifies for a building permit. The Code Enforcement Officer may issue a building permit for proposed construction, additions, alterations or remodeling approved by the ARB, provided that it otherwise qualifies for a building permit. The Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a building permit for proposed construction, additions, alterations or remodeling which have been referred to the ARB for review and on which such ARB has failed to act within the time periods set forth in the preceding section, provided that the proposed construction, additions, alterations or remodeling otherwise qualifies for a building permit.
B. 
Where the proposed project or construction requires site plan approval, the Planning Board Chair shall not sign the site plan until the ARB has issued an approval, or approval subject to conditions.
If at any time, either before or after the issuance of a building permit, operating permit, seasonal operating permit or certificate of occupancy, the applicant proposes to change any element of the approval ARB architectural features, including change in design, color, texture, material, addition or deletion of architectural elements, or any changes to the building footprint, then the applicant shall submit a request for modification of the ARB approval to the Code Enforcement Officer, who shall immediately forward it to the ARB Chair. The review for a modification shall generally follow the same procedures as above, but the Code Enforcement Officer and the ARB shall make every effort to expedite the review. Nothing herein shall exempt an applicant from obtaining an amended site plan approval, if amended site plan approval is required. The Code Enforcement Officer shall not issue any permits, including building permits, seasonal operating permits, operating permits or certificates of occupancy, for construction, additions, alterations or remodeling which includes exterior architectural features other than those approved by the ARB, until an amended approval has been obtained to authorize the change.
Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Architectural Review Board, or any officer, department, board or bureau of the Town, may apply to the Supreme Court for review by a proceeding under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules. Such proceedings shall be instituted within 30 days after the filing of a decision by the Board in the office of the Town Clerk, as further provided in Town Law § 274-a, Subdivision 11.
A. 
No building permit, seasonal operating permit, operating permit or certificate of occupancy shall be issued until the applicant shows compliance with this article.
B. 
No construction shall take place except as approved by the ARB pursuant to the provisions of this article.
C. 
Any person or corporation who violates this article, or who engages in construction without obtaining the required approval of the Architectural Review Board or Code Enforcement Officer as required in this article, or who engages in construction contrary to the provisions and conditions of the ARB approval, or any person who uses or operates business in any building or structure constructed in violation of the provisions or conditions of any ARB approval or building permit as required by this article shall be liable, upon conviction, to be fined up to $500 for each offense. Each and every week that such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
D. 
Nothing in this article shall be construed as depriving the Town or the Town Board of any other available remedy, either of a civil or criminal nature, as provided by law.