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Town of Austerlitz, NY
Columbia County
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This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Zoning Law of the Town of Austerlitz, New York."
A. 
This chapter is adopted pursuant to Article 16 of the Town Law of the State of New York and § 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law in order to protect and promote the health, safety and welfare of the community. The regulations, administrative procedures, enforcement mechanisms and penalties have been prescribed to implement the policies of the Town of Austerlitz Comprehensive Plan, dated August 12, 2004, as may be edited and amended by the Town of Austerlitz.
B. 
Purpose:
(1) 
To provide a flexible system of land use regulation that enables the Town to grow while preserving its most important natural resources and the natural character of the Town.
(2) 
To recognize the unique characteristics of the landscape, the needs of the people of the Town, and the purposes articulated in this article and in the Comprehensive Plan.
(3) 
To maintain existing patterns of mixed-use economic activity by encouraging home occupations and welcoming appropriately scaled business uses throughout the Town.
(4) 
To minimize negative environmental impact of development, especially in visually and environmentally sensitive areas such as higher elevations, scenic viewsheds, steep slopes, erodible soils, stream corridors, wetlands, aquifers, floodplains, and active farmlands.
(5) 
To protect such existing features as wooded areas, ridgelines, agricultural land, waterways, groundwater and surface water supplies, ecological systems, wetlands, and natural vegetation and to maintain areas of contiguous open space in their current undeveloped state in order to preserve the predominantly rural character of the Town.
(6) 
To enable landowners to make beneficial use of their land, provided such use balances the rights of neighboring landowners.
(7) 
To encourage agriculture to continue, diversify and prosper.
(8) 
To provide for a variety of housing opportunities in an effort to encourage affordable housing.
(9) 
To encourage the conservation of energy and the appropriate use of renewable energy resources.
(10) 
To regulate residential density in order to maintain existing settlement patterns, allow reasonable privacy for residences, conserve open space, and accomplish the other purposes enumerated in this article.
A. 
All provisions of this chapter shall be constructed broadly to fulfill the purposes stated in § 195-2 above. Terms defined in Article XV, Word Usage; Definitions, shall be interpreted according to the definitions contained in that article.
B. 
Word usage. For the purposes of this chapter, certain terms and words shall be interpreted to have the following meanings:
(1) 
Words used in the present tense include the future.
(2) 
Words used in the plural include the singular.
(3) 
The word "shall" is mandatory.
(4) 
The word "may" is permissive.
(5) 
The word "Town" shall mean the Town of Austerlitz, New York.
Except as provided herein, no structure shall be erected, moved, altered, rebuilt, or enlarged, nor shall any land or structure be used, designed, or arranged to be used, for any purpose or in any manner except in conformity with all applicable regulations, requirements and restrictions specified in this chapter for the district in which such structure or land is located.
This chapter is not intended to interfere with or abrogate or annul any easement, covenant or other agreement between parties. Wherever the requirements of this chapter are at variance with the requirements of any other lawfully adopted rules, regulations or local laws, the more restrictive or that imposing the higher standards shall govern.