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Town of Austerlitz, NY
Columbia County
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A. 
Table A establishes certain lot dimensions, minimum lot sizes, setbacks and maximum building heights. By establishing minimum lot sizes in the three districts, the dimensional requirements provide for open space and prevent the small-lot, suburban-type subdivision which is out of character with the Town. The relatively smaller lot sizes (one to two acres) are generally consistent with current development in the Town and promote the creation of more affordable lots.
Table A
Dimensional Requirements
District
A-HM
S-HM
RR
Minimum lot area
1 acre
(43,560 square feet)
1 acre
(43,560 square feet)
2 acres
(87,120 square feet)
Minimum front yard setback (feet)
30
15
30
Minimum side yard setback (feet)
10
10
20
Minimum rear yard setback (feet)
15
15
30
Minimum lot frontage (feet)
50
50
75
Minimum lot width
50
50
100
Maximum building height (feet)
40
40
40
B. 
The sliding scale density concept created in Table B applies to the RR District and allows for the subdivision of existing lots into smaller lots and requires the density in subdivisions of larger lots to be lower, thus preserving open space. The density requirements in Table B apply solely to the RR District and are mandatory on all persons seeking to subdivide four or more acres in the RR District.
Table B
Size of Parent Parcel
(acres)
Maximum Number of Lots
4 to equal to or less than 6
2
Greater than 6 to equal to or less than 12
3
Greater than 12 to equal to or less than 20
4
Greater than 20 to equal to or less than 30
5
Greater than 30 to equal to or less than 42
6
Greater than 42 to equal to or less than 56
7
Greater than 56 to equal to or less than 72
8
Greater than 72 to equal to or less than 90
9
Greater than 90
Must average a minimum of 10 acres/lot
C. 
Table C adds the option to the subdivider in the RR District of lots more than 30 acres to obtain a greater density if the subdivider agrees to maintain 50% or more of the parcel as open space. This option would also create much smaller lots on the developed portion, thus promoting the opportunity for more affordable lots.
Table C: Open Space Bonus Table
Range of Size of Parent Parcel
(acres)
Additional Number of Bonus Developable Lots
Greater than 30 to equal to or less than 42
1
Greater than 42 to equal to or less than 56
2
Greater than 56 to equal to or less than 72
3
Greater than 72 to equal to or less than 90
4
Greater than 90
5
D. 
Parcels of land subdivided after the effective date of this chapter may not be further subdivided in a manner to create a greater number of subdivided lots than would be permitted with the original subdivision of the parent parcel under this chapter. In the event a subdivider creates less than the maximum number of lots permitted under Table B or C, the subdivider shall, at the time of subdivision, assign the rights to further subdivide properties to the various originally subdivided parcels. Nothing herein shall preclude the owners of the subdivided rights from transferring the future subdivision rights to another parcel from the original subdivision, provided that the parcel meets the minimum size requirements of this chapter.
A. 
General requirements.
(1) 
The provisions of this section shall be available to a subdivider as an option and may not be mandated by the Planning Board. Applicants using this section are eligible for a developmental bonus. The open space bonus lots are listed in Table C.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 195-15C.
(2) 
In reviewing an application under this section, the Planning Board shall not approve applications and grant bonuses that will result in greater impacts to the health, safety or general welfare of persons residing in the vicinity, or are injurious to property in close proximity to the subdivided parcel, than compared to conventional subdivisions.
(3) 
This section only applies to residential subdivisions.
(4) 
A minimum of 50% of the total parcel size must be set aside in a contiguous parcel as open space to be used as provided in Subsection B.
(5) 
Calculation of the 50% open space lot shall not include any parking areas, driveways, roads or building footprints on the open space lot.
(6) 
In order to allow for variation in lot sizes and promote cluster development, the minimum lot size of developable lots is reduced from two acres to one acre.
B. 
Use of open space parcel.
(1) 
If the open space parcel is to be owned by a private owner, the lot shall be placed under a conservation easement held by a recognized land conservancy or trust. If the subdivider is unable to place the conservation easement with a land conservancy or trust, the subdivider may offer the conservation easement to the Town, which the Town Board must agree to accept before final plat approval of the subdivision. All conservation easements under this subsection shall contain the following conditions:
(a) 
The open space lot may not have more than one primary single-family house and one guesthouse whose size may not be more than 50% of the primary house.
(b) 
The open space lot may not have more than three accessory buildings, such as sheds, detached garages and barns. The Planning Board may waive this requirement for structures existing at the time of the subdivision application.
(c) 
Buildings and structures on the open space lot shall be located on the edges of fields or woodlands to the extent practicable.
(d) 
The open space lot can be used for the septic or wastewater system of the developable lots and for renewable energy resources.
(2) 
If the open space lot is to be owned in common by the owners of the developable lots, the open space lot must be owned by a homeowners' association. The terms of the homeowners' association must be submitted as part of the subdivision application and be approved by the Planning Board.
(3) 
Nothing in this section shall mandate that the open space lot be available for use by the general public.
(4) 
All open space lots may be used for one or more of the following uses:
(a) 
Agricultural uses, including the pasturing of farm animals.
(b) 
Forestry.
(c) 
Ponds.
(d) 
Passive and active recreation uses having a low impact on the environment.
A. 
Except as otherwise provided by this section, accessory structures shall be allowed in all districts, provided that they meet all of the provisions and requirements of this chapter.
B. 
Sheds shall be exempt from the rear and side yard setbacks listed in the dimension table above,[1] but shall not be closer to any property line than 10 feet.
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 195-15A.
C. 
New accessory structures for uses which require site plan approval or a special use permit shall require site plan approval only. Any conditions previously imposed upon the principle specially permitted use shall also apply to the accessory structure unless specifically modified by the Planning Board.
A. 
Where two properties are separated by a district boundary, the larger of the two required yard setbacks (regardless of which type of yard, front, rear or side yard) applies to the adjoining yards of both properties.
B. 
The following structures and building features may encroach up to 10 feet into front yard setbacks in all districts: eaves, cornices, canopies, bay windows, steps, balconies and any other architectural features.
A. 
Ridgelines are found throughout the Town and considered an important visual resource from public roads, parks, state forests and other publicly accessible areas. The purpose of ridgeline protection is to minimize the visual and environmental impacts of development along the ridgelines and maintain vistas along those lines that are unbroken by the placement of houses and other large structures that alter those vistas. The intent of this section is to protect the dominant ridgelines which provide the primary backdrop when viewed from public areas. It is not the intent to regulate or limit development on small hills and rises on a particular parcel.
B. 
All structures shall be sited so that their roofs are located below the ridgeline or hilltop. For all uses requiring site plan approval or a special use permit, the Planning Board shall review the application for compliance with this requirement. For all construction that only requires a building permit, the Code Enforcement Officer shall not approve any plans until the applicant has demonstrated compliance with this requirement. If a person is aggrieved by a decision from the Planning Board or Code Enforcement Officer that his or her property constitutes a ridgeline, that person may appeal that determination to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
C. 
Shrubs, trees, and other indigenous vegetation shall be retained on hillside terrain to help maintain natural drainage swales, reduce erosion and preserve the character of the hillside. Existing vegetation shall be protected from damage during construction, and land clearing shall be kept to a minimum in the area of the ridgeline. Notching out of trees and clear-cutting on a ridgeline is prohibited.
A. 
The development of one- and two-family homes on large lots with long driveways has the potential to cause a significant impact to the character and environment of the Town. Due to the topography of the Town, long driveways frequently result in significant road cuts that materially alter the character of the community and can cause environmental damage, including erosion. Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter, any application to the Code Enforcement Officer for a permit for a one- or two-family home on a lot with a driveway in excess of 500 feet in length shall be referred to the Planning Board for site plan approval.
B. 
The Planning Board's review under this section shall seek to minimize clearing, road cuts and steep grades and shall assure proper measures are in place for erosion and sediment control during construction and stormwater control after completion of construction.