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Town of Austerlitz, NY
Columbia County
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A. 
Intent. Sites to be developed shall be of such character that they can be used for the proposed purposes without danger to the public health or safety or peril from fire, flood or other causes. The proposed development shall be visually compatible with the character of the community to the extent feasible. Mitigation of visual incompatibility, such as screening, may be required to prevent uses from detracting from adjoining uses.
B. 
Standards. Site development shall comply with the following requirements and with all applicable federal, state and local laws and any road maintenance agreement:
(1) 
Adequate and safe vehicular movement between site and street network.
(2) 
Safe and adequate on-site vehicular movement.
(3) 
Sites should have year-round accessibility, including adequate accessibility for emergency vehicles.
(4) 
Environmentally sensitive areas shall be protected, and adverse impacts avoided or mitigated.
(5) 
Adequate stormwater and drainage facilities, with all drainage conveyance systems designed for a twenty-five-year storm event.
(6) 
Appropriate protection of or mitigation of adverse impacts to adjacent uses, particularly residential uses, through landscaping, vegetative and other screening, buffering, planting and methods of construction.
(7) 
Avoidance or mitigation of dangerous or hazardous activities.
C. 
Lot development criteria.
(1) 
Sites shall be able to adequately accommodate on-site waste treatment and water facilities.
(2) 
Environmental considerations. Applicants shall avoid development in areas where the following conditions are present:
(a) 
Slopes greater than 15%.
(b) 
High groundwater (seasonal or permanent).
(c) 
Soil with excessively slow or fast percolation.
(d) 
Flood hazard areas.
(e) 
State-regulated freshwater wetlands, streams and other bodies of water.
(3) 
Access standards. The applicant shall obtain any necessary curb-cut permits from the jurisdiction permitting authority, e.g., state, county or Town highway departments. In addition, the site plan must meet the requirements established by the Town for driveways and private roads.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 160, Art. I, Street Specifications.
A. 
General. Any person, before undertaking any new land use activity at any location within the Town for which this chapter requires a site plan, shall submit a site plan, together with the appropriate supporting data, to the Secretary of the Planning Board.
B. 
Preapplication procedure.
(1) 
Sketch plan. The applicant is strongly encouraged to create a sketch plan of his/her proposal. The sketch plan should include a representative plan and a USGS topographical map showing the location of the building site and its relationship to the surrounding area.
(2) 
Sketch plan conference.
(a) 
The applicant is also encouraged to meet with the Planning Board to discuss the sketch plan prior to submission of a site plan. This informal meeting is intended to prevent unnecessary expenses to the applicant. The Planning Board will review the sketch plan and list all information needed by the applicant to complete the site plan review process. The conference would also include a discussion of the applicability of the site plan review and approval procedure to the intended proposal.
(b) 
Applicants may dispense with the informal meeting and present to the Secretary of the Planning Board a final site plan. The final site plan must be submitted at least 10 days prior to the Planning Board's regular scheduled meeting.
(3) 
Board determinations. The Planning Board shall take one of three actions:
(a) 
Determine that the project is limited in scope and is compatible with site and building design characteristics, thus requiring no further review under this chapter. Such determination may be restricted to applications, including the establishment of uses with any existing structures or the limited modifications of existing uses and structures, where no substantial site improvements are either required or proposed;
(b) 
Determine that the project requires further review under this chapter, based upon the project scope, land use, site and building design characteristics, and advise the applicant of site plan submission requirements in accordance with the provisions of this chapter; or
(c) 
Require additional sketch plan information prior to making a determination regarding the applicability of the site plan review and approval procedure.
C. 
Site plan submission requirements.
(1) 
Each application for site plan review shall be submitted to the Secretary of the Planning Board 10 days prior to the Planning Board's regular scheduled meeting. The submission shall include the application, signed by the current owner or representative thereof; three copies of the site plan, with information as outlined below; a long-form environmental assessment form (EAF); and the appropriate fee.
(2) 
All site plans shall be prepared by a registered professional engineer, architect, or landscape architect, duly licensed in the State of New York, unless this requirement is waived by the Planning Board because of the simplicity of the proposal.
(3) 
Site plans shall be drawn at a scale of one inch equals 40 feet, or such other scale as the Planning Board may deem appropriate, on standard twenty-four-inch by thirty-six-inch sheets, with continuation on eight-and-one-half-inch by eleven-inch sheets as necessary for written information or as may otherwise be required by the Planning Board. The site plan shall contain the following:
(a) 
Title of the plan, including the name and address of the applicant and owner, and seal of the engineer, architect or landscape architect.
(b) 
Boundaries, date, North arrow, and scale of the plan.
(c) 
Location, type of construction and proposed use of all existing and proposed structures within the property, including all dimensions of height and floor area, all exterior entrances, and all anticipated future additions and alterations.
(d) 
The location and contours of all present and proposed public and private ways, off-street parking areas, driveways, sidewalks, outdoor storage areas, ramps, curbs, paths, landscaping, walls, and fences.
(e) 
The location, type and screening details for all waste disposal containers.
(f) 
The location, height, intensity, and bulb type (sodium, incandescent, etc.) of all external lighting fixtures and the direction of illumination and methods to eliminate glare onto adjoining properties and roadways.
(g) 
The location, height, size, materials and design of all proposed signs.
(h) 
The location of all present and proposed utility systems, including:
[1] 
Sewage and septic system.
[2] 
Water supply system.
[3] 
Telephone, cable, and electrical systems.
[4] 
Storm drainage system, including existing and proposed drain lines, culverts, catch basins, headwalls, end walls, hydrants, manholes, and drainage swales, with all elevations.
(i) 
Areas shall be indicated within the proposed site and within 50 feet of the proposed site where soil removal or filling is required, showing the approximate volume in cubic yards.
(j) 
For new construction or alterations to any structure, a table containing the following information shall be included:
[1] 
Estimated area of structure to be used for particular uses, such as retail operation, office, storage, etc.
[2] 
Estimated maximum number of employees.
[3] 
Maximum seating capacity, where applicable.
[4] 
Number of parking spaces existing and required for the intended use.
(k) 
Traffic flow patterns within the site, entrances and exits, loading and unloading areas, and curb cuts on the site and within 100 feet of the site.
(l) 
Location of fire lanes and other emergency zones, including the location of fire hydrants, if required.
(m) 
Location and development of all proposed buffered areas, including indication of existing and proposed vegetative cover.
(n) 
Plans for disposal of construction and demolition waste, either on site or at an approved disposal facility.
(o) 
Record of applications and approval status of all necessary permits from federal, state, county and local offices.
(p) 
Proposed project construction schedule.
(q) 
Other elements integral to the proposed development as may be specified by the Planning Board at the sketch plan conference.
D. 
Additional requirements. In addition to the above, the Board may require the applicant to submit additional information to aid in rendering a decision. Additional information may include, but is not limited to:
(1) 
A detailed traffic study which shall include:
(a) 
The projected number of motor vehicle trips to enter or leave the site, estimated for daily and peak-hour traffic levels.
(b) 
The projected traffic flow pattern, including vehicular movement, at all major intersections likely to be affected by the proposed use of the site.
(c) 
The impact of this traffic upon existing abutting public and private ways in relation to existing road capacities.
(d) 
Existing and proposed daily and peak-hour traffic levels, as well as road capacity levels, shall also be given.
(2) 
On-site testing for water quantity and/or quality.
(3) 
A study to review the potential for air pollution when the proposed use is identified as releasing possible pollutants.
(4) 
Soil logs, percolation test results, and storm runoff calculations.
(5) 
A study to indicate the project's impact on groundwater and adjacent water sources, including ponds, lakes, wetlands, watercourses, aquifers, floodplains, and drainage retention areas.
(6) 
A landscape plan showing all existing natural features that may affect or be impacted by the design of the proposed use, such as rock outcrops, single trees eight or more inches in diameter, forest cover, and water sources, and all proposed changes to these features.
(7) 
Plans to prevent the pollution of surface water or groundwater, erosion of soil both during and after construction, excessive runoff, excessive raising or lowering of the water table, and flooding of other properties, as applicable.
(8) 
When it deems it appropriate, and for all site plan applications under § 195-20, the Planning Board shall refer the application to the Fire Chief of the appropriate fire district to review the plan for potential fire-protection issues and access by emergency vehicles.
E. 
Specifications of materials submitted.
(1) 
Site map.
(a) 
This shall be drawn on a scale of 100 feet to one inch or larger and shall show existing and proposed topography at ten-foot contours, or such other contour as the Planning Board shall specify. All elevations shall refer to the nearest United States Coast and Geodetic Survey benchmark. If any portion of the parcel is within a one-hundred-year floodplain, the area will be shown, and base flood elevations given.
(b) 
The site map shall also show the site area and any pertinent natural features that may affect or be impacted by the proposed use, such as watercourses, swamps, wetlands, wooded areas, areas subject to flooding, etc.
(c) 
NOTE: Contour intervals of one or two feet may be appropriate for maps of specific features, such as grading and drainage plans, parking areas, and building locations.
(2) 
Development plan. The development plan shall show the proposed development, drawn to a scale of one inch to 50 feet or larger. The development plan shall illustrate the location of all existing or proposed site improvements, including drains, culverts, retaining walls and fencing; provide a description and show the location of sewage and water facilities; and show the location of all signs, location of proposed buffer areas, design of lighting facilities, all automobile parking and all parking for commercial vehicles while loading and unloading and the location and width of all driveways, exits and entrances.
(3) 
Vicinity map. A vicinity map shall show the relationship of the proposal to existing community facilities which affect or serve it, such as roads, shopping areas, schools, historical sites, etc. The map shall also show all properties, subdivisions, streets, rights-of-way and easements within 500 feet of the property. Such a sketch may be superimposed on a United States Geological Survey map of the area.
(4) 
Elevation and/or sections. Elevations and/or sections illustrating front, rear, and side profiles drawn to the same or larger scale as the site plan may be required by the Planning Board. The elevation and/or sections shall clearly delineate the bulk and height of all buildings and other permanent structures in the proposal, including the dimensions and height of any proposed signs.
(5) 
Engineering plans.
(a) 
The Planning Board may require engineering plans to illustrate and describe different aspects of a project, such as road improvements, drainage system, grading plan, public or private utilities systems, sewer and water facilities, and other supporting data.
(b) 
Coincident to preparing any such plans, the applicant shall provide the Board with an estimate of the total cost of site improvements. The Planning Board may refer the plans to the Town Engineer for review and comments.
F. 
The site plan and related maps shall include all proposed phases of development. Site plan approval shall be based on the total planned project in order to facilitate the assessment of all potential development impacts.
G. 
The Planning Board shall deem applications to be incomplete where there is reason to believe the application applies only to a segment of the total planned development. In such situations, the Planning Board shall return such application to the applicant, together with a letter stating the basis for its determination.
A. 
The Planning Board shall begin the site plan review process upon determining that it has a properly completed site plan application with the information necessary to commence review. Nothing contained herein shall preclude the Planning Board from requesting additional information necessary for its review.
B. 
Less intensive review. The Planning Board may conduct a less intensive review of applications that have little or no adverse impacts on neighboring properties and uses. Certain requirements of § 195-30 may be waived where any such requirements are found not to be requisite in the interests of the public health, safety or general welfare or inappropriate to a particular site plan. The Planning Board shall state, in writing, its grounds for waiving certain such requirements and file such statement along with the site plan application and supporting documents.
C. 
Referrals to other agencies.
(1) 
Coordinated review. The Planning Board may refer the site plan for review and comment to local, county, state or federal officials or their designated representatives, including, but not limited to, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the State or County Department of Health, whichever has jurisdiction.
(2) 
Required referral. Prior to final action on the site plan, and where applicable, the Planning Board shall refer the plan to the Columbia County Planning Board for review and approval pursuant to § 239-m of the General Municipal Law. If the application requires a § 239-m review by the County Planning Board, the Planning Board shall mail a notice of the public hearing to the County Planning Board at least 10 days in advance of the public hearing.
D. 
SEQRA compliance.
(1) 
After an application for site plan approval has been accepted, the applicant shall demonstrate compliance with all requirements of the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act[1] prior to site plan approval.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Art. 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law.
(2) 
The Planning Board shall classify the application according to the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act and shall review the environmental assessment form and decide as follows:
(a) 
If additional information is needed to render a determination of significance, the Planning Board will specify exactly what the applicant needs to supply;
(b) 
If the information is provided and the project is identified as having small to moderate impacts with little significance, then a negative declaration can be given; or
(c) 
If an action has been identified as having a large and significant impact, then a positive declaration shall be determined, and an environmental impact statement will be required.
E. 
Public hearing on site plan. The Planning Board shall hold a public hearing within 62 days of receipt of a complete application. This time period may be extended by written consent of the applicant and the Planning Board. The Planning Board shall mail notice of the public hearing to the applicant at least 10 days before the public hearing and shall advertise the public hearing in the Town's official paper at least five days prior to the date of the hearing. If the application also requires § 239-m review[2] by the County Planning Board, the Planning Board shall mail a notice of the public hearing to the County Planning Board 10 days prior to the public hearing.
[2]
Editor's Note: See General Municipal Law § 239-m.
F. 
Planning Board determination. The Planning Board shall make a decision on the application within 62 days after holding a public hearing. If no public hearing is held, a decision on the application shall be made within 62 days of the determination by the Planning Board that the application is complete. The time within which the Planning Board must render a decision may be extended by mutual agreement of the applicant and the Planning Board. The Planning Board shall render its decision to either approve, approve with conditions or modifications, or disapprove the site plan. The decision of the Planning Board shall be filed in the office of the Town Clerk immediately, and a copy mailed to the applicant.
(1) 
Approval. Upon approval of the site plan and payment by the applicant of all fees and reimbursable costs due to the Town, the Planning Board shall endorse its approval on a copy of the site plan and shall file the site plan and a written statement of approval with the Town Clerk. A copy of the written statement of approval shall also be sent to the Code Enforcement Officer.
(2) 
Approval with conditions or modifications. The Planning Board may approve the site plan and require that specific conditions be observed or attained, or that modifications be made and noted on or appended to the site plan. A copy of the written statement of approval describing modifications required by the Planning Board shall be mailed to the applicant. Upon approval, and after payment by the applicant of all fees and reimbursable costs to the Town, the Planning Board shall endorse its approval on a copy of the site plan and shall file the site plan and a written statement of approval with modifications with the Town Clerk. A copy of the written statement of approval with modifications shall also be sent to the Code Enforcement Officer.
(3) 
Disapproval. Upon disapproval of the site plan, the decision of the Planning Board shall be filed with the Town Clerk, and a copy thereof mailed to the applicant, along with a letter stating the Planning Board's reasons for disapproval. A copy of the written statement of disapproval shall also be sent to the Code Enforcement Officer.
G. 
Extension of time to render decision. The time period in which the Planning Board must render its decision on the site plan may be extended by mutual agreement of the applicant and the Planning Board. Failure of the Planning Board to act within the time period specified or agreed upon between the applicant and the Planning Board shall not constitute Planning Board approval of the site plan as submitted or last amended.
H. 
Time limits and time extensions.
(1) 
The construction or installation of any improvements or facilities, other than roads, for which a guarantee has been made by the applicant in the form of a bond or certified check deposit shall be completed within the time provided therefor in the approval of the site plan, or if no time is so designated, within one year from the date of approval of said site plan.
(2) 
Road improvements shall be completed within two years from the date of approval of the site plan.
(3) 
The applicant may be granted an extension of time of up to six months to complete such improvements, provided the applicant can show reasonable cause for inability to perform said improvements within the required time.
I. 
Inspections and fees. At least five days prior to commencing work on any portion of an approved site plan, the applicant shall pay to the Town Clerk the required inspection fee. Throughout the duration of all work on the project, the Code Enforcement Officer shall conduct periodic inspections to insure conformity to the approved site plan and applicable law.
J. 
Performance guarantees for phased development. Phased development projects are larger projects which are completed in phases. The Planning Board may request that the applicant deposit a separate bond or certified check for each phase of development. In this event, 5% of the performance bond or check shall be withheld from the applicant until 60 days following the completion, inspection, and acceptance by the Town of all construction and installation covered by such deposit.
K. 
Schedule of improvements for phased development.
(1) 
When the applicant has provided the performance guarantee, the Town and the applicant shall establish a written work schedule of all phases of the project, indicating the cost of each phase. As each phase is completed, the applicant shall so notify the Code Enforcement Officer in writing. The inspector will then take one of two actions:
(a) 
Advise the Planning Board, in writing, that the phase has been completed in conformity to the approved plan; or
(b) 
Advise the applicant, in writing, that the work has not been satisfactorily completed, and outline steps to be taken to achieve the required conformity.
(2) 
If the work of a particular phase has been completed satisfactorily, the Town may release the appropriate portion of the performance guarantee or, if the work is subject to a warranty or demonstration period, may delay release of that portion up to one year following the completion of the entire project. If work is not completed satisfactorily, the applicant shall act to bring the phase into conformity with the site plan approval before commencing work on the next phase of development.