Town of Kinderhook, NY
Columbia County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
In considering applications for subdivision of land, the Planning Board shall be guided by the standards set forth hereinafter. The said standards shall be considered to be minimum requirements and shall be waived by the Board only under circumstances set forth in Article VI 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[1] and Comprehensive Plan. Subdivisions shall conform to the Official Map of the Town and shall be in harmony with the Comprehensive Plan.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said map is on file in the Town offices.
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. 
Lot counting rules and segmentation. The Town is concerned that intermittent piecemeal subdivisions of large properties that circumvent major subdivision regulations could have a detrimental impact on the Town's character, preservation of open space and agricultural lands. As of the adoption date of this chapter, if one large parcel has been subdivided four times, and any portion of the original parcel is subdividable, then any subsequent subdivision will cause the entire original parcel to be treated as a major subdivision.
A. 
Width, location and construction. Streets shall be of sufficient width, suitably located and adequately constructed to conform to the Comprehensive Plan 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. The Planning Board shall ensure that construction of new roads is consistent with rural road standards and that emphasis be placed on aesthetics and rural character of these roads.
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. 
Minor streets. Minor streets shall be so laid out that their use by through traffic will be discouraged.
D. 
Special treatment along major arterial streets. When a subdivision abuts or contains an existing or proposed major arterial street, the Board may require marginal access streets, reverse frontage with screen planting contained in a nonaccess 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 this chapter.
F. 
Dead-end streets. The Town of Kinderhook discourages the creation of dead-end or loop residential streets. However, the creation of dead-end streets will be allowed where the use of a grid or modified grid system of streets is not applicable due to existing physical constraints on the site. In the case of dead-end streets, where needed, 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,[1] if such exists, or streets on an approved subdivision plat for which a bond has been filed.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said map is on file in the Town offices.
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 arterial roads. Minor or secondary street openings into such roads 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. Where 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,[1] if such exists, the classification of streets shall be determined by the Board.)
Type of Street
Right-of-way Minimum
(feet)
Pavement Minimum
(feet)
Major
60
35
Collector
55
22
Local
50
20
[1]
Editor's Note: Said map is on file in the Town offices.
B. 
Improvements. Streets shall be graded and improved with pavements, curbs and gutters, sidewalks, storm drainage 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. For collector and local roads, the shoulder width should be three feet on two sides in gravel or grass.
(1) 
Fire hydrants. Installation of fire hydrants shall be in conformity with all requirements of standard thread and nut as specified by the New York Fire Insurance Rating Organization and the Division of Fire Safety of the State of New York.
(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 joint approval by the appropriate power company and the Town Planning Board. Streetlights shall use full cutoff, shielded fixtures to reduce glare. Period-style street fixtures, consistent with the rural nature of the Town, may be required by the Planning Board for commercial developments.
C. 
Utilities in streets. The Planning Board shall, wherever possible, require that underground utilities and electrical wires 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 minor streets in residential zones, 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 to 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 right-of-way lines at intersections shall be rounded by curves of at least a twenty-foot radius, and curbs shall be adjusted accordingly.
H. 
Steep grades and curves; visibility at 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 a new street with an existing street) which is shown shaded on Sketch A[2] 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.
[2]
Editor's Note: Sketch A is on file in the Town offices.
I. 
Dead-end streets (culs-de-sac). Where dead-end streets are allowed, they should, in general, not exceed 500 feet in length and shall terminate in a circular turnaround having a minimum right-of-way radius of 40 feet and a pavement radius of 30 feet. At the end of temporary dead-end streets, a temporary turnaround with a pavement radius of 50 feet shall be provided, unless the Planning Board approves an alternate arrangement.
J. 
Watercourses.
(1) 
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 a design approved by the Town Engineer.
(2) 
Where a subdivision is traversed by a watercourse, drainageway channel or stream, there shall be provided a stormwater 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 minor 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.
N. 
Sewer and septic. Each proposed lot within a subdivision must be suitable for an individual septic system, pursuant to state law as implemented by the Columbia County Department of Health.
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 arrangement shall be such that, in constructing a building in compliance with Chapter 250, Zoning, there will be no foreseeable difficulties for reasons of topography or other natural conditions. Lots should not be of such depth as to encourage the later creation of a second building lot at the front or rear. No parcel shall be created so as to be unbuildable for either residential or commercial uses.
B. 
Setbacks in a conservation subdivision. The minimum setback shall be 35 feet.
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. All new driveways shall be designed to provide safe ingress and egress to the public. This includes consideration of sight distances, grades, drainage and winter conditions. All driveways shall conform to the following standards:
[Amended 4-9-2007 by L.L. No. 4-2007]
(1) 
Sight distance: 500 feet in both directions or as approved by the Town Highway Superintendent.
(2) 
Grades. All driveways shall be sloped away from the public road to which they connect at 1 1/2% for 25 feet from the edge of the pavement. The maximum slope within 25 feet of the public road to which the driveway connects shall be 3%. The average slope of a driveway shall not exceed 10%, and the maximum slope shall not exceed 12%. Any driveway section that has a twelve-percent slope shall not be longer than 200 feet. The combination of steep slopes and curves shall be avoided.
(3) 
Curves. Driveway curves shall be no less than 60 feet in radius.
(4) 
Surface width. The traveled surface shall be 12 feet in width to allow access for emergency vehicles.
(5) 
Drainage. All driveways shall be properly graded with drainage swales and culverts sized to handle the anticipated runoff from a ten-year storm event.
(6) 
For all driveways which have an average slope of 5% or greater, the subdivider shall submit a profile, drawn to scale, for review and approval by the Planning Board.
E. 
Access from private streets. Access from private streets shall be deemed acceptable only if such streets are designed and improved in accordance with this chapter.
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.
G. 
Lot width and area variation. Lot areas and lot widths in conservation subdivisions shall vary at random, to the maximum extent possible, in order to eliminate the appearance of a standard subdivision.
H. 
Building envelopes. For conventional subdivisions, the Planning Board shall ensure that the building envelope is placed, to the maximum extent practicable, to preserve scenic views and open space in the subdivision.
A. 
Removal of springwater and surface water. The subdivider may be required by the Planning Board to carry away, by pipe or open ditch, any springwater 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 250, Zoning, in the watershed.
C. 
Responsibility for drainage downstream. The subdivider's engineer shall also study the effect of such 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 shall be improved in a manner satisfactory to the Planning Board to remedy said hazardous conditions.
E. 
Erosion and sedimentation control. The Planning Board shall ensure that erosion and sedimentation, with its resulting negative impacts on water quality, are minimized. The applicant shall demonstrate to the Planning Board that the following measures are employed in development of the site:
(1) 
Minimization of site alteration/land clearing.
(a) 
Site/building design shall preserve natural topography outside of the development footprint to reduce unnecessary land disturbance and to preserve natural drainage channels on the site.
(b) 
Clearing for utility trenching shall be limited to the minimum area necessary to maneuver a backhoe or other construction equipment. Roots should be cut cleanly rather than pulled or ripped out during utility trenching.
(c) 
Tunneling for utilities installation should be utilized wherever feasible to protect root systems of trees.
(2) 
Minimization of cut and fill in site development.
(a) 
Development envelopes for structures, driveways, wastewater disposal, lawn areas and utility work shall be designated to limit clearing and grading.
(b) 
Other efforts to minimize the clearing and grading on a site associated with construction activities shall be employed, such as parking of construction vehicles, offices/trailers, stockpiling of equipment/materials, etc., in areas already planned for permanent structures.
(c) 
Topsoil shall not be stockpiled in areas of protected trees, wetlands, and/or their vegetated buffers.
(d) 
Finished grades should be limited to no greater than a 2:1 slope, while preserving, matching, or blending with the natural contours and undulations of the land to the greatest extent possible.
(3) 
Employment of proper site management techniques during construction.
(a) 
Best management practices shall be employed to avoid detrimental impacts to existing vegetation, soil compaction, and damage to root systems.
(b) 
The extent of a site exposed at any one time shall be limited through phasing of construction operations. Effective sequencing shall occur within the boundaries of natural drainage areas.
(4) 
Protection of the site during construction through adequate erosion and sedimentation controls.
(a) 
Temporary or permanent diversions, berms, grassed waterways, special culverts, shoulder dikes or such other mechanical measures as are necessary may be required by the Board to intercept and divert surface water runoff. Runoff flow shall not be routed through areas of protected vegetation or revegetated slopes and other areas. Temporary runoff from erosion and sedimentation controls shall be directed to best management practices, such as vegetated swales. Retaining walls may be required where side slopes are steeper than a ratio of 2:1.
(b) 
Erosion and sedimentation controls shall be constructed in accordance with the standards found in the publications:
[1] 
Guidelines for Urban Erosion and Sediment Control, New York 1991;
[2] 
Reducing the Impacts of Stormwater Runoff From New Development, New York State DEC, Bureau of Water Quality Management, 1992;
[3] 
Controlling Agricultural Nonpoint Source Water Pollution in New York State: A Guide to Selection of Best Management Practices to Improve and Protect Water Quality, New York State DEC, Division of Water, Bureau of Technical Services and Research, 1991;
[4] 
SPDES general permit for stormwater discharges from construction activities, New York State DEC, Division of Water, 1993; and
[5] 
Individual Residential Wastewater Treatment Systems Design Handbook, New York State Department of Health, 1996.
(c) 
Erosion control measures shall include the use of erosion control matting, mulches and/or temporary or permanent cover crops. Mulch areas damaged from heavy rainfalls, severe storms and construction activity shall be repaired immediately.
(d) 
Erosion control matting or mulch shall be anchored where plantings are on areas subject to mulch removal by wind or water flows or where side slopes are steeper than 2:1 or exceed 10 feet in height. During the months of October through March, when seeding and sodding may be impractical, anchored mulch may be applied at the Board's discretion.
(e) 
Runoff from impervious surfaces shall be recharged on the site by stormwater infiltration basins, vegetated swales, constructed wetlands or similar systems covered with natural vegetation. Runoff shall not be discharged directly to rivers, streams, or other surface water bodies. Dry wells shall be used only where other methods are not feasible. All such basins and wells shall be preceded by oil, grease, and sediment traps. The mouths of all catch basins shall be fitted with filter fabric during the entire construction process to minimize siltation, or such basins shall be designed as temporary siltation basins with provisions made for final cleaning.
(f) 
The applicant shall be required to conduct weekly inspections of all erosion and sedimentation control measures on the site to ensure that they are properly functioning, as well as to conduct inspections after severe storm events.
(5) 
Revegetation of the site immediately after grading.
(a) 
Proper revegetation techniques shall be employed using native plant species, proper seedbed preparation, fertilizer and mulching to protect germinating plants. Revegetation shall occur on cleared sites within seven calendar days of final grading and shall occur during the planting season appropriate to the selected plant species.
(b) 
A minimum of four inches of topsoil shall be placed on all disturbed surfaces which are proposed to be planted.
(c) 
Finished grade shall be no higher than the trunk flare(s) of trees to be retained. If a grade change of six inches or more at the base of the tree is proposed, a retaining wall or tree well may be required.
F. 
Basement elevation standards. The elevation of the bottom of basement footings of new residences shall be no less than two feet above the highest recorded water table level as shown on USGS maps entitled "Altitude of Water Table" or as determined through the evaluation of Town-Engineer-monitored test holes dug on site, whichever footing elevation would be greater. Soil test holes shall not be required if there is adequate elevation change within 100 feet of the foundation which permits footing drains to daylight year round.
[Added 11-14-2005 by L.L. No. 16-2005]
A. 
Recreation areas shown on Town plan. Where a proposed park, playground or open space shown on the Town plan is located in whole or in part in a subdivision, the Board shall require that such area or areas be shown on the plat in accordance with the requirements specified in Subsection B below. 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 Town 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 Board three prints (one on cloth) 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 the said area, giving lengths and bearings of all straight lines, radii, lengths, central angles and tangent distances of all curves.
(2) 
Existing features such as brooks, ponds, clusters of trees, rock outcrops, structures.
(3) 
Existing and, if applicable, proposed changes in grade and contours of the said area and of the area immediately adjacent.
D. 
Waiver of plat designation of 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, a payment to the Town of $5,000 per gross acre of land 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 of this section.
(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 so located 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 improvement. 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 the Planning Board finds there is a need for such improvements.
E. 
School sites. Upon receipt from the School Board of a letter declaring its interest in a school site of a specific size and location within a proposed subdivision, the Planning Board may require a subdivider to set aside such area. Upon the failure of the proper authorities to purchase such school site within 36 months after the date of the approval of the plat, the subdivider, upon application to the Planning Board and approval of such application, shall be relieved of the responsibility of showing such land for public purposes.
F. 
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.
G. 
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 watercourses and waterfalls, beaches, historic spots, vistas and similar irreplaceable assets. The Town of Kinderhook encourages the use of conservation subdivisions to preserve natural features.