[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Copake as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 7-8-2010 by L.L. No. 4-2010]
The responsible operation of government in today's complex society makes comprehensive detailed and specialized engineering, legal and other consultant review of subdivision, zoning, land use and other permitting applications a necessity. It is hereby determined that the cost of reasonably required engineering, legal or other special consultants to Town of Copake boards, agencies or other permitting authorities should be borne by the applicant(s) for permit approval.
The Town Board, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals or any other Town board, agency or permitting authority is hereby authorized to charge to any applicant an amount for the estimated actual, reasonable and necessary engineering, legal or other consultant review services required in order to properly review an application it.
Estimate and payment of fees. The appropriate Board shall be authorized, on a case-by-case analysis, to require the applicant to establish an escrow account to reimburse the Town of Copake for the legitimate costs of review associated with the application. The funds may be utilized for the paying of professionals qualified to review the required plans, reports and other technical information submitted in support of an application. The initial amount of the establishment of the escrow account shall be determined on a case-by-case basis as is estimated to be reasonable and necessary to cover the cost of the review to be incurred by the Town. All necessary reviewing professionals assisting the Town in such reviews shall provide an estimate of the approximate cost of review services. The Town shall submit an itemized bill to the applicant at least five days prior to any deduction of such amount billed from the escrow account. In the event the applicant objects to any portion of such itemization, payment therefor may not occur unless all parties agree to such itemization. In the event no agreement may be made, the matter shall be submitted to binding arbitration in accordance with the rules and procedure of the American Arbitration Association.
Replenishment of escrow. The board, agency or permitting authority may periodically and at its discretion require the replenishment of the escrow account established hereunder.
Payment before final approval. Any engineering, legal or other consultant review charges imposed hereunder shall be paid in full by the applicant prior to the board, agency, other permitting authority making or required to make any final decision with regard to the subject matter application.
Refund of unused fees. Upon completion of the application and review process, any balance remaining in the escrow account shall be refunded to the applicant within 30 days of the submission and payment of the final bill by the Town and payment in full of all application and approval fees.
The provisions of this article shall be in addition to the provisions of any other general or special law authorizing the imposition of fees or charges on applicants for municipal approvals, but shall supersede any inconsistent provisions of a local law previously adopted by the Town of Copake relating to engineering, legal or other consultant fees except those contained in Telecommunications Facilities and Towers, § 230-5, which shall survive and supersede this article.