Town of Ithaca, NY
Tompkins County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Trailer camps or parks and trailers or mobile homes for occupancy shall be prohibited in all zones except Mobile Home Park Zones and except as follows:
A. 
One mobile home may be placed on a vacant lot in a residence or agricultural zone for use as temporary housing during the construction of a permanent dwelling on said lot for a period not to exceed 18 months, provided that said mobile home shall be occupied by the owner of record of said lot.
(1) 
Such eighteen-month period may be extended by permission of the Board of Appeals, upon good cause shown by the owner of the land on which the mobile home is located, and after a public hearing on same.
(2) 
Said mobile home must be removed upon the completion of construction although the eighteen-month time limit may not have fully expired.
B. 
Upon special approval of the Board of Appeals to be reviewed each year, one mobile home for each property owner shall be permitted in all Agricultural and Low Density Zones, provided that one of the occupants of said mobile home shall be a full-time agricultural employee of the property owner or a bona fide agricultural student doing agricultural work for the property owner.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 270-216, Elder cottages, was repealed 12-11-2017 by L.L. No. 20-2017.
[Amended 2-11-2008 by L.L. No. 4-2008; 3-12-2012 by L.L. No. 2-2012]
A. 
The deposit and removal of fill, including but not limited to soil, sod, loam, sand, gravel, stone or similar materials (hereinafter referred to collectively as "fill") is permitted in all zones, subject to the provisions of this section. In any zone, the deposit or removal of more than 50 cubic yards of fill on any parcel in any one year shall be permitted only upon receipt of an approval pursuant to this section, except in connection with a public work on the property or the removal of silt or other recently accumulated material that blocks a normal flow of a watercourse. In addition, in any zone, the deposit or removal of more than five cubic yards of fill on any parcel in any one year in or within 100 feet of a wetland as defined in this chapter shall be permitted only upon receipt of an approval pursuant to this section.
B. 
For the purposes of this section, movement of fill from one area on a parcel to another location on the parcel shall be considered a deposit and removal and shall be subject to the fill permit requirements of this section if the requisite volume of fill is being moved, unless such activity is an activity specifically excepted from the requirements of this section by the provisions set forth below.
C. 
The following deposits or removals of fill require approvals as set forth in this Subsection C:
(1) 
In any zone except for a Conservation Zone, the deposit or removal of more than 50 but less than 250 cubic yards of fill on any parcel in any one year shall be permitted only upon receipt of approval by the Director of Public Works pursuant to the procedures in Subsection H below.
(2) 
In any zone except for a Conservation Zone, the deposit or removal of 250 cubic yards or more of fill on any parcel in any one year shall be permitted only upon receipt of a special permit from the Planning Board in accordance with the procedures set forth in this chapter.
(3) 
In a Conservation Zone, the deposit or removal of more than 50 cubic yards of fill on any parcel in any one year is permitted only upon receipt of a special permit for same from the Planning Board in accordance with the procedures set forth in this chapter.
(4) 
Notwithstanding the foregoing, in any zone, the deposit or removal of more than five cubic yards of fill on any parcel in any one year in or within 100 feet of a wetland is permitted only upon receipt of a special permit for same from the Planning Board in accordance with the procedures set forth in this chapter.
D. 
In applying for such approval, the applicant shall submit to the Director of Public Works a plan of the proposed project, showing property lines, and adjacent public ways, grades and depths of proposed deposit or removal, soil types or fill types to be deposited or removed, watercourses, wetlands, erosion control during and after construction as required by Chapter 228, Stormwater Management and Erosion and Sediment Control, projected duration of project, proposed regrading and replanting of the property upon completion of the operation, and such other items as the Planning Board or Director of Public Works may require to adequately review the proposed project.
E. 
In those cases requiring a special permit by the Planning Board, the Board shall not act until the Director of Public Works has reviewed such plan and advised the Board that in his professional opinion the plan adequately protects the property and surrounding properties from significant adverse consequences of such deposit or removal, including, when completed, adverse drainage, erosion, visual or other adverse impacts. Before issuing a special permit, the Planning Board shall make the same findings as are required for the opinion of the Director of Public Works. In considering the proposed use the Board shall take into account the distance of the operation from neighboring property and public ways, the possible detriment of such use to the future development of the land in question, and significant nuisance or detriment of the operation to neighboring landowners and to the community as a whole.
F. 
The Board may impose such conditions upon the applicant as it deems necessary to protect the general welfare of the community, which may include a time limit upon operations, standards for performance, and the requirement that a performance bond be posted to insure compliance with the requirements of this chapter and with any further reasonable conditions imposed by the Board.
G. 
(Reserved)
H. 
Proposed deposit or removal of less than 250 cubic yards of fill where approval is required by the Director of Public Works.
(1) 
Where approval of the Director of Public Works is required, the Director of Public Works may grant written approval provided that he or she determines, before issuing the approval, that the proposed plan:
(a) 
Provides for appropriate erosion control during and after construction;
(b) 
Protects against adverse drainage on the subject property and surrounding properties;
(c) 
Provides for appropriate revegetation when necessary;
(d) 
Provides for appropriate slope controls; and
(e) 
Does not adversely affect properties surrounding the designated site both during and after removal or deposit of the fill.
(2) 
The Director of Public Works may impose such reasonable conditions upon the applicant as the Director of Public Works deems necessary to protect the general welfare of the community, which may include a reasonable time limit upon operations, reasonable standards for performance, and the requirement that a performance bond or other security in a reasonable amount be posted to insure compliance with the requirements of this chapter and with any further reasonable conditions imposed by the Director of Public Works.
I. 
The following are excepted from the requirements set forth above:
(1) 
Any normal building operation in connection with a legal building permit, such as excavation, filling, or grading, shall be excepted from the provisions of this section provided, however, that this exception shall apply only where the total amount of material moved from one place to another place on the construction site is less than 700 cubic yards and where the total amount of material removed from the construction site to an off-site location (or brought to the construction site from an off-site location) is less than 500 cubic yards. For the purpose of this section a "construction site" consists of the larger of the following areas:
(a) 
An area of 30,000 square feet in which the proposed construction is to be located; or
(b) 
The area contained within the footprint of the proposed structure plus an additional 50 feet adjacent to the perimeter of the proposed structure.
(2) 
Removal or deposit of fill in connection with the construction of a septic field or septic system on an individual lot pursuant to a permit obtained from the Tompkins County Health Department.
(3) 
Deposit or removal of fill in connection with construction in accordance with a site plan approved by the Town Planning Board, provided that such construction occurs within three years of the final site plan approval. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if fill is being removed to or from another site in the Town, and if the plans for the removal from, or deposit on, such other site were reviewed by the Director of Public Works and the Planning Board was advised of the results of such review and specifically included the proposed disposition of such fill in its approval, no further approval under this section shall be required provided the construction occurs within the time limits set forth above. If the disposition of fill was not specifically approved by the Planning Board in connection with final site plan approval, this exception shall not apply and the applicant shall be required to obtain approval for the deposit or removal of fill relative to such other site in accordance with the terms of this section.
(4) 
Deposit or removal of not more than 500 cubic yards of fill on any parcel in an Agricultural Zone in any three-year period in conjunction with one or more bona fide agricultural uses.
(5) 
Removal or deposit of fill in connection with construction of roads and other facilities in a subdivision approved in accordance with the requirements of the Town of Ithaca Planning Board provided, however, that:
(a) 
Plans for such construction showing in sufficient detail the proposed removal and/or deposit of fill (including, when removal from or deposit on to an off-site location is contemplated, adequate plans of such off-site location showing the required information relative to the disposition or removal of fill to or from same) were submitted to the Planning Board and approved by the Director of Public Works in conjunction with the subdivision approval; or
(b) 
The Planning Board expressly waived the requirement of submission of such drawings and the total amount of fill to be either deposited or removed is less than 500 cubic yards.
No part of any building used as a vehicle repair garage or gasoline service station and no filling pump, lift or other service appliance shall be erected within 25 feet of any residence zone or in any required side yard.
A. 
Purpose. The purpose of these supplemental regulations is to promote health, safety, and the general welfare of the residents of the Town of Ithaca; to provide standards for the safe provision of telecommunications consistent with applicable federal and state regulations; to minimize the total number of telecommunications towers in the community by encouraging shared use of existing and future towers and the use of existing tall buildings and other high structures and by encouraging alternative technologies that would minimize the need for multiple towers; and to minimize adverse visual effects from telecommunications towers by requiring careful siting, visual impact assessment, and appropriate landscaping.
B. 
Special permit, site plan approval and variance. So long as telecommunications facilities are deemed, under New York law, to be a utility, telecommunications facilities may be constructed anywhere in the Town of Ithaca but only if the person seeking to erect same shall have obtained a special permit and site plan approval from the Planning Board in accordance with this section and the other provisions of this chapter governing issuance of special permits and site plan approvals prior to any construction. If the proposed height of the telecommunications facility exceeds the permitted height of structures in the zoning district in which the facility is proposed to be located, notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, a height variance from the Board of Appeals shall also be required. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this subsection, telecommunications facilities meeting the criteria in § 270-219O are subject to the requirements in § 270-219O and are not subject to the other requirements in § 270-219.
[Amended 5-9-2005 by L.L. No. 5-2005]
C. 
General criteria. No special permit or renewal thereof or modification of a current special permit relating to a telecommunications facility shall be authorized by the Planning Board unless it finds that such telecommunications facility:
(1) 
Is necessary to meet current or reasonably expected demands for services;
(2) 
Conforms with all federal and state laws and all applicable rules or regulations promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission (the FCC), Federal Aviation Administration (the FAA), or any other federal agencies having jurisdiction;
(3) 
Is considered a public utility in the State of New York;
(4) 
Is sited, designed and constructed in a manner which minimizes i) visual impact to the extent practical and ii) adverse impacts upon migratory and other birds and other wildlife;
(5) 
Complies with all other requirements of this chapter, unless expressly superseded herein;
(6) 
Is the most appropriate site among those available within the technically feasible area for the location of a telecommunications facility;
(7) 
When including the construction of a tower, such a tower is designed to accommodate future shared use by at least two other telecommunications service providers.
[Amended 5-9-2005 by L.L. No. 5-2005]
D. 
Co-location.
(1) 
The shared use of existing telecommunications facilities or other structures shall be preferred to the construction of new facilities. Any special permit application, renewal or modification thereof shall include proof that reasonable efforts have been made to co-locate within an existing telecommunications facility or upon an existing structure. The application shall include an adequate inventory report specifying existing telecommunications facility sites and structures exceeding 75% of the height of the proposed tower within the search range of the cell grid. The inventory report shall contain an evaluation of opportunities for shared use as an alternative to the proposed location.
(2) 
The applicant must demonstrate that the proposed telecommunications facility cannot be accommodated on existing telecommunications facility sites in the inventory due to one or more of the following reasons:
(a) 
The planned equipment would exceed the structural capacity of existing and approved telecommunications facilities or other structures, considering existing and reasonably anticipated future use for those facilities;
(b) 
The planned equipment would cause radio frequency interference with other existing or planned equipment, which cannot be reasonably prevented;
(c) 
Existing or approved telecommunications facilities or other structures do not have space and cannot be modified to provide space on which proposed equipment can be placed so it can function effectively and reasonably;
(d) 
Other technical reasons make it impracticable to place the equipment proposed by the applicant on existing facilities or structures;
(e) 
The property owner or owner of the existing telecommunications facility or other structure refuses to allow such co-location.
(3) 
Any subsequent location of telecommunications antennas and/or equipment by other service providers on existing towers specifically designed for shared use shall not require a new or modified special permit if there would be no increase in the height of the tower and if the tower’s original design was adequate to accommodate the proposed additional antennas and equipment. However, the additional antennas and equipment proposed to be located on an existing tower, and accessory buildings and equipment associated with same, will require site plan review and issuance of a building permit before construction occurs. At the option of the Building and Zoning Enforcement Officer, there may be required, before issuance of a building permit, an engineer’s certificate or report to the effect that with the proposed additional antenna and/or equipment the existing tower continues to be safe and meets all then currently applicable design and construction criteria in accordance with generally accepted good engineering practices and generally accepted industry standards. Notwithstanding the foregoing, proposed antennas that meet the criteria in Subsection O, and the accessory equipment and structures associated with such proposed antennas, shall be subject to the requirements in Subsection O and not this subsection.
[Added 5-9-2005 by L.L. No. 5-2005]
E. 
Priority of siting locations. In determining whether a site is appropriate, and if it is determined a need exists for the telecommunications facility, the preferential order of location, to the extent the same may be, or may be made, technically feasible, is as follows:
(1) 
Co-located on existing telecommunications towers;
(2) 
Co-located on any other existing radio or other tower that would not require any increase in height nor significant noticeable structural additions to accommodate the telecommunications facility;
(3) 
Within any industrial zones or existing planned development zones that permit industrial activities;
(4) 
Within any light industrial zones or existing planned development zones that permit light industrial activities;
(5) 
Within any existing community commercial zones or existing planned development zones which permits all of the activities permitted in a community commercial zone;
(6) 
On any other property in the Town.
F. 
Dimensional standards.
(1) 
A fall zone around any tower constructed as part of a telecommunications facility must have a radius at least equal to the height of the tower and any attached antennae. The entire fall zone may not include public roads and must be located on property either owned or leased by the applicant or for which the applicant has obtained an easement, and may not, except as set forth below, contain any structure other than those associated with the telecommunications facility. If the facility is attached to an existing structure, relief may be granted by specific permission of the Planning Board on a case-by-case basis if it is determined by such Board after submission of competent evidence, that the waiver of this requirement will not endanger the life, health, welfare or property of any person. In granting any such waiver, the Board may impose any conditions reasonably necessary to protect the public or other property from potential injury.
(2) 
All telecommunication facilities shall be located on a single parcel.
(3) 
All telecommunication facilities shall comply with the setback, frontage, minimum lot size, and yard standards of the underlying zoning district and the fall zone requirements of this article. To the extent there is a conflict, the more restrictive provision shall govern. The size of the leased or owned lot, together with any land over which the applicant has obtained an easement, shall be, at a minimum, sufficiently large to include the entire fall zone. All lots leased or owned for the purpose of construction of a tower as part of telecommunications facility shall conform, at a minimum, to the lot size requirements of the underlying zoning district or the size of lot necessary to encompass the entire fall zone (to the extent easements for any part of the fall zone that extends outside the minimum lot size permitted in the zoning district have not been obtained), whichever requirement results in a larger lot.
(4) 
Notwithstanding provisions to the contrary of any other article of this chapter, the front, side, and rear yard requirements of the underlying zoning district in which a telecommunications facility is erected shall apply not only to a tower, but also to all tower parts including guy wires and anchors, and to any accessory buildings.
G. 
Lighting and marking.
(1) 
Towers shall not be artificially lighted and marked beyond the requirements of the FAA.
(2) 
Notwithstanding the preceding subsection, an applicant may be compelled to add FAA-style lighting and marking, if in the judgment of the Planning Board, such a requirement would be of direct benefit to public safety and would not unduly adversely affect residents of any surrounding property.
H. 
Appearance and buffering.
(1) 
The use of any portion of a telecommunications facility for signs, promotional or advertising purposes, including but not limited to company name, phone numbers, banners, streamers, and balloons is prohibited.
(2) 
The facility shall have the least practical visual effect on the environment, as determined by the Planning Board. Any tower that is not subject to FAA marking as set forth above shall otherwise:
(a) 
Have a galvanized finish, or shall be painted gray above the surrounding tree line and gray or green below the tree line, as deemed appropriate by the Planning Board, or
(b) 
Be disguised or camouflaged to blend in with the surroundings, to the extent that such alteration does not impair the ability of the facility to perform its designed function.
(3) 
Accessory structures shall maximize the use of building materials, colors, and textures designed to blend in with the natural surroundings.
(4) 
Each application for a proposed facility shall be accompanied by a SEQR full environmental assessment form ("full EAF"). A visual environmental assessment form ("visual EAF") shall be required as an addendum to the full EAF. The Planning Board may require submittal of a more detailed visual analysis based on the contents of the visual EAF.
(5) 
The facility shall have appropriate vegetative buffering, reasonably satisfactory to the Planning Board, around the fences of the tower base area, accessory structures and the anchor points of guyed towers to buffer their view from neighboring residences, recreation areas, or public roads. The Planning Board may similarly require screening adjacent to waterways, landmarks, refuges, community facilities, or conservation or historic areas within common view of the public.
(6) 
Without limiting the requirements of the preceding subsection, existing on-site vegetation shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible, and no cutting of trees exceeding four inches in diameter (measured at a height of four feet off the ground) shall occur in connection with the telecommunications facility prior to the granting of special permit and site plan approval. Clear cutting of all trees in a single contiguous area exceeding 20,000 square feet shall be prohibited.
(7) 
The Planning Board may require additional information, such as line-of-sight drawings, detailed elevation maps, visual simulations, before and after renderings, and alternate tower designs to more clearly identify adverse impacts for the purpose of their mitigation.
(8) 
Equipment or vehicles not used in direct support, renovations, additions or repair of any telecommunications facility shall not be stored or parked on the facility site.
I. 
Access and parking.
(1) 
Accessways shall make maximum use of existing public or private roads to the extent practicable. New accessways constructed solely for telecommunication facilities must be at least 12, but no more than 24 feet wide, and closely follow natural contours to assure minimal visual disturbance and reduce soil erosion potential.
(2) 
The road surface (driveways) shall be centered within accessways and shall not comprise more than 60% of the width of the accessway.
(3) 
Parking areas shall be sufficient to accommodate the usual number of service vehicles expected on the premises at any one time. Space off of public highways shall be provided (not necessarily in parking areas) to accommodate the greatest number of service vehicles expected on the premises at any one time.
(4) 
Driveways or parking areas shall provide adequate interior turnaround, such that service vehicles will not have to back out onto a public thoroughfare.
J. 
Security.
(1) 
Towers, anchor points of guyed towers, and accessory structures shall each be surrounded by fencing at least eight feet in height, the top foot of which may, at the discretion of the Planning Board in deference to the character of the neighborhood, be comprised of three-strands of barbed wire to discourage unauthorized access to the site. The Planning Board may waive the requirement of fencing if, in its discretion, it determines that other forms of security are adequate, or that, by reason of location or occupancy, security will not be significantly compromised by the omission, or reduction in size, of the otherwise required fencing.
(2) 
Motion-activated or staff-activated security lighting around the base of a tower or accessory structure entrance may be provided if such lighting does not project off the site. Such lighting should only occur when the area within the fenced perimeters has been entered.
(3) 
There shall be no permanent climbing pegs within 15 feet of the ground of any tower.
(4) 
A locked gate at the junction of the accessway and a public thoroughfare may be required to obstruct entry by unauthorized vehicles. Such gate must not protrude into the public right-of-way.
K. 
Engineering and maintenance.
(1) 
Site plans for all telecommunication facilities must bear the seal of a professional engineer licensed to practice in the State of New York. Every facility shall be built, operated and maintained to acceptable industry standards, including but not limited to the most recent, applicable standards of the Institute of Electric and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
(2) 
Every facility shall be inspected at least every second year for structural integrity by a New York State licensed engineer. A copy of the inspection report shall be submitted to the Building and Zoning Enforcement Officer. Any unsafe condition revealed by such report shall be corrected within 10 days of notification of same to the record landowner on which the facility is constructed. The time period for correction may, on application of the landowner or owner of the facility, be extended by the Planning Board if it is impracticable to complete the correction within said 10 days and if there is no imminent danger to life, limb, or other person's property. If the unsafe condition is not corrected within the applicable time period, or if the required inspection is not provided to the Town the special permit for construction of the facility may, after a hearing by the Planning Board on at least 10 days' prior notice to the landowner of record given by certified mail, return receipt requested, or other equally effective manner of providing notice, be revoked by such Board. Revocation may occur only if the Board finds either a) that the required inspection has not been provided or b) that there is an unsafe condition which poses a risk of bodily injury or significant property damage. Upon such revocation, the facility shall be removed or dismantled to the point of removing all unsafe conditions.
(3) 
A safety analysis by a qualified professional must accompany any special permit or site plan application, renewal thereof or modification, for the purpose of certifying that general public electromagnetic radiation exposure does not exceed standards set by the FCC or any permit granted by FCC.
(4) 
The municipality, at the expense of the applicant, may employ its own consultants to examine the application and related documentation. In addition, the applicant shall reimburse the Town for the costs of the Town, including the time of the Building and Zoning Enforcement Officer, in reviewing the application. The consultants that the Town may retain include, but are not limited to, professional structural and/or electrical engineers, attorneys, and other experts reasonably required by the Town to competently and fully evaluate any application and the resulting construction. Such consultants may be requested, among other matters, to make recommendations as to whether the criteria for granting the special permit have been met, including whether the applicant's conclusions regarding need, co-location, safety analysis, visual analysis, and structural inspection, are valid and supported by generally accepted and reliable engineering and technical data and standards, and whether the telecommunications facility as constructed is in compliance with the approved plans and in accordance with generally accepted good engineering practices and industry standards.
(5) 
To assure sufficient funds are available to the Town to pay for the consultants referred to in the preceding subsection, any applicant shall be required to deposit review fees in escrow, in accordance with the terms of any Town of Ithaca law, ordinance or resolution, as the same may be amended from time to time. Notwithstanding the provisions of any such law, ordinance or resolution, the minimum initial escrow deposit for any telecommunication facility application which anticipates construction of any type of tower shall be $5,000 or the minimum prescribed by such law, ordinance or resolution as in effect at the date of the application, whichever is greater.
L. 
Removal.
(1) 
At the time of submittal of the application for a special permit for a telecommunications facility, the applicant shall submit an agreement to remove all antennas, driveways, structures, buildings, equipment sheds, lighting, utilities, fencing, gates, accessory equipment or structures, as well as any tower(s) dedicated solely for use within a telecommunications facility if such facility becomes technologically obsolete or ceases to perform its originally intended function for more than 12 consecutive months. Upon removal of said facility, the land shall be restored to its previous condition, including but not limited to the seeding of exposed soils.
(2) 
At the time of obtaining a building permit, the applicant must provide a financial security bond for removal of the telecommunications facility and property restoration, with the municipality as the assignee, in an amount approved by the Planning Board, but not less than $50,000.
(3) 
At times of modification of the special permit, the Planning Board may adjust the required amount of the financial security bond to adequately cover increases in the cost of removal of the telecommunications facility and property restoration.
M. 
Application. The application for a special permit for the construction of a telecommunications facility shall include, without altering any other application requirements set forth in this article or elsewhere in this chapter:
(1) 
A completed project application form in such detail and containing such information as the Town Planning Board may require.
(2) 
Completed full EAF and visual EAF.
(3) 
Site plan in accordance with the requirements for site plans generally, and if more detailed, in accordance with the site plan requirements of this section including, without limitation:
(a) 
The exact location including geographic coordinates of the proposed telecommunications facility including any towers, guy wires and anchors, if applicable;
(b) 
The maximum height of the proposed facility, including all appurtenances;
(c) 
A detail of tower type, if any, including engineering drawings from the tower manufacturer (monopole, guyed, freestanding, or other);
(d) 
The location, type and intensity of any lighting on the tower;
(e) 
Property boundaries and names of all adjacent landowners;
(f) 
Proof of the landowner's consent to the erection of the facility and agreement to abide by the ordinance if the applicant is not the landowner;
(g) 
The location of all other structures on the property and all structures on any adjacent property within 100 feet of the property lines, together with the distance of these structures from any proposed tower;
(h) 
The location, nature and extent of any proposed fencing, landscaping and screening;
(i) 
The location and nature of any proposed utility easements and access roads or drives; and
(j) 
Engineer's certification that the telecommunication facility and all related components have been designed in accordance with generally accepted good engineering practices and in accordance with generally accepted industry standards, and if constructed in accordance with the plans the entire facility (including the soils of the site itself) will be safe, will be in accordance with all applicable governmental building codes, laws and regulations and in accordance with generally accepted good engineering practices and industry standards, including without limitation, acceptable standards as to stability, wind and ice loads, and bird protection.
(4) 
Agreement that the applicant will negotiate in good faith with any subsequent applicant seeking to co-locate a telecommunications facility on the initial applicant's structures. This agreement shall commit the initial applicant and landowner and their respective successors in interest to:
(a) 
Respond in a timely, comprehensive manner to a request for information from a potential shared-use applicant.
(b) 
Negotiate in good faith for shared use by third parties.
(c) 
Allow shared use if an applicant agrees in writing to pay reasonable charges for same.
(d) 
Make no more than a reasonable charge for shared use, based upon generally accepted accounting principles. The charge may include but is not limited to a pro rata share of the cost of site selection, planning, project administration, land costs, site design, construction and maintenance, financing, return on equity, and depreciation, and all of the costs of adapting the tower or equipment to accommodate a shared user without causing electromagnetic interference or causing uses on the site to emit electromagnetic radiation in excess of levels permitted by the FCC.
(5) 
The agreement for removal of the facility referred to above.
(6) 
Copies of all documents submitted to the FCC or any other governmental agency having jurisdiction.
(7) 
Any applicable application or other fees, including any deposits required by the Town for application to the costs of any consultants retained by the Town as provided above.
N. 
Miscellaneous.
(1) 
Any special permit or site plan permit granted hereunder shall be valid only for the dimensions and number of structures for the telecommunications facility contained in original application as so approved. Any subsequent changes or modifications shall require a new application for same following the procedures set forth in this section.
(2) 
In considering the application the Planning Board may, if the application is granted, impose such reasonable conditions as either body may deem necessary to minimize any adverse impacts of the facility or its construction, or to assure continued compliance with the terms of this chapter.
(3) 
Whenever reference is made to an engineer's certificate or report in this section, the same shall be provided by a professional engineer licensed in the State of New York who is reasonably satisfactory to the Planning Board.
O. 
Streamlined process for certain facilities.
[Added 5-9-2005 by L.L. No. 5-2005]
(1) 
Telecommunications facilities that meet all of the following criteria are subject to the requirements of this Subsection O and not the other requirements of § 270-219:
(a) 
The telecommunications facility's antenna(s) will be located on an existing structure that can accommodate the antenna(s) as well as any associated equipment that is to be located on the existing structure, and the existing structure will not have its height increased or be otherwise modified to accommodate the facility.
(b) 
The tops of the antenna, equipment and mounts will extend no more than 10 feet above the top of the existing structure on which they are placed.
(c) 
Side-mounted facilities will not project more than 20 inches from the face of the existing structure.
(d) 
The size of each antenna will not exceed 10 feet in any dimension, and the area of the largest face for each antenna will be less than or equal to 400 square inches.
(e) 
Any wires or cables associated with such antennas and equipment either will not be visible from the ground or will not exceed, on a cumulative basis, one inch in thickness.
(f) 
The telecommunications facility will not be located in an historic district that has been listed in the State or National Registers of Historic Places.
(g) 
For existing structures and facilities that are not already artificially lit or marked, no artificial lighting or marking of the existing structure or of the existing or new facilities shall occur.
(h) 
No portion of the telecommunications facility, including accessory structures, shall be used for signs or promotional or advertising purposes, including but not limited to company name, phone numbers, banners, streamers, and balloons.
(i) 
Access to the telecommunications facility shall be achieved by use of an existing public or private road, and no new accessway, driveway or parking area shall be constructed.
(2) 
An antenna and equipment for a telecommunications facility that meets all of the criteria in Subsection O(1) may be affixed to an existing structure anywhere in the Town of Ithaca, but only if the person seeking to affix same shall have obtained, prior to affixing the antenna and any equipment, a building permit from the Building and Zoning Enforcement Officer in accordance with this Subsection O and with the provisions of §§ 125-4 and 270-233. No height variance shall be required for the antenna and equipment, even if the tops of the proposed antenna, equipment or their mounts exceed the permitted height of structures in the zoning district in which the facility is proposed to be located. No special permit or site plan approval shall be required for such antennas to be affixed, although all accessory structures and certain equipment will require advance site plan approval from the Planning Board as set forth in this Subsection O.
(3) 
Notwithstanding the foregoing, where all antennas and equipment are to be located wholly inside an existing building and no accessory structure will be built or erected, no special permit or site plan approval shall be required, and no building permit shall be required unless a building permit is required pursuant to the provisions of § 125-4 or § 270-233. In such a case, the requirements in these other sections shall apply, and the additional building permit requirements in this Subsection O shall not apply.
(4) 
The following requirements shall apply to accessory structures proposed in connection with a telecommunications facility meeting the criteria in Subsection O(1):
(a) 
Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in § 270-233, all accessory structures shall require a building permit from the Building and Zoning Enforcement Officer prior to construction.
(b) 
Site plan approval from the Planning Board in accordance with the requirements of this Subsection O(4) and with Article XXIII of Chapter 270 is also required prior to construction of any accessory structure. The applicant shall submit a completed short environmental assessment form (EAF) to the Planning Board together with the application for site plan approval.
(c) 
Accessory structures shall maximize the use of building materials, colors, and textures designed to blend in with the natural surroundings.
(d) 
Accessory structures shall have appropriate vegetative buffering, reasonably satisfactory to the Planning Board, to buffer their view from neighboring residences, recreation areas, or public roads. The Planning Board may similarly require screening adjacent to waterways, landmarks, refuges, community facilities, or conservation or historic areas within common view of the public.
(e) 
Without limiting the requirements of the preceding subsection, existing on-site vegetation shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible, and no cutting of trees exceeding four inches in diameter (measured at a height of four feet off the ground) shall occur in connection with the accessory structure prior to the granting of site plan approval.
(f) 
Notwithstanding provisions to the contrary in any other article of this chapter, the front, side, and rear yard requirements of the underlying zoning district in which such a telecommunications facility is erected shall apply to any accessory structure.
(g) 
Accessory structures shall be surrounded by fencing at least eight feet in height to discourage unauthorized access to the site. The Planning Board may waive or modify the requirement of fencing if, in its discretion, it determines that other forms of security are adequate, or that, by reason of location or occupancy, security will not be significantly compromised by the omission, or reduction in size, of the otherwise required fencing.
(h) 
Motion-activated or staff-activated security lighting around an accessory structure entrance may be provided if such lighting does not project off the site. Such lighting should only occur when the area within the fenced perimeters has been entered or, if the Planning Board has waived the fencing requirement, when the area within 20 feet of the structure has been entered.
(i) 
Equipment or vehicles not used in direct support, renovations, additions or repair of any telecommunications facility shall not be stored or parked on the facility site.
(5) 
The following requirements shall apply to equipment proposed in connection with a telecommunications facility meeting the criteria in Subsection O(1):
(a) 
Site plan approval from the Planning Board in accordance with the requirements of this Subsection O(5) and with Article XXIII of Chapter 270 is required prior to construction or placement of any equipment, except site plan approval shall not be required for equipment placed on an existing rooftop where the equipment extends no more than three feet above the rooftop.
(b) 
Where site plan approval is required, the applicant shall submit a completed short EAF to the Planning Board together with the application for site plan approval.
(c) 
Where site plan approval is required, the Planning Board may require appropriate fencing or vegetative buffering for equipment to buffer its view from neighboring residences, recreation areas, or public roads. The Planning Board may similarly require screening adjacent to waterways, landmarks, refuges, community facilities, or conservation or historic areas within common view of the public.
(d) 
Notwithstanding provisions to the contrary in any other article of this chapter, the front, side, and rear yard requirements of the underlying zoning district in which such a telecommunications facility is erected shall apply to all equipment.
(e) 
Equipment or vehicles not used in direct support, renovations, additions or repair of any telecommunications facility shall not be stored or parked on the facility site.
(6) 
Engineering and maintenance.
(a) 
Where site plans are required under this Subsection O, they must bear the seal of a professional engineer licensed to practice in the State of New York.
(b) 
Except as provided below, every facility governed by this Subsection O shall be inspected at least every second year for structural integrity by a New York State licensed engineer. The initial inspection shall occur within two years of the issuance of the facility's certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance. A copy of the inspection report shall be submitted to the Building and Zoning Enforcement Officer. Any unsafe condition revealed by such report or otherwise revealed shall be corrected within 10 days of notification of same to the owner of the facility and the record landowner on which the facility is constructed. The time period for correction may, on application of the facility owner or landowner, be extended by the Building and Zoning Enforcement Officer if it is impracticable to complete the correction within said 10 days and if there is no imminent danger to life, limb, or other person's property. If the unsafe condition is not corrected within the applicable time period, or if the required inspection is not provided to the Town, the facility owner and landowner shall be subject to the enforcement provisions of this chapter.
[Amended 5-12-2014 by L.L. No. 9-2014]
(c) 
Facilities with all antennas and equipment located wholly inside an existing building shall be exempt from the above inspection requirements.
(7) 
Removal. At the time of submittal of the application for a building permit for a telecommunications facility, the applicant shall submit an agreement to remove all antennas, mounts, accessory structures, equipment, fencing, lighting and utilities if such facility becomes technologically obsolete or ceases to perform its originally intended function for more than 12 consecutive months. Upon removal of said facility, the land shall be restored to its previous condition, including but not limited to the seeding of exposed soils.
(8) 
Application. The application for a building permit for the construction of a telecommunications facility meeting the criteria in Subsection O(1) shall include:
(a) 
All of the information required by § 125-4;
(b) 
If the applicant is not the landowner, the name and address of the landowner and proof of the landowner's consent to the erection of the facility and agreement to abide by the requirements of this chapter;
(c) 
The agreement to remove the facility, as required by Subsection O(7);
(d) 
Copies of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license, if applicable, and of all documents submitted to the FCC or any other governmental agency having jurisdiction over the facility;
(e) 
Copies of manufacturer's information showing that the antenna, equipment and other components meet FCC radiation standards;
(f) 
Certification by a professional engineer licensed to practice in the State of New York that the telecommunications facility:
[1] 
Conforms with all federal and state laws and all applicable rules and regulations promulgated by the FCC, the Federal Aviation Administration, and any other federal agencies having jurisdiction and will not cause, by itself or in conjunction with other telecommunications facilities, general public electromagnetic radiation exposure that exceeds standards set by the FCC or any permit granted by the FCC;
[2] 
Complies with all other requirements of this chapter, unless expressly superseded herein;
[3] 
Will not endanger the life, health, welfare or property of any person;
[4] 
Can be safely accommodated on the existing structure, the existing structure will not be increased in height or be otherwise modified to accept the proposed facility and, if the proposed facility is an antenna to be located on an existing tower, a certification that the existing tower will continue to be safe with the additional antenna and any equipment and will meet all then currently applicable design and construction criteria in accordance with generally accepted good engineering practices and generally accepted industry standards;
[5] 
If the existing structure is not artificially lighted or marked at the time of the application, a certification that neither the new facility nor the existing structure or facilities will be artificially lighted or marked as a result of the addition of the new facility; and
[6] 
Will be built, operated and maintained to acceptable industry standards, including but not limited to the most recent, applicable standards of the Institute of Electric and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and will meet generally accepted good engineering practices and industry standards, including but not limited to acceptable standards as to stability, wind and ice loads, and bird protection.
(g) 
A statement as to whether site plan review is required for accessory structures and/or equipment.
(h) 
Any applicable application fees or other fees.
(9) 
If site plan approval is required for accessory structures and/or equipment, the Building and Zoning Enforcement Officer shall advise the Planning Board whether all other building permit application requirements have been met and shall not further process the building permit application until Planning Board site plan approval has been granted.
(10) 
Miscellaneous.
(a) 
Any building permit or site plan approval issued hereunder shall be valid only for the dimensions and number of antennas, equipment and structures for the telecommunications facility as so approved. Any subsequent changes or modifications shall require a new application for same following the procedures set forth in this section.
(b) 
Whenever reference is made to an engineer's certificate or report in this section, the same shall be provided by a professional engineer licensed in the State of New York who is reasonably satisfactory to the Building and Zoning Enforcement Officer.
[Added 10-16-2006 by L.L. No. 11-2006; amended 11-7-2016 by L.L. No. 9-2016]
A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to facilitate the development and operation of renewable energy systems based on sunlight, because it is in the public interest to provide for and encourage renewable energy systems and a sustainable quality of life, in accordance with the Town of Ithaca Comprehensive Plan. Solar energy systems are appropriate in all zoning districts when measures are taken, as provided in this section, to minimize adverse impacts on neighboring properties and protect the public health, safety and welfare.
B. 
Applicability.
(1) 
The requirements of this section shall apply to all solar energy systems modified or installed after the effective date of this section.
(2) 
Solar energy systems are permitted in all Town zones, including Planned Development Zones, subject to the requirements described below.
C. 
General requirements.
(1) 
Building permits are required for all solar energy systems.
(2) 
The setbacks and approval required for each type of solar energy system are summarized in the table titled "Setback and Yard Requirements for Ground-Mounted Solar Energy Systems,"[1] and are further described below.
[1]
Editor's Note: The table is included as an attachment to this chapter.
(3) 
Qualified installer. All solar energy installations must be performed by a qualified solar installer and, prior to issuance of a certificate of compliance, must be inspected by a Town Code Enforcement Officer or by an appropriate electrical inspection person or agency, as determined by the Town. In addition, any connection to the public utility grid must be approved by the appropriate public utility.
(4) 
Storage batteries. When solar storage batteries are included as part of the solar energy system, they must be placed in a secure container or enclosure meeting the requirements of the New York State Building Code when in use and when no longer used shall be disposed of in accordance with the laws and regulations of Tompkins County and other applicable laws and regulations.
(5) 
For purposes of this § 270-219.1, a photovoltaic solar energy system use is an accessory use on a parcel if it is designed for a use primarily on the parcel.
(6) 
In the event of inconsistency between the provisions in this § 270-219.1 and other provisions in Chapter 270 or Chapter 271 (such as setback or height requirements), the provisions in § 270-219.1 shall govern.
D. 
Rooftop and building-mounted photovoltaic solar energy systems. The following standards are applicable to rooftop and building-mounted photovoltaic solar energy systems:
(1) 
Permitted in all zones.
(2) 
No size thresholds, except as limited by the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
(3) 
No site plan approval is required; changes to, or the addition of, rooftop or building-mounted photovoltaic solar energy systems will not trigger site plan modification requirements.
E. 
Solar-thermal energy systems (rooftop, building-mounted and ground-mounted). In addition to the standards in Subsection F below, the following standards are applicable to solar-thermal energy systems:
(1) 
Permitted in all zones as an accessory use.
(2) 
No size thresholds, except as limited by the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
(3) 
Setbacks for ground-mounted solar-thermal energy systems shall be the same as those listed in Subsection G below for ground-mounted photovoltaic solar energy systems.
(4) 
No lot coverage standards apply.
(5) 
No site plan approval is required; changes to, or the addition of, solar-thermal energy systems will not trigger site plan modification requirements.
(6) 
Safety. No roof-mounted solar-thermal energy system shall be located in a manner that would cause the shedding of ice or snow from the roof into an open porch, stairwell or pedestrian travel area.
F. 
Standards applicable to all ground-mounted photovoltaic and ground-mounted solar-thermal energy systems.
(1) 
Height. The maximum height for all ground-mounted systems is 25 feet when the system is oriented at maximum tilt.
(2) 
Installation of solar energy systems is prohibited in:
(a) 
Required open space;
(b) 
Required buffers; or
(c) 
Park set-aside areas required as a condition of subdivision approval.
(3) 
Maintenance. The owner or operator shall maintain the facility in good condition. Maintenance shall include, but not be limited to, structural repairs and integrity of security measures.
(4) 
Abandonment. If a solar energy system ceases to perform its originally intended function for more than 12 consecutive months, the property owner shall remove the collectors, plates, piping, mounts and associated equipment and facilities by no later than 150 days after the end of the twelve-month period.
(5) 
Solar energy systems may be built across common lot lines by mutual agreement among all property owners. Mutual easements allowing such systems are required where lot ownership is not identical. Solar energy systems that are built across common lot lines may be a principal use on one or more lots, and/or an accessory use on one or more lots, provided that the use is allowed in the relevant zone.
G. 
Additional standards for ground-mounted photovoltaic solar energy systems.
(1) 
Ground-mounted photovoltaic systems are divided into three size categories, as follows:
(a) 
Small-scale ground-mounted photovoltaic systems have a total solar facility footprint of 2,000 square feet or less.
(b) 
Medium-scale ground-mounted photovoltaic systems have a total solar facility footprint of more than 2,000 square feet and less than 7,000 square feet.
(c) 
Large-scale ground-mounted photovoltaic systems have a total solar facility footprint greater than 7,000 square feet.
(2) 
Standards applicable to ground-mounted photovoltaic systems based on scale size.
(a) 
Small-scale photovoltaic solar energy system standards:
[1] 
Permitted in all zones as principal and accessory uses.
[2] 
Setbacks (measured from the lot line to the closest part of the photovoltaic solar energy system):
[a] 
Ten feet minimum from side and rear yard lot lines.
[b] 
Minimum setback from front lot line equals the maximum number of feet for required front yards in the zone, except in Light Industrial, Industrial and Planned Development Zones.
[c] 
In Light Industrial, Industrial and Planned Development Zones, the minimum setback from front lot line is 50 feet.
[3] 
Lot coverage. The solar facility footprint of the system, when combined with all other buildings and structures on the lot, shall not exceed 120% of the maximum lot coverage, building area, and yard occupancy requirements for the zone.
[4] 
Site plan review: not required, unless the photovoltaic solar energy system is part of an overall new development plan or modification of an existing plan that otherwise triggers site plan review.
(b) 
Medium-scale photovoltaic solar energy system standards:
[1] 
Permitted use:
[a] 
Accessory use in the following zones: Medium Density Residential, High Density Residential, Mobile Home Park, Multiple Residence, Conservation, Neighborhood Commercial, Community Commercial, and Planned Development Zones.
[b] 
Principal and accessory uses in the following zones: Agricultural, Low Density Residential, Light Industrial, Industrial, and Office Park Commercial Zones.
[2] 
Setbacks (measured from the lot line to the closest part of the photovoltaic solar energy system):
[a] 
Sixty feet minimum from a lot line (except a front lot line) that abuts property in any zone except a commercial or industrial zone.
[b] 
Thirty feet minimum from a lot line (except a front lot line) that abuts property in a commercial or industrial zone.
[c] 
Minimum setback from front lot line equals the maximum number of feet for required front yards in the zone, except in Light Industrial and Industrial Zones.
[d] 
In Light Industrial, Industrial and Planned Development Zones, minimum setback from front lot line is 50 feet.
[3] 
Lot coverage. The solar facility footprint of the system, when combined with all other buildings and structures on the lot, shall not exceed 120% of the maximum lot coverage, building area, and yard occupancy requirements for the zone.
[4] 
Site plan review:
[a] 
Required in Low Density Residential, Medium Density Residential, and High Density Residential Zones.
[b] 
In other zones, not required unless the photovoltaic solar energy system is part of an overall new development plan or modification of an existing plan that would require site plan review even if the photovoltaic solar energy system was not part of the plan.
[5] 
Design standards.
[a] 
Fencing. When fencing is installed, barbed wire shall not be utilized.
[b] 
Glare. Photovoltaic solar energy systems and other facilities shall be designed and located in order to minimize reflective glare toward roads or any habitable or occupiable building on adjacent properties.
(c) 
Large-scale photovoltaic solar energy system standards:
[1] 
Permitted use:
[a] 
Principal and accessory uses in the following zones: Agricultural, Low Density Residential, Office Park Commercial, Light Industrial, Industrial, and Planned Development Zones.
[b] 
Accessory use only in the following zone: Medium Density Residential Zone.
[2] 
Setbacks (measured from the lot line to the closest part of the photovoltaic solar energy system):
[a] 
Seventy-five feet minimum from a lot line (except from a front lot line) that abuts property in any zone except a commercial or industrial zone.
[b] 
Forty feet minimum from a lot line (except from a front lot line) that abuts property in a commercial or industrial zone.
[c] 
Minimum setback from front lot line equals the maximum number of feet for required front yards in the zone, except in Light Industrial and Industrial Zones.
[d] 
In Light Industrial, Industrial and Planned Development Zones, minimum setback from front lot line is 50 feet.
[e] 
Roads, landscaping and fencing may occur within the setback.
[3] 
Maximum footprint and lot coverage. The maximum solar facility footprint of a system is 10 acres. The coverage of photovoltaic solar energy systems shall not count in the computation of lot coverage, building area, and yard occupancy.
[4] 
Site plan review is required prior to construction, installation or modification. In addition to the requirement for site plan review per Town Code § 270-186, the following additional information is required to be submitted as part of the site plan application:
[a] 
Utility notification: submission of documentation from the utility company that operates the electrical grid where the installation is to be located acknowledging the photovoltaic solar energy systems will be connected to the utility grid. Off-grid systems shall be exempt from this requirement.
[b] 
Safety. The owner/operator shall provide evidence that a copy of the site plan application has been submitted to the appropriate Fire Chief (Ithaca Fire Department or Cayuga Heights). All means of shutting down the photovoltaic solar energy system shall be clearly marked on the site plan and building permit applications.
[c] 
Operation and maintenance plan: submission of a plan for the operation and maintenance of the facility, to include measures for maintaining safe access, operational maintenance of the photovoltaic solar energy system, and general property upkeep, such as mowing and trimming.
[d] 
Decommissioning plan: submission of a decommissioning plan to be implemented upon abandonment, or cessation of activity, or in conjunction with removal of the facility to ensure that the site will be restored to a useful and nonhazardous condition, with a time frame provided for the completion of the work.
[5] 
Design standards.
[a] 
Fencing.
[i] 
Barbed wire shall not be utilized.
[ii] 
When fencing will enclose the perimeter of the site or facility, wildlife-friendly fencing that allows the passage of small mammals and reptiles and is designed to minimize wildlife injury and death due to entanglement or strangulation shall be used on sites having a solar facility footprint greater than five acres. Exceptions can be made by the Planning Board for sites that are not in rural locations and have limited surrounding wildlife habitat.
[b] 
Vegetation clearing. Removal of trees and other existing vegetation shall be limited to what is necessary for the construction, operation and maintenance of the photovoltaic solar energy system.
[c] 
Glare. Photovoltaic solar energy systems shall be designed and located in order to minimize reflective glare toward roads and any inhabited building on adjacent properties.
[d] 
Roads. Roadways within the site shall be designed to minimize the width and extent of roadway construction and soil compaction.
[e] 
Screening/Buffering. Based on site-specific conditions, including topography, adjacent structures, and roadways, reasonable efforts shall be made to minimize visual impacts by preserving natural vegetation, and providing landscape screening to abutting residential properties and roads, but should not result in shading photovoltaic solar energy systems.
[f] 
Lighting. All lighting on the site related to the photovoltaic solar energy system shall comply with the Town's Outdoor Lighting Law[2] and be limited to that required for safety and operational purposes.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 173, Lighting, Outdoor.
[g] 
Signage. All signage shall comply with the Town's Sign Law.[3] A sign shall be displayed on or near the main access point identifying the owner and providing a twenty-four-hour emergency contact phone number.
[3]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 221, Signs.
[h] 
Utility connections. Reasonable efforts shall be made to place all utility lines from the photovoltaic solar energy system underground, depending on appropriate soil conditions, shape and topography of the site, financial feasibility, and any requirements of the utility provider.
[6] 
Decommissioning.
[a] 
In the event the photovoltaic solar energy system is not completed and functioning within 18 months of the issuance of the initial building permit, the Town may notify the operator and/or owner to complete construction and installation of the facility within 180 days of the date of notification. If the owner and/or operator fails to perform, the Town may notify the owner and/or operator to implement the decommissioning plan.
[b] 
If a photovoltaic solar energy system ceases to perform its originally intended function for more than 12 consecutive months, the owner and/or operator shall implement the decommissioning plan, to include, but not be limited to:
[i] 
Removal of above-ground and below-ground equipment, structures and foundations.
[ii] 
Restoration of the surface grade and soil after removal of equipment.
[iii] 
Revegetation of restored soil areas with native seed mixes, excluding any invasive species.
[c] 
If the owner and/or operator fail to fully implement the decommissioning plan within 180 days, then in addition to other remedies provided by this section or chapter, by New York Town Law § 268, or by law or equity, the Town may utilize the following procedure to remove a photovoltaic solar energy system and/or implement a decommissioning plan:
[i] 
The Code Enforcement Officer may order removal of such photovoltaic solar energy system and/or implementation of the decommissioning plan by written notice to the owner or person, company or other entity having control of the system, or to the owner of the lot on which such system is located. The notice shall set forth a deadline by which such removal and/or plan implementation must be completed. Said notice shall further advise that, should the violator fail to so act within the established deadline, the removal and/or plan implementation may be performed by a designated governmental agency or a contractor, with the expense thereof to be charged to the violator and/or to become a lien against the premises.
[ii] 
If the photovoltaic solar energy system is not removed and/or the actions in the decommissioning plan are not completed within the period set forth in the Town's notice or Town Board's decision after any appeal thereof pursuant to Subsection G(2)(c)[5][c][iv] below, the Town may enter the premises to remove the system, cause the removal to be performed, and/or implement the decommissioning plan. The Town's entry onto such premises shall be pursuant to an agreement between the Town and landowner. If no agreement exists or can be obtained in a timely manner, the Town may seek a warrant from a court of competent jurisdiction for access to the premises and/or may seek a court order requiring or authorizing all actions reasonably necessary to remove the system and/or implement the decommissioning plan, with the costs of such actions the sole responsibility of the violator.
[iii] 
The Town shall present the landowner with a bill for all costs and expenses incurred by the Town in connection with the photovoltaic solar energy system removal and/or decommissioning plan implementation. If the landowner shall fail to pay such costs and expenses within 15 days after the demand for same, or within 30 days of the final decision on any administrative or judicial contest the landowner may pursue, then such unpaid costs, expenses and interest (at the statutory interest rate for money judgments in New York State courts) incurred from the date of the system removal and/or completion of the decommissioning plan shall constitute a lien upon the land on which such removal was undertaken. A legal action or proceeding may be brought to collect such costs, expenses, interest, and recoverable attorney's fees, or to foreclose such lien. As an alternative to the maintenance of any such action, the Town may file a certificate with the Tompkins County Department of Assessment stating the costs and expenses incurred and interest accruing as aforesaid, together with a statement identifying the property and landowner. The Tompkins County Department of Assessment shall, in the preparation of the next assessment roll, assess such unpaid costs, expenses and interest upon such property. Such amount shall be included as a special ad valorem levy (administered as a move tax) against such property, shall constitute a lien, and shall be collected and enforced in the same manner, by the same proceedings, at the same time, and under the same penalties as are provided by law for collection and enforcement of real property taxes in the Town of Ithaca. The assessment of such costs, expenses and interest shall be effective even if the property would otherwise be exempt from real estate taxation.
[iv] 
Appeals of notices and Town bills. Any person receiving a notice to remove a photovoltaic solar energy system and/or implement a decommissioning plan, or a bill for Town costs and expenses, may appeal to the Town Board by, within 15 days of receipt of such notice or bill, delivering to the Town Clerk at the Town offices an appeal requesting a reconsideration and administrative hearing before the Town Board. Such appeal shall state the basis for the request for reconsideration and shall be accompanied by any supporting materials. Failure to serve such an appeal within 15 days shall be deemed a waiver of any claim or defense that the notice or bill is not justified, and the violator shall comply with the requirements of the notice or pay the bill. If the appeal is timely filed, the Town Board shall, within 40 days of the filing, hold a hearing and, based upon any relevant materials presented by the Town and the appellant, shall issue a resolution deciding the appeal within 30 days after the hearing. Such resolution shall be filed with the Town Clerk, who shall arrange for delivery of a copy of the decision to the appellant within five days after such filing, at the address for such person designated in the appeal or at such other address as the appellant may thereafter designate in writing to the Town Clerk. The Town Board's decision after the hearing shall constitute a final agency action.
[Added 2-12-2007 by L.L. No. 1-2007]
Home occupations shall meet all of the following requirements:
A. 
An area of no more than 25% of the floor space of the dwelling (whether the home occupation is conducted in the dwelling or in an accessory building) or 500 square feet (whichever is less) shall be used for the home occupation.
B. 
No more than four persons (full- or part-time), including the household resident, shall be involved in on-site business operations.
C. 
The owner and chief operating officer of the business must be a full-time resident of the property on which the business is conducted.
D. 
No goods shall be offered for sale on the premises excepting those created, assembled, or reconditioned completely on the property.
E. 
There shall be no exterior display or sign except as permitted by Article XXIX, Signs, no exterior storage of materials, equipment (including commercial vehicles), or other items of commerce, and no other exterior indication of the home occupation or variation from the residential character of the lot, district or surrounding neighborhood.
[Amended 8-7-2017 by L.L. No. 12-2017]
F. 
No offensive noise, vibration, smoke, dust, odor, heat, glare or electronic disturbance shall be produced beyond the boundary line of the property occupied by the business.
G. 
The business shall not generate traffic in any greater volume than would normally be expected in a residential neighborhood, and any need for parking generated by the use shall be met off the street and in accordance with any other regulation of this chapter.
H. 
The business or use shall not be detrimental to the residential character of the lot on which the business is located nor of the surrounding neighborhood.
I. 
The lot on which the business is operated shall be large enough to allow such business to be conducted with minimal impact on the neighbors.
J. 
All business activities that are conducted within the bounds of the lot on which the business is located must be conducted wholly within the dwelling or accessory building.
[Added 8-13-2007 by L.L. No. 7-2007]
A. 
Amateur radio facilities located within a building are permitted in all zoning districts in the Town.
B. 
Amateur radio facilities located outside of a building are permitted as specified in Articles V through XX of this chapter and shall meet all of the following requirements:
(1) 
The height of each amateur radio facility shall not exceed 65 feet from the ground elevation.
(2) 
Where the amateur radio facilities are an accessory use, they shall be located on the roof of a building, or in a side or rear yard only, except feed lines connecting the radio to the antenna and rotor control wires may also be located in a front yard.
(3) 
The location of the amateur radio facilities shall meet all applicable setback and buffer requirements of the zone in which they are located.
(4) 
A fall zone must exist around any tower constructed as part of an amateur radio facility and must have a radius at least equal to the height of the tower and any attached antennas. The fall zone may not include public roads and must be entirely located on the property on which the amateur radio facilities are located and/or on property which the tower user owns or for which the tower user has obtained an easement.
(5) 
Any towers shall not be artificially lighted or marked beyond the requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration or any successor agency.
(6) 
Co-location of equipment or facilities that are not used for amateur radio purposes on an amateur radio tower is prohibited.
(7) 
The placement of more than two amateur radio towers on one lot is permitted only upon receipt of a special permit for same from the Planning Board in accordance with the procedures set forth in this chapter.
(8) 
When required by Chapter 125, Building Construction and Fire Prevention, of the Town of Ithaca Code, a building permit must be obtained for the amateur radio facilities.
C. 
An accessory building that is part of an amateur radio facility is subject to all requirements applicable to accessory buildings other than garages in the zone in which it is located, except such accessory buildings may be located in side yards as well as rear yards.
D. 
Where site plan approval is required elsewhere in this chapter for a development or activity, the site plan review shall include review of the adequacy, location, arrangement, size, design, and general site compatibility of proposed amateur radio facilities. Where a site plan exists, an approved modified site plan shall be required if any of the thresholds specified in § 270-191 of this chapter are met, including but not limited to proposed changes to or additions of amateur radio facilities where such changes or additions meet a § 270-191 threshold.
E. 
If a tower that is part of an amateur radio facility ceases to perform its originally intended function for more than 12 consecutive months, the property owner shall remove the tower, antennas, mounts and associated equipment and facilities by no later than 90 days after the end of the twelve-month period.
[Added 8-11-2008 by L.L. No. 13-2008]
A. 
Findings. The Town of Ithaca finds that wind is an abundant and renewable source of energy. The conversion of wind energy into usable forms of energy will reduce dependence on nonrenewable energy sources such as coal, gas and oil, the use of which not only releases harmful pollutants into the atmosphere but also contributes to phenomena such as global warming/climate change. Furthermore, wind energy facilities also enhance the reliability of the power grid, reduce peak power demands and help diversify the state's energy portfolio and will help to insulate residents in the Town of Ithaca from increasing energy costs associated with the depletion of fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil.
B. 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to promote the public safety and welfare by fostering the small-scale development of the Town of Ithaca's wind power resources and by providing standards for the safe provision of small wind energy facilities.
C. 
Development standards. Small wind energy facilities are permitted in all zoning districts in the Town as accessory structures providing power primarily to structures on the same lot, and as principal structures providing power primarily to structures on an adjacent lot, with any excess power net-metered to the public utility system if the facility is grid-connected, subject to the following requirements:
(1) 
Small wind energy facilities are permitted as a matter of right, except facilities located in or within 500 feet of public parkland, a natural area (as defined in this chapter), or nature preserves (as designated by the Town of Ithaca, Cornell Plantations or a land trust), or within 500 feet of the ordinary high-water line of the Cayuga Lake shoreline, shall be permitted only upon receipt of a special permit for same by the Planning Board in accordance with the procedures set forth in this chapter. Notwithstanding the foregoing, building-mounted small energy facilities shall not require a special permit, regardless of location in or proximity to such areas or the Cayuga Lake shoreline.
(2) 
No small wind energy facility shall exceed 145 feet in height as measured from the lowest level or portion of the wind energy facility (slab or base) in contact with the ground surface to the highest point of any part of the facility, with moving parts measured at the highest points of their extension (see Figure 1 below). Building-mounted small wind energy facilities are subject to the height restrictions in § 270-219.4E.
Figure 1. Illustration of Maximum Height (Horizontal and Vertical Axis Facilities)
(3) 
The fall zone around any ground-mounted tower constructed as part of a small wind energy facility shall be a circular area around the tower, the center point of which is marked by the center of the base of the tower, with a radius at least equal to the facility's height plus 10 feet. The entire fall zone may not include public roads, overhead transmission lines, aboveground fuel storage or pumping facilities, or human-occupied buildings and must be located on property owned by the tower owner or for which the owner has obtained an easement or deed restriction. The minimum setback between the center of the base of the tower and any unoccupied buildings or other structures is 15 feet.
(4) 
No exposed moving part of any small wind energy facility shall, at the lowest point of its extension, be less than 30 feet above the ground. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the lowest extension of any blade or other exposed moving component of a building-mounted small wind energy facility shall be at least 15 feet above the ground (at grade level) and in addition at least 15 feet above any outdoor surfaces intended for human occupancy, such as balconies or roof gardens, that are located directly below the facility.
(5) 
For wind speeds in the range of zero miles per hour to 25 miles per hour, the sound pressure level produced by a small wind energy facility or a combination of small wind energy facilities shall not exceed 55 dB(A), measured at any site property line abutting a property owned by an entity other than the owner of the property on which the small wind energy facility or facilities are located. The sound pressure level shall be determined by successively measuring the sound pressure with the facility or facilities turned on and off and referring to the accompanying chart (Figure 2). This level, however, may be exceeded during short-term events such as utility outages or wind speeds exceeding 25 miles per hour.
Figure 2. Noise Measurements
Sound measured with turbine off (ambient noise), dB(A)
Small wind energy facility(s) sound limit, dB(A)
Maximum allowable combined sound, dB(A) (ambient + generator)
20
55
55
21
55
55
22
55
55
23
55
55
24
55
55
25
55
55
26
55
55
27
55
55
28
55
55
29
55
55
30
55
55
31
55
55
32
55
55
33
55
55
34
55
55
35
55
55
36
55
55
37
55
55
38
55
55
39
55
55
40
55
55
41
55
55
42
55
55
43
55
55
44
55
55
45
55
55
46
55
56
47
55
56
48
55
56
49
55
56
50
55
56
51
55
56
52
55
57
53
55
57
54
55
58
55
55
58
56
55
59
57
55
59
58
55
60
59
55
60
60
55
61
61
55
62
62
55
63
Above 62
55
Ambient + 1 dB(A)
(6) 
The number of wind energy towers per lot shall be limited to one for lots of less than two acres in size. For lots of two acres or more, one wind energy tower shall be permitted as a matter of right, and one additional tower shall be permitted upon receipt of a special permit for same by the Planning Board in accordance with the procedures set forth in this chapter. Notwithstanding the foregoing, there is no limit on the number of building-mounted small wind energy facilities.
(7) 
Where small wind power facilities are an accessory use, they shall be located on the roof, side or other elevated surface of a building or in a side or rear yard only.
(8) 
The location of a small wind power facility shall meet all applicable setback and buffer requirements of the zone in which it is located, but in no event shall the setback from adjacent property lines be less than 50 feet.
(9) 
Co-location of equipment or facilities that are not used for wind power purposes on a wind energy tower is permitted only upon receipt of a special approval for same from the Board of appeals in accordance with the procedures set forth in this chapter. Co-located solar panels shall also be subject to the provisions of § 270-219.1 of this chapter. Notwithstanding the foregoing, co-located telecommunications facilities shall not require special approval from the Board of appeals but shall instead be subject to the requirements of § 270-219 of this chapter.
(10) 
When required by Chapter 125 of the Town of Ithaca Code (Building Construction and Fire Prevention), a building permit must be obtained for the small wind energy facility.
(11) 
Where site plan approval is required elsewhere in this chapter for a development or activity, the site plan review shall include review of the adequacy, location, arrangement, size, design, and general site compatibility of proposed small wind energy facilities. Where a site plan exists, an approved modified site plan shall be required if any of the thresholds specified in § 270-191 of this chapter are met, including but not limited to proposed changes to or additions of small wind energy facilities where such changes or additions meet a § 270-191 threshold.
D. 
Safety standards.
(1) 
The small wind energy facility must meet all applicable New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code requirements.
(2) 
All wiring connected with the small wind energy facility shall be underground, except for:
(a) 
Wiring that runs from the turbine to the base of the facility; and
(b) 
All wiring associated with building-mounted small wind energy facilities.
(3) 
The small wind energy facility shall be equipped with an automatic braking or governing system to prevent uncontrolled rotation, overspeeding, and excessive pressure on the tower structure, rotor blades and other wind energy components.
(4) 
The small wind energy facility shall not interfere with electromagnetic communications such as radio, telephone or television or emergency communication systems.
(5) 
All small wind energy facilities shall be installed by a qualified wind energy installer, and, prior to operation, the electrical connections and structural integrity must be inspected by a Town Code Enforcement Officer and by appropriate electrical and structural inspection persons or agencies, as determined by the Town.
[Amended 4-12-2010 by L.L. No. 3-2010]
(6) 
The small wind energy facility, if connected to a public utility system for net-metering purposes, shall meet the requirements for interconnection and operation as set forth in the public utility's then-current service regulations applicable to wind power generation facilities, and the connection shall be inspected by the appropriate public utility.
(7) 
To reduce the possibility of nighttime bird collisions with any part of the small wind energy facility, all on-site lighting shall conform with the Town's Outdoor Lighting Law, Chapter 173 of the Town of Ithaca Code.
E. 
Building-mounted small wind energy facility standards. The following additional requirements apply to building-mounted small wind energy facilities only:
(1) 
The diameter of the building-mounted small wind energy facility, when measured from the furthest outward extensions of all moving parts, may not exceed seven feet.
(2) 
The height of a building-mounted small wind energy facility mounted on a roof shall not exceed 15 feet as measured from the base of the mount (the location at which the mount and exterior layer of roof meet). The height of all other building-mounted small wind energy facilities shall not exceed 15 feet above the highest point of the building's roof, excluding chimneys, antennas and other similar protuberances.
(3) 
If more than one building-mounted small wind energy facility is installed, a distance equal to the length of the height of the tallest building-mounted small wind energy facility must be maintained between the bases of each building-mounted small wind energy facility.
(4) 
A letter or certificate bearing the signature of a certified New York State professional engineer must be submitted to the Code Enforcement Officer, indicating that the existing structure onto which the building-mounted small wind energy facility will be attached is capable of withstanding the additional load, force, torque, and vibration imposed by the building-mounted small wind energy facilities for the foreseeable future; will comply with seismic and structure provisions set out in state and national building codes; all related components have been designed in accordance with generally accepted good engineering practices and in accordance with generally accepted industry standards; and if constructed in accordance with the plans the entire facility, including the building onto which the wind energy facility will be attached, will be safe, will be in accordance with all applicable governmental building codes, laws, and regulations, and in accordance with generally accepted good engineering practices and industry standards, including, without limitation, acceptable standards for stability, wind and ice loads.
F. 
Appearance.
(1) 
No small wind energy facilities shall be used for signage, promotional or advertising purposes, including but not limited to company names, phone numbers, banners, streamers, and balloons. Reasonable identification of the manufacturer or owner of the small wind energy facility is permitted.
(2) 
Small wind energy facilities shall be painted or finished with a nonreflective, unobtrusive color that blends the system and its components into the surrounding landscape to the greatest extent possible and shall incorporate nonreflective surfaces to minimize visual disruption.
(3) 
No small wind energy facility shall be artificially lighted except to the extent required by the Federal Aviation Administration or other applicable authority.
G. 
Removal.
(1) 
If a small wind energy facility ceases to perform its originally intended function for more than 12 consecutive months, the property owner shall so notify the Town Clerk in writing within 30 days after the end of such twelve-month period, and the property owner shall remove the tower, rotor, guy wires, and associated equipment and facilities by no later than 90 days after the end of the twelve-month period.
(2) 
If the property owner fails to remove the small wind energy facility within the time frame described above, the Town Code Enforcement Officer may issue the property owner a notice of violation directing facility removal within a specified time frame. Said notice of violation shall further advise that, should the violator fail to meet the established deadline, the work may be done by a designated governmental agency or a contractor, with the expense thereof to be charged to the violator and/or to become a lien against the premises.
(3) 
If removal of the small wind energy facility is not completed to the satisfaction of the Code Enforcement Officer within the period set forth in the Town's notice of violation or Town Board's decision after any appeal thereof pursuant to Subsection G(5) below, the Town may enter the premises to perform the removal or cause it to be made. The Town's entry onto such premises shall be pursuant to an agreement between the Town and landowner. If no agreement exists or can be obtained in a timely manner, the Town may enter such property to remove an imminent danger to life, property or safety of the public caused by the nonfunctioning small wind energy facility. The Town further may seek a warrant from a court of competent jurisdiction for access to the premises and/or may seek a court order requiring or authorizing all actions reasonably necessary to remove the facility, with the costs of such actions the sole responsibility of the violator.
(4) 
The Town shall present the landowner with a bill for all costs and expenses incurred by the Town in connection with the removal and disposal of the small wind energy facility. If the landowner fails to pay such costs and expenses within 15 days after the demand for same, or within 30 days of the final decision on any administrative or judicial contest the landowner may pursue, then such unpaid costs, expenses and interest (at the statutory interest rate for money judgments in New York State courts) incurred from the date of the removal activities shall constitute a lien upon the land on which such measures were undertaken. A legal action or proceeding may be brought to collect such costs, expenses, interest, and recoverable attorney's fees or to foreclose such lien. As an alternative to the maintenance of any such action, the Town may file a certificate with the Tompkins County Department of Assessment stating the costs and expenses incurred and interest accruing as aforesaid, together with a statement identifying the property and landowner. The Tompkins County Department of Assessment shall, in the preparation of the next assessment roll, assess such unpaid costs, expenses and interest upon such property. Such amount shall be included as a special ad valorem levy (administered as a move tax) against such property, shall constitute a lien, and shall be collected and enforced in the same manner, by the same proceedings, at the same time, and under the same penalties as are provided by law for collection and enforcement of real property taxes in the Town of Ithaca. The assessment of such costs, expenses and interest shall be effective even if the property would otherwise be exempt from real estate taxation.
(5) 
Any person receiving a notice of violation or a bill for Town costs and expenses may appeal to the Town Board by, within 15 days of receipt of such notice or bill, delivering to the Town Clerk at the Town offices an appeal requesting a reconsideration and administrative hearing before the Town Board. Such appeal shall state the basis for the request for reconsideration and shall be accompanied by any supporting materials. Failure to serve such an appeal within 15 days shall be deemed a waiver of any claim or defense that the notice or bill is not justified, and the violator shall comply with the requirements of the notice or pay the bill. If the appeal is timely filed, the Town Board shall, within 40 days of the filing, hold a hearing and, based upon any relevant materials presented by the Town and the appellant, shall issue a resolution deciding the appeal within 30 days after the hearing. Such resolution shall be filed with the Town Clerk, who shall arrange for delivery of a copy of the decision to the appellant within five days after such filing, at the address for such person designated in the appeal or at such other address as the appellant may thereafter designate in writing to the Town Clerk. The Town Board's decision after the hearing shall constitute a final agency action.
H. 
In addition to the enforcement processes and penalties provided in this chapter, any condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of any of the provisions of this § 270-219.4 is hereby deemed and declared to be a threat to public health, safety, and welfare and is declared and deemed a nuisance and may be summarily abated or restored at the violator's expense, and/or a civil action to abate, enjoin, or otherwise compel the cessation of such nuisance may be undertaken by the Town in its sole discretion.
[Added 5-7-2012 by L.L. No. 8-2012]
A. 
Findings. The Town Board of the Town of Ithaca finds that steady population growth and land disturbance in the Town have resulted in the continual loss of much of its natural riparian (streamside) vegetation. Properly vegetated riparian areas provide numerous benefits, including:
(1) 
Riparian vegetation lessens the severity of stream bank erosion because the deep and extensive root systems of the vegetation hold soil in place;
(2) 
The soil-root complex of the vegetation filters and absorbs various chemicals and particulates, keeping them out of streams;
(3) 
At times of heavy rain or flooding, vegetation slows water runoff velocity to maintain the streambed and stream bank and lessens the effects of flooding;
(4) 
By slowing runoff velocity, riparian vegetation allows recharging of the groundwater;
(5) 
By reducing the amount of particulates and chemicals in streams that enter Cayuga Lake, vegetated riparian areas are a cost-effective way to maintain the quality of this important drinking water source for the Town;
(6) 
Undisturbed riparian areas provide the space needed to accommodate the natural meandering of stream channels;
(7) 
Vegetated riparian areas provide important habitat for birds and other wildlife and they improve the environment for aquatic species by stabilizing water temperatures and reducing levels of sediment and pollutants. These benefits are better realized if nonnative invasive plant species are not present, as these plants tend to crowd out native plant species, eliminating plant diversity and providing less food, cover, and shade for those fish and wildlife species that depend on vegetated riparian areas; and
(8) 
Vegetated riparian areas enhance the natural beauty of streams and preserve scenic values and recreational opportunities.
B. 
Purpose and objectives. The purpose of this section is to promote the public health, safety and general welfare by establishing requirements for stream setbacks to protect streams, other water resources, property, and riparian ecosystems within the jurisdiction of the Town of Ithaca. The objectives of this section are to:
(1) 
Regulate activities that harm streams and native riparian vegetation, so that the benefits provided by such vegetation are not lost;
(2) 
Reduce the amount of sediment, organic matter, pesticides, and pollutants entering streams;
(3) 
Protect public and private property from losses due to flood damage and erosion;
(4) 
Ensure land use proposals are compatible with the above purposes and specify land use in areas where standard zoning practices are not adequate;
(5) 
Allow reasonable use of land that is consistent with responsible land management and that will conserve and protect streams, riparian, vegetation, and streamside wetlands to the extent practicable;
(6) 
Recognize the legitimate interests of landowners to make reasonable use of water resources, and otherwise engage in the use of land for certain agricultural activities;
(7) 
Minimize expenditure of public money to reduce stream erosion and siltation; and
(8) 
Protect the right of the public to full enjoyment of the recreational opportunities offered by the Town's streams and by Cayuga Lake.
C. 
Applicability.
(1) 
The requirements in this § 270-219.5 apply in all zoning districts in the Town. To the extent they impose more restrictive requirements than those in the underlying districts, the requirements of this section apply.
(2) 
This section shall apply as follows:
(a) 
For parcels that are 0.5 acre or less as of the effective date of this section and contain a stream (or portion thereof) described in Subsection D(1) below, the provisions in § 270-219.5(D)(1), (4), (5), and (12) through (15), E(13)(a) and (b), H and I shall apply.
(b) 
For parcels that are greater than 0.5 acre as of the effective date of this section and contain at least a portion of a stream setback described in Subsection D below, all of the provisions in § 270-219.5 except § 270-219.5(D)(12) shall apply.
D. 
Stream setback standards.
(1) 
Stream setbacks are required for those portions of streams that have upstream drainage areas equal to, or greater than, 35 acres. Streams covered by this section are shown on the Stream Setback Map, copies of which are available for inspection or by distribution to the public at Town offices and on the Town's website. The size of stream drainage areas is determined by the Town of Ithaca's Geographical Information System (GIS).
(2) 
The required setback width at any point along a stream is determined by the size of the upstream drainage area, the slope of the land adjacent to the stream, and the existence of any streamside wetland.
(3) 
The setback shall be composed of two distinct zones. Specified activities listed in Subsections E and F are prohibited as described in those subsections.
(4) 
Streams covered by this section, with their corresponding setback widths based on drainage area, are found on the Stream Setback Map.
(5) 
Notwithstanding any other provisions in this subsection, if a road shown on the Official Map of the Town is located within a stream setback, the setback shall extend from the stream to the edge of the road right-of-way or to the deeded road property line and not continue over or past the road right-of-way or deeded road property line, as applicable.
(6) 
Definitions and purposes of Stream Setback Zones 1 and 2 (see Figures 1a and 1b in Appendix A[1]).
(a) 
Stream Setback Zone 1 is the streamside zone.
[1] 
The streamside zone is intended to protect the physical and ecological integrity of the stream.
[2] 
To assure proper functioning of this zone, vegetation must remain undisturbed as described in Subsection F.
[3] 
For streams with upstream drainage areas less than 175 acres, this zone will begin at the stream center line. For streams with upstream drainage areas of 175 or more acres, this zone will begin at the edge of a defined watercourse at the bankfull flow or level mark. (See Appendix A, Figure 2, for a bankfull depth illustration.[2]) For all streams, this zone will be measured horizontally landward, along lines perpendicular to the stream bank or stream center line at the relevant starting points, the required distance as determined by drainage area, presence of streamside wetlands, and slope, to the beginning of Stream Setback Zone 2.
[2]
Editor's Note: Appendix A is included at the end of this chapter.
[4] 
For streams with upstream drainage areas of 175 or more acres, certain prohibitions apply to the stream as well as to Stream Setback Zone 1. See Subsection F below.
(b) 
Stream Setback Zone 2 is the outer setback zone.
[1] 
The outer zone is intended to prevent encroachment into the streamside zone, and to provide distance between certain developments/activities and the streamside zone.
[2] 
Vegetation in this zone may vary, but planting of nonnative invasive species is not allowed.
[3] 
The outer zone will be measured perpendicularly from the outer edge of Stream Setback Zone 1 and extend horizontally the remaining distance of the setback as required by drainage area, presence of streamside wetlands, and slope.
[1]
Editor's Note: Appendix A is included at the end of this chapter.
(7) 
Required minimum stream setback widths based on drainage area are shown in Table 1. For streams with upstream drainage areas less than 175 acres, this setback measurement will begin at the stream center line. For streams with upstream drainage areas of 175 or more acres, the setback measurement will begin at the edge of a defined watercourse at the bankfull flow or level mark. For all streams, the setback will be measured horizontally landward, along lines perpendicular to the stream bank or stream center line at the relevant starting points, the specified distance required by the drainage area.
Table 1
Minimum Stream Setback Widths
(Feet)
Drainage Area
(acres)
Setback Zone 1
Setback Zone 2
Total Setback Width
> 35 acres and less than 175 acres
20
15
35
> 175 acres and less than 1,500 acres
30
20
50
> 1,500 acres
50
50
100
(8) 
Where a property has overlapping setbacks because of the proximity of more than one stream, the more restrictive measures shall apply in the area of overlap (for example, if part of a property is in Zone 1 for one stream, and some of Zone 1 overlaps with Zone 2 for another stream, the Zone 1 requirements shall apply in the area of overlap).
(9) 
If there are no slopes of 25% or greater and no streamside wetlands present within the setbacks required by Table 1, then the total setback width will be determined on the basis of drainage area alone as indicated on Table 1.
(10) 
Setback width adjustment when streamside wetlands exist:
(a) 
Where streamside wetlands are identified within a stream setback, the streamside wetland is not counted towards the required setback width. In these cases, it will be necessary to extend the setback width beyond that required by Subsection D(7) to make up for the amount of land excluded due to the existence of streamside wetlands (see Appendix A, Figure 3[3]). The adjustment in width of the stream setback shall apply only to the areas on the parcel where streamside wetlands are located.
[3]
Editor's Note: Appendix A is included at the end of this chapter.
(b) 
Setbacks required by this section may coincide with, and are to be located and measured without regard to the presence or absence of, wetland buffers required by federal, state or local law or regulations, including buffers required by the New York State Environmental Conservation Law.
(c) 
Unless the property owner and Town agree on the streamside wetland delineation, streamside wetlands shall be delineated by a qualified professional under guidelines established by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Delineation is required under this Subsection D(10) for streamside wetlands that have been previously identified as well as for the areas where streamside wetlands may exist due to the presence of hydric soils or wetland plant indicators.
(11) 
Setback width adjustments for steep slopes of 25% (with a run of four feet for every foot of rise) or greater.
(a) 
Where steep slopes (25% or greater) are identified within Stream Setback Zone 1 (as extended, if necessary, due to the presence of streamside wetlands), that portion of the land containing the steep slopes within Setback Zone 1 shall not be counted towards the required setback width. In these cases it will be necessary to extend the setback width in Setback Zone 1 beyond that required by Subsection D(7) and D(10) to make up for the amount of land excluded due to the existence of the steep slopes. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the adjusted width in Setback Zone 1 due to steep slopes shall in no case exceed two times the required minimum stream setback width specified under Setback Zone 1 in Table 1. The adjustment in width of the stream setback due to steep slopes shall apply only to the areas on the parcel where steep slopes exist. Setback widths for Zone 2 will remain the same as specified in Table 1. (See Appendix A, Figure 4.[4])
[4]
Editor's Note: Appendix A is included at the end of this chapter.
(b) 
Steep slopes of 25% or greater shall be determined by using one of the following resources or methods, as appropriate:
[1] 
On-site measurement of slopes by registered professional engineers, surveyors, or landscape architects, using accepted engineering practices;
[2] 
Use of two-foot topographic data created with the use of Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR)-derived information;
[3] 
United States Geological Survey 7.5-minute quadrangles; or
[4] 
Other resources or methods that Town staff determine are of similar or greater accuracy than those listed above.
(12) 
For parcels that are 0.5 acre or less as of the effective date of this section and contain a stream (or portion thereof) described in Subsection D(1) above:
(a) 
Except as concerns the application of herbicides and pesticides, the required setback width is 15 feet regardless of drainage area size, and no setback width adjustments are required for streamside wetlands or steep slopes of 25% or greater. With regard to the application of herbicides and pesticides, the required setback width is 35 feet regardless of drainage area size, and no setback width adjustments are required for streamside wetlands or steep slopes of 25% or greater. Within the thirty-five-foot setback, the application of herbicides and pesticides is prohibited, except as allowed under § 270-219.5E(13)(a) and (b);
(b) 
For streams with upstream drainage areas less than 175 acres, the setback measurement will begin at the stream center line. For streams with upstream drainage areas of 175 or more acres, the setback measurement will begin at the edge of a defined watercourse at the bankfull flow or level mark. For all streams, the setback will be measured horizontally landward, along lines perpendicular to the stream bank or stream center line;
(c) 
The only prohibition within the fifteen-foot setback (in addition to that applicable to the application of herbicides and pesticides as described above) is on the construction of new buildings. This prohibition does not apply to maintenance or repair of buildings. The replacement, renovation or restoration of buildings that exist within the setback as of the effective date of this section is also permitted, provided that the following conditions are met:
[1] 
The new structure's footprint within the setback is in the same location and has the same or smaller dimensions as the replaced, renovated or restored structure's footprint; and
[2] 
None of the dimensions of the portions of the structure located within the setback increase in size.
(13) 
An applicant will be responsible for delineating and identifying the stream setback zones on all subdivision applications. In addition, an applicant will be responsible for delineating and identifying the stream setback zones on all site plan applications, special permit, special approval and variance applications, building permit applications, and excavation or fill permit applications, except if the project limits (which term includes any soil-disturbing activity, staging, or other development-related activity) are more than 150 feet from the outer edge of Zone 2, including adjustments for slopes and wetlands. This delineation shall be done at the time of submission of any application. This delineation shall be subject to review and approval by the appropriate board or officer.
(14) 
The Planning Board shall require the delineation and identification of any stream setback zones on all subdivision plats and site plans for properties to which this § 270-219.5 applies. The Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals shall reference any stream setback zones in any special permits, special approvals or variances they grant. The Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals may require stream setback zone restrictions to be incorporated into the deeds for properties that contain such setbacks.
(15) 
The Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Public Works staff, or Code Enforcement staff may require, prior to any soil-disturbing activity, that the stream setback zones be clearly delineated with construction fencing, staking, or other suitable material by the applicant on site, and such delineation be maintained in an undisturbed state, until Public Works or Code Enforcement staff determine that soil-disturbing activities are completed within and adjacent to the stream setback zones.
(16) 
Through the subdivision, site plan review, special permit, special approval and variance processes, the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals may require stream setbacks for streams with upstream drainage areas less than 35 acres where environmental conditions warrant the establishment of such setbacks. Such environmental conditions may include, for example, anticipated development impacts on wetlands or vernal pools, or stormwater management, flooding or pollution problems that the proposed development is anticipated to create. Where the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals requires stream setbacks pursuant to this subsection, the size of the setbacks shall be no larger than that specified in Subsection D(7) above for drainage areas from 35 to less than 175 acres, and the prohibited uses in Setback Zones 1 and 2 shall not be any more restrictive than the prohibitions for the respective zones pursuant to Subsections E and F below.
E. 
Prohibited activities in Stream Setback Zone 2. Unless otherwise permitted by Subsection H, the following structures and uses are prohibited in Stream Setback Zone 2:
(1) 
The construction, installation or erection of buildings or other structures on or after the effective date of this section, except fences and walls that are in compliance with the requirements in § 270-223. This prohibition does not apply to maintenance or repair of buildings or other structures;
(2) 
The construction or installation of parking lots, parking spaces, or impervious surfaces on or after the effective date of this section, including impervious terraces, steps, unroofed porches and other similar features regardless of their height and regardless of § 270-223.1;
(3) 
Replacement, renovation or restoration of any structure, unless all of the following conditions are met:
(a) 
The new structure's footprint within the setback zone is in the same location and has the same or smaller dimensions as the replaced, renovated or restored structure's footprint; and
(b) 
None of the dimensions of the portions of the structure located within the setback zone increases in size;
(4) 
Agricultural activities that begin on or after the effective date of this section, and agricultural activities beginning before and existing as of the effective date of this section that thereafter cease for a period of more than one year (or the land thereafter lays fallow for a period of more than five consecutive years, in the case of land used for agricultural activity that is lying fallow). Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following agricultural activities are permitted regardless of when they begin or if they cease for more than a year and thereafter begin again:
(a) 
Grazing of livestock, where livestock are allowed by this chapter, in accordance with a conservation plan approved by the Tompkins County Soil and Water Conservation District; and
(b) 
Haying, and growing of crops for commercial, educational, research or other purposes;
(5) 
Land-disturbing activities that begin on or after the effective date of this section, and land-disturbing activities beginning before and existing as of the effective date of this section that thereafter cease for a period of more than one year. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following land-disturbing activities are permitted regardless of when they begin or if they cease for more than a year and thereafter begin again:
(a) 
Mowing and maintenance of lawns and sports fields, landscaping, and gardening, provided that for activities beginning on or after the effective date of this section, nonnative invasive species are not planted and such activities do not harm the riparian area;
(b) 
Construction of stormwater ponds and wetlands;
(c) 
Demolition of structures;
(d) 
Emergency slope stabilization; and
(e) 
Nonemergency slope stabilization and restoration, provided that:
[1] 
The property owner consults with either a qualified professional engineer or the Tompkins County Soil and Water Conservation District about the stabilization project;
[2] 
The Town approves the relevant stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) required by Chapter 228, or a simple erosion and sedimentation control plan if no SWPPP is required by Chapter 228;
[3] 
The property owner complies with the requirements of Chapter 157, Flood Damage Prevention, if the project takes place in an area of special flood hazard; and
[4] 
The property owner complies with the applicable requirements of § 270-217 regarding the deposit or removal of fill or related products;
(6) 
Motorized recreational activities, except for:
(a) 
Use of motorized golf carts on golf courses existing as of the effective date of this section; and
(b) 
Use of motorized wheelchairs and scooters for the mobility-impaired;
(7) 
Shelters and blinds associated with hunting, recreational, educational and agricultural activities that are erected on or after the effective date of this section, except for temporary blinds that are in place for a period of no more than 180 days within a twelve-month period on any parcel;
(8) 
Installation of utility lines and connections, such as water, sewer, electric, gas, telephone and cable lines and connections, on or after the effective date of this section, except the following shall be allowed:
(a) 
Installation of water wells and connections;
(b) 
Utility lines and connections for one-family and two-family dwellings;
(c) 
For uses and structures other than one-family and two-family dwellings, the installation of utility lines and connections is permitted only upon receipt of a special permit for same from the Planning Board in accordance with the procedures set forth in this chapter; and
(d) 
Repair and replacement of utility lines and connections;
(9) 
Tree cutting and disturbance of vegetation, except for:
(a) 
Selection tree cutting that maintains the protective function of the setback zone;
(b) 
Disturbance of existing vegetation to:
[1] 
Remove diseased, damaged or dead trees or shrubs or nonnative invasive vegetation;
[2] 
Remove vegetation in a proactive effort to minimize the spread of disease; or
[3] 
Remove vegetation that presents safety or health hazards;
(c) 
Pruning of trees and vegetation;
(d) 
Restoration of riparian habitat and native vegetation; and
(e) 
Development of a narrow permeable (nonpaved) footpath within the stream setback;
(10) 
Deicing of impervious and pervious surfaces, if more than the minimal amount of deicing material necessary to maintain vehicular and pedestrian safety is applied to the surface;
(11) 
Dumping or disposal of snow or ice collected from roadways or parking lots located wholly outside a stream setback zone;
(12) 
Installation of outlets from stormwater management practices and footer drains on or after the effective date of this section, except where sheet flow or infiltration is not practical and areas disturbed by such outlets are revegetated;
(13) 
Application of herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals, except the following applications are allowed:
(a) 
The selective application of herbicides to control nonnative invasive species, and the selective application of pesticides to protect native plant species; and
(b) 
Application of herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals for the protection of human or animal safety, or for agricultural purposes for farms, in accordance with product label instructions and pursuant to applicable New York State laws and regulations;
(14) 
Mining or removal of soil, sand and gravel, and quarrying of raw materials, except where the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a permit expressly allowing such activities on the parcel;
(15) 
Outdoor waste storage and outdoor deposition of waste, including but not limited to garbage, refuse, recyclable materials, tires, rubble, discarded motor vehicles, discarded appliances and other bulk items, except:
(a) 
Ordinary household trash temporarily stored in a covered garbage can;
(b) 
Ordinary household recyclables set out at curbside for pickup; and
(c) 
Composting of residential materials.
(16) 
Outdoor storage or disposal of hazardous or noxious materials;
(17) 
Storage or disposal of manure;
(18) 
Installation of septic tanks or septic drain fields on or after the effective date of this section.
F. 
Prohibited activities in Stream Setback Zone 1 and streams. Unless otherwise permitted by Subsection H, the following structures and uses are prohibited in Stream Setback Zone 1 and in streams:
(1) 
All uses and activities prohibited by Subsection E above;
(2) 
Mowing and maintenance of lawns and sports fields, landscaping and gardening, where such activity begins on or after the effective date of this section, or such activity begins before and exists as of the effective date of this section and thereafter ceases for a period of more than one year;
(3) 
Grazing of livestock, where grazing begins on or after the effective date of this section, or grazing begins before and exists as of the effective date of this section and thereafter ceases for a period of more than one year;
(4) 
Composting of residential materials, unless they are contained in such a way that does not allow leaching;
(5) 
Construction of stormwater ponds and wetlands;
(6) 
Installation of water wells and connections;
(7) 
Haying, and growing of crops for any purpose, where such activity begins on or after the effective date of this section, or such activity begins before and exists as of the effective date of this section and thereafter ceases for a period of more than one year;
(8) 
Dredging, deepening, widening, straightening or any such alteration of the beds and banks of natural streams, except where:
(a) 
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a permit expressly allowing such activities on the parcel; or
(b) 
Dredging is performed to maintain dam safety or operational effectiveness;
(9) 
Stream bank stabilization, unless all of the following conditions are met:
(a) 
The property owner consults with either a qualified professional engineer or the Tompkins County Soil and Water Conservation District about the stabilization project;
(b) 
The Town approves the relevant stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) required by Chapter 228, or a simple erosion and sedimentation control plan if no SWPPP is required by Chapter 228;
(c) 
The property owner complies with the requirements of Chapter 157, Flood Damage Prevention, if the project takes place in an area of special flood hazard; and
(d) 
The property owner complies with the applicable requirements of § 270-217 regarding the deposit or removal of fill or related products;
(10) 
Construction of the following types of crossings on or after the effective date of this section:
(a) 
Crossings of streams through the stream setback by driveways, roadways, vehicles, pathways, bridges, storm sewers, sewer and/or water lines, and other utility lines, except for crossings that are built substantially perpendicular to stream flow, are designed to minimize downstream siltation and negative impacts to the stream and setback zones, and, in the case of utility line crossings, the utility lines are otherwise permitted by Subsections E(8) and F(1);
(b) 
Livestock stream crossings, except for crossings that are constructed and maintained to minimize negative impacts to the stream and setback zones with fencing substantially perpendicular and through the setback to direct animal movement.
G. 
Prior nonconforming uses and activities. The provisions of § 270-204 relating to nonconforming uses of land shall not apply to uses and activities prohibited by Subsections E and F above.
H. 
Transition provisions.
(1) 
The prohibitions in Subsections D(12), E and F above against construction of new buildings and structures in setback zones shall not apply to the following buildings and structures:
(a) 
For buildings and structures that require site plan approval, subdivision approval, special approval, and/or special permit, the prohibitions shall not apply if completed applications for all necessary approvals for site plan, subdivision, special approval, and special permit have been submitted before the effective date of this section, provided such applications are thereafter diligently prosecuted to completion; and
(b) 
For buildings and structures that do not require site plan approval, subdivision approval, special approval, or special permit, the prohibitions shall not apply if all necessary building permits and fill permits have been issued before the effective date of this section.
(2) 
For the purposes of this section only, an application shall be deemed "completed" if it contains all required information, materials, initial SEQR forms and fees normally and reasonably required by the appropriate Town official(s) (e.g., Director of Planning with respect to subdivision, special permit, and site plan approval applications, and the Director of Code Enforcement with respect to special approval applications) to commence the review process by the appropriate Town board. An application shall be deemed "diligently prosecuted to conclusion" if the applicant promptly responds to any inquiries and promptly supplies any additional information reasonably required by the reviewing Town officials and/or boards, appears at all required scheduled public hearings, and otherwise cooperates so as to permit and enable the appropriate Town boards to adequately and completely review the application and render a decision on same within a reasonable period of time of its submission, and in any event within 12 months of its submission.
I. 
Variances. The Zoning Board of Appeals may grant variances from the requirements of this section pursuant to § 270-235 of this chapter. A variance from the requirements of this section is an area variance, provided any use proposed to be located within the stream setback is a permitted use in the relevant zoning district. In addition to the items required by the Town for all variance applications, the applicant shall provide a proposed mitigation plan that offsets the effects of the proposed encroachment into the stream setback, if such a plan is possible for the parcel that is the subject of the variance application. Where a Planning Board approval (such as site plan, subdivision or special permit approval) is also sought pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, the Planning Board shall make a recommendation to the Zoning Board of Appeals on any proposed mitigation plan that is submitted to the Zoning Board of Appeals in connection with a variance application. Failure of the Planning Board to make a recommendation before the Zoning Board of Appeals must act as required by law shall not preclude action by the Zoning Board of Appeals nor otherwise affect the validity of any actions taken by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
[Added 12-11-2017 by L.L. No. 20-2017]
A. 
Purpose and intent. It is the specific purpose and intent of this section to allow accessory dwelling units in Conservation, Agricultural and residential zones (as set forth elsewhere in this chapter) to provide the opportunity for the development of small rental housing units designed, in particular, to meet the housing needs of persons of low and moderate income, and of relatives of families residing in the Town of Ithaca. Furthermore, it is the purpose and intent of this section to allow for efficient use of the Town's existing stock of dwellings in economic support of resident families and to protect and preserve property values while preserving the character and quality of life in the Town of Ithaca's residential neighborhoods. To help achieve these and other goals consistent with the Town of Ithaca Comprehensive Plan, specific requirements are hereby set forth for accessory dwelling units and their related uses. These requirements are in addition to any other requirements for accessory dwelling units set forth elsewhere in this chapter.
B. 
Requirements applicable to all accessory dwelling units.
(1) 
Floor area. The floor area of the accessory dwelling unit may not exceed 800 square feet or 70% of the floor area of the principal dwelling unit, whichever is less.
(2) 
Operating permit.
(a) 
Operating permits issued pursuant to Town of Ithaca Code Chapter 125 (Building Construction and Fire Prevention), § 125-8, are required throughout the term of rental occupancy for all accessory dwelling units that are rented for terms of at least 30 consecutive days.
(b) 
Owners of accessory dwelling units that require operating permits and that exist as of the effective date of this § 270-219.6 must apply for operating permits for the accessory dwelling units by May 1, 2018. Owners of accessory dwelling units that require operating permits and that are created after the effective date of this § 270-219.6, or that are not rented as of the effective date of this section but are subsequently rented, must apply for operating permits prior to rental occupancy. If an operating permit is granted after an inspection, the operating permit must thereafter be maintained at all times during which the accessory dwelling unit is rented for a term of at least 30 consecutive days. Before the expiration or renewal of the operating permit, it shall be the responsibility of the owner of the accessory dwelling unit(s) to schedule a housing inspection with the Town of Ithaca Code Enforcement Department in order to obtain a new or renewed permit.
(c) 
The Code Enforcement Department shall issue an operating permit upon verification by inspection that the items listed in Subsection B(2)(c)[1] through [13] below meet the requirements of the applicable New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and the items listed in Subsection B(2)(c)[14] through [16] below meet the requirements of the Town of Ithaca Code:
[1] 
911 address number properly posted (with each unit posted);
[2] 
Exterior structure in good repair;
[3] 
Entrances, access areas, parking spaces and similar areas in good repair;
[4] 
Receptacles for proper storage of garbage;
[5] 
Compliant pools and decks (if present);
[6] 
Working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors;
[7] 
Interior structure in good repair;
[8] 
Fire separation (where required);
[9] 
Electrical, plumbing and heating in good repair;
[10] 
Appliances in good repair (if supplied by landlord);
[11] 
Proper light and ventilation;
[12] 
Proper room sizes;
[13] 
Proper egress doors or windows;
[14] 
Compliant off-street parking, per Town of Ithaca Code § 270-227;
[15] 
Compliant number of occupants/families, per Town of Ithaca Code § 270-5's definition of "family" and occupancy requirements in the relevant zoning district; and
[16] 
Exterior property areas are not in violation of Town of Ithaca Code § 205-2.
(d) 
A Code Enforcement Officer shall seek a search warrant from a court of competent jurisdiction whenever the owner, managing agent or occupant fails to allow inspections of any premises believed to be subject to this § 270-219.6B(2) and where there is a reasonable cause to believe that there is a violation of this section, Town of Ithaca Code Chapter 205 (Property Maintenance), § 205-2, Town of Ithaca Code Zoning Chapter provisions related to parking or number of occupants/families, or the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
(e) 
Failure of an owner of any accessory dwelling unit that is required to have an operating permit to apply for an operating permit in a timely manner, to obtain an operating permit after inspection, or to maintain a valid operating permit after it is granted while the accessory dwelling unit is rented for a term of at least 30 consecutive days shall be deemed a violation of this chapter, and, in addition to the other enforcement mechanisms and remedies set forth in this chapter, a Code Enforcement Officer may order that such accessory dwelling unit(s) be vacated within a specified time after notice of violation, unless the property is brought into compliance within a reasonable time frame specified in the notice of violation. If a violation persists beyond the time frame specified in the notice of violation, and the property is ordered vacated, the property must be kept vacated until it is brought into compliance.
(f) 
Over-occupancy. Verified over-occupancy shall constitute a violation of the operating permit. After the issuance of an order to remedy, the property owner shall have 30 days to comply with applicable occupancy limits.
(g) 
Before issuing an operating permit, the Code Enforcement Department shall secure, as part of the permit application, information related to the property sufficient enough to allow for enforcement of this chapter.
(h) 
Pursuant to Public Officers Law Article 6 (also known as the "Freedom of Information Law"), § 87(2)(b), personal information identifying tenants may be exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law on the grounds that such disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. The Town of Ithaca will not collect the identities of tenants as part of the operating permit application process. The identities of tenants may be collected in connection with specific enforcement actions, but the identities may be exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law.
(3) 
Owner occupancy.
(a) 
There is no owner occupancy requirement for:
[1] 
Properties in the High Density Residential Zone; or
[2] 
Properties that contain accessory dwelling units that are listed in Town of Ithaca records or Tompkins County's assessment database as of the effective date of this § 270-219.6; or
[3] 
Properties that contain accessory dwelling units that the owner can prove, to the satisfaction of a Code Enforcement Officer by January 1, 2019, existed as of the effective date of this § 270-219.6.
(b) 
For all other properties, one of the dwelling units on a lot containing an accessory dwelling unit must be the principal residence of at least one of the property owners, except as provided below. No other owner(s) shall own a larger percentage, collectively or individually, than the owner-occupant(s), who must reside in the dwelling unit for a minimum of 185 days per year. Once every five years, the owner-occupancy requirement shall not apply for up to 12 consecutive months. An operating permit is required for the dwelling unit vacated by the owner during any period that the dwelling unit is rented for a term of at least 30 consecutive days.
(4) 
Reversion to classification without accessory dwelling unit. To establish that a property that contained an accessory dwelling unit no longer contains such unit, the following procedures shall be followed:
(a) 
Any evidence of a kitchen facility or, in the alternative, any evidence of a bathroom shall be removed from the area under consideration so complete living facilities for one family no longer exist.
(b) 
The owner of the property shall sign an affidavit and certification, in a form satisfactory to the Code Enforcement Officer, to the effect that:
[1] 
The facilities referred to above have been removed;
[2] 
Said facilities will not be reinstalled without a building permit or other approval from the Code Enforcement Department; and
[3] 
The area from which the facilities were removed will not be used as a separate dwelling unit until the Code Enforcement Department is notified and any required approvals, permits or other certificates, including a certificate of occupancy, are obtained.
(c) 
Such affidavit shall be recorded, at the expense of the property owner, in the Tompkins County Clerk's office and indexed against the property and the name of the then-owner of the property.
(d) 
A Code Enforcement Officer may inspect the premises to confirm compliance with this subsection.
(e) 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall have the discretion to deviate, in whole or in part, from the procedure set forth above in those circumstances where the officer is satisfied that compliance may be assured in some other manner.
C. 
Additional requirements applicable to detached accessory dwelling units.
(1) 
No other accessory dwelling units may be located on the lot;
(2) 
If the street-facing facade of the building occupied by a detached accessory dwelling unit is visible from the street line, at least 20% of the street-facing facade must have window or door openings; and
(3) 
For buildings constructed after the effective date of this Subsection C, the minimum required roof pitch of the building occupied by a detached accessory dwelling unit is 4:12.