City of Beacon, NY
Dutchess County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 2-19-2013 by L.L. No. 3-2013]
The purpose of this Article IVD is to increase the vitality, attractiveness, and marketability of Main Street and the Central Business District by providing more flexibility of land use while maintaining and enhancing urban form as recommended in the City of Beacon Comprehensive Plan adopted on December 17, 2007. This article promotes a vibrant, economically successful, and environmentally sustainable Main Street with a pedestrian-oriented public realm and mixed uses. This article is also intended to provide a simplified and streamlined review process that facilitates redevelopment in accordance with its provisions and the intent of the Comprehensive Plan. See Figure 18-15: Main Street Infill Strategies Illustrative Sketch Plan,[1] adapted from the Appendix to the Comprehensive Plan.
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 223-41.18L.
[Amended 7-21-2014 by L.L. No. 11-2014]
The provisions of this article apply to the area shown as the Central Main Street District (CMS) on the City of Beacon Zoning Map, a portion of which is annexed hereto to amend said Zoning Map.[1] All new uses of land and structures and changed uses of land and structures shall comply with this article. Existing nonconforming uses may continue as provided in § 223-10, Nonconforming uses and structures, except as may be otherwise provided in this article. Any existing conforming building that is destroyed by fire or casualty to an extent of more than 50% may be rebuilt on the same footprint and with the same dimensions and may be extended at the same height along its frontage. Any existing building that does not satisfy the minimum building height requirements in the district may continue and may be expanded at the same height, provided that it is in conformity with all other dimensional requirements in the district. In case of any conflict between this article and other provisions of this Zoning Chapter, this article shall control. In order to encourage mixed uses, more than one permitted use shall be allowed on any lot or parcel, subject to all approval criteria contained herein.
Figure 17-1: Central Main Street Zone Map
[1]
Editor's Note: The Zoning Map is on file in the City offices.
A. 
Uses by right. The uses listed below are permitted by right in the CMS, in the manner and under the conditions specified below. Unless otherwise indicated in this § 223-41.18, all such uses require site plan review, to be conducted in an expedited fashion pursuant to Subsection H below. Site plan review shall not be required for a change of use in an existing building where the new use is allowed by right, the building will not be expanded, and the minimum number of off-street parking spaces required for the new use in § 223-41.18F(2) is not more than 25% greater than the requirement for the existing use in § 223-26F herein.
[Amended 8-19-2013 by L.L. No. 14-2013]
(1) 
Apartments, provided that they may only be located on upper stories or at least 35 feet behind the facade, in the rear portion of a ground floor, along Main Street. The limitations on nonconforming residential uses on Main Street in § 223-10H shall not apply in the CMS District.
(2) 
One-family, two-family, attached, and multifamily dwellings, provided that they do not have ground floor frontage on Main Street.
(3) 
Hotel, inn, bed-and-breakfast establishment.
(4) 
Offices of any kind, including professional, medical or business.
(5) 
Artist studio.
(6) 
Art gallery.
(7) 
Restaurant, coffee house, brew pub, and other establishments that serve food with or without alcoholic beverages.
(8) 
Food preparation business.
(9) 
Retail and personal services.
(10) 
Funeral home.
(11) 
Parking lot, provided that it is set back at least 40 feet from the Main Street property line and screened from Main Street by buildings and/or landscaping.
(12) 
Public garage, as defined in this chapter, without motor vehicle repair or fuel sales, provided that it is set back at least 40 feet and screened from Main Street by buildings and/or landscaping. [See "Parking" in Subsection F(1).]
(13) 
Trade or vocational school, job placement or training program, continuing education program or instructional school such as karate school, dance school or studio, language school or vehicular driving school.
[Amended 7-21-2014 by L.L. No. 11-2014]
(14) 
Indoor commercial recreation.
[Amended 7-21-2014 by L.L. No. 11-2014]
(15) 
Park, plaza, green, community garden, and other forms of outdoor plant cultivation.
(16) 
Artist live/work space subject to § 223-24.3, provided that they may only be located on upper stories or at least 35 feet behind the facade, in the rear portion of a ground floor, along Main Street, unless the space in the 35 feet behind the façade is used for the retail sale of the artist's wares.
[Amended 7-21-2014 by L.L. No. 11-2014]
(17) 
Theater, museum, library, concert hall and other music venues, and other similar kinds of cultural facilities.
[Amended 7-21-2014 by L.L. No. 11-2014]
(18) 
Schools and other public or nonprofit educational institutions.
(19) 
Wireless telecommunications services facilities, provided that they are mounted on a building and do not increase its height by more than 15 feet above applicable height limits and consistent with § 223-24.5.
(20) 
Buildings, structures and uses owned or operated by the City of Beacon or any department or agency thereof.
(21) 
Spa, health club, gym, yoga and pilates studio, and similar kinds of fitness centers.
[Amended 7-21-2014 by L.L. No. 11-2014]
(22) 
Microbrewery or microdistillery which has a retail or tasting room component of at least 200 square feet of floor area.
[Added 5-19-2014 by L.L. No. 8-2014]
(23) 
Retail sales from a truck or trailer, subject to § 223-26.3.
[Added 7-21-2014 by L.L. No. 10-2014]
(24) 
Workshop for the making or repair of clocks, watches, jewelry, musical instruments or similar items having a total floor area of not more than 800 square feet and having a retail component of at least 200 square feet.
[Added 7-21-2014 by L.L. No. 11-2014]
B. 
Uses by special permit.
(1) 
The following uses are allowed by special permit from the Planning Board, upon a finding that the proposed use is consistent with the City of Beacon Comprehensive Plan, will enhance the architectural character of the street and will benefit the urban, pedestrian-friendly qualities of Main Street, and that the conditions and standards in § 223-18B(1)(a) through (d) have been met:
[Amended 7-21-2014 by L.L. No. 11-2014]
(a) 
Any new project with over 10,000 square feet in building footprint area.
(b) 
A five-story building or tower of one additional story on a four-story building, provided that it complies with Subsection D(7) below and that the Planning Board finds that there are no substantial detrimental effects on parking, traffic, shadows, or specific views designated as important by the City Council. A five-story building with a stepback of at least 15 feet behind the facade above the fourth story may be permitted on the north side of Main Street where it can call attention to a significant intersection. Corner locations are deemed most appropriate for such buildings, but they may be permitted elsewhere on the north side if they are compatible with the scale of the block on which they are located and contribute architecturally to the block face. A five-story building will only be permitted if at least 15% of its residential units, and not less than five residential units, are designated as below market rate housing pursuant to Article IVB and/or at least 15% of the property's street level lot area adjacent to Main Street is available for public uses such as an outdoor dining area for a restaurant, pocket park or plaza.
(c) 
A public garage, as defined in this chapter, containing facilities used for repair of motor vehicles but not for the sale of motor fuel. Such repair facilities shall be located in the interior of a block and not be visible from any public street, with the exception of a sign not larger than 24 square feet in area.
(d) 
A bar in which the primary product is alcoholic beverages and food service is incidental. Any establishment that serves alcoholic beverages and is open later than 1:00 a.m. on any night shall be presumed to be a bar for purposes of this section.
(e) 
Artist live/work space in accordance with § 223-24.3.
(f) 
Cigar and other lawful smoking establishments.
(2) 
In considering the appropriateness of the proposed use, the Planning Board shall consider impacts on shadows, traffic, and parking and may impose traffic and parking mitigation measures. When making a decision on a special permit, the Planning Board shall follow the procedures in § 223-41.18H(2) of this chapter.
B.1. 
Accessory uses. The following are permitted accessory uses in the CMS District:
[Added 7-21-2014 by L.L. No. 11-2014]
(1) 
Any accessory building or use customarily incident to a permitted use, except outside storage.
(2) 
Signs, in accordance with the provisions of § 223-15, as applicable.
(3) 
Off-street parking areas, in accordance with § 223-41.18F.
(4) 
Exterior lighting, in accordance with the provisions of § 223-41.18K(12).
(5) 
Home occupation.
(6) 
Roof garden.
(7) 
Greenhouse.
C. 
Prohibited uses. Uses not listed in Subsection A or B above and the following specific uses are prohibited in the CMS District:
(1) 
Gasoline filling stations.
(2) 
Drive-through facilities, stand-alone or used in connection with any other use.
D. 
Dimensional regulations. All new construction or enlargement of existing structures in the CMS shall be subject to the following minimum and maximum dimensional regulations. These may be modified as provided in Subsection K(14).
Figure 18-1: Illustrative View of Proposed Main Street Zoning Requirements
(1) 
Front setback on Main Street: minimum zero, maximum 10 feet, except that a larger maximum may be allowed if the area in front of a building has no parking spaces and is landscaped and used in a manner that enhances the street life on Main Street by such means as pocket parks or plazas, fountains, outdoor dining areas, public art and outdoor display of items for sale on the premises. Such outdoor space shall be landscaped with plant materials as appropriate to the use, in a configuration approved by the Planning Board.
(2) 
Front setback on other streets: minimum zero, maximum 25 feet. If surrounding buildings have a larger setback, the setback line may be placed in a location that harmonizes with the prevailing setbacks, provided that there is no parking in the front yard other than on a driveway accessing a rear garage.
(3) 
Corner buildings: Corner buildings shall be treated as having frontage on both streets and front setbacks shall apply to both, as appropriate to the street. Corner buildings with frontage on Main Street shall wrap around corners and maintain a consistent setback line along the side.
(4) 
Side setbacks: minimum of zero on Main Street, minimum of 10 feet on side streets. The minimum side setback on Main Street may be increased by the Planning Board to allow light and air to continue to penetrate an existing building that has side windows.
(5) 
Rear setbacks: minimum 25 feet, except that if the rear yard is voluntarily dedicated to the City of Beacon as all or part of a public parking lot or parking structure, the minimum setback shall be 10 feet with landscaping to screen adjacent uses.
(6) 
Minimum frontage occupancy on Main Street: 100% for buildings with a shared side wall and 80% for detached buildings. Frontage occupancy is the percentage of the lot width which must be occupied by either a front building facade or structures that screen parking, located within the area between the minimum and maximum front setback. The purpose of this requirement is to maintain a sense of enclosure of the street. This requirement may be reduced by the Planning Board a) to the extent necessary to allow light and air into an adjacent building that has side windows; or b) if the applicant provides a suitably surfaced and lighted pedestrian passageway between Main Street and parking areas, public open spaces, or other streets, located behind the building.
Figure 18-2: Frontage Occupancy
(7) 
Building height for a building fronting on Main Street: minimum two stories, maximum four stories, as determined from the average street front level. Stories built below the grade of the street shall not be counted toward building height. A special permit may be granted pursuant to Subsection B above for a five-story building on the north side of Main Street. A special permit may also be granted for a four-story tower without a stepback at a corner on the south side of Main Street, facing an intersection and occupying no more than 25% of the roof area of the building. The second story of a two-story building shall be built in a manner that allows actual occupancy for one or more permitted uses and does not create the mere appearance of a second story. For any building over three stories on the south side of Main Street or four stories on the north side, a stepback of at least 15 feet behind the facade shall be required for the top story, except for corner towers allowed by special permit. Chimneys, vent pipes, mechanical systems, elevator shafts, antennas, wireless communications facilities, roof gardens and fences, greenhouses, solar collectors, wind energy systems, and other rooftop accessory structures may project up to 15 feet above the maximum height. With the exception of roof gardens and solar collectors, such projections may occupy no more than 20% of the roof area and must be set back at least 15 feet from the front edge of the roof.
(8) 
Building height for a building not fronting on Main Street: maximum three stories and 35 feet. Chimneys, vent pipes, roof gardens and fences, greenhouses, solar collectors, wind energy systems, and other rooftop accessory structures may project up to eight feet above the maximum height, provided that, with the exception of roof gardens and solar collectors, they occupy no more than 15% of the roof area and are set back at least 15 feet from the front edge of the roof.
(9) 
Lot area and lot width: There are no minimum lot area or lot width requirements.
(10) 
Lot depth: Minimum lot depth is 75 feet, except that on any lot in which the area behind a building is voluntarily dedicated to the City as public parking, there shall be no minimum depth requirement.
(11) 
Floor area ratio: There is no maximum floor area ratio.
(12) 
Landscaped area: For lots fronting on Main Street, a minimum of 10% of the lot shall be landscaped with trees, shrubs, or grass, in locations approved by the Planning Board that enhance the streetscape or provide a landscaped interior courtyard, and are found to be consistent with the intent of the CMS District. This requirement shall be reduced to 5% if the landscaped area is accessible to the public. For lots not fronting on Main Street, a minimum of 15% of the lot shall be landscaped with trees and shrubs. These requirements may be waived for lots of 5,000 square feet or less.
(13) 
Lots that front on Main Street.
Figure 18-3: Lots That Front on Main Street
(14) 
Lots that do not front on Main Street.
Figure 18-4: Lots That Do Not Front on Main Street
E. 
Frontage types.
(1) 
For new buildings, along Main Street, only the following building frontage types are permitted:
(a) 
Storefront.
(b) 
Forecourt.
(2) 
On other streets, there is no prescribed building or frontage type, except that no private garage may be located less than 20 feet behind the front facade of a building.
(3) 
Storefront frontage type: a frontage type where the building facade is placed at or close to the right-of-way line, with the entrance at sidewalk grade. This building frontage type is conventional for retail use. It is characterized by a high percentage of glazing on the first floor, a prominent entrance, and often an awning. Recessed doors on storefronts are acceptable.
Figure 18-5: Illustrative View of Storefront Frontage Type
Figure 18-6: Section View of Storefront Frontage Type
Figure 18-7: Plan View of Storefront Frontage Type
(4) 
Forecourt frontage type. A forecourt is a semi-public exterior space whose back and sides are surrounded by a building and whose front opens to a thoroughfare — forming a court. The court is suitable for gardens, gathering space, and outdoor dining.
Figure 18-8: Illustrative View of Forecourt Frontage Type
Figure 18-9: Section View of Forecourt Frontage Type
Figure 18-10: Plan View of Forecourt Frontage Type
F. 
Parking location and quantity.
(1) 
All off-street parking for buildings that have Main Street frontage shall be located behind, underneath, or to the side of a building. If on the side, the parking area shall be located at least 40 feet from the Main Street property line and be screened by a low brick or stone wall, hedge, ornamental fence, and/or other landscaping that maintains the continuity of the street wall in compliance with frontage occupancy requirements, and that screens parked cars from view from the street. A public garage on a lot with Main Street frontage shall have a storefront "liner building" at least 40 feet deep and one story high between the Scrparking structure and Main Street, but may have a zero-foot setback on the upper floors of the parking structure (over the storefront) and along any street that intersects Main Street. Parking areas fronting on side streets shall have a minimum setback of five feet in which ornamental and/or buffer landscaping is planted.
(2) 
The minimum quantity of required on-site parking spaces shall be as follows:
(a) 
Residential: one space per unit.
(b) 
Office and nonretail commercial: 2.5 spaces per 1,000 square feet of floor area.
(c) 
Retail commercial and personal services: three spaces per 1,000 square feet of floor area.
(d) 
Other uses: as determined to be appropriate by the Planning Board in the course of site plan review.
(3) 
The requirements in Subsection F(2) above may be modified by the Planning Board, in its discretion, based upon information submitted by the applicant or otherwise made available in the public record, demonstrating one or more of the following:
(a) 
That the projected operational characteristics of the proposed use require a different amount of parking.
(b) 
That adequate shared parking, contractually obligated for the duration of the proposed use, is available within 500 feet of the site and within the CMS or PB Districts.
(c) 
That the applicant has provided sufficient bicycle parking to reduce anticipated vehicular travel demand.
(d) 
That there is sufficient public parking available within 800 feet of the site and within the CMS or PB Districts to meet foreseeable parking needs of the proposed use and surrounding uses for the duration of the proposed use.
(e) 
That the applicant will voluntarily dedicate land for public parking on site or will acquire land by purchase or long-term lease (for the duration of the proposed use) within 800 feet of the site and within the CMS or PB Districts and voluntarily dedicate such land to the City for public parking.
(f) 
That a professional parking study of the proposed use and the surrounding area demonstrates that a different amount of parking would be appropriate for the use in its particular location and/or that existing and/or proposed off-site parking is sufficient.
(4) 
For lots of 8,000 square feet or less, where the provision of on-site parking is infeasible, the Planning Board may waive all parking requirements, provided that the total floor area of the building is no greater than 5,000 square feet.
(5) 
Section 223-26B of this chapter shall apply in the CMS District.
G. 
Streetscape improvements.
(1) 
Within the building transition zone, the Planning Board may require the lot owner to provide planters, trees, shrubs, or other landscaping to enhance the appearance of the streetscape. Ornamental fencing four feet or less in height may be provided to separate privately owned space from public space. Chain link, vinyl, and solid fencing shall be prohibited. For commercial uses, display areas, and outdoor dining and seating areas may be provided.
(2) 
A pedestrian clearway, at least eight feet wide, with unobstructed space for pedestrian activity shall be provided along the sidewalk, unless site conditions require a narrower clearway. Within the street transition zone, if space permits, lot owners may plant trees and place benches, tables, and outdoor seating areas with the approval of the Department of Public Works. The Planning Board may require the planting of street trees on average 30 feet to 40 feet apart as a condition of site plan approval.
(3) 
The Planning Board may require the placement of bicycle racks of an approved design within the street transition and building transition zones. Each bicycle rack holding two bicycles may be used to reduce the required parking by one parking space. The Planning Board may require any building containing 5,000 square feet or more of floor area to provide one bicycle rack or equivalent indoor bicycle parking space for every 2,000 square feet of floor area.
(4) 
The Planning Board may require that an applicant constructing a building greater than 10,000 square feet in floor area pay for the provision of related street improvements to improve pedestrian and/or bicycle safety.
Figure 18-11: Parts of the Streetscape
H. 
Site plan review/special permit procedures and criteria.
(1) 
In order to ensure an expedited review of site plans, this article contains a streamlined site plan review procedure for any proposed building project of 10,000 square feet or less in footprint area, as follows:
(a) 
The applicant shall meet with the Building Inspector, who shall provide a site plan application and instruction sheet describing the requirements for site plan approval and who may recommend that the applicant have a preapplication meeting with the Planning Board to determine application submission requirements.
(b) 
The applicant shall prepare a site plan with sufficient information for the Planning Board to determine whether or not it complies with the provisions of this article.
(c) 
If no special permit is required, the applicant shall then meet with the Planning Board to discuss the proposal. No public hearing will be required, unless the Planning Board determines that the proposal may have substantial detrimental effects or may cause public controversy.
(d) 
Within 45 days after such meeting, or if there is a public hearing, within 45 days after the closing of the public hearing, the Planning Board shall issue an approval, approval with modifications, or denial of the application, stating the reasons for any modifications or denial. The Planning Board shall also issue a required schedule for initiation and completion of the project. Such approval shall lapse within two years if the applicant does not diligently pursue construction of the project, unless the applicant requests an extension, which may only be granted for good cause by the Planning Board.
(2) 
For projects with over 10,000 square feet in building footprint area, or that otherwise require a special permit, the applicant shall follow the procedures in §§ 223-18 and 223-25, except that the Planning Board shall take the place of the City Council in § 223-18. Such applications shall comply with those sections to the extent that such sections do not contain standards that conflict with this article. In case of a conflict, this article shall control.
[Amended 7-21-2014 by L.L. No. 11-2014]
(3) 
The Planning Board may require a performance guarantee for the construction of public improvements in connection with any project of 10,000 square feet or more in floor area.
(4) 
After completion of construction of new buildings, the applicant shall submit as-built plans to the Building Inspector showing the exact location of all site alterations and construction.
I. 
Site plan and special permit amendments. For any proposed change to an approved site plan, the applicant shall meet with the Building Inspector who shall make a determination as to whether or not the proposed change is significant. If the Building Inspector determines that the change is significant (e.g., a change in dimensions of more than 10% shall be presumed to be significant), the application shall be referred to the Planning Board for an amendment to the site plan or special permit, as appropriate. If the Building Inspector determines that the change is not significant and otherwise complies with applicable requirements, the Building Inspector is authorized to issue a building permit without further review.
J. 
Compliance with below market rate housing requirements. All applications involving residential development shall comply with Article IVB of this chapter (Affordable-Workforce Housing).
K. 
Design standards.
(1) 
Because of the design standards in this section, the architectural review provisions of Chapter 86 shall not apply within the CMS. In addition to the preceding sections of this article, all new buildings or substantial alterations of existing buildings shall comply with the following design requirements. These design standards are intended to promote the following purposes:
(a) 
Preserve and enhance the unique character of the City of Beacon;
(b) 
Promote pedestrian access and activity, as well as a general sense of area security;
(c) 
Restore and maintain the role of streets as civic and social spaces, framed by active uses;
(d) 
Encourage economic development and a convenient mix of uses and services; and
(e) 
Support a sense of design context that appropriately relates historic buildings, general facade and window patterns, and traditional streetscapes in the area to new redevelopment efforts, while still allowing contemporary architectural flexibility.
(2) 
Standards using the verb "shall" are required; "should" is used when the standard is to be applied unless the Planning Board finds a strong justification for an alternative solution in an unusual and specific circumstance; and "may" means that the "standard" is an optional guideline that is encouraged but not required.
(3) 
Buildings should have a top-floor cornice feature and first-floor architectural articulation, such as a storefront with a secondary cornice or an architecturally emphasized entrance doorway, to accent the central body of the building.
(4) 
Architectural features and windows should be continued on all sides of the building that are clearly visible from a street or public parking area, avoiding any blank walls, except in cases of existing walls or potential common property walls. Larger buildings shall incorporate significant breaks in the facades and rooflines at intervals of no more than 35 feet.
(5) 
Building elements that provide additional architectural interest, such as balconies, bay windows, open porches, and cornices, may encroach up to four feet beyond the front lot line if the bottom of the encroaching building elements is at least 12 feet above grade.
(6) 
Metal, glass or canvas-type awnings and canopies or projecting signs are encouraged and may encroach up to six feet into the front setback and over the sidewalk above seven feet. Vinyl awnings are discouraged unless the applicant can demonstrate to the Planning Board's satisfaction that the finish and design of such awning are of high quality, aesthetically pleasing and meet the intended standards of the district, as determined by said Board.
[Amended 7-21-2014 by L.L. No. 11-2014]
(7) 
Buildings shall have a front entrance door facing the primary street and connected to the sidewalk. Front entrance doors for commercial buildings and retail storefronts shall be active and provide main access during business hours.
(8) 
Primary individual window proportions shall be greater in height than in width. Mirrored, reflective, or tinted glass, all-glass walls, and exterior roll-down security gates shall not be permitted. Any shutters shall match the size of the window opening, appear functional, and be attached to the window frame.
(9) 
Commercial buildings shall have at least 70% glass on the first-floor facades, located between two feet and 10 feet above the sidewalk. Residential buildings shall have at least 30% glass on the first-floor facades.
(10) 
Finish building materials should be wood, brick, traditional cement-based stucco, stone or fiber-cement siding or other material deemed acceptable by the Planning Board. Vinyl, aluminum or sheet metal siding or sheet trim, exposed concrete blocks or concrete walls, plywood or other similar prefabricated panels, unpainted or unstained lumber, synthetic stone or brick, or synthetic stucco, exterior insulation and finishing system (EIFS), or direct-applied finish system (DAFS), and chain link fencing shall not be permitted.
[Amended 7-21-2014 by L.L. No. 11-2014]
(11) 
Materials and colors should complement historic buildings on the block.
(12) 
Lighting fixtures shall be a maximum of 15 feet in height, except pole lights in rear parking lots shall be a maximum of 20 feet high. Lighting shall be energy efficient, have full spectrum color quality, and shall prevent any lighting above 60 watts that directly projects above the horizontal level into the night sky.
(13) 
Mechanical equipment and refuse containers shall be concealed from public view by approved architectural elements and shall be located to the rear of the site. Window or projecting air conditioners shall not be permitted on the front facade.
(14) 
The Planning Board may waive setback requirements for landmark civic buildings, including government buildings, schools, libraries, or places of worship, and for pedestrian-oriented places, such as public greens or plazas and outdoor eating areas.
Figure 18-12: Design Standards Examples A
Figure 18-13: Design Standards Examples B
Figure 18-14: Design Standards Examples C
L. 
Main Street infill strategies illustrative sketch plan. This sketch plan provides one possible set of design solutions which was included in the 2007 Comprehensive Plan Appendix as an illustration of planning principles for the Central Main Street District.
Figure 18-15: Main Street Infill Strategies Illustrative Sketch Plan