[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Flower Hill 12-2-2013 by L.L. No. 10-2013. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to preserve and protect the unique character of the Village and to encourage the creation of buildings, structures, landscape settings and appurtenances, and use of property within the Village in ways that maintain this character. Toward that end, the Board is concerned about:
Excessive uniformity or similarity, dissimilarity or inappropriateness or poor quality of design of the exterior of buildings or structures in the Village.
The improper placement of buildings or improved surfaces or the excessive disturbance of natural features of a site in relation to the surrounding area.
The Board of Trustees finds that construction projects within the Village which exhibit the characteristics identified in Subsection A(1) and (2) above do not meet with the purpose of this chapter. Specifically, the Board of Trustees finds that such projects could detrimentally affect the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the Village in that such projects may adversely affect the desirability of the immediate and neighboring areas, discourage the most appropriate use of land for residential, commercial and industrial purposes, and impair the stability and value of both improved and unimproved real property.
The purpose of this chapter is, therefore, to prevent the potentially harmful effects of the projects as described above by instituting an Architectural Review Committee with procedures for additional review of building permit applications to conserve the value of buildings, encourage the appropriate use of land and maintain the physical and visual appearance of the Village.
The Architectural Review Committee (ARC) shall consist of no less than three members and may be increased to five members by resolution of the Board of Trustees. The Chairperson of the Committee may be compensated at the discretion of the Board of Trustees and at an amount determined by resolution of the Board of Trustees.
[Amended 2-6-2017 by L.L. No. 2-2017]
All members of the ARC shall be persons qualified by special training and experience in art, architecture, landscape architecture or design, land development, community planning, real estate, engineering, law or other relevant business or profession, or by reason of civic interest and sound judgment, to determine the effect of a proposed building or structure on its desirability, property values and development of the surrounding area and the Village as a whole. These members shall not be employed in their professional capacity to work within the Village of Flower Hill.
The Building Superintendent shall serve as advisor to the ARC.
Up to two alternate members may be appointed to serve in the absence of a regular member to maintain a quorum.
The members, Chair and alternates shall be appointed by the Mayor with approval of the Board of Trustees. Of the members first appointed, one shall hold office for a term of one year, one shall hold office for a term of two years, and one shall hold office for a term of three years. Their successors shall be appointed for a term of three years from and after the expiration of the terms of their predecessors in office. In the case of the member who is also a member of the Board of Trustees, that member's term shall continue only for such time as the member remains a Trustee, for a maximum of three years. The alternate members' term shall be for one year.
The Board of Trustees shall have the power to remove any member for cause or no cause by a majority vote.
If a vacancy occurs, other than the expiration of a term, it shall be filled by Mayoral appointment, with the approval of the Board of Trustees, for the remainder of the unexpired term.
Meetings of the Committee shall be scheduled on the fourth Monday of each month at a time to be determined by the Committee, or on such occasions and at such times as the ARC may determine. The Committee may change the time or date of the meeting by majority vote.
A majority of the appointed members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum.
The Committee shall keep minutes of its proceedings showing the vote of each member.
The Building Superintendent shall refer the appropriate building permits received in the prior month to the Committee for review. Upon receipt of any application for a permit to construct, reconstruct, alter or renovate a building or buildings in such a manner which would affect the major exterior appearance of such building or buildings, or property, the Building Superintendent shall determine whether the application conforms to the requirements of Chapter 240, Zoning, and then refer the matter for ARC review. Additionally, the Building Superintendent may refer any application for ARC review, including any application resulting in the modification of the grade of a property of two or more feet, if, in the opinion of the Building Superintendent, the work called for in the application could impede the characteristics set forth in § 7-1A and B above.
[Amended 9-5-2017 by L.L. No. 18-2017]
No review can be conducted without the applicant submitting a completed building permit application with all fees paid and the appropriate number of sets, as required by the ARC, of the following. This list is not exclusive and may be modified from time to time by the Committee.
[Amended 5-1-2017 by L.L. No. 8-2017]
No review can be conducted without the property owner or his representative present.
To be considered for review, the building permit and all accompanying documents must be received at the Village Hall no later than two weeks prior to the meeting.
[Amended 5-1-2017 by L.L. No. 8-2017]
Upon the Building Superintendent's referral, the applicant will mail a notice of meeting, to be provided by the Village Administrator, to the 12 property owners surrounding the subject property and identified to the applicant by the Village Administrator, by certified, first-class mail, as follows:
The applicant shall mail this notice at least one week prior to the scheduled meeting and return the mailing receipts and any returned letters to the Committee along with a notarized affidavit attesting that the mailing was done in a procedurally correct manner.
In considering an application, the ARC shall take into account natural features of the site and surroundings, exterior design and appearances of existing buildings and the character of the neighborhood and its peculiar suitability for particular purposes, with a view to conserving the value of property and encouraging the most-appropriate use of land.
The ARC acts as an advisory committee to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees shall make the final determination regarding an application, and the Board of Trustees is hereby empowered to base its determination on the factors outlined within this chapter and with such additional information as is shared by the ARC. The ARC may recommend approval of the application upon finding that the building or structure for which the permit is sought, if erected or altered in accordance with the submitted plans:
Would not be visually offensive or inappropriate by reason of poor quality of exterior design or appearance, monotonous similarity or visual or architectural discord in relation to the site or surrounding properties in the immediate vicinity.
Would not mar the appearance of the area, would not prevent the most-appropriate utilization of the site or of adjacent land and would not affect the functioning, economic stability, prosperity, health, safety and general welfare of the community.
The ARC may impose appropriate conditions and safeguards to prevent any harmful effects enumerated in this chapter so long as they do not override any allowable provisions which may be permissible under the Zoning Code.
[Amended 8-5-2019 by L.L. No. 6-2019]
The ARC may recommend disapproval of any application for a permit by the Board of Trustees, provided the ARC has afforded the applicant an opportunity to confer upon suggestions for change of the plan, and provided that the ARC finds that the building or structure for which the permit was requested would, if constructed or altered, provoke one or more of the harmful effects of § 7-1 or as follows:
Monotonous similarity to any other building located in the vicinity (which, when used in this chapter, shall mean within a radius of 1,000 feet of the subject property), in respect to one or more of the following features of exterior design and appearance found in Subsection D(1)(a) through (c) below. However, a finding of excessive similarity must be of such a nature as to produce one or more of the harmful effects set forth in § 7-1 and must not be based on a personal preference as to taste or choice of architectural style.
Apparently identical facade, disregarding color.
Substantially identical size and arrangement of either doors, windows, porticoes, porches or garages or other openings or breaks in the facade, including reverse arrangements.
Other substantially identical features, such as, but not limited to, construction material, roofline and height, setback from street lines, widths and elements of building design and exterior materials and treatments.
Excessive dissimilarity, visual discord, or inappropriateness of design with respect to other buildings existing in the vicinity in respect to one or more of the following features of exterior design or appearance found in Subsection D(2)(a) through (c) below. However, a finding of excessive similarity must be of such a nature as to produce one or more of the harmful effects set forth in § 7-1 and must not be based on a personal preference as to taste or choice of architectural style.
Size and arrangement of doors, windows, porticoes, porches or garages or other openings, breaks or extensions in the facade.
Scale and other significant design features, such as but not limited to heights, widths, length of elements of design, exterior materials and treatments, roof structures, exposed mechanical equipment, service and storage area, retaining walls, landscaping, signs, light posts, parking areas and fences.
The poor quality of building and overall site design in respect to one or more of the following features found in Subsection D(3)(a) through (e) below. However any finding of poor quality of building design and construction or overall site design shall include not only that such condition exists but that it is of such a nature as to produce one or more of the harmful effects set forth in § 7-1. Further, such finding must not be based on a personal preference as to taste or choice of architectural style.
The relationship to and the character of the adjacent neighborhood.
The bulk, mass, dimensions, materials and locations of structures on the site.
The location of improved surfaces, including patios and driveways.
Excessive interference with light or view of properties in the vicinity.
Excessive site disturbance in relation to the environmental, ecological, natural or other features of the subject site and properties in the vicinity, including but not limited to detrimental alteration of topography or drainage patterns and interference with the natural terrain or vegetation of surrounding properties.
The Committee will promote the practice of good environmental design and construction methods for both residential and commercial properties. In doing so, the Committee will encourage design and construction that will further water and energy conservation as well as design and construction that will minimize the impact of lighting on surrounding neighbors. The Committee may also consider any other environmental issues it deems appropriate in relation to any application brought before it.
All recommendations or other actions by the ARC shall be reviewed by the Board of Trustees, which shall make a final determination on the application for a permit. In reaching its determination, the Board of Trustees may rely upon the factors included within this chapter and upon the information shared with it by the ARC. The Board of Trustees may affirm, reverse or modify any recommendations of the ARC or actions taken by the ARC at the Board of Trustees meeting scheduled immediately following the ARC meeting, or at such other time as the Board of Trustees shall determine.
Any person aggrieved by the action of the Board of Trustees in approving or disapproving a permit application or in approving an application on conditions, or by action of the Building Superintendent in denying a permit because of such disapproval by the Board of Trustees, may, within 30 days after the determination of the Board of Trustees, institute a proceeding to review in the manner provided by Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.