City of Rye, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 12-18-2013 by L.L. No. 4-2013]
A. 
This real property tax exemption for historic property is being enacted in order to achieve the following goals: to increase incentives for property owners in historic districts to invest in the upkeep and rehabilitation of properties; to provide an incentive for the restoration and rehabilitation of commercial structures which qualify as landmarks in order to provide financial advantages, not available elsewhere in the country at this time, which may help to attract and retain businesses in the City of Rye; to assist homeowners who are interested in restoring their own properties but may not be able to afford to do so when faced with potential increases in taxation as the result of alterations which would qualify for this exemption; and to provide a concrete benefit for restoring or improving historically or architecturally significant properties which are subject to the regulations of Chapter 117, Landmarks Preservation.
B. 
The City of Rye real property tax exemption is intended to apply to alterations or rehabilitations of historic property as authorized pursuant to §§ 96-a and 119-aa through 119-dd of the General Municipal Law and § 444-a of the Real Property Tax Law and all other powers granted to the City of Rye to provide such exemptions.
C. 
This article is intended to create a real property tax exemption that preserves or increases the historic character of real property located within the City of Rye.
For the purposes of this article, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings.
ALTERATION
Only exterior work on a building that requires a building permit or demolition permit.
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
A certificate issued by the Board of Architectural Review authorizing a material change of appearance of a Protected Site or Structure or within a district, subject to other applicable permit requirements.
DEMOLITION
The destruction of the exterior of a building, in whole or in part, whether or not the foundation is also destroyed pursuant to the requirements of a duly issued demolition permit.
HISTORIC BUILDING
Any building that the Landmarks Advisory Committee has determined to be of a historic nature consistent with the criteria outlined in Chapter 117 of the Rye City Code and is located within an historic district. A historic building does not have to be designated as a Protected Site or Structure.
HISTORIC DISTRICT
An area of the City of Rye delineated on the Zoning Map of the City which has been recommended by the Landmarks Advisory Committee to the City Council as "Historic" in that such area has added to the historical or architectural significance of the City, and which has been approved by the City Council.
[Added 2-25-2015 by Ord. No. 3-2015]
LANDMARK
Any parcel or building or structure designated as a Protected Site or Structure not located in a Preservation District or Historic District, which nonetheless meets one or more of the criteria enumerated in § 117-5 and is designated as a Protected Site or Structure pursuant to § 117-5E.
[Amended 2-25-2015 by Ord. No. 3-2015]
REHABILITATE
The process of returning a property to a state of utility, through repair or alteration, which makes possible an efficient contemporary use while preserving those portions and features of the property which are significant to its historic, architectural, and cultural values.
[Added 7-8-2015 by L.L. No. 5-2015]
REPAIR
Limited replacement in kind, or with compatible substitute material, of extensively deteriorated or missing parts of features when there are surviving prototypes.
[Added 7-8-2015 by L.L. No. 5-2015]
RESTORE
To return the interior or exterior appearance to a particular date or time period.
[Added 7-8-2015 by L.L. No. 5-2015]
Real property within the City of Rye altered or rehabilitated subsequent to the effective date of this article shall be exempt from City real property and special ad valorem levies, subject to and in accordance with the schedule set forth in § 177-8A and conditions outlined in § 177-80B and C.
A. 
Historic property which shall be defined hereafter shall be exempt from taxation to the extent of any increase in value attributable to such alteration or rehabilitation pursuant to the following schedule:
Year of Exemption
Percentage of Exemption
1
100%
2
100%
3
100%
4
100%
5
100%
6
80%
7
60%
8
40%
9
20%
10
0%
B. 
No such exemption shall be granted for such alterations or rehabilitation unless all of the following criteria are met.
(1) 
Such property must be "historic," which means that:
(a) 
The property has been designated as a landmark pursuant to Chapter 117 of the Rye City Code; or
(b) 
The structure has been found to meet the criteria of being an historic building by the Landmarks Advisory Committee and is part of a historic district.
(2) 
Alterations or rehabilitation are consistent with the character of the historic building.
(3) 
Such alterations or rehabilitation or reconstruction of the historic building are approved by the Landmarks Advisory Committee and the Board of Architectural Review prior to the commencement of work and a certificate of appropriateness issued.
(4) 
The alterations or rehabilitation or reconstruction must otherwise result in an increase in the assessed valuation of the real property.
(5) 
Alterations or rehabilitation or reconstruction are commenced subsequent to the effective date of this article.
C. 
In the event a historic building is substantially demolished due to fire or other act of nature not caused by the property owner, the reconstruction of such building consistent with its historic character as reviewed and approved by the Board of Architectural Review shall qualify for the partial tax exemption, but in no event shall the assessment for the taxes to be paid be less than the assessment that existed prior to the substantial demolition.
A. 
The exemption may be granted only upon application of the owner or owners of such historic building on a form prescribed by the New York State Office of Real Property Services, or any successor agency.
B. 
The application must be filed with the Assessor on or before the appropriate taxable status date.
C. 
The exemption shall be granted where the Assessor is satisfied that the applicant is entitled to an exemption pursuant to this section.
D. 
All of the terms, conditions and exceptions as set forth in § 444-a of the Real Property Tax Law of the State of New York, as amended, are adopted herein unless otherwise specified, as though fully set forth within this article.
[Added 7-8-2015 by L.L. No. 5-2015]
A. 
The designated historic district shall be set forth in this section by block and lot number, street designation, and if appropriate, by local designation.
(1) 
Central Business Historic District: portions of downtown Rye located in the B-2 Zone as designated on the accompanying map as one historic district.[1]
(a) 
For purposes of the Central Business Historic District, an "historic building" is defined as any building that is located within the Central Business Historic District that is at least 100 years old as per the building census prepared by the Landmarks Advisory Committee in November 2014, and that the Landmarks Advisory Committee has determined to possess one or more of the following characteristics as outlined in Chapter 117 of the Rye City:
[1] 
Association with persons or events of historic significance to the City, region, state or nation.
[2] 
Illustrative of historic growth and development of the City, region, state or nation.
[3] 
Embodying distinctive characteristics of a type, period or method of construction or representing the work of a master, or possessing unique architectural and artistic qualities, or representing a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction.
[4] 
In the case of interiors: possessing one or more of the characteristics enumerated above and, in addition, embodying distinctive characteristics of architectural scale, form and visual homogeneity which are an integral part of the character of the structure in which the space is contained.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said map is on file in the City offices.