[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Sag Harbor as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 10-8-2013 by L.L. No. 6-2013]
The Board of Trustees hereby finds that the Village incurs significant expenses related to professional consultant review of certain applications before the Board of Trustees, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Harbor Committee, and Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review, including but not limited to those regarding site plans, special permits, subdivisions, lot line modifications, variances, architectural review and other or similar or related procedures. The professional consultant review is necessary to promote the general health, safety and welfare and to carry out the enabling authority provided by the New York Legislature and implemented in the Village Code.
The Village has the authority to submit any application which may come before it to professional consultants, such as an engineer, environmental expert, planner and/or other professional consultants, as it may deem necessary to enable it to review such application, and the applicant should reimburse the Village for the cost thereof. The costs of such professional review involve activities and services beyond the routine processing of these types of applications.
All routine processing costs, including mailing and publication of general meeting notices, stenographic public hearing transcripts and standard Building Department review, are covered by and limited to the stated application fees fixed by resolution of the Board of Trustees from time to time. Recovery of the costs of professional consultants is limited to the instances set forth herein.
The Village board reviewing a given application and/or other or similar matter may, in review of any application which may come before it, refer such application presented to it to an engineer, environmental expert, planner or other professional consultant as the reviewing board shall deem reasonably necessary to enable it to review such application as required by law. Fees charged for any such professional services shall be in accord with fees usually charged for such services in the eastern Suffolk County area and pursuant to a contractual agreement between the Village and such professional consultant.
The Village Clerk shall review any such fees for professional consultant services prior to the assessment of any such fees as a charge reimbursable by an applicant. Applicants shall not be charged for fees for services rendered by professional consultants retained by the Village which relate to tasks performed for the mere convenience of the reviewing board, such as mere attendance by the Village Engineer at any regular public meetings of the Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Appeals; except that, in the case of specific review of a particular application, and except that, in the case of a special public or other meeting for the purpose of reviewing a particular application, consultant fees shall be recovered. Upon request, the applicant shall be provided with copies of any voucher for such professional consultant review services as submitted to the Village. The applicant shall reimburse the Village for the cost of such professional consultant review services in accordance with the procedures described below. The payment of such fees shall be a condition of any approval and shall be set forth in any resolution of approval and shall be required in addition to any and all other fees required in connection with the review of the application as set forth in any chapter of the Village Code or any Village fee schedule. An applicant may direct any questions relating to fees for reimbursement of professional consultant services to the Village Clerk, who may refer the matter to the reviewing board.
Proof of payment of all professional consultant review fees shall be obtained by the applicant from the Village Treasurer and presented to the clerk of the reviewing board having jurisdiction over the application. No building permit or certificate of occupancy shall be issued nor shall any use or work be authorized under any resolution of approval unless all professional review fees charged in connection with the applicant's project have been reimbursed to the Village.
In the event that an application is required to be reviewed by more than one reviewing board, then, in such event and to the extent applicable, each such reviewing board shall use the same consultant, who shall in such case prepare one report providing the data, information and recommendations requested. In all instances, duplication of consultants' reports shall be avoided whenever possible in order to minimize the cost of such consultants' reports to the applicant.
At the time of submission of any application which may come before it, an initial deposit shall be required as may be set forth by the Board of Trustees in a Village fee schedule, which may be amended from time to time; or if no such fee schedule or fee schedule item exists for such application and/or other or similar matter, the applicant shall deposit such sum as is deemed necessary by the reviewing board based on its evaluation of the nature and complexity of the application. Such deposit shall be held in an escrow account, separate and apart from all other accounts of the Village. This deposit with the Village shall be used as an advance against which withdrawals shall be made to reimburse the Village for the cost of professional consultant review services and the cost of publication of any special meeting notice and/or any special meeting stenographic service and/or any other special review costs actually incurred incident to a particular application. No application shall be considered complete for review purposes until said deposit is made in accordance herewith.
The Village shall provide applicants with periodic statements indicating the cost of professional consultant review services and other costs paid out of the initial deposit. Whenever the balance in such escrow account is reduced to a balance of less than 10% of the original deposit, the Village shall notify the applicant, and the applicant shall immediately deposit additional funds into such account so as to restore its balance to a sum deemed necessary by the Village reviewing board. If an initial deposit amount is depleted, the reviewing board may suspend its review of the application. If any outstanding fees are not paid by the applicant within 30 days of issuance of a request for additional payment, the Board of Trustees, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Harbor Committee, and Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review shall not be obligated to comply with any time periods for review of site plans, special permits, subdivisions, lot line modifications, variances, architectural review and other or similar applications pursuant to state and/or local law if the applicant fails timely to pay the fees as aforesaid. Any such time periods shall begin to accrue again upon receipt of required payment.
After all pertinent charges have been paid, and upon final approval or denial by the reviewing board or formal withdrawal of the application by the applicant, the Village shall refund to the applicant any funds remaining on deposit. Any such refund shall be made as soon as the Village is reasonably able to do so.
All fees required pursuant to this article shall be collected by the Village Clerk, or the clerk of the reviewing board who shall promptly forward same to the Village Clerk, for recording by the Village Treasurer.
In the event that any fees or deposits established in this article create an economic or other hardship, application may be made to the Board of Trustees, which is hereby authorized to modify such fee and/or deposit, in its legislative discretion, after appropriate public hearing, except that no such recovery of costs imposed under Village Code § 125-12 may be waived or modified.
This article is hereby adopted pursuant to Municipal Home Rule Law § 10(1)(i) and § 10(1)(ii)a(14) and Statute of Local Governments § 10, Subdivision 6.
It is the intent of the Board of Trustees, pursuant to Municipal Home Rule Law § 10(1)(ii)d(3), to supersede any laws incorporating relevant time limits and any inconsistent provision of Article 7 of the Village Law, §§ 7-706, 7-712, 7-712-A, 7-712-B, 7-725-A, 7-725-B, 7-728, 7-730, 7-732, 7-734, 7-736 and 7-738, as well as the Village Code, in relationship to which and to the extent to which such provisions set forth specified time frames for certain reviewing board action.