Town of Riverhead, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Riverhead 3-5-1991 by L.L. No. 1-1991; amended in its entirety 4-5-2005 by L.L. No. 6-2005 (Ch. 12, §§ 12-1 through 12-23 and 12-25 through 12-39, of the 1976 Code). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 233.
Stormwater management and erosion and sediment control — See Ch. 275.
Vegetation — See Ch. 287.
Wetlands — See Ch. 295.
Zoning and land development — See Ch. 301.
Pursuant to the provisions of Article 34 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law and § 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law, the Town of Riverhead, County of Suffolk, State of New York, hereby enacts, by Local Law No. 1 of 1991, this chapter.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Town of Riverhead Coastal Erosion Hazard Area Law."
This chapter shall take effect 20 calendar days from certification by the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which is the date of this chapter's adoption and filing, pursuant to § 27 of the Municipal Home Rule Law, or the date of filing the official maps, whichever is later.
The Town of Riverhead hereby assumes the responsibility and authority to implement and administer a coastal erosion management program within its jurisdiction pursuant to Article 34 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law. In addition, it is the purpose of this chapter to:
A. 
Establish standards and procedures for minimizing and preventing damage to structures from coastal flooding and erosion and to protect natural protective features and other natural resources.
B. 
Regulate, in coastal areas subject to coastal flooding and erosion, land use and development activities so as to minimize or prevent damage or destruction to man-made property, natural protective features and other natural resources and to protect human life.
C. 
Regulate new construction or placement of structures in order to place them a safe distance from areas of active erosion and the impact of coastal storms to ensure that these structures are not prematurely destroyed or damaged due to improper siting, as well as to prevent damage to natural protective features and other natural resources.
D. 
Restrict public investment in services, facilities or activities which are likely to encourage new permanent development in erosion hazard areas.
E. 
Regulate the construction of erosion protection structures in coastal areas subject to serious erosion to assure that when the construction of erosion protection structures is justified, their construction and operation will minimize or prevent damage or destruction to man-made property, private and public property, natural protective features and other natural resources.
The Town of Riverhead finds that the coastal erosion hazard area:
A. 
Is prone to erosion from action of the Long Island Sound and related water bodies. Such erosion may be caused by the action of waves, currents running along the shore and wind-driven water and ice. Such areas are also prone to erosion caused by the wind, runoff of rainwater along the surface of the land or groundwater seepage, as well as by human activities such as construction, navigation and certain forms of recreation.
B. 
Experiences coastal erosion which causes extensive damage to publicly and privately owned property and to natural resources as well as endangering human lives. When this occurs, individuals and private businesses suffer significant economic losses, as do the Town and the state economies, either directly through property damage or indirectly through loss of economic return. Large public expenditures may also be necessary for the removal of debris and damaged structures and replacement of essential public facilities and services.
C. 
Experiences erosion-related problems that are often contributed to by man's building without considering the potential for damage to property, by undertaking activities which destroy natural protective features, such as dunes or vegetation, by building structures intended for erosion prevention which may exacerbate erosion conditions on adjacent or nearby property and by water action produced by wakes from boats.
D. 
Is the subject of programs which foster erosion protection structures, either with private or public funds, which are costly, often only partially effective over time and may even be harmful to adjacent or nearby properties. In some sections of the Town, major erosion protection structures of great length would be required to effectively reduce future damages due to erosion.
E. 
Incorporates nearshore areas which dissipate a substantial amount of wave energy before it is expended on beaches, bluffs or dunes by causing waves to collapse or break. Nearshore areas also function as reservoirs of sand, gravel and other unconsolidated material for beaches. Sandbars, which are located in nearshore areas, control the orientation of incoming waves and promote the development of ice cap formations, which help protect shorelines during winter storms. The roots of aquatic vegetation in nearshore areas bind fine-grained silts, clays and organic matter to form a cohesive bottom that resists erosion.
F. 
Incorporates beaches which buffer shorelands from erosion by absorbing wave energy that otherwise would be expended on the toes of bluffs or dunes. Beaches that are high and wide protect shorelands from erosion more effectively than beaches that are low or narrow. Beaches also act as reservoirs of sand or other unconsolidated material for longshore littoral transport and offshore sandbar and shoal formation.
G. 
Incorporates dunes which prevent overtopping and store sand for coastal processes. High, vegetated dunes provide a greater degree of protection than low, unvegetated ones. Dunes are of the greatest protective value during conditions of storm-induced high water. Because dunes often protect some of the most biologically productive areas as well as developed coastal areas, their protective value is especially great. The key to maintaining a stable dune system is the establishment and maintenance of beach grass or other vegetation on the dunes and assurance of a supply of nourishment sand to the dunes.
H. 
Incorporates bluff areas which protect shorelands and coastal development by absorbing the often destructive energy of open water. Bluffs are a source of depositional material for beaches and other unconsolidated natural protective features.
I. 
Includes natural features as identified by the State of New York and by the Town of Riverhead and that the Riverhead Town Board finds that by this regulation, the Town of Riverhead hereby retains and exercises its home rule powers.
The following terms, as used in this chapter, have the meanings indicated, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
ACCESSORY BUILDING
A building without a permanent foundation, with a maximum floor area of 100 square feet or less, a maximum height of 12 feet or less, located in the rear yard in a residentially zoned area when constructed by the homeowner or tenant.
ADMINISTRATOR
The Town of Riverhead Planning Board, which is the local official responsible for administering this chapter.
BEACH
The zone of unconsolidated earth that extends landward from the mean low-water line to the seaward toe of a dune or bluff, whichever is most seaward. Where no dune or bluff exists landward of a beach, the landward limit of a beach is 100 feet landward from the place where there is a marked change in material or physiographic form or from the line of permanent vegetation, whichever is most seaward. Shorelands subject to seasonal or more frequent overwash or inundation are considered to be beaches.
BLUFF
Any bank or cliff with a precipitous or steeply sloped face adjoining a beach or a body of water. The waterward limit of a bluff is the landward limit of its waterward natural protective feature. Where no beach is present, the waterward limit of a bluff is the mean low water. The landward limit is 50 feet landward of the receding edge or, in those cases where there is no discernible line of active erosion, 50 feet landward of the point of inflection on the top of the bluff. The point of inflection is that point along the top of the bluff where the trend of the land slope changes to begin its descent to the shoreline.
COASTAL EROSION HAZARD AREA MAP
The final map, as approved by the Riverhead Town Board, and any amendments thereof, issued by the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which delineates the boundaries of coastal erosion hazard areas subject to regulation under this chapter.
COASTAL EROSION MANAGEMENT PERMIT
A permit which is reviewed and issued by the administrator of this chapter for regulated activities that comply with the general standards, restrictions and requirements of the applicable sections of this chapter.
COASTAL WATERS
The Long Island Sound.
COASTLINE
The lands adjacent to the Town's coastal waters.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL
The officer or other designated authority charged with the enforcement of this Code, or a duly authorized representative.
CONSERVATION ADVISORY COUNCIL
A Town Board appointed council established as set forth in Chapter 105, Article IV, which, as its function, shall advise the Planning Board of the Town of Riverhead in the promotion, development, management and protection of its natural resources, and such Council shall engage in those functions authorized by the provisions of the General Municipal Law § 239-x.[1]
DEBRIS LINE
A linear accumulation of waterborne debris deposited by high waters on a beach.
DUNE
A ridge or hill of loose, windblown or artificially placed earth, the principal component of which is sand.
EROSION
The loss or displacement of land along the coastline due to the action of waves, currents, wind-driven water, waterborne ice or other impacts of storms. It also means the loss or displacement of land due to the action of wind, runoff of surface waters or groundwaters or groundwater seepage.
EROSION HAZARD AREA
An area of the coastline which is regulated under this chapter as a structural hazard area or a natural protective feature area as defined herein.
EROSION PROTECTION STRUCTURE
A structure specifically designed to reduce or prevent erosion, such as a groin, jetty, revetment, breakwater or artificial beach nourishment project.
EXISTING STRUCTURE
A structure and appurtenances in existence or one where construction has commenced or one where construction has not begun but for which a building permit has been issued prior to the effective date of this chapter.
GRADING
A redistribution of sand or other unconsolidated earth to effect a change in profile.
GROSS FLOOR AREA
The sum of the horizontal areas of all floors of a building, including interior and exterior balconies, mezzanines and attached decks and porches. Horizontal floor dimensions are to be measured from the exterior faces of the walls of each such floor or from the center line of party walls with any adjoining building.
[Added 6-19-2007 by L.L. No. 16-2007]
GROUND AREA COVERAGE
The horizontal area of a structure's footprint.
[Added 6-19-2007 by L.L. No. 16-2007[2]]
MEAN HIGH WATER
The approximate average high-water level for a given body of water at a given location, determined by reference to hydrological information concerning water levels or other appropriate tests.
[Added 6-19-2007 by L.L. No. 16-2007]
MEAN LOW WATER
The approximate average low-water level for a given body of water at a given location, determined by reference to hydrological information concerning water levels or other appropriate tests.
MOVABLE STRUCTURE
A structure designed and constructed to be readily relocated with minimum disruption of the intended use. Mobile homes and structures built on skids or piles and not having a permanent foundation are examples of movable structures.
NATURAL PROTECTIVE FEATURE
A nearshore area, beach, bluff, primary dune, secondary dune or marsh, and their vegetation. (See definitions herein.)
NATURAL PROTECTIVE FEATURE AREA
A land and/or water area containing natural protective features, the alteration of which might reduce or destroy the protection afforded other lands against erosion or high water or lower the reserve of sand or other natural materials available to replenish storm losses through natural processes.
NEARSHORE AREA
Those lands under water beginning at a mean low waterline and extending waterward in a direction perpendicular to the shoreline to a point where the mean low water depth is 15 feet or to a horizontal distance of 1,000 feet from the mean low waterline, whichever is greater.
NORMAL MAINTENANCE
Periodic replacement or repair of same-kind structural elements or protective coatings which do not change the size, design or function of a functioning structure. A "functioning structure" is one which is fully performing as originally designed at the time that normal maintenance is scheduled to begin. Normal maintenance of a structure does not require a coastal erosion management permit.
PERSON
Any individual, public or private corporation, political subdivision, government agency, public improvement district, partnership, association, firm, trust, estate or any other legal entity whatsoever.
PLANNING BOARD
An appointed Board consisting of five members whose function is to provide an impartial and professional perspective and decisions on land use issues based on the long range needs of the community contained in the Comprehensive Plan.
POINT OF INFLECTION
That point along the top of the bluff where the trend of the land slope changes to begin its descent to the shoreline.
PRIMARY DUNE
The most waterward major dune where there are two or more parallel dunes within a coastal area. Where there is only one dune present, it is the primary one. Occasionally, one or more relatively small dune formations exist waterward of the primary dune. These smaller formations will be considered to be part of the primary dune for the purposes of this chapter. The waterward limit of a primary dune is the landward limit of its fronting beach. The landward limit of the primary dune is 25 feet landward of its landward toe.
[Amended 6-19-2007 by L.L. No. 16-2007]
PROHIBITED ACTIVITY
Planting invasive, nonnative plant species found on the Suffolk County do-not-sell and management lists as established by Suffolk County L.L. No. 22-2007 and as amended.[3]
[Added 12-7-2010 by L.L. No. 26-2010]
RECEDING EDGE
The most landward line of active erosion or, in cases where there is no discernible line of active erosion, the most waterward line of permanent vegetation.
RECESSION RATE
The rate, expressed in feet per year, at which an eroding shoreline moves landward.
REGULATED ACTIVITY
The construction, modification, restoration or placement of a structure or any action or use of land which materially alters the condition of land, including grading, excavating, dumping, mining, dredging, filling or other disturbance of soil or any activity which alters or disturbs the existing natural protective features, which includes trimming and clearing of vegetation. "Regulated activity" does not include routine agricultural operations involving cultivation and harvesting or the implementation of practices recommended in a soil and water conservation plan, as defined in § 3, Subdivision (12), of the Soil and Water Conservation Districts Law, provided that such agricultural operations and implementation of practices will not be construed to include any activity that involves the construction or placement of a structure.
[Amended 6-19-2007 by L.L. No. 16-2007]
RESTORATION
The in-kind in-place reconstruction of a structure without modification. "Without modification" shall mean reconstruction to preexisting dimensions of gross floor area and ground area coverage. Modifications may be allowed, however, if they do not exceed those preexisting dimensions and are intended to mitigate impacts to natural protective features and other natural resources.
[Amended 6-19-2007 by L.L. No. 16-2007]
SECONDARY DUNE
The major dune immediately landward of the primary dune. The waterward limit of a secondary dune is the landward limit of its fronting primary dune. The landward limit of a secondary dune is 25 feet landward of its landward toe.
SIGNIFICANT FISH AND WILDLIFE HABITAT
Those habitats which are essential to the survival of a large portion of a particular fish or wildlife population; support rare or endangered species; are found at a very low frequency within a geographic area; support fish or wildlife populations having significant commercial or recreational value; or that would be difficult or impossible to replace.
STRUCTURAL HAZARD AREA
Those shorelands located landward of natural protective features and having shorelines receding at a long-term average recession rate of one foot or more per year. The inland boundary of a structural hazard area is calculated by starting at a landward limit of the fronting natural protective feature and measuring along a line perpendicular to the shoreline a horizontal distance landward which is 40 times the long-term average annual recession rate.
STRUCTURE
Any object constructed, installed or placed in, on or under land or water, including but not limited to a building or permanent shed; deck; in-ground and aboveground pool; garage; mobile home; road; public service distribution, transmission or collection system; tank; dock; pier; wharf; groin; jetty; seawall; bulkhead; breakwater; revetment; artificial beach nourishment; or any addition to or alteration of the same.
TOE
The lowest point on a slope of a dune or bluff.
UNREGULATED ACTIVITY
Excepted activities that are not regulated by this chapter include but are not limited to docks, piers, wharves or structures built on floats, columns, open timber piles or other similar openwork supports with a top surface area of less than 200 square feet or which are removed in the fall of each year; normal beach grooming or cleanup; maintenance of structures when normal and customary and/or in compliance with an approved maintenance program; planting vegetation and sand fencing so as to stabilize or entrap sand in primary dune and secondary dune areas in order to maintain or increase the height and width of dunes; planting of vegetation within the bluff limits which does not involve clearing, grading or placement of fill and does not utilize invasive, nonnative plant species found on the Suffolk County do-not-sell and management lists as established by Suffolk County L.L. No. 22-2007 and as amended;[4] routine agricultural operations, including cultivation or harvesting, and the implementation of practices recommended in a soil and water conservation plan as defined in § 3, Subdivision (12), of the Soil and Water Conservation Districts Law; provided, however, that agricultural operations and implementation of practices will not be construed to include any activity that involves the construction or placement of a structure. In addition, the restoration (as defined in this chapter) of a preexisting, nonconforming structure damaged or destroyed by events not related to coastal flooding or erosion is considered an unregulated activity.
[Amended 6-19-2007 by L.L. No. 16-2007; 12-7-2010 by L.L. No. 26-2010]
VEGETATION
Plant life capable of surviving and successfully reproducing in the area or region and which is compatible with the environment of the coastal erosion hazard area. Vegetation does not include those invasive, nonnative plant species found on the Suffolk County do-not-sell and management lists as established by Suffolk County L.L. No. 22-2007 and as amended.[5]
[Amended 12-7-2010 by L.L. No. 26-2010]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 101, General Provisions, Art. I).
[2]
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed the definition of "major addition," which immediately followed.
[3]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 446, Art. II, Sale or Propagation of Invasive Nonnative Plants, of the Suffolk County Code.
[4]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 446, Art. II, Sale or Propagation of Invasive Nonnative Plants, of the Suffolk County Code.
[5]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 446, Art. II, Sale or Propagation of Invasive Nonnative Plants, of the Suffolk County Code.
The coastal erosion hazard area is hereby established to classify land and water areas within the Town of Riverhead, based upon shoreline recession rates or the location of natural protective features. The boundaries of the area are established on the final map prepared by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation under § 34-0104 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law and by the Town of Riverhead, which adopts and incorporates the final map entitled "Coastal Erosion Hazard Area Map of the Town of Riverhead."
No person may engage in any regulated activity in an erosion hazard area as depicted on the Coastal Erosion Hazard Area Map of the Town of Riverhead, as amended, and/or in a natural protective feature or natural protective feature area as defined in § 219-6 herein, without first obtaining a coastal erosion management permit. No coastal erosion management permit is required for unregulated activities.
A coastal erosion management permit will be issued only with a finding by the administrator that the proposed regulated activity:
A. 
Is reasonable and necessary, considering reasonable alternatives to the proposed activity and the extent to which the proposed activity requires a shoreline location.
B. 
Is not likely to cause a measurable increase in erosion at the proposed site and at other locations.
C. 
Prevents, if possible, or minimizes adverse effects on natural protective features and their functions and protective values, existing erosion protection structures and natural resources.
The following restrictions apply to regulated activities within a structural hazard area:
A. 
A coastal erosion management permit is required for the installation of public service distribution, transmission or collection systems for gas, electricity, water or wastewater. Systems installed along the shoreline must be located landward of the shoreline structures.
B. 
The construction of nonmovable structures or placement of major nonmovable additions to an existing structure is prohibited.
C. 
Permanent foundations may not be attached to movable structures, and any temporary foundations are to be removed at the time the structure is moved. Below-grade footings will be allowed if satisfactory provisions are made for their removal.
[Amended 6-19-2007 by L.L. No. 16-2007]
D. 
No movable structure may be located closer to the landward limit of a bluff than 50 feet.
E. 
No movable structure may be placed or constructed such that, according to accepted engineering practice, its weight places excessive groundloading on a bluff.
F. 
Plans for landward relocation of movable structures must be included with each application for a permit. Movable structures which have been located within a structural hazard area pursuant to a coastal erosion management permit must be removed before any part of the structure is within 10 feet of the receding edge. The last owner of record, as shown on the latest assessment roll, is responsible for removing that structure and its foundation, unless a removal agreement was attached to the original coastal erosion management permit. With the attachment of a removal agreement to the coastal erosion management permit, the landowner or the signator is responsible for the landward relocation of movable structures. Removal agreements may be made when the last owner of record and the owner of the structure are different, with the approval of the Town at the time the permit is issued.
[Amended 6-19-2007 by L.L. No. 16-2007]
G. 
Debris from structural damage which may occur as a result of sudden unanticipated bluff edge failure, dune migration or wave or ice action must be removed within 60 days of the damaging event.
H. 
Any grading, excavation or other soil disturbance conducted within a structural hazard area must not direct surface water runoff over a bluff face.
I. 
Dumping, filling or other disturbance of soil or any activity which alters or disturbs the existing natural protective feature and/or natural protective feature areas, which includes trimming and clearing of vegetation without a coastal erosion management permit, is prohibited.
The following restrictions apply to regulated activities in nearshore areas:
A. 
Excavating, grading, mining or dredging which diminishes the erosion protection afforded by a nearshore area is prohibited, except construction or maintenance of navigation channels, bypassing sand around natural and man-made obstructions and artificial beach nourishment, all of which require a coastal erosion management permit.
B. 
Clean sand or gravel of an equivalent or slightly larger grain size is the only material which may be deposited within nearshore areas. Any deposit will require a coastal erosion management permit.
C. 
All development is prohibited in nearshore areas unless specifically provided for by this chapter.
The following restrictions apply to regulated activities in beach areas:
A. 
Excavating, grading or mining which diminishes the erosion protection afforded by beaches is prohibited.
B. 
Clean sand or gravel of an equivalent or slightly larger grain size is the only material which may be deposited within beach areas. Any deposit will require a coastal erosion management permit, which may be issued only for expansion or stabilization of beaches.
C. 
Active bird nesting and breeding areas must not be disturbed unless such disturbance is pursuant to a specific wildlife management activity approved, in writing, by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).
D. 
All development is prohibited on beaches unless specifically provided for by this chapter.
The following restrictions apply to regulated activities in dune areas:
A. 
In primary dune areas:
(1) 
Excavating, grading or mining of primary dunes is prohibited.
(2) 
Clean sand of a compatible type and size is the only material which may be deposited. Any deposit requires a coastal erosion management permit.
(3) 
All deposits must be vegetatively stabilized using species tolerant of the conditions at the site and must be placed so as to increase the size of or restore a dune or dune area.
(4) 
Active bird nesting and breeding areas must not be disturbed unless such disturbance is pursuant to a specific wildlife management activity approved, in writing, by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).
(5) 
New construction, modification or restoration of walkways or stairways must be done in accordance with conditions of a coastal erosion management permit.
[Amended 6-19-2007 by L.L. No. 16-2007]
(6) 
Stone revetments or other erosion protection structures compatible with primary dunes will only be allowed at the waterward toe of primary dunes and must not interfere with the exchange of sand between primary dunes and their fronting beaches.
B. 
In secondary dune areas:
(1) 
All deposits must be clean sand of a compatible type and size, and all grading must be performed so as to increase the size of or restore a dune or former dune area.
(2) 
Excavating, grading or mining must not diminish the erosion protection afforded by them.
(3) 
New construction, modification or restoration of walkways or stairways must be done in accordance with conditions of a coastal erosion management permit.
[Amended 6-19-2007 by L.L. No. 16-2007]
(4) 
Permitted construction, reconstruction, restoration or modifications must be built on adequately anchored pilings such that at least three feet of open space exists between the floor joists and the surface of the secondary dune, and the permitted activity must leave the space below the lowest horizontal structural members free of obstructions.
C. 
All other activities and development in dune areas are prohibited unless specifically provided for by this chapter.
D. 
Restoration of preexisting structures that are damaged or destroyed by events not related to coastal flooding or erosion may be undertaken pursuant to a coastal erosion management permit, provided the cost of the restoration is less than 50% of the estimated full replacement cost of the structure at the time of restoration.
[Amended 6-19-2007 by L.L. No. 16-2007]
A. 
The following activities are prohibited on bluffs:
(1) 
Excavating or mining, except when in conjunction with conditions stated in a coastal erosion management permit issued for minor alterations in construction of an erosion protection structure or for provision of shoreline access.
(2) 
All development, unless specifically allowed by Subsection B of this section.
(3) 
Disturbance of active bird nesting and breeding areas, unless such disturbance is pursuant to a specific wildlife management activity approved by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).
(4) 
Soil disturbance that directs surface water runoff over a bluff face.
(5) 
Dumping, filling or other disturbance of soil or any activity which alters or disturbs the existing natural protective feature and/or natural protective feature areas, which includes trimming and clearing of vegetation without a coastal erosion management permit.
B. 
Activities specifically allowed under this section are:
(1) 
Minor alteration of a bluff done in accordance with conditions stated in a coastal erosion management permit issued for new construction, modification or restoration of an erosion protection structure.
(2) 
Bluff cuts done in accordance with conditions stated in a coastal erosion management permit issued for the provision of shoreline access, where:
(a) 
The cut is made in a direction perpendicular to the shoreline.
(b) 
The ramp slope may not exceed 1:6.
(c) 
The side slopes may not exceed 1:3 unless terraced or otherwise structurally stabilized.
(d) 
The side slopes and other disturbed nonroadway areas must be stabilized with vegetation or other approved physical means.
(e) 
The completed roadway must be stabilized and drainage provided for.
(3) 
New construction, modification or restoration of walkways or stairways done in accordance with conditions of a coastal erosion management permit.
(4) 
Restoration of preexisting structures that are damaged or destroyed by events not related to coastal flooding or erosion may be undertaken pursuant to a coastal erosion management permit, provided the cost of the restoration is less than 50% of the estimated full replacement cost of the structure at the time of restoration.
[Amended 6-19-2007 by L.L. No. 16-2007]
(5) 
Trimming and clearing of vegetation done in accordance with conditions stated in a coastal erosion management permit as issued by the administrator.
(6) 
The placement of one accessory building as defined in this chapter shall be allowable pursuant to a coastal erosion management permit, and the following limitations shall apply:
(a) 
Said accessory building shall not be placed less than 25 feet landward of the landward limit of the natural protective feature area as identified on the coastal erosion hazard area maps filed with the Town of Riverhead and/or the landward limit of the natural protective feature or natural protective feature area as defined in § 219-6 of this chapter; whichever is more landward shall apply.
(b) 
Said accessory building shall be more than five feet from a property line, 10 feet from any other structure, 60 feet from a side street line and not require a building permit.
(c) 
With the exception of the removal of grass ground cover, no vegetation shall be removed, trimmed, cut or cleared to construct said accessory building.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original § 12-14C of the 1976 Code, regarding the restoration of existing structures on bluff areas, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 6-19-2007 by L.L. No. 16-2007.
The following requirements apply to the construction, modification or restoration of erosion protection structures:
A. 
The construction, modification or restoration of erosion protection structures must:
(1) 
Not be likely to cause a measurable increase in erosion at the development site or at other locations.
(2) 
Minimize and, if possible, prevent adverse effects upon natural protective features, existing erosion protection structures and natural resources, such as significant fish and wildlife habitats.
B. 
All erosion protection structures must be designed and constructed according to generally accepted engineering principles and demonstrate a likelihood of success in controlling long-term erosion. The protective measures must have a reasonable probability of controlling erosion on the immediate site for a minimum of 30 years.
C. 
All materials used in such structures must be durable and capable of withstanding inundation, wave impacts, weathering and other effects of storm conditions for a minimum of 30 years. Individual component materials may have a working life of less than 30 years only when a maintenance program ensures that they will be regularly maintained and replaced as necessary to attain the required 30 years of erosion protection.
D. 
A long-term maintenance program must be included with every permit application for construction, modification or restoration of an erosion protection structure. The maintenance program must include specifications for normal maintenance of degradable materials. To assure compliance with the proposed maintenance programs, a bond may be required.
Motorized and nonmotorized traffic must comply with the following restrictions:
A. 
Motor vehicles must not travel on vegetation, must operate waterward of the debris line and, when no debris line exists, must operate seaward of the line of mean high water.
B. 
Motor vehicle traffic is prohibited on primary dunes, except for officially designated crossing areas, and on bluffs.
C. 
Pedestrian passage across primary dunes must utilize elevated walkways and stairways or other specially designed dune crossing structures.
The requirements of this chapter do not apply to emergency activities that are necessary to protect public health, safety or welfare, including preventing damage to natural resources. Whenever emergency activities are undertaken, damage to natural protective features and other natural resources must be prevented, if possible, or minimized.
The administrator must be notified by the person responsible for taking the emergency measures within two working days from the commencement of an emergency measure and a description of the problem and activities provided. The description must be in written form, outline the public health or safety or resource for which protection was sought and relate the measures which were taken to secure the protection.
If the administrator determines that a regulated activity has been undertaken without a coastal erosion management permit and does not meet the emergency activity criteria, then the administrator will order the immediate cessation of the activity. In addition, the administrator may require:
A. 
Removal of any structure that was constructed or placed without a coastal erosion management permit; and
B. 
The return to former conditions of any natural protective feature that was excavated, mined or otherwise disturbed without a coastal erosion management permit.
Strict application of the standards and restrictions of this chapter may cause practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship. When this can be shown, such standards and restrictions may be varied or modified, provided that the following criteria are met:
A. 
No reasonable, prudent, alternative site is available.
B. 
All responsible means and measures to mitigate adverse impacts on natural systems and their functions and values have been incorporated into the activity's design at the property owner's expense.
[Amended 6-19-2007 by L.L. No. 16-2007]
C. 
The development will be reasonably safe from flood and erosion damage.
D. 
The variance requested is the minimum necessary to overcome the practical difficulty or hardship which was the basis for the requested variance.
E. 
Where public funds are utilized, the public benefits must clearly outweigh the long-term adverse effects.
Any request for a variance must be in writing and specify the standard, restriction or requirement to be varied and how the requested variance meets the criteria of § 219-20 of this chapter. The burden of demonstrating that the requested variance meets those criteria rests entirely with the applicant.
Each variance request must be accompanied by the required fee or fees as established by the Town legislative body under separate resolution.
Any construction activity allowed by a variance granted by the Coastal Erosion Hazard Board of Review must be completed within one year from the date of approval or approval with modifications or conditions. Variances expire at the end of this one-year period without further hearing or action by the Coastal Erosion Hazard Board of Review.
The Coastal Erosion Hazard Board of Review may, in conformance with the provisions of this chapter, reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the order, requirement, decision or determination of the administrator, including stop or cease-and-desist orders. Notice of such decision will forthwith be given to all parties in interest. The rules and procedures for filing appeals are as follows:
A. 
Appeals must be filed with the Municipal Clerk within 30 days of the date of the adverse decision.
B. 
All appeals made to the Coastal Erosion Hazard Board of Review must be in writing on standard forms prescribed by the Board. The Board will transmit a copy to the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for his information.
C. 
All appeals must refer to the specific provisions of this chapter involved, specify the alleged errors, the interpretation thereof that is claimed to be correct and the relief which the appellant claims.
Any person or persons, jointly or severally, aggrieved by a decision by the Coastal Erosion Hazard Board of Review or any officer, department or Board of the Town may apply to the Supreme Court for review by a proceeding under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
Applications for coastal erosion management permits and appeals must be accompanied by a money order or personal check made payable to the Town of Riverhead as follows:
A. 
Construction or placement of structures other than erosion protection structures, docks, piers and wharves: $100.
[Amended 6-19-2007 by L.L. No. 16-2007]
B. 
Excavation, grading, mining or filling at:
(1) 
One hundred cubic yards or less: $50.
(2) 
One hundred to 1,000 cubic yards: $100.
(3) 
One thousand one cubic yards or greater: $200.
C. 
Dredging at:
(1) 
One hundred cubic yards or less: $50.
(2) 
One hundred to 1,000 cubic yards: $100.
(3) 
One thousand one cubic yards or greater: $200.
D. 
Construction or modification of docks, piers or wharves:
[Amended 6-19-2007 by L.L. No. 16-2007]
(1) 
Fixed docks: $100.
(2) 
Solid-fill docks: $200.
(3) 
Floating docks on piles or fixed dock, ramp and float combination: $100.
E. 
Construction or modification of erosion protection structures:
(1) 
Structures not exceeding 100 linear feet: $100.
(2) 
Structures greater than 100 linear feet: $200.
F. 
Appeal of coastal erosion permit denial: $100.
G. 
Any project or activity not described in this section: $100.
A coastal erosion management permit will be issued for regulated activities which comply with the general standards, restrictions and requirements of the applicable sections of this chapter, provided that the following are adhered to:
A. 
The application for a coastal erosion management permit must be made upon the form provided by the administrator and must include the following minimum information:
(1) 
A description of the proposed activity.
(2) 
A topographical survey drawn to a suitable scale showing the location of the natural protective features, the natural protective feature areas and the proposed activity, as well as a depiction of those boundaries appearing on the approved coastal erosion hazard area map.
(3) 
Any additional information the administrator may require to properly evaluate the proposed activity.
B. 
Each application for a coastal erosion management permit:
[Amended 9-3-2014 by L.L. No. 13-2014]
(1) 
Must be accompanied by the required fee or fees as established in § 219-26 herein.
(2) 
The Conservation Advisory Council shall commence review within 30 days of referral from the Planning Department. The Conservation Advisory Council shall issue a report and recommendation to approve, approve with conditions or deny the application within 60 days from the initial referral to the Conservation Advisory Council. In the event that an application is determined to be incomplete and/or additional information is requested by the Conservation Advisory Council, the Conservation Advisory Council shall advise the applicant within 30 days from the date of referral and grant applicant 30 days to provide the information and/or supplement the application. The sixty-day time period to issue a report and recommendation shall not apply where an environmental impact statement is to be prepared by the applicant, in which case said sixty-day period shall not commence until a final environmental impact statement has been accepted by the lead agency exercising jurisdiction over the project.
C. 
Permits will be issued by and bear the name and signature of the Chairman of the Planning Board and will specify:
(1) 
The activity or operation for which the permit is issued.
(2) 
The address or location where the activity or operation is to be conducted.
(3) 
The name and address of the permittee.
(4) 
The permit number and date of issuance.
(5) 
The period of permit validity. If not otherwise specified, a permit will expire one year from the date of issuance.
(6) 
The terms and conditions of the approval.
D. 
When more than one coastal erosion management permit is required for the same property or premises under this chapter, a single permit may be issued listing all activities permitted and any conditions, restrictions or bonding requirements. Revocation of a portion or portions of such consolidated permits will not invalidate the remainder.
E. 
A coastal erosion management permit may be issued with such terms and conditions as are necessary to ensure compliance with the policies and provisions of this chapter and the policies of the Town of Riverhead.
F. 
When an application is made for a coastal erosion management permit, a variance thereto or other form of approval required by this chapter and such activity is subject to other permit, variance, hearing or application procedures required by another federal, state or local regulatory agency pursuant to any federal, state or local law or ordinance, the Town Building and Planning Administrator or the Chief Building Inspector shall, at the request of the applicant, consolidate and coordinate the application, permit, variance and hearing procedures as required by each regulatory agency into a single, comprehensive hearing and review procedure. However, nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to limit or restrict any regulatory agencies which are properly a party to such a consolidated review proceeding from the independent exercise of such discretionary authority with respect to the issuance, denial or modification of such permits, variances or other forms of approval as they may have been granted by law.
[Amended 11-1-2016 by L.L. No. 32-2016]
The Town may require a bond or other form of financial security. Such bond or security must be in an amount, with such surety and conditions as are satisfactory to the Town, so as to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions stated in the coastal erosion management permit.
The authority for administering this chapter is hereby conferred upon the administrator. The administrator has the power and duty to:
A. 
Apply the regulations, restrictions and standards or other provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Explain to applicants the map which designates the land and water areas subject to regulation and advise applicants of the standards, restrictions and requirements of this chapter.
C. 
Review and take appropriate actions on completed applications.
D. 
Issue and sign all approved permits.
E. 
Serve as the primary liaison with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
F. 
Keep official records of all permits, inspections, inspection reports, recommendations, actions of the Coastal Erosion Hazard Board of Review and any other reports or communications relative to this chapter or request for information from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
G. 
Perform normal and customary administrative functions required by the Town Code relative in and relating to this chapter.
H. 
Have, in addition, the powers and duties as are established in or reasonably implied from this chapter as are necessary to achieve its stated purpose.
The authority for enforcing this chapter is hereby conferred upon the Code Enforcement Official. The Code Enforcement Official has the power and duty to:
A. 
Transmit written notice of violations to property owners or to other responsible persons.
B. 
Perform compliance inspections.
C. 
Prepare and submit reports to the administrator.
D. 
Post a stop order in a form approved by the Town Board. Said stop order shall be posted at the site of said violation. It shall be a further violation of this chapter to remove said stop order or to continue the use or construction specified in said stop order until the violation is corrected or adjudicated.
E. 
Have powers and duties as are established in or reasonably implied from this chapter as are necessary to achieve its stated purpose.
The provisions, regulations, procedures and standards of this chapter will be held to be the minimum requirements necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
The provisions of this chapter will take precedence over any other laws, ordinances or codes in effect in the Town to the extent that the provisions of this chapter are more stringent than such other laws, ordinances or codes. A coastal erosion management permit issued pursuant to this chapter does not relieve the permit applicant from the responsibility of obtaining other permits or approvals as may be necessary nor does it convey any rights or interest in real property.
All regulated activities are subject to the review procedures required by the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR), Article 8 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law. The applicant may be required to submit information necessary for compliance with SEQR in addition to information required under this chapter.
For any and every violation of this chapter, the owner or general agent of a building or premises where such violation has been committed or shall exist, and the lessee or tenant of an entire building or entire premises where such violation of this chapter has been committed or shall exist, and any builder, architect, tenant, contractor, subcontractor, construction superintendent or their agents or any other person taking part or assisting in any such violation of this chapter, shall, upon conviction thereof, be liable to a fine or penalty not exceeding $5,000 per day from the day of discovery of the incident, continuing until a restoration plan approved by the administrator is enacted, or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both. Nothing herein will prevent the proper local authorities of the Town from taking such other lawful actions or proceedings as may be necessary to restrain, correct or abate any violation of this chapter.
A. 
The Town Board may, on its own motion or on petition or recommendation, amend, supplement or repeal the provisions, regulations, procedures or standards of this chapter.
B. 
When an amendment is duly proposed, the Town Board must:
(1) 
Notify the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, in writing, of all proposed amendments and whether such amendment conforms to the minimum standards of a certified program.
(2) 
Issue public notice and conduct a hearing on all proposed amendments pursuant to the Municipal Home Rule Law § 20.
(3) 
Refer the proposed amendment at least 30 days prior to the public hearing, in writing, to the administrator, unless initiated thereby, for its review of the amendment and its report to the Town Board of recommendations thereon, including a full statement of reasons for such recommendations, and similarly to the Suffolk County Planning Commission.
After enactment, the amendment must be sent to the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation for certification.
After an amendment to this chapter has been initially reviewed and found to be in conformance by the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, has completed the public hearing process and intergovernmental review, has been finally approved and adopted by the Town Board and has been certified by the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Town Clerk will, as prescribed by § 27 of the Municipal Home Rule Law:
A. 
Record the amending local law in the Municipal Clerk's Minute Book and in the Recorded Book of Local Laws.
B. 
File the amending local law within five days after adoption as follows:
(1) 
One copy in the Clerk's office.
(2) 
One copy in the office of the State Comptroller.
(3) 
Three copies in the office of the Secretary of State.
(4) 
One copy with the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
(5) 
One copy with the Suffolk County Planning Commission.