[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of New Hempstead as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 5-22-2014 by L.L. No. 3-2014]
The purpose of this article is to allow for reimbursement to the Village for the actual costs of consulting services with respect to the review of applications before its various boards and commissions for approval to utilize any property in the Village, including petitions for amendments to land use regulations. The Village has found that, in many instances where it would otherwise be appropriate, it fails to fully avail itself of expert consulting services because of the cost to the taxpayers in general. It is felt that it is more appropriate for the individual applicants to bear the cost of the review of their application in a manner which will assist the various boards and commissions of the Village in appropriately evaluating the potential impacts of those applications and how the applications fit within the Village's laws and ordinances.
Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of any local code, rule, regulation, law or ordinance, any Village board, entity or commission (reviewing board) where a permit or approval is required by local law, rule, regulation or ordinance or where a petition is submitted to amend a zoning or other land use provisions (For purposes of this article seeking approval for any of the foregoing shall be deemed an "application.") shall, before processing or reviewing any such application and permitting use of or construction on, under or adjacent to real property, require the applicant to deposit funds with the Village sufficient to reimburse the Village for all reasonable costs of planning, environmental, engineering, legal, architectural, accounting and/or other consultants deemed appropriate by each reviewing board utilized in connection with the review of any application. When an application is filed, the Village Clerk shall fix the amount of the initial deposit (escrow) to be made by the applicant. The Village's consultants shall invoice the Village no less frequently than monthly for services in reviewing each application and performing their duties with respect to such application. If at any time during the review process the amount of the escrow account falls below 50% of the initial escrow (as determined by the Village Clerk), then the applicant shall be required to submit an additional deposit to bring the total escrow up to the full amount of the initial deposit (as determined by the Village Clerk) unless the Village Clerk otherwise waives such requirement. Any failure to replenish the escrow shall be governed by § 143-4.
In the event the amount held in escrow by the Village is more than the amount of the actual billing or invoicing, the difference between such amount and the actual billing or invoicing shall be promptly refunded to the applicant after final action is taken on the application.
In the event the amount of escrow is less than the full amount actually charged by the Village's consultants, the applicant shall promptly pay any remaining balance.
All invoices for fees charged to applicants by consultants shall be reviewed and approved by the Village Clerk as to reasonableness before payment by the Village, and the applicant shall be provided with copies of the invoices charged against the escrow deposit. In the event an applicant believes that the charges invoiced are excessive, the applicant may file a written protest to the Village Board, within 15 days of receipt of the invoice, questioning such invoice. The Village Board shall review the protest by the applicant and provide the applicant with a written response within 45 days of receipt of the protest.
In the event an applicant fails to make any escrow payment required and/or fails to pay the full amount billed for consultant fees (as approved by the Village Clerk), the reviewing board shall adjourn any pending application and/or withhold final approval until such payment is made. In the event final approval has been granted and an outstanding balance for consulting fees (as approved by the Village Clerk) remains unpaid, the Building Inspector shall not grant a building permit and/or certificate of occupancy until payment of approved outstanding consulting fees has been made in full.
All laws, ordinances, rules and regulations of the Village are modified and superseded by this article with respect to their application to fees which may be charged with respect to applications for land use permitting or approvals.
This article shall modify and supersede, with respect to the properties covered thereby, the provisions of Village Law Article 7, Executive Law Article 42, and Navigation Law Article 4 of the State of New York.