Village of Bellerose, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Incorporated Village of Bellerose 12-19-2005 by L.L. No. 4-2005.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Architectural Review Committee — See Ch. 6.
Building construction — See Ch. 68.
Zoning — See Ch. 210.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law was adopted as Ch. 5; it was renumbered as Ch. 25 to preserve the alphabetical sequence of the Code.
The protection, enhancement and perpetuation of landmarks and historic districts are necessary to promote the economic, cultural, educational and general welfare of the public. As Bellerose Village has many significant historic, architectural and cultural resources, which constitute its heritage, this chapter is intended to:
A. 
Protect and enhance landmarks, historic districts, and properties of distinction;
B. 
Foster civic pride in the accomplishments of the past; and
C. 
Protect and enhance the Village's attractiveness to residents and to visitors.
A. 
The Historic Preservation Board (HPB) shall administer the provisions of this chapter. The Board shall consist of no more than seven but at least three members, all of whom shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees, and one of whom shall be the Village Historian.
B. 
The powers of the Board shall include:
(1) 
Approval or disapproval of designations or applications for certificates of appropriateness.
(2) 
Surveying and helping to identify significant historic, architectural and cultural landmarks and historic districts.
(3) 
Acceptance on behalf of the Village government of the donation of facade easements and development rights; the making of recommendations to the Village government concerning the acquisition of facade easements or other interests in real property as necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
(4) 
Increasing public awareness of the value of historic, cultural and architectural preservation by developing and participating in public education programs.
(5) 
Making recommendations to Village government concerning the utilization of state, federal or private funds to promote the preservation of landmarks and historic districts within the Village.
(6) 
Recommending acquisition, by eminent domain, of landmark structures by the Village government where their preservation is essential to the purpose of this chapter and where private preservation is not feasible.
A. 
The Board, upon application of the property owner, may designate an individual property as a landmark if it:
(1) 
Possesses special character or historic or aesthetic interest or value as part of the cultural, political, economic or social history of the locality or region;
(2) 
Is identified with historic personages;
(3) 
Embodies the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style;
(4) 
Is the work of a designer whose work has significantly influenced an age; or
(5) 
Because of a unique location, old growth tree or singular physical characteristic, represents an established and familiar visual feature of the neighborhood.
B. 
The Board, with the consent of the property owner, may designate a group of properties as an historic district if:
(1) 
It contains properties which meet one or more of the criteria for designation of a landmark; and
(2) 
The designation of an historic district, rather than an individual landmark, will effectively accomplish the purposes of this chapter.
C. 
Procedures:
(1) 
Each landmark and the boundaries of each historic district designated shall be filed, in writing, in the Village Clerk's office for public inspection.
(2) 
Notice of a proposed designation of a landmark or of an historic district involving at least three properties shall be sent by regular mail to the owners of the properties proposed for designation, describing the properties proposed and announcing a public hearing by the Board to consider the designation. Once the Board has issued notice of a proposed designation, no building permit with respect to such property shall be issued by the Building Inspector, and no activity described in § 25-4 shall be conducted until the Board has made its decision.
(3) 
The Board shall hold a public hearing prior to designation of any landmark or historic district to determine whether the designation satisfies the criteria of § 25-3. The Board, owners and any other interested parties may present testimony or documentary evidence at the hearing which will become part of a record regarding the historic, architectural, or cultural importance of the proposed landmark or historic district. The record may also contain reports, public comments or other evidence offered outside of the hearing.
(4) 
The Board shall record notice of each property designated or removed as a landmark, and of the boundaries of each designated historic district, with the office of the Nassau County Clerk.
No owner or occupant of a landmark property shall carry out any exterior alteration, restoration, construction, reconstruction or demolition, move a structure or remove designated trees upon property designated a landmark or property within an historic district, nor shall any person make any material change in the appearance of such property, to the extent that it is visible from a public street, right-of-way, or park and which shall affect the appearance and cohesiveness of the historic district, without first obtaining a certificate of appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Board.
A. 
In determining whether to approve or disapprove an application for a certificate of appropriateness, the Historic Preservation Board shall not consider changes to interior spaces or other changes that are not visible from a public street, right-of-way or park, unless they are open to the public.
B. 
The Board's decision to approve or to disapprove shall be based upon the following principles:
(1) 
Features of properties which make significant contribution to the character of a landmark or historic district shall be altered as little as possible;
(2) 
Any alteration of an existing feature or property shall be compatible with its historic character, as well as with the character of nearby properties; and
(3) 
New construction shall be compatible with the character of nearby properties in the historic district.
C. 
In applying the principle of compatibility, the Board shall consider the following factors:
(1) 
The general design, character and appropriateness to the property of the proposed alteration or new construction.
(2) 
The scale of the proposed alteration or new construction in relation to the property itself and to surrounding properties in the neighborhood.
(3) 
Texture, materials and color and their relation to similar features of other properties in the neighborhood.
(4) 
Visual compatibility with surrounding properties, including proportion of the property's front facade, proportion and arrangement of windows and other openings within the facade, roof shape and the spacing of properties on streets, including setback.
(5) 
The importance of the features of the property to be changed and the overall impact of such features.
(6) 
The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings.
A. 
Prior to the commencement of any activity described in § 25-4 requiring a certificate of appropriateness, the owner shall file an application for such a certificate with the Historic Preservation Board. The application shall contain:
(1) 
The name, address and telephone number of the applicant.
(2) 
The location, Tax Map designation and photographs of the property clearly indicating all public views.
(3) 
Elevation drawings, if requested by the HPB.
(4) 
Perspective drawings, including relationship to adjacent properties, if requested.
(5) 
Sample of color or materials to be used.
(6) 
Where the proposal includes signs or lettering, a scale drawing showing the type of lettering to be used, all dimensions and colors, a description of materials to be used, method of illumination and a plan showing the sign's location on the property.
(7) 
Any other information which the Board may deem necessary in order to determine the appropriateness of the proposed changes.
B. 
Effect on building permits; Architectural Review Committee determinations.
[Amended 1-23-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
(1) 
No building permit shall be issued for such proposed work until a certificate of appropriateness has first been issued by the HPB and approval thereof has been obtained from the Architectural Review Committee in accordance with Chapter 6 of the Bellerose Village Code. The certificate of appropriateness required by this chapter shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, any building permit that may be required.
(2) 
The designation of landmark status shall not be a factor in Architectural Review Committee determinations regarding neighboring properties.
C. 
The HPB shall approve, deny or approve the permit with modifications within 45 days from receipt of completed application. The HPB may, at its option, hold a public hearing on the application to obtain information from the applicant and the general public to aid in making its determination. The Board shall make its decision as to whether or not to hold a public hearing within 30 days of its receipt of a completed application. The public hearing shall take place no later than 30 days after receipt of a completed application.
D. 
The Board shall provide for the giving of notice as follows, with respect to an application which involves a public hearing:
(1) 
The Board shall cause a public notice of such hearing to be posted and published once in the official newspaper at least 10 days prior to the hearing date; and
(2) 
The applicant shall cause a copy of such notice to be mailed to all property owners within 200 feet of the subject premises, as shown on the latest completed tax roll, by ordinary mail at least 10 days prior to the hearing date. The applicant shall submit proof of such mailing.
E. 
All decisions of the Board shall be in writing. A copy shall be sent to the applicant by registered mail and a copy filed with the Village Clerk's office for public inspection. The Board's decision shall state the reasons for denying or modifying any application.
F. 
The application fee for a certificate of appropriateness application shall be $100 or such other amount as the Village Board of Trustees may hereafter fix and establish from time to time by resolution.
A. 
An applicant whose certificate of appropriateness has been denied may apply for relief from landmark designation on the grounds that designation presents a hardship.
B. 
To prove the existence of hardship, the applicant shall establish that, in the absence of the issuance of such certificate of appropriateness:
(1) 
The property is incapable of earning a reasonable return. "Reasonable return" shall not be the most profitable return possible; and
(2) 
The property cannot be adapted for a use which would result in such reasonable return.
A. 
An applicant may apply to the Board for relief on the basis of hardship upon receipt of written notification from the Board of the denial of a certificate of appropriateness. No relief from the landmark designation shall be granted unless the Board makes a finding that a hardship exists.
B. 
The Board shall hold a public hearing on the hardship application within 35 days.
C. 
Prior to such hearing, the applicant shall consult in good faith with the Board and other interested parties to seek an alternative that will result in preservation of the property.
D. 
All decisions of the Board shall be in writing. A copy shall be sent to the applicant by certified mail and a copy filed with the Village Clerk's office for public inspection. The Board's decision shall state the reasons for granting or denying the hardship application.
A property owner may unilaterally withdraw his or her property designation at any time upon written notice to the HPB, and in such event the owner shall immediately return to the HPB any plaque, citation or other emolument and the property shell be stricken from the roll.
All work performed pursuant to a certificate of appropriateness issued under this chapter shall conform to any requirements included therein. It shall be the duty of the Village Engineer to inspect periodically any such work to assure compliance. In the event that he or she finds work that is not being performed in accordance with the certificate of appropriateness, or upon notification of such fact by the Historic Preservation Board and personal verification, the Village Engineer shall immediately issue a stop-work order, which shall remain in effect until work is in compliance. No work shall be undertaken on the property as long as a stop-work order is in effect.
A. 
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance and repair of any feature of a landmark or property within an historic district which does not involve a change in design, material, color or outward appearance.
B. 
No owner or person with an interest in real property designated as a landmark or included within an historic district shall permit the property to fall into a state of disrepair so as to cause, in the judgment of the Historic Preservation Board, a detrimental effect upon the character of the landmark or historic district.
A. 
Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed a violation, and the violator shall be liable to a fine of $100 for each day the violation continues.
B. 
Any person who demolishes, alters, constructs or permits a designated property to fall into a serious state of disrepair in violation of this chapter shall be required to restore the property and its site to its appearance prior to the violation. Any action to enforce this subsection shall be brought by the Village Attorney. This civil remedy shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any other legal actions.
The remedy for any person aggrieved by a decision of the Historic Preservation Board granting or denying a designation, or a certificate of appropriateness or granting or denying a hardship application shall be an appeal to the Board of Appeals, but only as to issues of procedural error and whether the determination appealed from is arbitrary, unlawful or against the weight of the evidence in the record. The Board of Appeals shall not reconsider issues of aesthetics; historic qualification; architectural appropriateness; design, color or texture of materials or structures; visual discord; or denials based upon an alteration having a substantial impact upon the architectural character of the structure or its impact upon the character of the neighborhood.