Town of Van Buren, NY
Onondaga County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Van Buren as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire prevention and building code administration — See Ch. 115.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 175.
Zoning — See Ch. 200.
[Adopted 1-15-2008 by L.L. No. 1-2008]
A. 
The Town Board hereby finds and determines that in order to protect and safeguard the Town of Van Buren, its residents and their property with respect to certain land developments within the Town, all buildings, highways, drainage facilities sanitary sewer facilities, other utilities and parks within said developments should be designed and constructed in a competent and workmanlike manner and in conformity with all applicable governmental codes, rules and regulations and dedicated and conveyed to the Town in a legally sufficient manner; that in order to assure the foregoing, it is essential for the Town to have competent engineers retained by the Town to review and approve plans and designs, make recommendations to the Town Board and Planning Board, inspect the construction of highways, drainage, sewer and other facilities and parks to be dedicated to the Town and to recommend their acceptance by the Town and to have competent attorneys retained by the Town to negotiate and draft appropriate agreements with developers, to obtain, review and approve necessary securities, insurance and other legal documents, to review proposed deeds and easements to assure that the Town is obtaining good and proper title and to generally represent the Town with respect to legal disputes and issues with respect to developments; and that the cost of retaining such competent engineers and attorneys should ultimately be paid by those who seek to profit from such developments rather than from general Town funds which are raised by assessments paid by taxpayers of the Town.
B. 
This article is enacted under the authority of Municipal Home Rule Law § 10, Subdivision 1(ii)a(12) and d(3), and Municipal Home Rule Law § 22. To the extent that Town Law §§ 274-a, 276 and 277 do not authorize the Town Board or Town Planning Board to require the reimbursement to the Town of legal and engineering expenses incurred by the Town in connection with the review and consideration of applications for subdivision approval and for the approval, amendment or extension of planned districts under Chapter 200, Zoning, it is the expressed intent of the Town Board to change and supersede such statutes. More particularly, such statutes do not authorize the deferral or withholding of such approvals in the event that such expenses are not paid to the Town. It is the expressed intent of the Town Board to change and supersede Town Law §§ 274-a, 276 and 277 to empower the Town to require such payment as a condition to such approvals.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
APPLICANT
Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind who or which requests the Town or its Planning Board or Town Board to approve a development.
DEVELOPER
Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind who or which constructs or proposes to construct one or more highways, drainage facilities, utilities or parks within or in conjunction with a development and to convey or dedicate the same to the Town.
DEVELOPMENT
Includes a subdivision or a planned district.
DRAINAGE FACILITY
All surface water drainage facilities, including but not limited to detention and retention basins, storm sewers and their appurtenances, drainage swales and ditches and any easements through or over which said facilities may be constructed or installed in or in connection with a development.
HIGHWAY
Includes a street, avenue, road, square, place, alley, lane, boulevard, concourse, parkway driveway, overpass and underpass and also includes all items appurtenant thereto, including but not limited to bridges, culverts, ditches, shoulders and sidewalks in or in connection with a development.
PARK
An area of land located within a development which is open to the public and devoted to active or passive recreation.
PLANNED DISTRICT
A planned unit development district, planned office development district, planned commercial development district or planned industrial district established under §§ 200-33 through 200-36 of Chapter 200, Zoning, including any site plan review pursuant to § 200-79 of Chapter 200, Zoning (or any successor provision), or environmental review pursuant to the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act.[1]
SUBDIVISION
A subdivision of land pursuant to Chapter 175, Subdivision of Land, and the land subdivision regulations of the Town, including any site plan review pursuant to § 200-79 of Chapter 200, Zoning, of the Town (or any successor provision) or environmental review pursuant to the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act.
TOWN
The Town of Van Buren.
UTILITIES
All water, sanitary sewer, gas, electric, telephone and cable television facilities and any easements through or over which said facilities may be constructed or installed in or in connection with a development.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Environmental Conservation Law, Art. 8.
A. 
Subdivisions.
(1) 
The applicant for approval of a subdivision in the Town shall reimburse the Town for all reasonable and necessary legal and engineering expenses incurred by the Town in connection with the review and consideration of such subdivision.
(2) 
A developer who constructs or proposes to construct one or more highways, drainage facilities, utilities or parks within or in conjunction with an approved subdivision in the Town shall reimburse the Town for all reasonable and necessary legal and engineering expenses incurred by the Town in connection with the inspection and acceptance by the Town of such highways, drainage facilities, utilities and parks and the dedication of the same to the Town.
B. 
Planned districts.
(1) 
An applicant for the approval, amendment or extension of a planned district in the Town shall reimburse the Town for all reasonable and necessary legal and engineering expenses incurred by the Town in connection with the review and consideration of said application.
(2) 
A developer who constructs or proposes to construct one or more buildings, highways, drainage facilities, utilities or parks within or in conjunction with a planned district in the Town shall reimburse the Town for all reasonable and necessary legal and engineering expenses incurred by the Town in connection with the granting of any building permit and in connection with the inspection and acceptance by the Town of such highways, drainage facilities, utilities and parks and the dedication of the same to the Town.
A. 
No deposits for Town costs for engineering/legal professional services shall be required for applications concerning development of owner-occupied single- or two-family residences located within existing lots within a residential district.
B. 
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this article, an applicant or developer shall not be required to reimburse the Town for legal or engineering fees incurred by the Town for services performed in connection with matters as to which the Town Supervisor determines the applicant or developer had no responsibility, direct or otherwise.
A. 
Simultaneously with the filing of an application for approval of a development and prior to the commencement of any construction of buildings, highways, drainage facilities, utilities or parks therein, the applicant or developer, as the case may be, shall deposit with the Town Supervisor a sum of money, as determined in § 107-6 of this article, which sum shall be used to pay the costs incurred by the Town for engineering and legal services as described in § 107-3 of this article.
B. 
Upon receipt of such sums, the Town Supervisor shall cause such moneys to be placed in a separate account in the name of the Town and shall keep a separate record of all such moneys so deposited and the name of the applicant or developer and project for which such sums were deposited.
C. 
Upon receipt and approval by the Town Supervisor of itemized vouchers from an engineer and/or attorney for services rendered on behalf of the Town pertaining to the development, the Town Supervisor shall cause such vouchers to be paid out of the moneys so deposited and shall debit the separate record of such account accordingly. The Town shall furnish copies of such vouchers to the applicant or developer upon request.
D. 
The Town Supervisor shall review and audit all such vouchers and shall approve payment of only such engineering and legal fees as are reasonable in amount and necessarily incurred by the Town in connection with the review, consideration and approval of developments and the inspection and acceptance of highways, drainage facilities, utilities and parks within or in conjunction with such developments. For purposes of the foregoing, a fee or part thereof is reasonable in amount if it bears a reasonable relationship to the average charge by engineers or attorneys to the Town for services performed in connection with the approval or construction of a similar development, and in this regard the Town Supervisor may take into consideration the size, type and number of buildings to be constructed, the amount of time to complete the development, the topography of the land on which such development is located, soil conditions, surface water, drainage conditions, the nature and extent of highways, drainage facilities, utilities and parks to be constructed and any special conditions or considerations as the Town Supervisor may deem relevant, and a fee or part thereof is necessarily incurred if it was charged by the engineer or attorney for a service which was rendered in order to protect or promote the health, safety or other vital interests of the residents of the Town, protect public or private property from damage from uncontrolled surface water runoff and other factors, assure the proper and timely construction of highways, drainage facilities, utilities and parks and protect the legal interests of the Town, including receipt by the Town of good and proper title to dedicated highways and other facilities and the avoidance of claims and liability and such other interests as the Town Supervisor may deem relevant.
E. 
If at any time during or after the processing of such application or the construction, inspection or acceptance of buildings, highways, drainage facilities, utilities or parks there shall be insufficient moneys on hand to the credit of such applicant or developer to pay the approved vouchers in full, or if it shall reasonably appear to the Town Supervisor that such moneys will be insufficient to meet vouchers yet to be submitted, the Town Supervisor shall cause the applicant or developer to deposit additional sums as the Supervisor deems necessary or advisable in order to meet such expenses or anticipated expenses.
F. 
In the event that the applicant or developer fails to deposit such funds or such additional funds, the Town Supervisor shall notify, as applicable, the Chairman of the Planning Board, the Town Board and/or the Town’s Code Enforcement Officer of such failure, and any review, approval, building permit or certificates of occupancy may be withheld by the appropriate board, officer or employee of the Town until such moneys are deposited. In addition, when an applicant or developer fails to deposit such additional funds, these unpaid amounts shall constitute a lien and charge on any real property owned by the applicant or developer located within the Town and shall be collected in the same manner and at the same time as other Town charges.
[Amended 6-3-2008 by L.L. No. 7-2008]
G. 
After final approval, acceptance and/or the issuance of a certificate of occupancy relating to any specific development, and after payment of all approved vouchers submitted regarding such development, any sums remaining on account to the credit of such applicant or developer shall be returned to such applicant or developer.
H. 
This article shall apply to any applications for approval of a development filed with the Town on or after the effective date of this article, as well as any applications for approval of a development filed with the Town prior to the effective date of this article to the extent that there are any unpaid amounts still due and owing to the Town by an applicant or developer.
[Added 6-3-2008 by L.L. No. 7-2008]
The amount of the initial deposit for the various developments covered by this article shall be as set forth in a schedule of deposits established from time to time by resolution of the Town Board. Said schedule shall remain in effect and shall apply to all applicants and developers until amended or revised by subsequent resolution.
The deposits required by this article shall be in addition to any application fees as may be required by other laws, rules, regulations or ordinances of the Town and shall not be used to offset the Town's general expenses of legal and engineering services for the several boards of the Town nor its general administration expenses.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or part of this article shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment is rendered.
This article shall take effect immediately upon filing in the office of the Secretary of State.
[Adopted 5-6-2008 by L.L. No. 6-2008]
A. 
One of the most important benefits received by residents of the Town of Van Buren from their government is the protection of property values and way of life safeguarded by the Town's zoning and planning laws. The Town has expended substantial public funds developing, nurturing and maintaining its Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Every violation of these laws undermines the benefit of these laws to all citizens and corrupts the integrity of the plan as a whole.
B. 
The criminal enforcement process is an ineffective tool to compel compliance with these laws because it is designed for punishment, not compliance, and the penalties associated therewith are insufficient to modify behavior.
C. 
The injunctive power of the New York Court System, on the other hand, is designed to compel compliance but is very expensive to the municipal taxpayer. This article is designed to provide authorization for the Town of Van Buren to recover its reasonable attorney fees from a defendant who is adjudged by the court in a civil proceeding of having violated the Town's zoning and/or planning laws.
[Amended 6-3-2008 by L.L. No. 7-2008]
This article shall be applicable to any civil proceeding, whether in the nature of an action for injunction or otherwise, brought by the Town of Van Buren or any of its boards, departments, agencies or divisions to enforce, compel compliance with or enjoin a violation of Chapter 165, Zoning, Chapter 144, Subdivision of Land, or the Town's junk vehicle law, site plan law or other local law or ordinance in which the Town of Van Buren or its boards, departments, agencies or divisions are the prevailing party. This article shall be applicable to any such proceedings commenced on or after the effective date of this article, as well as to any such proceedings commenced prior to the effective date of this article, provided that no final judgment or determination has been issued in such proceeding prior to the effective date of this article.
[Amended 6-3-2008 by L.L. No. 7-2008]
In any civil proceeding for an injunction or other relief in which the Town of Van Buren, its boards, departments agencies or divisions shall prevail, it shall be entitled to recover from the defendant, defendants or both all of its reasonable attorney fees, costs and disbursement. Such fees, costs and disbursements shall constitute a lien and charge on any real property owned by the defendant, defendants or both which was the situs of the violation(s) litigated in the underlying civil proceeding, and shall be collected in the same manner and at the same time as other Town charges.
By this article, the Town of Van Buren intends to exercise the powers granted to it by the Municipal Home Rule Law to the maximum extent possible, and it is specifically intended that this article shall supersede all other local or state laws of general application inconsistent herewith, except that this article shall not be construed so as to be inconsistent with or to deprive any member of the judiciary of the State of New York of any power granted or reserved to such Judge.