Town of Irondequoit, NY
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Irondequoit 2-26-2002 by L.L. No. 6-2002. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 204.
Zoning — See Ch. 235.
This chapter shall be known as the "Historic Preservation Law of the Town of Irondequoit."
Recognizing that the Town of Irondequoit's rich and varied history and vibrant present are evident in its commercial and residential buildings and surrounds, it is hereby declared as a matter of public policy that the protection, enhancement and perpetuation of landmarks and historic districts is necessary to promote the economic, cultural, educational, and general welfare of the public. Inasmuch as the identity of a people is founded on its past, and inasmuch as Irondequoit has many significant historic, architectural, and cultural resources which constitute its heritage, this chapter is intended to:
A. 
Protect and enhance the landmarks and historic districts which represent distinctive elements of Irondequoit's historic, architectural, and cultural heritage;
B. 
Foster civic pride in the accomplishments of the past;
C. 
Protect and enhance Irondequoit's attractiveness to visitors and the support and stimulus to the economy thereby provided; and
D. 
Insure the harmonious, orderly, and efficient growth and development of the Town.
There is hereby created a Commission to be known as the "Irondequoit Historic Preservation Commission."
A. 
The Commission shall consist of seven members to be appointed by the Town Board who shall serve without compensation for terms of seven years. The original members selected shall serve at staggered terms of seven years, six years, five years, four years, three years, two years and one year. The Commission members shall be composed of the Town historian, who shall serve during the tenure of that position and at least one of the following to the extent available: an architect experienced in working with historic buildings; an historian; a resident of an historic district; a person who has demonstrated significant interest in and commitment to the field of historic preservation evidenced either by involvement in a local historic preservation group, employment, or volunteer activity in the field of historic preservation, or other serious interest in the field. All members shall have a known interest in historic preservation and architectural development within the Town of Irondequoit.
B. 
The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Commission shall be elected by and from among the members of the Commission.
C. 
The powers of the Commission shall include:
(1) 
Employment of staff and professional consultants as necessary to carry out the duties of the Commission as approved by the Town Board;
(2) 
Promulgation of rules and regulations as necessary for the conduct of its business;
(3) 
Adoption of criteria for the identification of significant historic, architectural, and cultural landmarks and for the delineation of historic districts;
(4) 
Conduction of surveys of significant historic, architectural, and cultural landmarks and historic districts within the Town;
(5) 
Designation of identified structures or resources as landmarks and historic districts;
(6) 
Acceptance on behalf of the Town government of the donation of facade easements and development rights, and the making of recommendations to the Town government concerning the acquisition of facade easements or other interests in real property as necessary to carry out the purpose of this chapter;
(7) 
Increasing public awareness of the value of historic, cultural, and architectural preservation by developing and participating in public education programs;
(8) 
Making recommendations to Town government concerning the utilization of state, federal, or private funds to promote the preservation of landmarks and historic districts within the Town.
(9) 
Recommending acquisition of a landmark structure by the Town government where its preservation is essential to the purpose of this chapter and where private preservation is not feasible; and
(10) 
Approval or disapproval of applications for certificates of appropriateness pursuant to this chapter.
D. 
The Commission shall meet at least monthly, but meetings may be held at any time on the written request of any two of the Commission members or on the call of the Chairman or the Supervisor.
E. 
A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of three of the Commission's members, but not less than a majority of the full authorized membership may grant or deny a certificate of appropriateness.
A. 
The Commission 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, region, state, or nation; or
(2) 
Is identified with historic personages; or
(3) 
Embodies the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style; or
(4) 
Is the work of a designer whose work has significantly influenced an age; or
(5) 
Because of unique location or singular physical characteristics, represents an established and familiar visual feature of the neighborhood; or
(6) 
Receives an approval from a property owner to request historic landmark designation.
B. 
The Commission may designate a group of properties as an historic district if it:
(1) 
Contains properties which meet one or more of the criteria for designation as a landmark; and
(2) 
By reason of possessing such qualities, it constitutes a distinct section of the Town.
C. 
The boundaries of each historic district designated henceforth shall be specified in detail and shall be filed, in writing, in the Town Clerk's office for public inspection.
D. 
Notice of a proposed designation shall be sent by registered mail to the owner of the property proposed for designation, describing the property and announcing a public hearing by the Commission to consider the designation. Where the proposed designation involves so many owners that individual notice is infeasible, notice may instead be published at least once in the official newspaper of the Town at least 10 days prior to the date of the public hearing. Once the Commission has issued notice of a proposed designation, no building permits shall be issued by the Building Inspector until the Commission has made its decision.
E. 
The Commission shall hold a public hearing prior to designation of any landmark or historic district. The Commission, owners, and any 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 district. The record may also contain staff reports, public comments, or other evidence offered outside of the hearing.
F. 
The Commission shall forward notice of each property designation as a landmark and the boundaries of each designated historic district to the offices of the Monroe County Clerk for recordation.
No person shall carry out any exterior alteration, restoration, reconstruction, demolition, new construction, or moving of a landmark or property within an historic district, nor shall any person make any material change in the appearance of such property, its light fixtures, signs, sidewalks, fences, steps, paving, or other exterior elements which affect the appearance and cohesiveness of the landmark or historic district, without first obtaining a certificate of appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Commission.
A. 
In passing upon an application for a certificate of appropriateness, the Historic Preservation Commission shall not consider changes to interior spaces, unless they are open to the public. The Commission's decision shall be based on the following principles:
(1) 
Properties which contribute to the character of the historic district shall be retained, with their historic features altered as little as possible;
(2) 
Any alteration of existing properties shall be compatible with its historic character, as well as with the surrounding district; and
(3) 
New construction shall be compatible with the district in which it is located.
B. 
In applying the principles of compatibility, the Commission 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 proposed alteration or new construction in relation to the property itself, surrounding properties, and 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 rhythm of spacing of properties on streets, including setback; and
(5) 
The importance of historic, architectural, or other features to the significance of the property.
A. 
Prior to the commencement of any work requiring a certificate of appropriateness, the owners shall file an application for such a certificate with the Historic Preservation Commission. The application shall contain:
(1) 
Name, address, and telephone number of applicant;
(2) 
Location and photographs of property;
(3) 
Elevation drawings of proposed changes, if available;
(4) 
Perspective drawings, including relationship to adjacent properties, if available;
(5) 
Samples 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; and
(7) 
Any other information which the Commission may deem necessary in order to visualize the proposed work.
B. 
No building permit shall be issued for such proposed work until a certificate of appropriateness has first been issued by the Historic Preservation Commission. 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 by any other ordinance of the Town of Irondequoit.
C. 
The Commission shall approve, deny or approve the permit with modifications within 60 days from receipt of the completed application. The Commission may hold a public hearing on the application at which an opportunity will be provided for proponents and opponents of the application to present their views.
D. 
All decisions of the Commission shall be in writing. A copy shall be sent to the applicant by registered mail and a copy filed with the Town Clerk's office for public inspection. The Commission's decision shall state the reasons for denying or modifying any application.
E. 
Certificates of appropriateness shall be valid for 12 months, after which time the owner must reapply if he still wishes to undertake work on the property.
An applicant whose certificate of appropriateness for a proposed demolition has been denied may apply for relief on the ground of hardship. In order to prove the existence of hardship, the applicant shall establish that:
A. 
The property is incapable of earning a reasonable return, regardless of whether that return represents the most profitable return possible;
B. 
The property cannot be adapted for any other use, whether by the current owner or by a purchaser, which would result in a reasonable return; and
C. 
Efforts to find a purchaser interested in acquiring the property and preserving it have failed.
An applicant whose certificate of appropriateness for a proposed alteration has been denied may apply for relief on the ground of hardship. In order to prove the existence of hardship, the applicant shall establish that the property is incapable of earning a reasonable return, regardless of whether that return represents the most profitable return possible.
A. 
After receiving written notification from the Commission of the denial of a certificate of appropriateness, an applicant may commence the hardship process. No building permit or demolition permit shall be issued unless the Commission makes a finding that a hardship exists.
B. 
The Commission may hold a public hearing on the hardship application at which an opportunity will be provided for proponents and opponents of the application to present their views.
C. 
The applicant shall consult in good faith with the Commission, local preservation groups, and interested parties in a diligent effort to seek an alternative that will result in preservation of the property.
D. 
All decisions of the Commission shall be in writing. A copy shall be sent to the applicant by registered mail and a copy filed with the Town Clerk's office for public inspection. The Commission's decision shall state the reasons for granting or denying the hardship application. If the application is granted, the Commission shall approve only such work as is necessary to alleviate the hardship.
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 Building Code Enforcement Officer to inspect periodically any such work to assure compliance. In the event work is found that is not being performed in accordance with the certificate of appropriateness, or upon notification of such fact by the Historic Preservation Commission, the Building Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a stop-work order and all work shall immediately cease. No further work shall be undertaken on the project as long as a stop-work order is in effect.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance and repair of any exterior architectural feature of a landmark or property within an historic district which does not involve a change in design, material, color, or outward appearance. 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 serious state of disrepair so as to result in the deterioration of any exterior architectural feature which would, in the judgment of the Historic Preservation Commission, produce a detrimental effect upon the character of the historic district as a whole or the life and character of the property itself. Examples of such deterioration include:
A. 
Deterioration of exterior walls or other vertical supports;
B. 
Deterioration of roofs or other horizontal members;
C. 
Deterioration of exterior chimneys;
D. 
Deterioration or crumbling of exterior stucco or mortar;
E. 
Ineffective waterproofing of exterior walls, roofs, or foundations, including broken windows or doors; and
F. 
Deterioration of any feature so as to create a hazardous condition which could lead to the claim that demolition is necessary for the public safety.
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 not less than $300 per day nor more than $1,000 per day 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 Town Attorney. This civil remedy shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any criminal prosecution and penalty.
The Commission, Town Board, Commissioner of Public Works/Superintendent of Highways, Building Inspector, Fire Marshal or Code Compliance Inspector may from time to time require notice to be served upon owners, as hereinafter provided, to remedy any of the foregoing conditions described in § 236-12 which may exist upon the land, in addition to other Town Code violations which may exist. Compliance is required within seven days of receipt of notice.
Whenever the Commission, Town Board, Commissioner of Public Works/Superintendent of Highways, Building Inspector, Fire Marshal or Code Compliance Inspector requires the owners of land to correct Town Code violations, the notice shall specify the place, manner and time (not less than seven days from the receipt of said notice) within which such work shall be completed. The notice shall be served upon such owner or owners by registered or certified mail addressed to his or her or their last known address. The Commission, Town Board, Commissioner of Public Works/Superintendent of Highways, Building Inspector, Fire Marshal or Code Compliance Inspector may require personal service in the case of a resident if so desired.
Whenever a notice or notices has been or have been served upon such owner or owners of the respective lots or parcels of land to correct Town Code violations, and such owner or owners shall neglect or fail to comply with the requirements of such notice or notices within the time provided therein, the Commission, Town Board, Commissioner of Public Works/Superintendent of Highways, Building Inspector, Fire Marshal or Code Compliance Inspector may authorize the work to be done. The cost thereof shall be paid out of the general Town funds to be appropriated by the Town Board for such purposes. The Commissioner of Public Works, Building Inspector, Fire Marshal or Code Compliance Inspector may issue an appearance ticket subscribed by him or her directing the owner or owners to appear in a designated local criminal court at a designated future time in connection with this alleged Commission of a designated offense of this chapter.
Should the Commission, Town Board, Commissioner of Public Works/Superintendent of Highways, Building Inspector, Fire Marshal or Code Compliance Inspector authorize the work to be done, then the department authorizing the work shall be reimbursed for the cost, including out-of-pocket administrative expense of the work performed or services rendered by direction of the Commission, Town Board, Commissioner of Public Works/Superintendent of Highways, Building Inspector, Fire Marshal or Code Compliance Inspector, as hereinabove provided, by assessment and levy upon the lots or parcels of land wherein such work was performed or such services rendered, and the expenses so assessed shall constitute a lien and charge on the real property on which it is levied until paid or otherwise satisfied or discharged and shall be collected in the same manner and at the same time as other Town charges.
Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Historic Preservation Commission relating to hardship or a certificate of appropriateness may, within 30 days of the decision, file a written application with the Zoning Board of Appeals for review of decision. Reviews shall be conducted based on the same record that was before the Commission and using the same criteria.