Village of Scarsdale, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Scarsdale, effective 5-1-1965; amended in its entirety during codification 3-14-1989 by L.L. No. 12-1989 (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Planning Board — See Ch. 77.
Building construction — See Ch. 132.
Environmental quality review — See Ch. 152.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 167.
Freshwater wetlands — See Ch. 171.
Zoning — See Ch. 310.
Architectural Review Board rules and regulations — See Ch. A317.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. A319.
It is the purpose of this chapter to preserve and promote the character and appearances and conserve the property values of the village, the attractiveness of whose residential and business areas is the economic mainstay of the community, by providing procedures for an architectural review of structures henceforth erected, reconstructed or altered in the village, and thereby to encourage good qualities of exterior building design and good appearances and to relate such design and appearances to the sites and surroundings of structures, to permit originality and resourcefulness in building design and appearances which are appropriate to the sites and surroundings and to prevent such design and appearances as are unnecessarily offensive to visual sensibilities.
The Board of Trustees hereby finds that structures which are visually offensive or inappropriate by reason of poor qualities of exterior design, monotonous similarity or striking visual discord in relation to their sites or surroundings mar the appearances of their areas, impair the use, enjoyment and desirability and reduce the values of properties, are detrimental to the characters of neighborhoods, prevent the most appropriate development and utilization of land and therefore adversely affect the functioning, economic stability, prosperity, health, safety and general welfare of the entire community.
[Amended 11-28-1989 by L.L. No. 21-1989]
There is hereby created a Board of Architectural Review which shall consist of seven members who shall serve without compensation. All members of the Board shall be residents of the village and shall be specifically qualified by reason of training or experience in architecture, land development, community planning, real estate, landscape architecture, engineering, building construction or other relevant business or profession or by reason of civic interest and sound judgment to judge the effects of a proposed building upon the desirability, property values and development of surrounding areas; at least one member shall be a registered architect or professional engineer in the State of New York, and at least one member shall be an active member of the bar of the State of New York.
A. 
The Chair and other members of the Board shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees. In the event of absence or disability of the Chair, the Board of Architectural Review may designate a member to serve as Chair, who shall preside over all proceedings and assume all duties of the Chair. The term of office of the Chair shall be one year. The term of office for each member shall be three years, two terms maximum. The Chair may serve one additional year. In addition, the Board of Trustees may appoint two alternate members who will serve in the absence of the regular members. These alternate appointments shall be for three years.
[Amended 3-12-1996 by L.L. No. 1-1996; 6-23-1998 by L.L. No. 10-1998]
B. 
In the same manner, vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term of any member whose place has become vacant
The Board of Architectural Review shall keep or cause to be kept in the Village Hall a comprehensive record of all meetings of the Board, as well as a record of all transactions handled by said Board, and shall prepare and file with the Board of Trustees on or before September 1 of each year a complete report of the business handled by the Board during the preceding year ended May 31.
Meetings of the Board of Architectural Review shall be held at the call of the Chairman and at such other times as the Board shall determine. The Board may hold a public hearing when it deems the same to be in the public interest.
[Amended 3-12-1996 by L.L. No. 1-1996]
A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. One or more of the alternate members may be substituted for regular member(s) when required for a quorum.
The Board shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each member upon each question or, if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and shall also keep copies of its examinations and other official actions.
The Board shall have power from time to time to adopt, amend and repeal rules and regulations not inconsistent with law or the provisions of this chapter, Chapters 171, 251 and 310 of this Code, governing its procedure and the transaction of its business, and for the purpose of carrying into effect the standards outlined in §§ 18-11 through 18-15.[1] Such action shall be taken after public hearing and shall be subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees.
[1]
Editor's Note: For the rules and regulations of the Board of Architectural Review, see Ch. A317.
A. 
Determination of compliance; transmittal of copies; notices; exemption from referral.
[Amended 3-12-1996 by L.L. No. 1-1996]
(1) 
As soon as practicable the Building Inspector shall determine that an application for a building permit for the construction, reconstruction or alteration of any building or structure complies with all provisions of Chapters 158, Fences, Walls and Plantings; 171, Freshwater Wetlands; 182, Historic Preservation; 247, Signs; 251, Site Plan Review; 281, Trees, Grass, Brush and Weeds; and 310, Zoning. The Building Inspector shall transmit a copy of the application and plans to each member of the Board of Architectural Review a minimum of five days prior to the meeting, where the building or structure has not been directly approved by the Board of Trustees or where approval of the building or structure has not been delegated to the Board of Appeals by § 310-79A(2)(swimming pools), (4) (tennis courts) or (5) (dish antennas) of Chapter 310, Zoning, of this Code, and which is not exempt from review under the provisions of Subsection A(3) below, which comes within either of the following categories:
[Amended 2-13-2019 by L.L. No. 2-2019]
(a) 
Construction of any new buildings or structures; or
(b) 
An addition to or reconstruction or alteration of any existing building or structure in such manner as to change substantially the exterior character and appearance of the building or structure.
(2) 
Notices.
(a) 
The Board is authorized to require applicants to serve notices to the owners of neighboring properties, as specified in Chapter A317, Architectural Review Board Rules and Regulations, on the following types of applications:
[1] 
Construction of any new residence, accessory building larger than 100 square feet, commercial building or other public structure.
[2] 
Construction of an addition to an existing structure which is in the front yard or increases its height at the front by one story or more or more than 50%.
(b) 
The Board may also require notices to neighbors in other types of applications, as may be required in Chapter A317.
(3) 
The Board is empowered and authorized, through the promulgation of regulations, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees, to designate certain minor alterations and some decks and fences as exempt from referral by the Building Inspector to the Board for its review.
B. 
Applications must be accompanied by plans showing all elevations of new structures and all affected elevations in the case of additions or alterations. For all new structures, a site plan with a scale minimum of one inch equals 20 feet must be submitted, showing the following;
(1) 
Property lines, including curblines of adjacent streets.
(2) 
Outline of structure, including walks, driveways, terraces, walls and fences.
(3) 
Existing and proposed contours at two-foot intervals.
(4) 
Existing trees and trees to be removed having a DBH of four inches or more and trees having a DBH of three inches or less which are enumerated in § 281-3A, identifying all trees by common and botanical names, DBH and condition.
[Amended 2-13-2019 by L.L. No. 2-2019]
(5) 
All proposed plantings.
C. 
The Building Inspector or the Board of Architectural Review may require submission of all or a portion of the above information as part of the application for an addition to an existing structure. The Building Inspector or the Board of Architectural Review may require the applicant to furnish grades and elevations of adjacent property and structures where they deem this information applicable to a proper evaluation of the relationship between existing and proposed structures.
Approval of any building permit shall be by a vote of at least a majority of the members of the Board of Architectural Review.
In considering an application for a permit, the Board shall take into account natural features of the site and surroundings, exterior design and appearances of existing structures and the character of the district and its peculiar suitability for particular purposes, with a view to conserving the values of property and encouraging the most appropriate use of land.
The Board may approve any application referred to it upon finding that the building or structure for which the permit was requested, if erected or altered in accordance with the submitted plan, would be in harmony with the purpose of this chapter, would not be visually offensive or inappropriate by reason of poor quality of exterior design, would not have monotonous similarity or striking visual discord in relation to the sites or surroundings, would not mar the appearance of the area, would not impair the use, enjoyment and desirability and reduce the values of properties in the area, would not be detrimental to the character of the neighborhood, would not prevent the most appropriate development and utilization of the site or of adjacent lands and would not adversely affect the functioning economic stability, prosperity, health, safety and general welfare of the entire community.
In approving any application, the Board may impose appropriate conditions and safeguards designed to prevent the harmful effects set forth in §§ 18-1 and 18-2.
The Board may disapprove any application for a permit, provided that the Board has afforded the applicant an opportunity to confer upon suggestions for change of the plan and provided that the Board finds and states that the structure for which the permit was requested would, if erected or altered as indicated, provoke one or more of the harmful effects set forth in §§ 18-1 and 18-2 by reason of:
A. 
Monotonous similarity to any other structure or structures located or proposed to be located on the same street or a corner thereof and within 200 feet of the site of the structure for which a building permit is requested, in respect to one or more of the following features of exterior design and appearance:
[Amended 3-12-1996 by L.L. No. 1-1996]
(1) 
Substantially identical facade, disregarding color;
(2) 
Substantially identical size and arrangement of either doors, windows, porticos, porches or garages or other openings or breaks or extensions in the facade, including reverse arrangements; or
(3) 
Other substantially identical features, such as but not limited to setbacks from street lines, heights, widths and lengths of elements of the building design and exterior materials and treatments.
B. 
Striking dissimilarity, visual discord or inappropriateness with respect to other structures located or proposed to be located on the same street or a corner thereof and within 200 feet of the site of the structure for which a building permit is requested, in respect to one or more of the following features of exterior design and appearance.
[Amended 3-12-1996 by L.L. No. 1-1996]
(1) 
Facade, disregarding color;
(2) 
Size and arrangement of doors, windows, porticos, porches or garages or other openings or breaks or extensions in the facade; or
(3) 
Other significant design features, such as but not limited to heights, widths and lengths of elements of design, exterior materials and treatments, roof structures, exposed mechanical equipment, service and storage areas, retaining walls, landscaping, signs, light posts, parking areas and fences and service and loading areas.
C. 
Visual offensiveness or other poor qualities of exterior design, including, with respect to signs, considerations of the harmony or discord of colors, or incompatibility of the proposed structure with the terrain on which it is to be located, including but not limited to excessive divergences of the height or levels of any part of the structure from the grade of the terrain.
The Board of Architectural Review shall advise with respect to public buildings and such other matters as the Board of Trustees, the Board of Appeals and the Planning Board may refer to it.
The Building Inspector shall refuse any building permit application disapproved as provided in § 18-15.
If the Board of Architectural Review shall fail to approve or disapprove any application referred to it under § 18-10 within 60 days of the date of referral of such application to it, the application shall be considered to have been approved unless the applicant shall have agreed to an extension of time.
Any applicant aggrieved by the action of the Board of Architectural Review in disapproving a building permit application and of the Building Inspector in denying such permit because of such disapproval may request the Board to make formal findings of fact. In the event of such a request, the Board shall make such findings of fact within 60 days after the request is filed in the Village Clerk's office, shall thereafter provide the applicant with an opportunity to answer the findings by the submission of formal proof and shall reconsider the application on the basis of such answer. If the application is disapproved after such reconsideration, the applicant may bring a proceeding to review in the manner provided by Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules in a court of record on the ground that such action is illegal, in whole or in part. Such proceeding must be commenced within 30 days after the filing in the office of the Village Clerk of the decision after reconsideration.
[Added 9-22-1992 by L.L. No. 6-1992]
The Board of Architectural Review shall:
A. 
Hear appeals from decisions of the Building Inspector related to the Scarsdale Building Code, as contained in §§ 132-2 through 132-25 and § 132-32 of the Code, as provided in § 132-148A and C of the Code.
B. 
Hear appeals for variances related to the requirements of the Scarsdale Building Code, as contained in §§ 132-2 through 132-25 and § 132-32 of the Code, as provided in § 132-148B and C of the Code.
This chapter shall supersede provisions of Chapter 132 of this Code to the extent that Chapter 132 conflicts with or is contrary to the provisions of this chapter.
[Added 3-12-1996 by L.L. No. 1-1996]
All applications to the Board shall be accompanied by a fee as established by the Village Board.