Village of Scarsdale, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 3-26-2002 by L.L. No. 1-2002]
A. 
The unique character of residential neighborhoods in Scarsdale rests on the diversity in the style and design of houses as well as the general uniformity in the scale of houses located on similarly sized lots in neighborhoods throughout the community. The recent trend of tearing down existing houses and replacing them with larger houses or building large additions to existing houses threatens the appearance and impacts upon the health, safety, welfare, and quality of life of Scarsdale.
B. 
This article establishes a maximum floor area ratio (FAR) for all single-family and two-family residences in the Residence A Zones. It responds both to the desire of residents to enlarge their homes to meet the needs of their families and to preserve neighborhood character by requiring houses to appear to be of the same or similar scale to others in the neighborhood. It is the intent of this article to encourage both new houses and expansions or alterations to existing houses to have a consistent scale with the nearby residences on both sides of the street. The FAR provisions are intended to be applied together with other provisions of the Village Code, including the provisions for lot coverage.
[Amended 12-11-2007 by L.L. No. 15-2007]
Words used in this article shall have the meanings indicated in Chapter 310, Zoning, § 310-2, and, in addition thereto, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DECK
An outdoor platform attached to the principal structure of a building and built above the natural grade. A deck does not have a roof and is exposed to the elements.
DORMER
A subunit of a structure interrupting a roof slope with its own walls and roof, and characterized by the roof shape, including but not limited to flat, decked, hipped, shed, gabled, inset, arched, segmental, and eyebrow styled roofs.
GROSS RESIDENTIAL FLOOR AREA
The sum of the gross area of all floors of a residence, measured to the exterior of the outside walls. In calculating the gross floor area of houses in the Residence A Zones for the purpose of calculating floor area ratio (FAR), all floor areas of each floor of all principal and all accessory structures on the lot shall be included, except for the portion which may be exempted as provided in § 310-103. Any interior space with a floor-to-ceiling height in excess of 14 feet shall be counted twice.
HEIGHT, FLOOR-TO-CEILING
The distance between the finished floor and the finished ceiling of an interior space. The distance shall be equal to the length of a theoretical line drawn from the floor to a point of the highest portion of the ceiling directly above it and is perpendicular to the horizontal plane of the floor.
OUT-OF-SCALE
With regard to a building or any part thereof, the condition of being or appearing to be disproportionately large, bulky, or massive relative to the other buildings in the surrounding neighborhood (particularly, but not limited to, the buildings on contiguous tax lots) and/or relative to the size of the tax lot upon which the building is situated; also, with regard to any one part of a building (or an addition to a pre-existing building), the condition of being or appearing to be disproportionately large, bulky, or massive relative to any other part of the same building (or, in the case of an addition, relative to the pre-existing building); with regard to an accessory structure, the condition of being or appearing to be disproportionately large, bulky, or massive relative to the principal structure, the other buildings in the surrounding neighborhood, and/or the size of the tax lot upon which the accessory structure is situated.
PORCH, ENCLOSED
A structure attached to a building, with a floor, roof, and structural supports, and permanently, seasonally, or temporarily enclosed with solid materials, such as glass or lexan (a clear, durable, hard plastic material). Screens, curtains, or latticework made of wire-mesh, cloth, paper, strips of wood or metal, or other similar material, shall not be considered "solid" for the purpose of this definition. A porch does not need to be heated or insulated to be considered "enclosed."
PORCH, UNENCLOSED
A structure attached to a building, which has a floor, a roof, and structural supports, but not permanently, seasonally, or temporarily enclosed with solid materials, such as glass or lexan (a clear, durable, hard plastic material).
As illustrated herein as Table XVI-1, the maximum permitted floor area ratio (FAR) for houses shall be as follows:
A. 
Lots of 4,999 square feet or less shall have a maximum FAR of 0.43 (maximum floor area ratio = 0.43).
B. 
Lots between 5,000 square feet and 9,999 square feet shall have a maximum FAR of 0.43, minus 0.016 for every 1,000 square feet or part thereof in excess of 5,000 square feet [maximum floor area ratio = 0.43 - ((lot size - 5,000) ./. 1,000) x 0.016].
C. 
Lots between 10,000 square feet and 14,999 square feet shall have a maximum FAR of 0.35, minus 0.012 for every 1,000 square feet or part thereof in excess of 10,000 square feet [maximum floor area ratio = 0.35 - ((lot size - 10,000) ./. 1,000) x 0.012].
D. 
Lots between 15,000 square feet and 29,999 square feet shall have a maximum FAR of 0.29, minus 0.006 for every 1,000 square feet or part thereof in excess of 15,000 square feet [maximum floor area ratio = 0.29 - ((lot size - 15,000) ./. 1,000) x 0.006].
E. 
Lots between 30,000 square feet and 34,999 square feet shall have a maximum FAR of 0.20, minus 0.0045 for every 1,000 square feet or part thereof in excess of 30,000 square feet [maximum floor area ratio = 0.20 - ((lot size - 30,000) ./. 1,000) x .0045].
F. 
Lots between 35,000 square feet and 39,999 square feet shall have a maximum FAR of 0.1775, minus 0.003 for every 1,000 square feet or part thereof in excess of 35,000 square feet [maximum floor area ratio = 0.1775 - ((lot size - 35,000) ./. 1,000) x .003].
G. 
Lots between 40,000 square feet and 44,999 square feet shall have a maximum FAR of 0.1625, minus 0.002 for every 1,000 square feet or part thereof in excess of 40,000 square feet [maximum floor area ratio = 0.1625 - ((lot size - 40,000) ./. 1,000) x .002].
H. 
Lots between 45,000 square feet and 49,999 square feet shall have a maximum FAR of 0.1525, minus 0.0015 or part thereof for every 1,000 square feet or part thereof in excess of 45,000 square feet [maximum floor area ratio = 0.1525 - ((lot size - 45,000) ./. 1,000) x .0015].
I. 
Lots between 50,000 square feet and 76,230 square feet shall have a maximum FAR of 0.1450 (maximum floor area ratio = 0.1450].
J. 
Any house which exceeds 15,000 square feet of gross residential floor area shall be required to obtain a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Table XVI-1
Illustrative Table of
Maximum Floor Area Ratio (FAR)
Lot Size
(square feet)
Maximum FAR
Resulting Gross Residential Floor Area
(square feet)
3,000
0.4300
1,290
4,000
0.4300
1,720
5,000
0.4300
2,150
6,000
0.4140
2,484
7,000
0.3980
2,786
8,000
0.3820
3,056
9,000
0.3660
3,294
10,000
0.3500
3,500
11,000
0.3380
3,718
12,000
0.3260
3,912
13,000
0.3140
4,082
14,000
0.3020
4,228
15,000
0.2900
4,350
16,000
0.2840
4,544
17,000
0.2780
4,726
18,000
0.2720
4,896
19,000
0.2660
5,054
20,000
0.2600
5,200
21,000
0.2540
5,334
22,000
0.2480
5,456
23,000
0.2420
5,566
24,000
0.2360
5,664
25,000
0.2300
5,750
26,000
0.2240
5,824
27,000
0.2180
5,886
28,000
0.2120
5,936
29,000
0.2060
5,974
30,000
0.2000
6,000
31,000
0.1955
6,061
32,000
0.1910
6,112
33,000
0.1865
6,155
34,000
0.1820
6,188
35,000
0.1775
6,213
36,000
0.1745
6,282
37,000
0.1715
6,346
38,000
0.1685
6,403
39,000
0.1655
6,455
40,000
0.1625
6,500
41,000
0.1605
6,581
42,000
0.1585
6,657
43,000
0.1565
6,730
44,000
0.1545
6,798
45,000
0.1525
6,863
46,000
0.1510
6,946
47,000
0.1495
7,027
48,000
0.1480
7,104
49,000
0.1465
7,179
50,000
0.1450
7,250
51,000
0.1450
7,395
52,000
0.1450
7,540
53,000
0.1450
7,685
54,000
0.1450
7,830
55,000
0.1450
7,975
56,000
0.1450
8,120
57,000
0.1450
8,265
58,000
0.1450
8,410
59,000
0.1450
8,555
60,000
0.1450
8,700
61,000
0.1450
8,845
62,000
0.1450
8,990
63,000
0.1450
9,135
64,000
0.1450
9,280
65,000
0.1450
9,425
66,000
0.1450
9,570
67,000
0.1450
9,715
68,000
0.1450
9,860
69,000
0.1450
10,005
70,000
0.1450
10,150
71,000
0.1450
10,295
72,000
0.1450
10,440
73,000
0.1450
10,585
74,000
0.1450
10,730
75,000
0.1450
10,875
76,000
0.1450
11,020
76,230
0.1450
11,053
76,231+
No maximum
None1
NOTES:
1Houses which exceed 15,000 square feet in size shall be required to obtain a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
[Amended 10-14-2003 by L.L. No. 11-2003; 5-13-2008 by L.L. No. 4-2008]
A. 
Decks, patios, unenclosed porches and porticoes.
(1) 
All space in unroofed structures such as decks and patios shall be excluded from the calculation of FAR.
(2) 
All space in unenclosed porches and porticoes shall be excluded from the calculation of FAR. For the purpose of FAR calculation, "unenclosed" shall mean those porches or porticoes that are open and not permanently, seasonally or temporarily enclosed as defined in § 310-101.
B. 
Basements, cellars and basement garages. That portion of the floor area of the basement, cellar or basement garage where the exposed exterior wall or walls facing the front yard is less than three feet as measured from the existing or proposed grade, whichever is lower, shall be excluded from the calculation of FAR. All the remaining portions of the floor area of basements, cellars or basement garages, where the height of the exterior exposed wall or walls facing the front yard is three feet or more as measured from the existing or proposed grade, whichever is lower, shall be included in the FAR.
C. 
Attics or space under a sloping roof.
(1) 
All unfinished or finished space in an attic or under a sloping roof which has no dormers facing the front, side, or rear yards, or which has dormers or dormered porticoes that do not exceed the following dimensions, shall be excluded from the calculation of FAR:
(a) 
For dormers facing the front or side yards, where the exterior width of such dormers does not exceed 30% of the exterior linear width of the roof upon which they are situated. The exterior linear width of the roof shall be measured from end to end at the widest point of the roof.
(b) 
For each of those dormers which face the rear yard, where the distance between the side walls of the underlying story and the side wall of the dormer is greater than five feet.
(2) 
Where the dimensions of one or more dormers exceed one or both of the standards under § 310-103C above, the total area in the attic or under the sloping roof shall be included in calculation of FAR, except as provided for in § 310-103C(3) below.
(3) 
That portion of unfinished or finished space in an attic or under a sloping roof where the distance between the floor and ceiling is less than four feet shall be excluded from the calculation of FAR.
D. 
Garages.
(1) 
On lots measuring 9,999 square feet or less, the lesser of 250 square feet or the total floor area contained within one-story garages, either detached or attached to the principal structure, shall be excluded from the calculation of the FAR.
(2) 
On lots measuring 10,000 square feet or more, the lesser of 400 square feet or the total floor area contained within one-story garages, either detached or attached to the principal structure, shall be excluded from the calculation of the FAR.
(3) 
In those instances where an additional story is provided above a garage, whether detached or attached, such floor area or garage floor area, up to the limits set forth herein as defined by lot size, shall be excluded from the calculation of FAR. For purposes of Subsection D, attic space or area under a sloped roof shall not be construed to be an additional story unless it meets the criteria of § 310-103C(1) above.
(4) 
Notwithstanding the above, Subsection D shall not apply to basement garages.
A. 
In all Residence A Zones, except the AA-1 Zone, for each additional foot that a house is set back beyond the minimum required side yard setback, an additional 100 square feet of floor area above the maximum permitted FAR on that lot as per § 310-102 shall be permitted, provided that:
(1) 
In the case of additions to existing homes, the additional or bonus floor area is added to the rear of the existing house; and
(2) 
Such an addition complies with the maximum height, maximum lot coverage, and minimum setback requirements of the Scarsdale Zoning Code.
B. 
The maximum bonus shall be 400 square feet for lots located in the A-4 and A-5 Residential Zones, 700 square feet for lots located in the A-2, A-2a, and A-3 Residential Zones and twelve hundred (1200) square feet for lots located in the A-1 Residential Zone.
[Amended 12-11-2007 by L.L. No. 16-2007]
A. 
Building permit review. Upon receipt of a building permit application for a house in a Residence A Zone, the Building Department shall determine whether granting the building permit would result in a building FAR in excess of the maximum FAR prescribed under § 310-102.
B. 
Houses at or below the maximum FAR. If a house's gross residential floor area does not exceed the maximum FAR, the Building Department shall proceed with the building permit application, with no further FAR review.
C. 
Residences above the maximum FAR. Applications for building permits for residences whose total floor area exceeds the maximum permitted FAR shall be required to seek an area variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals in accordance with § 310-87 of the Scarsdale Zoning Code. The Zoning Board of Appeals may also, at its discretion, refer the application to the Board of Architectural Review for an advisory opinion. Any application for an area variance for FAR for a residence shall require the submission of the following additional materials, if available, in addition to those required for the building permit:
(1) 
Elevations of the houses on both sides of the subject house;
(2) 
Photographs of neighboring houses, structures, and yards within 200 feet on either side of the subject house; and
(3) 
Floor area ratios of neighboring houses on similarly sized lots within 200 feet on either side of the subject house.
(4) 
The applicant shall also provide written or verbal testimony addressing the proofs required for area variances.
Notwithstanding the effective date of this article, any application that has obtained site plan approval, a wetlands permit, or cluster subdivision approval from the Planning Board, an area variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals, and/or final approval from the Board of Architectural Review as of March 26, 2002, shall not be subject to this article.