Town of Clifton Park, NY
Saratoga County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 10-10-2006 by L.L. No. 10-2006; 12-1-2008 by L.L. No. 9-2008]
A. 
Purpose. It is hereby declared as a matter of public policy and the intent of the Town of Clifton Park to essentially follow the terms of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 which established a national historic preservation policy and authorized the National Park Service to oversee the Act. Additionally, it is the intent of the Town of Clifton Park to essentially follow the mandates of the New York State Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Preservation Officer. In this capacity the protection, enhancement and perpetuation of landmarks and historic buildings is necessary to promote cultural and educational opportunities for the public. In as much as the identity of a people is founded on its past and recognizing that Clifton Park has many significant historic, architectural and cultural resources which constitute its heritage, this article is intended to:
(1) 
Protect and enhance the buildings, structures, objects, sites and districts which represent distinctive elements of Clifton Park's historic, architectural and cultural heritage;
(2) 
Foster civic pride in the accomplishments of the past;
(3) 
Protect and enhance Clifton Park's attractiveness to its residents and visitors and the support and stimulus to the economy thereby provided;
(4) 
Ensure the harmonious, orderly, and efficient growth by integrating future development of Clifton Park with our historic past; and
(5) 
The Historic Preservation Commission, as outlined below in Subsection C(1), will be available to provide guidance and technical assistance to owners of landmark properties when restoration work is being contemplated.
B. 
Definitions. When used in this article, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context, the terms listed below shall have the following meanings:
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
A written authorization from the Planning Board that permits alterations, restoration, reconstruction or other construction with respect to a building, structure, site or object that has been designated a landmark.
CERTIFICATE OF COMPATIBILITY
A written authorization from the Planning Board indicating any new proposed construction within an Historic District meets the general design, character, continuity and scale of other buildings in the Historic District.
COMMISSION
The Clifton Park Historic Preservation Commission.
FACADE
That area of a building, place or site that is clearly visible from any adjacent public street or highway, generally constituting the outer shell of the structure that can be observed by the passing public.
HISTORIC DISTRICT
A district that possesses a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of sites, buildings, structures, or objects united historically or aesthetically by plan or physical development.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION
The identification, study, documentation, protection, acquisition, restoration, rehabilitation, management, maintenance and use of buildings, structures, objects, sites and historic districts, significant in the history, architecture, or culture of the Town of Clifton Park, the State of New York or the United States.
HISTORIC PROPERTY
Any building, structure, object, site or district that is of significance in the history, architecture, archeology, or culture of the Town of Clifton Park, the State of New York, or the United States. Listed below, but not limited to these categories, are examples of historic properties.
(1) 
Examples of buildings include:
Administration building
Carriage house
Church
City or town hall
Courthouse
Detached kitchen, barn, or privy
Dormitory
Fort
Garage
Hotel
House
Library
Mill building
Office building
Post office
School
Shed
Social hall
Stable
Store
Theater
Train station
(2) 
Examples of structures include:
Aircraft
Apiary
Automobile
Bandstand
Boats and ships
Bridge
Cairn
Canal
Carousel
Corncrib
Dam
Earthwork
Fence
Gazebo
Grain elevator
Highway
Irrigation system
Kiln
Lighthouse
Railroad grade
Silo
Trolley car
Tunnel
Windmill
(3) 
Examples of objects include:
Boundary marker
Fountain
Milepost
Monument
Sculpture
Statuary
(4) 
Examples of sites include:
Battlefield
Campsite
Cemeteries significant for information potential or historic association
Ceremonial site
Designed landscape
Habitation site
Natural feature (such as a rock formation) having cultural significance
Petroglyph
Rock carving
Rock shelter
Ruins of a building structure
Shipwreck
Trail
Village site
(5) 
Examples of districts include:
Business districts
Canal system
College campuses
Estates and farms with large acreage/numerous properties
Groups of habitation sites
Industrial complexes
Irrigation system
Residential areas
Rural historic districts
Rural villages
LANDMARK
A historic building or structure that has been placed on the Town, State or National Register of Historic Places, the owner has requested and received a historic preservation conservation easement, and the building or structure has been designated a landmark by the Town Board. This classification is unique to the Town of Clifton Park.
MATERIAL EXTERNAL ALTERATIONS
External changes to a home, including landscaping, fencing, or other alterations. Painting and other regular and ordinary items of maintenance are not "material external alterations" to a property.
NATIONAL REGISTER
The National Register of Historic Places authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.
PLANNING BOARD
The Town of Clifton Park Planning Board.
STATE REGISTER
The State Register of Historic Places established pursuant to § 14.07 of the New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law.
TOWN BOARD
The Town Board of Clifton Park.
TOWN REGISTER
The Clifton Park Town Register of Historic Places established pursuant to Town Board Resolution 16 of 1999, a local honorary listing of buildings, structures, objects, sites and historic districts deemed by the Commission to be of significant historic value. Property owners on the Historic Register have no restrictions on what they may do with their property.
C. 
Historic Preservation Commission. There is hereby created a Commission to be known as the "Clifton Park Historic Preservation Commission."
(1) 
The Commission shall consist of 15 members to be appointed, to the extent available in the community, by the Town Board as follows: There shall be at least one each of the following: architect, historian, licensed real estate broker, attorney and resident of an historic district and at least one shall have 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. So as not to weigh the Historic Preservation Commission decision making process unfairly:
(a) 
Members shall not be affiliated with the same professional office; and
(b) 
Members shall not be related by marriage or immediate family members.
(2) 
Commission members shall serve at the discretion of the Town Board.
(3) 
The Chairman of the Commission shall be appointed by the Town Board for a one-year term.
(4) 
The purpose of the Commission shall include:
(a) 
Making recommendations to the Town Board for its consideration and approval so that it may employ staff and professional consultants as necessary to aid the Commission in carrying out its duties.
(b) 
Promulgation of rules and regulations as necessary for the conduct of its business. Any such rules or regulations are subject to the approval of the Town Board.
(c) 
Conduct surveys of significant historic buildings, structures, objects and districts within the Town.
(d) 
Recommending to the Town Board certain criteria for selection of historic buildings, structures, objects, sites and historic districts in the Town of Clifton Park to be placed on the Town Register of Historic Places.
(e) 
Recommending to the Town Board suggested buildings, structures, objects and sites which should be listed on the Town Register of Historic Places.
(f) 
Recommendations to the Town government concerning the acquisition of facade easements or other interests in real property as necessary to carry out the purposes of this article.
(g) 
Recommendations to the Town Board as to those areas of the Town which should be designated as Town historic districts.
(h) 
Increasing public awareness of the value of preserving historic buildings, structures, objects and sites by developing and participating in public education programs, conducting preservation workshops, and providing technical assistance and guidance to owners of historic properties.
(i) 
Making recommendations to Town government concerning the utilization of state, federal or private funds to promote the preservation of historic buildings, structures, objects and sites within the Town of Clifton Park.
(j) 
Recommending the acquisition of historic buildings, structures, objects and sites by the Town government where their preservation is essential to the purposes of this article and where private preservation is not feasible.
(k) 
Serving in an advisory capacity to the Town Board, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and Building Department on all matters that affect or impact on designated Register properties or historic districts.
(l) 
In its capacity to advise the Town Board and the Planning Board, the Commission will review and offer comments and assist to bring about a successful integration of proposed new projects, developments or building additions for registered properties or for properties within a Historic District.
(5) 
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 of the Commission or the Chairman of the Planning Board.
(6) 
A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of one or more than 1/2 of the Commission's members.
D. 
Designation of Historic Districts, buildings, structures, objects and sites on the Town Register of Historic Places.
(1) 
Pursuant to Town Board Resolution No. 16 of 1999, the Commission may recommend, for designation by the Town Board, a building, structure, object, historic district or site for the Town Register of Historic Places if it:
(a) 
Is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or
(b) 
Is identified with historic personages or the lives of persons significant in our past; or
(c) 
Embodies distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or
(d) 
Has yielded, or may be likely to yield, information in prehistory or history.
(2) 
Each building, structure, or object added to the Town Register of Historic Places will receive a plaque acknowledging placement on the Register.
(3) 
The Clifton Park Town Register of Historic Places is strictly a local honorary listing. Properties placed on the Register are given only Town-wide historic recognition. Owners of properties on the Historic Register have no restrictions on the use or maintenance of their property as a result of this designation.
(4) 
Each site or Historic District added to the Town Register of Historic Places will receive an historic road marker acknowledging its history and placement on the register.
E. 
Landmarks.
(1) 
Once a site or structure has been listed on the Town Register of Historic Places, the site or structure becomes eligible for tax relief under the Historic Preservation Easement Law (Local Law No. 12 of 1996, Conservation Easement Law, Chapter 125, as amended by Local Law No. 1 of 2004). If the owner elects to submit an application, and the Commission establishes that the building, structure, or site continues to meet the required criteria it may be approved by the Town Board and thus be eligible for a historic conservation easement.
(2) 
The Town Board shall hold a public hearing prior to granting a historic preservation easement (Local Law 12 of 1996). Within 30 days after the conclusion of the public hearing, the Town Board shall grant the application for a preservation easement, and thereby designate the property as a landmark, or shall deny such designation.
(3) 
Upon designation by the Town Board, the Town Clerk shall record and forward notice of each property designated as a landmark to the Town of Clifton Park Assessor and the Director of Building and Zoning.
(4) 
Upon accepting a historic preservation easement and the property thereby receiving landmark status, the property owner agrees to preserve the historic building or structure as follows.
(a) 
Certificate of appropriateness. Any alterations, modifications or additions to a landmark building or structure shall be aesthetically and architecturally compatible with the existing building. No person shall carry out any exterior alteration, restoration, reconstruction, demolition or new construction or move a landmark, nor shall any person make any material changes in the appearance of such a property, its light fixtures, signs, sidewalks, fences, steps, paving or other exterior elements which affect the appearance of the landmark, without first obtaining a review by the Historic Preservaton Commission and a certificate of appropriateness, unless, in the opinion of the Director of Building and Zoning, such activity is necessary to prevent the property or structure from posing a danger to the public at large. In making a recommendation to the Planning Board on 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, or to architectural features that are not visible from a public street or alley.
[1] 
Any material external alterations of existing property shall be compatible with the property's historic character, as well as with the surrounding district.
(b) 
Certificate of appropriateness application procedure.
[1] 
Prior to the commencement of any work requiring a certificate of appropriateness, the owner shall file an application for such a certificate with the Planning Board. The application shall contain:
[a] 
Name, address and telephone number of applicant.
[b] 
Location and photographs of property.
[c] 
Elevation drawings of proposed changes, if available.
[d] 
Samples of color or materials to be used.
[e] 
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.
[2] 
No building permit shall be issued for such proposed work until a certificate of appropriateness has first been approved by the Planning Board. The certificate of appropriateness required by this article shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any building permit that may be required by this chapter or any other local law of the Town of Clifton Park.
[3] 
The Planning Board shall approve, approve with modifications or disapprove the application within 45 days from receipt of the completed application and recommendation from the Historic Preservation Commission.
[4] 
All decisions of the Planning Board shall be in writing. A copy shall be sent to the applicant by registered mail and a copy filed with the Town Clerk. The Board shall state in writing the reason for its action. A copy of the Board's decision shall also be forwarded to the Director of Building and Zoning and to the Chairperson of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
F. 
Demolition of any building or structure more than 49 years old.
(1) 
Prior to issuing any demolition permit on a building or structure more than 49 years old, the Town Building Department shall notify the Historic Preservation Commission, by providing 30 days' written notice, identifying the building or structure for which such permit is sought by address and name of owner or owners, unless, in the opinion of the Building Department, the structure poses an imminent danger to health and safety.
(2) 
The Commission shall evaluate and document the building or structure for historic or architectural significance appropriately, as may be necessary, during the thirty-day notice period prior to issuance of any such demolition permit. The Commission may request an additional 14 days to evaluate and document such significant structures in cases where extensive research is required, which may be granted in the sole discretion of the Building Department.
(3) 
In the event that the Building Department has received no comment from the Historic Preservation Commission within 30 days after such notification, the Building Department shall issue the requested permit for demolition if the same is deemed otherwise appropriate.