[Adopted 4-29-1975 as Ch. 4 of the 1975 Code]
The Town Board hereby finds that inappropriateness or poor quality of design in the exterior appearance of buildings or land developments adversely affects the desirability of the immediate area and neighboring areas, and by so doing impairs the benefits of occupancy of existing property in such areas, impairs the stability and value of both improved and unimproved real property in such areas, retards the most appropriate development of such areas, produces degeneration of property in such areas with attendant deterioration of conditions affecting the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the inhabitants thereof and creates an improper relationship between the taxable value of real property in such areas and the cost of municipal services provided therefor. It is the purpose of this chapter to prevent these and other harmful effects of such exterior appearance of buildings and land developments and thus to promote and protect the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the community.
[Amended 12-6-2011 by L.L. No. 19-2011]
There is hereby created an Advisory Board on Architecture and Community Appearance (ABACA), which shall consist of seven members and two alternate members. All members and alternate members shall be appointed by the Town Board and shall serve without compensation.
All members of the Board shall be residents of the Town and shall be specially qualified by reason of training or experience in architecture, land development, city planning, real estate, landscape architecture or other relevant business or profession or by reason of civic interest and sound judgment to judge the effects of a proposed building or land development upon the desirability, property values and development of surrounding areas, and at least one member of the Board shall be a registered architect in the State of New York.
The Chairman and the Secretary of the ABACA shall be designated by the members of the Board annually.
The term of office of each member shall be three years.
The Town Board shall have the power to remove any member for cause.
Vacancies shall be filled by the Town Board for the unexpired term of any member whose place has become vacant.
Each alternate member shall attend meetings of ABACA and participate in its deliberations but shall vote only in the event that a member of ABACA is absent or otherwise unable to act with respect to a particular matter. When acting pursuant to the authority provided hereby, such alternate member shall have all of the rights and privileges of a member of ABACA.
This section is adopted pursuant to the authority granted by § 10, Subdivision 1d(3), of the Municipal Home Rule Law and shall supersede any provision of the Town Law which is inconsistent herewith.
Regularly scheduled meetings of the Advisory Board on Architecture and Community Appearance shall be held monthly and at such other times as the Chairman may designate. A majority of said Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The ABACA shall keep minutes of its proceedings. Any report or recommendation made by the ABACA must have the approval of a majority of the Board and shall be officially filed with the referring board or department (hereinafter cited as the referring agent) within 30 days, except that failure to report within 30 days shall be deemed to be approval thereof. Where changes or modifications on any submission are recommended, there shall be set forth the specific changes and the reason(s) for the same. After having referred an application for a building or land development permit to the ABACA, the referring agent shall not take final action prior to receiving and considering the recommendations of this Board. The referring agent shall provide a full set of plans and accompanying data to the ABACA for its use and permanent file. The applicant may be requested to appear to review with the ABACA any submission to it.
Every application for a building permit for the construction, reconstruction or alteration of any structures in excess of 1,000 cubic feet of cubical contents proposed for construction, and every application for the development or subdivision of land, except as it affects single- or two-family residences and residential accessory structures on individual properties, and any such application for a building permit, sign permit, land use or any other development within the Town of Yorktown filed with the Town Board, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals or Building Inspector shall be referred to the ABACA within seven days of the submission of the application, provided that it conforms in all respects to all other applicable laws and ordinances.
The ABACA shall base its recommendations on the following criteria: no building or structure or land development shall be so detrimental to the desirability, property values or development of the surrounding area as to provoke one or more of the harmful effects set forth in § 10-1, by reason of:
The repeated and adjacent use of identical or near-identical facades or structures arranged without respect to natural features of terrain or other existing structures.
The inappropriateness of a structure or land development in relation to any other structure or land development existing or for which a permit has been issued or to any other structure or land development included in the same application with respect to one or more of the following features:
Gross floor area.
Height of building or height of roof.
Other significant design features such as material or quality of architectural design, roof structures, chimneys, exposed mechanical equipment and service, service and storage enclosures, signs, landscaping, retaining walls, parking areas, service and loading docks, dividing walls, fences and lighting posts and standards, provided that a finding of inappropriateness shall state not only that such inappropriateness exists, but further that it is of such a nature as to be expected to provoke beyond reasonable doubt one or more of the harmful effects set forth in § 10-1.
[Added 1-6-1998 by L.L. No. 3-1998]
The Architectural Advisory Board shall act as provided in § 230-11 of Chapter 230, Zoning, and all applicants shall be subject to pay the fees for review.