The AO Aquifer Overlay District is intended to preserve and maintain the quality and quantity of water found in the Schenectady Aquifer and thereby protect this principal water supply source for the Town and surrounding communities. The AO District provides a means of reviewing, on a case-by-case basis, those actions proposed within the aquifer and a means of prohibiting uses and activities which may be incompatible with the goal of long-term groundwater protection.
The AO District shall not be independently mapped upon the Zoning Map but shall be mapped only in conjunction with an underlying residential or nonresidential district. The AO District shall apply the requirements of this section together with all the limitations and requirements applicable in the underlying district.
[Amended 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003; 7-12-2006 by L.L. No. 9-2006]
As a matter of original jurisdiction, the Town Board shall hear and decide upon any proposed action requiring a building permit or other authorization under the Rotterdam Zoning Local Law or land subdivision regulations. In addition to the maps, plans and information required for such authorizations or for review under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act, the Town Board may require additional information, analysis or documentation as may be necessary and appropriate to show compliance with the standards imposed by this article and to fully and properly consider the particular action proposed. Upon receipt of a complete application and information, a public hearing shall be set, advertised and conducted by the Town Board in the manner prescribed by § 270-175 of this chapter. More than one public hearing is allowed if circumstances so warrant.
Every decision of the Town Board on each Aquifer Overlay District proposed action shall be by written resolution. Such resolution shall include findings of fact, shall specify the reason or reasons for such decision and shall contain a statement which shall set forth the decision of the Board to grant approval, to grant approval subject to expressly stated conditions or safeguards or to deny approval. Every resolution shall expressly set forth any limitations, conditions or safeguards imposed by the Board. Violation of such conditions or safeguards shall be a violation of this chapter.
No proposed action at the AO Aquifer Overlay District shall be approved unless the Town Board finds that, based upon available information, analysis and evidence, the proposed action will not:
Alter the subsurface flow of groundwater to public and private water supply wells at the Schenectady Aquifer.
Degrade the quality of groundwater through the introduction of sewage wastes, stormwater runoff, liquid chemicals, petroleum products, dissolved metals or other toxic substances.
Increase the long-term risk of groundwater contamination through the siting, establishment or expansion of uses which store, transport or utilize significant quantities of material which are potentially harmful to groundwater quality.
Increase the long-term risk of groundwater contamination through the introduction of relatively small quantities of hazardous or toxic substances which, over a period of time, may accumulate in groundwater.
Increase the risk of groundwater contamination through the removal of soil, sand, stone or gravel which provide a protective mantle for groundwater or which are part of the geologic deposits making up the Schenectady Aquifer.
[Amended 2-12-1992 by L.L. No. 2-1992]
The following use limitations and requirements shall apply to all land within the AO Aquifer Overlay District. To the extent that any of the provisions of this section are more restrictive than those requirements and limitations set forth in the Schenectady Intermunicipal Watershed Rules and Regulations, Article XXII, then the provisions of this section shall be controlling.
Application of wastes. The land application of municipal wastewater, sludge or septage is prohibited. The disposal of septage, sludge or municipal wastewater into any watercourse is prohibited.
Disposal wells. The installation or use of disposal wells is prohibited.
Recharge basins. The installation or use of stormwater runoff recharge basins is prohibited.
Snow disposal. The stockpiling or dumping of snow removed from urban areas is prohibited.
Sewers. All sewers installed shall be as leakproof as the state of art allows. Remedial measures shall be taken by the owner if evidence indicates excessive infiltration or exfiltration is occurring.
Industrial sludge and toxic chemicals. No toxic chemical identified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency or the New York Department of Environmental Conservation shall be stored except under permit from those agencies.
Wastewater lagoon and pits. Use of wastewater lagoons and pits for temporary storage of wastewater is prohibited. All storage facilities shall be watertight, located aboveground and under permit by the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Disposal. Disposal of toxic chemicals, industrial sludge or radioactive materials is prohibited.
Fertilizer storage. All bulk storage of artificial fertilizers for agricultural or commercial use must be within a completely enclosed building or structure which will prevent any seepage and runoff.
Pesticide and herbicide use. No pesticides or herbicides shall be stored or applied unless expressly authorized by the Town Board following review under the procedure and standards of this section. All such use, storage or application shall be under permit as provided by State Environmental Conservation Law.
Storage tanks and pipelines. The installation construction, placement or replacement of underground storage tanks, pipelines or containers for petroleum products or any other toxic chemical is prohibited. All aboveground storage tanks, pipelines and transfer areas shall, to the maximum extent feasible, be designed to minimize the risk of groundwater contamination by incorporating backup containment structures, impervious surfaces, catchment areas and other features. The Town reserves the right to prohibit installation or expansion of aboveground storage tanks and pipelines where consistent with the purpose and standards of this section. Further, the owner of any storage tank, pipeline, container or transfer area is responsible for prompt reporting of any spills or leaks and for the cost of cleanup, containment and damages.
Salt and coal stockpiles. The storage of chloride salts, nitrate salts or coal is prohibited except in a completely enclosed building or structure which will prevent any seepage and runoff containing such materials.
Water wells. All water supply wells shall be constructed in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Health.
Abandoned wells. All abandoned wells shall be sealed in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Health.
[Amended 2-28-1990 by L.L. No. 5-1990; 3-27-1991 by L.L. No. 1-1991; 2-12-1992 by L.L. No. 2-1992]
The area is described in Sheet 5 of 6, entitled "Well Yield," in the United States Geological Survey Open-File Report 82-84, dated 1981, entitled "Geohydrology of the Valley-Fill Aquifer in the Schenectady Area, Schenectady County, New York," prepared in cooperation with the New York State Department of Health.
The land area is more fully described as follows: beginning at a point, said point being the intersection of the boundary of the Town of Rotterdam and the Mohawk River in Pattersonville; thence in a southwesterly direction along said boundary to the intersection of the boundary of the Town of Rotterdam and the Town of Princetown; thence in a southerly direction along said boundary to the Boston and Maine Railroad; thence in a southeasterly direction along said Boston and Maine Railroad to Route No. 5S; thence in a southeasterly direction along Route No. 5S to a road on the southerly side of Route No. 5S known as "Turnbull Lane"; thence in a southwesterly direction along said Turnbull Lane to the Old Erie Canal; thence southeasterly along said Old Erie Canal to Route No. 5S; thence still in a southeasterly direction along said Route No. 5S to where Route No. 5S meets and becomes Route No. 890; thence in a southeasterly direction along Route No. 890 to a point directly opposite and at right angles to Lock No. 8; thence leaving Route No. 890 at right angles to Lock No. 8 following contour line denoting elevation 250 feet (United States Geological Survey Datum) until such line intersects the boundary of the Town of Rotterdam and the City of Schenectady; thence following said boundary line to the intersection of the Mohawk River; thence following the Mohawk River to the point of beginning.