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Town of Rotterdam, NY
Schenectady County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Accessory structures and uses, as defined herein, are permitted subject to the restrictions, limitations and standards imposed by district regulations, this section and applicable specific use requirements. Regulations for fences are contained in § 270-143 of this chapter.
A. 
Location. No accessory structure shall be located in the front yard of any lot.
B. 
Yards.
(1) 
Attached structures. Every accessory structure attached to the principal structure shall be considered a part thereof and the applicable front, side and rear yard requirements shall apply.
(2) 
Detached structures. Every detached accessory structure shall be located no less than five feet from a side or rear property line. No detached accessory structure shall be located in the front yard of any lot.
(3) 
Parking. See § 270-149 for required yards for parking.
C. 
Lot coverage. The total lot coverage by accessory structures shall not exceed 40% of the permitted lot coverage of the minimum permitted lot size in the A, RA, R-1, R-2 and R-3 Districts. The floor area of any accessory structure shall not exceed 15% of the total habitable floor area of an existing or proposed principal structure in the A, RA, R-1, R-2 and R-3 Districts. The aforesaid floor area limitations shall not apply to private garages. With respect to private garages, the floor area for each stall for the enclosed parking or storage of private motor vehicles shall not exceed 300 square feet. Calculations computed for square footage shall be based upon exterior foundation dimensions. No accessory garages shall exceed a maximum height of 15 feet in all existing zoning districts.
[Amended 4-26-1989 by L.L. No. 6-1989; 5-26-1993 by L.L. No. 9-1993]
D. 
Small-scale solar. In the case of small-scale solar energy systems or devices, to the extent the foregoing provisions are inconsistent with the provisions of Article XXVIII, the provisions of Article XXVIII shall apply.
[Added 2-22-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
All welding, including electric, oxyacetylene or any other type, shall be conducted within a completely enclosed structure, except where temporarily required for on-site construction or where permitted in an I-2 District.
A. 
Permit required. The commercial extraction of topsoil, sand, gravel or stone, other than mining, shall be permitted by special use permit only in the A and 1-2 Zoning Districts, exclusive of any areas within the A and I-2 Zoning Districts which are also within the Aquifer Overlay District. The commercial extraction of topsoil, sand, gravel or stone is a prohibited use in the Aquifer Overlay District.
[Amended 5-10-1989 by L.L. No. 12-1989; 11-22-1989 by L.L. No. 20-1989; 2-12-1992 by L.L. No. 2-1992]
B. 
Term. Every special use permit for the extraction of topsoil, sand, gravel or stone shall be granted for a period of not greater than three years.
[Amended 5-10-1989 by L.L. No. 12-1989; 11-22-1989 by L.L. No. 20-1989]
C. 
Additional information required. Together with any other plans and information required by this chapter for special use permit review, the applicant for a special use permit for the extraction of topsoil, sand, gravel or stone shall provide the following information:
(1) 
The name and a description of the mineral or product to be extracted and an estimate of the annual amount to be removed.
(2) 
A detailed map showing the area to be mined or quarried at a scale of not more than one inch to 50 feet.
(3) 
A statement and map detailing the planned reclamation method and final proposed use. The Planning Board may require additional information where required for adequate review of the proposed special use.
D. 
Minimum setback. The edge of every pit, quarry or excavated area resulting from removal of topsoil, sand, gravel or stone shall not be located nearer than 100 feet from any dwelling, school, institution, park or playground. The Planning Board may require that the applicant erect a fence, screen or landscape planting to obscure the operation.
E. 
Special use permit standards and authorization. The Planning Board, in compliance with the requirements of Article XIX governing special permits, may grant or renew a special use permit, subject to appropriate conditions and safeguards, to permit the proposed extraction of topsoil, sand, gravel or stone for a limited period of time not exceeding three years. In addition to the standards set forth in Article XIX, no such special use permit shall be granted unless the Planning Board finds that:
(1) 
Nuisances. The proposed use and reclamation scheme will not have a detrimental impact or create a nuisance to the surrounding land uses due to dust, noise, vibration, odor, fumes or other nuisance elements.
(2) 
Groundwater impact. The proposed use will not impair or increase the risk of contamination to groundwater at the site or within any adjacent aquifer areas.
(3) 
Drainage. The proposal provides for proper drainage both during and after the extraction and will not adversely affect the safety and occupancy of adjoining lands.
(4) 
Loading and access. The proposed truck access, loading area and heavy equipment use will not create safety or traffic hazards.
(5) 
Reclamation. The reclamation plan ensures that the property will be left in a safe, attractive and useful condition.
F. 
Bonding. The applicant shall furnish an irrevocable standby letter of credit of the same time period as the special use permit and in an amount sufficient to ensure the full implementation of the reclamation plan. Every irrevocable standby letter of credit shall be approved by the Rotterdam Town Board, by resolution, and be accompanied by a recommendation of the Rotterdam Town Engineer prior to final Planning Board approval of any extractive special use permit.
[Amended 12-9-1992 by L.L. No. 37-1992]
[Added 5-10-1989 by L.L. No. 12-1989; amended 11-22-1989 by L.L. No. 20-1989; 2-12-1992 by L.L. No. 2-1992]
A. 
Generally. Mining in districts other than A and I-2 Zoning Districts and within the A and 1-2 Zoning Districts, to the extent these districts coincide with the Aquifer Overlay District, is absolutely prohibited. Mining in the A and I-2 Zoning Districts, exclusive of the Aquifer Overlay District, may be permitted by special use permit upon those conditions set forth in the Mined Land Reclamation Law, § 23-2703, Subdivision 2b, of the Environmental Conservation Law, which conditions include:
(1) 
Limitations and restrictions regarding ingress and egress to public thoroughfares controlled by local government.
(2) 
Limitations and restrictions regarding routing of mineral transport vehicles on roads controlled by the local government.
(3) 
Requirements and conditions as specified in the mined land reclamation permit issued by the Department of Environmental Conservation concerning setbacks from property boundaries and public thoroughfare rights-of-way, natural or man-made barriers to restrict access, if required, dust control and hours of operation, when such requirements and conditions are established pursuant to Subdivision 3 of § 23-2711 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law.
(4) 
Enforcement of reclamation requirements contained in mined land reclamation permits issued by the Department of Environmental Conservation.
B. 
The Supervisor of the Town of Rotterdam, as the chief administrative officer, is hereby authorized to participate in the review by the Department of Environmental Conservation of an application for a mined land reclamation permit, including, but not limited to, making a determination, as set forth at Subdivision 3 of § 23-2711 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law, in regard to the following:
(1) 
Appropriate setbacks from property boundaries or public thoroughfare rights-of-way.
(2) 
Man-made or natural barriers designed to restrict access if needed, and, if affirmative, the type, length, height and location thereof.
(3) 
The control of dust.
(4) 
Hours of operation.
(5) 
Whether mining is prohibited at that location.
C. 
The determination shall be accompanied by supporting documentation justifying the particular determinations on an individual basis. The determination, including supporting documentation, shall be provided to the Department of Environmental Conservation within 30 days after receipt of the notice provided by the Department of Environmental Conservation. The Department of Environmental Conservation is required to send this notice by certified mail upon its receipt of a complete application for a mining permit.
No outside spraying of paint shall be permitted except where required temporarily for the construction or normal maintenance of a building or structure.
A. 
Storage. All waste, garbage and refuse resulting from the operation of permitted business and manufacturing uses or from the occupancy of multiple-family apartment developments shall, if stored in the open air, be placed in covered metal containers located on a concrete or comparable base slab and shall be obscured from every adjoining residential property and the public way.
B. 
Disposal. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to dump, deposit or store for more than two months any type of material, solid or otherwise, which would be determined to be detrimental or harmful to the health, safety and general welfare of the people or future residents of the town.
A. 
Location and height.
(1) 
Fences shall be permitted anywhere on a lot or parcel of land provided that the height thereof does not exceed four feet in a front yard or six feet in a side or rear yard, measured from ground level on the interior side of the fence to the uppermost part thereof, except in Light Industrial (I-1) and General Industrial (I-2) Zoning Districts where six-foot fences are permitted in any yard. The Planning Board has the authority to modify these requirements and/or limitations for any project undergoing review and/or approvals by the Planning Board.
[Amended 11-12-2008 by L.L. No. 11-2008]
(2) 
On corner lots. No fence or other obstruction higher than two feet above an adjacent curb elevation shall be permitted on a corner lot within a triangular area encompassed by three imaginary lines, one of which runs along the edge of the pavement abutting the lot on one intersecting street and another of which runs along the edge of the pavement abutting the lot of the other intersecting street, and the third formed by a line drawn between two points, one on each side of the aforesaid lines located 30 feet from the intersection thereof.
(3) 
Exceptions. The Zoning Board of Appeals may permit the construction of a fence in excess of the height limitations imposed by this subsection if it determines that there is a practical need therefor and that it will not be detrimental to the appearance of adjoining properties and/or the neighborhood. Application to the Board of Appeals to exceed the height limitation shall be made in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by said Board.
(4) 
Front yard fences. All fences situated in front yards shall be constructed so that the fence is uniformly less than fifty-percent solid or opaque when viewed from a point normal to the plane created by the fence surface. If the lot is developed as a townhouse, a fence may only be erected in the front, rear, and side yard on the noncommon lot lines.
[Amended 11-12-2008 by L.L. No. 11-2008]
B. 
Location of posts. Fence posts and other structural fence supports which, because of the construction of the fence, must be situated on one side thereof shall not be located on the side of the fence abutting adjacent properties.
C. 
Aesthetics. The more aesthetically attractive side of the fence shall face abutting properties. The side which is more aesthetically attractive shall be the side which is more pleasing in appearance to a reasonable person because of finish, painting, woodwork or for whatever other reason.
D. 
Barbed-wire and electrically charged fences.
(1) 
Permit required. No barbed-wire fences or electrically charged fences shall be permitted except by authorization and permit issued by the Board of Zoning Appeals. Such permit shall not be issued except for the following:
(a) 
Fences situated in business and industrial zoning districts may be topped with barbed wire, provided that the bottommost strand of barbed wire is at least five feet above ground level.
(b) 
Electrically charged fences may be permitted in agricultural zoning districts for the purpose of providing an enclosure of barrier to contain the roaming of animals.
(2) 
Standards. The Board shall issue permit upon written application in form prescribed by it if it determines that there is a practical need for such a fence and that the existence of the fence in the proposed location is not inconsistent with the character of the neighborhood and does not pose a threat of injury to persons lawfully in the vicinity of such fence.
E. 
Fences on public property. No fence may be erected by others on property owned by the Town of Rotterdam or to which the Town has a right of access by easement or license.
F. 
Exception for junkyards. The provisions of this section shall not apply to fences enclosing junkyards as required by Chapter 173 of the Town Code.
G. 
Exception for solar farms and solar power plants. The provisions of this section shall not apply to fences enclosing solar farms and solar power plants.
[Added 2-22-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
A business having three or more new or used motor vehicles for sale or lease shall be deemed a motor vehicle sales business and may be permitted in the B-2 and I-1 Districts subject to the issuance of a special use permit as provided by Article XIX, and subject to the additional requirements hereinafter set forth.
A. 
Vehicle condition. No motor vehicle which cannot be started and moved under its own power shall be stored in any open area of the motor vehicle sales establishment. All motor vehicles shall be maintained in running condition.
B. 
Showroom. Any motor vehicle sales establishment shall include an enclosed showroom sufficient to display two automobiles.
C. 
Location of vehicles. No vehicles shall be parked less than 10 feet from any property line.
D. 
Motor vehicle repairs. Motor vehicle repair facilities accessory to any motor vehicle sales establishment shall be known only by special use permit authorization and shall conform to the requirements for such uses set forth in § 270-145.
Motor vehicle repair establishments may be permitted in the B-2, I-1 and I-2 Districts subject to the issuance of a special use permit as provided by Article XIX and subject to the additional requirements herein set forth.
A. 
Major and minor repairs. Every special permit authorizing the establishment or expansion of a motor vehicle repair establishment shall specify, as a condition of the permit, the type of repairs to be permitted as either major motor vehicle repairs or minor motor vehicle repairs, as defined by this chapter. Such condition shall be binding on the permit holder.
B. 
Location of vehicles. No vehicles shall be parked or stored less than 10 feet from any property line.
C. 
Location of work area. All repairs shall be performed within the principal building on the premises.
D. 
Storage of vehicles. Not more than 20 motor vehicles may be stored in an open area at any motor vehicle repair establishment, and such motor vehicles must be so stored for the purpose of repair and reconditioning thereof only. Such vehicles may not be stored more than 60 consecutive days in any three-hundred-sixty-five-day period at the same premises. The Planning Board may require higher standards for such storage as a condition of any special use permit.
E. 
Location of vehicles. No vehicles shall be parked less than 10 feet from any property line.
F. 
Storage of materials and refuse. All permanent storage of materials and equipment shall be within the principal building, with the exception of refuse and trash, which shall be stored in closed containers and in an area screened from view at all points on any public or private property or street when viewed from the ground level.
[Added 9-12-1990 by L.L. No. 18-1990]
Motor vehicle fuel filling stations may be permitted in the B-2, I-1 and I-2 Districts, subject to special use permit review by the Planning Commission. Such uses shall conform to any conditions and standards imposed by the Planning Commission during site plan or special use permit review. All New York State statutes, rules and regulations applicable to motor vehicle fuel filling stations or to the storage or dispensing of motor vehicle fuels shall be considered by the Planning Commission in its review process. The affirmative vote of five members of the Planning Commission shall be required for the approval of a special use permit for motor vehicle fuel filling stations. The following shall be observed:
A. 
Location of fuel pumps. Motor vehicle fuel pumps and service facilities shall be set back a minimum of 25 feet from every property line.
B. 
Service area. All repairs and services shall be performed within completely enclosed buildings, except for the dispensing of motor vehicle fuel, oil and similar products.
C. 
Location of petroleum storage tanks. Underground petroleum storage tanks shall be set back a minimum of 25 feet from any property line. Aboveground petroleum storage tanks for dispensing of motor vehicle fuel oil shall be set back a minimum of 25 feet from every property line and shall comply with all applicable National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) minimum requirements and specifications.
[Amended 4-11-2001 by L.L. No. 4-2001]
Convenience stores with motor vehicle fuel filling pumps are not permitted in the B-1 Zoning District. Convenience stores with or without motor vehicle fuel filling pumps may be permitted in the B-2 and I-1 Districts subject to the issuance of a special use permit as provided in Article XIX and subject to the additional requirements hereinafter set forth.
A. 
Location of pumps. Motor vehicle fuel pumps and storage tanks shall be set back a minimum of 25 feet from every property line. Where residentially zoned or occupied property adjoins the filling station, the Town may, as a condition of special use permit approval, require a greater setback where necessary and appropriate to serve the purpose of this chapter.
B. 
At aquifer. The establishment or expansion of convenience stores with fuel filling pumps is prohibited within the Aquifer Overlay District.
A. 
Commercial ski-lift equipment, ski slopes and trails may be permitted in the RA District subject to the issuance of a special use permit as provided by Article XIX, and subject to the additional requirements hereinafter set forth.
B. 
Permit standards. In addition to the standards set forth in Article XIX, no special permit for the establishment or expansion of a ski area shall be granted unless the Planning Board finds that:
(1) 
Nuisances: the noise, vibration, glare or other nuisance elements created by the operation of the ski area, including accessory lighting, ski lifts and snow-making, will not have a detrimental impact on surrounding land uses.
(2) 
Accessory uses: any use of buildings for sales of food and drink is strictly incidental to the principal use of the property as a ski area. The use of every building or structure shall be restricted to accessory uses as defined herein.
A. 
Purpose. The purpose of the following requirements is to protect property values, public safety and the scenic attractiveness of the Town by prescribing minimum standards and requirements for the erection of towers.
B. 
Accessory towers. Towers accessory to a permitted principal use may be established, provided that they are in full compliance with the following requirements:
(1) 
Accessory to principal use. Every accessory tower shall be clearly accessory to a permitted principal use and shall comply with the definition of accessory use.
(2) 
Maximum height. No accessory tower shall exceed 75 feet in height or 1 1/2 times the maximum permitted building height, whichever is less.
(3) 
Setback. Every accessory tower shall be located no closer to an exterior lot line than a distance equal to the tower height.
(4) 
Compliance. Every accessory tower shall comply with the other applicable requirements of this section.
C. 
Special permit. Except for permitted accessory towers, towers may be permitted in the A, I-1 and I-2 Districts only, subject to the issuance of a special use permit as provided in Article XIX, and in compliance with the standards and requirements of this section.
(1) 
Additional application information. In addition to the preliminary site plan and other material required for special use permit review, every application shall contain the following information:
(a) 
A description and the proposed dimensions of the tower.
(b) 
A certification by a registered professional engineer or manufacturer's certification that the tower design will meet or exceed all applicable load requirements.
(c) 
An assessment of the proposed tower's visual impact together with any proposed measures, including landscaping or alternative siting, which may mitigate the visual impact of the proposal.
(d) 
A list of the owner of record of all residentially occupied properties within 1,000 feet of the proposed tower, together with an assessment of any adverse impact such use may have.
(e) 
Other information as may be necessary to comply with the standards listed below.
(2) 
Permit standards. In addition to the standards set forth in Article XIX, no special permit for the establishment or expansion of a tower shall be granted unless the Planning Board finds that:
(a) 
There is a public need for the tower.
(b) 
The applicant has made a good faith effort to consider alternative sites and to obtain shared use arrangements with other towers and has provided evidence of such.
(c) 
The scale and height of the tower is the minimum necessary to fulfill the needs of the applicant.
(d) 
All practicable measures have been taken to minimize the adverse visual impact of the tower on the surrounding community.
D. 
General requirements.
(1) 
Location. Every tower shall be no closer to any lot line than a distance equal to the tower height; no guy wire or anchor shall be less than five feet from any lot line.
(2) 
Fencing. Every tower shall be fenced or secured in a manner which prevents unauthorized access to the structure.
(3) 
Noise. No tower used for energy generation shall produce a level of noise at any lot line greater than the ambient nighttime noise level.
(4) 
Screening. In so far as practicable, towers shall be sited and screened in a manner which obscures the base of the structure from the public way.
(5) 
Signs. No tower shall be used for or have placed upon it any type of sign except warning signs needed for public safety.
E. 
Exemptions. The following towers are exempt from the regulation found in this section:
(1) 
Public utility poles supporting wire or cable used for power transmission or communications.
(2) 
Water towers erected by a duly created public water district.
[Amended 9-12-2007 by L.L. No. 11-2007]
A. 
General requirements. For all buildings and structures erected and all uses of land established after the effective date of this chapter, accessory off-street parking shall be provided as required by Table 1,[1] as related to specific use or occupancy, except where additional parking may be required as a condition for the issuance of a special permit as provided in Article XIX of this chapter. Further, when the intensity of use of any building or structure shall be increased, parking space as herein required shall be provided for such increase in intensity of use.
[1]
Editor's Note: Table 1 is located at the end of this chapter.
B. 
Preexisting parking. Whenever a use existing on the effective date of this chapter is changed thereafter to a new use, parking facilities shall be provided as required herein for such new use, except that when any such existing use was deficient in required parking spaces on such effective date, such new use may be established with a deficiency in required spaces equal in number to not more than the preexisting deficiency.
C. 
Screening and location. All open automobile parking areas containing more than six parking spaces shall be located not less than 10 feet from any residential property line. Such open automobile parking area located in residential districts shall be screened on each side adjoining a residential use. Parking spaces required by this section shall be located on the same lot as the use for which such parking is required.
D. 
Landscaping. Parking areas with more than 12 spaces shall be landscaped over not less than 10% of the total interior area of the parking lot. Landscaping and planting areas shall be dispersed throughout the parking lot. Required screening and side yards may be considered as a part of the interior landscape requirement if suitably planted and maintained.
E. 
Collective provision. Off-street parking facilities for separate uses may be provided collectively if the total number of spaces is not less than the sum of the separate requirements, except where such parking facility is shared at different hours of the day. If the applicant(s) can establish that such collective parking facilities serving two or more uses will experience reduced parking demand due to staggered hours of operation, then the Planning Board may authorize a reduction of the total number of spaces by no more than 20% of the total which would normally be required by this chapter.
F. 
Uses not listed. Persons undertaking uses not listed herein shall be required to provide parking facilities as determined by the Planning Board.
G. 
Residential district restrictions. Parking of more than one commercial vehicle, as defined by this chapter, per dwelling unit in a residential district is prohibited unless such vehicle is parked in a completely enclosed garage.
H. 
Handicapped parking. During site plan review for commercial projects, the Planning Commission shall require handicapped parking spaces and access aisles to be located in close proximity to the primary public entrance to the establishment.
A. 
Spaces required. In order to ensure that vehicular traffic is unimpeded and to reduce traffic safety hazards, sufficient off-street space shall be provided for loading and unloading materials and goods related to the operation of the business activities in conjunction with the following uses. For retail, wholesale, industry, warehouse and service business establishments, restaurants and fast-food restaurants, a minimum of one parking space for the first 4,000 square feet of gross floor area or major portion thereof and one additional space for each additional 50,000 square feet of gross floor area or major portion thereof shall be provided.
B. 
Size of space. Each off-street loading space shall be at least 15 feet in width, at least 40 feet in length and at least 14 feet in height, exclusive of access and turning area, except that adjacent loading spaces may be each 12 feet in width.
C. 
Location. Off-street loading spaces may be located within any structure, within a side or rear yard or within a required off-street parking area or any parking space, except that no such space or access drive serving a space shall be located closer than 10 feet to any lot line adjoining a residentially zoned parcel of land.
D. 
Reduction in requirement. Upon consideration of all factors entering into the loading and unloading needs of each use, the Planning Board may make appropriate reductions in the loading requirements of the above structures and uses and may determine reasonable and appropriate loading requirements for structures and uses which do not fall within the categories listed above.
A. 
Applicability. No signs, whether new or existing, shall hereafter be erected or altered except in conformance with the provisions of this chapter. Nonconforming signs existing prior to the effective date of this section shall be permitted to remain; however, any change of use or sign shall conform to the requirements of this section.
B. 
Exceptions. For the purposes of this section, the term "sign" does not include signs erected and maintained in connection with the discharge of any governmental function, nor does it include political signs. Political signs are subject to the provisions of § 270-151.1 of this chapter. Billboards, that is any sign that directs attention to an idea, product, business activity, service or entertainment which is conducted, sold or offered elsewhere than upon the lot or parcel on which such sign is located, and is not a directional sign as defined herein, shall conform to the requirements of § 270-152 of this chapter.
[Amended 8-14-1996 by L.L. No. 7-1996]
C. 
General requirements. In any district, all signs shall comply with the following general requirements:
(1) 
Illumination. No sign shall be illuminated in a manner which will cause undue distraction, confusion or glare to vehicular traffic or which will create a nuisance to adjoining property.
(2) 
Structure. Any sign, except signs painted on a building or structure, shall comply with the Building Code as to strength.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 154, Housing and Building Standards.
(3) 
Directional signs. Each principal nonresidential use may erect and maintain not more than three necessary directional signs for guidance of the public. A directional sign is a sign containing only the name of an establishment having goods, services or entertainment and any necessary directional guidance. Such sign may not be greater than 10 feet in sign area. A directional sign may also include the standard symbol for guide signs as shown in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
(4) 
Temporary signs. No temporary or portable signs or signs on a trailer shall be placed on any premises or building except as otherwise permitted herein.
(5) 
Flashing signs. Except for public schools and public firehouses, no sign shall be illuminated by or contain a flashing, intermittent, rotating or moving light or lights.
[Amended 4-9-2008 by L.L. No. 2-2008]
(6) 
Location of signs. On a corner lot, no sign, landscaping or structure shall be erected, placed or maintained within the triangular area formed by intersecting street lines and a straight line joining street lines at points which are 30 feet distant from the point of intersection, measured along the street lines. No sign shall be placed so as to obstruct the necessary sight distance of vehicular traffic.
(7) 
Sign area calculation. Sign area is the surface area within the shortest lines that can be drawn around the outside perimeter of a sign, including all decorations and lights, but excluding the supports if they are not used for advertising purposes. One face of the sign shall be counted in computing the sign area. Any neon tube, string of lights or similar device shall be deemed to have a minimum dimension of one foot for the purpose of computing sign area.
D. 
Signs in residential districts. No sign or other device for advertising purposes of any kind may be erected or established in any A, RA, R-1, R-2 or R-3 District except as follows:
[Amended 5-26-1993 by L.L. No. 9-1993]
(1) 
One sign not exceeding one square foot in area which announces the name and profession or permitted home occupation of the occupant of the premises will be permitted.
(2) 
One temporary real estate or construction sign not exceeding 12 square feet in area will be permitted on the property being sold, leased or developed. Such sign shall be removed promptly when it has fulfilled its function.
(3) 
One sign or bulletin board customarily incidental to religious institutions, mobile home parks, cemeteries and other permitted nonresidential uses, which sign shall not exceed 20 square feet in area.
(4) 
Posting of notice to the public pertaining to but not limited to fishing, trespassing, hunting and snowmobiling, provided that each sign does not exceed 1 1/2 square feet in area.
E. 
Signs in business and industrial districts. In the B-1, B-2, I-1 and I-2 Districts, no sign or other device for advertising purposes shall be erected or established except as follows:
(1) 
Signs permitted in the residential districts. (See Subsection D above.)
(2) 
Building-mounted signs accessory to a business or industrial use shall not extend more than 12 inches beyond the building facade and shall not extend above the roof of the building. The aggregate total surface display of such signs shall not exceed, in square feet, two times the number of linear feet of the width of the building front. In the case of a corner lot, the sign area may be increased one times the number of linear feet of the building face fronting on the secondary street or roadway. However, such increased permitted sign area shall be use only for the erection of a permitted sign on the length of the building which faces the secondary street or roadway.
(3) 
Signs in the business and industrial districts shall conform to the following:
[Amended 5-12-2004 by L.L. No. 2-2004; 10-27-2010 by L.L. No. 13-2010]
(a) 
Ground-mounted signs:
[1] 
One ground-mounted sign may be erected and maintained not less than five feet from the property line.
[2] 
The sign may contain a total sign area of 15 square feet or not more than one square foot for each 1,000 square feet of the lot or parcel area containing such sign, whichever is greater, up to a maximum sign area of 200 square feet.
[3] 
The sign shall contain no information beyond the name, nature or principal use, symbol and other information necessary for the business or use.
[4] 
The sign shall contain no information or advertising for any product or service not sold or performed on the premises.
[5] 
No part of the sign nor supporting upright or pole shall be closer than five feet to the property line or the vertical extension of such property line.
(b) 
Temporary signs:
[1] 
One portable temporary sign per tenant may be located at a place of business.
[2] 
The sign may no larger than 24 inches wide and 36 inches high and including the base shall be no higher than 48 inches from ground level.
[3] 
The sign lettering must be printed and shall not be hand drawn.
[4] 
The sign shall contain no information beyond the name, nature or principal use, symbol and other information necessary for the business or use.
[5] 
The sign shall contain no information or advertising for any product or service not sold or performed on the premises.
[6] 
The sign shall not be illuminated.
[7] 
The sign shall not be placed in a location that would impair vision or impede automobiles entering or exiting a roadway, public thoroughfare, or private driveway. This determination shall be made by the Building Inspector.
(4) 
Signs in the business and industrial district shall contain no information beyond the name, nature or principal use, symbol and other information necessary for the business or use. Such sign shall contain no information or advertising for any product or service not sold or performed on the premises. However, no part of such sign nor supporting upright or pole shall be closer than five feet to the property line or the vertical extension of such property line.
[Added 8-14-1996 by L.L. No. 7-1996]
A. 
The Town Board of the Town of Rotterdam has determined that the unrestricted proliferation of political signs throughout the Town of Rotterdam can be aesthetically detrimental to the environment, may be distractive to motorists and thereby create a traffic hazard and may contribute to littering of public and private property when not timely removed. The purpose of this section is to preclude these undesirable consequences by placing reasonable restrictions on the placement and erection of political signs.
B. 
For purposes of this section, a "political sign" is any sign which bears the name and/or political party of a candidate or candidates for public office. "Public office" includes federal, state, county, city, town, village and school district offices.
C. 
No person shall place or erect a political sign on any property owned by the federal government, State of New York, the Town of Rotterdam, New York, or any other municipality, special Town water or sewer district or school district, including the paved and unpaved rights-of-way of roadways, located in the Town of Rotterdam, New York.
D. 
No candidate shall place or cause to be placed or erect a political sign exceeding two feet by four feet in size on any privately owned property situate in an RA, R-1, R-2 or R-3 residential zoning district as enumerated in § 270-6 of this Code. The post or supporting standard shall not be considered in computing the aforesaid size limitation. It is the presumption of this section that all signs erected on the above-referred-to residential property have been so erected by the candidate whose name appears on said sign and with the permission of the owner of said property. Said sign shall be the sole responsibility of the candidate whose name appears on said sign including the duties, obligations and penalties as provided for in this section.
E. 
No signs shall be placed on the sides of overpass or underpass vehicular bridges or railroad bridges, on poles carrying utility lines, traffic signals, streetlights or telephone lines and on direction or traffic signs.
F. 
No signs shall be erected or placed as to obstruct or impair vision at any road intersection or the entrance to and exit from private driveways.
G. 
Political signs shall not be erected or placed earlier than September 1 of the year of the primary and general election for the candidate named on the sign and shall be removed within 14 days after the election. It shall be the responsibility of the person erecting or placing the sign to cause its removal.
[Amended 4-14-1999 by L.L. No. 6-1999]
H. 
The Town Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer, Zoning Officer and all police officers are empowered to remove any sign which is erected or placed in violation of the provisions of this section and to dispose of the sign in any appropriate manner, including trashing. Removal shall be without the necessity of prior notice to the candidate or anyone else.
[Amended 7-9-2003 by L.L. No. 9-2003]
I. 
A person violating any provision of this section shall be subject to the penalties contained in § 270-180 of this chapter.
[Amended 9-9-1998 by L.L. No. 14-1998]
A. 
Definition. A "billboard" is any sign that directs attention to an idea, product, business, activity, service or entertainment that is conducted, sold or offered elsewhere than upon the lot or parcel on which such sign is located, and is not a directional sign as defined in § 270-151.
B. 
Billboards of any nature or kind are hereby prohibited in the Town of Rotterdam and shall not be permitted.
[Added 2-22-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
A. 
Solar farms and solar power plants are permissible in the A Agricultural, I-1 Light Industrial, and I-2 Heavy Industrial Zoning Districts in the Town of Rotterdam upon issuance of a special use permit and site plan approval by the Planning Board.
B. 
In addition to the information and materials required under Article XVII (Site Plan Approval) and Article XIX (Special Use Permits), all applications for solar farms or solar power plants shall include the following, except to the extent waived by the Planning Board:
(1) 
Plans and drawings of the solar energy system installation signed by a professional engineer registered in New York State showing the proposed layout of the entire solar energy system along with a description of all components, whether on site or off site, existing vegetation and proposed clearing and grading of all sites involved. Clearing and/or grading activities are subject to review by the Planning Board and shall not commence until the issuance of site plan approval.
(2) 
An electrical diagram detailing the solar energy system installation, associated components, and electrical interconnection methods, with all disconnects and over-current devices identified.
(3) 
Documentation of access to the project site(s), including location of all access roads, gates, and parking areas.
(4) 
Plan for clearing and/or grading of site.
(5) 
A stormwater pollution prevention plan as per NYSDEC requirements to detail stormwater runoff management and erosion control plans for the site.
(6) 
Documentation of utility notification, including an electric service order number.
(7) 
Decommissioning plan and description of financial surety that satisfies the Town that all required improvements shall be made for solar farms or solar power plants. For all such systems, the applicant shall submit a decommissioning plan for review and approval as part of the special use permit application. The decommissioning plan shall identify the anticipated life of the project, method and process for removing all components of the solar energy system and returning the site to its preexisting condition, and estimated decommissioning costs, including any salvage value.
(8) 
The Town shall require any applicant to pay all associated costs for any application review, including but not limited to engineering, legal, environmental, planning, and the review required under SEQRA. When the Planning Board determines that a review will require engineering, legal, environmental, or planning costs, it shall provide an estimate to the applicant. Subsequently, such payment shall be made prior to commencement of any further Planning Board review.
(9) 
Photo simulations shall be included showing the proposed solar energy system in relation to the building/site, along with elevation views and dimensions, and manufacturer's specifications and photographs of the proposed solar energy system, solar collectors, and all other components.
(10) 
Part I of the Environmental Assessment Form completed and signed.
(11) 
Details of the proposed noise that may be generated by inverter fans. The Planning Board may require a noise analysis to determine potential adverse noise impacts.
(12) 
Any other information or documentation as may be reasonably required by the Planning Board.
C. 
All applications for solar farms or solar power plants shall be reviewed and determined in accordance with the procedures and standards set forth in Article XVII (Site Plan Approval) and Article XIX (Special Use Permits) of this chapter. In addition, the following provisions shall apply:
(1) 
All such systems shall adhere to all applicable Town of Rotterdam building, plumbing, electrical, and fire codes.
(2) 
Development and operation of a solar energy system shall not have a significant adverse impact on fish, wildlife, or plant species or their critical habitats, or other significant habitats identified by the Town of Rotterdam or other federal or state regulatory agencies. Lands which have the highest ecological values as evidenced by large, contiguous areas of forest, undisturbed drainage areas, wetlands, or NYSDEC-identified critical habitats or rare plant and animal populations shall be avoided.
(3) 
With the exception of transmission lines and related structures necessary for transmitting electricity generated by the solar energy system for off-site distribution and/or consumption, there shall be a minimum one-hundred-foot buffer between any component of the solar energy system and the parcel boundary line. The Planning Board is authorized to increase the width of this buffer after analysis of site conditions and adjacent land uses.
(4) 
Any site containing such solar energy system shall be enclosed by perimeter fencing to restrict unauthorized access at a height of 8 1/2 feet or such other height determined by the Planning Board.
(5) 
Previously cleared or disturbed areas are preferred locations for solar panel arrays. The clearing of additional lands to accommodate a proposed solar farm or solar power plant may be permitted, provided that the percentage of newly cleared land on any parcel does not exceed 30% of the existing woodlands on that parcel.
(6) 
Native grasses and vegetation shall be maintained below the arrays.
(7) 
A berm, landscape screen, natural vegetation, or any combination thereof acceptable to the Planning Board capable of screening the site, shall be provided. The solar facility, including any proposed off-site infrastructure, shall be located and screened in such a way as to avoid or minimize visual impacts as viewed from:
(a) 
Publicly dedicated roads and highways; and
(b) 
Existing residential dwellings located on contiguous parcels.
(8) 
The design, construction, operation, and maintenance of any solar energy system shall prevent the misdirection and/or reflection of solar rays onto neighboring properties, public roads, and public parks in excess of that which already exists.
(9) 
All structures and devices used to support solar collectors shall be nonreflective and/or painted a subtle or earth-tone color to aid in blending the facility into the existing environment.
(10) 
All transmission lines and wiring associated with a solar energy system shall be buried and include necessary encasements in accordance with the National Electric Code and Town requirements. The Planning Board may recommend waiving this requirement if sufficient engineering data is submitted by the applicant to demonstrate that underground transmission lines are not feasible or practical. The applicant is required to show the locations of all proposed overhead and underground electric utility lines, including substations and junction boxes and other electrical components for the project, on the site plan. All transmission lines and electrical wiring shall be in compliance with the utility company's requirements for interconnection.
(11) 
Artificial lighting of solar energy systems shall be limited to lighting required for safety purposes and shall be shielded from all neighboring properties and public roads.
(12) 
The manufacturer's or installer's identification and appropriate warning signage shall be posted at the entry to the site and clearly visible; provided, however, that total area of such signage shall not exceed 24 square feet.
(13) 
The height of the solar panel arrays shall not exceed 25 feet.
(14) 
The Planning Board shall require security in an amount and form acceptable to the Town for the purposes of ensuring that the system is removed and the site is restored as required under § 270-153D of this chapter. The amount shall be determined by an estimate of total cost of removal of the solar energy system and restoration of the site. Acceptable forms of security shall include, in order of preference, cash or letter of credit, or a combination thereof.
(15) 
Following construction of a large-scale, solar farm or solar power plant ground-mounted solar energy system, all disturbed areas where soil has been exposed shall be reseeded with grass and/or planted with low-level vegetation capable of preventing soil erosion and airborne dust, which grass and vegetation shall be reasonably maintained.
(16) 
Special use permits granted for solar farm or solar power plant energy systems shall be assignable or transferable to future landowners of that system on the approved parcel so long as they are in full compliance with this chapter and all conditions of the special use permit and the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer is notified of the property transfer at least 15 days prior thereto.
(17) 
Any post-construction changes or alterations to the solar energy system, except for repairs, replacements, and upgrades of existing equipment, shall be done only by amendment to the special use permit and site plan approval and subject to the requirements of this chapter.
(18) 
After completion of a solar farm or solar power plant solar energy system, the applicant shall provide a post-construction certification from a professional engineer registered in New York State that the project complies with applicable codes and industry practices and has been constructed and is operating according to the design plans. The applicant shall further provide certification from the utility that the facility has been inspected and connected.
D. 
Abandonment or decommissioning. Solar farms or solar power plants which have not been in active and continuous service for a period of one year shall be deemed abandoned and shall be removed at the owner's or operator's expense. Decommissioning shall include removal of all energy facilities, structures and equipment, including any subsurface wires and footings, from the parcel. Any access roads created for building or maintaining the systems shall also be removed and replanted with vegetation. In the event that the facility is not removed within six months of abandonment, and the site restored as required, the Town may cause the same to be removed and the site restored using the security posted as required by § 270-153C(14) of this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 270-153, Nonconforming uses, buildings and structures, as amended, was superseded 9-9-2009 by L.L. No. 9-2009. See now § 270-153.1, Nonconforming uses, and § 270-153.2, Nonconforming buildings and structures.
[Added 9-9-2009 by L.L. No. 9-2009]
A. 
Nonconforming uses.
(1) 
Continuation. Except as hereinafter provided, the lawful use of a building, structure or land existing at the effective date of this chapter may continue although such use does not conform to the provisions herein.
(2) 
Whenever the use of a building or structure becomes nonconforming through a change in the provisions of this chapter or district boundaries established by this chapter, such use may continue subject to the requirement of this section.
B. 
Change of nonconforming use. Once changed to a conforming use, no structure, building or land shall be permitted to revert to a nonconforming use. The nonconforming use of a building or structure may be changed to a use permitted in a more restrictive district than the particular district in which such nonconforming use is first permitted as a permitted use or to a permitted use within the district in which such nonconforming use is located.
C. 
Abandonment. Whenever any nonconforming agricultural use has been discontinued for a period of five years, or whenever any other nonconforming use has been discontinued or abandoned for a period of one year, such use shall not thereafter be reestablished, and any future use shall be in conformity with the provisions of this chapter.
D. 
Displacement. No nonconforming use shall be extended or enlarged so as to displace a conforming use.
E. 
Site plan review. Any application for a building permit involving the alteration or extension of a nonconforming building or structure shall be reviewed by the Planning Board under the requirements of Article XVII, entitled "Site Plan Approval." The Board shall ascertain that no previous expansion has taken place as a nonconforming expansion.
[Added 9-9-2009 by L.L. No. 9-2009]
A. 
Continuation. Where a nonconforming building or structure exists at the effective date of the adoption of or amendment to this chapter, such nonconformity may be continued so long as it remains otherwise lawful. No such nonconforming building or structure may be enlarged or altered in a way that increases its nonconformity. The nonconformity as it pertains to yards is limited to the building or structure footprint, except for single-family and two-family residential structures. Such enlargement or alteration shall not tend to increase any inherent nuisance, nor shall such enlargement or alteration violate any provision of this chapter regarding yards, lot area or lot coverage for the district in which it is situated nor increase any violation of such provision.
B. 
Alterations and extensions. No nonconforming building or structure may be reconstructed or altered during its life to an extent exceeding, in aggregate cost, 30% of the full valuation of the building, unless said building or structure is changed to conform to this chapter, except as otherwise permitted for the repair or restoration of the structure.
C. 
Restoration and repair.
(1) 
In the event that a building or structure which is nonconforming is destroyed or damaged by fire or other casualty or act of God, no repairs or reconstruction shall be made unless such restoration is started within 12 months from the date of partial destruction and is diligently prosecuted to completion. Otherwise, the building shall not be restored unless said building or structure and the use thereof shall conform to all of the regulations of the district in which it is located.
(2) 
Site plan review. Any application for a building permit involving the alteration or extension of a nonconforming building or structure shall be reviewed by the Planning Board under the requirements of Article XVII, entitled "Site Plan Approval." The Board shall ascertain that no previous expansion has taken place as a nonconforming expansion.
(3) 
Exemption of single-family residence. The limitations of Subsection C(1) shall not apply to a single-family residential building that is nonconforming only in respect to lot area. However, no single-family dwelling shall be reconstructed to expand into an already deficient lot area or to reduce an already deficient amount of land area for the dwelling. Notwithstanding the above, no single-family residence shall be reconstructed in a nonconforming zoning district. This exemption is permissible only if reconstruction commences within 24 months of partial or total destruction.
Any building or structure found to be unsafe or a nuisance to public safety shall be subject to the provisions of the Town of Rotterdam Local Law No. 5 of 1969, entitled "Dangerous Buildings and Structures."[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Local Law No. 5-1969 was repealed 4-23-1997 by L.L. No. 8-1997. See Ch. 90, Unsafe Buildings.
The Town of Rotterdam and any public school or fire districts may use land or erect buildings or structures thereon for use in any district of any nature, provided that such uses, buildings or structures are for the purpose of carrying out the duly authorized powers and duties of said Town and its districts.
All exterior lighting accessory to any use, including the lighting of signs, parking area and recreational facilities shall be so arranged to prevent direct glare of beams onto any adjacent public or private property or street.
A. 
Purpose. The standards and regulations of this section are designed to protect and maintain the character of residential areas while recognizing that certain professional and trade activities may, on a limited scale, be appropriate accessory uses in residential dwelling.
B. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B, regarding the definition of a home occupation, was deleted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I). See now the definition of "home occupation" in § 270-5.
C. 
Where permitted. Subject to the standards and requirements of this section, one home occupation is permitted in any residential dwelling unit or structure accessory thereto.
D. 
Issuance, terms and revocation of permits. The Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer may issue a home occupation permit following submission of an application and a fee, as set forth in Chapter 126 of the Town Code, entitled "Fees,"[2] if it is determined that such application conforms to the standards and provisions of this section. Should, at any time during the period which a home occupation permit is in effect, the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer find that the operation of such home occupation is in violation of the provisions of this section, he shall, by declaration, serve notice of revocation of the home occupation permit.
[Amended 12-9-1992 by L.L. No. 37-1992[3]]
[2]
Editor's Note: The schedule of fees is on file in the office of the Town Clerk.
[3]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
E. 
Use limitations. No home occupation shall be permitted unless it complies with the following restrictions:
(1) 
No person who is not residing on the premises shall be employed in any home occupation.
(2) 
No more than 1/3 or 400 square feet of the combined floor area of the principal building and accessory building, whichever is less, shall be devoted to the home occupation.
(3) 
No alteration of the principal building shall be made which changes the character and appearance thereof as a dwelling.
(4) 
There shall be no exterior display of stock-in-trade.
(5) 
No sign, other than one exterior sign not exceeding one foot square, shall be displayed.
(6) 
There shall be no exterior storage of equipment or materials used in the occupation.
(7) 
The home occupation shall be conducted entirely within the principal dwelling unit or in a private garage accessory thereto.
(8) 
No offensive noise, vibration, smoke, dust, odors, heat or glare shall be produced.
(9) 
No extra parking spaces shall be constructed to serve the home occupation.
F. 
Permitted home occupation. In particular, a home occupation includes but is not limited to the following:
(1) 
Limited office facilities for accountants, architects, brokers, engineers, land surveyors, lawyers, therapists, insurance agents and members of similar professions.
(2) 
Consultation or emergency treatment by a doctor or a dentist, but not the general practice of such profession.
(3) 
Limited office facility of a salesperson, sales representative or manufacturer's representative, provided that no retail or wholesale transactions are made on the premises.
(4) 
Home crafts such as model making, rug weaving, lapidary work and cabinet making.
(5) 
Workshop or studio for an artist, photographer, craftsman, writer, composer, dressmaker, tailor, typist or computer programmer.
(6) 
Facilities for instruction to not more than three pupils at any given time such as in music, dance or driver training.
(7) 
Homebound employment of a physically or mentally handicapped person who is unable to work away from home by reason of disability.
(8) 
Nursery schools and day care for not more than four children.
(9) 
Barbershop, hair stylist or beauty salons with a maximum of one commercial chair, sink and other accessory facilities for hair styling, cutting or grooming and subject to the use limitation prescribed in § 270-157E.
[Added 2-28-1996 by L.L. No. 3-1996]
G. 
Prohibited home occupations. Permitted home occupations shall not be interpreted to include:
(1) 
Antique or furniture shops.
(2) 
Barbershops, hair stylists or beauty salons, except those exempted in § 270-157F(9).
[Amended 2-28-1996 by L.L. No. 3-1996]
(3) 
Commercial stables, kennels or animal hospitals.
(4) 
Funeral homes or mortuaries.
(5) 
Real estate offices.
(6) 
Private clubs or lodges.
(7) 
Restaurants.
(8) 
Tourist homes or boardinghouses.
A. 
Generally. All development purposes, standards, controls and procedure normally applicable to planned residential developments shall also be applicable to mobile home parks, in addition to the following standards, controls and requirements.
B. 
Applicability. No person shall use or park any mobile home within the Town of Rotterdam except within the limits of a duly authorized mobile home park; except however, these provisions shall not apply to the sale, storage or garaging of travel trailers or motor homes, provided that the same are unoccupied and not used for sleeping or living purposes and are in compliance with other Town laws and ordinances.
C. 
Preexisting mobile home. Lawfully installed mobile homes in occupancy at the effective time of this chapter are permitted to continue subject to the requirements for nonconforming uses.
After building permits for basic construction have been granted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, a temporary construction shed or trailer may be erected on the lot at which primary construction is to be undertaken. Prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, such temporary shed or trailer shall be immediately removed. Under no circumstances shall any such shed or trailer be used for residential purposes.
Not more than one travel trailer may be stored in the open air at any one residentially developed lot. All such exterior storage of travel trailers must comply with the following requirements:
A. 
No travel trailer shall be used for sleeping or living purposes.
B. 
No travel trailer shall be stored on the front yard of the property.
C. 
No travel trailer shall be stored within five feet of any side or rear lot line.
Factory-manufactured homes may, for the purposes of this chapter be considered a single-family dwelling, provided that they meet the following requirements:
A. 
Each such home shall be permanently installed upon a full concrete slab or a concrete block and slab basement.
B. 
Each such home shall be served with a water and sewage disposal system meeting New York State Health Department standards.
C. 
Each such home shall comply with applicable lot, bulk, minimum floor area and other requirements set forth in this chapter and in the New York State Fire Prevention and Building Code.
A. 
Permit required. The operation of a landfill shall be permitted by special use permit only in I-2 Heavy Industrial Districts. In addition to requirements for a special use permit by the Town of Rotterdam, all landfill operators shall obtain all approvals and permits for operation proscribed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Chapter 244 of the Code of the Town of Rotterdam, entitled "Solid Waste." Evidence of state operating permits shall be submitted with applications for special use permits from the town.
B. 
Special use permit standards and authorization.
(1) 
In addition to conditions and requirements set forth herein, an operator of a landfill must have a current and valid operating permit which demonstrates ongoing compliance with 6 NYCCR 360, the latest New York State Landfill Regulations (effective July 14, 1985), and any amendment thereto.
(2) 
The Planning Board may grant or renew special use permits subject to the standards and conditions set forth in Article XIX herein and applicable state laws, in addition to which permit applications shall be considered in accordance with the findings of the Solid Waste Disposal Study for the Schenectady Intermunicipal Solid Waste Disposal Board (February 1986).