[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Mamaroneck as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 11-25-2002 by L.L. No. 3-2002, effective 11-29-2002; amended in its entirety 1-22-2018 by L.L. No. 2-2018; effective 1-30-2018]
The purpose of this article is to ensure reimbursement to the Village for the actual costs of professional consulting and Village professional staff services with respect to the review of land use applications to the Board of Trustees or any other board or commission having jurisdiction to approve or recommend with respect to the application. The Village has found that, in many instances where it would otherwise be appropriate to avail itself of expert consulting services, the reviewing board is reluctant to do so because of the cost to the taxpayers, but the Village nevertheless bears the cost because the necessary professional services are provided by the Village staff. The purpose of this law is to require that applicants bear the cost of the professional services the Village needs to review their land use applications in a fair and equitable manner, consistent with the law of the State of New York.
For purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section:
- The person or entity making an application for approval to use land, but not a board, commission or other entity of the Village of Mamaroneck.
- A person or entity providing professional services, other than an employee of the Village of Mamaroneck.
- LAND USE APPLICATION
- Any application by an applicant for subdivision approval, site plan approval, a special permit, a zoning amendment, an amendment to the comprehensive plan, an amendment to the zoning map, a wetland permit, a variance, a perimeter, construction or reconstruction permit or a consistency determination or an appeal by an applicant to the Zoning Board of Appeals from a determination of the Building Inspector.
- PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
- The planning, environmental, engineering, legal, architectural, accounting or other professional services reasonably necessary to review a land use application, whether provided by a consultant or Village staff.
- REVIEWING BOARD
- The Board of Trustees or any other board or commission of the Village of Mamaroneck having jurisdiction to approve or recommend with respect to any land use application.
Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of any local code, rule, regulation or ordinance, except the provisions of Article XVII of Chapter 342 of the Village Code, every reviewing board shall require the applicant for any land use application to pay the cost of the professional services necessary to review the application.
Before a land use application is determined to be complete, the Building Inspector, in consultation with the Village Manager and the Village Planner, must:
Advise the applicant that the applicant will be required to pay the cost of the professional services necessary to review the application;
Identify the need for any professional services needed by any reviewing board to review the application;
Specify the scope of the necessary professional services;
Determine whether those professional services will be provided by a consultant or by Village staff;
Determine the amount reasonably necessary for the applicant to deposit with the Village Clerk-Treasurer to ensure that the Village has sufficient funds to pay the cost of the necessary professional services on a timely and continuing basis;
Require the applicant to deposit the escrow amount with the Village Clerk-Treasurer; and
Provide the applicant with a written statement of these determinations and requirements, which will become part of the application.
Before any reviewing board may undertake any further review with respect to the application, the applicant must deposit with the Village Clerk-Treasurer the amount the Building Inspector has determined to ensure that the Village has sufficient funds to pay the cost of the necessary professional services on a timely and continuing basis. The Village Clerk-Treasurer will hold the escrow deposit in an interest-bearing trust and agency account. If the Village Clerk-Treasurer determines at any time during the review process that the amount in the escrow account has fallen below 50% of the escrow amount required by the Building Inspector, the Village Clerk-Treasurer will notify the applicant that an additional deposit with the Village Clerk-Treasurer sufficient to bring the balance in the escrow account to the amount required by the Building Inspector must be made. If the applicant receives such a notice at least seven days before a meeting of a reviewing board and fails to make the additional deposit before that meeting, the Village Clerk-Treasurer will so notify the reviewing board and the reviewing board will not consider the application further until the applicant has deposited the additional funds, unless further consideration by the reviewing board is necessary to avoid an approval by reason of the passage of time.
At the initial meeting of each reviewing board with respect to the application, the reviewing board will review the determinations made by the Building Inspector with respect to the deposit for the payment for professional services, confirm or modify the Building Inspector's determination as to the professional services needed for review of the application and, where consultants' services are needed, request that the Village Manager retain a consultant or consultants to provide the necessary professional services. If after further consideration of the application a reviewing board determines that additional or different consultants' services are necessary to review the application, the reviewing board will so notify the Building Inspector and the Village Manager who will take appropriate action consistent with this article.
The Village Manager will maintain a list of qualified consultants and will review and revise that list on a regular basis. Within 30 days after a request from a reviewing board for professional services, the Village Manager will select a consultant or consultants and engage the consultant or consultants in accordance with the Village's procurement policy.
Consultants and Village staff members providing professional services will submit monthly statements to the Village Manager for their professional services setting forth the services provided and the cost of those services. The cost of professional services provided by a consultant will be as provided in the consultant's agreement with the Village, consistent with the usual charges for such services in Westchester County. The cost of professional services provided by the Village's professional staff will be at hourly rates based upon the actual salary and benefits paid by the Village, as determined by the Village Manager.
Within 15 days of the receipt of a monthly statement from a consultant or the Village's professional staff, the Village Manager will provide a copy of the statement to the applicant by regular mail to the address specified by the applicant or by electronic mail if the applicant specifies an electronic mail address. The applicant may dispute any charge by notifying the Village Manager of the basis for the dispute in writing within 15 days of the date on which the Village Manager gives the applicant notice of the statement.
If the applicant does not dispute any charge, the Village Manager will direct the Village Clerk-Treasurer to pay the charges. If the applicant disputes any charge, the Village Manager will determine within 15 days, based upon the applicant's statement, whether to pay the disputed charge, and will direct the Village Clerk-Treasurer to pay the charges the Village Manager determines to be reasonable and consistent with the provisions of this article.
The Building Inspector shall not grant a building permit, certificate of occupancy or certificate of completeness until all fees required by this article have been paid in full.
If, after final action is taken on the land use application and the Village Manager has received and approved all statements for professional services with respect to the application, the escrow amount held by the Village Clerk-Treasurer is less than the charges for professional services approved by the Village Manager, the applicant must pay the remaining balance within 30 days. If the applicant fails to do so, the Village Manager will cause the unpaid amount to be added to the next Village tax bill for the property that is the subject of the application.
If, after final action is taken on the land use application and the Village Manager has received and approved all statements for professional services with respect to the application, the escrow amount held by the Village Clerk-Treasurer is greater than the charges for professional services approved by the Village Manager, the Village Clerk-Treasurer will refund the balance to the applicant within 30 days.
Withdrawal of a land use application before action is taken does not relieve the applicant of the applicant's obligation to pay the cost of professional services incurred in connection with the review of the application prior to its withdrawal.