City of Oswego, NY
Oswego County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A swimming pool may be maintained as an accessory use in any district subject to the following regulations:
A. 
No swimming pool shall be constructed or erected until a building permit is granted. Application for a building permit shall be accompanied by a plan showing the exact location and construction of the pool, filtering system, power supply, existing buildings, water, sewer, power and gas lines, the method of disposal of wastewater and type, size and location of fencing.
B. 
Yards. A swimming pool shall not be located in a front yard, and the pool and the appurtenances thereto shall be located so as to have a yard not less than five feet in width on all sides, except where the pool is attached to a principal structure.
C. 
Fences. Pools shall be surrounded by a fence or barrier at least four feet in height, strong enough to make the pool inaccessible to small children, and shall have a gate equipped with self-closing, self-locking devices.
D. 
Lighting. Pool lighting shall not shine or reflect onto adjoining property.
E. 
Overhead power lines. No overhead power lines shall pass over the pool nor be maintained within 20 feet of the pool.
F. 
Maintenance equipment. All heating, filtering, disinfectant and recirculating equipment shall be located at least five feet away from property lines and be effectively enclosed or screened from view from adjacent properties.
G. 
Filling. No pool shall be filled between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection H, dealing with existing swimming pools, which immediately followed this subsection, was deleted 10-28-1996 by L.L. No. 4-1996.
H. 
Maintenance and abandonment of swimming pools.
[Amended 6-11-2012]
(1) 
Every swimming pool presently constructed or installed or hereinafter constructed or installed shall be maintained at all times in such manner as never to constitute a nuisance, hazard or menace to the public health or safety.
(a) 
The water contained in swimming pools shall, at all times, be properly chlorinated and the quality maintained so as to be suitable for human bathing and swimming.
(b) 
At no time shall the water contained in a swimming pool or, if the swimming pool has been drained, shall rain water or water from some other source be permitted to accumulate or pond in the swimming pool such that the water becomes stagnant and could harbor mosquito larvae or other vector.
(2) 
No in-ground swimming pool shall be abandoned or its use permanently discontinued unless the owner of the property shall fill in the swimming area with clean soil and restore the surface of the ground to its original grade within 30 days of abandonment or discontinuance of the use of the swimming pool.
(3) 
If the pool is an aboveground swimming pool, the owner of the property shall demolish the swimming pool, remove the demolition debris from the property, and restore the land on which the swimming pool was located to its original condition within 30 days of abandonment or discontinuance of the use of the swimming pool.
(4) 
Any such hazard that may exist or develop in or in consequence of or in connection with any swimming pool, shall be abated by the person in possession, owning or having jurisdiction over such swimming pool within 10 days of receipt of the notice from the City Zoning Enforcement Officer.
(a) 
In the event the person in possession, owning or having jurisdiction over a swimming pool does not abate a swimming pool hazard or hazards within 10 days of receipt of the notice from the City Zoning Enforcement Officer or permits a swimming pool hazard or hazards to recur more than three times during any one calendar year, the swimming pool shall be deemed to be abandoned.
(b) 
In the event the owner of the property on which a swimming pool has been abandoned or its use permanently discontinued shall fail to fill an in-ground swimming pool with clean soil, or demolish an aboveground swimming pool and remove the debris within 30 days after receipt of written notice from the Zoning Enforcement Officer, the person in possession, owning or having jurisdiction over such swimming pool shall be issued a court appearance ticket pursuant to § 280-99 of this chapter.
(c) 
In the event that an abandoned or permanently discontinued in-ground or aboveground swimming pool has not been filled in or removed resulting from a court action, the City reserves the right to enter the owner’s property to fill in or remove the abandoned swimming pool. The cost of filling or removal of a pool on the owner’s property shall be charged against the property upon which the pool exists, in the same manner as a local assessment, provided for in the Charter of the City of Oswego.
[Added 4-8-2013]
I. 
Modifications. The Zoning Administrator may make modifications to these requirements in individual cases, with respect to the nature or location of pools, fences, gates or locking devices, provided that the protection as sought hereunder is not reduced.
[Amended 3-14-1983; 3-25-1991; 5-8-1995; 7-11-2005 by Res. No. 268-2005]
In any residential district, the following regulations shall apply:
A. 
Vans, buses and trucks of more than 3/4 ton carrying capacity, motor vehicles used for drag or stock car racing and an abandoned, discarded or junked vehicle as defined in § 253-2 must be parked in an enclosed garage.
B. 
Trailers, campers, boats, snowmobiles and other recreation vehicles shall be parked in a garage or side or rear yard.
(1) 
Use of a parked trailer, camper or recreational vehicle for temporary living quarters shall be limited to no more than 30 days per calendar year.
[Added 10-15-2013]
C. 
Exceptions to these parking location regulations may be granted after issuance of a special permit; however, in no case shall a special permit be granted for the storage of an abandoned or junk vehicle, as defined in § 253-2.
[Amended 10-15-2013]
A. 
No utility, temporary storage (pod) or permanent storage building shall be erected until a building permit has been issued therefor.
B. 
No utility, temporary storage (pod) or permanent storage building shall be erected in a front yard or public space.
C. 
Utility, temporary storage (pod) and permanent storage buildings up to 10 feet in height and not more than 144 square feet in area may be permitted in side and rear yards, no less than six feet from the side or rear property line.
D. 
Any utility, temporary storage (pod), or permanent storage building greater than 144 square feet in area, regardless of height, shall be classified as an accessory building and shall conform to yard setback and coverage requirements.
E. 
For the purpose of this section, the height shall be measured from the average ground grade to the highest point of the roof.
[Added 8-24-2009]
A. 
No ground-mounted or roof-mounted solar panel structure shall be erected until a building permit has been issued therefor.
B. 
Solar panel structures shall not be erected in a front yard.
C. 
Solar panel structures shall not be erected or mounted on facades of buildings.
D. 
Solar panel structures shall be classified as "accessory uses" and conform to height limitations and lot coverage requirements of the district in which the panels are located.
E. 
Solar panel structures shall be set back from property lines 10 feet in side yards and rear yards, or the height of the solar structure, whichever is greater.
F. 
For the purpose of this section, the allowed height of the solar structure shall be measured from the average ground grade to the highest point on the solar panel.
G. 
Solar panels mounted on roofs shall not protrude more than 10 feet above the peak of the roof or higher than the height limitation of the principal building/accessory building, whichever is less.
H. 
Solar panels shall not glare or reflect onto neighboring properties in proximity to the panel installation.
[Added 11-23-2009]
A. 
Purpose. It is the purpose of this section to regulate the placement, construction and installation of wind-energy-producing systems while promoting the safe, effective and efficient use of such systems. These regulations relate to siting of wind-energy-producing systems in the City of Oswego and do not address large-scale wind farms which are typically intended to sell energy directly to power companies or retail users.
B. 
Findings. The City of Oswego finds and declares that wind energy is an abundant, renewable and nonpolluting energy resource of the City and that its conversion to electricity will reduce the City's dependence on nonrenewable energy sources and decrease the air and water pollution that results from the use of conventional energy sources.
C. 
The City of Oswego further finds and declares that regulation of siting and installation of wind turbines is necessary for the purpose of protecting the health and safety of neighboring property owners and the general public and for preserving the aesthetics of the community.
D. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
EMERGENCY PROCEDURES PLAN
A document filed with the Oswego Code Enforcement Office detailing the procedures to shut down a wind energy system in case of emergency.
SYSTEM HEIGHT
With regard to a wind energy system, the combination tower height plus blade length.
TOWER
With regard to a wind energy system, the structure on which the wind turbine is mounted.
TOWER HEIGHT
With regard to a wind energy system, the height above grade of the fixed portion of the tower.
TURBINE
The parts of a wind energy system, including the blades, generator and tail.
WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS
A wind energy conversion system consisting of a wind turbine, tower and associated control or conversion electronics which has a rated capacity of no more than 25 kW for residential use and no more than 125 kW for business zones, and is not for resale to any other individual and/or commercial entity, and not more than 1.5 MW systems for industrial zones.
E. 
Site plan review: The following submission guidelines shall be required for Planning Board applications:
(1) 
Wind system design.
(a) 
Tower: The tower shall be either steel lattice or solid tube monotower and designed to handle the maximum potential load as certified by a New York State licensed engineer. In addition, under no circumstances shall the height of the system exceed the height specified by the manufacturer of the system.
(b) 
Minimum blade height: The minimum distance between the ground and the turbine blades must be 25 feet, measured at the lowest point of the blade arc.
(c) 
Color: The tower shall maintain a neutral, nonreflective exterior color that blends with the surrounding environment.
(d) 
Advertising: No wind tower, turbine, building or other structure associated with a wind energy system may be used to advertise or promote any product or service. A weather-resistant sign on the exterior of the tower, no greater than two square feet in size, shall include the name and address of the current owner, twenty-four-hour emergency phone number and the model and serial number of the system. Such weather-resistant sign shall be viewable by a Code Enforcement Officer. Such sign shall also warn of electrical shock or high voltage. No other word or graphic representation, other than appropriate warning signs, may be placed on a wind turbine, tower, building or other structure associated with a wind energy system so as to be viewable from any public road.
(e) 
Lighting: Wind turbines shall be lighted only if required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Lighting of other parts of the wind facility, such as appurtenant structures, shall be limited to that required for safety and operational purposes and shall be designed to minimize glare on abutting properties and, except as required by the FAA, be directed downward with full cutoff fixtures to reduce light pollution.
(f) 
Access to tower: The base of the tower shall not be climbable for a distance of 15 feet or the tower shall be enclosed with a six-foot-tall fence.
(g) 
Emergency access: To the greatest extent possible, existing roadways shall be used for access to the tower. In case a new roadway must be constructed to access the wind energy system, it shall be constructed to allow for the passage of emergency vehicles. Each application shall include a letter from the Oswego Fire Department certifying acceptable emergency access to the wind system.
(h) 
System braking: The wind energy system shall be equipped with an automatic braking, governing or feathering system to prevent uncontrolled rotation, overspeeding and excessive pressure on the tower structure, rotor blades, turbine components or enclosed shelter. The applicant shall file an Emergency Procedures Plan with the City of Oswego Code Enforcement and Zoning Officers explaining how the wind energy system may be shut down in case of an emergency.
(2) 
Plot plan and development drawings: All plans and drawings shall be prepared by a New York State licensed engineer that describe the following:
(a) 
Property lines and physical dimensions of the proposed site, including contours at five-foot intervals;
(b) 
Location, dimensions and types of all existing structures and uses on the site;
(c) 
Location and elevation of the proposed on-site wind energy system;
(d) 
Location and size of structures or trees above 30 feet within a five-hundred-foot radius of the proposed wind energy system;
(e) 
Location of all roads and other service structures proposed as part of the installation;
(f) 
Location of all existing aboveground utility lines, transmission towers and existing wind energy systems within 1,200 linear feet of the site;
(g) 
Where applicable, the location of all transmission facilities proposed for installation;
(h) 
Soil type at construction site, along with an engineering analysis of the tower showing compliance with the Uniform Statewide Building Code;[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Executive Law § 370 et seq.
(i) 
Line drawing of the electrical components in sufficient detail to allow for a determination that the manner of installation conforms to the National Electrical Code. This information can be supplied by the manufacturer;
(j) 
Compliance with the requirements contained in the New York State net metering law and accompanying regulations unless the applicant intends, and so states on the application, that the wind energy system will not be connected to the utility grid;
(k) 
Wind survey or other substantiation demonstrating that the proposed site is capable of meeting the manufacturer's specified electrical output. Any such wind survey or other substantiation must be conducted at the exact proposed construction site so as to demonstrate the existence of sufficient wind to power the system;
(l) 
Landscape plan showing all existing natural land features, trees, forest cover and all proposed changes to these features, including size and type of plant material;
(m) 
Shadow/flicker: Wind facilities shall be sited in a manner that minimizes shadowing or flicker impacts. The applicant has the burden of proving that flicker does not have significant adverse impact on neighboring or adjacent uses through either siting or mitigation.
(n) 
Land clearing, soil erosion and habitat impacts: Clearing of natural vegetation shall be limited to that which is necessary for the construction, operation and maintenance of the wind facility and is otherwise prescribed by applicable laws, regulations and ordinances.
(o) 
Scenic view impact: A wind energy system shall not be installed in a location where the Planning Board determines the wind system to be detrimental to the general neighborhood character. Final determination of permissible system height and location on a lot shall be decided by the Planning Board as part of the site plan review. A wind energy system shall not be installed in a location that would substantially detract from or block a scenic view, as viewed from any public mad, right-of-way, publicly owned land or privately owned land within the City of Oswego.
(p) 
State Environmental Quality Review Act[2] requirements: A full environmental assessment form, including a visual impact analysis, shall be submitted with the application for site plan review.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Environmental Conservation Law § 8-0101 et seq.
(q) 
Visualizations: The Planning Board shall select between three and eight sight lines, including from the nearest building with a view of the wind facility, for preconstruction and postconstruction view representations. Sites for the view representations shall be selected from populated areas or public ways within a one-mile radius of the wind facility. View representations shall have the following characteristics:
[1] 
Within 21 days of filing of a special permit, the applicant shall arrange for a balloon test (with a balloon diameter of at least eight feet), or a crane test, at the proposed site to illustrate the height and position of the proposed tower. The date (and alternate dates to allow for inclement weather), time and location of such test shall be advertised in the City's official newspaper at least 15 days, but not more than 21 days, prior to the primary date of the test. The balloon or crane test shall be conducted for at least two days, one of which shall be a Saturday or a Sunday.
[2] 
The applicant will submit photographs showing the wind energy system imposed on the photograph with the tower height established in reference to a balloon flown to the proposed height at the site.
[3] 
View representations shall be in color and include actual preconstruction photographs and accurate postconstruction simulations of the height and breadth of the wind energy system (e.g., superimpositions of the wind facility onto photographs of existing views).
[4] 
Scaled use shall depict a one-mile radius as not smaller than 2.7 inches, and the base map shall be a published topographic map showing cultural features, buildings and tree coverage.
[5] 
Each view representation shall include a description of the technical procedures followed in producing the visualization (distances, angles, camera lens, etc.).
(r) 
Avian impact study: No impact study for birds and bats will be required for residential wind systems of 100 feet and under; industrial and commercial towers over 100 feet in height will require an avian impact study.
F. 
Required permits: No person, firm or corporation or other entity being the owner or occupant of any land or premises within the City of Oswego shall use or permit the use of land or premises for the construction of a tower for an on-site wind energy system without first obtaining site plan approval from the Planning Board and a special use permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
(1) 
Special use permit: In addition to the criteria established by definition in § 280-90, the following criteria are hereby established for purposes of granting a special use permit for a wind energy system:
(a) 
Ownership: Ownership of the wind energy system shall be the same as the owner of the fee interest in the real property upon which it is located. In the event of transfer of ownership of the property, the ownership of the wind energy system shall also be transferred to the new owner or the system shall be decommissioned and removed.
(b) 
Zoning district lot requirements: Wind energy systems are permissible in the R-2, R-3, B-1 and Industrial districts only. A wind energy system shall not be allowed on any parcel unless a main structure occupied by inhabitants more than 25% of the time exists thereon. In any event, there shall be no more than one wind energy system per parcel.
(c) 
Net metering requirements: The applicant shall certify that he/she will comply with the requirements contained in the New York State net metering law and accompanying regulations unless the applicant intends, and so states on the application, that the wind energy system will not be connected to the utility grid.
(d) 
Proximity to radio, television, telephone and wireless internet systems: A wind energy system shall not be located in an area where its proximity interferes with existing fixed broadcast, retransmission or reception antennas for radio, television, or any microwave transmission systems such as cell phone towers or wireless Internet transmission systems.
(e) 
Noise limitations: Noise emanating from wind energy systems shall not exceed 50 decibels, as measured at the closest property line. The maximum noise level may be exceeded during short-term events such as severe storms involving high wind speeds (greater than 30 miles per hour).
(f) 
Height: The height of the system shall not exceed 100 feet for residential applications and 200 feet for commercial applications and 300 feet for industrial applications.
(g) 
Lightning protection: All wind energy systems shall have lightning protection.
(h) 
Underground electrical connection: All power lines from the wind turbine to interconnecting electrical equipment must be located underground and meet all applicable national and state electrical codes, and underground power lines shall be recorded with the New York Underground Facility Protection Organization (UFPO).
(2) 
Setbacks: Wind energy systems shall comply with all setbacks within the affected zoning district, in addition to the requirements listed below, If setback requirements overlap between the affected zone and this section, the more stringent requirement(s) supersede(s):
(a) 
All wind energy systems will be placed in the rear yard;
(b) 
Setback distances shall be equal to 125% of the system height from all adjacent property lines;
(c) 
Setback distances shall be equal to 125% of the tower fall/collapse zone from any dwelling inhabited by humans on the proposed site;
(d) 
Anchor points for guy wires for the on-site use of a wind energy system tower shall be located no closer than five feet from the property line and shall not be placed on or across any aboveground electric transmission distribution lines. Cover all anchors and guy wires. All guy covers or cables shall be colored with high visibility orange or yellow paint for 10 feet above the ground.
G. 
Public hearing: No action shall be taken by the Zoning Board of Appeals to issue a special use permit until after a public notice and hearing. Notice of the public hearing shall be published in the official newspaper of the City of Oswego at least 10 days before the date set for such hearing, and written notice of the hearing shall be mailed to the applicant or his/her agent at the address provided in the application at least 10 days before such hearing. The City of Oswego Zoning Office, in turn, shall be responsible for notifying, by USPS certified mail, all property owners of record within 200 feet of the boundary line of the property to which the application relates of the time, date and place of such public hearing at least 10 days prior to such hearing. Notice shall be deemed to have been given if mailed to the property owner at the tax billing address listed on the property tax records of the City Assessor. Failure of the property owners to receive such notice shall not be deemed a jurisdictional defect.
H. 
Waiver: The City of Oswego Planning Board may, under appropriate circumstances, waive one or more of the submission requirements contained herein.
I. 
Insurance. Prior to the issuance of any special use permit under this chapter, the applicant shall provide the Zoning Board of Appeals proof, in the form of a duplicate insurance policy or a certificate issued by an insurance company, that liability insurance has been obtained to cover any property damage or personal injuries which might result from the failure of the wind energy system or any part thereof. In the event of a transfer of ownership of the property containing a wind energy system, the new owner shall be required to provide the Zoning Board of Appeals proof that it has obtained the requisite property and personal liability insurance coverage under this section. An insurance policy issued under this section shall provide for notice to the Zoning Board of Appeals in the event that such policy is cancelled. Such insurance policy may be an existing homeowners' or farm insurance policy for the property on which the wind energy system is to be located. The Oswego Common Council, in consultation with the City of Oswego's insurers, may set the level of insurance required under this section at whatever level it deems adequate.
J. 
Power to impose conditions: In granting any site plan approval, special use permit or variance for an on-site wind-energy-producing system, the Zoning Board of Appeals or Planning Board, as the case may be, may impose reasonable conditions to the extent that such Board finds that these conditions are necessary to minimize any adverse effect or impact on neighboring properties or on the community.
K. 
Inspections: The Code Enforcement Officer and Zoning Officer shall have the right at any reasonable time to enter, in the company of the owner or his/her agent, the premises on which a wind energy system is being or has been constructed to inspect all components of the installation. When practicable, the City officers shall provide the owner with written notice of his/her intent to conduct an inspection at least 24 hours before such inspection. Upon inspection, the City officers may order the owner to make repairs or alterations to the system in the event that the system is deemed deficient or dangerous and may order that the wind energy system cease operation until such repairs or alterations are made. In the event that the wind energy system is deemed to pose an immediate danger to life or property, the City officers shall have the right to enter the property forthwith, without the owner being present, and to take such action as is deemed reasonably necessary to eliminate such danger.
L. 
Failure to repair. In the event the owner of a wind energy system fails to make the repairs or alterations requested by the City officers within 60 days, the City officers shall order the owner to remove the wind turbine and all accessory structures from the property within 45 days. If the owner fails to remove the tower within such time, the City shall arrange to have the wind turbine and all accessory structures removed. The total expense of such removal shall constitute a lien on the real property on which the wind turbine and accessory structures were located until paid or otherwise satisfied or discharged.
M. 
Nonuse. If any wind energy system is not operated for a continuous period of six months, the City will notify the owner by registered mail and provide 45 days for a response.
(1) 
In the response, the owner shall set forth reasons for the operational disruption and provide a timetable for corrective action. Such timetable for corrective action shall not exceed 45 days.
(2) 
If the owner is unable to place the wind energy system back in service on or before 120 days from the date the City mailed the notice required under this section, the owner shall remove the wind turbine and all accessory structures from the site, as well as restore the site to its original condition, within 30 days. Failure to remove the wind turbine/accessory structures and restore the site in accordance with these regulations shall be a violation of this chapter. In the event the owner fails to remove the wind turbine/accessory structures and restore the site as required by this section, the City may arrange to have such work completed. The total expense of such work shall constitute a lien on the real property upon which the wind turbine and accessory structures were located until paid or otherwise satisfied or discharged.
District building height regulations shall not apply to the following structures placed on top of buildings: flagpoles, radio or television antennas, transmission towers or cables, spires or cupolas, chimneys, elevators or stair bulkheads, penthouses, parapets or railings, water tanks or cooling towers or any similar structures or accessory uses, provided that no such structures in their aggregate coverage occupy more than 10% of the roof area of the building and do not protrude more than 10 feet above the roof line.
A. 
Use of required yards. No principal or accessory use shall be located in any required front or side yard unless specifically permitted by the regulations of the district in which the use is located.
B. 
Corner lots. On a corner lot, each side which abuts a street shall be deemed a front lot line, and the required yard along each such lot line shall be a required front yard. The owner may decide which of the remaining yards shall be the required side yard and the required rear yard.
C. 
Side yards for attached buildings. Side yards for semidetached houses or row houses shall be required in the end lots of the total structure.
D. 
Through lots. For any through lot fronting on parallel or abutting streets, both frontages shall comply with the front yard requirements of the district in which it is located.
E. 
Principal buildings on the same lot. If two or more principal residential buildings are located on the same lot, one building's exterior walls containing windows shall be separated from the nearest point on any adjacent building by a horizontal distance, perpendicular to the wall with windows, equal to at least twice the width of the required side yard for the particular district in which the buildings are located.
F. 
Accessory buildings.
(1) 
Accessory buildings unattached to principal buildings shall be no closer to the principal buildings than 12 feet or a distance equal to the height of each such accessory building, whichever is the greater.
(2) 
Any accessory building physically attached to a principal building is deemed part of such principal building in applying bulk regulations.
G. 
Where property and building lines are not parallel, yard setbacks shall be based on an average of the two extreme dimensions at each building line and the absolute allowable minimum yard setback in each case being at least 50% of the required setback as stated in other sections of this chapter.
A. 
Open fire escapes may project beyond the building line a maximum of six feet into required side or rear yards or courts. They may not project into required front yards or usable open spaces nor shall they be placed on walls facing toward a street, except with the permission of and in compliance with conditions imposed by the Common Council of the City of Oswego, New York.
B. 
An arbor, open trellis, flagpole, unroofed steps, unroofed terrace (not more than three feet above ground level) or recreation, athletic or drying yard equipment shall be permitted in any required yard, court or usable open space.
[Amended 10-28-1996 by L.L. No. 4-1996]
C. 
Other permitted projections beyond the building line into a required yard, court or usable open space are:
(1) 
An awning or movable canopy for a maximum projection of six feet.
(2) 
Cornices or eaves for a maximum projection of three feet.
(3) 
Window sills or belt courses for a maximum projection of 12 inches.
A. 
Required area. For every multiple-family dwelling unit there shall be provided an area of at least 300 square feet of usable open space.
B. 
Location. Such required usable open space may be provided in more than one plot.
C. 
Slope. The maximum slope of required usable open space shall not exceed 5%.
D. 
Planning Board review. The Planning Board in its review of the site plan for any multiple-family development may require active recreational equipment to be installed and maintained to serve the needs of residents.
[Added 9-8-1980]
The minimum lot frontage in all districts shall be at least 40 feet on a public street except in those districts where there is no minimum lot area requirement.