[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Elmsford 11-19-1990 by L.L. No. 8-1990. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Architectural Review Board and Architectural Review Commission shall preserve and promote the character and appearance of the village so as to conserve the property values of the village and the attractiveness of the residential and business areas by providing procedures for an architectural review of structures henceforth erected, reconstructed or altered in the village, and thereby to encourage good qualities of exterior building design and appearance, to relate such design and appearance to the site and surroundings of such structures, to permit originality and resourcefulness in building design and appearance which are appropriate to the site and surroundings and to prevent such design and appearance as are unnecessarily offensive to visual sensibilities.
The Board of Trustees hereby finds that structures which are visually offensive or inappropriate by reason of poor quality of exterior design, monotonous similarity or striking visual discord in relation to their sites or surroundings mar the appearances of their areas, impair the use, enjoyment and desirability and reduce the value of properties, are detrimental to the character of neighborhoods and adversely affect the functioning, economic stability, prosperity, health, safety and general welfare of the entire community.
There is hereby created an Architectural Review Board (Board) which shall consist of five members who shall serve without compensation. The Board shall consist of the Mayor and Board of Trustees.
There is hereby created an Architectural Review Commission (Commission) which shall consist of five members who shall serve without compensation. All members of the Commission shall be specifically qualified by reason of training or experience in architecture, land development, community planning, real estate, landscape architecture, engineering, building construction or other relevant business or profession or by reason of civic interest and sound judgment to judge the effects of a proposed building upon the desirability, property values and development of surrounding areas. At least one member shall be a registered architect or professional engineer in the State of New York.
The members of the Commission shall be appointed by the Mayor, with the approval of a majority of the Trustees present and voting, for a term of three years, except that, of the members first appointed, one shall hold office for a term of one year, two for a term of two years and two for a term of three years from and after their appointments. The Chairman shall be appointed by the Mayor for a term of three years.
Members of the Commission shall continue to hold office until their successors have been appointed.
The Board and Commission shall keep minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each member upon each question or, if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact. Minutes of meetings shall be filed with the Village Clerk in Village Hall.
Meetings of the Board and Commission shall be called by the Chairman whenever necessary. The Commission shall hold a meeting within 30 days of the date of referral of any pending matter by the Architectural Review Board to the Commission and complete such matter within 60 days thereafter, unless the Architectural Review Board extends such deadline.
A majority of the entire Board or Commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Applications for construction of any new buildings or structure or an addition to or reconstruction, alteration or demolition of any existing building or structure in such manner as to change the exterior character and appearance of the building or structure must be approved by the Architectural Review Board. The Architectural Review Board may refer an application to the Commission for review and recommendation.
Applications must be accompanied by plans showing all elevations of new structures and all affected elevations in the case of additions or alterations.
For all new structures, a site plan with a minimum scale of one inch equals 20 feet must be submitted, showing the following:
Property lines, including curblines of adjoining lots.
Outlines of structures, including walks, driveways, terraces, decks, walls and fences.
Existing and proposed contours at two-foot intervals.
Existing trees and trees to be removed which have a trunk diameter of four inches or more at a point 54 inches above the ground.
All proposed plantings.
The construction, reconstruction or alteration of any permanent exterior marquee, canopy, security grille, advertising sign or business sign.
Grades and elevations of adjacent property and structures where the Building Inspector, Board or Commission deems this information applicable to a proper evaluation of the relationship between existing and proposed structures.
Any other items which the Building Inspector, Board or Commission deems necessary and/or desirable.
The Building Inspector, Board or Commission may require submission of all or a portion of the above information as part of the application for an addition to any existing structure.
The Board and Commission shall take into account natural features of the site and surroundings, exterior design and appearances of existing structures and the character of the district and its peculiar suitability for particular purposes, with a view to conserving the values of property and encouraging the most appropriate use of land.
The Board may approve, approve with modifications or disapprove an application. The Commission may recommend approval, approval with modifications or disapproval of any application. All votes shall be by a majority of the members present at a meeting.
The Board or Commission shall determine whether the building or structure for which the permit was requested, if erected or altered in accordance with the submitted plan, would be in harmony with the surrounding area, would not be visually offensive or inappropriate by reason of poor quality of exterior design, would not have monotonous similarity or striking visual discord in relation to the site or surroundings, would not mar the appearance of the area, would not impair the use, enjoyment and desirability and reduce the value of properties in the area, would not be detrimental to the character of the neighborhood, would not prevent the utilization of the site or of adjacent lands and would not adversely affect the economic stability, prosperity, health, safety and general welfare of the entire community.
The Board may approve an application with conditions or disapprove an application, and the Commission may recommend approval with conditions or disapproval of an application, provided that the Board or Commission finds that the structure for which the permit was requested would, if erected or altered as indicated, cause one or more of the harmful effects set forth in §§ 8-2 and 8-11 hereof by reason of:
Monotonous similarity to any other structure or structures located or proposed to be located on the same street or corner thereof and within 250 feet of the site of the structure, in respect to one or more of the following features of exterior design and appearance:
Substantially identical facade, disregarding color.
Substantially identical size and arrangement of either doors, windows, porticoes, porches or garages or other openings or breaks or extensions in the facade, including reverse arrangements.
Other substantially identical features such as, but not limited to, heights, widths and lengths of elements of the building design and exterior materials and treatments.
Striking dissimilarity, visual discord or inappropriateness with respect to other structures located or proposed to be located on the same street or a corner thereof and within 250 feet of the site of the structure, in respect to one or more of the following features of exterior design and appearance:
Facade, disregarding color.
Size and arrangement of doors, windows, porticoes, porches or garages or other openings or breaks or extensions in the facade.
Other significant design features such as, but not limited to, heights, widths and lengths or elements of design, exterior materials and treatments, roof structures, exposed mechanical equipment, service and storage areas, retaining walls, landscaping, signs, light posts, parking areas and fences and service and loading areas.
Visual offensiveness or other poor qualities of exterior design, including, with respect to signs, considerations of the harmony or discord of colors, or incompatibility of the proposed structure with the terrain on which it is to be located, including but not limited to excessive divergences of the height or levels of any part of the structure from the grade of the terrain.
The Commission shall advise with respect to public buildings and such other matters as the Board of Trustees, the Architectural Review Board, the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Commission may refer to it.
The Building Inspector shall refuse any building permit application unless the Board approves the application or, if approval is subject to conditions, the applicant accepts, and agrees to comply with, such conditions.
The applicant shall obtain any required variances and other governmental approvals before requesting approval by the Architectural Review Board.