Town of Ithaca, NY
Tompkins County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
The minimum gross area for any clustered subdivision proposal shall be five acres. Clustered subdivisions are permitted only with respect to residential dwelling units. Clustered subdivisions are permitted in all zoning districts except the Office Park Commercial Zone, Vehicle Fueling and Repair Commercial Zone, Light Industrial Zone, and Industrial Zone. The Planning Board may not require a subdivider to prepare a cluster plan for lands in a High Density Residential Zone.
[Amended 6-7-2004 by L.L. No. 6-2004; 10-20-2014 by L.L. No. 16-2014]
B. 
The area of the subdivision required to be reserved by the developer for open space shall not be more than 10% of the gross area, and shall contain in any event a parcel with an open area of at least 10,000 square feet.
C. 
At the time of preliminary approval, it shall be determined whether or not the subdivision to be considered shall be a cluster design. When the subdivider presents to the Planning Board a traditional subdivision plan, the Planning Board may approve a preliminary plat for a given number of units, contingent upon all or part of those units being clustered in a final plat acceptable to the Planning Board.
D. 
When the subdivider proposes to develop a portion of the property as a traditional subdivision and a portion as a clustered subdivision, the Planning Board may approve, modify and approve, or disapprove the proportions of the project and locations which shall be developed traditionally or be clustered.
E. 
In the event the Planning Board approves a traditional subdivision plan at the preliminary subdivision hearing, the subdivider shall have the option of submitting a cluster plan prior to final plat approval. In this case, the Planning Board shall schedule a public hearing prior to final subdivision approval in order to consider the cluster proposal.
A. 
The number of dwelling units permitted in a clustered residential subdivision may in no case exceed the number otherwise permitted, in the Planning Board's judgment, by the applicable sections of Chapter 270, Zoning of the Code of the Town of Ithaca. The Planning Board may restrict the subdivider to a lesser number of dwelling units if, in the Planning Board's judgment, particular conditions of the site warrant such restriction. In addition, the density of dwelling units in a clustered development shall not exceed 3.5 dwelling units per gross acre in a Medium Density Residential Zone or 2.3 dwelling units per gross acre in a Low Density Residential Zone.
[Amended 6-10-2013 by L.L. No. 5-2013]
B. 
To determine the number of dwelling units permitted to be clustered pursuant to Town Law § 278, the Planning Board may require the subdivider, as part of the sketch plat review process, to prepare a conventional subdivision plat which meets all standards of Chapter 270, Zoning, subdivision regulations, and Town of Ithaca highway and open space regulations.
[Amended 6-10-2013 by L.L. No. 5-2013]
C. 
The Planning Board may exclude areas from the sketch plat which, in its opinion, are unsuitable for construction of the proposed housing because of excessive slopes, poor drainage, or other considerations which may be injurious to the health, safety, and welfare of the community.
D. 
Considerations which the Planning Board may use in order to limit the number of dwelling units or lots which may be developed in any clustered subdivision include but are not limited to:
(1) 
Will such a development be substantially and materially injurious to the ownership, use and enjoyment of other property in the vicinity or neighborhood;
(2) 
Will such a development impede the orderly development of land in the vicinity or neighborhood, and will such use be appropriate in appearance and in harmony with the existing or intended character of such land in the vicinity or neighborhood;
(3) 
Will the street system and off-street parking facilities handle the expected traffic in a safe and efficient manner and not place an undue burden on existing roads;
(4) 
Will the natural surface drainageways continue to work effectively;
(5) 
Are water and sewerage or waste disposal facilities adequate;
(6) 
Is the environmental quality of the proposal, in terms of site planning, design, and landscaping, compatible with the character of the neighborhood;
(7) 
Are lot area, access, parking, and loading facilities sufficient for the proposed activities;
(8) 
What effect will the density of such clustered construction and use have on the appearance and maintenance of open spaces in a neighborhood.
E. 
The number of units allowed in any clustered subdivision shall not exceed the number determined by the Planning Board as shown on the sketch plat. The Planning Board may allow the subdivider to cluster the permitted number of dwelling units in detached, semidetached, attached, or multistory structures.
F. 
No more than six semidetached, attached, or multistory dwelling units shall be permitted to be clustered in any one structure.
[Amended 6-10-2013 by L.L. No. 5-2013]
[Amended 6-10-2013 by L.L. No. 5-2013]
Buffer zones shall be at least 30 feet wide between the buildings in a clustered subdivision and the boundary of adjacent lots in residential, conservation, or agricultural zoning districts and at least 20 feet wide between the buildings in a clustered subdivision and the boundary of adjacent lots in commercial, industrial, or other zoning districts. Parkland deeded to the Town of Ithaca pursuant to these subdivision regulations shall be provided with a separation from the nearest building of at least 20 feet. The Planning Board may require a buffer at least 40 feet wide between the edge of the pavement of any public road in a clustered subdivision and any adjoining lot. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Planning Board may require a buffer of at least 125 feet between a community center and the boundary of adjacent lots in any zoning district. The Planning Board may also, at its discretion, require the subdivider to provide adequate landscaping within the buffer area. Parking shall be forbidden in the buffer area.
[Amended 6-10-2013 by L.L. No. 5-2013]
A. 
Building placement: general.
(1) 
Location of structures and other improvements must place the highest priority on the preservation of environmentally sensitive areas and agricultural uses.
(2) 
Buildings in a cluster should be grouped as closely as possible to use the site efficiently and to maximize common open space.
(3) 
Staggered front setbacks or random building placement in a cluster of buildings that face a common courtyard is discouraged.
B. 
Building spacing.
(1) 
Distance between principal structures:
(a) 
Side to side: 10 feet minimum.
(b) 
Otherwise: 40 feet minimum.
(2) 
Distance between principal and accessory structures and between accessory structures: five feet minimum.
C. 
Building setbacks. Building envelopes (areas that designate where buildings may be placed) must be included on the preliminary and final plats. Building envelopes do not have to conform to setback requirements in the underlying zoning district, but must conform to the stream setback requirements in Chapter 270, Zoning, and to the buffer zone requirements in § 234-33 above.
D. 
Building height. Building height must conform to the height requirements for the underlying zoning district as set forth in Chapter 270, Zoning.
E. 
The Planning Board may, in the course of subdivision plat review, regulate the exterior characteristics of any proposed structures or uses in order that the development shall be, in the judgment of the Planning Board, compatible with the surrounding community. Factors which may be considered in this judgment include, but are not limited to:
(1) 
The view to be afforded present owners of private property, or legal users of public property, in the vicinity of the proposed clustered subdivision after construction of the project;
(2) 
The description and nature, including size, shape, color of materials to be used in the proposed structures and other areas;
(3) 
Ambient noise incidental to the normal activity in the project, as presented, or extraordinary noise incidental to the construction of the project;
(4) 
The phasing plan proposed by the subdivider, if the development is to be built in stages.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 234-35, Restriction of unrelated persons, was repealed 6-10-2013 by L.L. No. 5-2013.