[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Southampton 2-11-2003 by L.L. No. 11-2003. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The 1999 Comprehensive Plan Update recommended that additional studies be conducted concerning the Town's hamlet centers. The plan recognizes that each hamlet presents different challenges and opportunities. The Comprehensive Plan Update directs that the Hamlets of Riverside, Flanders and Northampton should be looked at together with the participation of local business, residents and civic communities. In response to the Comprehensive Plan's directive, the Town Board has authorized funding for a Riverside, Flanders and Northampton Hamlet Strategy Study ("Hamlet Study"), hired a consultant to conduct the study and has already directed the consultant to begin the study. The grant of approvals for certain types of development in the study area will be prohibited during the period of time required to complete the study.
The Comprehensive Plan recognizes the need for a detailed study to improve physical conditions and conserve the natural environment, upgrade residential, commercial and industrial stock and highlighting of the area's significant open space and natural resources in order to enhance the areas quality of life. The 1999 Update recommends that such a study promote mixed-use residential development and low scale commercial development within a recreational/maritime theme. The 1999 Update also emphasizes the need to investigate infrastructure improvements that would promote strategic and appropriate sited development, the need to promote compatible commercial/light industrial development in various locations, and encourages the coordination of planning efforts with various resource planning initiatives including the Peconic Estuary Program and the Central Pine Barrens Commission as well as with the Town of Riverhead.
Much land has already been preserved, but this preservation has reduced the number of lots that generate taxes. This issue has, along with school taxes, created a situation where there are high property taxes for the residents. Careful economic development of the area is needed to upgrade these hamlets while continuing to preserve the environment. These demands must be balanced with a vision that is defined by the residents of this Hamlet Study. In order to respond to this the need, the Riverside, Flanders and Northampton Hamlets shall be studied. While this study is being conducted, the Town has already imposed a four-month moratorium for the communities of Riverside, Flanders and Northampton to address specific areas, including but not limited to:
Changes in the Town Zoning Code with respect to current commercial, residential and industrial zoning;
Accommodate tax ratable development;
Create a better sense of identity for the Riverside, Flanders and Northampton hamlets;
Preserve maritime resources and the Peconic Estuary;
Implement plans to make Route 24 into a scenic "Maritime Corridor" and not just a highway to relieve congestion in Riverhead;
Coordinate development with neighboring downtown Riverhead;
Utilize proximity to adjoining areas, the Peconic Estuary and Central Pine Barrens in particular, as a revitalization theme;
Promote mixed-use residential and low-scale commercial development with a recreational/maritime theme along the Peconic River (such as inn or other lodging, conference center, waterfront housing with boat slips) subject to sound controls to preserve the estuary and eliminate wastewater, runoff, etc.
This moratorium extension of four months will enable the Town to complete the Hamlet Study and develop appropriate code changes.
This chapter is adopted pursuant to Municipal Home Rule Law and the State Environmental Quality Review Act and its implementing regulations and expressly supersedes any provisions of Chapters 247, 292 and 330 of the Town Code of the Town of Southampton and Article 16 of the Town Law of the State of New York. In particular, this chapter shall supersede those provisions of the Town Code and New York State law which require the Town Board, Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals to accept, process and approve applications within certain statutory time periods.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all lands within the Town of Southampton that are within the boundaries of the Riverside, Flanders and Northampton Hamlet areas as defined as the study area that shall consist of that area, more particularly described as:
In addition, the Town Clerk has in the file for this chapter the boundary map of the Riverside, Flanders and Northampton moratorium dated April 4, 2002.
No agency of the Town of Southampton shall approve any application for a change of zone, site plan, variance or special exception within the study area defined in § 308-3 during this moratorium. No new applications affected by this section shall be accepted by an agency of the Town of Southampton after the effective date of this chapter, except as provided herein.
This chapter shall apply for a period of four months from the effective date hereof. This chapter shall expire after said four-month period unless and until this time period is extended by the Town Board after adoption of a subsequent local law.
The following applications are excluded from this chapter:
Building permits for projects that have received all necessary approvals prior to the adoption of this chapter;
Minor additions of less than 1,000 square feet to existing structures;
Renovations of existing structures, which do not involve a change of use;
Modifications to approved applications which do not involve expansion of existing structures;
Individual setback and lot line variances;
Subdivision application that has received final conditional approval from the Planning Board prior to the effective date of this chapter;
Subdivision applications deemed by the Planning Board to be a transfer of property or resubdivision as defined in § 292-3 of the Subdivision Regulations.
The "Rivercatwalk" Planned Development District (PDD) application that is consistent with the 1999 Comprehensive Plan Update which states:
The proposed New York State Police Barracks on Riverleigh Avenue.
Applications may be exempted from the provisions of this chapter, following a public hearing on notice before the Town Board. Upon such application, the Town Board shall consider:
The size of the subject parcel;
The proximity of the applicant's premises to pine barrens, wetlands, endangered plant and animal species, wildlife and other similar environmental concerns;
The extent of the proposed development and!or disturbance of the applicant's premises;
The environmental significance, if any, of the applicant's parcel and the proposed development's impact upon the environment, including existing transportation resources; and
Compatibility of the proposed development with the aesthetic resources of the community or with the existing community or neighborhood character.
Compatibility of the proposed development with the recommendations of the 1999 Comprehensive Plan Update and all previous Comprehensive Plans starting with the Town's 1970 Master Plan that further the goals of the Mixed-Use Planned Development District and the 1999 Comprehensive Plan Update.
The extent that the proposed development accommodates tax ratable development that will have a positive impact on the school district property taxes and mitigates the need for public services created by residential uses.
In making a determination under Subsection A, the Town Board may obtain and consider written reports from the Department of Land Management and such other sources as required in the judgment of the Town Board and consistent with the purpose of this chapter. A grant of an exemption to an applicant's premises shall include a determination of unnecessary hardship and unique circumstances which do not generally apply throughout the study area set forth in § 305-3 and a finding that the grant of an exemption will be in harmony with and will not be unduly disruptive to the goals and purposes of the Hamlet Study undertaken pursuant to this chapter.
An application under Subsection A shall be accompanied by a fee of $500, 18 copies of the application, together with the applicant's written undertaking, in a form to be approved by the Town Attorney and, in substance, approved by the Town Board, to pay either in advance or by reimbursement, at the Town Board's on-going election, any out-of-pocket costs incurred by the Town in studies and/or by retainer of resource personnel and relating to the hearing, review, and determination of such application.