[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Southampton 5-22-2007 by L.L. No. 26-2007. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The minimum lot area requirement in the least restrictive residential zoning district within the Town of Southampton is 10,000 square feet; however, there are many land subdivision maps located within the Town's Special Old Filed Map Overlay District, south of Montauk Highway between the Shinnecock Canal on the east and Brookhaven Town line on the west, which were filed in the Office of the County Clerk prior to May 13, 1931, and which were not approved by either the Planning Board or the Town Board. These land subdivision maps, designated "old filed maps," are comprised of designated lots (lots designated by number) with a lot area of less than 10,000 square feet (substandard lots), such as 8,000 square feet, 6,000 square feet, and 4,000 square feet. Some lots as small as 20 feet by 100 feet, or 2,000 square feet, may exist within these dated maps.
The Town Board has previously found, and again asserts, that the development of substandard parcels having a lot area of less than 10,000 square feet within the Special Old Filed Map Overlay District is likely to adversely affect the public health and safety by causing pollution of the groundwater reservoir, saltwater intrusion into the groundwater, and/or excessive demand on the groundwater reservoir. In addition, the visible overdevelopment of these substandard parcels, combined with the excessive population density of the area, is likely to lead to unintended adverse impacts on the community character of these areas.
Currently, the minimum buildable lot in the Old Filed Map Overlay District, with a corresponding development right transfer through the Town's Old Filed Map development procedures, is 10,000 square feet. This program successfully balances the protection of natural resources and land development density within the Town with property rights on a particular parcel. There is no similar program for those lots located in Special Old Filed Map Overlay Districts and the Town Board recognizes that there is no discernable basis for these differing treatments.
In an effort to mitigate adverse impacts arising from the development of substandard lots in the Special Old Filed Map Overlay District, and to reconcile the treatment of these parcels with those in the Old Filed Map Overlay District, and successfully regulate the application of noncustomary zoning restrictions to these parcels, the Town Board has directed that a study be conducted on how best to address these issues and, in connection therewith, the Town Board seeks to impose a moratorium staying any improvement or other development on those parcels located within the study area. Indeed, it is becoming apparent that, as they develop, substandard physical conditions are being created in the neighborhoods in which these parcels are located and, to that end, the limited open space character of these communities is at risk of being lost.
Thus, the intent of this study, and the resultant recommendations, is to devise a modernized and redesigned plan, consistent with the Town's comprehensive planning efforts, for the treatment of parcels located in the Special Old Filed Map Overlay District, and to harmonize the treatment of these parcels with those in the Old Filed Map Overlay District, in order to alleviate the potential serious problems associated with development on these parcels, while at the same time assuring for every individual lot owner adequate protection of their property rights.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any request or application for the improvement or other development of or change to lands within the "Study Area," including, but not limited to, any area variance applications.
- STUDY AREA
- Those parcels within the Special Old Filed Map Overlay District, located south of Montauk Highway between the Shinnecock Canal on the east and the Brookhaven Town line on the west, each parcel having a lot area, or combined lot area, of less than 10,000 square feet.
No new applications shall be accepted, nor shall any pending applications continue to be processed or decided by the Town Board, the Planning Board, or the Zoning Board of Appeals, or any other agency, department, or office of the Town of Southampton, during the moratorium period.
[Amended 11-13-2007 by L.L. No. 53-2007; 2-26-2008 by L.L. No. 12-2008]
This chapter shall expire on May 22, 2008.
The following are excluded from this chapter:
Applications may be exempted from the provisions of this chapter, following a public hearing on due 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;
Compatibility of the proposed development with the aesthetic resources of the community or with the existing community or neighborhood character; and
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.
In making a determination under this subsection, 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 hardship and unique circumstances which do not generally apply throughout the study area, 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 study undertaken pursuant to this chapter.
An application under this subsection shall be accompanied by a fee of $500 and 18 copies of the application, together with the applicant's written undertaking to pay all out-of-pocket costs incurred by the Town in studies and/or by retainer of resource personnel relating to the hearing, review, and determination of such application, in form and substance acceptable to the Town Board.
This chapter is adopted pursuant to Municipal Home Rule Law § 10(1)(ii)(a)(12) and expressly supersedes any inconsistent provisions of Chapters 247, 292, and 330 of the Southampton Town Code and Article 16 of New York State Town Law. In particular, this chapter shall supersede those provisions of the Town Code and New York State Law which require the Town Board, Planning Board, and/or Zoning Board of Appeals to accept, process and approve applications, within specified statutory time periods.