Town of Berne, NY
Albany County
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A. 
Storage of boats, trailers, trucks and unregistered vehicles. No boat, trailer, truck or unregistered vehicle shall be stored in the front yard of any district, provided that the keeping of such a chattel in a front yard for 45 days or longer shall be deemed to be "storage" for the purpose of this subsection.
B. 
Excavations.
(1) 
Any proposed excavation adversely affecting natural drainage or structural safety of adjoining buildings or lands shall be prohibited. Excavation shall not create any noxious or injurious substance or condition or cause public hazard.
(2) 
In any district, excavation relating to the construction, on the same lot, of a building or structure for which a building permit has been issued shall be permitted. In the event that construction of a building or structure is stopped prior to completion, and the building permit is allowed to expire, the premises shall immediately be cleared of any rubbish, or building materials, and any excavation with a depth greater than two feet below existing grade shall immediately be filled in and the topsoil replaced, or all such excavations shall be entirely surrounded by a substantial fence at least six feet high that will effectively block access to the area in which the excavation is located.
(3) 
Any area of land having an area of more than one acre from which topsoil has been removed shall be filled or covered over, and such area shall be seeded to provide an effective cover crop within the first growing season following the start of said operation.
(4) 
For excavation for soil mining, see subsection I of this Section.
C. 
Sanitary disposal and water supply.
(1) 
No person shall undertake to construct any new building or structure in the Town of Berne without first meeting the requirements for a system or facilities for the separate treatment and disposal of waterborne sewage and other wastes and obtaining an approved water supply in accordance with applicable regulations of the Town, the New York State and Albany County Departments of Health, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and other governmental authorities. Issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy shall be subject to sanitary system inspection and certification by the Albany County Department of Health, and compliance with all conditions imposed by any other governmental authority.
(2) 
A minimum horizontal separation distance of 25 feet shall be maintained between wastewater treatment and disposal systems and the property line. For all systems involving the placement of fill material, separation distances shall be measured from the toe of slope of the fill.
(3) 
In the case of any proposed residential development or realty subdivision, the Planning Board may require the applicant to demonstrate that an acceptable location exists, on each and every parcel, for the installation of conventional or alternative wastewater treatment and disposal systems. The applicant shall clearly identify any site modifications necessary for the installation of the system.
(4) 
The Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals may require an applicant to provide evidence of water availability and may require professional hydrological studies sufficient to establish that a proposed development will have adequate supplies of potable water and will not adversely affect water supply or quality in the surrounding area.
D. 
Landfills. The dumping of refuse, waste material and other substances is prohibited in all districts in the Town except as specified in Town of Berne Local Law No. 1 of 1969, as amended.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 164, Solid Waste.
E. 
Driveway and road standards. Driveways and roads shall be designed in conformance with the standards established in the Town of Berne Land Subdivision Regulations[2] and the following provisions:
(1) 
For reasons of traffic and pedestrian safety, as well as to provide for possible future road widening or other improvements, all new driveways entering onto any street shall comply with the requirements of this section and shall be subject to the approval of the Town Highway Superintendent. Where such driveways enter onto a county or state road, they shall also be subject to Albany County Department of Public Works and New York State Department of Transportation approvals, respectively. Where such driveways are part of a subdivision application or site plan approval, they shall also be subject to Planning Board approval.
(2) 
The maximum grade for any new driveway accessory to a single-family dwelling and connecting its off-street parking area to a road shall not exceed 10%, except where it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the reviewing board or official that, because of practical difficulty affecting a particular property, the construction of such a driveway is infeasible.
(3) 
A private driveway serving one lot (dwelling unit) shall have a minimum twelve-foot-wide shale, gravel or paved travel way and a minimum eighteen-foot-wide cleared right-of-way.
(4) 
Clear visibility shall be provided and maintained in both directions at all exit points so that the driver of an automobile stopped on the platform portion of any new driveway will have an unobstructed view of the highway for a reasonable distance, commensurate with the speed and volume of traffic on the highway, and so that there is a similar view of the automobile in the driveway.
(5) 
Additional driveway design details shall conform to any separately enacted Town driveway standards.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 170, Subdivision of Land.
F. 
Activity standard. In any district, the following standards for activities shall apply:
(1) 
No offensive or objectionable vibration, odor or glare shall be noticeable at or beyond the property line.
(2) 
No activity shall create a physical hazard by reason of fire, explosion, radiation, or other such cause to persons or property in the same or adjacent districts.
(3) 
There shall be no discharge, in the form of either liquid or solid wastes, into any stream or body of water or any public or private disposal system or into the ground, of any material of a nature that may contaminate any water supply, including groundwater supply.
(4) 
There shall be no storage of any material either indoors or outdoors in such a manner that it facilitates the breeding of vermin or endangers health in any way.
(5) 
The emission of smoke, fly ash, or dust, which can cause damage to the health of persons, animals, or plant life, or can otherwise damage any property, is prohibited.
G. 
Planned new streets. After any planned right-of-way line for future streets, for future extensions of existing streets, or for future widening is established on the Official Map, buildings and structures shall be set back from such line as though it was a street line.
H. 
Accessory buildings and uses.
(1) 
Accessory buildings not attached to principal buildings shall be located no closer to the principal buildings than 12 feet or a distance equal to the height of each accessory building, whichever is greater. In a residential or TN/MU district accessory, buildings shall not exceed a maximum height of 20 feet, with the exception of farm buildings, which shall have a maximum height of 35 feet.
(2) 
In a residential or TN/MU district, accessory uses not enclosed in a building, including swimming pools and tennis courts, shall be erected only on the same lot as the principal structure, may not be constructed in the side or front yard of such lot and shall be distant not less than 20 feet from any lot line nor less than 10 feet from the principal structure, and shall not adversely affect the character of any residential neighborhood by reason of noise or glare or safety. (Refer also Article VI, § 190-42, Swimming pools, herein.)
I. 
Corner clearance. For the purpose of minimizing traffic hazards at street intersections, on any corner lot no obstructions higher than three feet above the adjacent top-of-curb elevation shall be permitted to be planted, placed, erected or maintained within the triangular area formed by the intersecting pavement lines, or their projections, where corners are rounded, and a straight line joining the pavement lines at points 35 feet distant from their point of intersection.
J. 
Fences and walls.
[Amended 6-8-2011 by L.L. No. 3-2011]
(1) 
In any residential district (RAF and MDR) or TN/MU district, walls and fences up to four feet in height shall be permitted anywhere on a lot except where sight clearances are required for traffic safety. Solid fences and walls in a side or rear yard may be up to six feet in height, provided that such fence or wall does not extend past the front facade of the building or house or side if the side borders a road (corner lot). A nonsolid fence or wall not exceeding four feet in height, with at least 50% of the whole surface unobstructed and open in a uniformly distributed manner, is permitted from the front facade of the house or building to the property line.
(2) 
In any business or commercial district, there shall be no restriction on fences or walls, except on a residential or TN/MU district boundary line, where such fences or walls shall be in accordance with the provisions of Subsection L. Transition requirement, herein.
K. 
Commercial parking lots. Commercial parking lots shall comply with the provisions of Article V, § 190-18, Off-street parking and loading regulations, herein.
L. 
Transition requirement.
(1) 
Where a commercial or mixed use abuts a residential lot, there shall be provided along such side or rear lot line of the commercial use a wall, fence, compact evergreen hedge or a landscape strip of trees or shrubs so designed as to form a visual screen not less than six feet in height at the time of planting. Except for landscaped areas and parking areas, a use that is not conducted within a completely enclosed building shall be completely screened by a six-foot solid wood, masonry wall, or chain link fence covered with an evergreen vine, or compact evergreen hedge.
(2) 
Where a lot in an industrial district abuts a lot in a residential district, such lot in the industrial district shall meet the applicable performance standards contained in Article V, § 190-20, Industrial District regulations, herein.
M. 
Agriculture. "Agriculture" shall include all buildings used for agriculture and all agricultural activities, except farms expressly for the disposal of offal and farms expressly for garbage disposal. The processing and storage of agricultural products, including packing, warehousing and storing, is permitted, except that slaughterhouses, rendering, fertilizer plants and canneries are prohibited. The unenclosed storage of manure, or areas for storage of dead fowl or other odor- or dust-producing substance or use shall not be permitted within 100 feet of a property line or 125 feet of a public street right-of-way. Buildings for the housing of fowl or farm animals shall not be located in the required front yard or within 100 feet of a property line.
In all districts, off-street automobile parking spaces and truck loading areas for the various permitted uses shall be required at the time any of the main buildings or structures of such uses are constructed or altered, as follows:
A. 
Required off-street automobile parking in the TN/MU1 and 2 Districts. The number of parking spaces shall be based on the need to protect public safety and convenience while minimizing harm to community character and to environmental, historic, and scenic resources. Since businesses vary widely in their need for off-street parking, it is most appropriate to establish parking requirements based on the specific operational characteristics of the proposed uses. In determining the parking requirements for any proposed use, the Planning Board shall consider:
(1) 
The maximum number of persons who may be driving to the use at times of peak usage. Parking spaces should be sufficient to satisfy 85% of the anticipated peak demand. There shall be sufficient parking to meet demands of both employees and customers.
(2) 
The size of the structure(s) and site.
(3) 
The environmental, scenic, or historic sensitivity of the site. In proposals located in sensitive areas, the Planning Board may require a reduction in size of the parking lot.
(4) 
The Planning Board may refer to generally accepted traffic engineering and planning manuals.
(5) 
The Planning Board may require that an applicant set aside additional land to meet potential future parking needs. Such land may remain in its natural state or be attractively landscaped but may not be used in a manner that would prevent it from being used for parking in the future.
B. 
Required off-street automobile parking spaces. The minimum cumulative number of spaces shall be determined by the amount of dwelling units, bedrooms, floor area, members, equipment, employees, and/or seats contained in such new buildings or structures, or added by alteration of buildings or structures, and such minimum number of spaces shall be maintained by the owners of such buildings or structures, as follows:
(1) 
Offices, business and commercial uses.
(a) 
For retail business or service, bank, or post office: one space for each 100 square feet of floor area and each two employees.
(b) 
For funeral home: one space for residence, manager, and each two employers plus 10 spaces for visitors.
(c) 
For roadside stands: three spaces per stand.
(d) 
For restaurant, cafe: one space for each three seats and each two employees.
(e) 
For public utility office: one space for each two employees.
(f) 
For auto and equipment sales and service, gas stations and wholesale establishments: one space for each 200 square feet of floor space, and each two employees.
(g) 
For motel: one space for each bedroom, owner or manager, plus one space for each two employees.
(h) 
Spaces in municipal parking lots or on-street parking, where provided, may be credited toward the parking requirements for these nonresidential uses, provided that:
[1] 
These spaces are within 400 feet of the uses to be served.
[2] 
The parking needs of existing facilities (within 400 feet and computed on the same basis as for new facilities) are satisfied first and only excess capacity is used for this purpose.
[3] 
A special permit for such use is obtained from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
(2) 
Industrial uses. One space for each two employees, company vehicle, custodian dwelling. No off-street parking except for visitors permitted in front yard.
(3) 
Public and semipublic uses.
(a) 
For churches: one space for each four seats plus one for each clergyman and each two employees.
(b) 
For community building: one space for each four seats, 60 square feet floor area, two employees.
(c) 
For schools: one space for each two employees, including teachers. Loading and unloading space for buses.
(d) 
For clubs: one space for each two members, two employees.
(4) 
Recreational uses.
(a) 
For stadium: one space for each four seats and for each two employees.
(5) 
Residential uses.
(a) 
For dwellings: one space for each dwelling unit, to be provided on a buildable portion of the lot.
(b) 
For home occupation: one space for each employee. Where home occupation is authorized, no off-site parking shall be permitted.
(c) 
For boardinghouse, one space for each bedroom.
(d) 
For multifamily dwellings, three spaces for each two units.
(6) 
For uses not listed herein: as established by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
C. 
Calculation of required spaces. In the case of combination of uses, the total requirements for off-street automobile parking spaces shall be the sum of the requirements for the various uses, unless it can be proven that staggered hours of use would permit modification. Whenever a major fraction of a space is required, a full space shall be provided.
D. 
Dimensions for off-street automobile parking spaces. Every such space provided shall be at least 10 feet wide and 20 feet long, and every space shall have direct and usable driveway access to a street or alley with minimum maneuver area between spaces as follows:
(1) 
Parallel curb parking: five feet end to end with twelve-foot aisle width for one-directional flow and twenty-four-foot aisle width for two-directional flow.
(2) 
Thirty-degree parking: thirteen-foot aisle width for one-directional flow and twenty-six-foot aisle width for two-directional flow.
(3) 
Forty-five-degree parking: sixteen-foot aisle width for one-directional flow and twenty-six-foot aisle width for two-directional flow.
(4) 
Sixty-degree parking: twenty-one-foot aisle width for one-directional flow and twenty-six-foot aisle width for two-directional flow.
(5) 
Perpendicular parking: twenty-six-foot aisle width for one-directional and two-directional flow.
E. 
Location of required spaces.
(1) 
In any residential district, required automobile parking spaces shall be provided on a buildable portion of the same lot and shall not encroach on any required yards or required open area.
(2) 
In commercial districts or industrial districts, such spaces shall be provided on the same lot or not more than 400 feet therefrom.
(3) 
No open or enclosed parking area shall encroach on any required front yard open areas. Open parking areas may encroach on a required side or rear yard to within three feet of a property line.
(4) 
No entrance and exit drives connecting the parking area and the street shall be permitted within 25 feet of the intersection of the public rights-of-way.
F. 
Required off-street truck loading areas.
(1) 
For permitted commercial and industrial uses: one berth for 10,000 square feet of floor area, and one additional berth for each additional 25,000 square feet of floor area, unless it can be proven that truck deliveries shall not exceed one vehicle per day.
(2) 
For funeral homes: one berth for each chapel.
(3) 
For hotels, motels and vacation resorts: one berth for floor area in excess of 10,000 square feet.
(4) 
For office, business, and commercial uses: one berth for 10,000 square feet to 25,000 square feet of floor area and one additional berth for each additional 25,000 square feet of floor area.
(5) 
For manufacturing and permitted industrial uses: one berth for the first 10,000 square feet of floor area and one additional berth for each additional 40,000 square feet of floor area.
G. 
Dimensions for off-street loading berths. Each required loading berth (open or enclosed) shall have the following minimum dimensions: 35 feet long, 12 feet wide and 14 feet high, except that berths for a funeral home may be 20 feet long, 10 feet wide and eight feet high.
H. 
Location of required berths.
(1) 
All off-street loading areas shall be located on the same lot as the use for which they are permitted or required. Open off-street loading areas shall not encroach on any required front or side yard, accessway or off-street parking area, except that in commercial districts, off-street parking areas where they exist may be used for loading or unloading, provided that such spaces shall not be so used for more than three hours during the daily period that the establishment is open for business.
(2) 
The location, number, size and design of loading and unloading areas for nonresidential uses and the accessways thereto shall require the approval of the Planning Board prior to the issuance of a building permit or certificate of occupancy by the Building and Zoning Administrator.
I. 
Off-street parking spaces on corner lots. In all districts, except industrial districts, off-street parking spaces on corner lots shall be set back from side street line at a distance equal to front yard requirements on such side street unless lots are back to back, in which case they shall be set back at least 10 feet. The ten-foot setback shall be planted with vegetation of sufficient density to screen the parking lot from view.
J. 
Landscaping. At least 8% of the area of the lot usable for off-street parking shall be devoted to landscaping with lawn, trees, shrubs or other plant material. All loading berths and parking areas of three or more spaces that abut a residential lot line, and any parking lot for more than 20 cars, shall be screened by a six-foot-high solid masonry wall, or compact evergreen hedge or a landscaped strip of trees and shrubs so designed as to form a visual screen from the adjoining property. All parking areas and landscaping shall be properly maintained thereafter in a sightly and well-kept condition.
No sign or other device for advertising purposes of any kind may be erected or established in the Town except and provided as follows:
A. 
Signs in residential districts. No sign or other device for advertising purposes of any kind may be erected or established in any residential district except and provided as follows:
(1) 
Permitted nonresidential uses and legal nonconforming nonresidential uses, but not including home occupations, places of worship, libraries, museums, social clubs or societies or day nurseries, may display one sign or bulletin board pertaining to the use of property, having a total face area of not more than 12 square feet, and not projecting beyond the principal building of such use to which they are attached more than 12 inches, except that where such nonresidential uses are set back from property lines the sign may be in the ground, provided that such ground signs shall not exceed 12 square feet in total face area, shall not exceed four feet in height, and shall be no nearer than 10 feet from the nearest point of sign to any property line. If such freestanding signs face substantially at right angles to the road and/or display in more than one direction, they shall have a face area of not more than eight square feet per side, with no more than two sides.
(2) 
Dwellings for five or more families may display one nonilluminated sign identifying the premises, having an aggregate total face of not more than eight square feet, and not projecting beyond the principal building on the lot more than 12 inches.
(3) 
Any dwelling unit in a detached, attached or townhouse structure may display one nameplate or professional sign not exceeding four square feet in area.
(4) 
Any bed-and-breakfast may display one sign not exceeding six square feet in area and not projecting more than 12 inches from the principal building on the lot.
B. 
Signs in commercial districts.
(1) 
General commercial and neighborhood commercial districts. Not more than two signs per business unit, having a total face area of not more than one square foot per lineal foot of width for each foot of principal frontage of the lot, may be displayed, but not to exceed a total area of 50 square feet. Such signs shall not project more than five feet beyond the principal building on the lot, and there shall be not more than one projecting sign per business unit; provided, further, that such signs shall not extend more than 20 feet above the ground level or exceed the highest part of the building housing the business or service advertised, whichever is less restrictive, except in the case of pole signs, which shall be limited to a maximum height of 35 feet above ground level. "Principal frontage," throughout this subsection, shall mean the frontage of the lot adjacent to the principal street in the case of a corner lot. Where a corner lot faces two principal business streets, only one such frontage shall be considered the "principal frontage."
(2) 
TN/MU1 and TN/MU2 Districts. Not more than two signs per business unit are permitted. Prohibited signs include those using neon, mercury vapor, low-pressure and high-pressure sodium, and metal halide lighting, plastic panel rear-lighted signs, signs on roofs, dormers or balconies, and billboards.
(a) 
The maximum permitted height of a wall-mounted sign, having a total face area of not more than 5% of the ground floor building facade or 24 square feet, whichever is less, may be displayed no more than 15 feet above the ground and shall project outward from the wall to which it is attached no more than six inches. Wall-mounted building directory signs are allowed identifying the occupants of a commercial building with the area not to exceed three square feet and with each tenant limited to one square foot.
(b) 
One freestanding sign is allowed, and the area of the signboard shall not exceed six square feet. The height of the top of the sign or of any posts, brackets, or other supporting elements shall not exceed six feet from the ground. The sign shall be architecturally compatible with the style, composition, materials, colors and details of the building. The sign shall not be illuminated after 10:00 p.m., and its location shall not interfere with pedestrian or vehicular circulation.
(c) 
One directional sign directing visitors to a rear parking lot is allowed and shall be wall mounted and shall be limited to three square feet in area.
(d) 
Painted window or door signs are allowed, provided that the sign shall not exceed 10% of the window or door area or four square feet, whichever is less.
(e) 
Signs on an awning or valance are allowed. If an awning sign is acting as the main business sign, it shall not be in addition to a wall-mounted sign.
(f) 
Projecting signs are allowed, providing that they have a clearance of 10 feet and do not exceed 15 feet in height. The signboard area shall not exceed six square feet. It shall not extend into any public right-of-way. Projecting signs are not permitted in conjunction with wall-mounted or freestanding signs.
(g) 
Restaurants are permitted to place a sandwich board sign with an area not to exceed five square feet (single-sided), provided that the sign is located within four feet of the main entrance to the business and the location does not interfere with pedestrian or vehicular circulation and the sign is removed at the end of the business day.
C. 
Signs in industrial districts. One sign having an aggregate total face area of not more than 80 square feet may be displayed for each establishment, provided that such signs shall be located not nearer than 10 feet to any property line, and provided, further, that such signs shall not extend more than 20 feet above ground level or above the height of the roof of a building at the point of location of the sign, whichever is less restrictive, except in the case of a pole sign, which shall be limited to a maximum height of 35 feet above ground level.
D. 
Representational signs. No representational sign shall be permitted in any district except such signs as shall be approved by the Planning Board. Further, such sign shall not project more than five feet beyond the principal structure to which it is attached and shall not have a face area of more than 15 square feet. Only one such sign per establishment shall be permitted.
E. 
Billboards. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, signs not pertaining to the use, sale, rent or lease of property on the same lot, and signs not representing construction of subdivision activity as allowed, are not permitted in any district, except that signs for the purpose of directing persons to a local business or community establishment may be erected in any district, providing such signs shall not exceed four square feet in area per establishment, shall conform with applicable regulations of the district in which they are located, shall be grouped on community poles and shall be approved by the Planning Board.
F. 
Projecting signs. Signs projecting into a public right-of-way shall have a clearance of not less than 10 feet above the sidewalk or surrounding ground and not less than 15 feet above any public driveway or thoroughfare. No sign may project into any public right-of-way without approval of the Planning Board.
G. 
Subdivision signs. Any person offering lots for sale in a subdivision may erect nonilluminated, directional signs within the limits of the subdivision, or adjoining property in the same ownership, having an aggregate total face area of not more than 50 square feet. No subdivision sign shall be erected without a permit. Permits shall be issued for a period of one year and may be renewed for successive periods of one year each, following annual determination by the Building and Zoning Administrator that the signs are properly painted and in good condition in each case.
H. 
Exemption from above regulations:
(1) 
Real estate signs which advertise the sale, rental, or lease of the premises upon which said signs are located, having an aggregate total face of no more than six square feet within any residential district, 12 feet in any commercial district, or not more than 20 square feet within any industrial district.
(2) 
One professional or business nameplate not exceeding two square feet in area for any one professional or business establishment where such signs would not otherwise be a permitted use.
(3) 
One sign denoting the architect, engineer, and/or contractor when placed upon work under construction, and not exceeding 12 square feet in area.
(4) 
Memorial signs or tablets, names of buildings, and dates of erection when cut into any masonry surface or when constructed of bronze, stainless steel, or similar material.
(5) 
Traffic or other municipal signs, legal notices, and such temporary, emergency, or nonadvertising signs as may be authorized by the Town Board.
(6) 
Posting of notice to the public pertaining to but not limited to fishing or trespassing, provided that each such sign does not exceed one square foot in area.
(7) 
Signs or bulletin boards customarily incident to places of worship, libraries, museums, social clubs or societies, which signs or bulletin boards shall not exceed 24 square feet in area and shall be located on the premises of such institutions.
I. 
Illuminated signs. Illumination of signs shall not be of intermittent or varying intensity or produce direct glare beyond the limits of the side property line. Colored lights of such shape and hue that they may be confused with official traffic lights and signals shall be prohibited. All bare incandescent light sources and immediately adjacent reflecting surfaces shall be shielded from view.
J. 
Banners. No sign or part thereof shall contain or consist of banners, posters, pennants, ribbons, streamers, spinners or other similar moving, fluttering or revolving devices which shall be displayed for no longer than a two-week period. These devices, as well as strings of lights, shall not be used for the purpose of advertising or attracting attention when not part of a sign.
K. 
Window signs. No signs erected or maintained in the window of a building, visible from any public or private street or highway, shall occupy more than 10% of the area of said window.
L. 
Roof signs. No signs shall be placed on the roof of any building.
M. 
Posters. Temporary, nonpermanent posters covering such things as political events, sporting events, shows and elections shall not be displayed until four weeks prior to the event and must be removed within four days after the event. No such sign shall be attached to a street or utility pole.
N. 
All applications for approval of signs or for sign permits as required by this chapter shall be in writing, in the form of a request for a permit. Applications shall be to the Building and Zoning Administrator. He shall refer each application to the Planning Board for its consideration. The Planning Board shall then recommend to the Building and Zoning Administrator, in writing, approval of the application, approval of the application with modifications required for conformance with this chapter specified in the approval, or disapproval. If the Planning Board shall recommend disapproval, its reasons therefor shall be set out in its records. If the Planning Board shall not make a written recommendation to the Building and Zoning Administrator within 45 days after he shall have referred an application for an approval or a permit to it, the application shall be deemed to have been approved by the Planning Board without modification. The Building and Zoning Administrator shall issue a permit for each approved application, including therein any modifications required by the Planning Board in accordance with this chapter.
O. 
No sign, including signs existing on the date of enactment of this chapter, shall be erected or altered except in conformity with the provisions of this chapter. Notwithstanding any other provisions set out herein, all signs shall be kept clean, neatly painted and free from all hazards, including but not limited to faulty wiring, loose fastenings and weakened supports, and shall be maintained at all times in such condition as to present no potential threat to public health or safety.
(1) 
In the event a violation of any provision of this chapter relating to signs shall exist, the Building and Zoning Administrator shall give notice of the violation to the owner of the land on which the sign is and to the owner of the sign, specifying the violation. Such notice may be given orally to such owner or owners in person, in writing personally delivered to such owner or owners, or in writing by depositing the same in the United States mail, postage prepaid, addressed to such owner or owners at their residence or business address or addresses. An owner's address, for purposes of mailing, shall be presumed to be the address set out on any application for a permit for the sign which he may have submitted to the Building and Zoning Administrator.
(2) 
A notice of violation in respect to a sign shall instruct the owners of the land and of the sign to remove the violation, and they shall be allowed 30 days from the date of personal notice, or the mailing of notice, to do so. In the event the violation shall not be removed within such time, the Building and Zoning Administrator shall revoke any permit issued for such sign, and the owner or owners of the land and of the sign shall remove the sign. If the owners of the land and of the sign are not the same, they shall be individually and severally responsible for removing the same.
P. 
Removal of signs.
(1) 
Any sign existing on or after the effective date of this chapter which no longer advertises an existing business conducted or product sold on the premises shall be removed by the owner of the premises upon which such sign is located after written notice as provided herein. The Building and Zoning Administrator, upon determining that any such sign exists, shall notify the owner of the premises in writing to remove the said sign within 30 days from the date of such notice. Upon failure to comply with such notice within the prescribed time, the Building and Zoning Administrator is hereby authorized to remove or cause removal of such sign and shall assess all costs and expenses incurred in said removal against the land or building on which such sign is located, unless the existing contract between the owner of signs or billboards and the owner of the land has limited the responsibility of the owner of the land for removal of the sign.
(2) 
If the Building and Zoning Administrator shall find that any sign regulated by this chapter is unsafe or insecure, or is a menace to the public, he shall give written notice to the named owner of the sign and the named owner of the land upon which the sign is erected, who shall remove or repair the said sign within 30 days from the date of said notice. If the said sign is not removed or repaired, the Building and Zoning Administrator shall revoke the permit issued for such sign, as herein provided, and may remove or repair said sign and shall assess all costs and expenses incurred in said removal or repair against the land or building on which such sign was located. The Building and Zoning Administrator may cause any sign which is a source of immediate peril to persons or property to be removed summarily and without notice.
Q. 
Advisory board. The Supervisor of the Town of Berne is hereby authorized and empowered to appoint a sign and billboard advisory board consisting of members of the Town Board, the Zoning Board and the Planning Board, with such professional volunteers as they deem helpful or necessary.
The Town Board may, after the Planning Board review, public notice and hearing, approve the development of a parcel of land for industrial use and establish a special Industrial District for such development in an RAF District subject to the following conditions:
A. 
Minimum acreage. The minimum required acreage of any industrial use/site shall be 10 acres.
B. 
Application of regulations. Individual uses and structures in an Industrial District need not comply with the specific building location, height, lot size and open space requirements of the underlying basic district. The overlay superimposes the regulations for the Industrial District upon the underlying district.
C. 
Use regulations.
(1) 
Permitted uses:
(a) 
Any use permitted by right in the Industrial District.
(b) 
Any use permitted by special permit in the Industrial Districts subject to the favorable approval thereof by the Board of Appeals.
(2) 
Prohibited uses:
(a) 
Residential uses, except dwellings of caretakers and any and all residential uses made and permitted prior to the establishment of such Industrial District, shall be allowed to continue as permitted heretofore.
(b) 
All prohibited industrial uses listed in Article III, § 190-8, Prohibited uses, herein.
(c) 
Any use, although expressly allowed as a permitted use, shall be prohibited if the particular application or adaptation of such use is or shall become or cause a nuisance.
D. 
Performance standards.
(1) 
General standards. The following general standards are hereby adopted for the control of uses in an Industrial District, and no use shall be permitted, established, maintained, or conducted therein which shall cause or be likely to cause:
(a) 
Excessive smoke, fumes, gas, dust, odor or any other atmospheric pollutant beyond the boundaries of the lot whereon such use is located. What smoke is excessive shall be determined according to the Ringelmann's Scale for Grading the Density of Smoke, published by the U.S. Bureau of Mines, when the shade or appearance of such smoke is darker than No. 2 on said Ringelmann Smoke Chart.
(b) 
Noise, perceptible beyond the boundaries of the lot occupied by such use causing the same.
(c) 
Any pollution by discharge of any waste material whatsoever into any watercourse, open ditch or land surface.
(d) 
Discharge of any waste material whatsoever into any sanitary disposal system or sewerage system, except only in accordance with the rules of and under the control of public health authorities or the public body controlling such sewerage system. Any chemical or industrial waste which places undue loads, as determined by the Town Engineer or the Building and Zoning Administrator, shall not be discharged into any municipal system and must be treated by the industrial use.
(e) 
The storage or stocking of any waste materials whatsoever.
(f) 
Glare or vibration perceptible beyond the lot lines whereon such use is conducted.
(g) 
Hazard to person or property by reason of fire, explosion, radiation, or other cause.
(h) 
Any other nuisance harmful to persons or property.
(2) 
Specific standards. The following specific standards are hereby adopted and must be complied with, for and by any use in any Industrial District and before the same be permitted, established, maintained or conducted:
(a) 
Storage facilities materials, supplies, or semifinished products shall be stored on the rear 1/2 of the property and shall be screened from any existing or proposed street.
(b) 
Loading docks. No loading docks shall be on any street frontage. Provisions for the handling of all freight shall be on those sides of a building which do not face on any street or proposed streets, and if a building shall front on a street or proposed street on all sides, the loading dock shall be in the rear of the building unless otherwise ordered by the Building and Zoning Administrator.
(c) 
Landscaping. It is hereby declared that all areas of the plot not occupied by buildings, parking, driveways or walkways, or storage shall be landscaped attractively with lawn, trees, shrubs or other plant material. Such landscaping shall take into consideration the natural growth presently on the premises and the nature and condition of the terrain as well as the situation of the lands and premises themselves and with regard to adjoining lands and premises.
(d) 
Fences and walls. Property that is adjacent to a residential or commercial district shall be provided, along such property lines, with a wall, fence, compact evergreen hedge or a landscaped strip of trees and shrubs so designed as to form a visual screen not less than six feet high at the time of planting. Except for landscaped areas and parking areas, a use which is not conducted within a completely enclosed building shall be screened by a six-foot solid masonry wall, chain link fence covered with an evergreen vine, or compact evergreen hedge. Where a front yard adjoins a street, the wall, fence or hedge shall be located not closer to the street than the depth of the required yard.
(e) 
Off-street parking and loading: Refer to § 190-18 of this chapter.
(f) 
Signs: Refer to § 190-19 of this chapter.
(g) 
Buffer strip. In addition to the fences and walls, the entire district must be separated along its outside boundary from any adjoining residential zones by a buffer strip, suitably landscaped, at least 100 feet wide.
(3) 
Proper and adequate water supply, sewerage and waste disposal, other utility services and accessibility to and from public streets must be provided.
(4) 
Special consideration must be given to the traffic generated by each proposed use in an Industrial District, and no undue traffic volumes shall be permitted on residential streets. Such data are to be submitted with each petition for amendment. No access drive for any Industrial District shall be within 300 feet of and on the same side of the street as a school, public library, theater, church or other public gathering place, park playground, or fire station unless a street 50 feet or more wide lies between such access drive and such building or use.
E. 
Area and bulk regulations. Area and bulk requirements shall be in compliance with those for Industrial Districts as set forth in the Density Control Schedule of this chapter.
F. 
The Planning Board, upon review of the proposed development, may prescribe such additional conditions as are, in its opinion, necessary to secure the objective of this chapter.
G. 
Procedure.
(1) 
Application for rezoning classification of a site shall be filed by the owner or several owners jointly or the holder of a written option of purchase of the site with the Secretary to the Town Board, in writing on a form required by the Town Board, and shall be accompanied by a certified check in an amount in accordance with the schedule of fees as promulgated from time to time by the Town Board to help defray the cost of advertising the hearing on said petition and incidental disbursements. The applicant shall also submit the following:
(a) 
A plan of the site and surrounding areas drawn to scale and accurately dimensioned in accordance with Article VIII, § 190-58, Site plan approval, herein.
(b) 
The use and height of each proposed building or structure, yard lines, lot coverage, and number of parking spaces in each proposed parking area, and the expected flow of traffic in and out of the area.
(c) 
Any additional data as may be requested by the Planning Board in order to determine the suitability of the tract for the proposed development.
(2) 
Each application shall be referred to the Planning Board. The Planning Board shall report its recommendations thereon to the Town Board, accompanied by a full statement of the reasons for such recommendations prior to the public hearing. If the Planning Board fails to report within a period of 45 days from the date of receipt of notice or such longer time as may have been agreed upon by it and the Town Board, the Town Board may act without such report. If the Planning Board disapproves the proposed amendment, or recommends modification thereof, the Town Board shall not act contrary to such disapproval or recommendation except by adoption of a resolution passed by 4/5 of its members fully setting forth the reasons for such contrary actions.
H. 
The Town Board, by a resolution, shall fix the time and place of public hearing and cause notice to be given as follows:
(1) 
By publishing a notice of the application and the time and place of the public hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town of Berne as designated by the Town Board not less than 10 days prior to the date of the public hearing.
(2) 
By giving notice of hearing to any required municipal, county, state or federal agency in the manner prescribed by law.
I. 
Upon approval of the proposed development, the new district established shall be excepted from the provisions and controls of this chapter only to the extent specified in the approval, and such new district shall become a part of the regulations established herein, shall be enforced in the same manner, and be similarly subject to amendment, except that if construction of the proposed development is not commenced within one year after approval of the Town Board, such approval shall be revoked and such area shall be subject to the requirements of the prior district regulations.
A. 
Purpose; establishment of district.
(1) 
It is hereby declared that the preservation of architecturally historic sites, areas, buildings and landmarks located in the Town of Berne is essential to the general welfare of the community, and the purpose of this section of the Zoning Ordinance is to:
(a) 
Safeguard the heritage of the Town of Berne by preserving sites and districts in the Town which reflect its cultural, social, economic, political and architectural history.
(b) 
Protect buildings, structures, and areas in the Town which are recognized as architecturally historic sites and landmarks.
(c) 
Stabilize and improve property values.
(d) 
Foster civic beauty.
(e) 
Strengthen the local economy.
(f) 
Promote the use of the Historic District for the education, pleasure and welfare of the present and future citizens of the community.
(2) 
Pursuant to these purposes there is hereby created in the Town of Berne districts known as "Historic Districts," with boundaries as shown on the Zoning Map.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: A copy of the Zoning Map is included at the end of this chapter.
B. 
Regulation of structures. No structure shall be constructed, altered, repaired, moved or demolished in the Historic District unless such action complies with the requirements hereinafter set forth.
C. 
Duties and powers of the Town Planning Board.
(1) 
All plans for the construction, alteration, repair, or demolition of structures in the Historic Districts shall first be submitted to the Town Planning Board, which shall have the power to pass upon such plans before a permit for such work shall be granted; provided, however, that the Planning Board shall pass only on such exterior features of a structure and shall not consider interior arrangements. In reviewing the plans, the Board shall give consideration to:
(a) 
The historic or architectural value and significance of the structure and its relationship to the historic value of the surrounding area.
(b) 
Consistency with existing conditions in the Historic District and the general appropriateness of the exterior design arrangement, texture and materials proposed to be used.
(c) 
The scale of proposed alteration or new construction in relation to the property itself, surrounding properties and the Historic District.
(d) 
Texture and materials and their relation to similar features of other properties in the Historic District.
(e) 
Visual compatibility with surrounding properties, including proportion of the property's front facade, proportion and arrangement of windows and other openings within the front facade, roof shape, and the rhythm of spacing of properties on streets, including setback.
(f) 
The importance of historic, architectural or other features to the significance of the property.
(g) 
Any other factor, including aesthetics, which it deems pertinent.
(2) 
In addition to the foregoing general standards, the following specific standards shall apply in appropriate cases:
(a) 
Alterations, repairs and additions to existing buildings shall either be made consistent with the spirit of their architectural style or shall alter the structure to an appropriate appearance consistent with the architectural styles of historic value existing in the Historic District.
(b) 
New construction shall be consistent with the architectural style of historic value in the Historic District, except in such instances of new construction as the Planning Board shall determine to be in appropriate because structures adjoining the site of such proposed new construction are of a significantly dissimilar period of architecture, in which cases the Planning Board may approve such periods of architecture as it deems proper for the site and the best interests of the Historic District.
(c) 
Demolition shall be prohibited of any structure within the Historic District if the Planning Board shall determine it to be of a particular architectural or historical significance.
(d) 
The moving of structures of historic and architectural value may be permitted by the Planning Board as an alternative to demolition.
(e) 
The Building and Zoning Administrator shall not issue a building permit until a certificate of approval of the plans has been issued by the Planning Board.
D. 
Procedure for review of plan.
(1) 
Application for a building permit to construct, alter, repair, move or demolish any structure in the Historic District shall be made to the Building and Zoning Administrator. The application shall state that the property is in the Historic District, and plans shall be submitted showing the structure in question and also giving its relation to adjacent structures.
(2) 
Upon the filing of such application, the Building and Zoning Administrator shall immediately notify the Planning Board and shall transmit to such Board the application and any supporting plans or documents. The Planning Board shall consider such application and shall approve or disapprove the plans and, if it shall approve such plans, shall issue a certificate of approval and transmit the same to the Building and Zoning Administrator.
(3) 
If the Planning Board shall disapprove the plans, it shall so notify the Building and Zoning Administrator, who shall thereupon deny the application for a permit.
(4) 
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent ordinary maintenance or repair of any structure within the Historic District.
E. 
Advisory Board. The Planning Board of the Town of Berne is hereby authorized and empowered to retain, as an Historical Advisory Board, architects and other such experts as it deems desirable or necessary, to advise on specific applications.
F. 
Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Planning Board or Building and Zoning Administrator acting under this section shall have the right to appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance as provided by the Zoning Ordinance or general law.
G. 
Uses permitted: as shown elsewhere, subject to the approval of the Planning Board as set forth herein.
H. 
Building height, limit lot area and yards. The provisions of the Zoning Ordinance governing the permitted height of buildings, the required lot area and the requirements of front, side and rear yards in the appropriate district shall apply in the Historic District.
A. 
Purpose. The design standards and guidelines are hereby enacted to establish design parameters for new commercial development or expansion of existing commercial uses in the Hamlet of Berne for the following purposes:
(1) 
To preserve and reinforce the historic and architectural features of the Hamlet of Berne.
(2) 
To establish and promote aesthetic and architectural compatibility within the Hamlet of Berne.
(3) 
To ensure that future development creates an aesthetic and pleasant living and working environment in the hamlet.
(4) 
To stabilize and reinforce property values, protect private and public investment, and protect adjacent residential uses.
(5) 
To encourage the development of new uses that are in harmony with the surrounding area.
(6) 
To enhance the pedestrian character of the hamlet.
(7) 
To permit originality and resourcefulness in building design and appearances which are appropriate to the hamlet and surroundings.
B. 
Delegation to the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. The Town of Berne's Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals are hereby granted the authority to administer the intent of this section through the site plan review and special use permit processes.
C. 
Applicability. These design standards and guidelines shall apply in the TN/MU1 and 2 Districts. These design standards are not intended to be a substitute for other district provisions but are additional standards to be met by the applicant prior to project approval. The only actions that shall be subject to the design standards and guidelines are those that require approval by the Berne Planning Board pursuant to site plan review or the Zoning Board of Appeals pursuant to special use permits. Development not subject to site plan review or a special use permit is encouraged to use these design standards and guidelines.
D. 
Review procedures.
(1) 
No separate application for approval under this section is required.
(2) 
In addition to data and plans required to be submitted for site plan approval or special permit approval, every applicant shall also submit the additional data or plans necessary to comply with the guidelines of this section.
(3) 
Prior to approval of a site plan or special permit subject to the provisions of this section, the reviewing board shall make a determination that the proposed action complies with these design standards and guidelines and set forth such finding in its resolution of approval.
E. 
Design standards and guidelines.
(1) 
General. The TN/MU area has a strong residential character. The hamlet is compact, and buildings are relatively close together. These guidelines are intended to encourage development that reinforces and follows that existing pattern. The intent of the following design standards is to ensure that the hamlet can accommodate new housing and businesses without destroying its essential character. It is not the intent of this chapter to discourage contemporary architectural expression but rather to preserve the integrity and authenticity of the district and to ensure the compatibility of new structures. During project development and review, attention should be given to the compatibility of adjoining developments when reviewing project proposals.
(2) 
Building placement.
(a) 
Buildings shall be designed so that entrance doors and windows, rather than blank walls, garages, side walls or storage areas, face the street.
(b) 
The front facade of the building shall be parallel to the main street.
(c) 
No parking area shall be located in the front yard setback between a principal building and any public street. If necessary due to specific site conditions, one row of parking may be placed between the principal building and the public street only if topography or a year-round vegetative buffer of sufficient density to substantially limit the view of the parking lot screens the parking lot.
(d) 
Detached garages to the rear of buildings are encouraged. Attached garages should have doors set 10 feet or more behind the street face unless the doors face the side.
(3) 
Building scale.
(a) 
The scale and mass of buildings shall be compatible with that of adjacent and nearby buildings as viewed from the street.
(b) 
The total footprint of any single building or group of attached buildings shall not exceed the area designated in the Area and Bulk Schedule (Article IV, § 190-10).[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Area and Bulk Schedule is included at the end of this chapter.
(c) 
In order to minimize the apparent scale of buildings greater than 80 feet in width, facades facing the main street should be broken by periodic setbacks, and rooflines should include offsets and changes in pitch. Other design features such as porches or cupolas may also be used.
(4) 
Building facades. Exterior materials of new construction shall be compatible with those traditionally used in the hamlet and may include wood or wood-simulated (clapboard, board and batten or shingles, vinyl), red common brick, natural stone, and man-made or processed masonry materials if they simulate brick or stone and have the texture and architectural features sufficiently similar to that of the natural material to be compatible. Stucco, sprayed-on textured surface finishes, metal, and concrete blocks are not permitted.
(5) 
Roof types and materials.
(a) 
All roofs shall be pitched with a minimum pitch of five-inch vertical rise for each 12 inches horizontal run.
(b) 
Peaked or slope roof dormers and cupolas are encouraged.
(c) 
Roofing materials of slate, metal, asphalt or fiberglass shingles or cedar shakes are acceptable.
(6) 
Windows.
(a) 
The spacing, pattern and detailing of windows and window openings shall be compatible with adjacent buildings in the hamlet.
(b) 
The relationship of the width of windows to the height of windows in a building shall be visually compatible with adjacent buildings.
(7) 
Accessory equipment.
(a) 
All roof, wall or ground-mounted mechanical equipment such as heating and air-conditioning units, exhaust fans, etc., shall be confined within the principal structure or within an area enclosed by a well, fence, berm or hedge of sufficient height and density to screen the equipment year round from view from adjacent streets, properties and parking lots.
(b) 
All dumpsters or other trash containers shall be fully enclosed by a fence and screened by appropriate landscaping. No dumpster shall be located in front of a building, and the preferred location is to the rear of the building.
(8) 
Parking lot design.
(a) 
The interior and edges of parking lots for more than five cars shall include landscaping of sufficient area to break up and/or screen any large mass of parking. When trees and shrubs are planted, they shall be at a minimum of three-inch caliper for deciduous trees, six-foot high for conifers, one-inch caliper for small flowering trees, 30 inches in height for large shrubs and 18 inches in height for small shrubs. Existing trees located on the site shall be incorporated into the landscaping design.
(b) 
No parking space shall be located more than 50 feet from a deciduous tree or conifer.
(c) 
Where two parking lots are adjacent to each other, a single access or an interconnection is encouraged and may be required where necessary to provide safe traffic management.
(d) 
See also Article V, § 190-18, for other parking lot requirements.
(e) 
Parking lots with permeable surfaces are encouraged wherever possible.
(9) 
Signage.
(a) 
Any sign lighting shall be via an external light source oriented to avoid glare towards adjacent roadways. External lights mounted at the top of the sign are preferred. Internally lighted signs are prohibited.
(b) 
Signs shall be architecturally compatible with the style, composition, materials, colors and details of the building. Wood and painted metal are preferred materials for signs.
(c) 
See Article V, § 190-19, for other requirements pertaining to signs.
(10) 
Lighting.
(a) 
All external light sources shall be designed to direct glare away from adjacent streets and properties and use fully shielded designs to direct light downwards rather than sideways.
(b) 
Light fixtures shall not exceed 18 feet in height.
(11) 
Sidewalks and street trees.
(a) 
Where no sidewalks exist, new uses shall construct five-foot-wide sidewalks located with a three-foot green space between the road and the sidewalk edge, where feasible, and shall transition to existing walkways.
(b) 
Existing street trees should be preserved whenever possible. Dead trees that are within 20 feet of the pavement should be replaced with new trees. If no existing street trees are present, deciduous, broad-leaved trees with a minimum of a three-inch-caliper trunk shall be planted at minimum thirty-foot intervals along the road frontage. Street trees can be planted within the first 10 feet of the front yard or in the area between the street and sidewalk (should a sidewalk exist).
(Reserved)
(Reserved)