Town of Bethel, NY
Sullivan County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The Town Board shall provide for the services of a Building Inspector. The Building Inspector is hereby given the duty, power and authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter. He shall examine all applications for permits, issue permits for the construction, alteration, enlargement and occupancy of all uses which are in accordance with the requirements of this chapter and all nonconforming uses, record and file all applications for permits with accompanying plans and documents and make such reports as may be required. Building permits for a variance from the requirements of this chapter and for such special uses as may be enumerated in Article III hereof shall be issued only upon written order of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
A. 
Purpose. To ensure compliance with the provisions of this chapter, no person shall erect, alter or convert any structure or building, or part thereof, nor alter the use of any land, subsequent to the adoption of this chapter, until a building permit has been issued by the Building Inspector pursuant to Chapter 135 of the Code entitled "Construction Codes, Uniform." Building permits may be valid for a limited period of time for special uses of temporary nature as set forth herein and for other uses as may be regulated by the Zoning Board.
(1) 
Water supply and sewage disposal. All water supply and sewage disposal installations shall conform with the New York State Department of Health Publications, Rural Water Supply and Waste Treatment Handbook, Individual Household Systems. No site plan shall be approved by the Building Inspector in any district unless such conformity is certified on the plan.
(2) 
For principal permitted uses. All applications for principal permitted uses shall be accompanied by such plans and information as is required under Chapter 135 of the Code entitled "Construction Codes, Uniform," and in addition, such plans shall indicate:
(a) 
The intended use of each building or part of a building.
(b) 
The number of families, dwelling units, employees, offices or other appropriate units of occupancy which the building is designed to accommodate.
(c) 
Such other information as may be necessary to determine compliance with this chapter.
(3) 
For special uses. All applications for special uses shall be accompanied by plans and such other information as may be required by the Planning Board, except that for planned development groups, the following shall be furnished:
(a) 
A general development plan showing the use or uses, dimensions and locations of proposed structures and of areas to be reserved for vehicular and pedestrian circulation, parking, public uses, such as schools, and playgrounds, landscaping and other open spaces.
(b) 
Architectural drawings and sketches demonstrating the design and character of the proposed uses.
(c) 
Such other pertinent information as may be necessary to a determination that the contemplated arrangement or use makes it desirable to apply regulations and requirements differing from those ordinarily applicable under this chapter.
B. 
Issuance of permits. It shall be the duty of the Building Inspector to issue a building permit, provided that he is satisfied that the structure, building, sign, parking area and the proposed use conforms with all requirements of this chapter and that all other reviews and actions, if any, called for in this chapter have been complied with and all necessary approvals secured therefor.
C. 
Denial of permits. When the Building Inspector is not satisfied that the applicant's proposed development will meet the requirements of this chapter, he shall refuse to issue a building permit, and the applicant may appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a reversal of the Inspector's decision.
D. 
Revocation of permits. Building permits may be revoked by the Building Inspector as provided in Chapter 135 of the Code entitled "Construction Codes, Uniform."
E. 
Penalty for late building permit application. In the event that an applicant for a building permit has caused the construction work, or any part thereof, to be started prior to the date of filing of the application for the building permit required, the applicant will be charged a fee for such a permit of no less than two times the original fee as calculated hereunder. In calculating said fee, the "valuation of work" under this section shall be the value as of the date of the filing of the application and not the date that the actual work was performed or completed.
No building or structure shall be used or occupied until a certificate of occupancy has been issued as provided in Chapter 135 of the Code entitled "Construction Codes, Uniform" certifying that the premises complies with the provisions of this chapter and may be used for the purposes set forth in the permit, which purposes shall conform with the requirements of this chapter. No change of use shall be made in any building, structure or premises now or hereafter erected or altered that is not consistent with the requirements of this chapter. Any person desiring to change the use of his premises shall apply to the Building Inspector for an occupancy permit. No owner, tenant or other person shall use or occupy any building or structure thereafter erected or altered, the use of which shall be changed after the passage of this chapter, without first procuring an occupancy permit; provided, however, that an occupancy permit once granted shall continue in effect so long as there is no change of use, regardless of change in the personnel of tenants or occupants.
A. 
Appeals from administrative officers and agencies.
(1) 
Procedures for appellant.
(a) 
An appeal to the Zoning Board from the decision of any officer, department or board administering any portion of this chapter may be taken by any person aggrieved thereby. An appeal may also be taken by any officer, department or board of the Town of Bethel. Appeals shall be taken by filing with the officer, department or board from whose action the appeal is taken, and with the Zoning Board of Appeals, a notice of appeal specifying the grounds therefor.
(b) 
All applications and appeals made to the Zoning Board shall be in writing on forms prescribed by the Building Inspector. Every application or appeal shall refer to the specific provision of this chapter and shall exactly set forth the interpretation that is claimed and the plans for a special use or the details of the variance that is applied for, in addition to the following information:
[1] 
The name and address of the applicant or appellant.
[2] 
The name and address of the owner of the zone lot to be affected by such proposed change or appeal.
[3] 
A brief description and location of the zone lot to be affected by such proposed change or appeal.
[4] 
A statement of the present zoning classification of the zone lot in question, the improvements thereon and the present use thereof.
[5] 
A reasonably accurate description of the present improvements, and the additions or changes intended to be made under this application, indicating the size of such proposed improvements and the material and general construction thereof. In addition, there shall be attached a plot plan of the real property to be affected, indicating the location and size of the lot and size of improvements thereon and proposed to be erected thereon.
(2) 
Procedure for administrative officers and agencies.
(a) 
An appeal to the Zoning Board from the decision of any officer, department or board administering any portion of this chapter may be taken by any person aggrieved thereby. An appeal may also be taken by any officer, department or board of the Town of Bethel. Appeals shall be taken by filing with the officer, department or board from whose action the appeal is taken, and with the Zoning Board of Appeals, a notice of appeal specifying the grounds therefor.
(b) 
It shall be competent for the Building Inspector to recommend to the Zoning Board a modification or reversal of his action in cases where he believes substantial justice requires the same but where he has not himself sufficient authority to grant the relief sought.
(3) 
Procedure for the Zoning Board. The Zoning Board shall decide each appeal within 62 days of the final hearing. At the hearing, any party may appear in person or be represented by an agent or attorney. The Zoning Board's decision shall be immediately filed in its office and be a public record. In the exercise of its functions upon such appeals or upon exceptions, the Zoning Board may, in conformity with the provisions of this chapter, reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or modify the order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from or may make such order, requirement decision or determination in accordance with the provisions hereof.
B. 
Appeal from decision of Zoning Board. All decisions of the Zoning Board are subject to court review in accordance with applicable laws of the State of New York.
C. 
In presenting an appeal before the Zoning Board, the aggrieved party must make an appeal within 60 days after the filing of any order, requirement, decision, interpretation or determination of the administrative official.
A. 
The Zoning Board shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing on an appeal or application and shall give due notice to the following officials, persons and owners of property, not less than five days prior to the day of the hearing.
(1) 
When appealing action of the Building Inspector. In case of an appeal alleging error or misinterpretation in any order or other action by the Building Inspector, the following persons shall be notified: the Inspector, the appellant and the person or persons, if any, who benefit from the order, requirement, regulation or determination.
(2) 
When appealing for a variance or challenging Planning Board actions on special use applications. In the case of an appeal for a variance or an appeal of a Planning Board decision on a special use application, the following persons shall be notified by the appellant: all owners of property within 500 feet of the nearest line of the property on which the appeal is based and such other property owners as the Chairperson of the Zoning Board of Appeals may direct.
B. 
Adjournment of hearing. Upon the day for hearing any application or appeal, the Zoning Board may adjourn the hearing for a reasonable period for the purpose of causing such further notice as it deems proper to be served upon such other property owners as it decides may be interested in said application or appeal.
C. 
Required interval for hearing on applications and appeals after denial. Whenever the Board, after hearing all the evidence presented upon an application or appeal under the provisions of this chapter, denies the same, the Zoning Board shall refuse to hold further hearings on said or substantially similar application or appeal by the same applicant, his successor or assignee for a period of one year, except and unless the Zoning Board shall find and determine from the information supplied by the request for a rehearing that changed conditions have occurred relating to the promotion of the public health, safety, convenience, comfort, prosperity, and general welfare and that a reconsideration is justified.
A. 
Complaints of violations. Whenever a violation of this chapter occurs, any person may file a complaint in regard thereto. All such complaints must be in writing and shall be filed with the Building Inspector, who shall properly record such complaint and immediately investigate and report thereon to the Town Board.
B. 
Procedure for abatement of violations. In case any building or structure is erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, repaired, converted or maintained or any building, structure or land is used in violation of this chapter or of any ordinance or regulation made under authority conferred hereby, the Town Board or the Building Inspector, in addition to other remedies, may institute an appropriate action of proceedings to prevent such unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, conversion, maintenance or use to restrain, correct or abate such violation, to prevent the occupancy of said building, structure or land or to prevent any illegal act, conduct, business or use in or about such premises.
C. 
Penalties for offenses.
(1) 
A violation of this chapter is hereby declared to be an offense punishable by a fine not exceeding $350 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both, for conviction of a first offense; for conviction of a second offense, both of which were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a fine of not less than $350 nor more than $700 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both; and, upon conviction for a third or subsequent offense, all of which were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a fine not less than $700 nor more than $1,000 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both. However, for the purpose of conferring jurisdiction upon courts and judicial officers generally, violations of this chapter shall be deemed misdemeanors, and for such purpose only, all provisions of law relating to misdemeanors shall apply to such violations. Each week's continued violation shall constitute a separate additional violation.
(2) 
In case any building or structure is erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, converted or maintained or any building, structure or land is used or any land is divided into lots, blocks or sites in violation of this chapter, the proper local authorities of the Town, in addition to other remedies, may institute any appropriate action or proceedings to prevent such unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, conversion, maintenance, use or division of land to restrain, correct or abate such violation, to prevent the occupancy of said building, structure, or land or to prevent any illegal act, conduct, business or use in or about such premises; and upon the failure or refusal of the proper local officer, board or body of the Town to institute any such appropriate action or proceeding for a period of 10 days after written request by a resident taxpayer of the Town so to proceed, any three taxpayers of the Town residing in the district wherein such violation exists, who are jointly or severally aggrieved by such violation, may institute such appropriate action or proceeding in like manner as such local officer, board or body of the Town is authorized to do.
Fees for building permits and certificates of occupancy shall be paid as provided in Chapter 135 of the Code entitled "Construction Codes, Uniform." Fees for application for an appeal or a variance and rehearings on applications and appeals shall be paid at the office of the Building Inspector at the time of the filing of the application. All fees shall be set forth in the most current fee schedule of the Town as in effect from time to time by order of the Town Board.
A. 
In addition to any other fees required under the Town Code, the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals are authorized to retain engineering, legal, planning and other expert consulting services and clerical costs for:
(1) 
Assistance related to the review and processing of applications coming before said bodies and the Town Building Department; and
(2) 
The monitoring and inspection of construction of projects by the Code Enforcement Officer for projects approved by said Planning Board and/or Zoning Board of Appeals.
B. 
Payment for the services of any expert consultant is to be made from funds deposited by the applicant with the Town Supervisor to be placed in an escrow account established for that purpose. The Code Enforcement Officer, as agent for the Planning Board and/or Zoning Board of Appeals, shall confer with the applicant and compute the amount of the escrow to be posted with the Town. Said amount shall be reasonably related to the costs attendant to the Town's review and processing of the application and/or the monitoring or inspecting of the construction of the project. The Town shall engage any expert at a reasonable rate that is no greater than that customarily charged by said expert and in no event at a rate greater than that paid by the Town to said expert for similar work. If an applicant objects to the amount to be placed in escrow, the applicant may request the Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Appeals, as appropriate, to review the projected amount to be placed in escrow.
C. 
Once the expert consulting fees are fixed, it shall be the responsibility of the applicant to submit to the Town Supervisor a certified or bank check in an amount equal to the estimated costs of the expert consulting fees for services to be rendered to the Town. The Town retains the right from time to time to recompute the amount of the escrow deposit, after conferring with the applicant, in the event there will be a shortfall in the escrowed funds to cover the estimated costs of the expert consulting fees for services needed by the Town.
D. 
The escrow funds so deposited with the Town shall be paid to its expert consultant upon submission of an invoice and approved voucher and subject to audit in accordance with the provisions of New York State Town Law §§ 118 and 119. Any applicant may request to inspect said invoices and vouchers submitted by any expert retained by the Town.