[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Mount Pleasant as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board hereby finds that inappropriateness or poor quality of design in the exterior appearance of buildings or land developments adversely affects the desirability of the immediate area and neighboring areas and, by so doing, impairs the benefits of occupancy of existing property in such areas, impairs the stability and value of both improved and unimproved real property in such areas, retards the most appropriate development of such areas, produces degeneration of property in such areas with attendant deterioration of conditions affecting the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the inhabitants thereof and creates an improper relationship between the taxable value of real property in such areas and the cost of municipal services provided therefor. It is the purpose of this article to prevent these and other harmful effects of such exterior appearance of buildings and land developments and thus to promote and protect the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the community.
There is hereby created an Advisory Board on Architecture and Community Appearance (ABACA), which shall consist of seven members who shall serve without compensation. All members of the Board shall be residents of the town and shall be specially qualified by reason of training or experience in architecture, land development, city planning, real estate, landscape architecture or other relevant business or profession or by reason of civic interest and sound judgment to judge the effects of a proposed building or land development of surrounding areas; and at least one member of the Board shall be a registered architect in the State of New York.
The members of the ABACA shall be appointed by the Town Board. The Chairman and the Secretary of the ABACA shall be designated by the members of the Board annually.
The term of office of each member shall be three years, except that the initial appointments of three members shall be for one year, of three members for two years, and of one member for three years.
The Town Board shall have the power to remove any member for cause. Vacancies shall be filled by the Town Board for the unexpired term of any member whose place has become vacant.
Regularly scheduled meetings of the Advisory Board on Architecture and Community Appearance shall be held monthly and at such other times as the Chairman may designate. A majority of said Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The ABACA shall keep minutes of its proceedings.
Any report or recommendation made by the ABACA must have the approval of the majority of the Board and shall be officially filed with the referring board or department (hereinafter cited as the "referring agent") within 30 days, except that failure to report within 30 days shall be deemed to be approval thereof. Where changes or modifications on any submission are recommended, there shall be set forth the specific changes and the reason(s) for same. After having referred an application for a building or land development permit to the ABACA, the referring agent shall not take final action prior to receiving and considering the recommendations of the Board. The referring agent shall provide a full set of plans and accompanying data to the ABACA for its use and permanent file. The applicant may be requested to appear to review with ABACA any submission to it.
Every application for a building permit for the construction, reconstruction or alteration of any structure, and every application for the development or subdivision of land, except as it affects single- or two-family residences and residential accessory structures on individual properties, and except where the construction, reconstruction or alteration is wholly within the interior of any building and does not impact the exterior appearance, and any such application for a building permit, land use or any other development within the Town of Mount Pleasant filed with the Town Board, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals or Building Inspector, shall be referred by the referring agent to the ABACA within seven days of the submission of the application, provided that it conforms in all respects to all other applicable laws and ordinances.
The ABACA shall base its recommendations on the following criteria: No building or structure or land development shall be so detrimental to the desirability, property values or development of the surrounding area as to provoke one or more of the harmful effects set forth in § 14-1 by reason of:
The repeated and adjacent use of identical or near-identical facades of structures arranged without respect to natural features of terrain or other existing structures.
Inappropriateness of a structure or land development in relation to any other structure or land development existing or for which a permit has been issued or to any other structure or land development included in the same application in respect to one or more of the following features:
Gross floor area.
Height of building or height of roof.
Other significant design features, such as material or quality of architectural design, roof structures, chimneys, exposed mechanical equipment and service and storage enclosure, signs, landscaping, retaining walls, parking areas, service and loading docks, dividing walls, fences, lighting posts and standards, provided that a finding of inappropriateness shall state not only that such inappropriateness exists but further that it is of such a nature as to be expected to provoke beyond reasonable doubt one or more of the harmful effects set forth in § 14-1.
[Adopted 7-10-1984 by L.L. No. 1-1984]
The preservation and improvement of the quality of the natural and man-made environment within the Town of Mount Pleasant in the face of population growth, urbanization and technological change, with their accompanying demands, are found to be of increasing and vital importance to the health, welfare and economic well-being of the present and future residents of the town and require forthright action by the governing body of the Town of Mount Pleasant. It is recognized that the integrity and natural and functional beauty of our surrounding environment cannot be protected without the full participation and cooperation of all the people in the town working in partnership with local and state government and various other institutions, agencies and organizations. The establishment of a Conservation Advisory Council is a necessary step in promoting unified action on environmental problems and providing an environmentally sound program for the future.
The Town Board of the Town of Mount Pleasant hereby creates a Council, which shall be known as the "Conservation Advisory Council of the Town of Mount Pleasant," hereinafter called the "CAC."
The CAC shall consist of five members, who shall be appointed by the Town Board and who shall serve at the pleasure of the Town Board. Residents of the Town of Mount Pleasant who are interested in improving and preserving the environment shall be eligible for appointment to the CAC. Vacancies on the CAC shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment, except that a vacancy occurring other than by expiration of term shall be filled only for the remainder of the term.
A member of the Town Board appointed by the Town Board or any other official appointed by the Town Board may be designated as an ex officio member of the CAC.
The five members of the CAC shall hold terms for a period of two years and may, at the expiration of their terms, be reappointed by the Town Board.
The Town Board shall designate a member of the CAC to act as Chairperson thereof. At the first meeting, the CAC shall elect from among itself a Recording Secretary. The CAC shall adopt rules and procedures for its meetings. It shall keep accurate record of its meetings and activities and shall file an annual report as provided for in § 14-11 of this article.
The powers and duties of the CAC shall be to:
Advise the Town Board on matters affecting the preservation, development and use of the natural and man-made features and conditions of the town insofar as beauty, quality, biologic integrity and other environmental factors are concerned and, in the case of man's activities and developments, with regard to any major threats posed to environmental quality, so as to enhance the long-range value of the environment to the people of the town.
Develop and, after receiving general approval by resolution of the Town Board, conduct a program of public information in the community which shall be designed to foster increased understanding of the nature of environmental problems and issues and support for their solutions.
Conduct studies, surveys and inventories of the natural and man-made features within the Town of Mount Pleasant and such other studies and surveys as may be necessary to carry out the general purposes of this article.
Maintain an up-to-date inventory or index of all open spaces in public or private ownership within the municipality, including but not limited to natural landmarks, glacial and other geomorphic or physiographic features; streams and their floodplains, swamps, marshlands and other wetlands; unique biotic communities, scenic and other open areas of natural or ecological value; and the ownership, present use and proposed use of such open areas, so as to provide a base of information for recommendations by the CAC for their preservation and/or use.
Seek to coordinate, assist and unify the efforts of private groups, institutions and individuals within the Town of Mount Pleasant in accord with the purposes of this article.
Maintain liaison and communications with public and private agencies and organizations of local, state and national scope whose programs and activities have an impact on the quality of the environment or who can be of assistance to the CAC.
Work in cooperation with the Planning Board, recommend from time to time to the Town Board features, plans and programs relating to environmental improvement for inclusion in the Master Plan of the Town of Mount Pleasant and, similarly, recommend to the Town Board appropriate and desirable changes in existing local laws and ordinances relating to environmental control or recommend new local laws and ordinances.
Prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts and pamphlets in accord with the purposes of this article, provided that prior approval of any expenditures of town funds is obtained from the Town Board.
Obtain and maintain in orderly fashion maps, reports, books and other publications to support the necessary researches of the Council into local environmental conditions.
When authorized by resolution of the Town Board of the Town of Mount Pleasant, the CAC may accept, by gift, grant, devise, bequest or otherwise, property, both real and personal, in the name of the Town of Mount Pleasant, as may be necessary to conserve and otherwise properly utilize open spaces and other land and water resources within the boundaries of the Town of Mount Pleasant. Such real property may be accepted in fee for land and water rights or as any lesser interest, development right, easement, including conservation easement, covenant or other contractual right, including conveyance with limitations or reversions.
Carry out such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Town Board.
The CAC shall submit an annual report to the Town Board, not later than the first day of April of each year, concerning the activities and work of the Commission and, from time to time, shall submit such reports and recommendations as may be necessary to fulfill the purposes of this article.
The members of the CAC, including ex officio members, shall receive no compensation for their services as members thereof but may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties within the appropriations made available therefor.
This article shall be deemed an exercise of the powers of the Town of Mount Pleasant to preserve and improve the quality of the natural and man-made environment on behalf of the present and future inhabitants thereof. This article is not intended and shall not be deemed to impair the powers of any other public corporation.