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Town of LaGrange, NY
Thursday, December 13, 2018

Chapter 240. Zoning

Article III. Special Zoning District Provisions

§ 240-35. Town Center design standards.

[Amended 9-10-2014 by L.L. No. 4-2014]
A. 
Purpose.
(1) 
The Town Center Business (TCB) District and the Town Center Residential (TCR) District in Freedom Plains are intended to implement the goals and objectives of the Town of LaGrange Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2005 and the Town Center Illustrative Plan (the Illustrative Plan) adopted in 2003 as part of the Comprehensive Plan. The Illustrative Plan is not a mandatory design plan; rather, it is intended to serve as a template for the application of specified design principles in order to achieve a desired form and appearance of development.
(2) 
The general design pattern for the Town Center is to create walkable, highly integrated, multifunctional public and private spaces, through a network of connected streets, sidewalks, and uses. Structures in the TCB District are generally to have two to three stories, with retail on the ground floor and office or residential uses above. The TCR District provides for higher-density residential development and selected uses compatible with residential streets in the immediate area surrounding the TCB District.
(3) 
The provisions of this section, when in conflict, shall take precedence over other sections of the Zoning Law.
B. 
Design principles: Town Center Business (TCB). Design principles for this district are shown in the Illustrative Plan. The primary objective of the TCB District is to create a traditional main street area. New buildings should relate to a traditional main street design as well as enhance the positive qualities that currently exist. Specifically, the design principles for the TCB District are to:
(1) 
Establish a coordinated image for the Town Center.
(2) 
Bring buildings up toward the sidewalk and street edge.
(3) 
Promote a mix of commercial and residential uses in multistory buildings.
(4) 
Promote the prominent positioning of civic buildings and central green spaces in order to enhance community identity and public interaction.
(5) 
Promote pedestrian activity through a safe and walkable environment.
(6) 
Create narrow, tree-lined streets to slow traffic.
(7) 
Minimize the visual impact of the automobile by managing the placement and screening/landscaping of parking areas.
(8) 
Create an interconnected street system for both pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
(9) 
Encourage the development of both on-street parking and shared parking areas between nearby uses.
(10) 
Provide multiple housing options.
(11) 
Protect important natural and historic features.
C. 
Design principles: Town Center Residential (TCR). Design principles for this district are shown in the Illustrative Plan. The primary objective of the TCR District is to create a traditional neighborhood development. New buildings and street layouts should relate to a traditional neighborhood design as well as enhance the positive qualities that currently exist. Specifically, the design principles for the TCR District are to:
(1) 
Establish a coordinated image for the Town Center.
(2) 
Provide a variety of housing options.
(3) 
Promote pedestrian activity through a safe and walkable environment.
(4) 
Create narrow, tree-lined streets to slow traffic.
(5) 
Promote the prominent positioning of civic buildings and central green spaces in order to enhance community identity and public interaction.
(6) 
Create an interconnected street system for both pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
(7) 
Protect important natural and historic features.
D. 
Location of TCB and TCR. As per § 240-22, the location of the TCB and TCR Districts is shown on the map entitled "Zoning Map of the Town of LaGrange," adopted by the Town Board.
E. 
TCB and TCR Schedule of Permitted Uses. The schedule of permitted uses and specially permitted uses for the TCB and TCR Districts is found in § 240-27, Schedules A1, A2 and A3, Permitted Uses and Special Permit Uses.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Schedules A1, A2 and A3 are attached to this chapter as Appendix A.
F. 
Bulk requirements for TCB and TCR. The bulk requirements for the TCB and TCR Districts are found in § 240-28, Schedules B1 and B2, Schedules of Bulk Regulations and Coverage Limitations, Residential and Nonresidential, and Schedule B3, Schedule of Bulk Regulations and Coverage Limitations for TCB, and Schedule B4, Schedule of Bulk Regulations and Coverage Limitations for TCR.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Schedules B1 through B4 are attached to this chapter as Appendix B.
G. 
Planning Board review of projects in TCB and TCR.
(1) 
The design standards of this section are intended to provide guidance to the Planning Board in its review of projects within the TCB and TCR Districts. It is the intent of these standards to provide the Planning Board and applicants with guidance as to favored forms and principles of site design.
(2) 
The following terms have meanings as follows:
(a) 
The word "shall" means the standard is mandatory;
(b) 
The words "should" or "may" mean the standard is recommended, and its application is optional at the discretion of the Planning Board.
(3) 
The Planning Board is empowered to require a mix of uses in any development project. Further, the Planning Board is empowered to require that a development be phased to ensure the required mix of uses is implemented. Applicants are encouraged to meet with the Planning Board prior to an application to discuss concepts, clarify procedures, and coordinate all applicable zoning in this chapter.
(4) 
The Planning Board may, in its discretion, vary any site plan requirements contained in § 240-35 to assure substantial compliance with the intent of this provision while relieving the applicant of undue or oppressive burden or hardship in obtaining approval. Modification of those standards that are mandatory shall be accompanied with written finding that such modifications are warranted and the reasons.
[Amended 5-23-2018 by L.L. No. 6-2018]
(5) 
In reviewing any proposed modification of a mandatory standard, the Planning Board shall consider whether granting the modification will be consistent with the purpose of this section, the Comprehensive Plan, and the design principles in § 240-35B and C.
H. 
Design standards. The TCB District encourages a mixture of retail uses, restaurants, services, workplaces, entertainment and civic facilities, and moderate- to high-density housing in a compact pattern that balances automobile access with strong pedestrian elements to create a walkable environment. The TCR District encourages complete traditional neighborhoods with a diverse range of dwelling types, such as single- and two-family houses, attached townhouses, and condominium or apartments mixed together for a moderate- to high-density compact pattern of development that balances automobile access with strong pedestrian elements to create a walkable environment. The following are the specified standards for the TCB and TCR Districts:
(1) 
Streetscape standards.
(a) 
Street standards.
[1] 
The design and construction of streets within the TCB District should be consistent with the TCB street standards as shown in Figure 1.[3]
[a] 
"Commercial town center street" should be defined as streets within the TCB District and will exclude Route 55.
[3]
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is included at the end of this chapter.
[2] 
The design of streets within the TCR District should be consistent with the TCR street standards as shown in Figure 2.[4]
[a] 
"Residential collector streets" should be defined as streets within the TCR District providing access between the TCB District and any of the following roads: Lauer Road, Todd Hill Road, and/or Stringham Road.
[b] 
"Residential access streets" should be defined as streets within the TCR District providing primarily residential access to a residential collector street.
[c] 
"Residential rear lane" should be defined as a secondary means of access to the rear of residences generally to the property abutting along its length. The residential rear lane will provide access to garages and accessory structures.
[4]
Editor's Note: Figure 2 is included at the end of this chapter.
[3] 
Intersections should be at right angles whenever possible.
[4] 
New streets should connect to existing streets and use a block system to avoid dead ends whenever practicable.
(b) 
Blocks and lots.
[1] 
Street layouts should provide for a variety of block and lot sizes. Blocks should be generally in the range of 200 to 400 feet deep by 400 to 800 feet long, to create shorter walking distances and help diffuse traffic on multiple access routes. Blocks exceeding 600 feet should have a rear lane access or a pedestrian right-of-way for midblock access.
[2] 
Multiple buildings and uses are permitted on a lot in the TCB District.
[3] 
Multiple buildings are permitted on a lot in the TCR District.
[4] 
In order to facilitate fewer curb cuts, shared driveways should be used for access to parking lots behind buildings.
[5] 
Residential rear access lanes should be used for access to garages and parking lots behind buildings.
(c) 
Sidewalks.
[1] 
Sidewalks in the TCB District should be consistent with the TCB street standards as shown in Figure 1.[5] All sidewalks should be ADA compliant.
[5]
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is included at the end of this chapter.
[2] 
Sidewalks in the TCR District should be consistent with the TCR Street Standards as shown in Figure 2.[6] All sidewalks should be ADA compliant.
[6]
Editor's Note: Figure 2 is included at the end of this chapter.
[3] 
Restaurants may be permitted to operate outdoor cafes in front of and on public sidewalks as long as at least seven feet are maintained free for sidewalk passage.
[4] 
A retail business may be permitted to have a temporary sidewalk display of store merchandise on up to 25% of its sidewalk frontage.
(d) 
Landscaping.
[1] 
A landscaped area shall be provided along both sides of all streets within the TCB District. The landscaped area shall be consistent with the TCB street standards shown in Figure 1.[7] Within the landscaped area, one shade tree (minimum of three-inch caliper diameter at four feet in height) should be provided per every 25 to 30 linear feet.
[7]
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is included at the end of this chapter.
[2] 
Landscaped areas shall be provided along both sides of streets, as shown in the TCR street standards.[8] The landscaped area shall be consistent with the TCR street standards as shown in Figure 2. Within the landscaped area, one shade tree (minimum of three-inch caliper at four feet in height) should be provided per every 30 to 40 linear feet.
[8]
Editor's Note: The TCR street standards, provided in Figure 2, are included at the end of this chapter.
[3] 
Street trees should be tolerant of urban conditions, especially salt and sand deposited with snow removal. Mulched tree wells should be placed around the base of each tree for protection and moisture retention.
[4] 
Shrubbery shall be no higher than four feet above existing street grades, nor shall any tree with foliage extend below 10 feet above the established street grades. All landscaping (trees, shrubs, planted beds) shall be maintained within 20 feet of any street intersection or 10 feet of driveway/street intersections. This restriction is for the purposes of maintaining visibility at all times.
[5] 
Where parking lots and drives abut the landscaped strip along the street right-of-way, evergreen shrubs and/or a three-foot stone wall, as approved by the Planning Board, should be provided for screening. The screening should be a plant species that is a minimum of three feet high and a maximum of six feet high and extend along the entire street frontage of the parking lot, exclusive of driveways and visibility lines.
[6] 
Visibility. Street-level landscaping shall not interfere with visibility and safety.
[7] 
Street trees are a major means of providing a pedestrian amenity as well as visual coherence. Property owners shall have responsibility for planting and maintaining trees along street frontage(s) within the Town's right-of-way.
[8] 
Maintenance of landscaping within the Town's right-of-way shall be the responsibility of the property owner.
(e) 
Lighting. Streetlights and other lighting shall be 10 to 15 feet in height. Lighting shall be metal halide or other full-spectrum fixture and should avoid illumination above the horizontal level into the night sky. All exterior lights shall be designed and located in such a manner as to prevent objectionable light and glare to spill across property lines.
(f) 
Furniture and waste receptacles. Street furniture and waste receptacles approved by the Planning Board should be provided along street frontages.
(g) 
On-street parking.
[1] 
On-street parking arrangements within 500 feet of each new building are strongly encouraged along TCB commercial streets, as illustrated in the TCB street standards. See Figure 1.[9]
[9]
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is included at the end of this chapter.
[2] 
On-street parking shall be permitted along residential collector and access streets, as illustrated in the TCR street standards. See Figure 2.[10]
[10]
Editor's Note: Figure 2 is included at the end of this chapter.
[3] 
On-street parking along and adjacent to the property frontage may apply toward the minimum parking requirements.
(2) 
Site standards.
(a) 
TCB site development.
[1] 
Connections between the parking lots to the rear and the main retail frontage are desirable. Wherever practical, through-store passages should be provided.
[2] 
The frequency of store entrances along commercial Town Center streets is important in maintaining retail continuity and viability. In new buildings, a maximum distance of 60 feet between individual store entrances is encouraged.
[3] 
Two- or three-story buildings are required for the entire TCB District. Larger-scale, single-use facilities (conference spaces, theaters, supermarkets or department stores, for example) shall occur behind smaller-scale buildings or storefronts with pedestrian orientation and may be one story with a two-story facade.
[4] 
The ground floor should reinforce retail continuity along specified street frontages within the TCB District (see the Illustrative Plan). Second stories and above may be used for a mix of residential, commercial, and/or office space.
[5] 
Buildings should be brought up toward the right-of-way line, consistent with the TCB street standards as shown in Figure 1 for the TCB District.[11]
[11]
Editor's Note: Figure 1 is included at the end of this chapter.
[6] 
Balconies, bay windows and cornice features, open porches, canvas-type awnings, and projecting signs may encroach up to six feet into the front setback or up to six feet over the sidewalk area above seven feet six inches.
[7] 
The Planning Board may waive height and setback requirements for landmark civic buildings, including government buildings, churches, schools, or libraries, and for pedestrian-oriented places such as plazas or outdoor eating areas.
[8] 
Drive-through service facilities are not permitted for restaurants, fast-food restaurants, or the retail sale and distribution to vehicle occupants of food or beverage as either a primary or subordinate commercial activity.
[Amended 1-11-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012; 4-9-2014 by L.L. No. 2-2014]
[9] 
Gas station pump canopies shall be located to the rear of the building.
(b) 
TCR site development.
[1] 
A variety of housing types from single-family houses on lots of 6,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet to attached townhouses and apartments are permitted, with an overall density of up to 12 dwelling units per acre.
[2] 
Side yard and rear yard setbacks for garages or accessory structures shall be a minimum of six feet.
[3] 
Access to driveways and garages should be from the rear access drive. Any lot with a front driveway shall recess the garage 20 feet from the front building line.
[4] 
Balconies, bay windows, cornice features, and/or open porches may encroach up to six feet into the front setback for the TCR District.
[5] 
Residential units should be located toward Route 55 to preserve the more rural qualities and open fields facing Lauer Road and Todd Hill Road, as shown on the Illustrative Plan.
(c) 
Parking.
[1] 
Parking lots and garages shall be located to the rear of a building wherever possible, and access to parking and garages should be from a rear access lane.
[2] 
Shared driveways should be used to access parking lots behind buildings and facilitate fewer curb cuts. Shared driveways and/or entrances for ingress and egress access between neighboring buildings and parking lots is strongly encouraged for the TCB District.
[3] 
Interior parking lot landscaping. Interior parking lots shall be landscaped in accordance with the off-street parking, loading and driveway standards (§ 240-42E) as determined necessary by the Planning Board.
[4] 
Exterior parking lot landscaping. A landscaped strip should be provided around the perimeter of parking lots, exclusive of driveways. The landscaped strip should be a minimum of five feet wide.
[5] 
Each parking space shall be nine feet wide and 18 feet long, except handicap-accessible spaces that are to be eight feet by 20 feet parking along with the required side aisle space (five feet). Back-up and maneuvering aisles between rows of parking spaces shall be at least 24 feet wide, except where the Planning Board approves a lesser dimension as adequate to serve parking spaces arranged at less than a ninety-degree angle or landscaped area.
[6] 
The Planning Board may, at its sole discretion, approve the joint use of a parking facility and allow a reduction in the parking requirement of up to 30% for two or more principal buildings or uses, either on the same, adjacent, or nearby parcels, where it is clearly demonstrated that the reduction in spaces and shared use of the parking facility will substantially meet the intent of the parking requirements by reason of variation in time of use by patrons or employees among such establishments (offset peak parking demand). There shall be a covenant on the separate parcel or lot guaranteeing the maintenance of the required off-street parking facilities during the existence of the principal use. Such covenant shall be:
[a] 
Executed by the owner of said lot or parcel of land and by all other parties having beneficial use of, or some other legal interest in, the property, such as, but not limited to, a collateral or security interest;
[b] 
Enforceable by any of the parties having shared beneficial use of the facility; and
[c] 
Enforceable against the owner, the parties having beneficial use, and their heirs, successors and assigns.
[7] 
Parking spaces shall not exceed minimum requirements unless clearly justified by parking generation data submitted by the applicant.
[8] 
Minimum off-street parking space requirements are found in § 240-35H(2)(c)[9] and § 240-42J. The Planning Board shall interpret these requirements in light of the design purposes of the Town Center Districts, and may reduce parking space requirements based on shared parking or availability of on-street parking. For single-family dwellings, garage parking spaces may be counted toward required parking spaces, provided that a homeowners' association's (HOA) restrictions, or other community restrictions, require the continued availability of such spaces for parking.
[Amended 8-27-2008 by L.L. No. 7-2008]
[9] 
Minimum off-street parking space requirements apply to the following uses within the TCB District; all other uses within the TCB District apply to the parking requirements found in § 240-42J:
[Amended 8-27-2008 by L.L. No. 7-2008]
Use
Minimum Off-Street Parking Spaces
Retail or service business
1 for each 275 square feet of gross floor area
Restaurant
1 for each 250 square feet of gross floor area
Office for business or professional use
1 for each 275 square feet of gross floor area
Apartments within a mixed-use building
1.65 spaces per unit
Carriage units
1 space per unit
Hotel
1 per key
[10] 
Waiver of improvement. Where the authority approving a site plan or special permit application determines that less than the required number of parking spaces will satisfy the intent of this chapter, said Board may waive the requirement in part, but not in excess of 50% of the number required according to this section. In all cases, it shall be expressly demonstrated on the site plan that sufficient space remains for the provision of the total amount of off-street parking required, and the site plan shall bear such designation. All such undeveloped parking space shall be used and maintained as additional landscaped grounds until required for parking. Written guarantees shall be submitted by the applicant for the eventual improvement of any such spaces that may have been waived; these spaces must be constructed by the property owner within six months of the date of written notice to the property owner by the Planning Board that such spaces have been determined as necessary and must be constructed. Written guarantees and proposed designs of future parking shall be shown on the site plan.
(d) 
Landscaping.
[1] 
Landscaping should be designed to avoid existing overhead or underground utility lines. Where the location of existing overhead or underground utility lines conflicts with the required landscaping strip and tree planting, the Planning Board may approve an alternate plan.
[2] 
Required landscaping shall be permanently maintained in a healthy growing condition at all times. The property owner is responsible for regular weeding, the mowing of grass, irrigating, fertilizing, pruning, and other permanent maintenance of all plantings as needed.
[3] 
Site trees should be no smaller than three-inch caliper diameter at four feet in height. Density of site trees shall be at the discretion of the Planning Board as determined necessary.
(e) 
Lighting.
[1] 
All exterior lights shall be designed and located in such a manner as to prevent objectionable light and glare to spill across property lines.
[2] 
Exterior lighting should be architecturally compatible with the building style, material, and colors. Cutoff fixtures are preferred over cobra-type light fixtures and directional floodlights.
[3] 
Streetlights and other lights shall be 10 to 15 feet in height, except pole lights in parking lots, which shall be a maximum of 20 feet high.
(f) 
Loading areas. Loading and delivery areas may be shared between nearby uses and shall be determined by the Planning Board on a case-by-case basis.
(g) 
Mechanical equipment, garbage containers, and electrical transformers. Mechanical equipment, garbage containers, and electrical transformers should be concealed from public view on all sides by architectural elements and/or landscaping satisfactory to the Planning Board's approval.
(h) 
Fencing and walls.
[1] 
The design of fences and walls should be compatible with the architecture of the principal building(s) and should use similar materials.
[2] 
All fences or walls 50 feet in length or longer, and four feet in height or taller, should be designed to minimize visual monotony by changing plane, height, material, or material texture, or significant landscape massing.
[3] 
Chain link fencing is discouraged.
(i) 
Utilities.
[1] 
Site design is predicated on connection to central water and central sewer with improvements built by the private developer. If access to central sewer is not immediately available, the project should still be consistent with Town Center principles and standards to accommodate a later connection to a central sewer system.
[2] 
All new utilities shall be underground.
(j) 
Open space. Where appropriate and practical, new development should create public open spaces and should maintain existing public open space.
(3) 
Architectural standards.
(a) 
The architectural standards are intended for buildings that are compatible with the design standards in § 240-35H(3). Design compatibility includes complementary building style, form, size, color, materials, and detailing. In reviewing projects, the Planning Board shall consider each of the following principal features contributing to the identity of buildings within the TCB and TCR Districts:
[1] 
Size: the relationship of the project to the site.
[2] 
Scale: the relationship of the building to those around it.
[3] 
Massing: the relationship of the building's various parts to each other.
[4] 
Fenestration: the placement of windows and doors.
[5] 
Rhythm: the relationship of fenestration, recesses, and projections.
[6] 
Setback: the relation of a building setback to its immediate surroundings.
[7] 
Materials: their compatibility with other buildings constructed under the Town Center standards in the Town Center District.
[8] 
Context: the overall relationship of the project to its surroundings.
(b) 
The following architectural design concepts are encouraged:
[1] 
Street-level continuity of shopfronts.
[2] 
Street-level expression line, visually tying together the retail base and separating the upper stories.
[3] 
Diversity of architectural design should be encouraged.
[4] 
Multiple buildings on the same lot should be designed to create a cohesive visual relationship between the buildings.
[5] 
Blank wall areas and long, uninterrupted rooflines shall be avoided and should exhibit more detail and elements appropriate for close-range pedestrian view. Building surfaces over 50 feet in length should be relieved with changes of wall plane (i.e., recesses and projections) that provide strong visual interest.
[6] 
All sides of a building may have an impact on its surroundings and should be considered for treatment with an architectural finish. Architectural features, materials, windows, and articulation of a facade of a building should be continued on all sides visible from a street or public parking areas.
[7] 
Exterior building materials on the primary structure should not include smooth-faced concrete block, tilt-up concrete panels, or prefabricated steel panels, highly reflective, shiny, or mirrorlike materials, mill-finish (noncolored) aluminum metal windows or door frames; exposed, unfinished foundation walls; exposed plywood or particle board; and unplastered, exposed concrete masonry blocks.
[8] 
Facade colors should be low-reflectance colors. High-intensity colors, metallic colors, black, or fluorescent colors should not be used. Building trim and accent areas may feature brighter colors.
[9] 
Building colors should be carefully chosen so that each building's color complements that of its neighbors.
[10] 
The scale of a building should be compatible with the surrounding buildings.
[11] 
Pitched roofs with gables/dormers or symmetrically shaped parapet roofs are encouraged.
[12] 
Consideration should be given to the height of the cornice line or other expression lines.
[13] 
The use of canvas-type awnings on buildings is recommended to provide protection from sun, wind, and rain and to improve the aesthetics of the building exterior.
[14] 
Existing structures, if deemed historic or architecturally significant, should be protected from demolition or incompatible adjacent development.
(c) 
Finish materials should include:
[1] 
Facades:
[a] 
Brick.
[b] 
Stone.
[c] 
Stucco.
[d] 
Wood.
[e] 
Wood shingles.
[f] 
Fiber cement siding.
[2] 
Roofs:
[a] 
Pitched.
[b] 
Shingles, wood, imitation wood asphalt.
[c] 
Metal, aluminum (Kynar), copper, terne, zinc (standing seam or batten seam).
[d] 
Architectural-style asphalt shingles.
[3] 
Windows:
[a] 
Windows should be greater in height than width or at least of equal proportion.
[b] 
Mirrored, reflective, or darkly tinted glass, all-glass walls, or exterior roll-down security gates shall not be permitted.