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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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Site plan review
§ 274-a. Site plan review. 1. Definition of site plan. As used in this
section the term "site plan" shall mean a rendering, drawing, or sketch
prepared to specifications and containing necessary elements, as set
forth in the applicable zoning ordinance or local law, which shows the
arrangement, layout and design of the proposed use of a single parcel of
land as shown on said plan. Plats showing lots, blocks or sites which
are subject to review pursuant to authority provided for the review of
subdivisions under section two hundred seventy-six of this article shall
continue to be subject to such review and shall not be subject to review
as site plans under this section.

2. Approval of site plans. (a) The town board may, as part of a zoning
ordinance or local law adopted pursuant to this article or other
enabling law, authorize the planning board or such other administrative
body that it shall so designate, to review and approve, approve with
modifications or disapprove site plans prepared to specifications set
forth in the ordinance or local law and/or in regulations of such
authorized board. Site plans shall show the arrangement, layout and
design of the proposed use of the land on said plan. The ordinance or
local law shall specify the land uses that require site plan approval
and the elements to be included on plans submitted for approval. The
required site plan elements which are included in the zoning ordinance
or local law may include, where appropriate, those related to parking,
means of access, screening, signs, landscaping, architectural features,
location and dimensions of buildings, adjacent land uses and physical
features meant to protect adjacent land uses as well as any additional
elements specified by the town board in such zoning ordinance or local

(b) When an authorization to approve site plans is granted by the town
board pursuant to this section, the terms thereof may condition the
issuance of a building permit upon such approval.

3. Application for area variance. Notwithstanding any provision of law
to the contrary, where a proposed site plan contains one or more
features which do not comply with the zoning regulations, application
may be made to the zoning board of appeals for an area variance pursuant
to section two hundred sixty-seven-b of this article, without the
necessity of a decision or determination of an administrative official
charged with the enforcement of the zoning regulations.

4. Conditions attached to the approval of site plans. The authorized
board shall have the authority to impose such reasonable conditions and
restrictions as are directly related to and incidental to a proposed
site plan. Upon its approval of said site plan, any such conditions must
be met in connection with the issuance of permits by applicable
enforcement agents or officers of the town.

5. Waiver of requirements. The town board may further empower the
authorized board to, when reasonable, waive any requirements for the
approval, approval with modifications or disapproval of site plans
submitted for approval. Any such waiver, which shall be subject to
appropriate conditions set forth in the ordinance or local law adopted
pursuant to this section, may be exercised in the event any such
requirements are found not to be requisite in the interest of the public
health, safety or general welfare or inappropriate to a particular site

6. Reservation of parkland on site plans containing residential units.
(a) Before such authorized board may approve a site plan containing
residential units, such site plan shall also show, when required by such
board, a park or parks suitably located for playground or other
recreational purposes.

(b) Land for park, playground or other recreational purposes may not
be required until the authorized board has made a finding that a proper
case exists for requiring that a park or parks be suitably located for
playgrounds or other recreational purposes within the town. Such
findings shall include an evaluation of the present and anticipated
future needs for park and recreational facilities in the town based on
projected population growth to which the particular site plan will

(c) In the event the authorized board makes a finding pursuant to
paragraph (b) of this subdivision that the proposed site plan presents a
proper case for requiring a park or parks suitably located for
playgrounds or other recreational purposes, but that a suitable park or
parks of adequate size to meet the requirement cannot be properly
located on such site plan, the authorized board may require a sum of
money in lieu thereof to be established by the town board. In making
such determination of suitability, the board shall assess the size and
suitability of lands shown on the site plan which could be possible
locations for park or recreational facilities, as well as practical
factors including whether there is a need for additional facilities in
the immediate neighborhood. Any monies required by the authorized board
in lieu of land for park, playground or other recreational purposes,
pursuant to the provisions of this section, shall be deposited into a
trust fund to be used by the town exclusively for park, playground or
other recreational purposes, including the acquisition of property.

(d) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this subdivision, if
the land included in a site plan under review is a portion of a
subdivision plat which has been reviewed and approved pursuant to
section two hundred seventy-six of this article, the authorized board
shall credit the applicant for any land set aside or money donated in
lieu thereof under such subdivision plat approval. In the event of
resubdivision of such plat, nothing shall preclude the additional
reservation of parkland or money donated in lieu thereof.

7. Performance bond or other security. As an alternative to the
installation of required infrastructure and improvements, prior to
approval by the authorized board, a performance bond or other security
sufficient to cover the full cost of the same, as estimated by the
authorized board or a town department designated by the authorized board
to make such estimate, where such departmental estimate is deemed
acceptable by the authorized board, shall be furnished to the town by
the owner. Such security shall be provided to the town pursuant to the
provisions of subdivision nine of section two hundred seventy-seven of
this article.

8. Public hearing and decision on site plans. In the event a public
hearing is required by ordinance or local law adopted by the town board,
the authorized board shall conduct a public hearing within sixty-two
days from the day an application is received on any matter referred to
it under this section. The authorized board shall mail notice of said
hearing to the applicant at least ten days before said hearing and shall
give public notice of said hearing in a newspaper of general circulation
in the town at least five days prior to the date thereof and shall make
a decision on the application within sixty-two days after such hearing,
or after the day the application is received if no hearing has been
held. The time within which the authorized board must render its
decision may be extended by mutual consent of the applicant and such
board. The decision of the authorized board shall be filed in the office
of the town clerk within five business days after such decision is
rendered, and a copy thereof mailed to the applicant. Nothing herein
shall preclude the holding of a public hearing on any matter on which a
public hearing is not so required.

9. Notice to county planning board or agency or regional planning
council. At least ten days before such hearing, the authorized board
shall mail notices thereof to the county planning board or agency or
regional planning council, as required by section two hundred
thirty-nine-m of the general municipal law, which notice shall be
accompanied by a full statement of such proposed action, as defined in
subdivision one of section two hundred thirty-nine-m of the general
municipal law. In the event a public hearing is not required, such
proposed action shall be referred before final action is taken thereon.

10. Compliance with state environmental quality review act. The
authorized board shall comply with the provisions of the state
environmental quality review act under article eight of the
environmental conservation law and its implementing regulations.

11. Court review. Any person aggrieved by a decision of the authorized
board or any officer, department, board or bureau of the town may apply
to the supreme court for review by a proceeding under article
seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules. Such proceedings
shall be instituted within thirty days after the filing of a decision by
such board in the office of the town clerk. The court may take evidence
or appoint a referee to take such evidence as it may direct, and report
the same, with findings of fact and conclusions of law, if it shall
appear that testimony is necessary for the proper disposition of the
matter. The court shall itself dispose of the matter on the merits,
determining all questions which may be presented for determination.

12. Costs. Costs shall not be allowed against the authorized board
unless it shall appear to the court that it acted with gross negligence,
in bad faith, or with malice in making the decision appealed from.

13. Preference. All issues addressed by the court in any proceeding
under this section shall have preference over all civil actions and