RESOLUTION TO SCHEDULE PUBLIC HEARING ON A LOCAL LAW AMENDING §4-420 (FENCES) OF THE ZONING LAW TO ESTABLISH STANDARDS FOR STRUCTURAL FENCES AND HEDGES; REPEAL DUPLICATIVE REVIEW BY THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES AND ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD UNDER §4-420 AND §10-106c.; AND ESTABLISH STANDARDS FOR REVIEW OF FENCES AND NONCONFORMING HEDGES UNDER §10-108.
LOCAL LAW NO. ___ OF 2018
A LOCAL LAW amending §4-420 (Fences) of the Zoning Law to establish standards for structural fences and hedges; repeal duplicative review by the Board of Trustees and Architectural Review Board under §4-420 and §10-106(c); and establish standards for review of fences and nonconforming hedges under §10-108.
BE IT ENACTED by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Dering Harbor as follows:
Section 1. Legislative Intent. Section 4-420 currently entitled “Fences” requires landowners to make application and obtain the review and approval of the Board of Trustees and the Architectural Review Board for a fence, including “living fences.” No other building, structure or improvement in the Village requires such duplicative review. Under this section, the Board of Trustees review and approval “to erect, plant or grow fences” is characterized to be “legislative in nature” and there are no expressed standards or criteria to guide the Board of Trustees action. This section contains no specific requirements for structural fences, and does not define what a “living fence” is or provide any standards for same. Section 10-106(c) requires review of “all fences, whether structural or living, including fences for pools, tennis courts and gardens.” The standards of Architectural Review Board action under §10-108 apply to buildings and structures. Again there is no definition of a living fence, and there are no standards or criteria to guide the Architectural Review Board’s review of living fences. It is the intent of this local law to repeal §4-420 in its current form and replace it with a definition of structural fences, walls, and hedges, and standards therefor, and to eliminate review and approval of all fences, structural or living, by the Board of Trustees. It is further intended that §10-106(c) be amended to eliminate reference to living fences. The Architectural Review Board will continue to review structural fences and walls, and will review hedges that do not conform to the requirements of §4-420(4). The standards for Architectural Review Board action under §10-108 is being amended to add a new subsection (g) outlining standards and criteria for the review and approval of fences and walls and a new subsection (h) outlining standards and criteria for the review and approval of hedges that do not conform to the requirements of §4-420(4).
Section 2. Amendment to §4-420. Section 4-420 of the Zoning Law is hereby amended by repealing the existing section in strikethrough words [also marked deleted] and replacing it with new section as underlined words [marked added online] as follows:
Section 4-420. Fences.
[Deleted sections follow]
1. Fences, other than those required in connection with swimming pools, whether structures, or living in the form of vegetation, may be permitted, subject to the issuance of a license by the board of trustees. The board of trustees finds and determines that fences should neither be permitted nor prohibited generally and that because of varying conditions adequate guidelines cannot be established for delegated administrative action by the board of appeals. Accordingly, action on applications for permission to erect, plant or grow fences shall be legislative by nature. Applications may be submitted to the village clerk in letter form, but must be accompanied by a plot plan showing location on the premises, and an elevation or elevations showing the height or heights, including in the case of a living fence, the maximum height to which it is proposed to permit growth, and may be accompanied by an acknowledged consent of the adjacent property owner or owners. The Board of Trustees will determine whether the fence is appropriate for the property and area in question. The Board of Trustees after review and approval shall then refer the matter to the Board of Architectural Review for review and approval of the dimensions and materials utilized in the construction of the fence, whether living or structural. 2. Applications for all fences, whether structural or living including fences for pools tennis courts and gardens, are also subject to approval of the Architectural Review Board provided herein.
Section 4-420. Fences, walls and hedges.
[end deleted sections]
[Added sections follow #1]
1. Fences and walls. Fences and walls are defined as structures of wood, stone, metal, plastic, or other material, or combination thereof, bounding an area of land designed or intended to limit access to an area, or for defense, security, screening or enclosure, or for the retention of earth, stone, fill or other materials as in the case of retaining walls or bulkheads. A hedge as hereinafter defined shall not be considered to be a fence or wall. The following requirements shall apply to fences and walls in all districts:
(a) No fence or wall in a front yard or along a street line shall have a height greater than four (4) feet.
(b) No fence or wall in a rear yard or side yard shall have a height greater than six (6) feet.
(c) In no case shall any fence have a height greater than six (6) feet.
(d) All fences to be erected shall have the finished side of the fence toward the adjoining street and to adjoining neighboring property(ies).
(e) A fence or wall shall not be erected on a berm or another fence or wall unless the total height of the combination of such features does not exceed the standards in this section.
(f) Fences and walls on corner lots shall be subject to the corner clearance requirements of §4-408 herein.
(g) Fences and walls shall be setback a minimum of five (5) feet from a street line or such other reasonable distance as may be determined by the review of the Architectural Review Board.
2. Method of measuring the height of a fence or wall. The height of a fence or wall shall be measured from the ground level at the base of the fence, except that, where there is a retaining wall, the height shall be measured from the average of the ground levels at each side of the retaining wall and further except that any fence or wall on the uphill side of such retaining wall may be at least four feet high, notwithstanding the provisions of Subsections 1 (a), (b) and (c) above.
3. Review of fences and walls by the Architectural Review Board. Applications for all fences and walls, including fences for pools tennis courts and gardens, are subject to review and approval of the Architectural Review Board under the provisions of Article X of this law. The Architectural Review Board shall have the authority to impose greater setbacks or reduce the height of fences and walls.
4. Hedges. A hedge shall be defined as any number of woody plants, whether capable of growing into trees or not, which are planted so as to be in a general line and, when mature, to be so integrated together as to form a barrier or screen. Such hedge need not represent or constitute the precise line of a boundary and may be plantings in a general linear or staggered line or form. Such terms include hedgerows, windrows and other forms of plantings running along and within twenty (20) feet of the front lot line or street line. The following requirements shall apply to hedges in all districts:
(a) No hedge shall exceed a height greater than four (4) feet in a front yard or along a street line.
(b) The stem or trunk of a hedge in a front yard or along a street line shall be setback a minimum of four (4) feet from a street right-of-way line or the edge of paving of a street or a driveway used in common with others.
(c) The landowner shall have a continuing obligation to maintain the hedge so the hedge does not encroach into the street, nor exceed the maximum height allowed in subsection (1) above. Failure of a landowner to maintain a hedge installed after the effective date of this amendment at the required height shall constitute a violation of this Zoning Law.
(d) A hedge on a corner lot shall be subject to the corner clearance requirements of §4-408 herein.
(e) A hedge in a side or rear yard (other than along a street line) and general landscaping beyond twenty (20) feet of the street line are not regulated hereunder. Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the planting of street trees or groups of landscaped features in a front yard or along a street line provided such plantings are spaced a minimum of thirty (30) feet apart.
(f) Documentation. A landowner seeking to install a hedge conforming to the above requirements shall file notice of such intent, in a form of a letter to the Village Clerk, wherein the owner describes the location and height of the proposed hedge illustrated on an accompanying copy of a plan or survey and certifies that the owner agrees to install and maintain such hedge in accordance with the standards set forth in the Village Laws. Upon such filing of this letter, no further review or approval of a plan for a conforming hedge shall be required. The Village reserves the right to inspect the property to assure compliance.
(g) Preexisting hedges. Nothing herein shall be construed to restrict or regulate a hedge that existed as of the effective date of this section, except that a hedge that was previously approved by the Village shall comply with the conditions of such approval(s). A preexisting hedge may be replaced in-kind and in-place without any review or approval. Replacement of a preexisting hedge that exceeds the preexisting conditions and the requirements in this section may be permitted subject to the review and approval of the Architectural Review Board.
[end added sections #1]
Section 3. Amendment §10-106. Section 10-106c of the Zoning Law is hereby amended by deleting strikethrough [deleted] words and adding underlined [added] words as follows:
c. All fences, [deleted]
whether structural or living[end deletion], [added #2] and walls [end addition #2], including fences for pools, tennis courts and gardens.
[added #3] Hedges that do not conform to the requirements of §4-420(4), including the replacement of a preexisting hedge that exceeds the preexisting conditions and the requirements of this section. [end addition #3]
Section 4. Amendment §10-108. Section 10-108 of the Zoning Law is hereby amended by adding new subsections 10-108g and h as underlined [added] words as follows:
[Added sections follow #4]
g. Review of fences and walls. The Architectural Review Board shall review applications for fences and walls, including such applications seeking to make substantial alteration, replacement, modification or change to preexisting fences and walls that do not conform the requirements of §4-420(1). In addition to the standards in §10-108c and §10-108d, the Architectural Review Board shall find that the fence or wall will be compatible with the design, appearance, improvements, and physical characteristics of the site and other existing structures in the surrounding neighborhood; that the materials, height, orientation, and location of the fence or wall is in proper relation to the existing or proposed improvements on the site, to public infrastructure and to other fences or walls on adjacent properties and in the neighborhood; that the fence or wall will be a planned architectural feature and would not dominate the site or overwhelm surrounding properties, structures, or passersby; and that the fence or wall will be of sound construction and located so as not to cause a safety hazard. The use of chain-link, cyclone, barbed wire, electrified, or razor wire fences and other similar types of security fences shall be prohibited. Generally, fences shall be of an open grill or latticework, or similar open design allowing light and air to pass through at least fifty (50) percent of the fencing material. Stockade fences and walls that block views within the front yard or along a street line are discouraged. The Architectural Review Board shall have the authority to impose greater setbacks or reduce the height of fences and walls, and to impose reasonable conditions..
h. Review of nonconforming hedges. The Architectural Review Board shall review applications for hedges that do not conform to the requirements of §4-420(4), including the replacement of a preexisting hedge that exceeds the preexisting conditions and the requirements of §4-420(4). In its consideration of the application to install a nonconforming hedge, the Architectural Review Board shall presume that a conforming hedge adequately balances the interests of the landowner and the Village, and the landowner shall have the burden of demonstrating that the proposed nonconforming hedge will not create a significant adverse impact on the physical characteristics of the site and the environment of the surrounding neighborhood; that the materials, height, orientation, and location of the proposed hedge is in proper relation to the existing or proposed improvements on the site, to public infrastructure and to other hedges on adjacent properties and in the neighborhood; and that the physical characteristics of the proposed hedge will not create a public safety concern. The Architectural Review Board shall have the authority to impose greater setbacks or reduce the height of the proposed hedge, and to impose reasonable conditions. Applications for the installation of a nonconforming hedge shall follow the procedures of the §10-104. Applications for the installation of a nonconforming hedge shall include the following:
(1) An application fee.
(2) Site plan of the property depicting current conditions, including topography, location of existing and proposed structures, utilities and public infrastructure, and existing and proposed vegetation and plantings, including the specifications of the proposed hedge.
(3) Photographs of the property and abutting properties, particularly street views.
(4) Diagrams and cross-sections depicting the street view of the proposed hedge.
[end added sections #4]
Section 5. Authority. The proposed local law is enacted pursuant to Village Law §7-708 and Municipal Home Rule Law §§10(1)(i), 10(1)(ii)(a)(11), 10(1)(ii)(a)(12), and 10(1)(ii)(e) (3).
Section 6. Severability. If any section or subsection, paragraph, clause, phrase, or provision of this law shall be adjudged invalid or held unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, any judgment made thereby shall not affect the validity of this law as a whole, or any part thereof other than the part or provision so adjudged to be invalid or unconstitutional.
Section 7. Effective Date. This local law shall take effect upon filing with the Secretary of State pursuant to Municipal Home Rule Law.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Village Clerk is hereby authorized and directed to refer this local law to the Suffolk County Planning Commission; and
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Village Clerk is hereby authorized and directed to publish the following Notice of Public Hearing:
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE, that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Dering Harbor hereby directs that a public hearing shall be held on Saturday, March 3, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. prevailing time, at the Dering Harbor Village Hall, Locust Point Road, Dering Harbor, New York, to hear any and all persons either for or against a local law entitled: “A LOCAL LAW amending §4-420 (Fences) of the Zoning Law to establish standards for structural fences and hedges; repeal duplicative review by the Board of Trustees and Architectural Review Board under §4-420 and §10-106(c); and establish standards for review of fences and nonconforming hedges under §10-108.”
Copies of the proposed law, sponsored by the entire Board of Trustees, are on file in the Village Hall, Thursday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., or by appointment, and on the Village’s website.
BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
VILLAGE OF DERING HARBOR, NEW YORK