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Welcome to the Spring 2011 Training Session for St. Lawrence County Municipal Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Appeal.

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome to the Spring 2011 Training Session for St. Lawrence County Municipal Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Appeal."— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcome to the Spring 2011 Training Session for St. Lawrence County Municipal Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Appeal

2 Agenda 6:30 – 6:35 Introductions and Overview of Agenda 6:35 – 7:10 Distinguishing between home occupations, small rural businesses, and standard businesses and standard businesses 7:10 – 7:25 Introduction of the case studies to be discussed in the breakout groups (forming of breakout groups) 7:25 – 7:30 Break 7:30 – 8:00 Planning and Zoning Board breakout group discussion (case studies) 8:00 – 8:25 Reporting on decisions made Wrap-up and Additional Training Resources Wrap-up and Additional Training Resources

3 Home Occupations, Small Rural/Residential Businesses and Standard Businesses - Whats the difference?

4 Background Business development is the most common development proposal most Planning Boards and Zoning Boards address. Business development is the most common development proposal most Planning Boards and Zoning Boards address. Land use regulations provide for the separation of development. This makes the most sense for larger scale, disparate uses (Home Depot next to a home daycare), but regulations also apply to smaller scale, personal type businesses. Land use regulations provide for the separation of development. This makes the most sense for larger scale, disparate uses (Home Depot next to a home daycare), but regulations also apply to smaller scale, personal type businesses. In this economic climate people are looking to do whatever they can in their homes to make some money. How tightly controlled should this type of development be? In this economic climate people are looking to do whatever they can in their homes to make some money. How tightly controlled should this type of development be?

5 Definitions – Home Occupation An occupation, profession, activity or use that is clearly a customary, secondary, and incidental use of a residential dwelling unit which does not alter the exterior of the property or affect the residential character of the neighborhood (A Planners Dictionary, APA) An occupation, profession, activity or use that is clearly a customary, secondary, and incidental use of a residential dwelling unit which does not alter the exterior of the property or affect the residential character of the neighborhood (A Planners Dictionary, APA) Main characteristics: Main characteristics: -- Customarily conducted in the home -- Owner occupied -- Incidental use -- Can only sell articles that are produced on premises (Louisville/Madrid/Norfolk) Some examples: Some examples: -- Professional or business office -- Art or photographic studio -- Dressmaker or seamstress -- Barber or beauty shop -- Day care in a family home (Norfolk only)

6 Definitions – Small Rural/Residential Business A small scale business conducted as an accessory use on a residential premises by the owner-occupant and no more than two non-resident employees under conditions stipulated in the special use permit standards. (Town of Norfolk) A small scale business conducted as an accessory use on a residential premises by the owner-occupant and no more than two non-resident employees under conditions stipulated in the special use permit standards. (Town of Norfolk) Main characteristics: Main characteristics: -- owner occupied -- limited number of employees -- minimum lot size standards -- does not have to be located in the home Some examples: Some examples: -- gift or craft shop -- medical or dental office -- day care -- memorial business

7 Definitions – Standard Business A commercial establishment, office, institutional, or industrial use which produces goods or distributes goods and services (A Planners Dictionary, APA) A commercial establishment, office, institutional, or industrial use which produces goods or distributes goods and services (A Planners Dictionary, APA) Main characteristics: Main characteristics: -- Larger in scale (both in area and/or employees) -- Often located in a commercial zone/area of concentrated development Some examples: -- Lowes/Home Depot -- Shops along Main Street -- Kinneys/Walgreen's -- Restaurant uses

8 So, Whats the difference? Its all about scale and compatibility. Its all about scale and compatibility. Standard businesses are usually directed to an appropriate zoning district, or rezoning or annexation occurs to accommodate larger scale development (NYSUT, Lowes). Standard businesses are usually directed to an appropriate zoning district, or rezoning or annexation occurs to accommodate larger scale development (NYSUT, Lowes). Home occupations have a definite location, but they must be scaled appropriately (floor area limitations) and compatible with surrounding neighborhood characteristics (no external storage, etc.). Home occupations have a definite location, but they must be scaled appropriately (floor area limitations) and compatible with surrounding neighborhood characteristics (no external storage, etc.).

9 So, Whats the difference? Small rural and residential businesses offer the greatest challenge and the greatest opportunity – many businesses can be accommodated, but where do you draw the line on size and impact? Small rural and residential businesses offer the greatest challenge and the greatest opportunity – many businesses can be accommodated, but where do you draw the line on size and impact? The best way to address small rural/residential businesses is through the special use permit – this offers a formal review process with clear cut conditions that can mitigate compatibility problems. The best way to address small rural/residential businesses is through the special use permit – this offers a formal review process with clear cut conditions that can mitigate compatibility problems.

10 Conditions for Home Occupations There shall be no change in the exterior appearance of the building or premises other than a permitted sign in accordance with Section ….(Town of Potsdam) There shall be no change in the exterior appearance of the building or premises other than a permitted sign in accordance with Section ….(Town of Potsdam) The number of employees allowed ranges from just family members (T. of Massena) to family members plus two additional employees (T. of Potsdam) The number of employees allowed ranges from just family members (T. of Massena) to family members plus two additional employees (T. of Potsdam) Floor area allowed for usage ranges from 20% (T. of Madrid, Norfolk), to 50% (V. of Potsdam) Floor area allowed for usage ranges from 20% (T. of Madrid, Norfolk), to 50% (V. of Potsdam) No offensive noise, vibration, glare, dust fumes, odors or electrical interference shall be produced No offensive noise, vibration, glare, dust fumes, odors or electrical interference shall be produced Off-street parking is accommodated in some manner Off-street parking is accommodated in some manner Limit of one home occupation per dwelling Limit of one home occupation per dwelling

11 Conditions for Small Rural/Residential Businesses The primary residence of the owner shall be located on the same premises as the business The primary residence of the owner shall be located on the same premises as the business Open storage of materials must be surrounded by a visible barrier Open storage of materials must be surrounded by a visible barrier Minimum lot size of two acres (Town of Potsdam) Minimum lot size of two acres (Town of Potsdam) Number of employees allowed is higher than home occupations, 2 in Norfolk, 4 in the Towns of Massena, Potsdam and Stockholm Number of employees allowed is higher than home occupations, 2 in Norfolk, 4 in the Towns of Massena, Potsdam and Stockholm 200 foot setback from any residence (Town of Potsdam) 200 foot setback from any residence (Town of Potsdam)

12 Other Considerations Revising zoning may be a way to cut down on use variance requests, ZBAs should talk to their municipal boards if they are seeing a lot of these types of uses coming through as use variance requests. Revising zoning may be a way to cut down on use variance requests, ZBAs should talk to their municipal boards if they are seeing a lot of these types of uses coming through as use variance requests. Zoning codes should have clear cut conditions listed as special exceptions that make it easy for Planning Boards to follow. Zoning codes should have clear cut conditions listed as special exceptions that make it easy for Planning Boards to follow.

13 A Case Study -- Town of Massena Background: A small business owner wishes to relocate a memorial business to an accessory building on their residential lot. Problem: The business does not meet the Towns home occupation definition and its not located in a business/commercial zone. The Towns Zoning Board of Appeals is unable to grant a use variance.

14 A Case Study -- Town of Massena Solution: The Town revised its Zoning Code to accommodate small rural businesses in the Residential-Agricultural zoning district. Lesson Learned: Revising the code in this manner may reduce the number of use variance requests. Conditions should not be project specific, but generic enough to accommodate a variety of business uses. Such a provision results in better planned development.

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16 Case Studies Zoning Boards of Appeals: Zoning Boards of Appeals: Area Variance Area Variance Use Variance Use Variance Planning Boards: Planning Boards: Special Use Permit/Special Exception Special Use Permit/Special Exception Site Plan Site Plan

17 Area Variance Case Study Reduce 75 front yard setback to 59 to allow for the construction of a gift shop Reduce 75 front yard setback to 59 to allow for the construction of a gift shop Property: Property: One business use currently on lot One business use currently on lot Adequate parking exists Adequate parking exists Good access off of a State Highway Good access off of a State Highway

18 Neighborhood Zoned General Commercial Zoned General Commercial To delineate areas appropriate for general commerce activity and to reserve them for this use.To delineate areas appropriate for general commerce activity and to reserve them for this use. A variety of commercial and light industrial uses A variety of commercial and light industrial uses Residences Residences Convenience store with gas pumps Convenience store with gas pumps

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21 Five Balance of Interest Tests Undesirable or detrimental change? Undesirable or detrimental change? Feasible alternative? Feasible alternative? Is variance substantial? Is variance substantial? Adverse impact? Adverse impact? Was difficulty self-created? Was difficulty self-created?

22 Use Variance Case Study Applicant wishes to open a bait shop in the garage of a private residence Applicant wishes to open a bait shop in the garage of a private residence The proposed use does not meet the definition of a home occupation The proposed use does not meet the definition of a home occupation Property: Property: -- Residential lot 100 by 288 (0.66 ac)

23 Neighborhood Zoned Residential-B: The purpose of this district is to maintain and protect the integrity of residential areas designed to accommodate a mixture of single and two family structures and compatible public uses by requiring lot and building standards and prohibiting the intermixture of single- and two-family dwellings with incompatible uses. Zoned Residential-B: The purpose of this district is to maintain and protect the integrity of residential areas designed to accommodate a mixture of single and two family structures and compatible public uses by requiring lot and building standards and prohibiting the intermixture of single- and two-family dwellings with incompatible uses.

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25 Four Legal Tests Reasonable return on property? Reasonable return on property? Hardship unique? Hardship unique? Alter neighborhood character? Alter neighborhood character? Hardship self-created? Hardship self-created?

26 Special Use Permit Case Study Applicant wishes to open a full service glass shop Applicant wishes to open a full service glass shop The town has determined that the retail use is a small business operation The town has determined that the retail use is a small business operation Property: Property: -- Parcel is 13.1 acres in size -- Residential use located next door -- Parking exists on site

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28 Special Exception Standards Minimum lot size 2 acres Minimum lot size 2 acres No more than four full-time employees No more than four full-time employees Must be conducted entirely within an enclosed area Must be conducted entirely within an enclosed area Must be located 200 feet away from any residence not on the same parcel and adequately screened from residential property Must be located 200 feet away from any residence not on the same parcel and adequately screened from residential property Adequate off-street parking required (1 space for every 150 sq ft of business area) Adequate off-street parking required (1 space for every 150 sq ft of business area) No offensive noise, vibration, glare, dust fumes, odors or electrical interference shall be produced No offensive noise, vibration, glare, dust fumes, odors or electrical interference shall be produced Signage must be in compliance with regulations (for this use max signage can not exceed 50 square feet) Signage must be in compliance with regulations (for this use max signage can not exceed 50 square feet)

29 Site Plan Case Study Applicant proposes to use three appropriately zoned parcels to construct a 9,180 square foot Family Dollar Store Applicant proposes to use three appropriately zoned parcels to construct a 9,180 square foot Family Dollar Store The project is located adjacent to a residential district The project is located adjacent to a residential district The applicant is proposing 32 parking spaces The applicant is proposing 32 parking spaces

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32 Typical Site Plan Review Considerations Scale of the development and proposed improvements to the lot Scale of the development and proposed improvements to the lot Parking Parking Separation and screening of the use from adjoining property owners Separation and screening of the use from adjoining property owners Adequate provision for control and mitigation of on-site drainage Adequate provision for control and mitigation of on-site drainage Light pollution and mitigation Light pollution and mitigation Safe and appropriate access and egress Safe and appropriate access and egress Appropriate amount of landscaping for the intended use Appropriate amount of landscaping for the intended use

33 5 Minute Break

34 Project Referral to the County Planning Board GML Section 239m/n: Referral of proposed Planning and Zoning Actions. In any city, town or village which is located in a county which has a county planning agency, or, in the absence of a county planning agency, which is located within the jurisdiction of a planning agency or regional planning council duly created pursuant to the provisions of law, each referring body shall, before taking final action on proposed actions included in subdivision three of this section, refer the same to such county planning agency or regional planning council. GML Section 239m/n: Referral of proposed Planning and Zoning Actions. In any city, town or village which is located in a county which has a county planning agency, or, in the absence of a county planning agency, which is located within the jurisdiction of a planning agency or regional planning council duly created pursuant to the provisions of law, each referring body shall, before taking final action on proposed actions included in subdivision three of this section, refer the same to such county planning agency or regional planning council.

35 What needs to be referred. GML Section 239m 3(a). (i) adoption or amendment of a comprehensive plan pursuant to section two hundred seventy-two-a of the town law, section of the Village law or section twenty-eight-a of the general city law; (ii) adoption or amendment of a zoning ordinance or local law; (iii) issuance of special use permits; (iv) approval of site plans; (v) granting of use or area variances; (vi) other authorizations which a referring body may issue under the provisions of any zoning ordinance or local law.

36 Additional Training Resources onlinetraining.html onlinetraining.html onlinetraining.html onlinetraining.html Local Government Conference, Tuesday, October 11, 2011, SUNY Potsdam Local Government Conference, Tuesday, October 11, 2011, SUNY Potsdam County Planning Office, County Planning Office, rence/ rence/ rence/ rence/


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