Local Law for Conditional Uses and Permits



160-40 Conditional Uses and Permits


A. Statement of purpose.   This conditional use review and approval procedure is established in recognition that many uses customarily found in communities may cause severe adverse impacts on a small, nearly completely developed residential village such as East Williston.  It also recognizes that in many instances, such uses may be existing or more appropriately be located as new uses within the more spacious areas of neighboring communities.  Therefore, the Village Board of Trustees has undertaken the responsibility of reviewing these uses in terms of its declaration of purposes in Section 160-2 in good environmental and development practice. 


When this section was initially enacted in conjunction with the Village codification published in 1988, certain conditional uses were listed as being approved in the various residential districts.  A review of the prior Code and the buildings and structures which were present at the time of the prior codification makes clear the intent of the Board of Trustees at the time.  The intent was to provide for conditional use designations which would allow for specifically existing buildings and structures to remain.  For example, the Residence AA District allowed for the conditional use designation of a “country club or a golf course, non-profit”.  A golf club, the Wheatley Hills Golf Club, existed at the time of the prior enactment and continues to be found at the same location.  It therefore appears that the grant of a conditional use designation was based at least in part upon the characteristics of the buildings and structures that were already in existence.  The Code as it was then enacted also reflected the possibility of applying for conditional uses anywhere else in the Village. 


One of the purposes of this amendment is to therefore clarify that the conditional use designations will continue in each district so long as the characteristics of the buildings and structures upon the properties which have already received such designations remain in existence.  This does not preclude application for a new structure or modification to an existing structure, but does require that any such construction or modification comport with the earlier grant.  Any construction including modifications must come before the Board of Trustees following the process below.


An additional purpose of the current enactment is to clarify that a conditional use designation may be granted in two circumstances.  First, for buildings, structures and designs found on properties which currently operate under such a designation.  In other words, if the conditional use of a church is permitted in a particular residence district, an application could be made to receive a conditional use designation for the construction of a church in a setting where the conditional use designation was previously granted.  Second, an application may be made for a conditional use designation on any other property in the Village.


In any case an application must be submitted to the Board of Trustees.  To receive, or continue, a conditional use designation, the criteria and hearing requirements below must be met. 


B.  General provisions.  All conditional uses shall be deemed to be permitted uses subject to the satisfaction of the requirements and standards set forth herein, in addition to all other requirements as set forth in this Zoning Chapter.


C.  Categories of Permitted Conditional Use Designation.


           1. Multi-family dwelling

           2. Church

           3. Golf Course

           4. School

           5. Public utility structure or right-of-way


D.  Application, public hearing and general standards.  Application for required conditional use permits shall be made to the Village Board which shall review and approve, approve with modifications or disapprove all conditional use applications provided for in this Chapter. The application shall be submitted in the same manner as one would be submitted seeking a variance under this Code, with the same notice and hearing requirements.  Each such application shall be referred to the Planning Board for a report, which report shall be rendered prior to the date of public hearing on the application. The Planning Board report shall only be advisory to the Board of Trustees.  Similarly, if the conditional use is found in the Historic District, then the Historic District Commission shall also render a report which shall be advisory only to the Board of Trustees.  The Board of Trustees, in its discretion, may also seek the input of such other Village Boards or officials as it deems necessary.  The Board of Trustees may also engage the services of such outside professionals as it deems necessary in conjunction with any hearing.  A public hearing for the conditional use permit application shall be held within 62 days of receipt of a complete application.  Within 62 days of the close of the public hearing, the Village Board shall decide whether to approve, approve with modifications or disapprove the conditional use permit application.  However, the fact that a decision is not reached in 62 days shall not be deemed to result in either the automatic grant, or denial of the application.  The time at which the Village Board must arrive at its decision may be extended at the request of the applicant or as necessary for the Village Board to complete all necessary environmental review requirements pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) or for the Board to receive such additional materials, drawings or the like from the applicant as the Board deems necessary.  A copy of the Board’s decision shall be filed in the office of the Village Clerk within five business days after such decision is rendered, and a copy thereof mailed to the applicant.  The Village Board may authorize the issuance of a permit, provided that it shall find that all of the following conditions and standards have been met, and may deny such application which in its judgment is not in accordance with said conditions and standards:


(1) The location and size of the use, the nature and intensity of the operations and traffic involved in or conducted in connection with it, the size of the site in relation to it, and the location of the site with respect to the type, arrangement and capacity of streets giving access to it, are such that it will be in harmony with the appropriate and orderly development of the district in which it is located.


(2) The location, nature and height of buildings, walls and fences, and the nature and extent of the landscaping and screening on the site, as existing or proposed, are such that the conditional use designation will not hinder or discourage the appropriate development and use of adjacent land and buildings.


(3) Operations in connection with any conditional use designation will not be more objectionable to nearby properties by reason of noise, fumes, vibrations, lighting or flashing of lights, than would be the operations of any permitted use not requiring a conditional use permit.


(4) Parking areas will be of adequate size for the particular use properly located and suitably screened from any adjoining residential uses, and the entrance and exit drives shall be laid out so as to achieve maximum safety.


(5) Each conditional use designation and the structures and buildings permitted shall be of such character, intensity, size and location that in general it will be in harmony with the orderly development of the district in which the property is situated and  will not be detrimental to the orderly development of the surrounding area.


(6) Each conditional use sought in a residential district shall be so located on the lot involved that it shall not impair the use, enjoyment and value of adjacent residential properties.


(7) The nature and intensity of a conditional use sought in a residential district and the traffic generated by it shall not be hazardous, incongruous or detrimental to the prevailing residential character of the neighborhood.


(8) Each conditional use in the Business District shall be harmonious with the surrounding area which its location is sought, shall not create undue pedestrian or vehicular traffic hazards and shall not include any display of signs, noise, fumes or lights that will hinder the normal development of the district or impair the use, enjoyment and value of adjacent land and buildings.


E. Required plan.  A plan for the proposed development of a site for a conditional use  designation shall be submitted with an application for a conditional use permit along with any other drawings or the like that the Board may require.  The plan shall be drawn to a  scale deemed sufficient by the Board of Trustees. to a scale deemed sufficient to the Board of Trustees, and shall show the location of all buildings, parking areas, traffic access and circulation drives, open spaces, landscaping, topography, special features, and any other pertinent information, including such information about neighboring properties as may be necessary to determine and provide for the enforcement of this Zoning Chapter.  Any plan submitted must clearly identify any variances from Code that will be required. 


F.  Conditions and safeguards.  The Village Board shall attach such conditions and safeguards to the conditional use permit as are necessary to assure continual conformance with all applicable standards and requirements.


G.  Time limitations of permit.

(1) The Village Board may issue a temporary conditional use permit subject to adequate guarantees that the use will be terminated, at the end of the period specified in the Board’s approval, or it may issue a conditional use permit for a stated period, subject to an application for renewal or extension of said permit.

(2) Two violations of any condition or safeguard imposed by the Village Board may be the basis for the Village Board to deny the renewal or extension of a conditional use permit.


H.  Expiration.  A conditional use permit shall be deemed to authorize only the particular use or uses specified in the permit, and shall expire if said use or uses shall cease for more than 12 months for any reason.  Each conditional use permit is subject to the review of the Board of Trustees upon sale of the property. 


I.  Existing violations.  No permit shall be issued for a conditional use designation for a property upon which there is an existing Zoning Chapter violation. 


J. Preexisting uses deemed to be conforming.  Any lawful conditional use designation at the time of the adoption of this chapter or any amendment thereof which, if newly created under this chapter, would require a conditional use designation in the district in which it is situated may be continued and shall be deemed to be a legal use, but any modification, change or extension thereof shall be subject to the issuance of a conditional use permit as provided in this chapter.