Founded in 1796
Codes Enforcement Officer
Home: (315) 822-5151, Cell: (315) 941-9138
Permits are needed for construction including but not limited to:
- New construction.
- Additions, repairs or remodels where there are structural changes to a building.
- Mobile homes installations. Note that a foundation (slab) plan stamped by an Engineer or Architect is required prior to installation.
- Septic system repairs or installations.
- Wind Measurement Towers and Wind Energy Systems (see our local law for more information and size restrictions, available here)
- Solar Energy Systems (see our local law for more information, available here)
The foregoing is a summary, see our local laws for more information. Note that all properties must be maintained in accordance with the NYS Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. The Uniform Code is enforced locally by the Codes Enforcement Officer.
Board of Appeals
Variance Requests, Permit Challenges
Dale Connor (Chairman)
Cardillo Tina Fahringer George
Casale James Rager
The comprehensive plan is available for review here.
Local Law #1 of 2005 of the Town of Litchfield
LAND and BUILDING REQUIREMENTS
1 Enacting Clause
2 Title of Local Law
3 Purpose of Local Law
4 Application of Regulations
6 Building Permits
7 Codes Enforcement Officer
8 Certificate of Occupancy
10 Stop Work Orders
12 Minimum Lot Size Requirements
13 Non-conforming Lots
14 Minimum Set-Back Requirements
15 Non-Conforming Buildings
16 Septic Systems
17 Manufactured Homes
18 Manufactured/Mobile Home Parks
20 Board of Appeals
21 Prohibited Uses
22 Accessory Building and Uses
23 Penalties and Fines
24 Partial Invalidity
25 Effective Date
SECTION 1: ENACTING CLAUSE
Pursuant to Sections 30 and 261 of the Town Law of the State of New York, and the Town Board of the Town of Litchfield, Herkimer County, New York, does hereby ordain and enact as follows:
SECTION 2: TITLE OF LOCAL LAW
“Local Law # 1 of 2005 of the Town of Litchfield - Land and Building Requirements.”
This local law replaces and rescinds “Local Law #2 of 1989 of the Town of Litchfield - Land and Building Requirements”, and all amendments and revisions.
SECTION 3: PURPOSE OF LOCAL LAW
The purpose of this Local Law is to provide for orderly growth in accordance with a comprehensive plan, to lessen congestion in the streets, to provide adequate light and air, to prevent the overcrowding of land, to avoid undue concentration of population and to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the public. This Local Law was made taking into consideration, among other things, the character of the Town and the particular use of the land contained therein, and with the view of conserving the value of the real property within the Town of Litchfield.
SECTION 4: APPLICATION OF REGULATIONS
Except as hereinafter provided, no building or structure shall be erected, moved, demolished, altered or extended, and no land, building or structure or part thereof shall be occupied, or no water supply or septic system shall be used unless in conformity with the regulations specified in this Local Law.
SECTION 5: DEFINITIONS - As used in this local law:
ACCESSORY BUILDING: A building subordinate to the principal building on a lot and used for purposes customarily incidental to those of the principal building.
AGRICULTURAL USE: Land containing at least two acres which is used for raising livestock or agricultural products, including farm structures and storage of agricultural equipment, riding and boarding stables, and as an accessory use the sale of agricultural products raised on the property.
ALTERATION: Structural changes, rearrangement, change of location and change of use or addition to a building, other than repairs and modification in building equipment.
BASEMENT: Story partly underground. A basement shall be counted as a story if the vertical distance between the basement ceiling and the average grade level of the adjoining ground is more than six feet.
BUILDING: Structure having a roof supported by columns or walls and intended for the shelter or enclosure of persons, animals or chattel.
BUILDING FRONT LINE: Line parallel to the front lot line transecting that point in the building face which is closest to the front lot line. This face includes porches whether or not enclosed, but does not include steps.
CAMPER TRAILER: (Also Travel Trailer): Any enclosed vehicle used or designed to be used for temporary living or sleeping quarters which is customarily towed or carried from place to place by a conventional motor vehicle or which is a self contained motor vehicle and trailer. Term shall not be construed to mean mobile or manufactured home.
DUMP: Land used for the disposal by abandonment, dumping, burial, burning or any other means and for whatever purpose, of garbage, sewage, trash, refuse, junk, discarded machinery, vehicles, or parts thereof, or waste material of any kind.
DWELLING UNIT: A building or part thereof used, or intended for use as living quarters for one family. The term “dwelling”, “one family dwelling” or “dwelling group” shall not include a motel, hotel, boarding house, tourist home, mobile or similar structure.
DWELLING, ONE FAMILY: Detached building used as living quarters by one family.
DWELLING, TWO FAMILY: Building used as living quarters by two families living independently of each other.
DWELLING, MULTIPLE FAMILY: Building used as living quarters by three or more families living independently of each other.
FAMILY: One or more persons living, sleeping, cooking and eating on the same premises as a single household unit.
HIGHWAY: Shall also mean street, road or avenue.
JUNK YARD: A lot, land or structure, or part thereof, used for the collecting, storage and/or sale of waste paper, rags, scrap metal or discarded material, or for the collecting, dismantling, storage of machinery or vehicles, and for the sale of the parts thereof. It shall mean any place of storage or deposit, whether in connection with another business or not, where three or more unregistered, old or secondhand motor vehicles, no longer intended or in condition for legal use on the public highways, are held, whether for the purpose of resale of used parts there from or reclaiming for use of some or all the materials therein, whether metal, glass, fabric or otherwise, or disposing of the same, or for any other purpose. Such shall include materials from motor vehicles which, taken together, equal in bulk, two or more such vehicles.
LOT: A parcel of land considered as a unit, occupied or designed to be occupied by a building and its accessory buildings and having its principal frontage on an approved and accepted town , county or state highway.
LOT AREA: Total area within the property lines excluding any part thereof lying within the boundaries of a public right-of-way, street or proposed street.
LOT, CORNER: Lot which has an interior angle of less than 135 degrees at the intersection of two street lines. A lot abutting upon a curved street shall be considered a corner lot if the tangents to the curve at the points of intersection of the side lot lines intersect at an interior angle of less than 135 degrees.
LOT FRONTAGE: Distance between side lot lines as measured 33’ parallel to the center of the highway.
LOT LINES: Property lines bounding a lot.
MANUFACTURED/MOBILE HOME: Factory manufactured dwelling unit(s) conforming to applicable provisions of the New York State Uniform Code and bearing insignia of approval issued by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.) (Use same definition as New York State Uniform Code)
MODULAR HOME: Factory manufactured dwelling units conforming to applicable provisions of the New York State Uniform Code and bearing insignia of approval issued by the Secretary of State of New York State. (Use same definition as New York State Uniform Code)
NON CONFORMING USE: Use of land or structures which does not comply with all regulations where such use conformed to all applicable laws, ordinances, and regulations prior to the enactment of this Local Law.
PERSON: Includes a natural individual, firm, trust, estate, partnership, association or corporation.
ROAD FRONTAGE: Shall be defined the same as “lot frontage”.
SITE: Shall be defined the same as “lot”.
STRUCTURE: Shall be defined the same as “building”.
SUBDIVISION: Any tract of land which is divided, simultaneously or progressively, into five (5) or more parcels or lots, regardless of change of ownership, regardless of whether the lots to be sold or offered for sale or leased for any period of time are contiguous. the term “subdivision” includes re-subdivision of larger lots, and the combination of smaller lots into larger lots.
SECTION 6: BUILDING PERMITS
A. No building shall be erected, moved, altered, added to, or enlarged, and no excavation for any building, septic or water system, shall be started unless and until a Building Permit for such work has been issued by the Codes Enforcement Officer. However, no permit shall be required for:
1. The performance of necessary repairs which are not of a structural nature, or
2. Structures, 100 sq. feet or less of floor area, not intended for use by one or more persons as quarters for living, sleeping, eating or cooking, provided all set back requirements are met.
B. Application for Building Permits shall be submitted on form or forms provided by the Town Clerk. Each application shall set forth the purpose for which the building is intended to be used and shall be accompanied by a plot plan showing the dimensions of the lot and the building, and dimensions of required and proposed yards and estimated cost of work to be done. The applications must also include a description of the site on which the proposed work is to be done, and a legal description and survey map if available, and the fee specified in this Local Law. The Codes Enforcement Officer may require such additional information, other than that called for on the application form as may reasonably be needed for him to determine if the proposed building, its use and the use of the occupancy of the land are in conformity with the provisions of this Local Law. The applicant must provide a statement acknowledging that the Codes Enforcement Officer may enter the property and structure thereon at reasonable hours, as necessary, to inspect the same for compliance with the Uniform Code and Local Law of the Town of Litchfield.
C. The applicant shall notify the Codes Enforcement Officer of any changes in the information contained in the application during the period for which the permit is in effect. A permit will be issued when the application has been determined to be complete and when the proposed work is determined to conform to the requirements of the Uniform Code and the specifications of all laws and ordinances of the Town of Litchfield. The authority conferred by such permit may be limited by conditions, if any, contained therein.
D. A building permit issued pursuant to this Local Law shall be prominently displayed on the property or premises to which it pertains.
E. A building permit issued pursuant to this Local Law may be suspended or revoked if it is determined that the work to which it pertains is not proceeding in conformance with the Uniform Code or with any conditions attached to such permit, or if there has been a misrepresentation or falsification of a material fact in connection with the application for the permit.
F. A building permit issued pursuant to this Local Law shall expire two (2) years from the date of issuance or upon the issuance of a certificate of occupancy (other than a temporary certificate of occupancy), whichever occurs first. The permit may, upon written request, be renewed for a successive one year period provided that:
1. The permit has not been revoked or suspended at the time the application for renewal is made.
2. The relevant information in the application is up to date, and
3. The renewal fee is paid.
SECTION 7: CODES ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The provisions of this Local Law shall be administered and enforced by a person designated by the Town Board as the “Codes Enforcement Officer”, who shall have the power to make inspections of buildings or premises necessary to carry out his duties in the enforcement of this Local Law and the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (Uniform Code). No permit or Certificate of Occupancy required hereunder shall be issued by the Codes Enforcement Officer except in compliance with the provisions of this Local Law, or as directed by the Board of Appeals under the provisions of Section 17.
SECTION 8: CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY
A. No building erected subject to the Uniform Code and this Local Law shall be used or occupied, except to the extent provided in this section, until a certificate of occupancy has been issued. No building enlarged, extended or altered or upon which work has been performed which required the issuance of a building permit shall be occupied or used for more than thirty (30) days after the completion of the alteration or work unless a certificate of occupancy has been issued.
B. No building, or part thereof, shall be converted from one general occupancy classification to another, as defined in the Uniform Code, unless a certificate of occupancy authorizing the change has been issued. The owner or his agent shall make application for all certificates of occupancy.
C. A temporary certificate of occupancy may be issued if the building or structure or a designated portion of a building or structure is sufficiently complete that it may be put to the use for which it is intended. A temporary certificate of occupancy shall expire in six (6) months from the date of issuance, but may be renewed an indefinite number of times.
D. No certificate of occupancy shall be issued except upon an inspection which reveals no uncorrected deficiency or material violation of the Uniform Code in the area intended for use, and upon payment of the appropriate fee.
SECTION 9: INSPECTION
A. Work for which a building permit has been issued under this Local Law shall be inspected for approval prior to enclosing or covering any portion thereof so as to permit the observation of, but not limited to, the following
1. The foundation,
2. superstructure and structural elements,
3. electrical systems, plumbing systems, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, and
4. fire protection and detection systems and exit features.
In addition, The Codes Enforcement Officer may require such other inspections as he may deem reasonably necessary. It shall be the responsibility of the owner, applicant or his agent to inform the Codes Enforcement Officer that the work is ready for inspection, and to schedule such inspection with the Codes Enforcement Officer.
B. Existing buildings not subject to inspection subsection A of this section shall be subject to a periodic fire safety inspection for compliance with the uniform code in accordance with the following schedule:
1. All areas of public assembly defined in the Uniform Code, all buildings or structures containing areas of public assembly, and the common areas of multiple dwellings - every six (6) months.
2. All buildings or structures open to the general public - every twelve (12) months: and
3. All other buildings - every eighteen months, notwithstanding any requirement of this subsection to the contrary, no regular periodic inspections of occupied dwelling units shall be required. However, this shall not be a limitation on inspections conducted at the invitation of the occupant or where conditions on the premises threaten or present a hazard to public health, safety or welfare.
C. The inspection may be performed by the Codes Enforcement Officer. The Codes Enforcement Officer is authorized to order, in writing, the correction of any condition in violation of the Uniform Code found in, on or about any building. Such order shall be served in person upon a responsible party or his authorized agent or by certified mail sent to the address of a responsible party set forth in any relevant application for a permit or in any relevant certificate. The order shall set forth the time within which the condition must be corrected. A responsible party who fails to correct the condition within the specified time shall be subject to a penalty as provided by law.
D. A person subject to inspection may be required by the Codes Enforcement Officer to have such inspection performed at his own cost and expense by a competent inspector acceptable to the Codes Enforcement Officer. Such inspector may be a registered architect, licensed professional engineer, certified codes enforcement officer, or other person whose experience and training has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Codes Enforcement Officer. Such inspector shall certify the result of his inspections to the Town of Litchfield. Any person required by the Codes Enforcement Officer to have an inspection performed at his own cost and expense shall not be assessed the fees otherwise prescribed in this Local Law.
E. If the Codes Enforcement Officer is the owner of or is involved in work on the premises to be inspected, or if there shall otherwise be any conflict of interest, or in the absence of the Codes Enforcement Officer, the Town Board shall appoint a qualified individual to perform such duties.
F. The Codes Enforcement Officer shall make provisions for a system of records of the activities specified in this section, of building permit applications, building permits issued, and of fees charged and collected, if any.
SECTION 10: STOP WORK ORDERS
Whenever the Codes Enforcement Officer has reason to believe that the work on any building or structure is being performed in violation of the provisions of the applicable building laws, ordinances, rules or regulations, or not in conformity with the provisions of an application, or in an unsafe or dangerous manner, he shall notify the owner of the property, or the owner’s agent, to suspend all work and suspend all building activities until the stop work order has been rescinded. Such order and notice shall appear in writing, shall state the conditions under which the work may be resumed and may be served upon a person to whom it is directed either by delivering it personally to him, or by posting the same upon a conspicuous portion of the building where the work is being performed and sending a copy of the same to him by registered mail at the address set forth in the application for the permission of the construction of such building.
SECTION 11: FEES
A. Upon filing an application for a building permit, the following fees shall be payable:
1. New one, two or multiple family residential buildings, including additions and structural renovations: Fifteen cents ($.15) per square foot of livable space excluding attic, non-enclosed porches, non-enclosed breezeways, basement. Plus fifteen cents ($.15) per square foot of garage, attached to residential building directly or by breezeway.
2. Any building other than one, two and multiple family dwellings, such as (but not limited to) commercial, industrial, agricultural, green house, horse stable, detached garages, accessory buildings, and tensioned fabric structures, two cents ($.02) per square foot
3. Structures being removed or demolished: One cent ($.01) per square foot
4. The minimum fee for any permit shall be twenty five dollars. ($25.00)
5. New or Replacement septic systems, (septic tank, distribution box and absorption field) Fifty Dollars ($50.00)
6. Replacement Septic tank or holding tank only. Twenty Five Dollars ($25.00)
7. Repair, replace, enlarge Septic absorption field only. Twenty Five Dollars ($25.00)
B. OTHER FEES SHALL BE AS FOLLOWS:
1. Renewal of building permit for 1 year $ 10.00
2.. Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (6 months) $ 10.00
3. Third Temporary Certificate of Occupancy $100.00
4. Certificate of Occupancy included in building permit
SECTION 12: MINIMUM LOT SIZE REQUIREMENTS
A. No building, structure, mobile home, modular or manufactured home shall be constructed or placed upon a deeded lot which has less than:
1. 250 continuous, uninterrupted feet of frontage on an approved and accepted town, county or state highway. Lot frontage is to be measured 33 feet parallel from the centerline of the highway. The lot must also be at least 250 continuous feet wide, as measured parallel to the center of the highway at the building front line.
2. 60,000 square feet in area. No part of the area within a public right-of-way may be included in the computation of lot area.
B. Not more than 1 dwelling shall be permitted to locate on each deeded lot.
C. No existing lot shall be reduced to:
1. Less than 250 continuous uninterrupted feet of road frontage, and
2. Less than 60,000 square feet of lot area.
SECTION 13: NON-CONFORMING LOTS
A. Any existing deeded lot, legally and permanently established by having the deed recorded in the Herkimer County Clerk’s office prior to November 20, 1987 may be improved upon provided all other requirements of this Local Law are met.
B. Any existing deeded lot or prior subdivision approved by the town, legally and permanently established by having the deed recorded in the Herkimer County Clerk’s Office after November 20, 1987 but prior to the effective date of this local law, may be improved upon provided the deeded lot has all the following:
1. Lot area is at least 40,000 square feet. No part of the area within a public right-of-way may be computed in the computation of lot area.
2. 200 continuous uninterrupted feet of frontage on an approved and accepted town, county or state highway. Lot frontage is to be measured 33 feet parallel from the centerline of the highway. The lot must also be at least 200 continuous feet wide, as measured parallel to the center of the highway at the building front line.
3. Compliance with all other requirements of this local law.
SECTION 14: MINIMUM SET BACK REQUIREMENTS
A. All buildings, structures, mobile homes, modular and manufactured homes, garages, and accessory buildings shall be so constructed or placed upon said lot so that all parts of the building including additions and porches, are:
1. at least 83 feet from the center of the approved and accepted town county or state highway. If said lot is a corner lot, said requirements apply to each highway.
2. at least 25’ from any lot line.
SECTION 15: NON-CONFORMING BUILDINGS
Any existing building, legally and permanently established prior to this local law, but not in compliance with Section 11 - Minimum Lot Size Requirements, and/or Section 13-Minimum Set-Back Requirements, may be replaced or added to, provided all the following requirements are met:
1. No part of the replacement building or addition will be closer to the non-complying lot line than the existing building.
2. No part of the replacement building or addition will be closer to the non-complying highway set-back than the existing building.
3. The primary use of the building did not change.
4. A building permit is obtained prior to any construction or excavation.
SECTION 16: SEPTIC SYSTEMS
All septic tank and/or distribution box and/or absorption field installations, modifications, reconstructions, repairs, replacements, enlargements or modifications shall:
1. Require a building permit before any excavation begins.
2. Conform to the requirements of the New York State Department of Health
3. Be inspected by the Codes Enforcement Officer prior to any cover or fill being applied.
4. Not be allowed in swampy areas with a seasonal or permanent high water table, or in areas subject to flooding.
5. Not be located within 100 feet of any well, pond, stream or waterway, nor shall any well be located within 100 feet of any septic system.
6. No part of any building shall be constructed or placed over any part of the septic system.
SECTION 17: MANUFACTURED HOMES
It shall be unlawful for any person to park, store or utilize a manufactured home for residential or non-residential purposes, on any public or private property in the Town of Litchfield, in an approved manufactured home park or on a private lot unless all the following requirements are met:
A. The manufactured home shall contain at least 800 square feet of original manufacture, exclusive of garage, porch, attic area or additions.
B. The date of original manufacture shall be not more than 15 years from the date of application for a building permit.
C. Shall have a label permanently affixed as required for certification of compliance with the standards established by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.).
D. The manufactured home shall be set upon a permanent foundation within 60 days of placement on the site. The foundation shall consist of one of the following:
1. An eight inch wide perimeter wall extending at least 36 inches below grade level.
2. A 6 inch reinforced concrete slab with compacted gravel base sized no less than the perimeter dimension of the manufactured home to be placed on it.
3. A pier type foundation of either poured concrete or block built extending at least 36 inches below grade level and no less than eight feet on center under each frame or to manufacturers written specifications.
E. All manufactured homes shall be skirted with an approved exterior material in a neat and orderly fashion within 60 days of placement on the site.
F. All manufactured homes shall have an entry or landing installed for safe entrance or exit within 60 days of placement on the site. The entry or landing must be at least as wide as the door served and at least 36 inches in the direction of travel, placed on a stable foundation with steps and railings per the uniform code.
G. All storage containers for heating fuels and/or bottled gas must be placed on a stable foundation as determined by the Codes Enforcement Officer.
H. Not more than one (1) manufactured home shall be permitted to park or otherwise locate on each deeded lot. Section 11-Minimum Lot Size Requirements and Section 12 -Minimum Set-Back Requirements apply.
I. All manufactured homes are subject to all applicable provisions of those regulations and local laws of the Town of Litchfield.
J. The electrical meter panel and related equipment shall meet set-back requirements as specified in Section 12 of this Local Law.
K. No manufactured home, which is not being used for residential purposes, may occupy any site in the Town of Litchfield. A manufactured home shall be considered abandoned when it has remained vacant for six (6) months.
L. Any manufactured home replacing an existing manufactured or mobile home, additions or other changes to an existing manufactured or mobile home shall be in accordance with this Local Law and a building permit is required.
M. When the location of the manufactured home is in conjunction with an operating farm and for the sole purpose of providing residential quarters for a full time employee deriving 75% of his or her annual income from the farm, then said manufactured home may be within 200 feet of the principal dwelling on the same deeded lot. In considering an application for a manufactured home to be located as an accessory dwelling to an operating farm, minimum lot size and minimum frontage requirements need not apply. Minimum Set-back requirements do apply.
SECTION 18: MANUFACTURED/MOBILE HOME PARKS
All plans for proposed mobile home parks shall be submitted to the Town Board for approval. Regulations for maps will be the same as specified for subdivisions. Prior to any final approval of a manufactured/mobile home park by the Town Board, a public hearing will be held within 10 days following published notification in the official town newspaper.
SECTION 19: SUBDIVISIONS
A. Definition: As used in this Local Law, the word “subdivision” shall mean any deeded tract of land which is divided, simultaneously or progressively, into five (5) or more parcels or lots, regardless of change of ownership, regardless of whether the lots to be sold or offered for sale, or leased for any period of time, are contiguous. The term “subdivision” includes re-subdivision of larger lots, and the combination of smaller lots into larger lots.
B. A deeded tract of land shall constitute a subdivision:
1. Upon the sale, rental or offer for sale or lease of the fifth lot or parcel there from, regardless of whether said parcels have been sold, rented, offered for sale or lease, or transferred singularly or collectively.
2. If any new street, road or highway is constructed, or is intended to be dedicated for public use.
C. Subdivision Map Requirements:
Before any real property is subdivided into lots for sale, a map of the subdivision property, which meets the following legal requirements, must be filed in the office of the Herkimer County Clerk:All maps presented for filing must be printed or drawn with pen and india ink upon transparent tracing cloth or polyester film or be photographic copies on transparent tracing cloth or polyester film
2. Must be in triplicate, to be distributed as follows:
a. Original mylar filed in the office of Herkimer County Clerk
b. One paper copy forwarded to Herkimer County Tax Department
c. One paper copy forwarded to Litchfield Town Clerk (Section 334 Real Property Law, Article 9 as amended 8/84)
3. Maps must be not less than 8.5” x 11”, and not more than 24” x 36” in size. (Section 334 Real Property Law as amended
4. Must have a certificate of the licensed land surveyor filing said map attached, showing the date of completion of the survey
by said land surveyor and the name of the subdivision. (Section 334, Real Property Law)
5. Must have Town Board final approval endorsed on the map and be signed by the duly authorized officer of the Town. (Section 271, 176, 278 Town Law)
6. Must have New York State Department of Health approval, endorsed on the map, if any lot in the subdivision consists of
five (5) acres or less. (Section 1115-1118, Public Health Law, Article II, Title II).
7. Must be filed with the Herkimer County Clerk within sixty (60) days of Town Board approval (Section 276 Town Law).
8. Must have endorsed thereon or annexed thereto a certificate of the county treasurer or of an abstract and title company and
of all tax collecting officers stating that all taxes on the property have been paid. (Section 334 Real Property Law).
9. Filing fee $ 50 per lot, payable upon final approval by Litchfield Town Board.Proof of filing of maps with Herkimer County Clerk must be provided to Litchfield Town Clerk within 60 days of final approval, or subdivision approval shall be null and void.
1.The arrangement, character, extent, width, grade, design and location of all streets shall be approved by the Town Board before any excavation is begun.Street right-of-way widths shall be not less than sixty six (66) feet
E. SUBDIVISION PUBLIC HEARINGPrior to any final approval of any subdivision made by the Town Board, a public Hearing will be held within 10 days following published notification in the official town newspaper.Approval of a subdivision map by the Town Board does not constitute approval to build on any lot. A separate application must be made for any proposed construction. Refer to Section 6 – Building Permits.
SECTION 20: BOARD OF APPEALS
A Board of Appeals has been established. It shall consist of five members, each to serve for a term of five years. The term of office of the members of the Board of Appeals and the manner of their appointment shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Town Law. Vacancies occurring in said Board shall be filled for such un-expired period only. The Board of Appeals shall have the duties, rights, powers and functions conferred upon it by Town Resolution and any other provisions of law or ordinance applicable, including the following:
1. All meetings of the Board of Appeals shall be held at the call of the Chairman and at such other times as such board may determine. Notice of meetings shall be sent to all Board of Appeals members by the Town Clerk, by regular mail.
2. Such Chairman or in his absence the acting Chairman, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses.
3. All meetings of the Board shall be advertised in the official paper of the town not less than five (5) days nor more than fifteen (15) days prior to such meetings. The town clerk shall also notify all bordering (including those separated by highways) property owners of such meeting by regular mail.
4. Such Board shall keep minutes of its proceedings showing the vote of each member upon every question, or if absent or failing to vote, indication of such fact, and shall keep records of all official actions.
5. All decisions of the Board shall be in writing, and a copy of each decision shall be sent to the applicant and the Codes Enforcement Officer within 14 days following the Public Hearing.
6. Every rule, regulation, amendment or repeal thereof and every order, requirement, decision or determination of the board shall be filed in the office of the Town Clerk and shall be a public record.
7. Each decision of the Board shall set forth fully the reasons for the decision of the Board and the findings of fact on which the decision was based.
B. POWERS AND DUTIES
The Board of Appeals shall have the following powers and duties prescribed by this Local Law:
1. The Board of Appeals shall hear and decide appeals from and review any order, requirement, decision or determination made by the Codes Enforcement Officer.
2. It shall also hear and decide all matters referred to it upon which it is required to pass under this Local Law.
3. The concurring vote of a majority of the Board of Appeals shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision or determination of the Codes Enforcement Officer, or to decide in favor of any applicant any matter upon which it is required to pass under this Local Law or to effect any variation in this Local Law.
4. An appeal may be taken by any person aggrieved, or by any officer, department or board of the Town.
5. A public hearing shall be held with 28 days after an appeal is received by the Chairman of the Board of Appeals, and a decision in writing will be made within 14 days following the closing of the public hearing.
6. The Codes Enforcement Officer shall transmit to the Board all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed was taken.
7. An appeal stops all proceedings unless the Codes Enforcement Officer certifies to the Board of Appeals that a stay would in his opinion cause imminent peril to life or property, in which case proceedings shall not be stayed other than by restraining order which may be granted by the Board of Appeals or by a court of record.
8. The applicant seeking a variance at the time of application will pay a fee of $ 25.00 The application shall include the names and address of the owners of all properties bordering the subject property, including properties separated by a highway.
1. A variance may be granted on an appeal from a determination of the Codes Enforcement Officer and in conformity with law, to vary the requirements as they apply to a particular lot where the property owner can show that his property was acquired in good faith and where the strict application of this Local Law would result in practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship.
2. No application for a variance shall be acted on until the required public hearing has been held.
3. The Board of Appeals shall prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards to carry out the requirements of this section and shall not grant any variances unless it shall make a finding of fact based upon the evidence as presented to it in each specific case.
SECTION 21: PROHIBITED USES
There will be no junk yards, rendering plants, land fills, radioactive waste disposal, infectious waste incinerators or slaughter houses allowed in the Town of Litchfield. (as defined by New York State Law).
SECTION 22: ACCESSORY BUILDING AND USES
A. All accessory buildings or uses shall require a permit to be issued prior to their initiation as elsewhere required in this local law.
B. Location of such use or building in other than side or back yards shall require approval of the Codes Enforcement Officer prior to permit issuance.
C. An accessory building should not be placed or constructed over a septic system or any part of a septic system.
D. No permit shall be required for a single accessory building with dimensions that do not exceed a maximum of 100 square feet, providing that all other applicable provisions of the Local Law are observed.
E. There shall be not more than three accessory buildings allowed per lot. Uses relating to an agricultural use shall not be subject to such numerical restriction.
SECTION 23: PENALTIES AND FINES
A. Violation of any provision or requirement of this law or any violation of the New York State Property Maintenance Code, or New York State Building Code, shall be considered an offense punishable by a fine of not more than $ 250.00 for conviction of a first offense and/or imprisonment for not more than 30 days for the first offense. Conviction of a second offense, both of which were committed within a period of five years, is punishable by a fine of not less than $ 250.00 or more than $ 500.00, and/or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 30 days or both. Conviction for a third or subsequent offense, all of which were committed within a period of five years, is punishable by a fine of not less than $500.00 or more than $ 750.00, and/or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 30 days.
B. The owner, general agent or contractor of a building premise or part thereof where such a violation has been committed or does exist, and any agent, contractor, architect, builder, tenant, corporation, or other person who commits, or takes part in, or assists in such violation, shall be liable for such offense.
C. The Codes Enforcement Officer or other official designated by the Town Board shall have the authority to issue summons or appearance tickets concerning any offense against this local law or any offense against the New York State Property Maintenance Code or New York State Building Code.
SECTION 24: PARTIAL INVALIDITY
If any section of this Local Law shall be held unconstitutional, invalid or ineffective, in whole or in part, such determination shall not be deemed to effect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof.
SECTION 25: EFFECTIVE DATE
This Local Law shall take effect immediately upon its passage and publication as provided by law and upon filing with the Secretary of State.