Amendment to Chapter 170
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, there has been presented to the Town Board of the Town of Southold, Suffolk County, New York, on the 10th day of March, 2020, a Local Law entitled “A Local Law in relation to an Amendment to Chapter 170, Landmark Preservation, in connection with the Historic Preservations Commission’s jurisdiction over new construction” and
NOTICE IS HEREBY FURTHER GIVEN that the Town Board of the Town of Southold will hold a public hearing on the aforesaid Local Law at Southold Town Hall, 53095 Main Road, Southold, New York, on the 7th day of April, 2020 at 7:01 p.m. at which time all interested persons will be given an opportunity to be heard.
The proposed Local Law entitled, “A Local Law in relation to an Amendment to Chapter 170, Landmark Preservation, in connection with the Historic Preservations Commission’s jurisdiction over new construction” reads as follows:
LOCAL LAW NO. 2020
A Local Law entitled, “A Local Law in relation to an Amendment to Chapter 170, Landmark Preservation, in connection with the Historic Preservations Commission’s jurisdiction over new construction”
BE IT ENACTED by the Town Board of the Town of Southold as follows:
The Town Board has reviewed the Chapter 170 of the Southold Town Code associated with Landmark Preservation and determined that the chapter requires revision in order to clarify of the role of the Historic Preservation Commission with respect to new construction on a site previously occupied by a landmarked property.
Chapter 170 of the Code of the Town of Southold is hereby amended by removing the struck through portions and adding the underlined portions to read as follows:
§ 170-4 Historic Preservation Commission; membership; terms; powers and duties.
A. There is hereby created a commission to be known as the "Town of Southold Historic
Preservation Commission." The Historic Preservation Commission shall consist of no
fewer than five members and no greater than seven members, to be appointed by the
Town Board, to the extent available in the community, as follows:
[Amended 8-16-2005 by L.L. No. 13-2005]
(1) At least one member shall be an architect experienced in working with historic
(2) At least one member shall have demonstrated significant interest in and
commitment to the field of historic preservation; and
(3) All members shall have a known interest in historic preservation and architectural
development within the Town of Southold.
B. Members of the Historic Preservation Commission shall serve for terms of four years
with the exception of the initial term of one of the members which shall be for one year,
two which shall be for two years, and two which shall be for three years.
C. There shall be a Secretary to the Commission who shall be responsible for the keeping of
meeting minutes, publication of meeting minutes, posting of public notices and any other
D. The Chair, the Vice Chair and the Secretary of the Commission shall be elected by and
from the members of the Commission annually at the first regular meeting of the calendar
year, except for the first organizational meeting convened after this chapter is enacted.
E. The powers of the Commission shall include:
(1) Employment of staff and professional consultants as necessary to carry out the
duties of the Commission, within the limits of appropriations of the Town Board;
(2) Promulgation of rules and regulations as necessary for the conduct of its business;
(3) Conduct of surveys of significant historic, architectural, and cultural landmarks
and historic districts within the Town;
(4) Designation and recommendation of identified landmarks or resources as historic
(5) Recommend acceptance to the Town Board of the donation of facade easements
and development rights, and the making of recommendations to the Town Board
concerning the acquisition of facade easements or other interests of real property
as necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter;
(6) Increasing public awareness of the value of historic, cultural, and architectural
preservation by developing and participating in public education programs;
(7) Making recommendations to Town government concerning the utilization of state,
federal or private funds to promote the preservation of landmarks and historic
districts within the Town;
(8) Recommending acquisition of a landmark by the Town Board where its
preservation is essential to the purposes of this chapter and where private
preservation is not feasible; and
(9) Approval or disapproval of applications for certificates of appropriateness of
demolition, alteration, new construction or economic hardship pursuant to this
F. The Commission shall meet at least monthly, but meetings may be held at any time on
the written request of any two of the Commission members or on the call of the Chair.
G. A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of three of the Commission’s
members, but not less than a majority of the full authorized membership may grant or
deny a certificate of appropriateness.
H. All members shall attend and complete relevant training programs as the Town Board
I. The Commission shall publish and update as needed A Guide to Historic Preservation in
§ 170-6 Certificate of appropriateness for alteration, demolition or new construction.
A. No person shall carry out any of the following activities without first obtaining a
certificate of appropriateness specifically permitting such activity from the Town of
Southold Historic Preservation Commission:
(1) The demolition or removal of landmarks designated as "historic" pursuant to
§ 170-5 of this chapter; or
(2) The alteration of the facade of landmarks designated as "historic" pursuant to
§ 170-5 of this chapter; or
(3) New construction on a site previously occupied by a landmark designated as
“historic” pursuant to § 170-5 of this chapter.
B. No demolition or building permit shall be issued for such activities without such
certificate of appropriateness. The certificate of appropriateness required by this chapter
shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any building permit that may be required by any
other chapter of the Town Code of the Town of Southold.
§ 170-7 Application for certificate of appropriateness.
A. In all cases where a certificate of appropriateness is required by the Historic Preservation
Commission, an applicant shall provide the Historic Preservation Commission with the
following information on the prescribed form:
(1) Name, address and telephone number of the applicant; location, Tax Map number,
and photographs of each side of the landmark; and a brief description of the
landmark indicating (approximate) date of construction, name of architect (if
known), historic and/or architectural and archaeological significance and a
description of its setting, including related grounds, accessory buildings and
structures and property boundaries, the nature of the work proposed, and elevation
drawings, if available;
(2) History of the recent (i.e., past 10 years) use, occupancy and ownership of the
(3) Name, address and telephone number of the individual, contractor, or corporation
performing the work;
(4) Application fee receipt; and
(5) Any information required by the Historic Preservation Commission to make a
determination on an application.
B. The Historic Preservation Commission shall hold a public hearing within 60 days after
receipt of an application completed in accordance with this section. At the hearing, all
interested persons shall be provided the opportunity to present their views. Notice of the
public hearing shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the
Town, i.e., the Town’s official newspaper, at least 10 days prior to the date of the public
Hearing. At the hearing, the Historic Preservation Commission may take testimony and
entertain the submission of written evidence from any person.
C. Action on application.
(1) The Historic Preservation Commission shall act to approve, deny or approve with
conditions the application for a certificate of appropriateness within 60 calendar
days after the conclusion of the hearing except where such time shall be extended
by mutual agreement of the Historic Preservation Commission and the applicant.
Such determination shall be in writing and accompanied by findings, which
findings shall seek to balance, to the extent practicable, the objectives of the
applicant with broader issues that may be associated with the value of the historic
site or landmark to the community’s heritage. Within seven days following the
determination, the applicant shall be sent by registered mail either an a certificate
of appropriateness or a denial and a copy thereof shall be provided to the Building
Department of the Town.
(2) In the case of the granting of a certificate of appropriateness, the Historic
Preservation Commission shall be empowered to impose reasonable conditions
upon the applicant to ensure that the activity is conducted in a manner which is
consistent with the spirit and intent of this chapter.
(3) A denial of the application shall be accompanied by a written statement of the
reasons for the denial. In the case of denial, the Historic Preservation Commission
shall be required to make recommendations to the applicant concerning reuse or
restoration of the landmark. The Historic Preservation Commission may also
notify a governmental agency with the authority to acquire the property and
prevent its demolition through exercise of its power of eminent domain.
§ 170-8 Criteria for approval of alteration of facades of historic landmarks.
A. The Historic Preservation Commission, in reviewing an application for the alteration of
the facades of landmarks designated as "historic" pursuant to § 170-5 of this chapter,
shall not consider changes to interior spaces. In addition to the factors enumerated in
§ 170-9 10A, the Commission shall consider the following criteria:
(1) Whether the proposed alteration is consistent with principles of adaptive reuse,
whereby the principal historic features of the landmark are maintained while
permitting the use of the landmark for new uses other than its original use;
(2) The similarity in design, architecture and appearance of the proposed alteration
with the historic design, architecture and appearance;
(3) The necessity for complying with the applicable building codes or other federal or
(4) The necessity of such alteration to allow for a use of the property permitted by the
Town Code in the applicable zoning district; and
(5) The public interest in preserving the historic features of the landmark and its
relation to the historic character of the community and Town.
§ 170-9 Criteria for approval of new construction on a site previously occupied by a historic landmark.
A. The Historic Preservation Commission, in reviewing an application for new construction
on a site previously occupied by a landmark designated as “historic” pursuant to § 170-5
of this chapter, shall not consider changes to interior spaces. In addition to the factors
enumerated in § 170-10A, the Commission shall consider the following criteria:
(1) The similarity in design, architecture, scale, size and appearance of the new
structure with the original structure being replaced;
(2) The necessity for complying with the applicable building codes or other federal or
(3) The necessity of such alteration to allow for a use of the property permitted by the
Town Code in the applicable zoning district; and
(4) The public interest in preserving the historic features of the landmark and its
relation to the historic character of the community and Town.
§ 170-9 10 Criteria for approval of demolition or removal of historic landmarks.
A. In passing upon an application for certificate of appropriateness of demolition or
removal, the Historic Preservation Commission decision shall consider whether:
(1) The landmark is of such architectural or historic interest that its demolition or
removal would be to the detriment of the public interest;
(2) Retention of the landmark in its current form or location is important to the
Town’s history or character;
(3) The landmark is of such old and unusual or uncommon design, texture and
material that it could not be reproduced or be reproduced only with great
(4) Retention of the landmark would help preserve and protect an historic place or
area of historic interest in the Town; and
(5) Retention of the landmark will promote the general welfare by maintaining and
increasing real estate values and encourage interest in American and local history
B. If the Historic Preservation Commission determines that an application for certificate of
appropriateness of demolition or removal should be denied, the applicant may apply for
relief on the ground that the determination results in a hardship in accordance with the
procedures in § 170-10 11.
§ 170-10 11 Hardship criteria for approval of demolition, removal, or alteration or new construction of historic landmarks.
A. If the Historic Preservation Commission denies an application for the demolition,
removal, or alteration or new construction of a landmark designated as "historic" pursuant
to § 170-10 of this chapter, the applicant may request approval from the Town Board on
the grounds that the prohibition on such demolition, or removal, alteration or new
construction will subject the applicant to undue hardship. In evaluating whether such
prohibition will subject the applicant to undue hardship, the Town Board shall consider
the following criteria:
(1) Whether the owner is capable of earning a reasonable return on investment
without such demolition, removal, or alteration or new construction;
(2) Whether the landmark can be altered, restored, renovated or adapted for any other
use pursuant to a certificate of appropriateness under this chapter, either by the
owner or a subsequent purchaser, which would enable a reasonable return;
(3) Whether removal, or alteration or new construction is necessary or appropriate to
preserve the landmark;
(4) Whether the claimed hardship has been self-created by waste, neglect, or failure
to maintain the landmark; and
(5) The public interest in preserving the landmark and its relation to the historic
character of the community and Town.
B. Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the demolition, removal or alteration of any
structure which has been determined by resolution of the Town Board of the Town of
Southold to be dangerous or unsafe.
§ 170-11 12 Appeals.
Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Historic Preservation Commission relating to an application under this chapter may, within 30 days of the decision, file a written application with the Town Board for review of the decision. Reviews shall be conducted based on the same record that was before the Commission and using the criteria set forth in this chapter.
§ 170-12 13 Enforcement.
All activities conducted and work performed pursuant to a certificate of appropriateness issued by the Historic Preservation Commission under this chapter shall conform to the specific requirements of the certificate of appropriateness. It shall be the duty of the Code Enforcement Officer to inspect periodically any such activities or work to ensure compliance. In the event it is determined that such activities or work is not being conducted or performed in accordance with the certificate of appropriateness, the Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a stop-work order and all affected activities and work shall immediately cease. No further affected activities or work shall be undertaken while the stop-work order is in effect.
§ 170-1314 Penalties for offenses.
Any violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be violation of the Town Code and shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000. Each week’s continuing violation shall constitute a separate violation. The Town Attorney is authorized and directed to cooperate with the Code Enforcement Officer to institute any and all actions and proceedings necessary to enforce this chapter. Any civil remedy shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any criminal prosecution or penalty.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section, or part of this Local Law shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, the judgment shall not affect the validity of this law as a whole or any part thereof other than the part so decided to be unconstitutional or invalid.
IV. EFFECTIVE DATE
This Local Law shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State as provided by law.