September 14, 2010

Rural Residential

While I've always liked the "big table" of uses at the front of the draft zoning law, figuring out what any given zone actually means requires wandering all over the document to find various parts and assemble them. As such an understanding seems like a useful foundation for conversation about the zoning law - and what's right and wrong with it - I've attempted assembly.

I'll do all of the zones eventually, but it seemed reasonable to start with Rural Residential, which is generally the most restrictive zone. I've taken material from about the first 35 pages of the draft law and assembled them into a "here's what to expect if you live in RR." It doesn't include general regulations or details that apply to every district, but hopefully these extracts give an idea of how land use in RR should work.

Please let me know if you find errors or if you have formatting suggestions. This isn't easy material to present, unfortunately. I'm aware that the Town Board is changing the draft, and will update this when those changes are public.

Rural Residential (RR)

Based on July 2010 draft zoning

The purpose of the Rural Residential (RR) District is to retain an area of the town where residential uses situated in a rural landscape constitute the primary land use, consistent with the Town of Dryden 2005 Comprehensive Plan. Urbanizing infrastructure, such as public water and sewer, does not exist and is not planned for this area in the future except where an overlay such as Optional Traditional Neighborhood Development Overlay is indicated on the map (see below for description). Single- and two-family homes are the predominant form of development. Agriculture is also expected to be a substantial land use well into the future. (From §400.)

Uses allowed as of right

(From §501. Asterisks mean that Site Plan Review is required.)


RESIDENTIAL GROUP: Day care homes, Family, Day care, Family Group, Dwelling - accesory unit, Dwelling - single-family, Dwelling - two-family, Dwelling - upper-floor apartments, Home Occupation Level 1, Home Occupation Level 2 (on state and county roads only)

COMMUNITY GROUP: Cemetery*, Municipal Use*

RECREATION GROUP: Passive Recreation

  • Any accessory building or use determined by the Planning Board to be customarily incidental to a permitted use, including detached garages and sheds.

  • Accessory recreational uses, such as swimming pools and sports courts, provided that they are in compliance with the setback requirements for the principal use.

  • Off-Street Parking Facilities

Uses allowed by Special Use Permit

BUSINESS GROUP: Artist Studio/ Craft Workshop*, Bed-and Breakfast establishment*, Campground*, Day care center*, Inn*, Nursery / Greenhouse* (No Business Group Use shall include a structure larger than 5,000 sf.)

RESIDENTIAL GROUP: Bed-and-Breakfast home, Home Occupation Level 2 (on Town Roads), Manufactured Home Park, Senior Housing

COMMUNITY GROUP: Educational Use*, Public Safety*, Public Utility*, Religious institution*

RECREATION GROUP: Active Recreation

Not allowed

BUSINESS GROUP: Adult Use*, Agriculture-Related Enterprise*, Automotive Repair Garage*, Automotive Sales*, Automotive Salvage*, Automotive Towing Service*, Boarding House*, Car Wash*, Commercial Riding Facility*, Contractor's yard*, Drive-through facility*, Gasoline Station*, General Office Building*, Hotel / Motel*, Industry, Light*, Industry / Manufacturing*, Kennel*, Mining*, Professional office*, Restaurant*, Retail business*, Retail shopping centers / plazas*, Retreat or Conference Center*, Service Business*, Self-storage*, Theater*, Warehouse*

RESIDENTIAL GROUP: Congregate Care Facility, Dwelling - multi-family, Dwelling - upper-floor apartments, Manufactured Home, Workshop / Garage - Non-Commercial

COMMUNITY GROUP: Library*, Lodge or club*

RECREATION GROUP: Recreation Facility - Amusement, Recreation Facility - Athletic, Recreation Facility - Motorized

Area and Bulk

From §601:

  • Minimum lot size with public sewer and water facilities - 10,000 square feet

  • Minimum lot size without public sewer and water facilities - 1 acre

  • Minimum front yard setback - 50 feet

  • Minimum side yard setback - 15 feet

  • Minimum side yard setback for accessory building < 15 feet high and < 200 square feet - 15 feet

  • Minimum rear yard setback - 25 feet

  • Minimum rear yard setback for accessory building < 15 feet high and < 200 square feet - 15 feet

  • Minimum lot frontage - 50 feet

  • Minimum lot width - 100 feet

  • Maximum lot coverage - 25%

  • Maximum building height - 35 feet (From §604: The following structures are exempt from height requirements listed in the table above: church steeples, water towers, farm structures, public monuments, and those facilities that have gained approval under other Local Laws or through the Special Use Permit process such as telecommunication or energy facilities.)

A lot in the RR district may derive its street frontage and access by means of a strip of land connecting the street and the main portion of the lot, provided that no portion of said access and frontage strip of land shall be less than 50 feet wide. The front yard setback of such a flag lot shall be measured from the rear lot line of the lot between the flag lot and the street on which it has frontage. In the case of a lot with radial or angled side lot lines, the front yard setback shall be established where the lot meets the minimum lot width requirement when measured parallel to the street from which the lot derives access

Density and Subdivision

From §601:

  1. Maximum Permitted Density in the RR and RA Districts shall be 1du per 2 acres of Parent Parcel as determined on the adoption of this law. This density shall be based on the acreage of Parent Parcels as defined herein.

  2. Actual Permitted Density may be less than or equal to the Maximum Permitted Density. Actual Permitted Density shall be calculated based on the linear feet of Road Frontage possessed by a Parent Parcel and the proposed form of development as follows:

    1. Frontage Lot. With an individual curbcut/driveway onto an existing road - 1 lot per 400 feet of the Parent Parcel's Road Frontage. Note: The frontage of the actual building lot may be more or less than 400 feet at the discretion of the developer and in accordance with this law and physical feasibility of the site.

    2. Shared Access Lot.

      1. With shared access (one curbcut/driveway) onto an existing road - 2 lots per 600 feet of the Parent Parcel's Road Frontage, plus

      2. 1 additional lot per 200 additional feet of the Parent Parcel's Road Frontage if utilizing the same shared access point as the lots in (i) above. Note: the shared access point does not necessarily require a shared driveway, nor does it preclude one.

      3. See §911 for additional requirements pertaining to shared access.

    3. To achieve an Actual Permitted Density above what is possible under §601(2)(A) or (B) above, up to but not exceeding the Maximum Permitted Density for the RR and RA Districts, Conservation Subdivision procedures under Article VII shall apply. [I will eventually link this to an explanation of Conservation Subdivision.]

  3. Procedures. Recognizing that proper administration of the density provisions in §601(1) and (2) above is important for meeting the intent of this Local Law, the following procedures have been established to help ensure proper monitoring of lot splits in the RR and RA Districts:

    1. Concurrent with the adoption of this law, an official parent parcel map indicating existing lots ("parent parcels"), parcel numbers, and land ownership for parcels in the RR and RA Districts shall be established along with an official register containing this information.

    2. An allotment of lots possible under Maximum Permitted Density (from §601(1) above) shall be made for each Parent Parcel in the RR and RA Districts and recorded on the map and in the register. The acreage and the linear feet of road frontage of the Parent Parcel shall also be recorded on the map and in the register. Frontage and the Maximum Permitted Density calculation may be confirmed and/or re-calculated at the time of an application, based on a survey of the property.

    3. As lots in the RR and RA Districts are created:

      1. The remaining acreage available for development, once actual acreage of the new lots has been subtracted from the parent parcel's original acreage, shall be recorded on the map and in the register;

      2. The remaining allotment of lots under Maximum Permitted Density shall be updated on the map and register to reflect these changes, and

      3. The amount of road frontage used to determine the Actual Permitted Density (pursuant to §601(2) above) shall be subtracted from the Parent Parcel's linear feet of Road Frontage. This shall be recorded on the map and in the register, and the remainder of feet will be used as the basis of future calculations of Actual Permitted Density.

    4. The official town map and register shall be maintained by a designated official of the Town and copies made available for inspection by the public.

    5. Shared driveway agreements that include clear definitions of responsibilities and maintenance procedures shall be submitted to the town for town approval. See §911.

    6. Appeals on the accuracy and calculations on the Parent Parcel Map will be made to the Zoning Board of Appeals on a form provided by the Planning Department.

(Example given on pages 28-9 of zoning law.)

Posted by simon at September 14, 2010 8:43 PM in
Note on photos