[Transcribed from Appendix H.1 of the HRVR FEIS submitted to DEC on 15 May 2013, and being the same document introduced to the Town Board on 4 Apr 2012.  An accompanying cover letter is not included in this transcription.]

Town of Rosendale
Local Law No.         of the year 2011 [Year should be 2012.]

A Local Law to amend Chapter 75 of the Code of the Town of Rosendale entitled “Zoning Law of the Town of Rosendale, New York” (hereinafter referred to as the “Zoning Law”).

Be it enacted by the Town Board of the Town of Rosendale as follows:


This local law shall be known as “A Law Amending the Zoning Law of the Town of Rosendale to Establish the Binnewater Lakes Conservation Planned Development Area.”


This Local Law is enacted pursuant to the authority of Municipal Home Rule Law Section 10, the Town Law, and in accordance with the Zoning Law of the Town of Rosendale, New York - Article IX entitled “Amendments.”


A. [Section 3 contains only one subsection, thus no separate heading letter is appropriate.] Chapter 75 of the Town Code of the Town of Rosendale is hereby amended with the addition of the following new section:


§75-29 (A). Intent.

The Binnewater Lakes Conservation Planned Development Area (“BLCPDA”) is a special planning area intended to recognize the unique environmental, historic and economic importance of the Binnewater Lakes and their surrounds.  The area is home to important geologic, surface water and habitat resources and has historically served as an important economic resource for the Town via the extraction and tourism industries.  The area is also unique in that it has principally remained in uniform ownership and/or control for the last 80 years and it is likely to remain that way into the foreseeable future.  The Town Board wishes to take advantage of these unique characteristics by establishing a mechanism that will create the opportunity for the uniform conservation, planning and development of this area as well as a sustainable redevelopment of the Williams Lake Hotel Resort which has served for decades as a principal tourist destination within the Town.  Toward that end, this zoning section authorizes the location of a “Lakes Conservation Planned Development” within the BLCPDA consisting of both resort and residential uses and sets forth comprehensive regulations for such development to ensure that it can be properly located, maintained and constructed to accomplish its purpose without detriment to the environment and the general health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Town of Rosendale.

§75-29 (B). Establishment of Binnewater Lakes Conservation Planned Development Area.

The Binnewater Lakes Conservation Planned Development Area is hereby established as a special planning area within the Town of Rosendale. The area is depicted on the Zoning Map promulgated pursuant to §75-5 of the Zoning Law.  The area presently consists of approximately 779 acres (6+/-% of Town’s total land mass).  The Town Board may amend the Zoning Map to place additional adjoining acreage into the BLCPDA.  The BLCPDA designation does not alter the underlying zoning classification of the properties located within its boundaries.  However, any application for a Lakes Conservation Planned Development made pursuant to this section shall be solely governed by the regulations contained herein.

§75-29 (C). Lakes Conservation Planned Development.

A. A Lakes Conservation Planned Development is a planned, mixed use development on a large tract of land within the LCPDA designed to maximize conservation and protection of important natural resources while authorizing compact development of commercial and residential uses that can support and sustain a responsible economic development model for the Town.  The appropriate redevelopment of the Williams Lake Hotel Resort is a critical component of this model and is required as part of any Lakes Conservation Planned Development application. .[Delete extra period.]"

B. A Lakes Conservation Planned Development requires Master Development Plan approval, site plan and as necessary, subdivision approvals from the Town Planning Board in accordance with the procedure set forth and upon compliance with the standards and regulations herein.  No application for site plan, subdivision or other site specific approval for any phase or section of a Lakes Conservation Planned Development shall be reviewed or approved until a Master Development Plan has been approved by the Planning Board in accordance with the requirements herein.

§75-29 (D). Development Standards and Objectives.

A. A Lakes Conservation Planned Development shall demonstrate compliance with the following development standards and objectives:

[Numbered items should be indented, as is done in §75-29 (E).]
(1) Protection of important natural resources including but not limited to the Binnewater Lakes, other important surface and ground water resources, wetlands, vernal pools, endangered species and their habitat, mature forest and sensitive geological features including steep slopes and sites with Karst geology (hydrogeologically sensitive carbonate geology)..[Delete extra period.]

(2) Redevelopment of the Williams Lake Hotel Resort as a principal tourist destination for the Town.

(3) Utilization of a compact development footprint with residential uses clustered to the extent feasible.

(4) Preservation of a significant expanse of open space with minimization of the fragmentation of existing forested areas.  A minimum 40% of the development’s gross site acreage must be preserved as open space.

(5) Preparation of a long term resource management plan for existing lands under conservation easement as well as additional lands that become subject to conservation protection.  Such plan may include mechanisms to provide for public access to conservation areas.

(6) Where feasible, protection of identified pre-historic and historic cultural resources deemed important.

(7) Incorporation of an environmental and/or historical education feature into the development plan.

(8) Inclusion of a public access component into the development plan.

(9) Provision of an affordable housing component within the development plan or, support of another affordable housing effort or project within the Town.

(10) Incorporation of sustainable practices applicable in the construction and operation of the development.

(11) Central water and sewers must be provided to the site as well as electric, cable and telephone.

(12) Access to the development must be from a public street which meets current accepted design standards with respect to roadway width and alignment.

(13) Identification of appropriate legal mechanisms to preserve and protect important natural resources and open spaces and to govern and regulate common area elements of the development plan.

§75-29 (E). Permitted Principal and Accessory Uses.

A. Principal Uses. The following principal uses shall be permitted in a Lakes Conservation Planned Development:

(1) Hotel/Resort rooms and suites within a single building or multiple buildings

(2) Recreational amenities supportive of the hotel/resort as a seasonal or year round destination.  Such amenities shall include both indoor and outdoor recreational and/or health related facilities.  Examples include, but are not limited to, a spa, gymnasium, boating, swimming, agricultural, equestrian, and winter sports facilities

(3) Single family dwellings.

(4) Two family dwellings.

(5) Multi-family dwellings.

(6) Any other residential use or housing / dwelling type approved by the Planning Board.

(7) Buildings and structures for the common recreational or social use, education, wellness and enjoyment of guests or residents of the community, or designed for the provision of services to the guests or residents of the community.

(8) Park and conservation areas.

(9) Community buildings and activity spaces.

(10) Entry gate, security, valet and concierge stations.

(11) Community oriented agricultural uses.

B. Permitted Accessory Uses.

Any uses which are customary, incidental or subordinate to a principally permitted use within the approved Master Development Plan Examples include, but are not limited to, parking areas, utilities and utility structures (including renewable energy installations), restaurants, bars, and gift shops servicing hotel/resort guests or development residents.

§75-29 (F). Bulk and Lot Requirements.

A. Due to the unique nature of the LCPDA and the intent to provide design flexibility in the creation of a Lakes Conservation Planned Development, the bulk and lot requirements established elsewhere in the Zoning Law are not applicable here.  Bulk and lot requirements for both residential and non-residential uses (principal and accessory), including minimum lot area, minimum yards, minimum setbacks and other bulk and lot standards shall be determined by the Planning Board as part of the Lakes Conservation Planned Development review process.

B. Notwithstanding the above, the maximum residential and non-residential density in a Lakes Conservation Planned Development shall be as follows:

(1) Maximum residential density.

No more than 160 residential units shall be permitted in a Lakes Conservation Planned Development.

(2) Maximum nonresidential development density.

The maximum nonresidential development density shall be 200,000 square feet.  The minimum acreage allocated for non-residential use purposes shall be 25 acres. 

§75-29 (G). General Design Guidelines

A Lakes Conservation Planned Development shall comply with the following general Design Guidelines:

(1) Architectural elements shall be used to provide visual interest and promote integration of design elements.

(2) Groups of related buildings shall be designed to present a visually attractive appearance in terms of combination of juxtaposition of architectural style and massing of buildings.

(3) Shared parking facilities, if feasible, are encouraged.  On-street parking may be allowed provided the street width is adequate to safely accommodate on-street parking.

(4) Building lines shall be varied to the extent practical to provide an interesting interplay of buildings and open spaces.

(5) The layout of residential areas shall create neighborhoods of appropriate scale and design, providing entrance features, landscaping, pedestrian and vehicular circulation suitable to the type of housing provided.

(6) Buildings shall be designed with consideration of their appearance from vantage points both within and outside the LCPDA.

(7) Appurtenances on buildings and accessory structures shall receive architectural treatment consistent with that of principal buildings.

(8) Where practical, use of natural materials shall be utilized for construction of buildings and site features.  Natural materials shall be locally sourced to the extent feasible.

(9) Palates and colors consistent with the natural landscape shall be used.

§75-29 (H). Specific Design Standards.

The LCPDA allows flexibility to encourage innovative site planning and design.  Toward that end, specific design standards are to be established for the Lakes Conservation Planned Development as part of the Master Development Plan process.  The adopted Design Standards shall govern and be incorporated into the design of individual site plans and/or subdivision plans for each building phase and/or section of the development.

§75-29 (I). Master Development Plan; Application, Review and Approval

A. Application.

(1) An application for approval of a Master Development Plan shall be made in writing to the Planning Board and on forms and in such quantity as may be prescribed by the Planning Board.

(2) The application shall include the following information:

(a) Site location map.  A site location map showing the location of the site in relation to existing roads, properties, structures, land uses, zoning districts, service and utility districts and other significant information for the subject property and all areas within 500 feet of the subject property.

(b) Constrained Lands map.  A map or series of maps on a current topographic base depicting all Constrained Lands on the site.

(c) A narrative report describing how the proposed Master Development plan is compliant with applicable SEQRA findings.

(d) Land use and development plan.  A proposed land use and development plan illustrating the applicant’s land use and development concept for the entire property.  The plan shall also depict those lands proposed to be set aside for open space and conservation.

(e) Phasing plan.  A proposed phasing plan indicating the phasing of site development and infrastructure improvements (both on and off-site), including the general order of construction and the estimated timing of each phase.

(f) Additional information.  Such additional information in narrative or graphic form as may be required to enable the Planning Board to make its determinations as required herein.

Fully engineered plans and construction details are not required at this stage of the process.

(3) Fees. An application shall be accompanied by an application fee as prescribed by the Town Board. If professional review of the application is required by a designated private planning, engineering, legal or other consultants or, if other extraordinary expense to review documents or conduct special studies in connection with the proposed application is incurred, reasonable fees shall be paid for by the applicant, and an escrow deposit will be required.

B. Application Review.

The review of a Master Development Plan shall be conducted in accordance with the following procedure.

(a) Upon receipt of an application, the Planning Board shall notify the applicant of the place, date, and time of the meeting at which the application is to be considered.  The applicant or the applicant’s representatives shall be present at meetings at which the application is to be considered.

(b) GML review.  The application shall be referred to the Ulster County Department of Planning for any review under GML 239 l, m, n or nn.

(c) Conservation Commission review.  The application may also be referred to the Commission for the Conservation of the Environment for its review and comment.  Such review and comment shall be completed within 60 days of referral of the application to it or prior to the public hearing conducted on the application whichever is earlier.

(d) SEQRA review.  The Planning Board shall determine whether the application complies with any applicable SEQRA findings.  If the application complies with such SEQRA findings, no further SEQRA review shall be conducted.  If the application does not comply with such findings the Planning Board shall proceed to issue or recommend issuance of a determination of significance for the proposed action.  The application shall not be deemed complete until it is determined that no further SEQRA review is required; a negative declaration is issued or, a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement has been accepted by the lead agency.1

(e) Public hearing.  Within 60 days of receipt of a complete application, the Planning Board shall hold a public hearing on the Master Development Plan application.  Notice of the public hearing shall be published in the official newspaper of the Town at least 10 days prior to the date set for public hearing.  The Planning Board may provide that the hearing be further advertised in such manner as it deems most appropriate for public consideration of the application.  All notices shall include the name of the development, the location of the development site, and the date, place, time and subject of the public hearing at which the application will be reviewed.

(f). Planning Board action.  Within 60 days of the close of the public hearing the Planning Board shall act to approve or disapprove the Master Development Plan application.  The time within which the Board must render its decision may be extended by the mutual consent of the applicant and the Planning Board.  The Planning Board may, if it deems it necessary in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the community, attach to its approval any reasonable conditions or requirements for the applicant to meet.  The decision of the Planning Board shall be filed in the office of the Town Clerk within five business days of the date such decision was rendered, and a copy thereof shall be mailed to the applicant.

§75-29 (J). Criteria for approval of a Master Development Plan.

In determining whether or not to approve a Master Development Plan, the Planning Board shall consider the extent to which, the proposed plan meets the following criteria:

(a) The plan is consistent with the goals of the Town’s Comprehensive Plan.

(b) The plan meets the Development Standards and Objectives set forth in §75-29 (D).

(c) The plan meets the General Design Guidelines set forth in §75-29 (G)

(d) The plan provides Specific Design Standards that conform with accepted design principles and further the intent and purpose of this section.

§75-29 (K). Site Plan and Subdivision approvals.

1. Site Plan approval required.  Site Plan review and approval by the planning Board as provided in §75-40 of the Zoning Law shall be required prior to the commencement of any site work or the issuance of a building permit.  Changes to a previously approved site plan shall also require site plan approval.  The site plan application may be for a single phase or multiple phases of the Master Development Plan, or it may be for the whole area covered by the Master Development Plan.

2. Subdivision approval.  If a subdivision of property is proposed subdivision approval from the Planning Board in accordance with Chapter 60 of the Town Code is required.  Such approval shall be received prior to commencement of any site work or the issuance of a building permit.  The subdivision plan application may be for a single phase or multiple phases of the Master Development Plan, or it may be for the whole area covered by the Master Development Plan.  A bulk subdivision of the Master Plan Development area which divides the site into a single residential area and a single non residential area shall be treated as a minor subdivision.

3. Concurrent reviews.  Applications for site plan and subdivision approval may be processed concurrently by the Planning Board.  Similarly, at the applicant’s request and at its sole risk, the Planning Board may process an application for site plan approval or site plan and subdivision approval concurrent with its processing of an application for Master Development Plan approval.  In cases of concurrent review, the review process shall be coordinated to the extent practical including, as necessary, the conduct of a combined public hearing covering applications for multiple approvals.

4. Conflicts.  In the event of a conflict between a provision of this section and a provision of the site plan regulations contained in §75-40 or a provision of the subdivision regulations contained in Chapter 60, this section shall control.

§ 75-29 (L) Time Limits and Vesting

1. An application for site plan approval of a Master Development Plan or a phase thereof shall be submitted within two years of the Planning Board’s grant of Master Plan Development approval.  Failure to submit an application for site plan approval within that period shall render the Master Plan Development approval null and void and of no force or effect.

2. Construction work on the Lakes Conservation Planned Development shall commence within three years of the date of any final site plan approval and the receipt of all other required permits and approvals from involved agencies.  If construction does not commence within said period, then Master Plan Development Approval shall become null and void and all rights shall cease.

3. Individually approved phases of the Master Development Plan shall be substantially completed within five years of commencement of construction.  If the phase is not substantially completed within said timeframe construction of any new phase shall be prohibited until the required substantial completion occurs.

4. Upon written request by the applicant, any of the time limits prescribed above may be extended by the Planning Board for good cause.  Among the examples of good cause are delays occasioned by lawsuits, poor market conditions, unforeseen site conditions and force majeur.  The Planning Board shall not withhold such extension unless it finds that the applicant is not proceeding with due diligence or is otherwise violating the conditions upon which the approvals were granted.  Extensions shall not exceed three years unless the applicant submits a request for further extensions.

5. Within the time limits prescribed above, and for any extension period granted by the Planning Board, the Master Development Plan and the Lakes Conservation Planned Development shall be deemed to have obtained vested rights for purposes of completing the approved development notwithstanding any changes in zoning.  Nor shall anything herein be deemed to abrogate the applicant’s right to acquire common law vested rights based on its substantial “in-ground” investment in the development project.


If any word, phrase, sentence, part, section, subsection, or other portion of this Law or any application thereof to any person or circumstance is declared void, unconstitutional, or invalid for any reason, then such word, phrase, sentence, part, section subsection, or other portion, or the proscribed application thereof, shall be severable, and the remaining provisions of this Law, and all applications thereof, not having been declared void, unconstitutional or invalid, shall remain in full force and effect.


Where this law differs or conflicts with other Laws, rules and regulations, unless the right to do so is preempted or prohibited by County, State or federal government, the more restrictive or protective of the Town and the public shall apply.


This law shall become effective upon filing with the New York State Secretary of State.


This local law is enacted pursuant to the Municipal Home Rule Law.  This local law shall supersede the provisions of the Town Law to the extent it is inconsistent with the same, and to the extent permitted by the New York State Constitution, the Municipal Home Rule Law, or any other applicable statute.

  1. An environmental impact statement was prepared and findings issued in connection with the adoption of this section of the Zoning Law.  That EIS reviewed a conceptual plan for the project which served as the basis to establish environmental performance criteria governing the future development of the LCPDA.

[End of transcription.]

Last updated 24 May 2013.

Research index