33. Subdivision review; approval of plats; additional requisites. 1. Purpose. Before the approval by the planning board of a plat showing lots, blocks or sites, with or without streets or highways, or the approval of a plat already filed in the office of the clerk of the county wherein such plat is situated if the plat is entirely or partially undeveloped, the planning board shall require that the land shown on the plat be of such character that it can be used safely for building purposes without danger to health or peril from fire, flood, drainage or other menace to neighboring properties or the public health, safety and welfare.
2. Additional requirements. The planning board shall also require that:
(a) the streets and highways be of sufficient width and suitable grade and shall be suitably located to accommodate the prospective traffic, to afford adequate light and air, to facilitate fire protection, and to provide access of firefighting equipment to buildings. If there be an official map or city comprehensive plan, such streets and highways shall be coordinated so as to compose a convenient system conforming to the official map and properly related to the proposals shown in the comprehensive plan of the city;
(b) suitable monuments be placed at block corners and other necessary points as may be required by the board and the location thereof is shown on the map of such plat;
(c) all streets and other public places shown on such plats be suitably graded and paved; street signs, sidewalks, street lighting standards, curbs, gutters, street trees, water mains, fire alarm signal devices (including necessary ducts and cables or other connecting facilities), sanitary sewers and storm drains be installed all in accordance with standards, specifications and procedures acceptable to the appropriate city departments except as hereinafter provided, or alternatively that a performance bond or other security be furnished to the city as hereinafter provided.
3. Compliance with zoning regulations. Where a zoning ordinance or local law has been adopted by the city, the plots shown on said plat shall at least comply with the requirements thereof subject, however, to the provisions of section thirty-seven of this article.
4. Reservation of parkland on subdivision plats containing residential units. (a) Before the planning board may approve a subdivision plat containing residential units, such subdivision plat shall also show, when required by such board, a park or parks suitably located for playground or other recreational purposes.
(b) Land for park, playground or other recreational purposes may not be required until the planning board has made a finding that a proper case exists for requiring that a park or parks be suitably located for playgrounds or other recreational purposes within the city. Such findings shall include an evaluation of the present and anticipated future needs for park and recreational facilities in the city based on projected population growth to which the particular subdivision plat will contribute.
(c) In the event the planning board makes a finding pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subdivision that the proposed subdivision plat presents a proper case for requiring a park or parks suitably located for playgrounds or other recreational purposes, but that a suitable park or parks of adequate size to meet the requirement cannot be properly located on such subdivision plat, the planning board may require a sum of money in lieu thereof, in an amount to be established by the legislative body of the city. In making such determination of suitability, the board shall assess the size and suitability of land shown on the subdivision plat which could be possible locations for park or recreational facilities, as well as practical factors including whether there is a need for additional facilities in the immediate neighborhood. Any money required by the planning board in lieu of land for park, playground or other recreational purposes, pursuant to the provisions of this section, shall be deposited into a trust fund to be used by the city exclusively for park, playground or other recreational purposes, including the acquisition of property.
5. Character of the development. In making such determination regarding streets, highways, parks and required improvements, the planning board shall take into consideration the prospective character of the development, whether dense residence, open residence, business or industrial.
6. Application for area variance. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, where a plat contains one or more lots which do not comply with the zoning local law or ordinance, application may be made to the zoning board of appeals for an area variance pursuant to section eighty-one-b of this chapter, without the necessity of a decision or determination of an administrative official charged with the enforcement of the zoning regulations. In reviewing such application the zoning board of appeals shall request the planning board to provide a written recommendation concerning the proposed variance.
7. Waiver of requirements. The planning board may waive, when reasonable, any requirements or improvements for the approval, approval with modifications or disapproval of subdivisions submitted for its approval. Any such waiver, which shall be subject to appropriate conditions, may be exercised in the event any such requirements or improvements are found not to be requisite in the interest of the public health, safety, and general welfare or inappropriate because of inadequacy or lack of connecting facilities adjacent or in proximity to the subdivision.
8. Performance bond or other security. (a) Furnishing of performance bond or other security. As an alternative to the installation of infrastructure and improvements, as above provided, prior to planning board approval, a performance bond or other security sufficient to cover the full cost of the same, as estimated by the planning board or a city department designated by the planning board to make such estimate, where such departmental estimate is deemed acceptable by the planning board, shall be furnished to the city by the owner.
(b) Security where plat approved in sections. In the event that the owner shall be authorized to file the approved plat in sections, as provided in subdivision seven of section thirty-two of this article, approval of the plat may be granted upon the installation of the required improvements in the section of the plat filed in the office of the county clerk or register or the furnishing of security covering the costs of such improvements. The owner shall not be permitted to begin construction of buildings in any other section until such section has been filed in the office of the county clerk or register and the required improvements have been installed in such section or a security covering the cost of such improvements is provided.
(c) Form of security. Any such security must be provided pursuant to a written security agreement with the city, approved by the legislative body of the city and also approved by the city attorney as to form, sufficiency and manner of execution, and shall be limited to: (i) a performance bond issued by a bonding or surety company; (ii) the deposit of funds in, or a certificate of deposit issued by, a bank or trust company located and authorized to do business in this state; (iii) an irrevocable letter of credit from a bank located and authorized to do business in this state; (iv) obligations of the United States of America; or (v) any obligations fully guaranteed as to interest and principal by the United States of America, having a market value at least equal to the full cost of such improvements. If not delivered to the city, such security shall be held in a city account at a bank or trust company.
(d) Term of security agreement. Any such performance bond or security agreement shall run for a term to be fixed by the planning board, but in no case for a longer term than three years, provided, however, that the term of such performance bond or security agreement may be extended by the planning board with consent of the parties thereto. If the planning board shall decide at any time during the term of the performance bond or security agreement that the extent of building development that has taken place in the subdivision is not sufficient to warrant all the improvements covered by such security, or that the required improvements have been installed as provided in this section and by the planning board in sufficient amount to warrant reduction in the amount of said security, and upon approval by the legislative body of the city, the planning board may modify its requirements for any or all such improvements, and the amount of such security shall thereupon be reduced by an appropriate amount so that the new amount will cover the cost in full of the amended list of improvements required by the planning board.
(e) Default of security agreement. In the event that any required improvements have not been installed as provided in this section within the term of such security agreement, the legislative body of the city may thereupon declare the said performance bond or security agreement to be in default and collect the sum remaining payable thereunder; and upon the receipt of the proceeds thereof, the city shall install such improvements as are covered by such security and as commensurate with the extent of building development that has taken place in the subdivision but not exceeding in cost the amount of such proceeds.
Last modified: February 3, 2019