Public Hearing (Sept. 9, 2008): Proposed Amendment to Chapter 331, “Zoning” Code Proposed Local Law Private Art Betterments

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NOTICE is hereby given that the Council of the City of New Rochelle, New York, will hold a Public Hearing pursuant to Chapter 331 of the Code of the City of New Rochelle, Section 237-m of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York, and Sections 277.61 and 277.71 of the County Administrative Code, and pursuant to the provisions of Section 16 of Article III of the Charter of the City of New Rochelle and in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York, on Tuesday, September 9, 2008, at 8:00 P. M., in the Council Chamber, City Hall, 515 North Avenue, New Rochelle, New York, on a proposed amendment to the City’s Zoning Code, Chapter 331, as follows:

A LOCAL LAW, INTRO NO. 3, CREATING A NEW SECTION 331-120.1, PRIVATE ART BETTERMENTS, TO CHAPTER 331, ZONING, OF THE NEW ROCHELLE ZONING CODE.

BE IT ENACTED by the City of New Rochelle:

Section 1. Chapter 331, Zoning, of the New Rochelle Zoning Code, is hereby amended to add a new Section 331-120.1, Private Art Betterments, to read as follows:

331-120.1. Private Art Betterments.
A. Purpose. Recognizing the overall benefits of publicly accessible art located on privately owned sites and the improvements such art can bring to the design, architectural excellence, neighborhood vitality and quality of life for the community as a whole, it is determined that any project in excess of 50,000 square feet of Gross Floor Area shall provide, as part of the process of Site Plan Approval by the New Rochelle Planning Board, a Private Art Betterment as governed by this Local Law. This Private Art Betterment shall be mandated as part of the Site Plan Review process with the further requirement that the Private Art Betterment shall be at a scale commensurate with the proposed project and at a cost not less than .0025 multiplied by the Construction Cost of the project.
B. Definitions. As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated: APPROVING AUTHORITY — The Planning Board.
CONSTRUCTION COST – the construction cost of a project subject to site plan review, being the same cost used for purposes of determining the building permit fee payable under Section 111-42.C(1) of the City Code.
PRIVATE ART BETTERMENT — A construction of artistic merit located on private property which is easily visible and/or accessible to the public with the primary purpose of providing aesthetic expression to historical, emotional, spiritual, community or abstract themes.
MUNICIPAL ARTS COMMISSION – The municipal commission existing under Sections 181 and 182 of the City Charter
PROFESSIONAL ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW COMMITTEE (PARC) – A review committee created through Section 331-117.1 of the Zoning Code.
C. Site Plans Subject to Private Art Betterments.
1. Any application to the Planning Board for site plan approval filed pursuant to Chapter 331, Zoning, for any project in excess of 50,000 square feet of Gross Floor Area shall include a plan for a Private Art Betterment which shall be commensurate with the scale of the proposed project and shall be easily visible and/or accessible to the public.
2. The Municipal Art Commission and the PARC shall make recommendation to the Planning Board regarding the Private Art Betterment as to its artistic merit, appropriateness, scale, public benefit, accessibility and overall quality within the context of the overall design of the project.
D. Minimum Cost for Private Art Betterment. In all cases, there shall be a minimum threshold cost for the Private Art Betterment which shall be not less than .0025 multiplied by the Construction Cost of the project. The estimated cost of the Private Art Betterment shall be included as part of the Site Plan application, which cost shall be verified by the applicant prior to issuance of the first building permit for the project.
E. Visual Impact Analysis for Private Art Betterment. A visual impact analysis of the Private Art Betterment shall be required as part of the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process for the project.
F. Determination by Planning Board. In making its determination to grant, deny, or grant with conditions the Private Art Betterment as required under this Section, the Planning Board shall consider the following factors:
1. Is the scale of the Private Art Betterment commensurate with the overall scale of the project?
2. Is the Private Art Betterment consistent with the surrounding environs and does it express a genuine artistic and aesthetic content?
3. The recommendation(s) made by the Municipal Art Commission and PARC and any response(s) to said recommendation(s) made by the applicant.
G. Incorporation of Private Art Betterment in Site Plan. The Private Art Betterment shall be incorporated, made a part of, and governed by the Site Plan and Site Plan Resolutions in accordance with Article XIII of this Chapter.
Section 2. This Local Law shall apply to all projects which have not obtained site plan approval prior to the effective date of this Local Law.
Section 3. This Local Law shall take effect upon its filing with the Secretary of State.

Purpose and Justification: The proposed legislation will require publicly accessible art to be included in new private development projects exceeding 50,000 s.f. of Gross Floor Area, at a minimum cost of ¼ of 1% of the construction cost of the project.

All persons interested are invited to attend said Public Hearing or submit written communications to the City Clerk at or before the Hearing.

By order of the City Council dated July 15, 2008, pursuant to Resolution No. 152 duly
adopted.

Dorothy Allen, City Clerk