Planning Board FAQ
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1. What is the difference between a regular meeting and a work session?
Planning Board regular meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at Town Hall beginning at 7:30pm. At these meetings, the board conducts official business such as passing resolutions, holding public hearings and making SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review) declarations.
Work sessions are held on the fourth Monday of the month in Room 104 of the YCCC beginning at 7:30pm. At work sessions, the Planning Board reviews and discusses applications and gives the applicant direction in how to design the project to meet the town's regulations and goals.
At times, a work session may follow the agenda of the regular meeting.
The agendas for both meetings are available online at the Town’s web site, www.yorktownny.org. Or, you can receive the agendas via email by clicking the Subscribe to News & Agendas link on the web site’s “Government” page.
At both meetings, the public may participate as summarized in FAQ #5.
2. Where can the public look at applications before the Planning Board?
All applications are available for public scrutiny at the office of the Planning Department, room 222, YCCC building, 1974 Commerce St.
3. What is the difference between a minor and a major subdivision?
A minor subdivision is a proposed development of up to 5 lots that does not include a new town road. A major subdivision is a proposed development of 6 or more lots or any sized development that includes a new town road.
4. What is the difference between a subdivision and a site plan?
A site plan is a proposed development for a commercial, office, industrial, or multi-family zoned property. The plan may include one or more lots. An applicant can apply for a subdivision of a property at the same time a site plan application is being reviewed. This happens, for instance, when a commercial development of several buildings is proposed to be sold to separate owners after the project is approved. The Planning Board would issue two separate approvals; one for the site plan of the entire site and one for the subdivision of that site into several lots.
5. How can the public participate in the planning process?
a. Courtesy of the Floor
Both regular meetings and work sessions open with a courtesy of the floor session during which items not on the agenda may be presented to the board. While there are no formal time limitations for such presentations, traditionally they are kept to under 5 minutes. This option is open to the public and to applicants who often use it to ask quick questions without the necessity of being on the agenda. Answering questions raised at this session is at the board's discretion.
Additionally, at work sessions the public is invited to the table to better hear the discussion and look over shoulders at the plans under discussion. The public may ask brief questions with the permission of the board, but otherwise the public may not participate in the discussion.
b. Public Information Hearings
A Public Information Hearing (PIH) is required for all subdivision and site plan applications. This hearing is held at the beginning of the planning process to give the public a “heads up” about proposed development and to provide an opportunity to ask questions and express concerns while there is still flexibility in the design. The public may ask questions and make comments about the specific application under review at its Public Information Hearing.
c. Public Hearing
A Public Hearing is required before approving a minor subdivision or a site plan. A major subdivision is required to have two public hearings; one prior to receiving preliminary approval and one before receiving final approval. The public can make comments or ask questions at the public hearings, either in person during the meeting or in written form for a fixed period of time after the hearing is closed.
By law, the Planning Board must make a final decision within 62 days of closing a public hearing. This may be extended by mutual consent of the applicant and the board.
6. How is the public informed about public hearings?
a. Check the Planning Board agenda.
b. Both types of public hearings must be advertised in the public notices section of the Town’s official newspaper which is the Journal News.
c. Adjoining property owners must be notified of public hearings by a return-receipt letter.
7. What are the signs I see posted on various properties around town?
After submitting a formal application to the Planning Board, the applicant must post a sign on the property indicating that a project on that site is under Planning Board review. This is another way the public is informed about what is going on in town.