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Land Use Boards

The Department of Planning and Community Development administers the functioning of the all the City’s Land Use Boards. The City’s Land Use Boards are comprised of the following:

These Boards dictate and affect the aesthetic look and feel of the City by reinforcing the policies established by the City’s Comprehensive Plan on a case by case basis.

Department staff serves the city’s Land Use Boards by reviewing submitted materials, structuring meeting agendas, providing technical comments, providing training of Board members, administering State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) Compliance with New York State General Municipal Law and the Westchester County Administrative Codes.

In order for the Land Use Boards to make more informed decisions in a timely manner, the Department of Planning and Community Development (which serves as staff to these Boards) has instituted significant modifications which have been identified and illuminated to clearly distinguish the improvements to the Land Use Board’s processes. Therefore throughout 2009, the Planning Department has worked diligently to provide applicant’s with a seamless flow through the permitting and decision making process

Planning Board

The Planning Board has specific duties as identified by New York State Law. The seven (7) member Planning Board is tasked with Site Plan Review, Subdivision Review as well as the review of Special Use Permits.

  • Site Plan Review requires the Planning Board to examine proposed sites and proposed buildings in the context of how these items will relate and fit in the surrounding neighborhood.
  • Subdivision Review requires the Planning Board to determine whether the creation of new buildable lots is warranted within the City of Mount Vernon.
  • The review of Special Use Permits calls for the Planning Board to examine specific criteria for a particular use to occur on a site within the City of Mount Vernon.

Accordingly, the Planning Board has been making determinations concerning these types of applications since December 21, 1915 when the Planning Board was created by the City Council.

Zoning Board of Appeals

The City of Mount Vernon is required by New York State Law to have a Zoning Board of Appeals to hear any grievances or discrepancies of the Mount Vernon Zoning Code. Therefore, the six (6) member Zoning Board of Appeals has specific duties that are clearly identified by New York State Law. The Zoning Board of Appeals is tasked with granting use variances, area variances as well as the interpretation of the Mount Vernon Zoning Code.

Reviewing use variances requires the Zoning Board of Appeals to examine whether the proposed use of land for a purpose which is otherwise not allowed or is prohibited by the applicable zoning regulations should be permitted.

The granting of area variances authorizes the Zoning Board of Appeals to determine whether the use of land in a manner which is not allowed by the dimensional or physical requirements of the applicable zoning regulations should be granted.

The interpretation of the Mount Vernon Zoning Code is also a power of the Zoning Board of Appeals; wherein, the Board makes a determination regarding the context and intent of the Mount Vernon Zoning Code.

Accordingly, the Zoning Board of Appeals has been making determinations concerning these types of applications since 1927 when the City of Mount Vernon created and enacted a Zoning Code.

Architectural Review Board

The Architectural Review Board is charged with conserving the value of buildings by preserving the aesthetic character of neighborhoods. Therefore, the Architectural Review Board reviews items like building/construction materials, building design and building style with the intent of issuing a certificate of appropriateness. Accordingly, the Architectural Review Board has been making determinations concerning these types of applications since 1961 when the Architectural Review Board was created by the City Council.

Sign Appeals Board

The City of Mount Vernon City Council created a Signs Appeals Board to hear any grievances or discrepancies pertaining to the Mount Vernon Sign Ordinance Section of the Zoning Code. Accordingly, the three (3) member Signs Appeals Board has specific duties that are clearly identified within the City’s Charter. The Signs Appeals Board is tasked with granting variances and deviations from the Mount Vernon Sign Ordinance.

Reviewing sign variances or deviations requires the Signs Appeals Board to examine whether proposed signage which is otherwise not allowed or is prohibited by the applicable sign ordinance regulation should be permitted.

Accordingly, the Sign Appeals Board has been making determinations concerning these types of applications since 1999.

See Chapter 267, Article XIII of the City of Mount Vernon Municipal Code for the Sign Ordinance Section of the Zoning Code.

The Sign Appeals Board (SAB) meets on a as needed basis. When appropriate, the meeting date, agenda and minutes will be posted. When seeking a Signs Appeals Board hearing, call the Department of Planning and Community Development in order to schedule a hearing. For all inquiries regarding the SAB, contact Terry Lowens at 914-699-7230 extension 114, or by email at tlowens@cmvny.com.

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