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(A) Findings and purposes.
(1) The Town Council finds that:
(a) The protection of a scenic driving experience along selected scenic roads and streets is required in the interest of fostering economic development, civic pride, outdoor recreational opportunities and the general welfare of the town’s residents;
(b) The preservation of natural and scenic corridors along designated scenic highways will stabilize and enhance the economic vitality of the town and will enhance property values in the town;
(c) The preservation of natural and scenic corridors will protect and enhance the town’s attraction to tourists, visitors and new businesses;
(d) The preservation of scenic corridors will promote good design and enhance the economic vitality of established commercial districts; and
(e) The control of curb cuts along highways promotes safe and efficient traffic flow along those highways.
(2) The purposes of Scenic Highway Protection (SHD) District therefore are:
(a) To protect and enhance the scenic beauty of the town and especially of land adjacent to designated scenic highways by exercising the reasonable control over land uses within the district to ensure that new development will not unnecessarily detract from the natural beauty of designated scenic highways;
(b) To provide for safe and efficient traffic flow on designated scenic highways by preventing the proliferation of curb cuts and turning traffic;
(c) To encourage development which is compatible with and enhances the natural beauty of designated scenic highways and their corridors;
(d) To encourage economic activity that does not reduce the natural beauty of the town’s open lands;
(e) To protect scenic vistas along designated scenic highways;
(f) To encourage orderly and sensitive development as appropriate for scenic corridors;
(g) To ensure a safe and attractive driving experience and a pleasant view free of clutter and visual blight along designated highways; and
(h) To protect and perpetuate the town’s natural and historic heritage and to make that heritage available to the motoring public.
(B) SHD District established.
(1) The SHD District is established in accordance with the findings and purposes stated above. The Appearance Review Committee may recommend and the Town Council may create SHD districts along specified scenic roads and streets (“scenic highways”) in accordance with the standards and provisions of this chapter.
(2) The SHD District shall apply as an overlay zoning district so that the standards and requirements of the SHD District are superimposed over the standards and requirements of the existing zoning district for an area. Any use of land within any SHD District must comply with the standards and requirements of both the underlying district and the SHD District. The provisions of the SHD District shall apply in addition to other requirements of this chapter. In the case of conflict, the most restrictive provisions shall govern.
(3) No land shall be used or occupied and no structure shall be erected, altered, used or occupied within a SHD district, except as provided in this chapter.
(C) Location of district. The boundaries of each SHD district shall be drawn in a manner as to include all areas within the town jurisdiction that have a visual impact from the designated scenic highway. The ARC shall take into consideration such factors as topography and vegetation (evergreen and deciduous) in establishing proposed boundaries.
(D) Review criteria/design guidelines. The Appearance Review Committee shall promulgate design guidelines that apply to the SHD District. The guidelines shall be adopted by Town Council and incorporated into this chapter as Appendix A to this chapter.
(E) Special exception required. No structure shall be erected or use commenced unless a conditional use permit for the structure has been approved by the Appearance Review Committee; provided that:
(1) A public hearing on the application shall be conducted, given 15 days’ notice of time and place;
(2) The application shall be accompanied by a site plan presented in accordance with the requirements of this chapter and the following additional requirements.
(a) The location of all improvements on the site plan shall be specifically indicated and no alteration or movement of a proposed improvement in excess of ten feet shall be permitted without the approval of the Appearance Review Committee.
(b) The site plan shall delineate construction lines. The site plan shall indicate all building, parking, and vehicular use areas, and all areas of proposed vegetation removal. Outside of the designated construction line, the applicant shall leave undisturbed all areas of native vegetation including trees, shrubs and understory vegetation.
(c) The site plan shall show the height of all proposed structures.
(F) Development criteria. In addition to the regular development criteria prescribed for a given zoning district, the following criteria shall apply for approval of a special exception for any proposed development within a designated Scenic Highway Protection District. The Town Appearance Commission shall grant a special exception for a use within the SHD District only if it makes the findings determined by the Town Council.
(1) An applicant presenting a site plan for approval may request, in writing, a waiver from one or more of the requirements of this chapter. A waiver may be granted by the Planning Board upon finding one of following conditions:
(a) A requirement of this chapter would eliminate all economically reasonable use or development of a parcel;
(b) A requirement of this chapter would serve no legitimate public purpose due to the peculiar configuration, topography, location or surrounding conditions of the parcel; and
(c) The provisions of this chapter shall exempt and shall not prohibit the construction of a single-family dwelling on a lot platted prior to the effective date of this chapter.
(2) The ARC may approve any waiver to the minimum extent necessary to alleviate the need for the waiver and should state the reasons for approving the waiver in writing.
(3) In addition, the Zoning Board of Appeals may grant a variance from the terms of this chapter in accordance with the standards set forth in § 13.
(Ord. 97-04, passed 12-19-1996)