Volunteer: Planning Board

Term: Five years; one-term maximum.
Meeting frequency: One per month (fourth Wednesday evening, generally); only one meeting occurs for July/August.
Approximate meeting length: One to two and a half hours, depending on issues under consideration.
Establishment and Charge: Village Code Chapter 77

What does the Planning Board do?

The Planning Board reviews and approves subdivisions and changes in existing lot lines, lot mergers, site plans, and nonresidential and multifamily buildings. The Board is responsible for considering special use permit applications not falling under the authority of the Zoning Board of Appeals, as well as determining off-street parking requirements for certain nonresidential uses. It also recommends the amount of land, or fee-in-lieu of land, to be set aside for Scarsdale Village open space or recreation purposes in connection with each subdivision approved.

The Board also controls construction activity on village-designated wetlands lots via a procedure designed to protect the ecological character of the surrounding area. In addition, the Board may advise the Village Board of Trustees on zoning changes and new municipal facilities, such as streets, parking, or recreation areas, and may review and recommend changes in the Village Comprehensive Plan.

What is expected of members?

Members attend monthly meetings, during which they hear presentations, discuss pending applications, hear public comments, and vote on whether to approve or reject requests, and/or impose any appropriate conditions for approval.  

Meeting preparation involves reviewing relevant materials provided by the Scarsdale Village Planner, including the applicant’s submittal materials and any necessary background offered by the Planner. Members are required to make site visits to gain full understanding of each property in question; occasionally, they may need to perform additional outside or code research for certain applications. Preparation for each meeting typically takes about two to four hours.

Because the Planning Board renders binding decisions, a quorum must be present for each meeting. Therefore, regular meeting attendance is very important.

What professional, volunteer, and/or personal experiences have been helpful to Board members?

Experience in the legal, engineering, architecture and/or the environmental industries all are helpful, but not requirements for serving on the Planning Board.