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A08123 Summary:

BILL NOA08123A
 
SAME ASSAME AS S06484
 
SPONSOREnglebright
 
COSPNSRD'Urso, Rosenthal L, Ortiz, Thiele, Reyes, Gottfried, Griffin, Otis
 
MLTSPNSRGalef
 
Amd 802, 805, 809 & 810, Exec L
 
Relates to preserving ecological integrity, wildlife and open space in the Adirondack park; strengthens land use and development provisions in the Adirondack park so as to curtail rural sprawl.
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A08123 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         8123--A
 
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                      June 3, 2019
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by M. of A. ENGLEBRIGHT, D'URSO, L. ROSENTHAL, ORTIZ, THIELE
          -- read once and referred to the Committee on Environmental  Conserva-
          tion  --  reported  and  referred  to  the Committee on Rules -- Rules
          Committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as  amended  and
          recommitted to the Committee on Rules

        AN  ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to preserving ecological
          integrity, wildlife and open space in the Adirondack park
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. Legislative findings and statement of purpose. When enacted
     2  in  nineteen  hundred  seventy-three,  the  Adirondack park land use and
     3  development  plan  represented  an  historic  application   of   natural
     4  resource-based  land use control and economic opportunity for the park's
     5  residents and communities. For over forty years, the plan has sought  to
     6  insure  optimum overall conservation, protection, preservation, develop-
     7  ment and use of the unique scenic,  aesthetic,  wildlife,  recreational,
     8  open space, historic, ecological and natural resources of this cherished
     9  area  and  the essential interdependence of economic and community needs
    10  through balanced apportionment of land use within the park.
    11    Conservation science and land use planning  techniques  have  advanced
    12  since  the enactment of the plan.  It is now recognized that the spatial
    13  pattern of development is fully, if not more, as ecologically  important
    14  as its overall density.
    15    Subdivision  of  land  into  large  residential lots, or rural sprawl,
    16  impairs ecosystem function, decreases biotic integrity,  alters  species
    17  behavior  and composition, increases human-wildlife conflicts, fragments
    18  ownership, impairs cohesive land management, undermines the  open  space
    19  character of the park, and threatens its agricultural and forestry work-
    20  ing landscapes.
    21    Conservation  development  is  an approach to the design, construction
    22  and stewardship of development that achieves  functional  protection  of
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD13035-03-9

        A. 8123--A                          2
 
     1  natural resources, while providing social and economic benefits to human
     2  communities.  It  requires  a  process that ensures thorough analysis of
     3  ecological systems and environmental  conditions  before  the  developer
     4  actually  designs  the  project.  This saves the preparation of detailed
     5  subdivision plans, the most expensive part of design, to the end of  the
     6  planning  process.  The  process  provides for smaller initial costs and
     7  allows for agency and public input before design funds are exhausted and
     8  ensures that the developer is not committed to  a  design  that  is  not
     9  supported by ecological and environmental conditions.
    10    The  purpose of this act is to strengthen the land use and development
    11  plan and its administration by incorporating modern conservation  design
    12  principles  therein and to curtail rural sprawl. It is acknowledged that
    13  each property is unique  and  that  subdivision  should  be  pursued  in
    14  accordance  with  ecologically-sound  principles  including  appropriate
    15  dedication and preservation of substantial open space areas in  further-
    16  ance of environmental protection goals and working landscapes.
    17    §  2.  Section  802  of the executive law is amended by adding six new
    18  subdivisions 17-b, 18-a, 18-b, 18-c, 43-a and 52-a to read as follows:
    19    17-b. "Conservation subdivision" means the division of  any  tract  of
    20  land into a residential subdivision of twenty-five or more lots, parcels
    21  or  sites in low intensity use areas, ten or more lots, parcels or sites
    22  in rural use areas, and five or more lots, parcels or sites in  resource
    23  management areas. A subdivision involving solely lawfully existing prin-
    24  cipal  buildings  and  associated  infrastructure  shall not be deemed a
    25  conservation subdivision. A subdivision created pursuant to paragraph  c
    26  of  subdivision  one  of section eight hundred eleven of this article is
    27  not a conservation subdivision.
    28    18-a. "Development envelope" means the area of land within a  residen-
    29  tial  lot,  parcel  or  site within which all principal buildings, guest
    30  cottages, roads, driveways, and other structures and infrastructure must
    31  be located.  Roads and trails associated with forestry, agriculture  and
    32  open  space  recreation  are allowed outside of the development envelope
    33  pursuant to the open space management and stewardship plan.
    34    18-b. "Ecological impact zone" means  that  area  of  a  project  site
    35  extending  six  hundred  sixty  feet beyond the development envelope for
    36  each development site and any contiguous developed sites.
    37    18-c. "Ecological site analysis" means an analysis of a  project  site
    38  that  identifies  important  ecological  systems,  natural resources and
    39  habitat on and adjacent to the project site and identifies areas deserv-
    40  ing protection and potential development areas for house lots, roads and
    41  associated infrastructure.
    42    43-a. "Open space management and stewardship plan" means  a  plan  for
    43  the  ownership,  configuration,  permanent  legal  protection, forestry,
    44  agriculture and recreational open space uses, and management  of  desig-
    45  nated  open  spaces.    Open  space management and stewardship plan also
    46  means a plan for the ownership, configuration  and  management  of  open
    47  spaces  providing permanent legal protection of open spaces while allow-
    48  ing for forestry, agriculture and recreation open spaces.
    49    52-a. "Project site" means the land included in a project  upon  which
    50  the  applicable  overall  intensity  guideline is calculated pursuant to
    51  paragraph c of subdivision ten of section eight  hundred  nine  of  this
    52  article.
    53    §  3. Subparagraph 2 of paragraph f of subdivision 3 of section 805 of
    54  the executive law, as amended by chapter 348 of the  laws  of  1973,  is
    55  amended to read as follows:

        A. 8123--A                          3
 
     1    (2) Purposes, policies and objectives. The basic purpose and objective
     2  of rural use areas is to provide for and encourage those rural land uses
     3  that  are consistent and compatible with the relatively low tolerance of
     4  the areas' natural resources and the preservation  of  the  open  spaces
     5  that are essential and basic to the unique character of the park. Anoth-
     6  er  objective  of  rural use areas is to prevent strip development along
     7  major travel corridors in order to enhance the  aesthetic  and  economic
     8  benefit derived from a park atmosphere along these corridors.
     9    Residential  development and related development and uses should occur
    10  [on large lots or] in relatively small clusters  on  carefully  selected
    11  and  well  designed  sites.  This  will provide for further diversity in
    12  residential and related development opportunities in the park.
    13    § 4. Subparagraph 2 of paragraph g of subdivision 3 of section 805  of
    14  the  executive  law,  as  amended by chapter 348 of the laws of 1973, is
    15  amended to read as follows:
    16    (2) Purposes, policies and objectives. The basic purposes  and  objec-
    17  tives  of resource management areas are to protect the delicate physical
    18  and biological resources, encourage proper and  economic  management  of
    19  forest,  agricultural  and  recreational resources and preserve the open
    20  spaces that are essential and basic to the unique character of the park.
    21  Another objective of these areas is to prevent strip  development  along
    22  major  travel  corridors  in order to enhance the aesthetic and economic
    23  benefits derived from a park atmosphere along these corridors.
    24    [Finally, resource management areas will allow for residential]  Resi-
    25  dential development [on substantial acreages or] and related development
    26  and uses should occur in relatively small clusters on carefully selected
    27  and well designed sites.
    28    §  5.  Section  809  of  the  executive law is amended by adding a new
    29  subdivision 11-a to read as follows:
    30    11-a. All conservation subdivisions shall be reviewed pursuant to this
    31  subdivision. a. (1) The applicant shall submit to the agency:
    32    (i)  an  initial  ecological  site  analysis  reviewing  the   natural
    33  resources  of  the  project  site  and adjacent lands, utilizing current
    34  local and regional data and research conclusions, including  identifica-
    35  tion and mapping of important ecological areas;
    36    (ii)  preliminary  on-site  analysis  to identify important ecological
    37  areas and other site features  relevant  to  the  development  consider-
    38  ations; and
    39    (iii)  a  concept plan for the project, based on the data specified in
    40  clauses (i) and (ii) of this subparagraph that minimizes the area of the
    41  project subject to ecological disturbance, protects important ecological
    42  areas, promotes clustering such that ecological impact zones  are  over-
    43  lapped  as  much as possible, takes into account existing open space and
    44  ecological impact zones on adjacent properties and identifies areas  for
    45  development that have appropriate soils and slopes.
    46    (2) The agency shall undertake an initial site visit to access natural
    47  resources and site features.
    48    (3)  The  agency  shall provide for a public comment period and hold a
    49  public meeting on public notice, regarding the initial data and  concept
    50  plan.
    51    (4)  The agency shall specify to the applicant any additional study of
    52  the project site necessary to complete a final ecological site  analysis
    53  and  specify any other information requirements relevant to the develop-
    54  ment considerations. The ecological site analysis, as detailed in  para-
    55  graph  b  of  this  subdivision,  shall  be  submitted to the agency for
    56  approval.

        A. 8123--A                          4
 
     1    (5) The applicant shall thereafter prepare the subdivision plan, which
     2  shall include parcel boundaries and development envelopes,  location  of
     3  open space and the draft open space management and stewardship plan. All
     4  plans  shall  be  based  upon  the approved ecological site analysis and
     5  other  site  resources  relevant to the development considerations. Upon
     6  submission of these plans, as accepted by the  agency,  the  application
     7  review  process  governed by subdivisions two, three, four, five and six
     8  of this section shall commence. The agency may request additional infor-
     9  mation regarding the  proposed  subdivision  plan  and  the  open  space
    10  management  and  stewardship plan and may require revisions to the plans
    11  before deeming the application complete.
    12    (6) No conservation subdivision shall be approved unless (i) the find-
    13  ings required by subdivision ten of this  section  are  made,  and  (ii)
    14  ownership,  configuration, protection, compatible uses and management of
    15  the designated open space is based on the ecological site analysis,  and
    16  is included in the open space management and stewardship plan and incor-
    17  porated in permit conditions.
    18    (7)  The agency may provide by regulation for a variance from specific
    19  conservation  development  requirements  if  it  determines  that   such
    20  requirements would cause an undue economic hardship and are not required
    21  to protect the ecological resources of the project site.
    22    (8)  The  agency shall have a standing to enforce by appropriate civil
    23  action any permit condition, deed  restriction,  covenant,  easement  or
    24  other permanent means of protecting open space.
    25    b.  The ecological site analysis shall address the following consider-
    26  ations:
    27    (1) identification of important ecological and sensitive areas of  the
    28  project  site  including,  but not limited to, habitat, wetlands, flood-
    29  plains, natural drainage ways and steep slope areas;
    30    (2) the terrestrial and  aquatic  wildlife  inhabiting,  breeding  on,
    31  migrating across, traversing or otherwise using the project site;
    32    (3)  corridors,  including  ridgelines  and  riparian zones, providing
    33  means by which wildlife may  travel  to  adjacent  or  contiguous  areas
    34  providing habitat, breeding or spawning areas or meeting other needs;
    35    (4)  vegetative  buffers on the shorelines of lakes, ponds, rivers and
    36  streams and protection and preservation of  vernal  pools  and  riparian
    37  areas;
    38    (5)  large intact forest tracts for protection of wildlife habitat and
    39  biodiversity, especially for protection of species native to  or  other-
    40  wise  requiring  such  tracts;  for watershed preservation and for miti-
    41  gation of climate  change,  while  allowing  forestry,  agriculture  and
    42  recreation uses;
    43    (6)  minimizing  the  creation  of man-made and hardened edges between
    44  forested tracts, roads and other open areas and the length of roads  and
    45  driveways;
    46    (7)  the  size, configuration and proposed uses of the project site to
    47  be preserved by permanent legal means, while  allowing  for  recreation,
    48  forestry and agriculture uses on dedicated open spaces.
    49    c. Designated open space shall be, to the greatest extent possible:
    50    (1)  located  outside the boundaries of all lots, parcels or sites for
    51  the development and designed to protect the ecology and  open  space  of
    52  the park; and
    53    (2) configured applying these design factors:
    54    (i)  include  the important ecological areas of the property, based on
    55  the approved ecological site analysis;

        A. 8123--A                          5
 
     1    (ii) provide connectivity to any  neighboring  areas  of  open  space,
     2  other protected areas, working forests and agriculture;
     3    (iii)  not  be divided by subdivision roads, driveways or other perma-
     4  nent man-made fragmenting features;
     5    (iv) create one large, contiguous area rather than many  small  areas.
     6  If  large areas are not feasible, than a few smaller, important ecologi-
     7  cal areas of the  site  may  be  protected  if  connected  by  corridors
     8  comprised of natural landcover with widths of no less than three hundred
     9  thirty feet; and
    10    (v)  minimize  edge-to-area  ratio  of  the  open space and make it as
    11  uniform as possible.
    12    d. (1) The minimum open space required in a  conservation  subdivision
    13  is:
    14    (i)  in low intensity use areas, forty percent of the project site. If
    15  the open space design reaches sixty percent, there may be allowed a  ten
    16  percent  density  bonus.  If  it  reaches  seventy percent, there may be
    17  allowed a twenty percent density bonus.
    18    (ii) in rural use areas, fifty-five percent of the  project  site.  If
    19  the  open  space  design reaches seventy percent, there may be allowed a
    20  ten percent density bonus. If it reaches eighty percent,  there  may  be
    21  allowed a twenty percent density bonus.
    22    (iii)  in  resource  management  areas,  seventy-five  percent  of the
    23  project site. If the open  space  design  reaches  eighty-five  percent,
    24  there  may  be allowed a ten percent density bonus. If it reaches ninety
    25  percent, there may be allowed a twenty percent density bonus.
    26    (2) Utilization of the calculated density bonus is not guaranteed  and
    27  is  subject  to agency review. The additional principal buildings may be
    28  situated on the project site, or within  the  same  directly  contiguous
    29  land  use  area,  pursuant  to  paragraph  c  of subdivision ten of this
    30  section. The additional principal buildings may be allowed  for  use  in
    31  the  same,  but  non-contiguous  land use area, if within the same town.
    32  This density bonus cannot be utilized in any  manner  except  by  agency
    33  permit  and only if all the required findings of subdivision ten of this
    34  section are made for the placement of the buildings  and  other  infras-
    35  tructure.
    36    §  6.  Section 809 of the executive law is amended by adding three new
    37  subdivisions 16, 17 and 18 to read as follows:
    38    16. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prevent the agency from
    39  requiring any jurisdictional project pursuant to section  eight  hundred
    40  ten of this article to be designed in accordance with an ecological site
    41  analysis  and  developed  pursuant  to  an  ecological  preservation and
    42  stewardship plan and to provide for the preservation of a portion of the
    43  project site in open space by deed restriction, easement or other  legal
    44  means.
    45    17.  In  determining  whether  a  conservation  subdivision  permit is
    46  required pursuant to this article, the agency  shall  not  consider  any
    47  lots  lawfully  created prior to the effective date of this subdivision.
    48  Nothing in this subdivision shall affect the ability of the  agency,  by
    49  permit  or  by  any  extension thereof, to determine a period of time by
    50  which a permitted subdivision shall be deemed "in existence" as  defined
    51  in subdivision twenty-five of section eight hundred two of this article.
    52    18. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the agency
    53  to  require  that any interest in land comprising part of a conservation
    54  subdivision be conveyed to a public body  or  any  other  legal  entity,
    55  unless the applicant so proposes and the other legal entity agrees.

        A. 8123--A                          6
 
     1    §  7. Subparagraph 3 of paragraph d of subdivision 1 of section 810 of
     2  the executive law, as added by chapter 348  of  the  laws  of  1973,  is
     3  amended to read as follows:
     4    (3) All land uses and development and all subdivisions of land involv-
     5  ing  [twenty] ten or more residential lots, parcels or sites or residen-
     6  tial units, whether designed for permanent, seasonal or transient use.
     7    § 8. Subparagraph 3 of paragraph c of subdivision 1 of section 810  of
     8  the  executive  law,  as  added  by  chapter 348 of the laws of 1973, is
     9  amended to read as follows:
    10    (3) All land uses and development and all subdivisions of land involv-
    11  ing [thirty-five] twenty-five or more residential lots, parcels or sites
    12  or residential units, whether designed for permanent, seasonal or  tran-
    13  sient use.
    14    §  9.  Subparagraph 1 of paragraph b and subparagraph 1 of paragraph c
    15  of subdivision 2 of section 810 of the executive law, as added by  chap-
    16  ter 348 of the laws of 1973, are amended to read as follows:
    17    (1)  Subdivisions  of  land (and all land uses and development related
    18  thereto) involving [ten] five or more but less than [thirty-five]  twen-
    19  ty-five  lots, parcels or sites, other than subdivisions of land involv-
    20  ing mobile homes.
    21    (1) Subdivisions of land (and all land uses  and  development  related
    22  thereto) involving five or more but less than [twenty] ten lots, parcels
    23  or sites, other than subdivisions of land involving mobile homes.
    24    §  10. Nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize the Adiron-
    25  dack park agency to require that any interest in land comprising part of
    26  a conservation subdivision be conveyed to a public  body  or  any  other
    27  legal entity.
    28    §  11.  This  act  shall  take effect on the one hundred eightieth day
    29  after it shall have become a law.
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