Town of Clifton Park, NY
Saratoga County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Clifton Park 12-19-1988 by L.L. No. 27-1988. This local law superseded former Ch. 124, Freshwater Wetlands, adopted 8-30-1976 by L.L. No. 4-1976, as amended. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Environmental conservation commission — See Ch. 13.
Building construction — See Ch. 73.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 119.
Parks and preserves — See Ch. 152.
Pesticides — See Ch. 159.
Zoning — See Ch. 208.

§ 124-1 Findings; legislative intent; review board.

[Amended 4-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]
A. 
The Town of Clifton Park ("town") finds that streams and freshwater wetlands are valuable natural resources as they provide flood protection, wildlife habitat, open space, water quality enhancement, recreation opportunities and other benefits which, if preserved and maintained in an undisturbed, natural condition, constitute important assets to existing and future residents of the town.
B. 
It is the intent of the town to protect the present and future citizens of the town by preserving streams and freshwater wetlands and the benefits derived therefrom.
C. 
It is the intent of the town that there be a review board whose purpose is to provide input to the applicants and appropriate federal, New York State and local government agencies to ensure that local concerns for streams and wetlands are addressed in the planning and implementation of projects within the town.
D. 
This review board shall be the Town of Clifton Park Environmental Conservation Commission (ECC), which shall review applications for wetlands or stream disturbance permits submitted to local, New York State or federal governmental bodies and provide input thereto.

§ 124-2 Title.

[Amended 4-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Freshwater Wetlands and Stream Protection Law of the Town of Clifton Park."

§ 124-3 Definitions.

[Amended 4-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]
The following terms, phrases, words and their derivatives shall have the meanings given herein:
APPLICANT
Any person who files for a permit, letter of permission, authorization, approval or other governmental review.
DISTURBANCE
Any form of draining, dredging, excavating or removing of soil, mud, sand, shells, gravel or other aggregate; any form of dumping, filling or depositing of any soil, stones, sand, gravel, mud, rubbish or fill of any kind, whether directly or indirectly; the erecting of any structures or roads; the driving of pilings or the placing of any other obstructions, whether or not the ebb or flow of water is changed; any form of pollution, including but not limited to sewage, industrial wastewater, untreated stormwater runoff and cooling water.
FRESHWATER WETLANDS, NEW YORK STATE
Those lands and waters within the Town of Clifton Park as shown on the most recent Freshwater Wetlands Map promulgated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation pursuant to § 24-0301 of Article 24 (Freshwater Wetlands) of the Environmental Conservation Law. The extent of New York State freshwater wetlands must be confirmed by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation personnel.
PERMIT, DEC FRESHWATER WETLANDS
That form of approval or letter of permission given by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for regulated activities in freshwater wetlands (as defined in Article 24, Title 7, of the New York State Conservation Law).
PERMIT, DEC STREAM DISTURBANCE
That form of approval given by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for regulated activities in classified streams (as defined in Article 15, Title 5, of the New York State Conservation Law).
PERMIT, FEDERAL
That form of approval (nationwide or individual permit), letter of permission or authorization given by the United States Army Corps of Engineers for conducting regulated activities in federal jurisdictional wetlands (as defined in 33 CFR 320).
PERSON
Any corporation, firm, partnership, association, trust, estate, one or more individuals or any unit of government or agency thereof.
POLLUTION
As a result of human activities, the presence in the environment of chemical substances or physical conditions in quantities that may adversely impact natural resources, vegetation, fish, wildlife, human populations and property.
REGULATED ACTIVITIES
Those activities which may adversely impact the structure and function of freshwater wetlands and streams. Such activities include, but are not limited to, those listed under "disturbance."
STREAMS
Classified streams located in the Town of Clifton Park that have been indexed and/or mapped by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. A composite of such mapping is on file with the Town Clerk.
WETLANDS, FEDERAL
Those wetlands defined by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the United States Environmental Protection Agency as those lands that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration that is sufficient to support, and under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. The extent of federal jurisdictional wetlands shall be determined by the methodologies presented in the Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual (Technical Report Y-87-1), US Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Mississippi, or latest version, or by alternative methodologies approved by the US ACOE.

§ 124-4 Use of state technical services.

[Amended 4-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]
Where feasible, the town shall consult with all appropriate state and federal agencies regarding wetlands policies, regulations and programs.

§ 124-5 Activities which require review by the ECC.

[Amended 4-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]
A. 
Stream disturbance.
(1) 
Except as provided in Subsection A(2) of this section, no person or local public corporation may change or disturb any stream, its bed or banks nor remove from its bed or banks sand, gravel or other material without a permit issued from the Town of Clifton Park.
(2) 
Exceptions to the permit requirement are the following:
(a) 
A local public corporation that has entered into a written memorandum of understanding with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regarding the conduct of activities in local streams.
(b) 
Any person actively cultivating agricultural land, provided that the exception applies to crossing of protected streams by livestock and farming equipment and to the withdrawal of water for irrigation purposes in a manner which does not alter the stream.
B. 
Freshwater wetlands, New York State.
(1) 
Except as provided in § 124-5A(2), any disturbance, as defined in § 124-3 above, will require review by ECC.
(2) 
The following activities or persons shall be exempt from ECC review:
(a) 
The deposition or removal of the natural products of freshwater wetlands or streams by recreational or commercial fishing, shellfishing, agriculture, and hunting or trapping.
(b) 
Each farmer or landowner who intends to conduct a regulated activity that includes grazing and watering livestock, making reasonable use of water resources, harvesting natural products of wetlands, selectively cutting timber (as long as the farmer or landowner complies with Chapter 184, Selective Cutting of Timber, of the Code of the Town of Clifton Park), draining wetlands for growing agricultural products and otherwise using wetlands for growing products. However, individuals engaging in this activity shall notify the ECC, in writing, regarding the nature of the proposed activity, including the location and approximate acreage of freshwater wetlands affected, the intended use of the land affected and the methods to be used. Any farmer or landowner that has filed a plan for the agricultural use of the property with the Soil and Water Conservation District is exempt from the notification requirement.
(c) 
Public health activities, orders and regulations of the New York State Department of Health.
(d) 
Any actual and ongoing emergency activity which is necessary for the protection and preservation of life, property or natural resources, including search and rescue operations, prevention of pollution, disease control, prevention of flooding and storm damage and public health activities.
(e) 
An other activities listed as exempt in 6 NYCRR 663.4.

§ 124-6 Review application required; fee.

A. 
Any person proposing to conduct a regulated activity upon any stream, New York State freshwater wetland and regulated adjacent area or federal jurisdictional wetland greater than 1/3 acre shall file an application for review by the ECC. Application forms shall be made available through and filed with the Town Clerk, together with a filing fee of $50. Such application shall include a detailed description of the proposed activity and a map or plan showing the area of the stream and/or freshwater wetland that would be affected, as well as the location of the proposed activity, and any other information that ECC requires to enable it to review the activity.
[Amended 4-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]
B. 
The application shall be accompanied by a list of the names and mailing addresses of the owners of record of lands adjacent to the freshwater wetland and/or stream or adjacent area upon which the project is to be undertaken and the names and mailing addresses of known claimants of water rights which relate to any land within the boundary of or within 100 feet of the boundary of the property on which the proposed regulated activity is to be located.

§ 124-7 Review limitation; effect of additional regulations.

A review of the regulated activity by the ECC does not relieve the applicant of the necessity to obtain authorization from other agencies which have jurisdiction over the project proposal and to comply with all other applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.

§ 124-8 Review application procedure.

[Amended 4-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]
A. 
The ECC may elect to hold a public hearing in conjunction with a public hearing scheduled by the appropriate legislative body before which an application is pending (Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board or Town Board). Said hearing will be held at a regularly scheduled Zoning Board, Planning Board or Town Board meeting.
B. 
If the proposed regulated activity is of a minor nature (that is, if implemented, the activity would not adversely affect any stream of freshwater wetland), ECC mu elect not to hold a public hearing on the application.
C. 
Following ECC review of the application:
(1) 
The ECC shall make, in writing, specific recommendations concerning the regulated activity.
(2) 
Recommendations by the ECC must be made within 15 days of the hearing date.
(3) 
These recommendations shall be forwarded, in writing, to the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals or Building Department, as appropriate, for use in their site plan approval, special use permit, variance or building permit review processes. If the ECC disapproves the activity or recommends modifications thereto, the Planning Board and/or Zoning Board of Appeals shall not act contrary to such disapproval or recommendation, except by a vote of a majority plus one of all the members of the Board.
(4) 
Where approvals are concurrently sought from other governmental agencies, the ECC may forward recommendations to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and/or the United States Army Corps of Engineers, as appropriate.
D. 
In reviewing the proposed regulated activity, the ECC shall consider whether:
(1) 
The proposed activity is consistent with the policy of this chapter.
(2) 
The proposed regulated activity is consistent with local zoning, land use regulations and the Comprehensive Plan.
(3) 
Permits and approvals are required from other governmental agencies.
(4) 
The proposed activity is compatible with public health, safety and welfare.
(5) 
The proposed activity is reasonable and necessary.
(6) 
There is a reasonable alternative for the activity on lands that do not contain streams or wetlands.
(7) 
The applicant has designed the project in a manner that would minimize actual or potential impacts to streams or wetlands.
(8) 
In the case of projects to be undertaken in the Land Conservation (LC) Zone, each application shall also be subject to the review standards of § 208-69.3, Additional standards for permit.
E. 
The applicant shall have the burden of demonstrating that the proposed regulated activity will meet the standards set forth in this section.

§ 124-9 Standards for review.

A. 
In making recommendations on regulated activities, the ECC shall consider the effect of the proposed activity with reference to the public health and welfare, fishing, flood, hurricane and storm dangers and protection or enhancement of the several functions of the freshwater wetlands and the benefits derived therefrom which are set forth hereinabove.
B. 
In reviewing the proposed regulated activity, the ECC shall consider whether:
(1) 
The proposed regulated activity is consistent with the policy of this chapter to preserve, protect and conserve freshwater wetlands and/or streams and the benefits derived therefrom, to prevent the despoliation and destruction of freshwater wetlands and to regulate the development of such wetlands in order to secure the natural benefits of freshwater wetlands consistent with the general welfare and beneficial economic, social and agricultural development of the town.
(2) 
The proposed regulated activity is consistent with the land use regulations applicable in the town pursuant to Article 24 of the State Environmental Conservation Law.
(3) 
The proposed regulated activity is compatible with public health and welfare.
(4) 
The proposed regulated activity is reasonable and necessary.
(5) 
There is a reasonable alternative for the proposed regulated activity on a site which is not a freshwater wetland and/or stream or adjacent area thereto.
C. 
The applicant shall have the burden of demonstrating that the proposed regulated activity will be in accord with the standards set forth in this section.