Fees — See Ch. 118.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 126.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 232.
§ 130-1Short title.
§ 130-2Declaration of policy.
§ 130-3Statement of findings.
§ 130-6Application for permit; processing.
§ 130-7Public hearing on permit application.
§ 130-8Decision of permit application.
§ 130-9Standards for permit decisions.
§ 130-10Conditions for permits.
§ 130-11General powers of Agency.
§ 130-12Other laws and regulations.
§ 130-13Bonding requirements.
§ 130-14Suspension or revocation of permits.
§ 130-15Penalties for offenses.
§ 130-17Review and appeal.
This chapter shall be known as the "Freshwater Wetlands Protection Law of the Village of Spring Valley."
It is declared to be the public policy of the Village of Spring Valley to preserve, protect and conserve freshwater wetlands and the benefits derived therefrom, to prevent the 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 Village of Spring Valley. It is further declared to be the policy of the Village of Spring Valley to exercise its authority pursuant to Article 24 of the State Environmental Conservation Law.
The freshwater wetlands located in the Village of Spring Valley are invaluable resources for flood protection, wildlife habitat, open space and water resources.
Considerable acreage of freshwater wetlands in the Village of Spring Valley may be lost or impaired by unregulated draining, dredging, filling, excavating, building, pollution or other acts inconsistent with the natural uses of such areas. Other freshwater wetlands are in jeopardy of being lost or impaired by such unregulated acts.
Recurrent flooding aggravated or caused by the loss of freshwater wetlands has serious effects upon natural ecosystems.
Freshwater wetlands conservation is a matter of village concern.
Any loss of freshwater wetlands deprives the people of the Village of Spring Valley of some or all of the many and multiple benefits to be derived from wetlands, such as:
Flood and storm control, by the hydrologic absorption and storage capacity of freshwater wetlands.
Wildlife habitat, by providing breeding, nesting and feeding grounds and cover for many forms of wildlife, wildfowl and shorebirds, including migratory wildfowl and rare species.
Protection of subsurface water resources and provisions for valuable watersheds and recharging groundwater supplies.
Recreation, by providing areas for hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, bird watching, photography, camping and other uses.
Pollution treatment, by serving as biological and chemical oxidation basins.
Erosion control, by serving as sedimentation areas and filtering basins, absorbing silt and organic matter and protecting channels and harbors.
Education and scientific research, by providing readily accessible outdoor biophysical laboratories, living classrooms and training and education resources.
Open space and aesthetic appreciation.
Sources of nutrients in freshwater food cycles and nursery grounds and sanctuaries for freshwater fish.
Regulation of freshwater wetlands, in accordance with the agricultural exemption established in § 130-5 hereof, is consistent with the legitimate interests of farmers and other landowners to graze and water livestock, make reasonable use of water resources, harvest natural products of the wetlands, selectively cut timber and otherwise engage in the use of land for agricultural production.
The following terms, phrases, words and their derivatives shall have the meanings given herein:
- ADJACENT AREA
- Any land in the Village of Spring Valley immediately adjacent to a freshwater wetland lying within one hundred (100) feet, measured horizontally, of the boundary of a freshwater wetland.
- The Board of Trustees of the Village of Spring Valley.
- Any person who files an application for any permit issued by the Agency pursuant to this chapter and includes the agent of the owner or a contract vendee.
- The Freshwater Wetlands Appeals Board established by Article 24 of the State Environmental Conservation Law.
- BOUNDARIES OF A FRESHWATER WETLAND
- The outer limit of the vegetation specified in Subsections A and B of the definition of "freshwater wetlands" and of the waters specified in Subsection C of such definition.
- FRESHWATER WETLANDS
- Lands and waters lying within the boundaries of the Village of Spring Valley as shown on a freshwater wetlands map which contain any or all of the following:
Lands and submerged lands commonly called "marshes," "swamps," "sloughs," "bogs" and "flats," supporting aquatic or semiaquatic vegetation of the following vegetative types:
Wetland trees, which depend upon seasonal or permanent flooding or sufficiently waterlogged soils to give them a competitive advantage over other trees; including, among others, red maple (Acer rubrum), willows (Salix spp.), black spruce (Picea mariana), swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor), red ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), American elm (Ulmus americana) and larch (Larix laricina).
Wetland shrubs, which depend upon seasonal or permanent flooding or sufficiently waterlogged soils to give them a competitive advantage over other shrubs; including, among others, alder (Alnus spp.), buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), bog rosemary (Andromeda glaucophylla) and leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata).
Emergent vegetation, including, among others, cattails (Typha spp.), pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata), bulrushes (Scirpus spp.), arrow arum (Peltandra virginica), arrowheads (Sagittaria spp.), reed (Phragmites communis), wild rice (Zizania aquatica), bur reeds (Sparganium spp.), purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), swamp loosestrife (Decodon verticillatus) and water plantain (Alisma Plantago-aquatica).
Rooted, floating-leved vegetation, including, among others, water lily (Nymphaea odorata), water shield (Brasenia schreberi) and spatterdock (Nuphar spp.).
Free-floating vegetation, including, among others, duckweed (Lemna spp.), big duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza) and watermeal (Wolffia spp.).
Wet meadow vegetation, which depends upon seasonal or permanent flooding or sufficiently waterlogged soils to give them a competitive advantage over other open land vegetation; including, among others, sedges (Carex spp.), rushes (Juncus spp.), cattails (Typha spp.), rice cut-grass (Leersia oryzoides), reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea), swamp loosestrife (Decodon verticillatus) and spikerush (Eleocharis spp.).
Bog mat vegetation, including, among others sphagnum mosses (Sphagnum spp.), bog rosemary (Andromeda glaucophylla), leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata), pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) and cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon and V. oxycoccos).
Submergent vegetation, including, among others, pondweeds (Potamogeton spp.), naiads (Naias spp.), bladderworts (Utricularia spp.), wild celery (Vallisneria americana), coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum), water milfoils (Myriophyllum spp.), waterweeds (Elodea spp.) and water smartweed (Polygonum amphibium).
Lands and submerged lands containing remnants of any vegetation that is not aquatic or semiaquatic that has died because of wet conditions over a sufficiently long period, provided that such wet conditions do not exceed a maximum seasonal water depth of six (6) feet; and provided, further, that such conditions can be expected to persist indefinitely, barring human intervention;
Lands and waters enclosed by aquatic or semiaquatic vegetation as set forth herein in Subsection A and dead vegetation as set forth in Subsection B, the regulation of which is necessary to protect and preserve the aquatic and semiaquatic vegetation; and
The waters overlying the areas as set forth in Subsections A and B and the lands underlying as set forth in Subsection C.
- FRESHWATER WETLANDS MAP
- A map on which are indicated the boundaries of any freshwater wetland and which has been filed with the Clerk of the Village of Spring Valley by the State Department of Environmental Conservation pursuant to § 24-0301 of the State Environmental Conservation Law.
- LOCAL GOVERNMENT
- A city, county, town or village.
- PARTY IN INTEREST
- The applicant, the Agency, the State Department of Environmental Conservation, each local government in which the regulated activity or any part thereof is located and any person who appears and wishes to be a party in interest at the public hearing held pursuant to § 130-7 of this chapter.
- Any corporation, firm, partnership, association, trust, estate, one (1) or more individuals and any unit of government or agency or subdivision thereof.
- The presence in the environment of human-induced conditions or contaminants in quantities or characteristics which are or maybe injurious to humans, plants, animals or property.
- Any action which may result in direct or indirect physical impact on a freshwater wetland, including but not limited to any regulated activity.
- REGULATED ACTIVITY
- Any form of draining, dredging, excavation of soil, mud, sand, shells, gravel or other aggregate from any freshwater wetland, either directly or indirectly; any form of dumping, filling or depositing of any soil, stones, sand, gravel, mud, rubbish or fill of any kind, either directly or indirectly; erecting any structures or roads, the driving of pilings or placing of any other obstructions, whether or not changing the ebb and flow of the water; any form of pollution, including but not limited to installing a septic tank, running a sewer outfall, discharging sewage treatment effluent or other liquid wastes directly into or so as to drain into a freshwater wetland; that portion of any subdivision of land that involves any land in any freshwater wetland or adjacent area; and any other activity which substantially impairs any of the several functions served by freshwater wetlands or the benefits derived therefrom which are set forth in § 130-3 of this chapter.
- SELECTIVE CUTTING
- The annual or periodic removal of trees, individually or in small groups, in order to realize the yield and establish a new crop and to improve the forest, which removal does not involve the total elimination of one (1) or more particular species of trees.
- The State of New York.
- STATE AGENCY
- Any state department, bureau, commission, board or other agency, public authority or public benefit corporation.
- SUBDIVISION OF LAND
- Shall have the same meaning as provided for in the land subdivision
regulations of the Village of Spring Valley.Editor's Note: See Ch. 232, Subdivision of Land.
- The Village of Spring Valley.
Except as provided in Subsection B of this section, no person shall conduct a regulated activity on any freshwater wetland or within one hundred (100) feet thereof unless such person has first obtained a permit pursuant to this chapter.
No permit under this chapter shall be required for:
The deposition or removal of the natural products of freshwater wetlands and adjacent areas by recreational or commercial fishing, shell fishing, aquaculture, hunting or trapping, where otherwise legally permitted and regulated.
The activities of farmers and other landowners in grazing and watering livestock, making reasonable use of water resources, harvesting natural products of the wetlands, selectively cutting timber, draining land or wetlands for growing agricultural products and otherwise engaging in the use of wetlands or other land for growing agricultural products, except that structures not required for enhancement or maintenance of the agricultural productivity of the land and any filling activities shall not be excluded hereunder.
Public health activities, orders and regulations of the Rockland County Health Department undertaken in compliance with § 24-0701, Subdivision 5, of the State Environmental Conservation Law.
Activities subject to the review jurisdiction of the State Public Service Commission or the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment under Article VII or Article VIII of the State Public Service Law, respectively. The standards and restrictions of this chapter will be applied by said bodies in determining whether to issue a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need under such Articles.
Any actual and ongoing emergency activity which is immediately necessary for the protection and preservation of life or property or the protection or preservation of natural resource values. Such emergency activities include, for example, search-and-rescue operations, preventive or remedial activities related to large-scale contamination of streams or other bodies of water, floods, hurricanes and other storms and public health concerns. Within five (5) days of the end of such an emergency, the person chiefly responsible for undertaking such emergency activity shall send a written statement to the Agency setting forth the pertinent facts regarding such emergency, including an explanation of the life, property or resource values such activity was designed to protect or preserve.
Any activity located in a freshwater wetland where such wetland is located in more than one (1) municipality.
Any person proposing to conduct or cause to be conducted a regulated activity requiring a permit under this chapter upon any freshwater wetland or within one hundred (100) feet thereof shall file an application for a permit with the Board of Trustees of the Village of Spring Valley.
An application for a permit shall be filed by the applicant on a form prescribed by the Agency. Such application shall set forth the purpose, character and extent of the proposed regulated activity. The application shall include a detailed description of the proposed activity, a map showing the area of freshwater wetland or adjacent area directly affected, with the location of the proposed regulated activity thereon, a deed or other legal description describing the subject property and such additional information as the Agency deems sufficient to enable it to make the findings and determinations required under this chapter.
The application shall be accompanied by a list of the names of the owners of record of lands adjacent to the freshwater wetland upon which the project is to be undertaken and the names of known claimants of water rights, of whom the applicant has notice, which relate to any land within or within one hundred (100) feet of the boundary of the property on which the proposed regulated activity will be located.
An application shall not be deemed to be completed or received until the Agency determines that all such information, including any additional information requested, has been supplied in a complete and satisfactory form.
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Spring Valley shall cause a copy of such completed application to be mailed to all local governments where the proposed activity or any part thereof is located.
Said notice of application shall be in a form prescribed by the Agency and shall:
Specify that persons wishing to object to the application should file a notice of objection by a specified date, together with a statement of the precise grounds of objection to the application, with the Agency.
Specify that if no notices of objection are timely filed or if the Agency determines that the proposed activity is of such a minor nature as to not affect or endanger the balance of systems within any freshwater wetland, then the Agency, in its discretion, may determine a hearing is not necessary and dispense with the public hearing.
Specify that the application, including all documents and maps therewith, is available for public inspection at the office of the Village Clerk of the Village of Spring Valley.
No sooner than thirty (30) days and not later than sixty (60) days after its receipt of a completed application for a permit regarding a proposed regulated activity and after the publication of a notice of application pursuant to Subsection D of this section, together with proof of publication thereof, the Agency shall hold a public hearing on such application at the Village Hall in the Village of Spring Valley, which hearing shall be held pursuant to the provisions of § 130-7 of this chapter.
Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsection E(1) of this section, where no notice of objection to the notice of application published pursuant to Subsection D of this section shall have been filed within the time specified by that notice or where the Agency determines that the proposed activity is of such a minor nature as not to affect or endanger the balance of systems within any freshwater wetland, the Agency may, in its discretion, dispense with such hearing. Where the Agency finds that a public hearing is not necessary, it shall publish a decision setting forth its reasons therefor, which decision shall be a matter of public record and shall be mailed to each local government where the proposed regulated activity or any part thereof will be located. Public notice of such decision that a public hearing is not necessary shall be provided in the same manner as notice of application set forth in Subsection D of this section.
Notice of hearing.
The Agency shall, within twenty-one (21) days of receipt of a completed application, provide the applicant with a notice of hearing which the applicant shall publish at his or her own expense at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date set for the hearing at least once each in two (2) newspapers having general circulation in the area.
At least fifteen (15) days prior to the date set for the hearing, the Agency shall, by certified mail, cause notice of such hearing to be mailed to each local government within whose boundaries the proposed regulated activity or any portion thereof will be located.
At least fifteen (15) days prior to the date set for the hearing, the Agency shall, by certified mail, cause notice of such hearing to be mailed to all owners of record of land adjacent to the affected freshwater wetland and to all known claimants of water rights, of whom the applicant has notice, which relate to any land within or within one hundred (100) feet of the boundary of the property on which the proposed regulated activity will be located.
The notice of hearing shall:
State the name of the applicant.
Specify the location and outline the scope of the proposed regulated activity.
Specify the date, time and place of the public hearing on the application.
Specify that persons wishing to be parties in interest and eligible to be heard at such public hearing, if any, should file a notice of appearance by a specified date, together with a statement of the precise grounds of support of, opposition to or interest in the application, with the Agency.
Specify that if no notices of appearance are timely filed by any party in interest and if the applicant waives any public hearing, then the public hearing may be canceled by the Agency.
Specify that the application, including all documents and maps therewith, is available for public inspection at the office of the Village Clerk of the Village of Spring Valley.
The Agency shall make the application, including all documents and maps associated with it, available for public inspection at the office of the Village Clerk of the Village of Spring Valley.
If no timely notice of appearance has been filed as provided in the notice of hearing published pursuant to Subsection F of this section and the applicant waives, in writing, any public hearing on his or her application, the Agency may dispense with a public hearing and, in such instance, shall provide public notice of the cancellation of the hearing.
For any notice canceling a hearing which has been scheduled, notice shall be given on the same basis as the notice of public hearing provided in Subsection F of this section.
The Agency may establish permit fees to assist in its implementation of this chapter.
Any public hearing held on a permit application received under this chapter may be conducted by the Mayor of the Village of Spring Valley. The public hearing shall be held within the Village of Spring Valley.
At such hearing, any person or persons filing a request for a hearing or a timely notice of appearance may appear and be heard.
Where a public hearing has been held regarding a permit application, the Agency shall either issue the permit requested, with or without conditions, or deny the application.
The decision by the Agency to issue or deny a permit after public hearing shall be based on the record of the hearing and shall be made, in writing, within thirty (30) days of the date of the hearing, unless extended by mutual consent of the applicant and the Agency.
In granting, denying or conditioning any permit, the Agency shall consider the effect of the proposed activity with reference to the public health and welfare, fishing, flood, hurricane and storm damages and protection or enhancement of the several functions of the freshwater wetlands and the benefits derived therefrom which are set forth in § 130-3 of this chapter.
The applicant shall have the burden of demonstrating that the proposed activity will be in accordance with the policies and provisions of the State Environmental Conservation Law, Article 24.
Duly filed written notice by the state of any agency or subdivision thereof to the Agency, that the state or any such agency or subdivision is in the process of acquiring the affected freshwater wetland on which a proposed regulated activity would be located by negotiation or condemnation shall be sufficient basis for denial of a permit for such regulated activity. Such notice may be provided at any time prior to the Agency's decision to issue or deny a permit for the regulated activity.
Any permit issued may impose conditions and limitations designed to carry out public policy set forth within Article 24 of the State Environmental Conservation Law. Such conditions may be attached as are necessary to assure the preservation and protection of affected freshwater wetlands and to assure compliance with the policy and provisions of this chapter and the provisions of the Agency's rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter.
The Agency shall set forth, in writing, in the file it keeps regarding a permit application, its findings and reasons for all conditions attached to any permit.
In order to carry out the purposes and provisions of this chapter, the Agency shall have the power to adopt, amend and repeal, after public hearing, such rules and regulations, consistent with this chapter, as it deems necessary to administer this chapter and to do any and all things necessary or convenient to carry out the purpose and policies of this chapter.
To the greatest extent practicable, any public hearing held pursuant to § 130-7 of this chapter shall be incorporated with any public hearing by or pursuant to the New York State Village Law, General City Law, General Municipal Law or Environmental Conservation Law relating to approvals or permits otherwise required for the undertaking of regulated activities on the freshwater wetland or adjacent area in question.
No permit granted pursuant to this chapter shall remove any persons' obligation to comply in all respects with the applicable provisions of any other federal, state or local law or regulation, including but not limited to the acquisition of any other required permit or approval.
The Agency may require that, prior to commencement of work under any permit issued pursuant to this chapter, the permittee shall post a bond with the Agency, in an amount determined by the Agency, conditioned upon the faithful compliance with the terms of such permit and for the indemnification of the Village of Spring Valley for restoration costs resulting from failure to so comply. Such bond shall be issued by a corporate surety authorized to do business in the state and shall be in favor of the Village of Spring Valley. It shall remain in effect until the Agency certifies that the work has been completed in compliance with the terms of the permit or the bond is released by the Agency or a substitute bond is provided.
The Agency shall set forth, in writing, in the file it keeps regarding a permit application, its findings and reasons for imposing a bond pursuant to this section.
The Agency may suspend or revoke a permit issued pursuant to this chapter where it finds that the permittee has not complied with any or all terms of such permit, has exceeded the authority granted in the permit or has failed to undertake the project in the manner set forth in the application.
The Agency shall set forth, in writing, in the file it keeps regarding a permit application, its findings and reasons for revoking or suspending a permit pursuant to this section.
Administrative sanctions. Any person who violates, disobeys or disregards any provision of this chapter, including any provision of any permit issued pursuant to this chapter or any rule or regulation adopted by the Agency pursuant to this chapter, shall be liable to the people of the state for a civil penalty not to exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000.) for every such violation, to be assessed, after a hearing or opportunity to be heard upon due notice and with the rights to specification of the charges and representation by counsel at such hearing, by the Agency. Such penalty may be recovered in an action brought by the Attorney General at the request and in the name of the Agency in any court of competent jurisdiction. Such civil penalty may be released or compromised, and any action commenced to recover the same may be settled and discontinued by the Attorney General with the consent of the Agency. In addition, the Agency shall have power, following a hearing held in conformance with the procedures set forth in § 71-1709 of the State Environmental Conservation Law, to direct the violator to cease his or her violation of this chapter and to restore the affected freshwater wetland to its condition prior to the violation, insofar as that is possible within a reasonable time and under the supervision of the Agency. Any such order of the Agency shall be enforceable in an action brought by the Attorney General at the request and in the name of the Agency in any court of competent jurisdiction. Any civil penalty or order issued by the Agency pursuant to this subsection shall be reviewable in a proceeding pursuant to Article 78 of the State Civil Practice Law and Rules.
Criminal sanctions. Any person who violates an order, permit or rule or regulation of the Agency regulating freshwater wetlands and adjacent areas pursuant to this chapter shall, in addition, for the first offense, be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500.) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.); for a second and each subsequent offense, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less one thousand dollars ($1,000.) nor more than two thousand dollars ($2,000.) or a term of imprisonment of not less than fifteen (15) days nor more than six (6) months, or both. Instead of these punishments, any offender may be punishable by being ordered by the court to restore the affected freshwater wetland to its condition prior to the offense, insofar as that is possible. The court shall specify a reasonable time for the completion of such restoration, which shall be effected under the supervision of the Agency. Each offense shall be a separate and distinct offense and, in the case of a continuing offense, each day's continuance thereof shall be deemed a separate and distinct offense.
The Attorney General, upon his or her own initiative or upon complaint of the Agency, shall prosecute persons alleged to have violated any such order of the Agency pursuant to this chapter.
The Agency shall have the right to seek equitable relief to restrain any violation or threatened violation of any provisions of this chapter.
Any decision or order of the Agency or any officer or employee thereof made pursuant to or within the scope of this chapter may be reviewed at the instance of any municipal corporation or person affected thereby by the Board in accordance with Title 11 of Article 24 of the State Environmental Conservation Law, provided that such review is commenced by the filing with the Board of a notice of review within thirty (30) days after service of such order or notice of such decision given, as the case may be.
Any party to any proceeding before the Agency may make an appeal to the Board in accordance with Title 11 of Article 24 of the State Environmental Conservation Law from any order or decision of the Agency or any officer or employee thereof issued or made pursuant to or within the scope of this chapter, provided that such appeal is commenced by the filing with the Board of a notice of appeal within thirty (30) days after service of such order or after notice of such decision given, as the case may be.
Any decision or order of the Agency or any officer or employee thereof made pursuant to or within the scope of this chapter may be reviewed at the instance of any person, in accordance with Article 78 of the State Civil Practice Law and Rules, provided that such review is commenced within thirty (30) days of the filing of such decision or order; and the limitation upon the availability of such remedy as prescribed in § 7801 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules shall not be applicable to the applications for review of determinations and orders made pursuant to this chapter.
The institution of a judicial proceeding to review a determination or order of the Agency shall preclude the institution of a proceeding before the Board to review such determination or order. The availability of such review by the Board shall not affect the right of any person to seek review of a determination of the Agency as provided in Article 78 of the State Civil Practice Law and Rules.