[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Islandia 1-2-2003 by L.L. No. 2-2003. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter will be known as the "Village of Islandia Environmental Quality Review Law."
The purpose of this chapter is to implement for the Village of Islandia the provisions of the State Environmental Quality Review Act and the State Environmental Quality Review Regulations, thereby incorporating environmental considerations into the existing planning and decision-making process.
This chapter is adopted under authority of the Municipal Home Rule Law, the State Environmental Quality Review Act and the State Environmental Quality Review Regulations.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Environmental assessment form.
- Environmental impact statement.
- PART 617
- Part 617 of Title 6 of the New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR), also known as the "State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) Regulations."
- STATE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY REVIEW ACT (SEQRA)
- Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law, which is Chapter 43-B of the Consolidated Laws of the State of New York.
All other terms for which definitions are given in SEQRA and/or Part 617 have the same meanings in this chapter.
All agencies, boards, departments, offices, officers, or other bodies of the Village of Islandia must comply with Part 617 and this chapter to the extent applicable prior to carrying out, approving or funding any action, other than exempt, excluded or Type II actions.
The lead agency is the agency (i.e., board, department, office, other body or officer of the Village) principally responsible for carrying out, funding or approving an action. The lead agency is responsible for determining whether an EIS is required for the action and for preparing and filing the EIS if it is required.
Where more than one agency is involved, the lead agency is determined and designated as provided in Section 6 of Part 617.
The Village Board of Trustees will be the Village clearinghouse for lead agency designation. It will assist agencies and applicants to identify other federal, state and local agencies that may be involved in approving, funding or carrying out Type I and unlisted actions. The clearinghouse will make recommendations on the designation of lead agencies for particular actions.
The environmental review of actions involving a federal agency will be processed in accordance with Section 15 of Part 617.
When any agency, department, body, board or officer of the Village of Islandia contemplates directly carrying out, funding or approving any Type I action, a full EAF must be prepared by it or on its behalf. When an unlisted action is contemplated, either a full or short-form EAF, as appropriate, must be prepared. The EAF forms given in Appendixes A, B and C of Part 617 will be used as models, but may be modified to meet the needs of particular cases. However, the final scope of such a modified EAF must be at least as comprehensive as the scope of the model forms.
When any person submits an application for funding or a permit or other approval of a Type I or unlisted action to any agency, department, body, board or officer of the Village, an EAF must accompany the application. For Type I actions, a full EAF must be prepared; for unlisted actions, either the full EAF or the short form may be used, as appropriate. An applicant may choose to prepare a draft EIS in place of an EAF.
The lead agency must make a determination of environmental significance of the action. This determination must be based on the EAF and on such other information as the lead agency may require. The criteria stated in Section 7 of Part 617 must also be considered by the lead agency in making its determination of significance. The determination must be made within 20 days of its designation as lead agency or within 20 days of its receipt of all information it required, whichever is later.
For Type I actions, the lead agency must give public notice and file a determination of nonsignificance as provided in Subdivisions 12(b)(1), 12(b)(3), and 12(c) of Part 617. For unlisted actions, the lead agency must send a determination of nonsignificance to the applicant and maintain its own records thereof in accordance with Subdivisions 12(b)(2) and 12(b)(3) of Part 617.
If the lead agency makes a determination of nonsignificance, the direct action, approval or funding involved will be processed without further regard to SEQR, Part 617, or this chapter.
An application for approval or funding shall be deemed to be complete on the date the determination of environmental nonsignificance is made. If the applicant prepared a draft EIS in lieu of an EAF, the application shall be deemed to be complete on the date the lead agency accepts the draft EIS as adequate with respect to scope and content and commences the public comment period.
If, based on review of the EAF and other information, the lead agency determines that the proposed action may result in one or more significant environmental impacts, then an EIS must be prepared.
If an EIS is required, the lead agency must proceed as provided in Sections 9, 11 and 12 of Part 617, or Sections 9, 10, 11, and 12 when a generic environmental impact statement is required. The draft EIS will normally be prepared by the applicant. If the applicant fails to prepare a draft EIS or prepares a draft EIS which is unacceptable to the lead agency, the lead agency may either prepare a draft EIS itself, discontinue further processing until the applicant provides an acceptable draft EIS, or deem the application abandoned and discontinue review.
If a public hearing is held on the draft EIS, it should, whenever possible, be concurrent with any other hearing on the application.
A fee shall be charged for the review or preparation of the draft EIS, and scoping shall be considered part of the draft EIS for purposes of determining the fee. Such fees will be equal to the maximum allowable under Section 13 of Part 617. No agency, board, department, office, officer, or other body of the Village of Islandia shall have the authority to waive or modify this fee.
Critical areas of environmental concern can be designated, from time to time, by resolution of the Village Board of Trustees in accordance with provisions of Subdivision (g) of 617.14.
The following actions are identified by Section 617.4 of SEQR (last amended September 20, 1995) as Type I if they are to be directly undertaken, funded or approved by an agency:
The adoption of a municipality's land use plan, the adoption by any agency of a comprehensive resource management plan or the initial adoption of a municipality's comprehensive zoning regulations;
The adoption of changes in the allowable uses within any zoning district, affecting 25 or more acres of the district;
The granting of a zoning change, at the request of an applicant, for an action that meets or exceeds one or more of the thresholds given elsewhere in this list;
The acquisition, sale, lease, annexation or other transfer of 100 or more contiguous acres of land by a state or local agency;
Construction of new residential units that meet or exceed the following thresholds:
Ten units in municipalities that have not adopted zoning or subdivision regulations;
Fifty units not to be connected (at the commencement of habitation) to existing community or public water and sewerage systems including sewage treatment works;
In a city, town or Village having a population of less than 150,000, 250 units to be connected (at the commencement of habitation) to existing community or public water and sewerage systems including sewage treatment works;
In a city, town or Village having a population of greater than 150,000 but less than 1,000,000, 1,000 units to be connected (at the commencement of habitation) to existing community or public water and sewerage systems including sewage treatment works; or
In a city or town having a population of greater than 1,000,000, 2,500 units to be connected (at the commencement of habitation) to existing community or public water and sewerage systems including sewage treatment works;
Activities, other than the construction of residential facilities, that meet or exceed any of the following thresholds; or the expansion of existing nonresidential facilities by more than 50% of any of the following thresholds:
A project or action that involves the physical alteration of 10 acres;
A project or action that would use ground or surface water in excess of 2,000,000 gallons per day;
Parking for 1,000 vehicles;
In a city, town or Village having a population of 150,000 persons or less, a facility with more than 100,000 square feet of gross floor area;
In a city, town or Village having a population of more than 150,000 persons, a facility with more than 240,000 square feet of gross floor area;
Any structure exceeding 100 feet above original ground level in a locality without any zoning regulation pertaining to height;
Any unlisted action that includes a nonagricultural use occurring wholly or partially within an agricultural district (certified pursuant to Agriculture and Markets Law, Article 25-AA, §§ 303 and 304) and exceeds 25 percent of any threshold established in this section;
Any unlisted action (unless the action is designed for the preservation of the facility or site) occurring wholly or partially within, or substantially contiguous to, any historic building, structure, facility, site or district or prehistoric site that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, or that has been proposed by the New York State Board on Historic Preservation for a recommendation to the State Historic Preservation Officer for nomination for inclusion in the National Register, or that is listed on the State Register of Historic Places [The National Register of Historic Places is established by 36 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) Parts 60 and 63, 1994 (See Section 617.18 of SEQR.)];
Any unlisted action, that exceeds 25% of any threshold in this section, occurring wholly or partially within or substantially contiguous to any publicly owned or operated parkland, recreation area or designated open space, including any site on the Register of National Natural Landmarks pursuant to 36 CFR Part 62, 1994 (See Section 617.17 of SEQR); or
Any unlisted action that exceeds a Type I threshold established by an involved agency pursuant to Section 617.14 of SEQR.
In addition to the preceding state list of Type I actions, the following are deemed by the Village of Islandia to be Type I actions:
When more than two acres of land is to be cleared; unless, the property is: residentially-zoned, owned by the person clearing it, and the total amount of trees and brush to be cleared does not exceed five cubic yards, as specified under Article VII, § 108-22, Permit required, of the Code of the Village of Islandia, New York.
Applications for building permits issued in the Village of Islandia's Office (O) District which invoke the height exception rule set forth in Footnote e(1)(ii) of the Village of Islandia Nonresidence Districts Table of Dimensional Regulations and the site to be improved:
For purposes of this chapter, state-designated Type II actions include all those listed in Section 5 of Part 617 (last amended September 20, 1995) as outlined below:
Maintenance or repair involving changes in an existing structure or facility;
Replacement, rehabilitation or reconstruction of a structure or facility, in kind, on the same site, including upgrading buildings to meet building or fire codes, unless such action meets or exceeds any of the thresholds in Section 617.4 of this Part;
Agricultural farm management practices, including construction, maintenance and repair of farm buildings and structures, and land use changes consistent with generally accepted principles of farming;
Repaving of existing highways not involving the addition of new travel lanes;
Street openings and right-of-way openings for the purpose of repair or maintenance of existing utility facilities;
Maintenance of existing landscaping or natural growth;
Construction or expansion of a primary or accessory/appurtenant, nonresidential structure or facility involving less than 4,000 square feet of gross floor area and not involving a change in zoning or a use variance and consistent with local land use controls, but not radio communication or microwave transmission facilities;
Routine activities of educational institutions, including expansion of existing facilities by less than 10,000 square feet of gross floor area and school closings, but not changes in use related to such closings;
Construction or expansion of a single-family, a two-family or a three-family residence on an approved lot including provision of necessary utility connections as provided in Subsection A(11) and the installation, maintenance and/or upgrade of a drinking water well and a septic system.
Construction, expansion or placement of minor accessory/appurtenant residential structures, including garages, carports, patios, decks, swimming pools, tennis courts, satellite dishes, fences, barns, storage sheds or other buildings not changing land use or density;
Extension of utility distribution facilities, including gas, electric, telephone, cable, water and sewer connections to render service in approved subdivisions or in connection with any action on this list;
Granting of individual setback and lot line variances;
Granting of an area variance(s) for a single-family, two-family or three-family residence;
Public or private best forest management (silvicultural) practices on less than 10 acres of land, but not including waste disposal, land clearing not directly related to forest management, clear-cutting or the application of herbicides or pesticides;
Minor temporary uses of land having negligible or no permanent impact on the environment;
Installation of traffic control devices on existing streets, roads and highways;
Mapping of existing roads, streets, highways, natural resources, land uses and ownership patterns;
Information collection including basic data collection and research, water quality and pollution studies, traffic counts, engineering studies, surveys, subsurface investigations and soils studies that do not commit the agency to undertake, fund or approve any Type I or unlisted action;
Official acts of a ministerial nature involving no exercise of discretion, including building permits and historic preservation permits where issuance is predicated solely on the applicant's compliance or noncompliance with the relevant local building or preservation code(s);
Routine or continuing agency administration and management, not including new programs or major reordering of priorities that may affect the environment;
Conducting concurrent environmental, engineering, economic, feasibility and other studies and preliminary planning and budgetary processes necessary to the formulation of a proposal for action, provided those activities do not commit the agency to commence, engage in or approve such action;
Collective bargaining activities;
Investments by or on behalf of agencies or pension or retirement systems, or refinancing existing debt;
Inspections and licensing activities relating to the qualifications of individuals or businesses to engage in their business or profession;
Purchase or sale of furnishings, equipment or supplies, including surplus government property, other than the following: land, radioactive material, pesticides, herbicides, or other hazardous materials;
License, lease and permit renewals, or transfers of ownership thereof, where there will be no material change in permit conditions or the scope of permitted activities;
Adoption of regulations, policies, procedures and local legislative decisions in connection with any action on this list;
Engaging in review of any part of an application to determine compliance with technical requirements, provided that no such determination entitles or permits the project sponsor to commence the action unless and until all requirements of this Part have been fulfilled;
Civil or criminal enforcement proceedings, whether administrative or judicial, including a particular course of action specifically required to be undertaken pursuant to a judgment or order, or the exercise of prosecutorial discretion;
Adoption of a moratorium on land development or construction;
Interpreting an existing code, rule or regulation;
Designation of local landmarks or their inclusion within historic districts;
Emergency actions that are immediately necessary on a limited and temporary basis for the protection or preservation of life, health, property or natural resources, provided that such actions are directly related to the emergency and are performed to cause the least change or disturbance practicable under the circumstances to the environment. Any decision to fund, approve or directly undertake other activities after the emergency has expired is fully subject to the review procedures of this Part;
Actions undertaken, funded or approved prior to the effective dates set forth in SEQR (See Chapters 228 of the Laws of 1976, 253 of the Laws of 1977 and 460 of the Laws of 1978), except in the case of an action where it is still practicable either to modify the action in such a way as to mitigate potentially adverse environmental impacts, or to choose a feasible or less environmentally damaging alternative, the Commissioner may, at the request of any person, or on his own motion, require the preparation of an environmental impact statement; or, in the case of an action where the responsible agency proposed a modification of the action and the modification may result in a significant adverse impact on the environment, an environmental impact statement must be prepared with respect to such modification;
Actions requiring a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need under Article VII, VIII or X of the Public Service Law and the consideration of, granting or denial of any such certificate;
Actions subject to the Class A or Class B regional project jurisdiction of the Adirondack Park Agency or a local government pursuant to §§ 807, 808 and 809 of the Executive Law, except Class B regional projects subject to review by local government pursuant to § 807 of the Executive Law located within the Lake George Park as defined by Subdivision one of § 43-0103 of the Environmental Conservation Law; and
Actions of the Legislature and the Governor of the State of New York or of any court, but not actions of local legislative bodies except those local legislative decisions such as re-zoning where the local legislative body determines the action will not be entertained.
The provisions of this chapter are declared to be severable, and if any section, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter shall for any reason be held to be invalid or unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining sections, sentences, clauses and phrases of this chapter, but they shall remain in effect, it being the legislative intent that this chapter shall stand, notwithstanding the invalidity of any part.
This chapter shall take effect immediately upon filing in the office of the Secretary of State in accordance with § 27 of the Municipal Home Rule Law. A copy of this chapter must be filed with the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.