[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Middletown 5-9-1983 by L.L. No. 8-1983 (Ch. 29A of the 1971 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building construction — See Ch. 193.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 270.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 420.
Zoning — See Ch. 475.
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed original Ch. 29A, Environmental Quality Review, adopted 4-25-1977 by L.L. No. 1-1977.
This chapter will be known as the "City of Middletown's Environmental Quality Review Law."
The purpose of this chapter is to implement for the City of Middletown the provisions of the State Environmental Quality Review Act and the State Environmental Quality Review Regulations, thereby incorporating environmental factors into existing planning and decision-making processes.
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.
- STATE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY REVIEW ACT (SEQR)
- Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law, which is Chapter 43-B of the Consolidated Laws of the State of New York.
- STATE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY REVIEW REGULATIONS (PART 617)
- Part 617 of Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York.
All other terms for which definitions are given in SEQR and/or Part 617 shall have the same meanings in this chapter.
All agencies, boards, departments, offices, other bodies or officers of the City of Middletown must comply with SEQR, Part 617 and this chapter, to the extent applicable, prior to carrying out, approving or funding any action, other than an exempt, excluded or Type II action.
The provisions of this chapter are severable. If any part or provision of this chapter is found invalid, such finding will apply only to the particular provision and circumstances in question. The remainder of this chapter and the application of the disputed provision to other circumstances will remain valid.
The lead agency is the agency (i.e., board, department, office, other body or officer) of the City of Middletown 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 Sections 6, 7 and 8 of Part 617, except that for the following specific Type I and unlisted actions in cases where a federal or state agency permit or approval is not necessary, the lead agency is:
Adoption, amendment or change in zoning or land use regulations: Common Council.
Construction or expansion of buildings, structures and other facilities, including highways within the City of Middletown: Commissioner of Public Works.
Variances: Zoning Board of Appeals.
Purchase, sale and/or lease of real property by the City of Middletown: Common Council.
Planned unit development or cluster zoning: Common Council.
Site plan review and special use permits: Planning Board.
Construction or expansion of a nonresidential facility: Commissioner of Public Works.
The Commissioner of Public Works will be the City's clearinghouse for lead agency designation. He 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 designation of lead agencies for particular actions.
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 City contemplates directly carrying out, funding or approving any Type I action, a full environmental assessment form (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 Appendices A and B 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 City, 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 or, with respect to unlisted actions, its own procedures, as the case may be, and on such other information as it 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 requires, whichever is later.
[Amended 4-23-2007 by L.L. No. 1-2007]
For Type I actions, the lead agency must give public notice and file a determination of nonsignificance as provided in Section 12 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 Sections 8 and 12 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.
The time of filing an application for approval or funding of an action commences from the date the determination of environmental nonsignificance is made. If the applicant prepared a draft EIS in lieu of an EAF, the time of filing commences from the date the lead agency accepts the draft EIS as adequate in 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 be environmentally significant, 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. 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 can provide an acceptable draft EIS or deem the application abandoned and discontinue review.
If a public hearing is held on the draft EIS, it must, whenever possible, be concurrent with any other hearing on the application.
The fees for review or preparation of an EIS involving approval or funding of an action will be fixed from time to time by resolution of the Common Council.
Fees so fixed will be consistent with the limitations set by Section 13 of Part 617. When the EIS is prepared by the applicant, fees will reflect the actual expenses of reviewing it. When the EIS is prepared by an agency on behalf of the applicant, fees will reflect the cost of preparation, including publication of notices, but not the cost of environmental review by the agency. However, the lead agency may not charge a fee for its determination of significance.
[Amended 4-23-2007 by L.L. No. 1-2007]
Critical environmental areas will be designated from time to time by resolution of the Common Council in accordance with the provisions of Section 14(g) of Part 617.
This chapter takes 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 Department of Environmental Conservation.