[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Rockville Centre 7-19-1976 by L.L. No. 7-1976. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is declared to be the public policy of the State of New York and the Village of Rockville Centre to preserve, protect and conserve freshwater wetlands and the benefits derived therefrom, to prevent the despoliation and destruction of freshwater wetlands and to secure the natural benefits of freshwater wetlands, consistent with the general welfare and beneficial economic, social and agricultural development of the state and Village.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- FRESHWATER WETLANDS
- Lands and waters of the Village of Rockville Centre, as shown on the Freshwater Wetlands Map, which wetlands contain any and all of the flora and fauna described in Article 24 of the Environmental Conservation Law of the State of New York.
- FRESHWATER WETLANDS MAP
- A map on which are indicated the boundaries of any freshwater wetlands in the Village of Rockville Centre.
- Any corporation, firm, partnership association, trust, estate, one or more individuals, or any unit of government or agency or subdivision thereof.
- The presence in the environment of man-induced conditions or contaminants in quantities or having characteristics which are or may be injurious to human, plant or wildlife, or other animal life or to the property.
- The Village of Rockville Centre.
- VILLAGE BOARD
- The Village Board of the Village of Rockville Centre.
- VILLAGE CLERK
- The Village Clerk of the Village of Rockville Centre.
A permit shall be required for any form of draining, dredging, excavation, removal of soil, mud, sand, shells, gravel or other aggregate from any freshwater wetland, either directly or indirectly; and for any form of dumping, filling or depositing of any soil, stones, sand, gravel, mud, rubbish or fill of any kind, either directly or indirectly; for erecting any structures, roads, driving of pilings or placing any other obstructions, whether or not changing the ebb and flow of the water; for 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 into or so as to drain into a freshwater wetland; and for 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 Article 24 of the Environmental Conservation Law. These activities are subject to regulation, whether or not they occur upon the wetland itself, if they impinge upon or otherwise substantially affect the wetlands; provided, however, that no regulation shall apply to any area more than 100 feet from the boundary of such wetland or any such lesser or greater distance therefrom as determined by the Department of Public Works of the Village of Rockville Centre and approved by the Village Board.
The depositing or removal of the natural products of the freshwater wetlands by recreational or commercial fishing, shellfishing, aquaculture, hunting or trapping shall be excluded from the regulated activities 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 agriculture products and otherwise engaging in the use of wetlands or other land for growing agricultural products shall be excluded from regulated activities and shall not require a permit hereunder, 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, and provided that the use of the land designated as a freshwater wetland upon the Freshwater Wetlands Map at the effective date thereof for uses other than those referred to in this section shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter. Each farmer or landowner who intends to conduct an activity described in this section which would otherwise be regulated shall notify the Department of Public Works of the Village of Rockville Centre, in writing, of his intention to engage in such activity, stating the approximate acreage to be affected, the general location thereof, the use or uses to be made of such land and the methods to be employed.
Public health activities, orders and regulations of the Department of Health of the County of Nassau shall be excluded from regulated activities. Copies of all such public health orders and regulations affecting wetlands shall be filed with the Department of Public Works of the Village of Rockville Centre. The Chief Engineer of the Department of Public Works of the Village of Rockville Centre may request modification of such orders or regulations if he deems said modification necessary to implement the policy of this chapter.
Any person proposing to conduct or cause to be conducted a regulated activity upon any freshwater wetland within the town shall file an application for a permit with the Village Clerk. In the event that the freshwater wetland is located in more than one village or town, said application shall be filed with the County Clerk of Nassau County. Determination of the application shall be made by the Village Board in accordance with applicable law and any rules and regulations as may be adopted by the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation of the State of New York. Each application shall include a detailed description of the proposed activity and a map showing the area of the freshwater wetland directly affected, with the location of the proposed activity thereon.
The application fee shall be $50.
No sooner than 30 days and no later than 60 days after the receipt of an application hereunder, and after notice of application has been published by the applicant in two newspapers, one having general circulation in the Village and the other having general circulation in the Town of Hempstead, the Village Board shall hold a public hearing on said application, unless no notice of objection has been filed or unless the Village Board, upon the advice of the Chief Engineer of the Department of Public Works of the Village of Rockville Centre, finds the proposed activities to be of such a minor nature as not to affect or endanger the balance of systems within the wetlands, and in those cases the public hearings shall be waived.
In granting, denying or limiting any permit, the Village Board 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 in Article 24 of the Environmental Conservation Law.
A duly filed notice, in writing, that the state or any agency or subdivision thereof is in the process of acquiring any freshwater wetlands by negotiation or condemnation shall be sufficient basis for denial of any permit.
In granting a permit, the Village Board may limit same or impose conditions or limitations designed to carry out the public policy set forth in this chapter and require a bond in an amount and with surety and conditions satisfactory to it securing compliance with the conditions and limitations set forth in the permit. The Village Board may suspend or revoke a permit if it finds that the applicant has not complied with any of the conditions or limitations set forth in the permit or has exceeded the scope of the activity as set forth in the application.
The Village Board shall state upon the record the findings and reasons for all actions taken pursuant to this section.
A review of the determination of the Village Board shall be within a period of 30 days after the filing thereof, pursuant to the provisions of Title 11 of Article 24 of the Environmental Conservation Law or Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules. Any owner of the wetland affected and any resident or citizen of the Village shall be deemed to have the requisite standing to seek review.
Appeals from any determination or order of the Village Board shall be taken before the Freshwater Wetlands Appeal Board in accordance with the provisions of Article 24 of the Environmental Conservation Law.
The institution of judicial proceedings to review a determination or an order of the Village Board shall be taken only in accordance with the terms and provisions of Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
Any person committing an offense against this chapter, or any section or provision thereof, shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 for each such offense.
This chapter shall become effective upon completion of the Freshwater Wetlands Map pertaining to the Village of Rockville Centre.