[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Southampton 7-12-2002 by L.L. No. 28-2002. Amendments noted where applicable.]
On August 12, 1997, the Town Board authorized the preparation of a Coastal Generic Environmental Impact Statement ("Coastal GEIS") to identify actions that the Town of Southampton can implement to alleviate the adverse consequences of flooding and erosion on the Atlantic Ocean shoreline. The Coastal GEIS will also propose changes to the Town's Coastal Erosion Hazard Area Law, Chapter 138, and Chapter 330, Zoning of the Town Code.
An extensive Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement was presented to the Town Board in February of 2001. Three separate public hearings were held at Town Hall in the Town of Southampton. These public hearings were held on March 16, 2001, April 25, 2001, and May 7, 2001. In addition, the public record was held open until June 25, 2001, to allow for written comment. The comments, both written and spoken, will be incorporated into the Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement.
The Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement prepared by Allee King Rosen & Fleming, Inc., in conjunction with Moffatt Nichol Engineers and Coastal expert Dr. Michael Bruno, is nearly complete. Since the Town Board authorized the GEIS, various Town and Town-related agencies, including the Coastal Erosion Administrator, Zoning Board of Appeals, Board of Trustees, Building Department and Conservation Board, have received and continue to receive various applications for development along the Atlantic Coastline. Those applications continued to be processed.
However, pending the completion of the GEIS, the Town Board has determined that it is in the best interests of the Town to impose a moratorium on the acceptance of any applications for development along the shoreline. Imposition of a moratorium will enable Town consultants to submit the Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement and make appropriate recommendations for amendments to the Town Code, most notably Chapter 138 and Chapter 330, before any new applications are reviewed.
This chapter also provides a procedure to obtain an exemption from the moratorium under certain circumstances, and exempts certain pending applications.
This chapter shall apply for a period of five months from the effective date hereof. This chapter shall expire after the five-month period unless and until this time period is extended by the Town Board after adoption of a subsequent local law.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all lands located within the Town of Southampton which have ocean beach frontage or are located south of Dune Road.
No agency of the Town of Southampton shall approve any applications for building permits, variances, changes of zone, site plans, special exception, wetland permits or coastal erosion hazard permit applications within the study area defined in § 306-3 during the moratorium period. No new applications affected by this section shall be accepted by an agency of the Town of Southampton after the effective date of this chapter, except as provided herein.
An applicant may apply to the Town Board for an exemption from this moratorium. The Town Board shall schedule a public hearing, upon notice, to consider such a request and may, in its discretion, grant or deny it after consideration of all the circumstances. Factors which may be considered by the Town Board include, but are not limited to, recommendations of the Coastal Erosion Hazard Administrator and/or his designees; availability of other reasonable alternatives to protect the structures; potential impacts to the environment, including adjacent properties, beach access, dune formation, sand transport and erosion of other properties.
This moratorium does not apply to applications for emergency activities.
The following applications are excluded from this chapter:
Routine maintenance of existing structures.
Applications to modify existing structures that do not involve expansion of existing structures.
Applications for beach or dune renourishment and/or planting of dune grass.
Applications for building permits for residential development on property that has received, prior to the adoption of this chapter, a wetland permit from the Conservation Board or the Chief Environmental Analyst or a permit from the Coastal Erosion Hazard Administrator or final subdivision or site plan approval from the Planning Board.
Any activity that meets the criteria for an administrative wetland permit except residential development.
This chapter is adopted pursuant to Municipal Home Rule Law and the State Environmental Quality Review Act and its implementing regulations and expressly supersedes any provisions of Chapters 123, 138 and 330 of the Town Code of the Town of Southampton, Article 16 of the Town Law of the State of New York and Article 34 of the Environmental Conservation Law to the extent it may be inconsistent. In particular, this chapter shall supersede those provisions of the Town Code and New York State law which require Town agencies to accept, process and approve applications within certain statutory time periods.