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SECTION 57-0121
Central Pine Barrens comprehensive land use plan; interim regulations
Environmental Conservation (ENV) CHAPTER 43-B, ARTICLE 57, TITLE 1
§ 57-0121. Central Pine Barrens comprehensive land use plan; interim

regulations.

1. As soon as practicable and within twelve months of the effective
date of this section, the commission shall, after consultation with the
advisory committee, prepare or cause to be prepared a draft
comprehensive land use plan and generic environmental impact statement
thereon which shall be part of the plan for the Central Pine Barrens
area. The land use plan shall be designed to preserve the Pine Barrens
ecology and to ensure the high quality of groundwater within the Central
Pine Barrens area and to balance the public and private interests in
development and in protection of the Pine Barrens ecology consistent
with the objectives of the land use plan. Where local plans exist, the
commission shall evaluate and incorporate such plans as is appropriate
in the land use plan.

2. The land use plan for the Central Pine Barrens area shall be
designed to:

(a) protect, preserve and enhance the functional integrity of the Pine
Barrens ecosystem and the significant natural resources, including plant
and animal populations and communities, thereof;

(b) protect the quality of surface water and groundwater;

(c) discourage piecemeal and scattered development;

(d) promote active and passive recreational and environmental
educational uses that are consistent with the land use plan; and

(e) accommodate development, in a manner consistent with the long term
integrity of the Pine Barrens ecosystem and to ensure that the pattern
of development is compact, efficient and orderly.

3. The land use plan with respect to the core preservation area shall
be designed to protect and preserve the ecologic and hydrologic
functions of the Pine Barrens by:

(a) preserving the Pine Barrens area in their natural state thereby
insuring the continuation of Pine Barrens environments which contain the
unique and significant ecologic, hydrogeologic and other resources
representative of such environments;

(b) promoting compatible agricultural, horticultural and open space
recreational uses within the framework of maintaining a Pine Barrens
environment and minimizing the impact of such activities thereon;

(c) prohibiting or redirecting new construction or development;

(d) accommodating specific Pine Barrens management practices, such as
prescribed burning, necessary to maintain the special ecology of the
preservation area;

(e) protecting and preserving the quality of surface and groundwaters;
and

(f) coordinating and providing for the acquisition of private land
interests as appropriate and consistent with available funds.

4. The land use plan with respect to the compatible growth areas shall
be designed to:

(a) preserve and maintain the essential character of the existing Pine
Barrens environment, including plant and animal species indigenous
thereto and habitats therefor;

(b) protect the quality of surface and groundwaters;

(c) discourage piecemeal and scattered development;

(d) encourage appropriate patterns of compatible residential,
commercial, agricultural, and industrial development in order to
accommodate regional growth influences in an orderly way while
protecting the Pine Barrens environment from the individual and
cumulative adverse impacts thereof;

(e) accommodate a portion of development redirected from the
preservation area. Such development may be redirected across municipal
boundaries; and

(f) allow appropriate growth consistent with the natural resource
goals pursuant to this title.

5. Preparation of the land use plan shall be based on the following
planning studies and reports:

(a) Previously undertaken and current groundwater and ecological
studies pertaining to the reserve, generally, and the Central Pine
Barrens area, specifically;

(b) General planning studies of the reserve, generally, and the
Central Pine Barrens area, specifically, including but not limited to:

(i) population and population distribution;

(ii) amount, type, intensity, and general location of commerce,
industry and agricultural production;

(iii) amount, type, quality, and general location of housing;

(iv) general location and extent of existing or currently planned
major transportation, utility, and community facilities;

(v) amount, general location, and interrelationship of different
categories of land use;

(vi) areas, sites, or structures of historical, archaeological,
architectural, or scenic significance;

(vii) natural resources, including air, water, open spaces, forests,
soils, rivers, wetlands and other waters, shorelines, fisheries,
wildlife, vegetation, threatened species, and minerals; and

(viii) any other matter found to be important to preservation and
future development.

(c) Scientific research prepared for other hydrological or ecological
areas analogous to the reserve, generally, and the Central Pine Barrens
area specifically. Such studies and reports may include, but are not
limited to those undertaken by the New Jersey Pinelands commission or
Cape Code commission.

(d) Public improvement studies including but not limited to the area
or subareas within the Central Pine Barrens area or outside such area
having an aggregation of sites with development potential to facilitate
application of transfer of development rights that could create the need
for new public improvements and/or public improvement expansions;

(e) Advisory committee recommendations or reports.

6. The land use plan shall provide for, address and include but not be
limited to the following:

(a) Statements of objectives, policies and standards as they pertain
to the purposes of this title and the land use plan.

(b) A map depicting the core preservation area.

(c) A map depicting compatible growth areas in the Central Pine
Barrens area where orderly and environmentally compatible development
can be encouraged and to which development potential within the preserve
may be transferred.

(d) A phased public improvement element for providing the public
facilities necessary for carrying out the goals for the core
preservation and compatible growth areas.

(e) Identification and mapping of critical resource areas within the
Central Pine Barrens area which are of regional or statewide
significance. Such areas shall include fragile lands, significant
shorelands of rivers, lakes, and streams; freshwater wetlands;
significant wildlife habitats; unique scenic or historic features; and
rare or valuable ecosystems and geological formations which are of
regional or statewide significance.

(f) Identification of sending districts in core preservation and
compatible growth areas and receiving districts in compatible growth
areas and outside the Central Pine Barrens area for the purpose of
providing for the transfer of development rights and values to further
the preservation and development goals of the land use plan and
methodologies and standards for procedural equity and appropriate values
in establishing rights and values consistent with the provisions of
section two hundred sixty-one-a of the town law.

(g) Identification of land suitable for agricultural use and necessary
and appropriate strategies to protect land capable of agricultural
production.

(h) Development criteria and performance standards.

(i) An intergovernmental coordination and consistency component
establishing the ways in which state and local programs and policies may
best be coordinated to promote the goals and implement the policies of
the land use plan.

(j) A financial component analyzing the public and private costs of
developing and implementing the land use plan which shall include:

(i) detailed costs including those for infrastructure improvements,
acquisition of fee simple or other interests in lands for preservation
or recreation purposes, compensation guarantees, general administrative
costs and any anticipated extraordinary or continuing costs; and

(ii) the source of revenue for covering such costs, including, but not
limited to, grants, donations and loans from local, state and federal
departments and agencies and from the private sector.

(k) A program for state, county and local governmental implementation
of the comprehensive land use plan and the various elements thereof in a
manner that will insure the continued, uniform, and consistent
protection of the Pine Barrens ecosystem and development objectives
including:

(i) minimum standards for the adoption, as required in this title, of
municipal and county plans, codes and ordinances concerning the
development and use of land including, but not limited to, standards for
minimum lot sizes, site clearance and wetland setbacks, appropriate
population and densities and regulated or prohibited uses for specific
portions of the Pine Barrens area and procedures for determining
hardship consistent with the purposes and provisions of this title;

(ii) guidelines and standards for review of projects of regional
significance which because of scale of intensity of use or location are
likely to impede implementation of the land use plan; and

(iii) guidelines for consistency with the land use plan by state,
county and local agencies.

(l) Professional staffing requirements necessary to carry out the land
use plan.

(m) Land protection mechanisms, including, but not limited to,
acquisition, conservation easements, rights and values transfers,
purchase of development rights, donations and clustering, planned unit
development, land trusts, exchanges between privately and publicly owned
lands, or other zoning activities consistent with the provisions of this
title.

(n) Provisions for use of best management practices, in all natural
resource-dependent commercial and industrial activities, including
agriculture, horticulture and related activities.

(o) Provisions for restoration of natural and cultural resources where
such resources have been damaged, lost, or otherwise impaired. Such work
shall address restoration of Pine Barrens habitats, stream and shore
revitalization, historic structures, traditional industries
demonstration programs, and strengthening of community character which
will be consistent with the provisions of the comprehensive management
plan pursuant to section 57-0115 of this title.

(p) Provisions for cumulative impact analyses, both environmental and
economic, for the effects of development, preservation, financial
policies and related factors upon the Central Pine Barrens area, its
private and public open space, its residents and constituents, school
and other special districts, and other pertinent aspects or demographic
sectors.

(q) Recommendations for further legislation at the state, county, and
local levels as may be necessary to fully implement the provisions of
this title.

(r) Provisions for management and stewardship of natural and cultural
resources which shall include coordination by owners of public lands
which will be consistent with the provisions of the comprehensive
management plan pursuant to section 57-0115 of this title.

(s) Provisions for appropriate and relevant scientific research
relating to the species, ecological communities and processes, natural
landscape features, and surface and groundwater resources of the Central
Pine Barrens necessary to ensure and enhance the long-term management of
the preserve. Such research may be addressed in a cooperative effort
with the state university of New York at Stony Brook through its
biological research station, established by the department of ecology
and evolution.

(t) Provisions for fire management for controlled, prescribed burning,
and responses to unanticipated fires. This shall include coordination
among the department and local fire departments.

(u) Description of developments of regional significance.

The land use plan shall also, as funds permit, provide for a follow-up
plan to be undertaken by the commission for a partnership infrastructure
and sustainable development plan for the reserve. Based on the land use
plan and the comprehensive management plan, such follow up plan shall be
designed to (i) coordinate the activities of all governmental entities
in the provision of infrastructure necessary to support orderly
development in the compatible growth areas and support of sustainable
development in the reserve outside of the preserve; and (ii) coordinate
and focus investment in sustainable development efforts.

7. Notwithstanding any provision contrary to any other provisions of
article eight of this chapter, the commission shall be the lead agency
for the generic environmental impact statement which is part of the land
use plan. Such generic environmental impact statement shall be prepared
in accordance with the provisions of article eight of this chapter.

8. In order to effectuate the purposes and provisions of this title,
no person, public corporation or the state shall undertake or otherwise
engage in development within the Central Pine Barrens area prior to
approval and implementation of the land use plan except as provided by
this section. No amendments to the existing town or village zoning laws,
ordinances or regulations affecting development within the Central Pine
Barrens area shall take effect prior to the approval of the land use
plan as provided in this chapter except that a town may as part of a
zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to article sixteen of the town law or
by local law pursuant to other enabling law, provide for a planned unit
development or planned development district ordinance for a development
for which the designated lead agency, on or before June first, nineteen
hundred ninety-three, accepted a draft environmental impact statement or
draft generic environmental impact statement under article eight of this
chapter. The provisions of this section shall not apply to development
in the compatible growth area for which:

(a) the designated lead agency, on or before June first, nineteen
hundred ninety-three, accepted a draft environmental impact statement or
draft generic environmental impact statement or issued a conditioned
negative declaration or a negative declaration under article eight of
this chapter, or

(b) all required municipal and state permits and approvals were issued
on or before June first, nineteen hundred ninety-three (except that a
building permit need not have been issued by said date), or

(c) The designated lead agency, after June first, nineteen hundred
ninety-three and prior to ninety days immediately following adoption of
this section or as extended at the discretion of the commission in its
interim rules and regulations adopted pursuant to section nine herein,
issues on an active application a conditioned negative declaration or a
negative declaration under article eight of this chapter and which does
conform to the use and lot area requirements of the zoning in effect in
the relevant municipality on June first, nineteen hundred ninety-three,
and does not necessitate a use variance. Notwithstanding the foregoing,
in the event a commissioner within thirty days of receiving notice of
said issuance requests review of the action by the full commission, the
development shall be subject to the interim rules and regulations and
reviewed as provided for in section nine herein.

In the event that an event referred to herein (acceptance of a draft
environmental impact statement or draft generic environmental impact
statement; issuance of a conditioned negative declaration or negative
declaration; or issuance of a required permit or approval) is annulled
or vacated by a court of competent jurisdiction and such judicial action
has not been reversed by a superior court, then, for purposes of this
section, such event shall be deemed not to have taken place.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any development which
includes land within the core preservation area for which the designated
lead agency, on or before June first, nineteen hundred ninety-three,
accepted a draft environmental impact statement or draft generic
environmental impact statement shall not require a supplemental draft or
generic environmental impact statement under article eight of this
chapter solely because such development includes land within the core
preservation area.

9. Within three months of the effective date of this section, the
commission shall publish interim goals and standards for development and
for hardship before the land use plan is implemented in compatible
growth areas identified in the map. The commission may vary the
procedures and time periods for compliance with article eight of this
chapter as necessary and appropriate to comply with the three month
deadline of this subdivision. Upon such publication, development may
proceed in such compatible growth areas subject to existing laws,
regulations and approval procedures and subject to the review and
approval of the commission. Any person, the state or a public
corporation applying for development in such compatible growth areas who
has received all necessary local and state approvals may petition the
commission for approval of the development. Within thirty days of an
application being received, the commission shall provide the applicant
and any other interested party an opportunity to be heard. Notice of
such hearing shall be published in a newspaper having a general
circulation in the Central Pine Barrens area, and notice of such hearing
shall also be given by registered mail to the chief administrative
officer of each town and village within whose boundary any proposed
development is located. If the proposed development is consistent with
the commission's interim goals and standards, the commission shall
approve the development and may include conditions for approval. If the
applicant seeks an exemption based upon a demonstration of hardship, the
commission may approve development in the compatible growth area upon
the finding that such interim goals and standards caused an unnecessary
hardship. In making such finding the commission shall consider the
criteria for a use variance pursuant to section two hundred
sixty-seven-b of the town law. The commission must make a decision
within one hundred twenty days of receipt of a complete application. If
the commission fails to make a decision within one hundred twenty days,
the development shall be deemed to be approved by the commission, unless
extended by mutual agreement of the applicant and commission.

10. Any person, the state or a public corporation upon a showing of
hardship caused by the provisions of subdivision eight of this section
on development in the core preservation area, may apply to the
commission for a permit exempting such applicant from such subdivision
eight in connection with any proposed development in the core
preservation area. Such application for an exemption pursuant to the
demonstration of hardship within the core preservation area shall be
approved only if the person satisfies the following conditions and
extraordinary hardship or compelling public need is determined to have
been established under the following standards or for development by the
state or a public corporation or proposed for land owned by the state or
a public corporation compelling public need is determined to have been
established under the following standards:

(a) The particular physical surroundings, shape or topographical
conditions of the specific property involved would result in an
extraordinary hardship, as distinguished from a mere inconvenience, if
the provisions of this act are literally enforced. A person shall be
deemed to have established the existence of extraordinary hardship only
if he or she demonstrates, based on specific facts, that the subject
property does not have any beneficial use if used for its present use or
developed as authorized by the provisions of this title, and that this
inability to have a beneficial use results from unique circumstances
peculiar to the subject property which:

(i) Do not apply to or affect other property in the immediate
vicinity;

(ii) Relate to or arise out of the characteristics of the subject
property rather than the personal situation of the applicant; or

(iii) Are not the result of any action or inaction by the applicant or
the owner or his or her predecessors in title including any transfer of
contiguous lands which were in common ownership on or after June 1,
1993.

(b) A person, the state or a public corporation shall be deemed to
have established compelling public need if the applicant demonstrates,
based on specific facts, one of the following:

(i) The proposed development will serve an essential health or safety
need of the municipalities in the Central Pine Barrens such that the
public health and safety require the requested waiver, that the public
benefits from the proposed use are of a character that overrides the
importance of the protection of the core preservation area as
established in this title, that the proposed use is required to serve
existing needs of the residents, and that no feasible alternatives exist
outside the core preservation area to meet the established public need
and that no better alternatives exist within the county; or

(ii) The proposed development constitutes an adaptive reuse of an
historic resource designated by the commission and said reuse is the
minimum relief necessary to ensure the integrity and continued
protection of the designated historic resource and further that the
designated historic resource's integrity and continued protection cannot
be maintained without the granting of a permit.

(c) An application for a permit in the core preservation area shall be
approved only if it is determined that the following additional
standards also are met:

(i) The granting of the permit will not be materially detrimental or
injurious to other property or improvements in the area in which the
subject property is located, increase the danger of fire, endanger
public safety or result in substantial impairment of the resources of
the core preservation area;

(ii) The waiver will not be inconsistent with the purposes, objectives
or the general spirit and intent of this title; or

(iii) The waiver is the minimum relief necessary to relieve the
extraordinary hardship, which may include the granting of a residential
development right to other lands in the compatible growth area that may
be transferred or clustered to those lands to satisfy the compelling
public need.

Any waiver or exemption granted under the provisions of this part
shall only be considered an exemption or waiver of the particular
standard of this title which the commission waived. It shall not
constitute an approval of the entire development proposal. Nor shall it
constitute a waiver from any requirements contained within any local,
county or state law or ordinance.

Within thirty days of the application being received, the commission
shall provide the applicant and any other interested party an
opportunity to be heard. Notice of any public hearing conducted in
connection with an application for such a permit shall be published in a
newspaper of general circulation in the Central Pine Barrens area. If
the proposed development is not contrary to the policy or any provision
of this title and meets the standards of extraordinary hardship or
public need herein, and the commission so finds, it may issue a permit
allowing the development or such development subject to appropriate
conditions or modifications to occur, provided that permission may be
revoked by the commission if its terms are violated, and provided
further that any such hardship permit issued by the commission shall be
in addition to, and not in lieu of, such permit or permits as may be
required by any state agency or municipality within whose boundary such
development is located. The time within which the commission must decide
a core preservation area hardship application for which a negative
declaration has been made by the commission pursuant to article eight of
this chapter is one hundred twenty days from receipt of such
application. The time within which the commission must decide a core
preservation area hardship application for which a positive declaration
has been made by the commission pursuant to article eight of this
chapter is sixty days from issuance of a findings statement by the
commission pursuant to article eight of this chapter. If the commission
fails to make a decision within the aforesaid time periods, the
development shall be deemed to be approved by the commission, unless
extended by mutual agreement of the applicant and commission.

11. In preparation of the land use plan, the commission shall:

(a) consult with appropriate officials of any regional, state or
federal agency which has jurisdiction over lands and waters within the
Central Pine Barrens area;

(b) consult with the officials of any municipality which has
jurisdiction over lands and waters within the Central Pine Barrens area;

(c) consult with interested professional, scientific and citizens'
organizations; and

(d) consult with citizens' committees.

12. Following consultation with the advisory committee and within the
twelve month period established therefor, the commission shall publish
the draft land use plan. Within three months of such publication, the
commission shall hold public informational meetings in the towns of
Brookhaven, Riverhead and Southampton and at least one public hearing
within the Central Pine Barrens area. During this period the commission
shall receive and review comments on the draft land use plan-generic
environmental impact statement from state and local governments and the
public and within three months, the commission shall recommend a revised
comprehensive land use plan pursuant to this title to the respective
town boards of such towns for their ratification and adoption. Within
two months of the commission recommending the plan to the respective
town boards, the town boards shall perform a comprehensive review of the
plan and shall provide final comments to the commission. The commission
at its discretion may modify the plan as requested by the town
representatives. After modifying the plan as necessary, the commission
shall prepare a draft supplemental generic environmental impact
statement and a final generic environmental impact statement, and the
towns and commission shall adopt the necessary statement of findings
pursuant to article eight of this chapter. Ratification and adoption of
the plan by the town boards of Brookhaven, Riverhead, and Southampton
shall represent commitment to implementation of the provisions contained
therein. Upon ratification and adoption by such three towns, the
commission itself will formally adopt the plan-generic environmental
impact statement and its provisions shall be in full force. Adoption by
the commission shall only be upon the signature of the governor, county
executive of Suffolk county, supervisor of the town of Brookhaven,
supervisor of the town of Riverhead and supervisor of the town of
Southampton.

13. Not less than once every five years after the land use plan has
become effective, the commission shall review and, if appropriate, make
amendments to the land use plan and update the generic impact statement.
Within each such period, the commission shall hold a public hearing and
shall receive comments on the effectiveness of implementation of the
land use plan. Not less than thirty days before voting on an amendment
to the land use plan, the commission shall publish notice thereof in a
newspaper of general circulation in the Central Pine Barrens area.