[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Sweden 8-26-1976 by L.L. No. 1-1976. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall hereafter be known as the "Freshwater Wetlands Protection Ordinance of the Town of Sweden (Local Law No. 1-1976)."
The freshwater wetlands located in the Town of Sweden are invaluable resources for flood protection, wildlife habitat, open space, recreation and water resources.
Freshwater wetlands conservation is a matter of concern to the Town of Sweden.
It is declared to be public policy of the Town Board to preserve, protect and conserve the freshwater wetlands and the benefits derived therefrom; to prevent the despoliation and destruction of freshwater wetlands; and to regulate the development of such wetlands consistent with the general welfare and beneficial to the economic, social and agricultural development of the Town of Sweden.
The following terms, phrases, words and their derivatives shall have the meanings given herein:
- ADJACENT AREA
- Any land in the Town of Sweden immediately adjacent to a freshwater wetland and lying within 100 feet, measured horizontally, of the boundary of a freshwater wetland.
- The Town Board of the Town of Sweden.
- Any person who files an application for any permit issued by the agency pursuant to this chapter, and includes the agent of the owner or a contract vendee.
- The Freshwater Wetland Appeals Board established by Article 24 of the State Environmental Conservation Law.
- BOUNDARIES OF A FRESHWATER WETLAND
- The outer limit of the vegetation specified in Subsections A and B of the definition of "freshwater wetlands" in this section and of the waters specified in Subsection C of such definition.
- FRESHWATER WETLANDS
- Lands and waters lying within the boundaries of the Town of Sweden, as shown on a freshwater wetlands map, which contain any or all of the following:
- A. Lands and submerged lands commonly called "marshes," "swamps," "sloughs," "bogs" and "flats" supporting aquatic or semiaquatic vegetation of the following vegetative types:[Amended 10-24-1990 by L.L. No. 2-1990]
- (1) Wetland trees, which depend upon seasonal or permanent flooding or sufficiently waterlogged soils to give them a competitive advantage over other trees, including, among others, red maple, willows, black spruce, swamp white oak, red ash, black ash, silver maple, American elm and larch.
- (2) Wetland shrubs, which depend upon seasonal or permanent flooding or sufficiently water-logged soils to give them a competitive advantage over other shrubs, including, among others, alder, buttonbush, bog rosemary, dogwoods and leatherleaf.
- (3) Emergent vegetation, including, among others, cattails, pickerelweed, bulrushes, arrow arum, arrowheads, reed, wildrice, bur-reeds, purple loosestrife, swamp loosestrife and water plantain.
- (4) Rooted, floating-leaved vegetation, including, among others, waterlily, water shield and spatterdock.
- (5) Free-floating vegetation, including, among others, duckweed, big duckweed and watermeal.
- (6) Wet meadow vegetation, which depends upon seasonal or permanent flooding or sufficiently waterlogged soils to give it a competitive advantage over other open land vegetation, including, among others, sedges, rushes, cattails, rice cut-grass, reed canary grass, swamp loosestrife and spikerush.
- (7) Bog mat vegetation, including, among others, sphagnum mosses, bog rosemary, leatherleaf, pitcher plant and cranberries.
- (8) Submergent vegetation, including, among others, pondweeds, naiads, bladderworts, wild celery, coontail, watermilfoils, muskgrass, stonewort, water weeds and water smartweed.
- B. Lands and submerged lands containing remnants of any vegetation that is not aquatic or semiaquatic that has died because of wet conditions over a sufficiently long period, provided that such wet conditions do not exceed a maximum seasonal water depth of six feet and provided, further, that such conditions can be expected to persist indefinitely, barring human intervention.
- FRESHWATER WETLANDS MAP
- A map on which are indicated the boundaries of any freshwater wetland and which has been filed with the Clerk of the Town of Sweden by the State Department of Environmental Conservation pursuant to § 24-0301 of the State Environmental Conservation Law.
- PARTY IN INTEREST
- The applicant, the agency, the State Department of Environmental Conservation, each local government in which the regulated activity or any part thereof is located and any person who appears and wishes to be a "party in interest" at the public hearing held pursuant to § 117-6.
- Any corporation, firm, partnership, association, trust, estate, one or more individuals and any unit of government or agency or subdivision thereof.
- The presence in the environment of human-induced conditions or contaminants in quantities or characteristics which are or may be injurious to humans, plants, animals or property.
- Any action which may result in direct or indirect physical impact on a freshwater wetland, including but not limited to any regulated activity.
- REGULATED ACTIVITY
- Any form of draining, dredging, excavating or removing of soil, mud, sand, shells, gravel or other aggregate from any freshwater wetland, either directly or indirectly; any form of dumping, filling or depositing of any soil, stones, sand, gravel, mud, rubbish or fill of any kind, either directly or indirectly; erecting any structures or roads, the driving of pilings or placing of any other obstructions, whether or not changing the ebb and flow of the water; any form of pollution, including but not limited to installing a septic tank, running a sewer outfall or discharging sewage treatment effluent or other liquid wastes directly into or so as to drain into a freshwater wetland; that portion of any subdivision of land that involves any land in any freshwater wetland or adjacent area; and 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 § 117-2.
- SELECTIVE CUTTING
- The annual or periodic removal of trees, individually or in small groups, in order to realize the yield and establish a new crop and to improve the forest, which removal does not involve the total elimination of one or more particular species of trees.
- STATE AGENCY
- Any state department, bureau, commission, board or other agency, public authority or public benefit corporation.
- SUBDIVISION OF LAND
- Any division of land into two or more lots, parcels or sites, whether adjoining or not, for the purpose of sale, lease, license or any form of separate ownership or occupancy, including any grading, road construction, installation of utilities or other improvements or any other land use and development preparatory or incidental to any such division, by any person or by any other person controlled by, under common control with or controlling such person or by any group of persons acting in concert as part of a common scheme or plan. "Subdivision of land" shall include any map, plat or other plan of division of land, whether or not previously filed. "Subdivision of land" shall not include the lease of land for hunting and fishing and other open space recreation uses and shall not include the division of land by bona fide gift, devise or inheritance.
No person shall conduct a regulated activity on any freshwater wetland or adjacent area until such person has obtained a permit pursuant to this chapter or has been otherwise legally excluded.
No permit shall be required under this chapter for:
The deposition or removal of the natural products of freshwater wetlands and adjacent areas by recreational or commercial fishing, agriculture, hunting or trapping, where otherwise legally permitted and regulated.
The activities of farmers in grazing and watering livestock, making reasonable use of water resources, harvesting natural products of wetlands or adjacent areas, selective cutting of timber, draining land or wetlands for growing agricultural products and otherwise engaging in the use of wetlands or other land for growing agricultural products, except that structures not required for enhancement or maintenance of the agricultural productivity of the land and any filling activities shall not be excluded from permits.
Public health activities, orders and regulations of the Monroe County Department of Health shall be excluded from regulated activities.
Each farmer shall notify the Town Board of the Town of Sweden in writing, prior to conducting the activity, of his or her intention to engage in such activity, stating the approximate acreage of freshwater wetland or adjacent area affected, the location thereof, the methods to be employed and the uses to be made of such land.
Any person proposing to conduct a regulated activity upon any freshwater wetland or adjacent area under this chapter shall file an application for a permit with the Sweden Town Board. A notice of application shall be published by the applicant in a newspaper having general circulation in the area. Determination of the application shall be made by the Sweden Town Board in accordance with applicable law.
[Amended 10-24-1990 by L.L. No. 2-1990]
Such application shall include a detailed description of the regulated activity and a map showing the area of freshwater wetland or adjacent land directly affected, with the location of proposed activity thereon.
A permit approved by the Town does not relieve the applicant of the necessity to obtain authorization from other agencies which have jurisdiction over the project proposal.
Preparation for public hearing.
Not later than 60 days after the receipt of such application, the Town Board shall authorize a public hearing on such application. The Town shall cause notice of such hearing to be published at least once in a newspaper having general circulation in the Town. The notice of hearing shall be published not less than 10 days prior to the date set for the hearing.
The Town Board may dispense with a public hearing if it finds that the proposed activity is of such a minor nature as not to affect or endanger the balance of systems within the freshwater wetland. If the Town Board finds that a hearing is not necessary, it shall enter its decision setting forth its reasons therefor in the minutes of a regularly scheduled meeting.
In granting, denying or limiting any permit, the Town Board shall consider the affect of the proposed activity with reference to the public health and welfare, flood, hurricane and storm dangers and protection or enhancement of other freshwater wetlands and the benefit derived therefrom. In no case shall a permit be issued which does not meet the standards set forth in land use regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter.
Operations conducted under the permit shall be open to inspection at any time by the Town Board or its representative.
The permit applicant, upon approval of permit, shall file with the Town Board a performance bond, if required, in an amount and with sureties and in a form approved by the Town Attorney.
The applicant may be required to certify that he has public liability insurance against liability which might result from proposed operations or use, covering any and all damage which might occur within three years of completion of such operations and may be required to submit to the Town Board an affidavit which indemnifies and saves harmless the Town or agency or agent thereof from any claims arising out of or connected with operations under the permit and from all acts, omissions, commissions or negligence on the part of the applicant, his agents or employees.
The Town Board shall reserve the right to require a permit or license fee for any operation or uses permitted pursuant to this chapter.
Any person, firm, corporation or entity found violating any provision of this chapter or conditions imposed by the Town Board upon an approved permit shall be served with a written notice, at the direction of the Town Board, stating the nature of the violations and providing a specified time within which the violations shall cease and satisfactory corrective action shall be taken by the violator.
Any person who violates, disobeys or disregards any provision of this chapter shall be liable to the people of the Town for a civil penalty not to exceed $3,000 for every such violation, to be assessed after a hearing or opportunity to be heard upon due notice and with the rights to specification of the charges and representatives by counsel at such hearing.
The Town Board shall have the power, following a hearing, to direct the violator to cease his violation of the act and satisfactorily restore the affected freshwater wetland to its condition prior to the violation.
Any person who violates any order of the Town Board regulating freshwater wetlands shall, in addition, for the first offense, be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000.
For a second and each subsequent offense, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,000 or a term of imprisonment of not less than 15 days nor more than six months, or both.