[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Port Chester 7-6-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992; amended in its entirety 5-20-2019 by L.L. No. 5-2019. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter will be known as the "Village of Port Chester Waterfront Consistency Review Law."
This chapter is adopted under the authority of the Municipal Home Rule Law and the Waterfront Revitalization of Coastal Areas and Inland Waterways Act of the State of New York (Article 42 of the Executive Law).
The purpose of this chapter is to provide a framework for the agencies of the Village of Port Chester to incorporate the policies and purposes contained in the Village of Port Chester Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) when reviewing applications for actions or when undertaking direct agency actions within the coastal area; and to ensure that such actions and direct actions by Village agencies are consistent with the LWRP policies and purposes.
It is the intention of the Village of Port Chester that the preservation, enhancement and utilization of the unique coastal area of the Village take place in a coordinated and comprehensive manner to ensure a proper balance between protection of natural resources and the need to accommodate limited population growth and economic development. Accordingly, this chapter is intended to achieve such a balance, permitting the beneficial use of coastal resources while preventing loss and degradation of living coastal resources and wildlife; diminution of open space areas or public access to the waterfront; disruption of natural coastal processes; impairment of scenic, cultural or historical resources; losses due to flooding, erosion and sedimentation; impairment of water quality; or permanent adverse changes to ecological systems.
This chapter shall remain in effect for the duration of the Village of Port Chester Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, provided the LWRP has been adopted in accordance with Article 42 of the Executive Law of the State of New York.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Includes all of the following, except minor actions:
- A. Projects or physical activities, such as construction or any other activities that may affect natural, man-made or other resources in the coastal area or the environment by changing the use or appearance of any natural resource or structure, that:
- B. Agency planning and policymaking activities that may affect the environment and commit the agency to a definite course of future decisions; and
- C. Adoption of agency rules, regulations and procedures, including local laws, codes, ordinances, executive orders and resolutions that may affect coastal resources or the environment; and
- D. Any combination of the above.
- Any board, agency, department, office, other body or officer of the Village of Port Chester.
- COASTAL AREA
- The New York State coastal waters and adjacent shorelands as defined in Article 42 of the Executive Law. The boundaries of the Village's coastal area are coincident with the Village's municipal boundary as shown on the Coastal Area Map on file in the office of the Secretary of State and as delineated in the Village of Port Chester Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.
- COASTAL ASSESSMENT FORM (CAF)
- The form used by an agency to assist it in determining the consistency of an action with the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.
- That the action will fully comply with the LWRP policy standards, conditions and objectives and, whenever practicable, will advance one or more of them.
- All conditions, circumstances and influences surrounding and affecting the development of living organisms or other ecological resources in the waterfront area.
- LOCAL WATERFRONT REVITALIZATION PROGRAM (LWRP)
- The Local Waterfront Revitalization Program of the Village of Port Chester, as approved by the Secretary of State pursuant to the Waterfront Revitalization of Coastal Areas and Inland Waterways Act (Executive Law Article 42), a copy of which is on file in the office of the Clerk of the Village of Port Chester.
- MINOR ACTIONS
- Includes the following actions, which are not subject to review under this chapter:
- A. Maintenance or repair involving no substantial changes in an existing structure or facility;
- B. Replacement, rehabilitation or reconstruction of a structure or facility, in kind, on the same site, including upgrading buildings to meet building or fire codes, except for structures in areas designated by the Waterfront Erosion Hazard Area (CEHA) law where structures may not be replaced, rehabilitated or reconstructed without a permit;
- C. Repaving or widening of existing paved highways not involving the addition of new travel lanes;
- D. Street openings and right-of-way openings for the purpose of repair or maintenance of existing utility facilities;
- E. Maintenance of existing landscaping or natural growth, except where threatened or endangered species of plants or animals are affected, or within locally significant habitat areas;
- F. Granting of individual setback and lot line variances, except in relation to a regulated natural feature or a bulkhead or other shoreline defense structure;
- G. Minor temporary uses of land having negligible or no permanent impact on coastal resources or the environment;
- H. Installation of traffic control devices on existing streets, roads and highways;
- I. Mapping of existing roads, streets, highways, natural resources, land uses and ownership patterns;
- J. Information collection, including basic data collection and research, water quality and pollution studies, traffic counts, engineering studies, surveys, subsurface investigations and soils studies that do not commit the agency to undertake, fund or approve any action;
- K. Official acts of a ministerial nature involving no exercise of discretion, including a building permit where issuance is predicated solely on the applicant's compliance or noncompliance with the relevant local building code;
- L. Routine or continuing agency administration and management, not including new programs or major recording of priorities that may affect the environment;
- M. Conducting concurrent environmental, engineering, economic, feasibility and other studies and preliminary planning and budgetary processes necessary to the formulation of a proposal for action, provided those activities to not commit the agency to commence, engage in or approve such action;
- N. Collective bargaining activities;
- O. Investments by or on behalf of agencies or pension or retirement systems, or refinancing existing debt;
- P. Inspections and licensing activities relating to the qualifications of individuals or businesses to engage in their business or profession;
- Q. Purchase or sale of furnishings, equipment or supplies, including surplus government property, other than the following: land, radioactive material, pesticides, herbicides, storage or road deicing substances, or other hazardous materials;
- R. Adoption of regulations, policies, procedures and local legislative decisions in connection with any action on this list;
- S. Engaging in review of any part of an application to determine compliance with technical requirements, provided that no such determination entitles or permits the project sponsor to commence the action unless and until all requirements of this chapter have been fulfilled;
- T. Civil or criminal enforcement proceedings, whether administrative or judicial, including a particular course of action specifically required to be undertaken pursuant to a judgment or order, or the exercise of prosecutorial discretion;
- U. Adoption of a moratorium on land development or construction;
- V. Interpreting an existing code, rule or regulation;
- W. Designation of local landmarks or their inclusion within historic districts;
- X. Emergency actions that are immediately necessary on a limited and temporary basis for the protection or preservation of life, health, property or natural resources, provided that such actions are directly related to the emergency and are performed to cause the least change or disturbance, practicable under the circumstances, to coastal resources or the environment. Any decision to fund, approve or directly undertake other activities after the emergency has expired is fully subject to the review procedures of this chapter;
- Y. Local legislative decision such as rezoning where the Village Board of Trustees determines the action will not be approved.
A Commission is created and shall be hereafter known as the "Waterfront Commission of the Village of Port Chester" (hereinafter "Commission").
The Commission shall consist of five members, all residents of the Village and who shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees. Commission members shall serve for terms of four years with the exception of the original appointive members of the Commission, who shall serve as follows: two members shall hold office for terms of one year, one member for a term of two years, one member for a term of three years and one member for a term of four years. Vacancies shall be filled by the Board of Trustees by appointment for the unexpired term. The position of Chairperson shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees. In addition, there shall be an alternate member who shall be appointed for a term of four years and who shall sit in the place of any absent member, and while so doing shall have all of the rights, powers and duties of such member.
Each appointed member shall be chosen for their demonstrated knowledge, ability and readiness to serve on the Commission in the functions described in this chapter and with due regard for maintaining among the membership a range of special aptitudes, expertise and viewpoints in areas relevant to the work of the Commission.
The Commission may employ such persons as may be needed and as authorized by the Village Board and pursuant to law. This Commission shall have the power to adopt rules of procedure for the conduct of all business within its jurisdiction.
The Commission shall serve without compensation and shall be charged with the duties as set forth in this chapter.
Whenever a proposed action is located in the Village's designated coastal area, an agency shall, prior to approving, funding or undertaking the action, make a determination that it is consistent with the LWRP policy standards and conditions set forth in Subsection H of this section. No action in the coastal area shall be approved, funded, or undertaken by the designated agency without a determination regarding consistency.
Actions identified as minor actions, or determined to be excluded or exempt, pursuant to SEQR, 6 NYCRR Part 617, are deemed consistent and require no further review under this chapter.
Whenever an agency receives an application for approval or funding of an action, or as early as possible in the agency's formulation of a direct action to be located in the Village's coastal area, the agency shall refer a copy of the completed Coastal Assessment Form (CAF) to the Waterfront Commission at least 10 days prior to the Commission's regularly scheduled meeting. Referrals received after the ten-day submission period will be placed on the following month's agenda. The agency shall consider the recommendation of the Waterfront Commission with reference to the consistency of the proposed action prior to making a consistency determination.
Waterfront recommendations regarding proposed actions.
After referral from an agency, the Waterfront Commission shall consider whether the proposed action is consistent with the LWRP policy standards set forth in Subsection H of this section.
The Waterfront Commission shall render its written recommendation to the agency within 30 days following referral of the CAF from the agency, unless extended by mutual agreement of the Waterfront Commission and the applicant or, in the case of a direct action, the agency. The Waterfront Commission's recommendation shall indicate whether the proposed action is consistent with or inconsistent with one or more of the LWRP policy standards and shall elaborate, in writing, on the basis for its opinion. The Waterfront Commission shall, along with a consistency recommendation, make any suggestions to the agency concerning modification of the proposed action to make it consistent with LWRP policy standards or to greater advance them. The above time frames may be extended by mutual agreement between the Waterfront Commission and the designated agency.
In the event that the Waterfront Commission's recommendation is a finding that the proposed action is inconsistent with the LWRP, and the designated agency makes a contrary determination of consistency, the Waterfront Commission shall have 30 days to respond to the designated agency's contrary finding. The agency and the Waterfront Commission shall discuss their differing findings and attempt to reach a consistency agreement. This agreement must occur within 30 days of the final written response from the Waterfront Commission. If an agreement is not reached within 30 days, then the designated agency shall elaborate, in writing, the basis for its disagreement with the Commission's recommendation and state the manner and extent to which the action is consistent with the LWRP policy standards.
In the event that the Waterfront Commission's recommendation is not forthcoming within the specified time, the agency shall make its consistency decision without the benefit of the Commission's recommendation. The agency shall use the same standards set forth in Subsection D(2) for the Waterfront Commission to make this consistency decision, i.e., LWRP policy standards summarized in Subsection H of this section.
If an action requires approval of more than one Village agency, decisionmaking will be coordinated between the agencies to determine which agency will conduct the final consistency review, and that agency will thereafter act as designated consistency review agency. Only one CAF per action will be prepared. If the agencies cannot agree, the Village Board of Trustees shall designate the consistency review agency.
Determination of consistency.
Upon receipt of the Waterfront Commission's recommendation, the agency shall consider whether the proposed action is consistent with the LWRP policy standards summarized in Subsection H herein. The agency shall consider the consistency recommendation of the Waterfront Commission, the CAF and other relevant information in making its written determination of consistency. No approval or decision shall be rendered for an action in the waterfront area without a written determination of consistency having first been rendered by a Village agency.
The Zoning Board of Appeals is the designated agency determining whether applications for variances from the Village's land use and area requirements are consistent with LWRP policy. If the action is determined to be inconsistent with one or more LWRP policy standards, and the Zoning Board of Appeals decides to grant a variance, it shall impose appropriate conditions on the variance to make the activity consistent with the LWRP policy standards.
Where an EIS is being prepared or required, the draft EIS must identify applicable LWRP policy standards in Subsection H and include a discussion of the effects of the proposed action on such policy standards.
Actions to be undertaken within the Village's coastal area shall be evaluated for consistency in accordance with the following summarized LWRP policy standards, which are derived from and further explained and described in Section III (Policies) of the Village of Port Chester LWRP, a copy of which is on file in the Village Clerk's office and available for inspection during normal business hours. Agencies which undertake direct actions shall also consult with Section IV (Proposed Uses and Projects) of the LWRP in making their consistency determination. The action shall be consistent with the LWRP's policies and subpolicies. The LWRP's policies are summarized as follows:
Foster a pattern of development in the Port Chester coastal area that enhances community character, preserves open space, makes efficient use of infrastructure, makes beneficial use of a location and minimizes adverse effects of development (Policy 1).
Preserve historic resources of the Port Chester coastal area (Policy 2).
Enhance visual quality and protect scenic resources throughout the Port Chester coastal area (Policy 3).
Minimize loss of life, structures and natural resources from flooding and erosion (Policy 4).
Protect and improve water quality and supply in the Port Chester coastal area (Policy 5).
Protect and restore the quality and function of the Port Chester coastal area ecosystem (Policy 6).
Protect and improve air quality in the Port Chester coastal area (Policy 7).
Minimize environmental degradation in Port Chester's coastal area from solid waste and other hazardous substances and wastes (Policy 8).
Provide for public access to, and recreational use of, coastal waters, public lands and public resources of Port Chester's coastal area (Policy 9), including, but not limited to, incorporation of a public pedestrian walkway along the waterfront that shall be included as part of development or redevelopment of waterfront parcels wherever practicable (Policy 9A).
Protect Port Chester's water-dependent uses and promote siting of new water-dependent uses in suitable locations (Policy 10).
Promote sustainable use of living marine resources in Long Island Sound and the Byram River (Policy 11).
Promote appropriate use and development of energy and mineral resources (Policy 13).
Each agency shall maintain a file for each action made the subject of a consistency determination, including any recommendations received from the Waterfront Commission. Such files shall be made available for public inspection upon request.
No action within the Village's coastal area which is subject to review under this chapter shall proceed until a written determination has been issued from a Village agency that the action is consistent with the Village's LWRP policy standards. In the event that an activity is being performed in violation of this law or any conditions imposed thereunder, the Code Enforcement Officer or any other authorized official of the Village shall issue a stop-work order and all work shall immediately cease. No further work or activity shall be undertaken on the project so long as a stop-work order is in effect. The Village Attorney, Code Enforcement Office and Police Department shall be responsible for enforcing this chapter.
A person who violates any of the provisions of, or who fails to comply with any condition imposed by, this chapter shall have committed a violation, punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 for a conviction of a first offense and punishable by a fine of $500 for a conviction of a second or subsequent offense. For the purpose of conferring jurisdiction upon courts and judicial officers, each week of continuing violation shall constitute a separate additional violation.
The Village Attorney is authorized and directed to institute any and all actions and proceedings necessary to enforce this chapter. Any civil penalty shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any criminal prosecution and penalty.
Where there is a conflict or discrepancy in the application, interpretation or effect of the provisions of this chapter with any other law, rule or regulation of the Village, the provisions of this chapter shall govern.