[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Troy 8-26-1976 (Art. IV of Ch. 19 of the 1973 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
This law shall be known as the "Wetlands Ordinance of the City of Troy."
It is declared to be the policy of the City of Troy to exercise its authority pursuant to Article 24 of the State Environmental Conservation Law.
The following terms, phrases, words and their derivatives, wherever used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings:
- ADJACENT AREA
- Any land in the City of Troy immediately adjacent to a freshwater wetland lying within 100 feet of the boundary of the freshwater wetland.
- The City Council of the City of Troy.
- The Freshwater Wetlands Appeals Board established by Article 24 of the State Environmental Conservation Law.
- BOUNDARY OF A FRESHWATER WETLAND
- The outer limit of the vegetation or of the waters, as the case may be, specified in the definition of freshwater wetlands herein provided.
- ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION
- The City of Troy Environmental Conservation Commission.
- FRESHWATER WETLANDS
- Lands and waters as defined in Subsection 1 of § 24-0107 of the Environmental Conservation Law of the State of New York, as the same may be from time to time amended, and as such lands and waters are shown on the freshwater wetlands map.
- FRESHWATER WETLANDS MAP
- The map on which are indicated the boundaries of any freshwater wetland and which has been filed with the Clerk of the City of Troy by the State Department of Environmental Conservation, pursuant to § 24-0301 of the State Environmental Conservation Law.
- 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, excavation, removal 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 soil, stone, 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, 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; any other activity which substantially impairs any of the several functions served by freshwater wetlands of the benefits derived therefrom which are set forth in § 24-0105 of the Environmental Conservation Law of the State of New York, as the same may be from time to time amended.
- 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.
- The State of New York.
Except as provided in Subsection B of this section, no person shall conduct a regulated activity on any freshwater wetland or adjacent area unless such person has first obtained a permit pursuant to this law.
No permit under this law shall be required for:
The depositing or removal of the natural products of freshwater wetlands and adjacent areas by recreational or commercial fishing, aquaculture, hunting or trapping, where otherwise legally permitted or regulated.
Public health activities, pursuant to orders or regulations of the State Department of Health, Rensselaer County Department of Health or undertaken in compliance with § 24-0701(5) of the State Environmental Conservation Law.
Activities subject to review by the Public Service Commission of the State of New York or the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment under Article 7 or Article 8 of the Public Service Law of the State of New York.
Any actual and on-going emergency activity which is immediately necessary for the protection or preservation of natural resource values, including search and rescue operations, preventive or remedial activities related to large-scale contamination of streams or other bodies of water, floods, storms and public health concerns.
Any person proposing to conduct or cause to be conducted a regulated activity upon any freshwater wetland or adjacent area shall file an application for a permit with the Bureau of Planning and Community Development of the City of Troy, which application shall be in such form as the City Planner may prescribe and shall set forth the full name and address of each applicant and of the person or persons interested in or intending to engage in such activity, the full name and address of the owner or owners of the lands upon which activity is proposed to be conducted, a detailed description of the proposed activity, the location thereof, and the purpose, character and extent thereof, and the names of the owners of record of all lands adjacent to the freshwater wetlands or adjacent areas upon which the proposed activity is to be conducted, and the names and addresses of any claimant or claimants to water rights affecting such wetlands or adjacent areas, known to the applicant. The application shall be accompanied by a map showing the freshwater wetland or adjacent area affected and the precise location of the proposed activity thereon and by a legal description of the premises upon which the proposed activity is to be conducted.
Within five days of receipt of an application completed as herein provided, the City Planner shall cause a copy of such completed application to be mailed to the City of Troy Environmental Conservation Commission and to any local government outside of the City of Troy having jurisdiction in any area where any part of the proposed activity is located, shall provide the applicant with a notice of application in such form as the City Planner may prescribe, which the applicant shall at his/her own expense cause to be published at least once in a newspaper having a general circulation in the City of Troy, and shall deliver a copy of such application and notice to the City Council. No action shall be taken by the Council prior to receipt of a recommendation by the City of Troy Environmental Commission. Such recommendation of the Environmental Commission shall be made within 30 days of filing of the application with the Bureau of Planning and Community Development. Such notice shall state:
That notices of objection, stating the grounds of objection, may be filed with the Council within 10 days of date of publication;
That in the absence of a filed notice of objection or upon the Council's determination that the proposed activity is of such a minor nature as to not affect or endanger the balance of systems within any freshwater wetland, the Council may, in its discretion, dispense with a public hearing upon the application; and
That the application, including all maps and documents accompanying and made a part of the same, is available for public inspection at the Bureau of Planning and Community Development of the City of Troy. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the Council may, in its discretion, dispense with the requirement of a notice of application and conduct or cause to be conducted a public hearing upon notice as hereinafter provided.
Unless a public hearing upon the application shall have been dispensed with as herein provided, the Council shall, after the publishing of notice of the application as hereinbefore provided and no sooner than 30 days nor later than 60 days after receipt by the City Planner of a completed application, cause a public hearing upon the application to be conducted upon notice as herein provided. Such notice shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation within the City of Troy not less than 15 days prior to the date of hearing and shall state the name of the applicant, the time and the place of the hearing on the application, the location and, in general terms, the scope of the proposed regulated activity. Such notice shall also state that persons wishing to be heard file with the Council and City Planner a notice of appearance within 10 days of the date of public notice setting forth such person's interest in, and reasons for support or opposition to, the application. Such public notice shall also state that any person may be heard at such hearing without filing a notice of appearance; provided, however, that in the absence of a timely filed notice of appearance and upon a waiver of public hearing by the applicant, the Council may cancel such hearing and determine that application without such hearing. Such notice shall further state that the application, together with all maps and other documents accompanying the same, is available for public inspection at the Bureau of Planning and Community Development of the City of Troy. At least 15 days prior to the date of hearing, a copy of such notice shall be mailed to all owners of record of land adjacent to the affected freshwater wetland or adjacent area and to all known claimants of water rights affecting the same and to the clerk of any municipality outside of the City of Troy wherein any part of such proposed activity is located. All costs of publication and mailing of such notice shall be borne by the applicant.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the Council may, in its discretion, dispense with or cancel such public hearing where:
No notice of objection to the notice of application has been filed as provided in Subsection B of this section; and
No notice of appearance has been filed as provided in Subsection C of this section, and the applicant has waived such public hearing; or
The Council determines that the proposed activity is of such a minor nature as not to affect or endanger the balance of systems within any freshwater wetland.
Whenever a notice of public hearing has been published and served as provided in Subsection C of this section, a notice of cancellation shall be published and mailed at least three days before such public hearing in the manner and to the persons prescribed in respect to the notice of public hearing.
A public hearing held pursuant to this chapter shall be conducted by the Council, which shall cause a record of the hearing to be made and shall, within 10 days after receipt of the hearing record, submit to the Mayor and City Planner its findings and recommendations together with the hearing record and all documentary evidence admitted upon the hearing. The Council shall permit all persons filing notices of appearance to be heard and shall admit such testimony from other persons as it deems relevant and material to the issues. The applicant and all persons filing notices of appearance shall be given opportunity to examine and cross-examine witnesses on issues of fact and to present oral and written arguments on issues of law and policy. Persons not filing notices of appearances may, in the discretion of the Council, be permitted to participate to the extent of submitting oral or documentary evidence whenever the Council deems such evidence relevant or material to any issue raised by the application, or where the Council finds such participation to be in the public interest. Every act, motion or resolution shall require for its adoption the affirmative vote of a majority of all members of the Council.
Whenever a public hearing has been had upon a permit application, the Mayor, within 30 days from his/her receipt of the hearing record including all documentary evidence admitted upon the hearing together with the Council's approval, shall, by written decision, either issue the permit with or without conditions or deny the application.
A copy of the Mayor's determination shall be mailed within five days of its issuance and filing to the applicant and to the clerk of any municipality outside of the City of Troy within the boundaries of which any part of the proposed regulated activity is located.
In granting, denying or conditioning any permit, the Council 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 set forth in § 24-0105 of the Environmental Conservation Law.
No permit shall be issued pursuant to this law unless it shall be found that:
The proposed regulated activity is consistent with the preservation, protection and conservation of freshwater wetlands and the benefits derived therefrom, the prevention of the despoliation and destruction of freshwater wetlands, and the regulation of the development of such wetlands to secure the natural benefits thereof consistent with the general welfare, economic, social and agricultural betterment of the City of Troy;
The proposed regulated activity is consistent with the land use regulations applicable in the City of Troy pursuant to § 24-0903 of Article 24 of the Environmental Conservation Law;
The proposed regulated activity is compatible with the public health and welfare;
The proposed regulated activity is reasonable and necessary; and
There is no reasonable alternative for the proposed regulated activity on a site which is not a freshwater wetland or adjacent area.
The applicant shall have the burden of demonstrating that the proposed regulated activity will be in accord with the standards set forth in this section.
Duly filed notice in writing that the state or any agency or subdivision thereof is in the process of acquiring any freshwater wetland, which is the subject of any such application for a permit, by negotiation or condemnation shall constitute sufficient basis for a denial of any permit.
In the granting of a permit, conditions or limitations may be imposed, designed to carry out the purposes of this law in preserving and protecting affected freshwater wetlands, including but without limitation to provisions for the inspection of a regulated activity from time to time, the posting of security conditioned upon compliance with the terms and conditions of the permit, advance notification of the commencement of construction, and reasonable time limitations.
In order to carry out the purposes and provisions of this law, the Council shall have the power to adopt, amend and repeal rules and regulations consistent with this law for the purpose of administering the same; to contract for professional and technical assistance and advice; to hold hearings and subpoena witnesses in the exercise of its powers, functions and duties; to recommend the posting of a bond or other security by a permittee, conditioned upon faithful compliance with the terms and conditions of such permit and for indemnification to the City of Troy for any restoration costs resulting from a failure of such compliance; and to establish a schedule of costs and fees chargeable to applicants to defray the costs of postage, service of process, publication, stenographic services and technical and professional services, as the Council may determine.
No permit granted pursuant to this chapter shall abrogate any obligation to comply with any other law, ordinance, rule or regulation applicable to or affecting land use and development. Wherever possible, the Mayor and the agency shall in the exercise of their respective functions hereunder, coordinate the same with such functions as they may exercise under any other state or local law, rule or regulation.
The Mayor shall, upon the recommendation of the Council, suspend or revoke any permit issued pursuant to this law upon a finding that the permittee has failed to comply with any of its terms and conditions, has failed to comply with any order, rule or regulation of the Council or any other law, ordinance, rule or regulation pertaining to land use and development in the affected area, has exceeded the authority granted by such permit, has failed to post any bond or security required by the Council or has failed to undertake or conduct the regulated activity in the manner set forth in the application.
The provisions of Title 1, Title 3 and Title 5 of Article 71 of the Environmental Conservation Law, except as herein modified, shall be applicable to the enforcement of this chapter. In addition, any person who violates, disobeys or disregards any provision of this chapter or of any permit issued hereunder, shall be liable to a civil penalty of not more than $3,000 for each such violation and an additional penalty of not more than $500 for each day during which such violation continues, and in addition thereto, such person may be enjoined from continuing such violation. Penalties and injunctive relief provided herein shall be recoverable in an action brought by the Attorney General at the request of the Council or the Mayor.
Any determination of the Mayor under this chapter may be reviewed in accordance with the provisions of Subdivision 5 of § 24-0705 and Title 11 of Article 24 of the Environmental Conservation Law, relative to judicial review. The provisions of such sections shall be applicable to any such review.