Town of Amherst, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Amherst 5-17-1982 by L.L. No. 3-1982. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction administration — See Ch. 83.
Excavations — See Ch. 106.
House trailers — See Ch. 122.
Construction of public improvements — See Ch. 125.
Noise — See Ch. 138.
Sewers — See Ch. 160.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 172.
Wetlands — See Ch. 200.
Zoning — See Ch. 203.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 204.
Unless the context shall otherwise require, the terms, phrases, words and their derivatives used in this chapter shall have the same meaning as those defined in § 8-0105 of the Environmental Conservation Law and Part 617 of Title 6 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations.
No decision to carry out or approve an action other than an action listed in Section 617.5 of Title 6 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations as a Type II action or an action classified as excluded or exempt shall be made nor shall any action, other than a Type II, excluded or exempt action, be carried out or funded by the Town of Amherst or any of its boards, departments or agencies prior to compliance with all requirements of this chapter and Part 617 of Title 6 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations; provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed as prohibiting contemporaneous environmental, engineering, economic feasibility or other studies and preliminary planning and budgetary processes necessary to the formulation of a proposal for action which do not commit the Town to approve, commence or engage in such action or approval of any part of an application which relates only to technical specifications and requirements, provided that no such partial approval shall entitle or permit the applicant to commence the action until all requirements of this chapter and Part 617 of Title 6 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations have been fulfilled.
In addition to the Type I actions enumerated in Section 617.4 of Title 6 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations, actions affecting wetlands, as defined in Article 24 of the Environmental Conservation Law (the Freshwater Wetlands Act), and floodways, as indicated by the Army Corps of Engineers or the Federal Flood Insurance Administrator, or within 100 feet from the water's edge on each bank of a flowing watercourse, are likely to have a significant effect on the environment.
[Amended 5-2-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983]
For the purpose of assisting in the determination of whether an action may or will not have a significant effect on the environment, applicants for permits or other approvals shall file an environmental assessment form (EAF) or statement (with the Planning Department) setting forth the name of the applicant, the location of the real property affected, if any, a description of the nature of the proposed action and the effect it may have on the environment. In addition, applicants may be requested to include a detailed statement of the reasons why, in their view, a proposed action may or will not have a significant effect on the environment. Where the action involves an application, the statement or environmental assessment form shall be filed simultaneously with the application for the action. The information provided shall be upon a form prescribed by the Planning Department. The form or statement shall be accompanied by drawings, sketches, maps and other relevant explanatory material required by the Planning Department.
A. 
An environmental assessment form shall be prepared by or on behalf of any agency, board, body or officer of the Town in connection with any Type I action such agency, board, body or officer contemplates or proposes to carry out directly. For an unlisted action an environmental assessment form in a short or long form may be prepared to facilitate a preliminary determination of environmental significance.
B. 
Except as provided in the following subsection, an application for rezoning, site plan, subdivision review, action by the Board of Appeals or funding or any Type I action shall be accompanied by an environmental assessment form and for an unlisted action may be accompanied by a short- or long-form environment assessment form as may be needed to assist in making a preliminary determination of environmental significance. An applicant may prepare a draft environmental impact statement to accompany the application in place of the environmental assessment form.
C. 
Applications to the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals involving the granting of individual setback and lot line variances or modifications and construction or placement of accessory or appurtenant structures or improvements not changing land use or density need not be accompanied by an environmental assessment form.
[Amended 8-2-1982 by L.L. No. 6-1982; 5-2-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983]
A. 
All environmental assessment forms or statements shall be referred to the Planning Department for review and preparation of a recommendation to the lead agency. The Planning Department shall submit a written recommendation on such application within 30 days following receipt of a complete application and statement or environmental assessment form; provided, however, that such period may be extended by mutual agreement of the applicant and Planning Department. The recommendation shall state whether a proposed action is exempt or excluded or may or will not have a significant effect on the environment. The Planning Department may hold informal meetings with the applicant and may meet with and consult any other person for the purpose of aiding it in making a recommendation on the application.
B. 
The time an application for approval or funding of an action shall be deemed filed is the date preliminary determination of environmental significance or non-significance is rendered or, if in lieu of an environmental assessment form the applicant prepares a draft environmental impact statement, the date the applicant files a draft environmental impact statement acceptable to the lead agency.
[Amended 5-2-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983]
A. 
If the lead agency determines that a proposed action is an exempt, excluded or Type II action listed in 6 NYCRR 617.5, the Planning Department shall file the determination as provided in 6 NYCRR 617.6. Thereafter, the proposed action may be processed without further regard to this chapter.
B. 
If the lead agency determines that the proposed action is not an exempt, excluded or Type II action, the proposed action shall be reviewed and processed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and Part 617 of Title 6 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations.
C. 
Except as to determinations required to be made by the lead agency, this chapter and Part 617 of Title 6 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations shall be administered by the Planning Department.
[Amended 5-2-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983]
The lead agency shall be determined and designated as provided in 6 NYCRR 617.6 and 6 NYCRR 617.8. In all cases, the agency acting for the Town shall be that agency, board, body or officer having authority to approve or carry out the action sought. The Town shall be the lead agency for all actions where the anticipated impacts are primarily of local significance, it has the governmental power most suitable for investigating those impacts or it has the greatest capability for providing thorough environmental assessment of the action. Actions shall include, but are not limited to the following:
A. 
Adoption, amendment or change in zoning regulations.
B. 
Construction or expansion of buildings, structures and facilities within the Town.
C. 
Variances.
D. 
Purchase, sale and lease of real property by the Town.
E. 
Site plan review and special use permit.
F. 
Construction or expansion of nonresidential facilities.
G. 
Parking lots and roads.
The Planning Department shall act as the Town clearinghouse for lead agency designation. It shall assist agencies and applicants to identify other agencies, including federal and state, that may be involved in approving, funding or carrying out Type I and unlisted actions. It may make recommendations concerning the designation of a lead agency.
Environmental review of actions involving a federal agency shall be processed in accordance with Section 617.15 of Title 6 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations.
[Amended 5-2-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983]
Following a determination that a proposed action may have a significant effect on the environment, the Planning Department for the lead agency shall, in accordance with the provisions of Part 617 of Title 6 of the New York Code, Rules and Regulations:
A. 
Immediately notify the applicant of the determination and shall request the applicant to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) in the form of a draft environmental impact statement. Processing of the application shall be suspended until the draft environmental impact statement is submitted and accepted. Upon acceptance of a draft environmental impact statement, the time for processing it shall run concurrently with the time requirements applicable to processing the application for approval or funding of the action. A public hearing on the draft environmental impact statement shall be held concurrently with any hearing to be held on that application.
B. 
In the case of an action not involving an applicant, prepare a draft environmental impact statement.
A. 
Upon completion or submission of a draft environmental impact statement, a notice of completion containing the information specified in Section 617.12(d) of Title 6 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations shall be prepared, filed and circulated by the Planning Department as provided in Subdivisions 617.12(e) and (f).
B. 
If the lead agency determines that a public hearing on a draft environmental impact statement should be held, notice thereof shall be filed, circulated and sent by the Planning Department in the same manner as for a notice of completion. The notice shall be published in the official newspaper of the Town at least 14 days prior to the hearing. The notice shall also state the place where substantive written comments on the draft environmental impact statement may be sent and the date before which comments shall be received.
[Amended 5-2-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983]
C. 
The hearing shall be held by the lead agency no less than 15 days nor more than 60 days after completion or submission of the draft environmental impact statement, unless it determines that additional time is necessary for public or other agency review of the draft environmental impact statement or a different hearing date is required by other applicable law or regulation.
[Amended 5-2-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983]
[Amended 5-2-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983]
If upon the basis of a draft environmental impact statement or a public hearing thereon, the lead agency determines that an action will not have a significant effect on the environment, the proposed action may be processed without further regard to this chapter. Notice of the determination shall be filed by the Planning Department in accordance with 6 NYCRR 617.12.
[Amended 5-2-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983]
Except as otherwise provided herein, the lead agency assisted by the Planning Department shall prepare a final environmental impact statement in accordance with the provisions of Part 617 of Title 6 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations. If the action involves an application, the final environmental impact statement shall be prepared within 45 days after the close of any hearing or 60 days after the filing of the draft environmental impact statement, whichever last occurs. The lead agency may extend this time as necessary to complete the statement or where problems identified with the proposed action require material reconsideration or modification.
Fees for preparation or review of an environmental impact statement involving an applicant for approval or funding of an action shall be fixed from time to time by a resolution of the Town Board. If the applicant prepares the environmental impact statement, the Town may charge a fee for actual expenses of reviewing it. If a Town agency prepares an environmental impact statement on behalf of an applicant, it may charge a fee for the cost of preparation but not for the cost of professional review.
[Amended 5-2-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983]
Notice of completion of a final environmental impact statement shall be prepared, filed and circulated by the Planning Department as provided in Title 6 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations. A copy shall be sent to each person to whom the notice of completion of the draft environmental impact statement was sent. Copies of the final environmental impact statement shall be filed and made available for review in the same manner as the draft environmental impact statement.
[Amended 5-2-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983]
No decision to carry out or approve an action which has been the subject of a draft environmental impact statement shall be made until after the completion of a final statement.
[Amended 5-2-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983]
The lead agency shall not approve an action which may have a significant effect on the environment unless it finds that:
A. 
Consistent with social, economic and other essential considerations of Town policy, to the maximum extent practicable, from among the reasonable alternatives thereto, the action to be carried out or approved is one which minimizes or avoids adverse environmental effects, including the effects disclosed in the relevant environmental impact statements; and
B. 
All practicable means will be taken in carrying out or approving the action to minimize or avoid adverse environmental effects.
For public information purposes, a copy of the determination shall be filed and made available as provided in Part 617 of Title 6 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations.
Except as provided in Section 617.16 of Title 6 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations, environmental assessment forms or statements, notices of completion, draft and final environmental impact statements, hearing records and written determinations in connection therewith are public records.
[Amended 5-2-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983]
Actions undertaken or approved prior to the dates specified in Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law for local agencies shall be exempt from this chapter. After those dates, if a lead agency modifies an action or an applicant requests modification of a previously undertaken or approved action, the Agency may determine that the modification shall be an action subject to this local law and Part 617 of Title 6 of the New York, Codes, Rules and Regulations.
This chapter supersedes the provisions of Local Law Nos. 1 and 5 of the year 1977, both of which are hereby repealed.
This chapter shall take effect immediately and shall apply to all applications and proceedings now pending before the Town and all of its departments, boards and agencies.