[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature 5-1-1990 by L.L. No. 12-1990 (Ch. 370 of the 1985 Code). Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this chapter.]
This Legislature hereby finds that the County has identified lands which are to be acquired for open space purposes, which lands are often subject to intense development pressure.
This Legislature hereby declares that it is inconsistent for one agency or department of the County to be approving development of open space lands when another government agency, department or governing board has set a policy to acquire said lands and that it is imperative that a uniform procedure be established for the approval of development permits in such open space lands and to afford potential developers an opportunity to determine whether the County will take steps to acquire the lands prior to incurring expenses associated with applying for development permits.
Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to establish such uniform procedures.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any land use, construction or action which alters vegetation, structures, lands, soils, water or any other natural resource on any open space lands.
- APPROVING AUTHORITY
- The Department of Health Services, Department of Public Works, Suffolk County Sewer Agency, or the Suffolk County Planning Commission.
- The Commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Environment and Energy, Division of Real Property Acquisition and Management.
- OPEN SPACE ACQUISITION MAP
- That map prepared by the Suffolk County Planning Department pursuant to § 633-3 of this chapter, which map shall include all parcels approved by the Trustees for acquisition under the Suffolk County Drinking Water Protection Program or Open Space Preservation Program.
- The authorization, permission or approval for an activity issued by an approving authority.
- The Board of Trustees of the County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation.
Within 90 days after the effective date of this chapter, the Suffolk County Department of Planning shall prepare an Open Space Acquisition Map. Said map shall indicate all parcels approved for open space acquisition by the Trustees under the Suffolk County Drinking Water Protection Program or Open Space Preservation Program. In addition, the County Department of Planning shall compile a list of said parcels by Tax Map number. The County Department of Planning shall also keep said map and list current and up-to-date by annually amending said documents no later than January 31 of each year to reflect the actions of the Trustees. A copy of said map and list shall be filed with the County Executive, Clerk of the County Legislature, County Attorney and the County Commissioners of Real Estate, Health Services and Public Works.
Duly filed notice by the Commissioners in writing to an approving authority that the County is in the process of acquiring land located on the Open Space Acquisition Map authorizes, but does not require, denial of any permit by an approving authority. Said notice shall be filed with the landowner and the Clerk of the County Legislature in addition to all approving authorities.
Said notice shall state that the acquisition process has been commenced. The Commissioner may only file said notice in the case of parcels shown on the Open Space Acquisition Map, provided that:
If the landowner receives no offer based on a County appraisal for the property within four months subsequent to the issuance of the notice, the bar to the permit provided by this chapter shall lapse.
Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to bar the approving authority from denying an application at any time for any other reason that would constitute a valid basis for such denial.
The owner of any land located on the Open Space Acquisition Map may obtain a formal determination by the County Legislature as to whether the County intends to acquire such land by submitting a written request to the Clerk of the Legislature. Said determination shall be made prior to any request for an action by an approving authority. The Clerk shall immediately advise the Legislature of the request for said determination and the Legislature shall have 120 days from receipt of the written request by the Clerk to authorize the acquisition of the land by the Commissioner.
If the Legislature fails to act within 120 days, the approving authority shall thereafter review a subsequent application as it would if the application were not subject to this chapter, provided that said application is submitted within eight months subsequent to the Legislature's failure to act.
Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to limit the power of the County Legislature or the County at any time to acquire said land.
The Commissioner shall immediately notify the owner of any land located on the Open Space Acquisition Map in the event that the acquisition process is reversed or terminated by the elimination of any funding authorization or the cancellation of authorization for an appraisal. In such an event, the approving authority shall thereafter review a subsequent or renewed application as it would if the application were not subject to this chapter, provided that said application is received or submitted within eight months subsequent to such a reversal or termination.
The provisions of this chapter shall only apply to the County of Suffolk. This chapter shall not apply to towns, villages, the State of New York, the federal government or any other non-County governmental entity.
All County departments, agencies, employees, officers, officials, contractors and consultants shall fully cooperate with the Suffolk County Legislature, upon the request of any Legislator, the Legislature as a whole or an authorized agent thereof, in implementing the provisions of this chapter.