[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Clay 3-19-1979 by L.L. No. 1-1979. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building construction — See Ch. 81.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 112.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 200.
Zoning — See Ch. 230.
The intent and purpose of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) and this local law is to provide a procedural framework for the inclusion of environmental considerations in the local decision making process. SEQR and this local law are not meant to take the place of existing decision making processes, nor to supplant those other considerations which are crucial to a well reasoned decision.
The SEQR procedure and this local law are not ends in themselves, and are not meant to be used to avoid decisions on the underlying questions presented by a proposed action. Rather, if SEQR and this local law are applied correctly, the environmental aspects of a proposed action will be highlighted and a decision can then be made with due regard to environmental considerations. The simple fact that adverse environmental consequences of a proposed action are identified should not necessarily be dispositive of the question of the advisability of a proposed action, but rather, SEQR and this local law contemplate that those consequences be considered and mitigated if possible.
The purpose of this chapter is to implement for the Town of Clay SEQR and 6 NYCRR 617.
The terms and words used in this chapter shall have the same meaning as such terms and words are defined in Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law and 6 NYCRR 617.2 unless the context requires a different meaning.
The following terms shall have the following meanings:
- CLEARINGHOUSE CERTIFICATE
- A certificate issued by the town clearinghouse that the application, together with accompanying forms and supporting data, is deemed sufficiently complete to permit the next level of review.
- Draft environmental impact statement.
- Environmental assessment form.
- Environmental impact statement.
- Onondaga County Planning Board.
- PART 617
- Volume 6 of New York Code of Rules and Regulations Part 617 (6 NYCRR 617).
- Short environmental assessment form.
- The State Environmental Quality Review Act as set forth in Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law.
All actions may be classified as:
Exempt (enforcement proceedings, ministerial acts, or maintenance and repair).
Excluded (approved prior to November 1, 1978).
Type II (actions which have been determined not to have a significant effect on the environment).
Type I (actions which are most likely to require preparation of an environmental impact statement).
Unlisted (not otherwise listed but which require environmental significance to be determined).
The Commissioner of Planning and Development shall act as clearinghouse to:
Determine whether the proposed action is exempt, excluded, or Type II, using the strictest interpretation of Part 617 and the chapter. Where any doubt exists, such determination shall be referred to the lead agency as designated under the provisions of § 97-8 of this chapter and to the Town Board in all other cases.
Aid in designating lead agency or to make recommendations therefor.
Designate the lead agency where only one agency is involved in the funding or approval process.
Perform preliminary review of all applications, EAF, S/EAF, D/EIS, EIS and supporting documents to determine probable sufficiency as to scope, form and content.
Issue clearinghouse certificates certifying that the pertinent documents reviewed by him are deemed to be sufficiently complete to permit the next level of review, and to forward to the appropriate town lead agency, along with such clearinghouse certificates, a "notice of receipt of application and recommendation with respect to environmental significance."
Assist agencies and applicants to identify other agencies including federal and state that may be involved in the approving, funding or carrying out Type I and unlisted actions. The burden for determining other involved agencies shall nevertheless rest solely on the applicant.
For all actions required to be referred to the OCPB by General Municipal Law §§ 239-l, 239-m and 239-n, the determination that an action is exempt, excluded, or Type II or is of no significance shall be forwarded to OCPB at the time of filing such determination. For such actions when a determination of possible significance is made, notice of that determination and the notice of completion of the D/EIS, together with a copy of the D/EIS, shall be forwarded to OCPB.
In addition to those actions listed in 6 NYCRR 617.5, the following are hereby designated as Type II actions:
Site plan approval involving expansion or enlargement of existing facilities on previously approved sites, where the expansion or enlargement will not exceed the thresholds for Type I actions as set forth in Part 617.4.
Site plan approval involving the modification of a previous approval which has not yet been carried out where the modification involves less than 25% of the approved facilities.
Special permits for home occupations.
Actions may include projects or physical activities which change the use or appearance of any natural resource or structure and may be classified as:
Lead agency shall be determined as follows:
Actions involving one agency. Where a single agency proposes to directly undertake an action which does not require funding or approval of any other agency, or has received an application to fund or approve an action over which no other agencies have approval authority, that single agency shall be called "lead agency," and such final designation of lead agency shall be made by the town clearinghouse in accordance with the following:
Adoption, amendment or change in zoning ordinance, including Zoning Map: the Town Board shall be the lead agency.
Construction or expansion of town buildings, structures and facilities within the town: the Town Board shall be the lead agency.
Purchase, sale and lease of real property by the town: the Town Board shall be the lead agency.
Interpretations, variances and authorized special permits: the Zoning Board of Appeals shall be the lead agency.
Site plan approval, sign approvals, and authorized special permits: the Town Planning Board shall be the lead agency.
Subdivision approval: the Town Planning Board shall be the lead agency.
Actions involving multiple agencies. Where an agency proposed to directly undertake, or has received an application for, an action requiring funding or approval by more than one agency, the lead agency shall be determined in accordance with 6 NYCRR 617.6(b).
Where the town lead agency cannot be determined by application of the above guidelines, the Town Board shall designate the lead agency.
Determination by lead agency.
After due designation, the lead agency shall make all determinations of environmental significance. Such determination shall be made at the next regularly scheduled lead agency meeting following:
Issuance of clearinghouse certificate; and
Ten-day mailing to each town lead agency member of appropriate notice and clearinghouse certificate, it being the intention that such determination be made within 15 calendar days of the receipt of the complete application. No application shall be deemed to be complete until a clearinghouse certificate has been issued.
All determinations by the lead agency shall be by resolution duly adopted by the lead agency.
Such preliminary determination of environmental significance shall be one of the following:
Negative declaration: Upon such determination having been made and filed, the action shall be processed without further regard to SEQR, Part 617 or this chapter.
Negative declaration ("negative dec") shall be prepared, filed and mailed as follows:
For Type I actions: as prescribed by 6 NYCRR 617.12.
Negative declaration based on mitigation measures. Notwithstanding the prior issuance of a positive declaration by the lead agency, the lead agency may thereafter at any stage of the proceedings examine the proposed mitigation measures and on the basis of such mitigation measures make a determination that, although the project could have a significant effect on the environment, there will not be a significant effect in this case because mitigation measures have been included as part of the project.
In the case of an application for approval or funding, the D/EIS shall be prepared by the applicant. Upon receipt of the D/EIS with the clearinghouse certificate, the lead agency shall determine by resolution whether to accept the D/EIS as satisfactory as to scope, form and adequacy.
All time limits applicable to the processing of a D/EIS and EIS shall commence to run on the date of filing of the notice of completion of the D/EIS.
An application for a permit or funding shall be deemed complete so that time limits may commence to run when:
The clearinghouse certificate has been issued on the application; and
The action has been determined to be exempt, excluded or Type II; or
A negative declaration has been issued; or
A D/EIS has been determined to be complete and a notice of completion has been issued; and
Public hearings on the D/EIS shall be held concurrently with any hearings required to be held by other involved agencies to the fullest extent practicable.
The fees for review or preparation of an EIS involving an applicant for approval or funding of an action shall be fixed from time to time by a resolution of the Town Board.
Critical areas of environmental concern may be designated by the Town Board through amendment of this chapter, pursuant to 6 NYCRR 617.14(g).