•  Summary 
  •  Actions 
  •  Committee Votes 
  •  Floor Votes 
  •  Memo 
  •  Text 
  •  LFIN 
  •  Chamber Video/Transcript 

S09065 Summary:

Rpld §64-e subs 9, 9-a & 11, amd §64-e, Town L
Relates to the Peconic Bay region community preservation funds; defines "disadvantaged communities"; provides that funds utilized for water quality improvement projects may be carried forward from year to year for utilization in future budgets and not less than ten percent of the annual proceeds of the fund shall be utilized to benefit disadvantaged communities; provides that management and stewardship funds may only be expended for projects related to lands acquired for open space preservation and historic preservation purposes; makes related provisions.
Go to top

S09065 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
            Cal. No. 1587
                    IN SENATE
                                     April 16, 2024
        Introduced  by  Sen. PALUMBO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed  to  the  Committee  on  Local  Government  --
          committee discharged and said bill committed to the Committee on Rules
          --  ordered to a third reading, amended and ordered reprinted, retain-
          ing its place in the order of third reading

        AN ACT to amend the town law, in relation  to  the  Peconic  Bay  region
          community preservation funds; and to repeal certain provisions of such
          law relating thereto
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Subdivisions 1 and 3 of section 64-e of the  town  law,  as
     2  amended by chapter 551 of the laws of 2015, paragraph (e) of subdivision
     3  1 as separately amended by chapters 490 and 501 of the laws of 2018, are
     4  amended to read as follows:
     5    1.  As  used in this section, the following words and terms shall have
     6  the following meanings:
     7    (a) "Peconic Bay region" means the towns of East  Hampton,  Riverhead,
     8  Shelter Island, Southampton and Southold.
     9    (b)  "Community  preservation"  shall  mean  and  include  any  of the
    10  purposes outlined in subdivision four of this section.
    11    (c) "Board" means the advisory board required pursuant to  subdivision
    12  five of this section.
    13    (d)  "Fund"  means the community preservation fund created pursuant to
    14  subdivision two of this section.
    15    (e) "Water quality improvement project" means[: (1) wastewater  treat-
    16  ment  improvement  projects;  (2) non-point source abatement and control
    17  program projects developed pursuant to section eleven-b of the soil  and
    18  water conservation districts law, title 14 of article 17 of the environ-
    19  mental  conservation  law,  section  1455b  of  the federal coastal zone
    20  management act, or article forty-two of the executive law;  (3)  aquatic
    21  habitat restoration projects; (4) pollution prevention projects; (5) the
    22  construction  of  public water mains and connections to provide drinking
    23  water to inhabitants whose drinking water supply has  been  contaminated
    24  by  toxic  chemicals  as defined in section 37-0301 of the environmental

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 9065--A                          2

     1  conservation law, hazardous substances as defined in section 40-0105  of
     2  the  environmental  conservation law or emerging contaminants as defined
     3  in section eleven hundred twelve of the public health law; and  (6)  the
     4  operation  of the Peconic Bay National Estuary Program, as designated by
     5  the United States Environmental Protection  Agency;  and  (6)  a  septic
     6  system  replacement  loan  program, pursuant to section sixty-four-ee of
     7  the town law. Such projects shall have as their purpose the  improvement
     8  of existing water quality to meet existing specific water quality stand-
     9  ards.  Projects  which  have  as  a purpose to permit or accommodate new
    10  growth shall not be included within this definition.
    11    (f) "Wastewater treatment improvement  project"  means  the  planning,
    12  design, construction, acquisition, enlargement, extension, or alteration
    13  of  a  wastewater treatment facility, including alternative systems to a
    14  sewage treatment plant or traditional septic system, to treat,  neutral-
    15  ize, stabilize, eliminate or partially eliminate sewage or reduce pollu-
    16  tants  in  treatment  facility  effluent,  including  permanent or pilot
    17  demonstration wastewater treatment projects, or equipment or furnishings
    18  thereof. Stormwater collecting systems and vessel pumpout stations shall
    19  also be included within  the  definition  of  a  wastewater  improvement
    20  project.
    21    (g)  "Aquatic habitat restoration project" means the planning, design,
    22  construction, management, maintenance,  reconstruction,  revitalization,
    23  or  rejuvenation  activities  intended to improve waters of the state of
    24  ecological significance or any part thereof, including, but not  limited
    25  to  ponds,  bogs,  wetlands, bays, sounds, streams, rivers, or lakes and
    26  shorelines thereof, to support a spawning, nursery, wintering,  migrato-
    27  ry,  nesting,  breeding,  feeding,  or foraging environment for fish and
    28  wildlife and other biota.
    29    (h)  "Pollution  prevention  project"  means  the  planning,   design,
    30  construction,  improvement,  maintenance  or  acquisition of facilities,
    31  production processes, equipment or buildings owned or operated by  muni-
    32  cipalities  for  the  reduction, avoidance, or elimination of the use of
    33  toxic or hazardous substances or the generation of  such  substances  or
    34  pollutants  so  as  to reduce risks to public health or the environment,
    35  including  changes  in  production  processes  or  raw  materials;  such
    36  projects  shall  not  include  incineration, transfer from one medium of
    37  release or discharge to another medium,  off-site  or  out-of-production
    38  recycling, end-of-pipe treatment or pollution control.
    39    (i)  "Stormwater  collecting system" means systems of conduits and all
    40  other  construction,  devices,  and  appliances   appurtenant   thereto,
    41  designed  and  used  to  collect and carry stormwater and surface water,
    42  street wash, and other wash and drainage waters to a  point  source  for
    43  discharge.
    44    (j) "Vessel pumpout station" means a project for the planning, design,
    45  acquisition or construction of a permanent or portable device capable of
    46  removing  human  sewage from a marine holding tank] projects designed to
    47  improve the quality of drinking and surface waters and projects, includ-
    48  ing operational expenses, related to the operation of  the  Peconic  Bay
    49  National  Estuary  Program,  as designated by the United States Environ-
    50  mental Protection Agency.
    51    (f) "Disadvantaged communities" shall mean a community that is identi-
    52  fied pursuant to section 75-0111 of the environmental conservation law.
    53    3. The purposes of the fund shall be exclusively, (a) to  implement  a
    54  plan  for  the  preservation  of community character as required by this
    55  section, (b) to acquire interests or rights in  real  property  for  the
    56  preservation  of  community character within the town including villages

        S. 9065--A                          3

     1  therein in accordance with such plan and  in  cooperation  with  willing
     2  sellers,  (c)  to establish a bank pursuant to a transfer of development
     3  rights program consistent with section two hundred sixty-one-a  of  this
     4  chapter,  (d)  to  provide a management and stewardship program for such
     5  interests and rights consistent with subdivisions  nine  and  nine-a  of
     6  this  section  and  in  accordance  with  such plan designed to preserve
     7  community character; provided that not more than ten percent of the fund
     8  shall be utilized for the management and stewardship program, and (e) to
     9  implement water quality improvement projects in accordance with  a  plan
    10  to preserve community character. A maximum of twenty (20) percent of the
    11  fund may be utilized for the implementation of water quality improvement
    12  projects;  provided  that where such water quality improvement funds are
    13  utilized for the operation of the Peconic Bay National Estuary  Program,
    14  the  use  of  such funds shall only be utilized to match federal, state,
    15  county, or other public or private funds on a dollar for  dollar  basis,
    16  not  to  exceed  ten  (10) percent of the annual amount appropriated for
    17  water quality improvement projects. Unused  funds  allocated  for  water
    18  quality improvement projects pursuant to this subdivision may be carried
    19  forward  from  year  to year for utilization in future budgets. In towns
    20  with one or more disadvantaged  communities,  not  less  than  ten  (10)
    21  percent  of the annual proceeds of the fund shall be utilized to benefit
    22  such disadvantaged communities. If the implementation of  the  community
    23  preservation  project  plan,  adopted  by  a  town board, as provided in
    24  subdivision six of this section, has been completed, and  funds  are  no
    25  longer  needed  for  the purposes outlined in this subdivision, then any
    26  remaining monies in the fund shall  be  applied  to  reduce  any  bonded
    27  indebtedness  or obligations incurred to effectuate the purposes of this
    28  section.
    29    § 2. Subdivision 4 of section 64-e of the  town  law,  as  amended  by
    30  chapter 255 of the laws of 2020, is amended to read as follows:
    31    4.  Preservation  of  community character shall involve one or more of
    32  the following: (a) establishment of parks, nature preserves,  or  recre-
    33  ation  areas;  (b)  preservation  of  open space, including agricultural
    34  lands provided, however, that farm buildings and structures used for the
    35  marketing of farm products produced on such agricultural lands shall  be
    36  permitted;  (c)  preservation  of lands of exceptional scenic value; (d)
    37  preservation of fresh and saltwater marshes or other wetlands; (e) pres-
    38  ervation of aquifer recharge  areas;  (f)  preservation  of  undeveloped
    39  beachlands  or  shoreline including those at significant risk of coastal
    40  flooding due to projected sea level rise and future storms;  (g)  estab-
    41  lishment  of  wildlife  refuges  for  the  purpose of maintaining native
    42  animal species diversity, including the protection of habitat  essential
    43  to the recovery of rare, threatened or endangered species; (h) preserva-
    44  tion  of  pine barrens consisting of such biota as pitch pine, and scrub
    45  oak; (i) preservation of unique  or  threatened  ecological  areas;  (j)
    46  preservation of rivers and river areas in a natural, free-flowing condi-
    47  tion;  (k)  preservation  of  forested  land; (l) preservation of public
    48  access to lands for public use including stream  rights  and  waterways;
    49  (m)  preservation  of  historic  places and properties listed on the New
    50  York state register of historic places and/or protected under a  munici-
    51  pal  historic  preservation  ordinance or law; (n) preservation of lands
    52  necessary to protect fisheries and water  dependent  uses  essential  to
    53  maintain  and enhance maritime heritage; [and] (o) preservation of lands
    54  that contain significant cultural  resources  including  the  aboriginal
    55  lands of indigenous peoples, including but not limited to, burial sites,
    56  settlements,  and lands utilized for ceremonial purposes; and (p) under-

        S. 9065--A                          4
     1  taking any of the aforementioned in furtherance of the establishment  of
     2  a greenbelt.  Preservation of community character shall also include the
     3  protection and improvement of the quality of all water resources.
     4    §  3.  Subdivision 9 of section 64-e of the town law is REPEALED and a
     5  new subdivision 9 is added to read as follows:
     6    9. (a) Lands acquired pursuant to this section shall  be  administered
     7  and  managed  in  a manner which maximizes public use and enjoyment in a
     8  manner compatible with the character of such lands.
     9    (b) Lands acquired for open space purposes shall preserve  the  native
    10  biological diversity of such lands.
    11    (c) With regard to lands acquired for open space purposes improvements
    12  shall be limited to minimal improvements that enhance access for passive
    13  use  of  such  lands. Such improvements shall not degrade the ecological
    14  value of the land or threaten essential wildlife habitat.
    15    (d) Historic and cultural property shall be preserved consistent  with
    16  accepted  standards  for  historic  preservation. Adaptive reuse of such
    17  properties shall be consistent with the historic character and prior use
    18  of the property and shall be consistent with all local  land  use  plans
    19  and  regulations.  Such  historic and cultural properties shall maximize
    20  public use to the extent practicable.
    21    (e) In furthering the purposes of this section,  the  town  may  enter
    22  into  agreements  with  corporations  organized under the not-for-profit
    23  corporation law and engaged in preservation activities to manage  lands,
    24  including less than fee interests acquired pursuant to the provisions of
    25  this section, provided that any such agreement shall contain a provision
    26  that  such  corporation  shall  keep  the lands accessible to the public
    27  unless such corporation shall demonstrate to  the  satisfaction  of  the
    28  town  that public accessibility would be detrimental to the lands or any
    29  historic, cultural, or natural  resources  associated  therewith.  Where
    30  revenues  are  generated  by such corporations on such lands pursuant to
    31  such agreements, disposition of such revenues shall be governed  by  the
    32  town pursuant to resolution or local law.
    33    § 4. Subdivision 9-a of section 64-e of the town law is REPEALED and a
    34  new subdivision 9-a is added to read as follows:
    35    9-a.  (a)  Management  and  stewardship funds may only be expended for
    36  projects related to lands  acquired  for  open  space  preservation  and
    37  historic  preservation  purposes.  Lands  acquired for any other purpose
    38  shall not be eligible for management and stewardship funds. In the  case
    39  of  lands  acquired for open space preservation purposes, management and
    40  stewardship projects shall be only  expended  for:  (1)  projects  which
    41  promote  the  protection or enhancement of the natural, scenic, and open
    42  space character for which the interests or rights in real property  were
    43  acquired;  or  (2) minimal improvements as permitted by subdivision nine
    44  of this section; or (3) restoration of acquired  real  property  to  its
    45  natural  state including the demolition of existing buildings and struc-
    46  tures.
    47    (b) In the case of interests or rights in real property  acquired  for
    48  historic  preservation  purposes, funds may be expended for the restora-
    49  tion,  rehabilitation,  or  replacement  of  buildings  and   structures
    50  consistent with accepted standards for historic preservation.
    51    (c)  Expenses  related  to  the customary operation and maintenance of
    52  acquired interests or rights in real property  shall  not  be  permitted
    53  from  the management and stewardship portion of the fund, except that in
    54  the case of historic properties, where the  town  has  entered  into  an
    55  agreement  with  a not-for profit corporation for the management of such
    56  properties as permitted by subdivision nine of this section, up to twen-

        S. 9065--A                          5
     1  ty (20) percent of the management and stewardship portion of the fund or
     2  two (2) percent of the total annual revenue of the fund,  may  be  dedi-
     3  cated to the operation and maintenance of stewardship properties managed
     4  by  such  corporations.    Where a town enters into an agreement for the
     5  management of an historic property with a not-for-profit corporation and
     6  the town allocates management and stewardship funds  for  the  operation
     7  and  maintenance of such historic property, said corporation shall annu-
     8  ally provide for a full accounting of such funds to the town board.
     9    (d) Any project funded pursuant to this subdivision, except  operation
    10  and  maintenance  expenses  permitted  pursuant to paragraph (c) of this
    11  subdivision, must have a useful life of five years or more under section
    12  11.00 of the local finance law.
    13    (e) Any expenditure from the  fund  for  a  purpose  other  than  that
    14  permitted, herein, shall be deemed to be prohibited.
    15    §  5. Subdivision 11 of section 64-e of the town law is REPEALED and a
    16  new subdivision 11 is added to read as follows:
    17    11. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the  contrary,  towns  may
    18  enter  into  intermunicipal agreements pursuant to article five-G of the
    19  general municipal law for the following purposes:
    20    (a) to jointly acquire interests or rights in real property,  consist-
    21  ent  with  the  purposes  of this section, where the acquisition of such
    22  interests or rights promotes a regional public benefit for two  or  more
    23  towns pursuant to a regional plan;
    24    (b) to provide for an independent financial audit of each town's fund;
    25  and
    26    (c)  to  hire  employees necessary to implement the provisions of this
    27  section.
    28    § 6. Section 64-e of the town law is amended by adding a new  subdivi-
    29  sion 14 to read as follows:
    30    14.  (a)  The towns in the Peconic Bay region shall jointly establish,
    31  by intermunicipal agreement, the office of regional community  preserva-
    32  tion fund counsel to render legal opinions and interpretations to facil-
    33  itate  the  efficient and consistent administration of the funds created
    34  pursuant to this section. All such opinions and interpretations rendered
    35  shall be published on each town's official website and shall  be  avail-
    36  able  to  the  public as a public record under article six of the public
    37  officers law.
    38    (b) The towns in the Peconic Bay region shall  jointly  establish,  by
    39  intermunicipal  agreement,  the Peconic Bay Region Advisory Committee to
    40  advise town boards regarding policy and administrative  issues  relating
    41  to  funds  established  pursuant  to  this  section. The committee shall
    42  consist of eleven (11) members. The  members  shall  include  each  Town
    43  Supervisor  or  designee,  a  representative of village government to be
    44  jointly selected by the villages in the Peconic Bay region and five  (5)
    45  members  to be selected by the state legislative representatives repres-
    46  enting the Peconic Bay region with expertise in land preservation, envi-
    47  ronmental protection, water quality  protection,  agriculture,  historic
    48  preservation, or parks and recreation. The committee shall elect a chair
    49  from  among  its  members.  Said committee shall meet at least quarterly
    50  each year. The office of regional community  preservation  fund  counsel
    51  shall  attend  the meetings of the committee and shall be further avail-
    52  able to the committee chair for additional consultations. The  committee
    53  shall  be empowered to establish the rules for its operation, consistent
    54  with this section.

        S. 9065--A                          6
     1    (c) The office and committee required to be  established  pursuant  to
     2  this  subdivision  shall  be implemented no later than ninety days after
     3  the effective date of this subdivision.
     4    § 7. This act shall take effect immediately.
Go to top