INTERCOUNTY LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE
Resolution No. 7 of 2008
Resolution to Support the Adirondack Counties’ Efforts to Litigate Against the Adirondack Park Agency to Reverse Recent Adoption of Regulations Concerning the New Shoreline Prohibitions, Wetland Jurisdiction and Natural Subdivisions
WHEREAS, there are 3000 lakes and ponds and 31,000 miles of rivers and streams in the Adirondacks; a large number are on private lands, the impact of the prohibition against expansion of pre-existing homes and cabins in the shoreline setback would be huge; and
WHEREAS, the APA (Adirondack Park Agency) adopted a new regulation on November 14, 2008 which effectively repeals a 30 plus year old state law which authorized grandfathered shoreline lot owners to expand their homes and cabins without APA jurisdiction; (APA Act Section 811(5) which became effective on May 22, 1973 provides that, with respect to pre-existing homes and cabins, “a single family dwelling or mobile home may always be enlarged or rebuilt to any extent provided that it continues to be used as such, provided, however, that no such increase or expansion shall violate, or increase any non-compliance with, the minimum setback requirement of the shoreline restrictions.”) For 35 years the Agency has interpreted that section of state law to authorize the expansion of shoreline homes to the side, back or up; Agency regulations in effect since 1979 codified that interpretation; and
WHEREAS, the New York State Legislature has not taken any action to modify Section 811(5) and there have been no court decisions modifying the interpretations of Sections 811(5), the APA adopted the new regulation prohibiting the expansion of shoreline homes unless a variance is granted; and
WHEREAS, the recently adopted regulations also purport to expand APA jurisdiction over subdivisions involving wetlands and natural subdivisions without action by the New York State Legislature, and
WHEREAS, Administrative Law Experts predict that it will be extremely difficult to obtain a variance for even modest expansions of shoreline homes to accommodate additions to families, additional bedrooms to care for elderly parents or the simple desire for more room; Contractors who count on expansions, tear downs and rebuilds will suffer the loss of work, jobs in material supply businesses and service businesses (e.g. insurance, real estate, banking, plumbing, heating and electric) will also be affected, thousands of shoreline properties will be affected and this decision will devalue shoreline properties; now, therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the InterCounty Legislative Committee of the Adirondacks supports the efforts of the Adirondack Counties to litigate against the Adirondack Park Agency to reverse their adoption of recent regulations adopted on November 14, 2008 particularly the new shoreline prohibitions; and requests that each county in the Adirondacks appropriate $3,000 to be used to fund litigation to reverse the adoption of the regulations with the funds to be expended based upon the recommendations of each county’s county attorney, and be it further
RESOLVED, that certified copies of this Resolution be forwarded to InterCounty Legislative Committee of the Adirondacks members, NYSAC, Governor David A. Paterson, the New York State Legislature and all others deemed necessary and proper.
Dated: November 20, 2008.