The 2022/2023 State budget included watershed (no pun intended) amendments to the regulations governing New York’s Freshwater Wetlands. It has been published that the changes to the Freshwater Wetlands Act are expected to capture approximately one million acres (1,560 square miles) of previously unregulated freshwater wetlands – the equivalent in landmass of 1/10th the state of Rhode Island.  As part of the move, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC” or “Department”) is seeking information from stakeholders as it considers the revisions to the regulations and develops criteria to implement the Act. Continue Reading DEC Seeks Feedback by February 17th as it Considers Revamped Freshwater Wetland Regulations

On January 4, 2022, the New York Court of Appeals heard oral argument in the case of Hunters For Deer, Inc. v Town of Smithtown, where conflicting provisions of a Town of Smithtown firearm ordinance and the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) both vie for authority.

This appeal presents questions of preemption and statutory interpretation: whether the State Legislature, in
Continue Reading Slings and Arrows At The Court Of Appeals

The Board of Trustees in the Village of Dering Harbor, located on Shelter Island, adopted a resolution in February of 2018, granting an application of property owners, Brad Goldfarb and Alfredo Paredes, to install and maintain a “living fence”, commonly known as hedges, on their property. The Architectural Review Board likewise approved of the application for hedges.

Deering Point Associates,
Continue Reading Living Fences in Dering Harbor

Last week’s election had news outlets across the State and nation talking about Long Island’s rare “red wave”.  While many are now debating what the apparent sea change means for Long Islanders, at least for the next few years, equal attention should also be paid to another important and far-reaching election result of a different color: New York’s “Green Amendment”.
Continue Reading Boon or Bane? New York’s Environmental Rights Amendment

The Suffolk County legislature is currently considering a bill (I.R. 1478-2021) that would provide towns and villages with a greater opportunity to weigh in on certain zoning applications proposed in adjacent municipalities as part of the formal County review process pursuant to General Municipal Law § 239-m and Article XIV of the Suffolk County Administrative Code.  The proposed legislation
Continue Reading Legislation Seeks to Amend County Planning Review Process to Provide Towns and Villages with Greater Say over Zoning Actions in Adjacent Communities