Posted by: Patricia Salkin | November 16, 2008

Local Government Failed to Take a Hard Look at Local Law Regulating Industrial Wind Farms

The Town of Centerville, NY enacted Local Law No. 1 of 2006 which would have had the effect of changing the zoning for allowable uses within the Town.  The State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) classifies actions for purposes of triggering various environmental review procedures into Type I, Type II and Unlisted action.  The regulations provide that Type I actions require the completion of a full Environmental Assessment Form (EAF), and the regulations further provide that Type I actions include “the adoption of changes in allowable uses within any zoning district.” (See, 6 NYCRR 617[b][2]). The Town had declared itself the lead agency for purposes of conducting the environmental review, and used the short EAF process rather than the full or long EAF process.   Noting that the State regulations require a full EAF for Type I actions, the Court said that the fact that the Town failed to follow this procedure nullified its SEQR negative declaration regarding the local law, and hence the trial court should have declared the local law invalid.

 

Centerville’s Concerned Citizens v. Town Board of Town of Centerville, 2008 WL 4891614 (N.Y.A.D. 4 Dept. 11/14/2008).

 

The opinion can be accessed at: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/ad4/Court/Decisions/2008/11-14-08/PDF/1104.pdf    

See a posting on the Wind Law Blog for more deails: http://windpowerlaw.wordpress.com/2008/11/19/centerville-new-york-wind-law-invalidated/


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