August 13, 2002
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
APPLICANT: MICHAEL MATTHEWS, 245 East 63rd Street, Apt. 526, New York, New York 10021.
APPLICATION No.: DEC Project No. 1-4724-00851/00007
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The Applicant seeks to install a fixed dock with a "T" at the seaward end, extending approximately eighty feet in length seaward of approximate high water (AHW) and crossover stairways at residential property located at 127 East Lake Drive, Montauk, New York 11954 (the "site").
PERMITS: The Applicant has applied to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ("Department" or "NYSDEC") for a Tidal Wetlands permit pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law ("ECL") Article 25, Title 4 and 6 NYCRR Part 661, and a Protection of Waters permit pursuant to ECL Article 15, Title 5 and 6 NYCRR Part 608. This application was filed and is being processed pursuant to ECL Article 3, Title 3 (General Functions), ECL Article 8 (State Environmental Quality Review ["SEQR"]), ECL Article 15, Title 5 (Protection of Waters), ECL Article 25, Title 4 (Tidal Wetlands - Regulated Activities) and ECL Article 70 (Uniform Procedures). Regulatory provisions applicable to this permit application are 6 NYCRR Part 617 (SEQR), 6 NYCRR Part 621 (Uniform Procedures) and 6 NYCRR Part 624 (Permit Hearing Procedures), 6 NYCRR Part 608 (Protection of Waters) and 6 NYCRR Part 661 (Tidal Wetlands - Land Use Regulations). This Project also requires permits issued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the New York State Department of State and the East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals.
SEQR STATUS: The Department Staff has determined that this Project is a Type II project pursuant to 6 NYCRR Part 617, not subject to the requirements of SEQR. Further, Staff has determined that this is a minor project pursuant to 6 NYCRR Part 621. No notice of complete application was required or prepared.
TENTATIVE DETERMINATION: The Regional NYSDEC Staff has made a tentative determination to deny the Project as proposed. Staff concluded that the Project fails to meet standards for permit issuance. In the view of Staff, the Project will have an undue adverse impact on the present or potential value of the affected tidal wetland area, contrary to 6 NYCRR §661.9(b)(1)(i). Further, Staff contends that there are insufficient water depths at the end of the dock, which would allow propeller turbulence by motor boats and result in a significant loss of highly productive tidal wetlands known as shoals and mudflats/littoral zone (SM/LZ). Staff also contends that the Project would result in damage to eelgrass and benthic habitat at the site, inhabited by shellfish and benthic organisms and used by finfish for foraging and as nursery habitat.
Turbidity plumes from propeller turbulence would cause highly productive marine food production in the area to decline. Shading from the structure and vessel use would adversely affect existing eelgrass beds at the site.
Moreover, Staff asserts that construction of the dock would be precedent setting, since there are no other dock structures currently in the area. Approval of this dock, Staff contends, would encourage other nearby property owners to apply for dock structures in this environmentally sensitive area. Lastly, Staff asserts that the proposal is not compatible with the public health and welfare because the Project will result in adverse impacts to recreational and commercial shellfisheries and finfish habitat.
PUBLIC HEARING: All persons, organizations, corporations or government agencies which may be affected by the proposed Project are invited to comment on the application. A legislative hearing session will be held to receive unsworn oral statements from the public at the INCORPORATED VILLAGE OF EAST HAMPTON, 86 MAIN STREET, EAST HAMPTON, NEW YORK 11937, OCTOBER 1, 2002 BEGINNING AT 10:00 a.m. Written comments regarding this application may also be filed with the Office of Hearings and Mediation Services ("OHMS") at the address indicated below prior to the legislative hearing, or may be filed with the ALJ during the hearing. Equal weight will be given to oral and written comments. Lengthy comments should be submitted in writing. The hearing location is fully accessible to persons with a mobility impairment. Interpreter services shall be made available to deaf persons, at no charge, upon written request to the ALJ identified below, at least seven (7) business days prior to the hearing.
A pre-adjudicatory issues conference will be held at the INCORPORATED VILLAGE OF EAST HAMPTON, 86 MAIN STREET, EAST HAMPTON, NEW YORK 11937, OCTOBER 1, 2002, IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE LEGISLATIVE HEARING. The purpose of the issues conference is to determine party status for any person who has properly filed and to define, narrow and if possible, resolve proposed adjudicable issues concerning the permit application which are raised by party status petitioners or the Applicant. Any persons requesting party status must appear or be represented at the issues conference in order that all proposed issues may be fully discussed. IF ISSUES ARE IDENTIFIED BY THE ALJ, AN ADJUDICATORY HEARING ON THOSE ISSUES MAY COMMENCE ON OCTOBER 1, 2002 IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE ISSUES CONFERENCE. ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST HAVE THEIR WITNESSES AND ALL EVIDENCE AVAILABLE FOR PRESENTATION AT THAT TIME.
FILING FOR PARTY STATUS: The Department's requirements for party status petitions to participate at the issues conference and at any subsequent adjudicatory hearing are set forth at 6 NYCRR §§ 624.5 and 624.4(c). ALL PETITIONS REQUESTING PARTY STATUS TO PARTICIPATE AT THE ADJUDICATORY HEARING MUST BE RECEIVED AT THE NYSDEC OHMS NO LATER THAN 3:00 p.m. ON SEPTEMBER 24, 2002. SUCH FILINGS SHOULD BE SUBMITTED TO: KEVIN J. CASUTTO, ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE (ALJ), NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, OHMS, FIRST FLOOR, 625 BROADWAY, ALBANY, NEW YORK 12233-1550; TELEPHONE (518) 402-9003. ELECTRONIC FILINGS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. All Petitioners also must send a copy of their complete filing to Stephen Angel, Esq., Esseks, Hefter & Angel, 108 East Main Street, Riverhead, New York 11901, and Craig Elgut, Assistant Regional Attorney, NYSDEC Region 1, S.U.N.Y. Campus, Building 40, Stony Brook, New York 11794 in the same manner and at substantially the same time as sent to the ALJ.
DOCUMENT AVAILABILITY: All filed documents are available for inspection at the Incorporated Village of East Hampton, 86 Main Street, East Hampton, New York 11937, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Region 1 Office, S.U.N.Y. Campus, Building 40, Stony Brook, New York 11794 and in the OHMS in Albany, New York, at the address listed above, under the heading "Filing for Party Status". ALL PERSONS HAVING AN INTEREST IN THIS APPLICATION ARE URGED TO ATTEND THE HEARING OR BE REPRESENTED EITHER INDIVIDUALLY OR COLLECTIVELY.
Albany, New York
August 13, 2002