December 18, 2006
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
NOTICE OF LEGISLATIVE PUBLIC HEARING AND
NOTICE OF COMPLETE APPLICATION
Applicant: Hilge Hurford, 175 East 62nd Street, New York, NY 10021.
Project: Applicant has applied for a tidal wetlands permit (application #1-4736-00819/00013) to construct a dock, ramp and float at 547 Meadow Lane, Southampton, Suffolk County, New York. Specifically, the proposed dock would consist of a 4' x 145' dock, a 3' x 20' float and two 4" x 6" float-securing piles.
According to the applicant, the proposed dock, ramp and float would extend 168' from the designated wetlands boundary to a water depth, at mean low water, of 3.1' into Taylor's Creek. The distance from low water at the dock to the nearest opposite shore is approximately 761 feet. Thus, the dock extends into the creek 16% of the total width of Taylor's Creek. Furthermore, the dock is located within the shoals and mudflats (SM) zone of the creek and will cause no adverse impacts to navigation.
DEC staff denied the permit application because according to DEC staff it did not meet permit issuance standards (see 6 NYCRR 661.9(b)(1)(i), (ii) & (iii)) and was not compatible with the policy of the Tidal Wetlands Act to preserve and protect tidal wetlands. Specifically, DEC staff asserts the project area contains tidal wetlands known as intertidal marsh (IM), shoals and mudflats (SM) and littoral zone (LZ). The area is also designated as an irreplaceable Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat and boats using the dock would churn up, damage or destroy the valuable benthic habitat through propeller dredging, propeller turbulence and the resultant turbidity plumes.
Permits: The project would require a DEC tidal wetlands permit pursuant to ECL article 25 and 6 NYCRR 661. In addition, the project will require a Southampton Town Trustees permit.
SEQRA Status: This action is listed as a Type II action.
Legislative Hearing: All persons, organizations, corporations or government agencies that may be affected by the project are invited to comment on the application. For this purpose, a legislative hearing to receive unsworn comments will be held on January 16, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. in the Southampton Town Hall, Lower Level Meeting Room, 116 Hampton Road, Southampton, New York, (631) 283-6000.
It is not necessary to file in advance to speak at this hearing. In lieu of oral comments, written statements may also be submitted either by mail or at the hearing itself. Mailed written statements must be received by the assigned Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"), address given below, on or before January 12, 2007. Written statements will be considered equally with oral comments made at the legislative hearing.
This location is reasonably accessible to persons with a mobility impairment. Pursuant to the State Administrative Procedure Act ("SAPA"), interpreter services shall be made available to deaf persons, at no charge, upon written request to the administrative law judge named below at least five business days prior to the hearing.
Issues Conference: A pre-adjudicatory hearing issues conference will be held at the same location immediately following the legislative hearing. The purpose of the issues conference is to define, narrow, and resolve, if possible, the issues that are proposed as subjects for adjudication. The known issues include DEC staff's basis for the denial of the application. Other issues may be proposed for adjudication and must be both substantive and significant in accordance with 6 NYCRR 624.4(c). It is important that any persons requesting party status appear or be represented at the issues conference in order that all proposed issues may be fully discussed.
Party Status: Party status to participate in the adjudicatory hearing will be accorded only to those persons who file a written petition requesting party status. The petition must include the facts intended for presentation pursuant to 6 NYCRR 624.4(c) and 624.5(b). Any petition must fully identify the proposed party together with the name(s) of the person(s) who will act as the proposed party's representative(s), the proposed party's environmental interest in the proceeding, any interest relating to the statutes administered by the Department relevant to the project, whether the request is for full party status or amicus status, and the precise grounds for opposing or supporting the project. Mere opposition to the project is not a sufficient basis to be granted party status. Please see 6 NYCRR 624.4 and 624.5 for further information on party status and identification of issues.
If seeking full party status, the petitioner must propose a substantive and significant issue or demonstrate that it can make a meaningful contribution to the record regarding a substantive and significant issue raised by another party. The petition must identify all statutory and regulatory requirements the project may not meet, and explain why. If a petitioner intends to rely upon expert testimony, the petition must also include an offer of proof that specifies the witness(es), the nature of the arguments and other documentary evidence that the petitioner intends to present at the hearing, and the basis for the assertions as to the existence of proposed adjudicable issues.
All filings requesting party or amicus status must be received on or before the close of business on January 11, 2007 at the Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, First Floor, Albany NY 12233-1550, attn: P. Nicholas Garlick, Administrative Law Judge. Electronic filings or telefaxed submissions will NOT be accepted. Copies of the filing are to be sent at the same time and in the same manner to: Megan Joplin, Esq., Assistant Regional Attorney, at the Department's Region 1 Office, 50 Circle Road, Stony Brook, New York 11790-3409; and applicant's attorneys, Shlimbaum and Shlimbaum, Esqs., 265 Main Street, P.O. Box 8, Islip, New York, 11751-0008.
Adjudicatory Hearing: The adjudicatory hearing in this matter is scheduled to begin immediately after the issues conference on January 16, 2007, continuing throughout that day and on January 17, 2006, as necessary, at the same location.
Document Availability: All filed documents, the application and other papers are available for inspection during normal business hours at the Department's Region 1 Office, 50 Circle Road, Stony Brook, New York 11790-2356, attn: Megan Joplin, Assistant Regional Attorney, telephone 631-444-0260, and at the Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, P. Nicholas Garlick, Administrative Law Judge, telephone 518-402-9003.
A copy of 6 NYCRR part 624 may be obtained from the Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, or from the Department's website at www.dec.state.ny.us/website/regs/part624.html.
Statutory and Regulatory Provisions: The applications are processed and this proceeding is conducted according to the Environmental Conservation Law ("ECL") article 1 (General Provisions); article 3, title 3 (General Functions); article 8 (State Environmental Quality Review, "SEQR"); article 25 (Tidal Wetlands); and also title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York ("6 NYCRR") part 617 ("SEQR"); part 621 (Uniform Procedures); part 624 (Permit Hearings); and part 661 (Tidal Wetlands).
James T. McClymonds
Chief Administrative Law Judge
December 18, 2006