September 25, 2007
NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
NOTICE OF COMPLETE APPLICATION and LEGISLATIVE PUBLIC HEARING, ISSUES CONFERENCE and ADJUDICATORY HEARING
P.O. Box 26692
Brooklyn Heights, New York 11202
DEC Application ID # 1-4736-06562/00001
PROJECT DESCRIPTION and LOCATION:
The applicant, Stuart Venner, has applied to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC or Department) for a permit to construct a dock consisting of a 4' x 71' catwalk with a 3' x 12' ramp and a 6' x 20' float and to install two mooring piles west of the float. The proposed project is to be located at 5A Apacuck Road in Westhampton in the Town of Southampton, Suffolk County, SCTM # 0900-382-02-30.008.
SEQRA STATUS: Department staff has determined that this is a Type II action and thus, is not subject to the State Environmental Quality Review Act.
STAFF'S POSITION: By letter dated July 17, 2006, George W. Hammarth, NYSDEC Region 1 Permit Administrator, informed the Mr. Venner that the application does not meet the standards set forth in the Tidal Wetlands Land Use Regulations found in Part 661 of Title 6 of the New York Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations ( NYCRR). Specifically, staff determined that the water depth measurements were insufficient to allow for the siting of a dock in this location. The lack of water depth, according to staff, would cause boats to churn up and destroy benthic habitat. Staff also stated that granting a permit for this dock would establish a precedent for others in an area that currently does not have such structures. Staff also provides in its denial that the project would adversely affect important finfish and shellfish habitat. And, because the applicant could moor his boat on a mooring buoy or nearby marina, staff did not find the project reasonable or necessary.
PUBLIC LEGISLATIVE HEARING
In accordance with the provisions of Parts 621, 624 and 661 of 6 NYCRR, a legislative hearing will be held before Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Helene G. Goldberger to receive unsworn statements from the public on the permit application on October 17, 2007 at the Westhampton Beach village offices located at165 Mill Road, Westhampton, New York at 10:00 a.m.
All persons, organizations, corporations or government agencies that may be affected by the project are invited to attend the hearing session to submit oral or written comments. Written comments may be sent to Helene G. Goldberger, Administrative Law Judge, at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-1550 until September 28, 2007. It is not necessary to file a written request in advance to speak at the legislative hearing.
The hearing location is reasonably 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 at least 10 business days before the hearing.
ISSUES CONFERENCE: A pre-adjudicatory hearing issues conference will be held immediately following the legislative hearing on October 17, 2007 at the same location. The purpose of the issues conference will be to define, narrow and resolve, if possible, the issues concerning the permit application. Participation at the issues conference shall be limited to Department staff, the applicant, and those persons and organizations requesting party status.
FILING FOR PARTY STATUS AND PROPOSED ISSUES: Persons and organizations seeking party status to participate at any adjudicatory hearing must file a written petition meeting the requirement of 6 NYCRR § 624.5(b). Mere opposition to the project is not a sufficient basis to be granted party status. A petition must fully identify the proposed party and its representative, the petitioner's environmental interest in the proceeding, any interest related to the statutes administered by the Department that are relevant to the project, whether the petition is for full party or amicus status, and the precise grounds for opposition or support. Petitioners for full party status must identify the witnesses that they would present and the nature of their evidence. If a petitioner intends to rely upon expert testimony, the petitioner must identify the name of the expert, that person's qualifications, a summary of the subject matter on which the expert is offered, and a summary of the expert's opinions as well as the facts upon which those opinions are based.
ALL PETITIONS REQUESTING PARTY STATUS TO PARTICIPATE AT THE ADJUDICATORY HEARING MUST BE RECEIVED BY NO LATER THAN 5 P.M. ON October 10, 2007. Address all petitions to Helene G. Goldberger, Administrative Law Judge, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 1st Floor, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-1550. At the same time and in the same manner as the petition is furnished to the ALJ, a copy of the petition must be sent to the applicant's attorney, Bob Kelly, Esq., of Kelly & Hulme, 323 Mill Road, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978 and to Kari Wilkinson, Assistant Regional Attorney, NYSDEC, Region 1, SUNY at Stony Brook, 50 Circle Road, Stony Brook, NY 11790-3409.
ADJUDICATORY HEARING: The adjudicatory hearing in this matter is scheduled to begin immediately after the issues conference on October 17, 2007, and continuing to October 18, 2007, if necessary, at the same location. All hearing participants shall assure the availability of their witnesses on those dates.
DOCUMENT AVAILABILITY: A copy of the application materials is available for inspection at the Department's Region 1 office, Building 40, SUNY, Stony Brook, NY. (Please contact Sherry Aicher at  444-0403). Also, the Department's hearing procedures may be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6234.html, Guide to Permit Hearings, or by calling the Office of Hearings and Mediation Services at (518) 402-9003.
APPLICABLE STATUTORY AND REGULATORY PROVISIONS, PERMITS APPLIED FOR:
This application is being processed pursuant to ECL Article 3 (General Functions), Article 25 (Tidal Wetlands), and Article 70 (Uniform Procedures); as well as 6 NYCRR Part 621 (Uniform Procedures), Part 624 (Permit Hearing Procedures), and Part 661 (Tidal Wetlands - Land Use Regulations).
James T. McClymonds
Chief Administrative Law Judge
Albany, New York
September 25, 2007