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Question C 2 - Adopted Land Use Plans - Full EAF (Part 1)

Full Environmental Assessment Form (FEAF) Workbook

C2 a. Do any municipally- adopted (city, town, village or county) comprehensive land use plan(s) include the site where the proposed action would be located?

If Yes, does the comprehensive plan include specific recommendations for the site where the proposed action would be located?

Comprehensive Plans

General City Law § 28-a, Town Law § 272-a, Village Law § 7-722, and (for counties) General Municipal Law § 239d define and describe the legal aspects of comprehensive planning in NYS. These laws allow and encourage the adoption of comprehensive plans for all NYS municipalities, but do not require it. To determine if the municipality your project is located in has a comprehensive plan, check their website, or contact the municipal clerk, code enforcement officer (or building inspector), or planning board clerk. Local resources can best help you determine if a municipality has an adopted comprehensive plan.

The municipality's comprehensive plan will provide a context for determining if the proposed activity is compatible with the community's overall plans for development. Activities that are consistent with a comprehensive plan are much less likely to result in impacts to community character or to the environment.

Answering Question C.2.a.

If the municipality in which the project site is located has an adopted comprehensive land use plan, check yes.

If you check yes, you should, as good practice, research the plan and any accompanying maps, studies, or other information in order to determine the goals and planning strategies that apply to your project site, and if there are any specific recommendations applicable to it. Some plans are general in nature and do not make specific recommendations for individual locations in a community. Others are very specific and include text or maps indicating exactly what is planned for a particular location. In order to answer this question, applicants should become familiar with what, if any plans exist for the parcel, as well as what the vision, goals, recommendations, and general mapped land use plans may be included. If there are site specific recommendations in the plan, check yes to the second part of C.2.a. If not, check no.

C2 b. Is the site of the proposed action within any local or regional special planning district (for example: Greenway Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA); designated State or Federal heritage area; watershed management plan; or other?)
If Yes, identify the plan(s): ______________________________

Background - Special Planning Districts

Special Planning Districts are areas identified by a local municipality, county, region or the state that encompass and plan for a specific resource or location. They are often adopted by the municipality, but may not be part of a comprehensive plan. Some special plans are regional, or targeted to a specific topic or location in the municipality so they may or may not strictly follow the boundaries of the municipality. Special Planning Districts are used to protect unique environmental, historic, architectural, and other features that require special consideration. Special Planning Districts usually have a limited focus, and often provide specific standards designed to address that unique resource or location.

Special planning districts may be designated for a targeted resource or area, or for one or more municipalities. The scope of a special planning district can vary widely. The planning area might be a small but oriented toward an important resource such as a viewshed within a single municipality, or it might span multiple municipalities as might be the case with a watershed plan. A Greenway plan or transportation corridor plan might encompass multiple municipalities, but be limited to a specific area along a river or highway corridor.

It's important to note that a Special Planning District is not the same thing as a zoning overlay district. A zoning overlay district is part of an adopted zoning law. However, the overlay district may have been identified and defined in a separate and distinct Special Planning District process, so there may be some overlap between the two documents.

Some examples of Special Planning Districts:

  • Brownfield redevelopment plan
  • Habitat protection plan
    • This could be limited to a single parcel, protection of a particular endangered species, or may include a large wetland or forest area spanning multiple municipalities
    • For example, the Long Island Pine Barrens, or Albany Pine Bush Preserve
  • Transportation Corridor Plan
  • Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP)
  • Harbor Management Plan
  • Regional or Local Coastal Management Plan
  • Watershed Protection Plan
    • These can vary in size from a small subdivision surrounding a small pond, up to a regional watershed encompassing the Hudson River Valley, the Mohawk River Valley, Delaware River Basin, Susquehanna River Basin, or the Great Lakes
  • Statewide Area of Scenic Significance
  • Historic District
    • For example, the Hudson River National Historic Landmark District
  • Aquifer Protection Area
  • Critical Environmental Area
    • These may be designated pursuant to Part 617 and have a planning process associated with their study and designation. Some communities identify their own critical environmental areas that are not pursuant to Part 617 but are designated through a local planning process.

Answering Question C.2.b.

EAF mapper icon

The answer to this question will be automatically inserted on the pdf generated by the EAF Mapper and a report generated. For this question, the EAF Mapper evaluates remediation sites, federal recreation lands, the New York City watershed boundary and NYS Heritage Areas. If the project site is within a state-identified special planning district the EAF Mapper will check "yes" on the FEAF Part I pdf. If a 'yes' answer is returned, the EAF Mapper will also name the district. If there is no special planning district identified within the project boundaries, the EAF Mapper will NOT check 'no' but instead will return 'insufficient data to answer this question." There may be other special planning districts designated locally and applicants should be sure to research local plans and records to answer this question. If the applicant or project sponsor believes the answer filled out by the EAF Mapper is incorrect, supplemental information should be provided that explains that discrepancy.

If the proposed project is located in a local or regional special planning district (as described above), check yes and identify the plan in the space provided.

C2 c. Is the proposed action located wholly or partially within an area listed in an adopted municipal open space plan, or an adopted municipal farmland protection plan?
If Yes, identify the plan(s): ______________________________

Open Space Plans and Farmland Protection Plans

In NYS, municipalities (including counties) have the authority to develop either a separate open space plan, or can include the elements of an open space plan in their comprehensive plan. NYS municipalities (including counties) also have the authority to develop Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plans. These plans may identify specific areas of importance to the community, and establish policies or specific recommendations pertaining to development of those areas.

The scope of these plans typically covers an entire municipality, although they can focus on a particular area within a single municipality, or span multiple municipalities during a joint planning effort. The difference between these plans and a comprehensive plan is their focus on particular physical elements. Open Space plans will examine and analyze a community's undeveloped areas and its natural features, connections between these features, and connections to them from developed areas. Farmland Protection Plans will examine and analyze the agricultural economy of a municipality, its physical resources that support farming, and the regulatory environment. Since farmland is often seen as undeveloped open space, these plans can overlap and contain similar goals and strategies.

For help in determining if a municipality has an open space plan or farmland protection plan, check their website, and contact the municipal clerk, code enforcement officer (building inspector), or planning board clerk. Local resources are the best way to help you determine if a municipality has adopted one or both of these plans.

Answering Question C.2.c.

If the proposed project is partially or completely located in an area listed in an adopted municipal open space plan or an adopted municipal farmland protection plan, check yes and identify the plan(s) in the space provided.

Back to Part 1 (FEAF) Project and Setting || Continue to Part 1 (FEAF) Question C 3 Zoning

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