Monday, July 17, 2017

No More Ms. Nice Girl

In a letter to Ed Stiffler, published this afternoon on Imby, Julie Metz takes the Greenport Planning Board to task: "Greenport Shirks Responsibility Under SEQRA, re Colarusso Hail Road." 

1 comment:

  1. Today we also learned of a technical matter in which the Greenport Planning Board as SEQR Lead Agency is demonstrably negligent.

    Although SEQR gives the benefit of the doubt to any potentially involved agency for inclusion in the environmental review, contacting these agencies is initially the job of the applicant.

    When that step fails, as it did here, "the agency circulating the coordination request [i.e. Greenport PB] also has the responsibility to check the list and to identify any other agencies that it believes may be part of the decision-making for the proposed action. There is no harm in contacting agencies that may turn out to have no jurisdiction regarding the action" (SEQR Handbook, p. 58).

    No harm indeed!, but today not only did we learn that the Lead Agency never contacted the City's ZBA (despite our public comments advising Greenport to do so), but we also learned that our own ZBA's attorney is advising the City that "the ZBA has nothing to do with the haul road."

    NEWS FLASH (since last year!): the applicant will need a "use variance" to move its road to the middle of the berm, a discretionary matter which falls to the ZBA.

    So actually, there are two separate cases of negligence going on here, both of them discovered today. The City's incredible obtuseness is something we must take care of right away, I suppose by demanding that our officials stop being so g*dd*mned stupid!

    But Greenport's unwillingness to notify the ZBA is something else entirely.

    From the SEQR Handbook:

    "Is there a penalty for failing to identify an involved agency?

    "If the lead agency can show that it made a reasonable effort to identify all potential involved agencies, there is no penalty [see 617.3(d)]. But, if a known involved agency is not given an opportunity to participate, there may be grounds to nullify any approvals subsequently made regarding the action because of failure to comply with SEQR procedures."