Friday, June 12, 2009

NY State Assembly: No to Vested Rights

Tell the NYS Assembly to Vote "NO" on Vested Rights

Dear Christine Jubic,

Don’t let the State Assembly pass a law that would put developers’ rights ahead of those of ordinary New Yorkers.

With just two weeks left in this year’s Legislative Session, the New York State Assembly is considering a bill that would undercut the ability of cities, towns and villages to stop or even limit environmentally damaging development.

Bad idea, right? Tell your Assembly member to protect New York communities by voting “NO” on vested rights.

This bill, known as “vested rights,” would permit developers to freeze (or “vest”)—for six years—the municipal zoning, planning and environmental regulations that are in place in your community only six months after filing an application to develop land. Not after receiving a permit. Not after receiving local approval. After filing an application.

Because in most cases people don't know when development applications are filed, six months could easily pass without residents even knowing about it. And if those same residents want to re-zone to prevent a big box strip mall from going up next to a school, they'd only have six months to update their land use plans. That's not enough time.

Tell your representative in the Assembly to vote “NO” on vested rights for developers.

Send a letter to the following decision maker(s):
Your Assemblyperson (if you live in New York)

Below is the sample letter:

Subject: Protect New York Communities. Vote "NO" on Vested Rights (A.3353/S.1988)

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

As a member of Environmental Advocates of New York, I urge you to oppose A.3353/S.1988, Vested Rights for Land Developers. This bill will hamstring the ability of communities across the state to prevent environmentally harmful development in their own backyards.

Under this bill, municipal zoning and land use laws and rights that are on the books six months after the day that a project's application is filed would be frozen in time for six years--even if the city, town, or village adopts more protective measures.

Please vote "NO" on A.3353/S.1988 and protect New Yorkers from harmful development. Let local people decide what's best for their communities.


Christine Jubic

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