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Erie County's Parks Protection Law

LOCAL LAW INTRO. NO. 12 - 1993
LOCAL LAW NO. _____-1993

A LOCAL LAW in relation to the protection of county parks.

The Erie County Legislature does enact as follows:

     Section 1. Declaration of purpose. Erie County's parks are an important resource for the benefit of the health and well being of the residents of this county. Parks are necessary for protection of air and water quality, to conserve habitat for wildlife and to provide recreational spaces for the people. It is the purpose of this legislature, as trustee of the parks of this county, to assure that existing park lands are preserved for the purposes for which they have been dedicated and to preserve park lands for generations to come.

     Section 2. Short title. This local law may be referred to as the Erie County parks protection law.

     Section 3. As used in this local law, "park" shall mean any land owned by the county and dedicated by the county as park land, whether developed or undeveloped, and held by the county in trust as dedicated park land.

     Section 4. Review. a. No proposal for installation of any fixture, improvement, building or permanent or temporary structure of any kind, by any person, partnership, association, corporation or other agency, including agencies of the State of New York or any unit of county government, shall be permitted by the legislature unless such proposal shall have been first reviewed by the following officers and bodies, and reports and recommendations concerning such proposal have been filed with the legislature: (i) the Erie County advisory review committee; and (ii) the commissioner of parks, recreation and forestry;

     b. Each report shall consider and rank each proposal according to the following criteria: (i) whether the proposed use is a permissible park use under state law; (ii) if a permissible use, (1) whether the proposed use is consistent with existing and planned park uses in the particular park; (2) whether the proposed use would interfere with existing park uses; (3) whether the proposed use is to be undertaken in the least intrusive method possible, and, if not, what modifications and alternatives to the proposed use are available to mitigate park intrusion; (4) whether the proposed use would enhance existing park facilities or confer an environmental benefit upon the park, or permit further betterments to the park; (5) whether the proposed use would have an impact, positive or negative, upon park aesthetics, and if negative, what alternatives are available to maintain park aesthetics; (6) what benefits the proposed use would confer upon public properties or purposes; (7) whether the proposed use would alleviate an unusual hardship for which there is no practical alternative.

     c. Whenever issuance of a permit for use of park land for a public purpose other than a park purpose is proposed, there shall be full and complete compliance with article seven of the environmental conservation law.

     d. The legislature shall take no action with respect to any such proposed use of county park land until it has reviewed and considered the reports of the advisory review committee and the commissioner of parks and recreation, and the environmental quality review. Upon introduction of any proposed ordinance subject to this local law, the clerk of the legislature shall provide copies of such proposed ordinance to the commissioner of environment and planning and the commissioner of parks and recreation. It shall be the duty of the advisory review committee and the commissioner of parks and recreation to submit reports to the legislature no later than forty-five days after the introduction of any proposed ordinance for park use. Upon the failure of either the advisory review committee or the commissioner of parks and recreation to file such reports within forty-five days, the legislature may act on such proposed park use.

     Section 5. Eminent domain. Where park land is subject to taking for a public purpose by any government, authority, agency or corporation under powers of eminent domain granted by the State of New York or the United States of America, it shall be the policy of the county to work to achieve the result that such takings shall not intrude into park land. All compensation received for any park land taken by eminent domain shall be applied first to the purpose of restoration of the park subject to taking; second to the purpose of acquisition of additional park land adjacent to the park so affected; and third to the enhancement, improvement or acquisition of other county park land.

     Section 6. Any grant of any permissible use of park land for a public purpose other than a park purpose shall be adopted in the same manner as an ordinance pursuant to section two hundred nine of the Erie County Charter.

     Section 7. Nothing in this local law shall be construed to grant to any person any right, or privilege to, or use of park land not otherwise conferred by law.

     Section 9. This local law shall take effect immediately.

Underscored material is new.







A Public Hearing was held on the foregoing Local Law Intro., on Wednesday, June 23, 1993, due notice thereof having been published in the official newspapers of the County of Erie, and after due deliberation thereon, I, DENNIS T. GORSKI, County Executive of Erie County, do hereby APPROVE and SIGN said Local Law this 9th day of July, 1993.



BUFFALO, N.Y., June 3, 1993


     I Hereby Certify, that at the 14th Session of the Legislature of Erie County, held in the County Hall, in the City of Buffalo, on the THIRD day of JUNE A.D., 1993 a Resolution was adopted of which the following is a true copy:

VOTE: Ayes - 16.     Noes - 0.