Property Rights Foundation of America®
Founded 1994

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REFORMS TO RESTORE PROPERTY RIGHTS IN NEW YORK STATE

Presented by Carol W. LaGrasse

President
Property Rights Foundation of America

At the Annual Convention of the New York State Libertarian party

April 30, 2000

1. Establish a new Office for the Defense of Civil Rights of Property Owners in the Attorney General's civil rights division to protect property owners from constitutional infringements by local municipalities and the State and Federal Governments.

2. Establish a DEC Civilian Review Agency to hear complaints, recommend disciplinary action of DEC officials, hold hearings about bureau-wide issues, and report to the Legislature.

3. Establish a statutory limitation on the maximum time for any project permit review, granting automatic ripeness for court.

4. Reform the wetlands law, provide compensation, eliminate vagueness, prohibit DEC-imposed "mitigations."

5. Break up overlapping jurisdiction of Federal, State and local agencies, such as wetlands.

6. If wetlands are to be re-mapped after such reforms, do entire state at once.

7. Eliminate use of non-competitive, monopoly third party intermediaries for State land acquisition.

8. Government agencies pay the cost of all experts needed for agency-mandated studies such as archeological or biological surveys.

9. Reform the Open Space Plan. Map all planned acquisitions to scale of tax maps; hold local hearings; do tax and economic/cultural impact studies.

10. Eliminate all enforcement-based budgets.

11. Separate enforcement from land acquisition. Break DEC into two agencies.
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12. Overhaul the DEC Minerals Division, including an investigation of bias by top officials and consistency of agency policies with statutory policy to promote minerals production.

13. Tie regulation to peer-reviewed science.

14. Eliminate discretionary agency powers.

15. Eliminate real estate tax exemptions for land trusts.

16. Establish state guidelines for wetlands assessments reductions and reimbursement to local municipalities of lost tax revenues for designated DEC jurisdictional wetlands.

17. Mandate pure current use assessment.

18. Eliminate the estate tax.

19. Eliminate rent control.

20. Stop funding N.Y. State Department of State campaigns for smart growth and more local zoning, and revert to a purely information agency in this respect.

21. Pay up Long Island Pine Barrens owners at full appraised value, or let the controls of the Pine Barrens Protection Act sunset for them.

22. Restore local land-use control in the Adirondacks and Catskills.

23. Cap government land acquisition for preservation in any county at a level established by a referendum of local residents in each county.

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