INTRODUCER'S MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT
submitted in accordance with Senate Rule VI, Sec. 1
(x) Memo on original bill
SENATE BILL #: S. ASSEMBLY BILL #: A.
ASSEMBLY SPONSOR(S): SAYWARD
TITLE: AN ACT to amend the civil practice law and rules and the executive law, in relation to the statute of limitations for certain actions commenced by the Adirondack Park Agency within the Adirondack Park
PURPOSE: To enact a reasonable statute of limitations for actions commenced by the Adirondack Park Agency within the Adirondack Park against a property owner.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 - amends section 212 of the civil practice law and rules by adding a new subdivision (e) that provides a statute of limitations of ten years to enforce certain violations of the APA rules and regulations. Any action to enforce violations shall be commenced by such agency within ten years after the discovery of such violation, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have been discovered by a public servant who has the responsibility to enforce such provisions.
Section 2 - amends section 813 of the executive law to add a statute of limitations of ten years.
Section 3 - contains the effective date
JUSTIFICATION: The Adirondack Park Agency was formed in 1973 to provide for overall conservation, protection, preservation, development and use of the unique scenic, aesthetic, wildlife, recreational, open space, historic, ecological and natural resources of the Adirondack Park. The resources the APA protects are very important, but there needs to be a balance between protecting our natural resources and the human resource needs of the people that live and make their living in the Park.
The APA is charged with, among other responsibilities, enforcing violations of its rules and regulations. The APA has, at times, taken many years to enforce violations of their regulations. Frequently the property in question has changed ownership and the new owners are faced with correcting a violation they were totally unaware of and one that happened many years prior to the enforcement action. We believe there should be a limit as to how far back the APA can go requiring correction of violations. This bill would ease the burden of the regulators and will also give the APA a starting point for review.
A recent example of the need for a statute of limitations is best illustrated in the Monda Case. The Monda's purchased a home in the Town of Putnam, Washington County, from a family who had owned the property for many, many years. The Monda's contacted the APA for purposes of getting a property line adjustment. When the representative from the APA came to look at the property, he noticed the deck on the house, which had been there for approximately 30 years. He then notified them that they were in violation and must remove the portion of the deck which was over 10' x 10', the dimensions allowed by the APA. If they failed to do so, they would face a significant fine. Had this legislation been in place, the new owners would not be subject to a violation for which they were not responsible.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the State.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.