VESTED RIGHTS BILL WOULD STOP THE RULES FROM CHANGING
Municipalities Have Been Adding New Rules after Applications Are Filed
The "Vested Property Rights Bill" is a breakthrough in state legislation. The problem that this legislation would solve is that property owners invest substantial sums on studies and submitting an application for site plan and subdivision permits, only to find that the municipality drastically changes the rules in the middle of the review process. The changes are often in response to NIMBY-ism, rather than genuine public concerns, and unfairly cost property owners a great deal in new studies and reworking the project to, usually, reduce the scope.
Site plan and subdivision review approvals with their required environmental reviews now take years and cost hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars. The Vested Rights Bill (A 6023-A, S3852-A), introduced by Assemblyman Adam T. Bradley (D, White Plains) and Senator John J. Flanagan (R, Smithtown), assures that those investing in much needed housing stock and business for New York State would face the same parameters related to property rights that were written into the land use law when they applied for a permit to use the property that they have invested in and own. The bill would not weaken the review process under the State Environmental Quality Review Act, SEQRA, and would leave the requirements for local municipal and citizen participation fully in place. But it would put a stop to the unfair practice by municipalities of changing land use law mid-stream.