July 2, 2003
As representatives of the Adirondack Park in the New York State Legislature, we have introduced legislation that would enact a ten year statute of limitations for certain actions commenced by the Adirondack Park Agency. The APA is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year, and we hope that this bill will be a topic of discussion during the upcoming workshops.
The Adirondack Park Agency 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.
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.
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. We welcome your comments and suggestions and look forward to working with you to craft a bill that appropriately addresses the present issues with regard to timely enforcement of violations.
Thank you for your attention and consideration. As always, please feel free to contact us if we can be of further assistance.
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