An open letter: Supervisor Hoehmann urges Governor Hochul to reject new state zoning bill and preserve self-government



Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann is concerned that a bill introduced in the New York State Assembly will prevent his city and other municipalities from enforcing their own zoning laws. We thought it best to let the Supervisor speak on the matter and have reposted his letter to the Governor below.

Dear Honorable Governor Hochul:

At on behalf of of the City of Clarkstown, I a m writing To Express our vehement opposition To the offers NYS Assembly Invoice 4854 As it concerns Residential Accessory Lodging Units.

First of all and foremost, this legislation like offers is a flagrant violation of Home To reign under the New York State Constitution. Home To reign provides this all zoning is delegate To the local level. The basic foundation of the Home To reign philosophy is the agreement this the more local level of government is in the better position To know and address the problems focused towards the community. This offers legislation effectively bands local municipalities of Residential zoning control and places the authority To the upper level of government. The City by Clarkstown fully for To defend his constitutional rights, up To and including hard this question in to research should this invoice to be pass in law.

Constitutionality next to, the are a number of deeply disturbing problems with this legislation who would have have huge negative impacts to health and security, the environment, and quality of life. The City of Clarkstown, so, offers the Following comments:

  1. The offers legislation completely bypass the New York State Environment Quality Review Act (SEQR). With 20,694 detached Single family houses, the City of Clarkstown could easily double in density with zero emviral impact guarantees. Combined spirith the elimination of zoning provisions restrict Ground Zoned Report, setback, and parcel blanket, who passed this legislation is an ecological disaster in the making. With a median household of 2.9 people, the City of Clarkstown alone could to grow through 60,000 Additional people or a 70% to augment in population without a Single environmental Accessory Units under this offers law to do not to count versus density Where Ground Zoned Report conditions. TO the State took into consideration the environmental implications of the growing demand in emergenceYes services, public services, waste, rainy waters putIpledge, school registration, circulation, etc
  2. Municipalities Californiannnot require Following thanm 1 outside thatcease through door. While a Fire those apartments will alone have a easy manner outside. For units in a basement, a exit the window will likely Don the ground, manufacturing he particularly hard for alloborn, above all the age and disabled, To escape in a emergevsYes. As we have recently seen with Hurricane IDA, To less 11 pthe people deceased in New York City basement apartments due To the flood. This legislation would have to create the same reckless and dangerous conditions this successful in the loss of life to a massive, throughout the state climb.
  1. This the legislation stipulates thTo the primary owner only To live in the lodge for 1 year. This short duration can easily lead To thousands of situations or one old Single family residence is converted in a 2 family apartment building spirith absent owners. This Californiam easily to encourage wealthier individuals To Course various rent Properties thto can easily publication date in negligence and dilapidation.. The offers legislation said municipalities canmnot Dqurge all back Where side setback bigger than 4 feet. Yes adopted, of themo Houses who added accessory units next To each other could have a simple 8 feet between the structure. This is very insufficient space out To struggle a Fire and very increases the probability of having a Fire jump of a structure To another.
  2. This law calls for a maximum ceiling the size restriction of 7 feet. This softens the conversion of basement areas in apartments, who combined with other restrictions, mykes to reach residents in a Fire Where other life threatening emergency a lot More difficult.
  3. Municipalities will to be focused towards a car park crisis if this law is adopted. This legislation stipulates thTo no supplement car park Dquirements can to be mandated, same when a garage is converted. This means a owner could build a apartment thto would not alone eliminate car park for themselves, corn too for the tenant. ThTo offsets car park toStreet, thus hampering emergency vehicle to accessss. Clarkstown, As more other suburbs towns, restricted overnight car park in the Winter month To accommodate for snow plowing. This will to be a nightmare for all municipal Highway department, EMRS, and police departmenttim NYS. In Clarkstowm alonee, like a Example, all Single family residence this is converted could add 4 Vehicles (2 for the owner and 2 forr the youmant, to to sayaage) on the Street.
  1. All municipality is already free To implement amYes and all of these provisions if so desired. AmYes Phone development would have to be subject to SEQR revieww To a minimum. Rather than to dictate a Draconian mandate this violates the Constitution, the State strength to consider an incentive program for municipalities To adopt a amended version of this legislation. Yes this were ended, municipalities could study the local impacts that they have are in the better position To identify and mitigate.

Eese are only the strong points of a host of concerns and objections the City of Clarkstown has identified in a preliminary revieww of proposal legislation. Should the City attempt To to create prescriptions this to look for To remedy those concerns, this legislation explicitly States this the State will prosecute To to prevent all changes.

The City of Clarkstown understand the States desire to Following lodging units and bigger affordability, byout substitute local authority om goods development like offers is am undeniable threatens To Public security and our environment.

More important, the City of Clarkstown find this invoice To to be downright unconstitutional. TO quote directly of the NYS website, The residence to reign powers appreciated through local Governments in this state are among the more Advanced in the nationm. Through to acknowledge the Degree of their powers and through keep on going To exercise them, local Governments can better to avoid the erosion of Phone powers. In this fashion, local Governments will not alone to serve the Needs of the people, corn will to reinforce statisticale local relationships like good. ”


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