Wetlands remapping New York, Could it harm or help business development property values?
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Recently initialed an effort to remap the regulated wetlands in new yorks state. Some of the new maps are due to be released soon and could significantly impede business development and negatively affect property values.
Currently, all wetlands in New York State are regulated by the U.S Army corps of engineers (USACOE). New york state also regulates wetlands that are 12.4 acres or large. Applicants seeking to construct a project in New York must proceed through both of these agencies. This process is duplicative and time consuming; it can also result in conflicting requirement imposed by either agency.
The proposed new maps will affect business, landowners and municipalities. If the new maps are adopted as proposed, some property owners may seek reduced assessments from the municipality. Assessments for other owners within the municipality will need to be increased to make up the difference. To the property owners, this is a one-time economic event. The sale price received for a given property will lower, but for the municipalities, this reduction will continue year after year.
Not yet built or future planned projects will not be grandfathered in and will have to abide by the new requirements. There are a large number of pre-approved “shovel ready” projects across the state. These are projects that were previously engineered and approved, and are currently awaiting better economic condition before proceeding with development.
Remapping the entire state to prepare maps that will need to be updated at some point again in the future is not the best solution. This effort is likely to cost hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, at a time when state resources are scarce.New york state can adopt the USACOE 404 Program by the DEC this can provide several benefits.
1.The maps would no longer be needed, as the 404 permit program regulates wetlands based upon actual field conditions, not on maps that are prone to inaccuracies and staleness overtime
2.Although the Dec would not need to spend time, effort and money on maintaining the old maps, the wetlands would still be protected through the existing USACOE permit process, which would be taken over by the DEC.
3.Applicants would only need to apply to DEC , not both the DEC and the USACOE.
More information of about the wetland remapping issue can be found at
More information bout about resolution can found at www.NYScar.org.
By : John Lavelle
Vice President of NY State Commercial Association of Realtors.
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