Bill S345-2011

Redefines "campground" for the purposes of the Adirondack park

Redefines "campground" for the purposes of the Adirondack park and regulation by the Adirondack park agency; defines such term as a parcel of land with 5 or more campsites, including buildings and accessory structures; provides that recreational vehicles may be kept at a campground or campsite, with the consent of the owner of the campground, during periods of time when they are not in use, so long as they are not used in a manner which violates the campground permit.



  • Apr 30, 2012: referred to environmental conservation
  • Apr 30, 2012: PASSED SENATE
  • Apr 19, 2012: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • Apr 18, 2012: 1ST REPORT CAL.509
  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • Jan 4, 2012: returned to senate
  • Jan 4, 2012: died in assembly
  • Jun 13, 2011: referred to environmental conservation
  • Jun 13, 2011: PASSED SENATE
  • May 11, 2011: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • May 10, 2011: 1ST REPORT CAL.572
  • Jan 5, 2011: REFERRED TO FINANCE






TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to the definition of a campground within the Adirondack park

PURPOSE: To provide a more accurate definition of a campground and to permit recreational vehicles to remain on campgrounds and on campsites in such campgrounds during those times that they are not occupied.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 - Amends section 802 (10) of the Executive law redefining the definition of campground as a tract or parcel of land, including principal buildings and accessory structures, where five or more campsites are made available for temporary or seasonal overnight occupancy. Nothing in this article shall require the removal of a recreational vehicle that remains on a campground or a campsite in such campground, with the consent of the owner of the campground during those periods of time that it is not occupied, provided that it is not used in a manner that violates the terms and conditions of the permit issued to the campground by the state or a county department of health.

Section 2 - Amends section 802 of the executive law to define recreational vehicle as a vehicular camping unit primarily designed as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel or seasonal use that has its own motive power and is not mounted on or towed by another vehicle.

Section 3 - Effective date

JUSTIFICATION: There are 133 privately owned campgrounds in the Adirondack Park. Historically, these campgrounds (with very few exceptions) have derived most (and, in some instances, all) of their revenues from "seasonal campers" (i.e., campers who enter into agreements with campgrounds that allow them to occupy a campsite for an entire season and to leave their recreational vehicles on the campsite on a permanent basis).

On numerous occasions during the past several years, the Adirondack Park Agency has attempted to enact or enforce regulation that would require that these seasonal campers to remove their recreational vehicles from the campgrounds after a certain number of days (usually 120 days).

Enforcement of such practice would result in the financial ruin of most campgrounds within the Adirondack Park. This, in turn, would impose a severe hardship upon those rural communities that rely heavily upon the tourism dollars generated by these campgrounds. It would also deprive thousands of New Yorkers of modest means with an opportunity to experience one of New York's greatest treasures.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-10: S.322 Finance: A.447 Environmental Conservation 2008: S.3660-A Finance; A.10609 Environmental Conservation


EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann., Ch. 231, Section 6F. If enacted, this bill will provide the exclusive remedy for frivolous action or procedure.

EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER: Section 8303-a of the Civil Practice Law and Rules is repealed and a new section 8303-a is added.

JUSTIFICATION: In its recent A.G. SHIP MAINTENANCE decision, the Court of Appeals urged the formulation of a "plenary rule" authorizing sanctions for bad faith civil litigation. According to the court, "frivolous court proceedings present a growing problem which must be deterred." Due to several developments in the court system since 1983, a well-designed rule authorizing financial sanctions is necessary. Over the past five years, the number of civil cases filed in the state courts has increased dramatically. Congestion in the Second Department, for example, has reached the point that appeals are frequently heard four to six months after the term for which they are officially calendared. From a practitioner's perspective, the courts' concerns about congestion are well-founded. Every practitioner can cite his/her frustration over false statements in adversaries' affidavits, misconduct in the representation of witnesses at depositions, baseless summary judgment motions, the assertion of meritless claims or defenses to induce settlements and similar misconduct to cause delay or for other improper purposes. In the past, the courts have issued sanction decisions without the explicit mandate of any statute or court rule based on the theory of "inherent powers" to regulate and control the conduct of litigants and counsel. However, the Court of Appeals in A.G. SHIP MAINTENANCE held that the absence of either a statute or a court rule authorizing sanctions precluded the imposition of a penalty for frivolous actions. The court did suggest that the judiciary may have the power through its rule-making procedures to create guidelines to permit the imposition of sanctions. Therefore, the office of Court Administration recently promulgated rules which authorize the imposition of sanctions for frivolous conduct in civil litigation. However, these rules are particularly troublesome given the breadth of unreviewable judicial discretion. The bill is a general deterrent to willful misconduct and gross negligence. The legislation provides a clear standard for defining

sanctionable misconduct while meeting the minimum requirements of due process. While differences exist between the OCA rules and the bill in terms of the penalty ceiling ($10,000) and the available sanctions, procedural safeguards (e.g. preliminary notice and the prompt discontinuation of conduct resulting in no imposition of the sanctions) are conspicuously missing from the OCA rules. Since financial sanctions can be a substantial hardship on the person penalized, the legislation is designed to minimize the likelihood of arbitrary or erroneous determination. Under the legislation, the courts would be required to give notice on the record of its tentative view that sanction may be warranted. The prompt discontinuance of the action or procedures at issue would result in no imposition of the sanctions. Furthermore, unlike the OCA rules, any order granting sanctions would be subject to review. The right to appeal has been traditional in New York's judicial process. The order is reviewable DE NOVO as a matter of right, without deference to the lower court's discretion. Finally, the bill states explicitly that no sanction will be imposed on the ground that the party has advanced a novel or unusual argument. The common law courts of New York have historically served as a crucible in which new legal theories have been tested and from which important developments in the law have emerged. The legislation would repeal the current section 8303-a of the CPLR which was enacted in 1985. This section is limited to cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and similar tort claims. The bill will expand that section to apply to all civil actions or proceedings, excluding proceedings in small claims court, landlord-tenant and in family court commenced under article three, seven, eight or ten of the family court act, as well as implement procedural or due process reforms (e.g. a hearing prior to a determination) that are lacking in the current statute.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: The state may realize some additional revenue.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately, and shall apply to any action or proceeding commenced on or after the effective date of this act.


STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 345 A. 151 2011-2012 Regular Sessions S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________
IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sen. LITTLE -- read twice and ordered print- ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. SAYWARD -- read once and referred to the Committee on Environmental Conservation AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to the definition of a campground within the Adirondack park THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 10 of section 802 of the executive law, as amended by chapter 348 of the laws of 1973, is amended to read as follows: 10. "Campground" means [any area designed for transient occupancy by camping in tents, camp trailers, travel trailers, motor homes or similar facility designed for temporary shelter] A TRACT OR PARCEL OF LAND, INCLUDING PRINCIPAL BUILDINGS AND ACCESSORY STRUCTURES, WHERE FIVE OR MORE CAMPSITES ARE MADE AVAILABLE FOR TEMPORARY OR SEASONAL OVERNIGHT OCCUPANCY. NOTHING IN THIS ARTICLE SHALL REQUIRE THE REMOVAL OF A RECRE- ATIONAL VEHICLE THAT REMAINS ON A CAMPGROUND OR A CAMPSITE IN SUCH CAMP- GROUND, WITH THE CONSENT OF THE OWNER OF THE CAMPGROUND DURING THOSE PERIODS OF TIME THAT IT IS NOT OCCUPIED, PROVIDED THAT IT IS NOT USED IN A MANNER THAT VIOLATES THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE PERMIT ISSUED TO THE CAMPGROUND BY THE STATE OR A COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH. S 2. Section 802 of the executive law is amended by adding a new subdivision 55-a to read as follows: 55-A. "RECREATIONAL VEHICLE" MEANS A VEHICULAR CAMPING UNIT PRIMARILY DESIGNED AS TEMPORARY LIVING QUARTERS FOR RECREATIONAL, CAMPING, TRAVEL OR SEASONAL USE THAT HAS ITS OWN MOTIVE POWER OR IS MOUNTED ON OR TOWED BY ANOTHER VEHICLE. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.


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