Relates to extending the amount of time between notice of a project and a public hearing.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the New York state urban development corporation act, in relation to extending the amount of time between notice of a project and a public hearing
PURPOSE: To ensure that the general public and the community-as well as parties specifically affected by proposed UDC projects and associated actions-are given adequate public notice of public hearings so they can attend and participate therein.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: In relation to the following four Sections of the UDC Act-6(c); 8(z); 4(2); and 16(2)(b)(iii)-the current ten day window between public notice and public hearing is expanded to thirty days.
EXISTING LAW: The current provisions of the UDC Act require a minimum of ten days between public notice and public hearing.
JUSTIFICATION: The public consultation provisions of the UDC Act are dated in time and simply do not work in a way that empowers and taps into the knowledge and passion of communities that are affected by massive redevelopment projects and other associated actions. The law itself, while spelling out some minor procedural due process guarantees, functions as an absolute rubber stamp in practice. Some examples of the current failings, with respect to the City of New York include: the fact that the projects are developed in secret and not as part of a community planning process; the fact that the Mayor and the City Clerk are notified about the project but current residents and tenants who live at work at the project site are not; while Community Boards are supposed to be notified about the project before a public hearing occurs thereon, many receive notice after the fact that the hearing has actually occurred; because of the fact that a hearing must occur within ten days of Community Board "notification" most in the community never hear about the project or have the opportunity to be heard thereon and thus the public hearings are held in silent halls with no attendance whatsoever-In fact, the current Chief of Staff for UDC recently stated that it is not uncommon for no one to show up to UDC hearings. The current ten day window is a substantial contributor to this disconcerting phenomenon. In the rare times that people do show up to testify, the comments are simply noted and transcribed; they are never acted upon and the projects are never amended to reflect them.
In short, the current public consultation provisions of the UDC Act are entirely inadequate to the statutorily mandated task of actually consulting with affected parties at the "earliest practicable time" and giving "primary consideration to local needs and desires" while fostering "local initiative and participation in connection with the planning and development of its projects." The time is right to give this statutory dicta meaning in the real word application of projects that have generational consequences in our communities. Ensuring that the general public, communities and specifically affected parties have thirty days
to actually learn of public hearings-and subsequently mobilize, deliberate, draft and execute meaningful public participation (in the form of comments, testimony and proposed alternative considerations) in situations that have direct consequences for their lives- is a step forward in terms of transparency, accountability and good governance.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill; similar in concept to portions Senate Bills 6454 and 7260 of 2014.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7384 IN SENATE May 14, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. PERKINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions AN ACT to amend the New York state urban development corporation act, in relation to extending the amount of time between notice of a project and a public hearing THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision (c) of section 6 of section 1 of chapter 174 of the laws of 1968 constituting the New York state urban development corporation act, is amended to read as follows: (c) to any other person, firm, partnership or corporation, without public bidding or public sale, provided there is published in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the municipality in which the project is located a notice which shall include a statement of the iden- tity of the proposed purchaser or lessee and of his proposed use or reuse of the land use improvement project area or applicable portion thereof, the price or rental to be paid by such purchaser or lessee, all other essential conditions of such sale or lease, and a statement that a public hearing upon such sale or lease will be held before the corpo- ration at a specified time and place on a date not less than
[ten]THIR- TY days after such publication, and provided further that such public hearing is held in accordance with such notice. S 2. Subdivision 2 of section 8 of section 1 of chapter 174 of the laws of 1968 constituting the New York state urban development corpo- ration act is amended to read as follows: (2) Before any sale or lease of all or a substantial part of a project as authorized by subdivision one of this section is consummated, there shall be published in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the municipality in which the project is located a notice which shall include a statement of the identity of the proposed purchaser or lessee, the price or rental to be paid, all other essential conditions of such sale or lease, and a statement that a public hearing upon such sale or lease will be held before the corporation at a specified time and placeEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD15110-02-4 S. 7384 2
on a date not less than
[ten]THIRTY days after such publication, and such hearing shall be held in accordance with such notice; provided, however, that if the corporation determines that trade secrets or other confidential information about the prospective purchaser's or lessee's business operations, products, processes or designs would otherwise be revealed by such public notice and public hearing, the requirements of this subdivision may be waived by unanimous vote of the directors of the corporation. S 3. Subdivision 2 of section 14 of section 1 of chapter 174 of the laws of 1968 constituting the New York state urban development corpo- ration act, as amended by chapter 576 of the laws of 1969, is amended to read as follows: (2) Notwithstanding the provisions of any general, special or local law or charter, any municipality, by resolution of its local governing body, is hereby empowered without referendum, public auction, sealed bids or public notice, to sell, lease for a term not exceeding ninety- nine years, grant or convey to the corporation any real property owned by it which the corporation shall certify to be necessary or convenient for its corporate purposes. Any such sale, lease, grant or conveyance shall be made with or without consideration and upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon by such municipality and the corpo- ration. Certification shall be evidenced by a formal request from the president of the corporation. Before any such sale, lease, grant or conveyance may be made to the corporation, a public hearing shall be held by the local governing body to consider the same. Notice of such hearing shall be published at least [ten]THIRTY days before the date set for the hearing in such publication and in such manner as may be designated by the local governing body. S 4. Subparagraph (iii) of paragraph (b) of subdivision 2 of section 16 of section 1 of chapter 174 of the laws of 1968 constituting the New York state urban development corporation act, as amended by chapter 732 of the laws of 1990, is amended to read as follows: (iii) in any city having a population of one million or more, provide to any community board in which the project will be located, a notice that such plan will be filed upon its adoption by the corporation and that digests thereof will be available, which notice shall also state that a public hearing will be held to consider the plan at a specified time and place on a date not less than [ten]THIRTY days after such publication; S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.