Requires the conducting of public hearings and reports thereon prior to the closure to public access of any real property by the office of parks, recreation and historic preservation.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the parks, recreation and historic preservation law, in relation to requiring an evaluation of the impacts of the closure of public access to any land owned or operated by the office of parks, recreation and historic preservation
PURPOSE OF THE BILL: The bill would require the conduct of public hearings and reports thereon prior to the closure of any real property by OPRHP.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The bill would add a new Section 13.14 of the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law to require the agency to prepare a draft report that provides justification and the rationale for the closure of public access of any real property owned or operations by OPRHP, at least six months prior to a proposed closure of such lands. The bill specifies the elements of the report, which must be subject to one of more public hearings at least 4 months prior to such proposed closure, with at least one public hearing in the impacted area. OPRHP must issue a final report that includes a response to all issues raised at the hearings; the report must be publicly available and submitted to the Governor and the Legislature.
JUSTIFICATION: If OPRHP proposes to close to the public any park, historic preservation site, bird conservation area or other facility under its jurisdiction, the agency should be required to evaluate and support such proposed closure and its impact on the public. Public review and public hearings will offer the opportunity for public scrutiny of such proposals, and if a proposed closure is not adequately supported by the agency, it should not go forward. Providing this information to the Governor and the Legislature will allow them to responds to such actions as well. Protection of our priceless natural and public recreation resources is paramount. Closures can result in vandalism, deterioration of the infrastructure and other damage that would go undetected and not corrected. The State has a significant investment in the State park system that must be protected for the benefit of all of the citizens of NYS.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-2010: A.10452 DelMonte, Passed Assembly unanimously. Senate Died in Finance 2011-2012: S1918
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: There would be costs associated with the preparation of the report and conduct of one or more public hearings.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act would take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 930 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. SERRANO, ADAMS, BRESLIN, DILAN, ESPAILLAT, KRUEGER, MONTGOMERY, SAMPSON, SAVINO, VALESKY -- read twice and ordered print- ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation AN ACT to amend the parks, recreation and historic preservation law, in relation to requiring an evaluation of the impacts of the closure of public access to any land owned or operated by the office of parks, recreation and historic preservation THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The parks, recreation and historic preservation law is amended by adding a new section 13.14 to read as follows: S 13.14 CLOSURE OF LANDS OWNED, HELD OR ADMINISTERED BY THE OFFICE. 1. NOT LESS THAN SIX MONTHS BEFORE THE PROPOSED CLOSURE OF PUBLIC ACCESS TO ANY REAL PROPERTY OWNED, HELD OR ADMINISTERED BY THE OFFICE, THE COMMIS- SIONER SHALL ISSUE A DRAFT REPORT THAT PROVIDES THE JUSTIFICATION AND RATIONAL FOR SUCH CLOSURE INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO: (A) A FULL DESCRIPTION OF THE REAL PROPERTY; (B) THE PURPOSES THAT THE REAL PROPERTY SERVES TO THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE; (C) A COMPARISON OF THE ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF CLOSURE VERSUS CONTINUED OPERATION OF SUCH REAL PROPERTY TO THE STATE, LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND THE PUBLIC; (D) AN ANALYSIS OF THE POTENTIAL HARM TO SUCH REAL PROPERTY FROM VANDALISM, LACK OF MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE, AND OTHER IMPACTS FROM THE LACK OF REGULAR OVERSIGHT BY THE OFFICE; (E) THE IMPACT OF SUCH PROPOSED CLOSURE ON THE ENTIRE REAL PROPERTY SYSTEM OWNED AND OPERATED BY THE OFFICE; AND (F) SUCH OTHER FACTORS THAT ARE PARTICULARLY RELEVANT TO THE REAL PROPERTY AND ITS FUNCTION AS STATE LAND.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00572-01-3 S. 930 2
2. NOT LESS THAN FOUR MONTHS BEFORE THE PROPOSED CLOSURE OF PUBLIC ACCESS TO SUCH REAL PROPERTY, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PROVIDE PUBLIC NOTICE OF AND CONDUCT ONE OR MORE PUBLIC HEARINGS, INCLUDING ONE IN THE IMPACTED AREA OF THE PROPOSED CLOSURE. NOTICE OF ANY SUCH HEARING SHALL BE ON A STATEWIDE BASIS, INCLUDING PUBLICATION IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL NOTICE BULLETIN. EACH PUBLIC HEARING SHALL ACCEPT WRITTEN STATEMENTS IN LIEU OF AN ORAL PRESENTATION. 3. UPON CONCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC HEARINGS ON A CLOSURE, THE COMMIS- SIONER SHALL ISSUE A FINAL REPORT WHICH INCLUDES THE RESPONSE ON ALL ISSUES RAISED AT THE HEARINGS AND INFORMATION ENTERED INTO THE HEARING RECORD. SUCH FINAL REPORT SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE AND DISTRIBUTED TO THE PUBLIC. 4. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL ISSUE AND SUBMIT TO THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE A FINDINGS STATEMENT ON EACH PROPOSED CLOSURE THAT PROVIDES THE JUSTIFICATION FOR SUCH CLOSURE OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, THE INFORMA- TION THAT SUPPORTS THE CONTINUED OPERATION OF THE REAL PROPERTY. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.