May 11, 2020 UPDATE: Navigating the Zoning Process on Long Island During the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

This is an update to Judy Lynn Simoncic, Esq. and Erik W. Snipas, Esq.’s April 22, 2020 article.

In three short weeks since the first edition of our article was published on April 18, 2020, so much has changed in the way in which land use applications are being filed and processed with municipal agencies throughout Long Island. As agencies continue to adapt to the COVID-19 way in which business is conducted, land use developers can be assured that things are moving in the right direction. We are in direct contact with elected officials and municipal staff responsible for administering these new changes. Below are the most current updates to the rules and procedures in municipalities throughout Long Island. These rules and procedures are changing on a daily basis. Municipalities throughout Long Island are working non-stop to ensure that zoning applications are processed and heard as quickly and as safely as possible. In the coming weeks, we expect new procedures to be implemented as we continue to evolve in the COVID-19 world. Please look out for our next update.

NASSAU COUNTY

Nassau County Planning Commission

The Nassau County Planning Commission (“NCPC”) remains open for business and held its first remote Zoom meeting on April 23, 2020. The NCPC is holding a regular meeting via Zoom on May 14, 2020. Public comments will be accepted by the NCPC via email. After the meeting is held, the public has three (3) business days (the Thursday of the hearing through the following Monday) to submit comments via email to NCPC@nassaucountyny.gov. The following Thursday, the NCPC will host a resolution meeting via Zoom (also recorded for future viewing) to vote on the applications before it. Since Zoning Referrals from other municipalities do not require a public hearing, that portion of the NCPC’s calendar will be voted upon in the normal course at the first regularly scheduled meeting.

Applicants seeking to file applications for Minor Subdivisions, Major Subdivisions, and Zoning Referrals may file online. To assist in filing or answer any questions applicants may have, contact information for NCPC reviewers is also available on the NCPC’s new COVID-19 Resources page: https://www.nassaucountyny.gov/4988/COVID-19-NCPC-RESOURCES-PAGE.

Nassau County Department of Public Works – General Municipal Law § 239-f review

The Nassau County Department of Public Works (DPW) continues to conduct 239-f reviews remotely and has made great progress in reducing the number of pending submissions. The DPW is also in the process of converting to electronic submissions and reviews. Updates will be provided as new information is made public.

Town of Hempstead

The Town of Hempstead Board of Appeals will be holding a public hearing on May 13, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. via audio/video conferencing. The meeting may be viewed via the Town’s Livestream at https://hempsteadny.gov/meetings-and-hearings/live-streaming-video. Members of the public can participate and provide live comments by submitting their contact information to the Board of Appeals prior to the hearing date.

The Town Board will be holding its next meeting on May 19, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. The meeting will be available via the Town’s Livestream. Public hearings are expected to commence in June.

Town of North Hempstead

The Town of North Hempstead Board of Zoning Appeals (“BZA”) held a virtual public hearing via Zoom on May 6, 2020. Feedback from the public on the applications presented was accepted before and during the hearing, and may be submitted via email until 4:30 p.m. on May 15, 2020. Further instructions and information may be found at https://northhempsteadny.gov/filestorage/16253/19819/16521/2020-05-06_-_COVID-19_NOTICE.pdf.

Another BZA public hearing is scheduled for May 20, 2020. It is anticipated that the public hearing will also be held via Zoom but we are awaiting official word from the Town.

The BZA is currently not accepting new applications; however, it is expected that applications will be accepted via mail after June 1st.

Town of Oyster Bay

On March 17, 2020, Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino announced the creation of the Town Hall at Home portal which can be found at http://oysterbaytown.com/tob-at-home/. The portal allows residents to live-chat with various Town departments ranging from permits and licenses, tax payments, programs, and other Town functions. The Town continues to urge residents to use the portal while in-person services are suspended.

The Town’s Department of Planning and Development is accepting all building permit applications by mail. Once an application is received by the Town, a Town employee will call the applicant to confirm receipt. Filing fees will be mailed to the applicant once Town operations fully resume.

As it did on April 21, 2020 and May 5, 2020, the Town Board is holding its May 19, 2020 meeting virtually via the Town Board Live Streaming link at http://oysterbaytown.com/town-board-live-streaming/. Public comments may be emailed or mailed in to the Town.

The Zoning Board of Appeals is accepting applications by mail. The Zoning Board is also planning to resume public hearings starting June 4, 2020. Further details will be available on the Town’s website in the near future at http://oysterbaytown.com/calendars/zoning-board-of-appeals/.

Incorporated Village of Flower Hill

The Incorporated Village of Flower Hill held a Board of Trustees meeting on May 4, 2020 via GoToMeeting video conference. Information about future public hearings may be found at https://villageflowerhill.org/agenda/.

Incorporated Village of Lattingtown

The Incorporated Village of Lattingtown Zoning Board of Appeals is holding a public hearing on May 27, 2020. Depending on the status of the Executive Order, the public hearing will either be held in-person or via Zoom. If the hearing is held via Zoom, the Zoom link will be posted to the Village’s website prior to the date of the public hearing at https://www.villageoflattingtown.org.

Incorporated Village of Plandome

The Incorporated Village of Plandome Board of Trustees is holding Board Meetings via teleconference until further notice. Work sessions are held on the first Monday of every month at 6:00 p.m. Regular meetings are held on the second Monday of every month at 7:00 p.m. The next regular meeting is scheduled for May 11, 2020.

The Planning Board is holding its first teleconference public hearing on May 28, 2020. Dial-in information is located on the Village’s website at http://www.villageofplandome.org.

Incorporated Village of Rockville Centre

The Incorporated Village of Rockville Centre Board of Trustees held a public meeting via Zoom on May 4, 2020. Public comments were accepted via email and the Zoom application. Information about future meetings can be found at https://www.rvcny.gov/board-trustees.

The Board of Zoning Appeals just announced that it will be holding its May 20, 2020 public meeting via Zoom. The hearing will also be recorded and available for viewing on the Village’s website (http://www.rvcny.gov/) and on the Village Cablevision channel. A transcription will also be made of the recording.

Members of the public who wish to provide comments on the public hearings may submit comments before the meeting, and for five (5) days following the meeting, by emailing Feedback@RVCNY.US or in writing to the Secretary of the Board of Zoning Appeals. Comments may also be submitted during the meeting by using the Zoom chat feature.

Incorporated Village of Russell Gardens

The Incorporated Village of Russell Gardens held a Board of Trustees meeting on May 7, 2020 via Zoom. The Village accepted comments via email but did not provide a public comment period during the meeting. Information about future meetings can be found at http://www.russellgardens.com.

Incorporated Village of Sands Point

The Incorporated Village of Sands Point Board of Appeals will hold a public hearing on May 18, 2020 via Zoom. Public comments may be submitted via email or phone call. The Planning Board is also conducting public hearings via Zoom. Further information is available at http://www.sandspoint.org/announce/5-18-2020%20VSP%20BZA%20PUBLIC%20HEARING.pdf.

Village of Old Westbury

The Village of Old Westbury Board of Trustees held a meeting via conference call on April 20, 2020. It is anticipated that the May 18, 2020 meeting will also be held via conference call. As of the date of this article, the agenda has not been published to the public.

The Planning Board held a meeting on May 4, 2020 via Zoom.

The Board of Zoning Appeals just announced that the May 11, 2020 Board of Zoning Appeals meeting is cancelled.

The Village’s agendas may be found at https://www.villageofoldwestbury.org/AgendaCenter.

SUFFOLK COUNTY

Town of Brookhaven

The Town of Brookhaven Town Board is holding its regular meeting on May 14, 2020. The meeting will be held virtually and streamed via the Town’s Meeting Management Web Portal at https://brookhaventownny.iqm2.com/Citizens/Default.aspx. Members of the public who wish to submit comments during the public hearing are invited to do so via the “chat” feature on the Town’s Zoom meeting. More information may be found at https://www.brookhavenny.gov/Calendar.aspx?EID=1721&month=5&year=2020&day=14&calType=0.

The Town’s Planning Board is holding a virtual meeting on May 18, 2020. Members of the public are encouraged to use the “Q&A link” to submit questions to the Board. More information may be found at https://www.brookhavenny.gov/Calendar.aspx?EID=1836&month=5&year=2020&day=18&calType=0.

The Town’s Board of Zoning Appeals is holding a virtual meeting on May 20, 2020. Like the Planning Board meeting, members of the public are encouraged to submit questions via the “Q&A link”. More information may be found at https://www.brookhavenny.gov/Calendar.aspx?EID=1863&month=5&year=2020&day=20&calType=0.

Town of Huntington

The May 20, 2020 Town of Huntington Town Board public hearing has been rescheduled to June 16, 2020.

The Town announced that all Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals meetings will be held remotely for the foreseeable future. Access to the meetings may be obtained by government access television or the Town’s Meeting Video on Demand page at http://www.huntingtonny.gov/meetings.

Town of Islip

The next Town of Islip Town Board meeting is scheduled for May 12, 2020. It is anticipated that the meeting will be available on the Town’s YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/user/townofislip.

The Town’s Zoning Board of Appeals streamed its May 5, 2020 public hearing via Zoom. The Planning Board is also streaming its May 20, 2020 public hearing via Zoom at https://islipny.gov/news/public-notices.

Town of Riverhead

The Town of Riverhead Town Board May 14, 2020 work session has been cancelled. The Planning Board held its May 7, 2020 meeting via phone conference. Members of the public who sought to comment on the applications were asked to email comments to the Town. More information may be found at https://www.townofriverheadny.gov/calendar.aspx?categoryid=1640&id=3841&catid=121.

If you are an elected official or a municipal employee who would like to provide us with an update on how your municipality is handling land use and zoning applications during the COVID-19 shutdown, please feel free to contact partner Judy L. Simoncic, Esq. (JSimoncic@ForchelliLaw.com) or associate Erik W. Snipas, Esq. (ESnipas@Forchellilaw.com).

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