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Challenge to APA land use regulations rejected in court

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A challenge to a controversial set of state Adirondack Park Agency regulations has been rejected, in a midlevel state court.

The New York Blue Line Council and several municipalities filed suit against the APA in 2008 for a set of regulations on shoreline structures and hunting cabins. The rules also affected other private land uses. The group alleged that the regulations placed an undue burden on property owners looking to build on private land because they would be forced to seek a variance from the Park Agency.

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Reported by

Chris Morris
Tri-Lakes Correspondent

In a ruling handed down recently by a state Appellate Division panel, three judges say the regulations fall under the APA’s mandate.

APA legal counsel John Banta responded to the ruling during this week’s board of commissioners meeting, calling it a “short, very direct, very clear decision.”

Banta says the Agency looks forward to “continuing to work on the implementation” of the 2008 regulations.

Keith McKeever is the agency’s spokesman: “The Park Agency is satisfied that the court has upheld our regulatory action in 2008. And we believe these regulations are in the best interest of the park overall, and we’re very satisfied with the outcome of the court case.”

McKeever says the regulations don’t place an excessive burden on property owners with shoreline structures – and the court apparently agrees.

"We have been utilizing the variance process for shoreline structures.", he said, "and to date, since we implemented them, we’ve had maybe a half dozen variance proposals to the Agency. Working with the applicants, we’ve been able to approve all of them.”

The court ruling called the lawsuit both speculative and abstract. It also states the suit did not violate town and county home rule powers.

 

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