Posted by: Dawn Powell | November 22, 2013

Segmentation & the cemetery

Two people have pointed out to me that Mill Street runs north and sounth, and so north of Mill St is not a description that works.  I went back and watched the Steinmetz presentation on the proposed cemetery expansion.  It didn’t help.  What I heard in Mr. Zutt’s description for the incentive zoning concept approval didn’t jive with what I heard Mr. Steinmetz say, and it was not possible to see the map at the Sept TB meeting.

It sounded as if Mr. Steinmetz said that the parcel where he wants to put a new cemetery is adjacent to the existing cemetery, and the commercial development is at Adams Corners. And the acreage mentioned is not the same. I haven’t watched the PB presentations at this point.

The last cemetery application, from this applicant, to expand a pre-existing use (that means that it is not allowed in our zoning code) was in 2009.  Is that enough time to pretend that this was not segmentation?

I will repost the DEC info on segmentation.  In order to build, it is necessary to do an environmental review. And that review must encompass the entire project that is planned.  In 2009, they were not planning an expansion, but in 2013, they have already done a lot of work already toward another expansion?

For those who have not followed it, incentive zoning means they can put anything anywhere.  Anything can be put next door to you if Bob-O wants it.  There is supposed to be a benefit to the town, but in this, the first project to be presented under incentive zoning, a taxable parcel will become an untaxable parcel for the benefit of a corporation that will make money on it.  

I’m still having a hard time seeing the incentive for anyone who pays taxes in the town, and stupefied (PV can have that effect) that with 1/3 of the stores vacant at Oregon Corners, this project would be the focus of so much attention.  A bunch of people seem to have a lot invested in this project moving forward.

Mr. Steinmetz also said that the rezoning is merely a zoning map change, a simple action of the Town Board.  Uh…..that doesn’t seem right.

Mr. Steinmetz’ other projects in the town – Marsh Hill Road – a long, steep dead end, houses not permitted in the code, Elite Environmental – judge’s decision that it is not permitted by the code, the gas station expansion – no gas stations allowed in the code, and Big Blue, no road frontage…

Below is the repost of the segmentation segment of SEQR – State Environmental Quality Review.

Introduction to SEQR – New York’s State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) requires all state and local government agencies to consider environmental impacts equally with social and economic factors during discretionary decision-making.

  • 1. What is Segmentation?
  • In 6 NYCRR Part 617.2(ag), segmentation is defined as the division of the environmental review of an action so that various activities or stages are addressed as though they were independent, unrelated activities needing individual determinations of significance. Except in special circumstances, considering only a part, or segment of an overall action, is contrary to the intent of SEQR.
  • There are two types of situations where segmentation can occur. One is where a project sponsor attempts to avoid an EIS by splitting a project into two or more smaller projects. The second is where activities that may be occurring at different times or places are excluded from the scope of an EIS. By excluding subsequent phases or associated project components from the EIS the project may be more acceptable to the reviewing agencies and the public.

2. How does an agency address uncertainty about later phases?

All known phases of a project should be considered in the determination of significance. If later phases are uncertain as to design or timing, their environmental significance should be examined as part of the whole action by considering the potential effects of total build-out. If, after completion of the review, it can be determined that the subsequent phases will cause no significant adverse impacts or that the impacts can be mitigated, initial phases can be approved and no further analysis under SEQR will be necessary. Later, if substantial changes to the project are proposed, such changes should be evaluated and a new determination of significance made. If an EIS was produced for earlier phases, a supplemental impact statement or revised SEQR findings may be needed.

3. What is the basic test for segmentation?

When trying to determine if segmentation is occurring agencies should consider the following factors:

  • Purpose: Is there a common purpose or goal for each segment?
  • Time: Is there a common reason for each segment being completed at or about the same time?
  • Location: Is there a common geographic location involved?
  • Impacts: Do any of the activities being considered for segmentation (while not necessarily significant by themselves) share a common impact that may, if the activities are reviewed as one project, result in a potentially significant adverse impact?
  • Ownership: Are the different segments under the same ownership or control?
  • Planning: Is a given segment a component of an identifiable overall plan? Will the initial phase direct the development of subsequent phases or will it preclude or limit the consideration of alternatives in subsequent phases?
  • Utility: Can any of the interrelated phases of various projects be considered functionally dependent on each other?
  • Inducement: Does the approval of one phase or segment commit the agency to approve other phases? “



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