Effective as of July 1, 2006 the New York State General Municipal Law requires that notice be provided to adjacent municipalities in the case of many applications for special permits, use variances, subdivisions and site plans. The new section 239nn of the General Municipal Law is based upon a provision in the Westchester County Charter which has been in place for a number of years.
The new law applies to any city, town or village, except for a city with a population of one million of more. The law requires that in the case of applications for use variances, special permits, subdivisions and site plans, within 500 feet of a municipal boundary, a notice of hearing must be sent to any adjacent municipality within 500 feet of the property which is the subject of the application. The law further specifically provides that the municipality may appear and be heard at the hearing.
This new provision is a potential land mine for municipalities that fail to follow the notice requirements.