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Law to Aid Coastal Retreat

Wed, 11/27/2019 - 13:08

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. announced on Friday that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation to identify lands at risk from sea level rise or flooding as eligible sending districts. The new law, of which Mr. Thiele was a chief sponsor, authorizes the transfer of development rights for lands at risk from sea level rise, storm surge, or flooding, to help relocate development from high-risk areas to lower-risk areas.

The transfer of development rights (T.D.R.) is a land-use tool that provides municipalities in New York State with a mechanism for balancing the development and preservation of land. It allows officials to detach the development rights from specified lands (the “sending area”) so they remain undeveloped, while simultaneously permitting those rights to be transferred to areas deemed more appropriate for a higher concentration and mix of development (the “receiving area”).

The new law expands the scope of T.D.R. to help relocate development away from high-risk areas, such as land in flood zones or on steep slopes, and is intended to help municipalities improve storm resilience.

“We are already seeing the adverse effects of climate change across our region, and extreme-weather events are becoming more frequent and more catastrophic,” Mr. Thiele said in a statement. “It is vitally important that municipalities in vulnerable, flood-prone areas have the necessary tools to protect themselves from storm damages and the related costs. I am pleased that the governor has signed this important measure into law.”

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