Should there be a state permit for historic preservation review?

Orange County has amended the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQRA) documents being submitted to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). They have specifically amended the documents to claim that they will be creating an area of disturbance under 1 acre, which avoids the need for state review. Click here to view the draft document.

Local experts have reviewed this amended filing and say the claims it makes are unsupportable without an accompanying site plan. The filing is criticized for ignoring current flood plain disturbances, distorts parking requirements, eliminates Div II construction impacts, among other shortcomings. When all aspects of the proposed construction are properly accounted for, engineers say the disturbed area will equal 1.47 acres of soil disturbance.

The County appears to be misrepresenting the facts about the extent of soil disturbance and has not produced a site map to justify their minimized claims in order to avoid the requirement for state review. The latest site map the County has is dated 10/13/2014 and it shows over an acre of soil disturbance. Click here for a link to this map. This map was prepared for the County by consultants the County hired.

Given that the actual soil disturbance area is greater than an acre, the state requires a permit for historic preservation review by another agency. Local architects, activists and citizens are pushing hard to force the review of the site to be made.