Genesee County Planning Board
The Genesee County Planning Board is the acting authority that reviews local development projects and land use actions subject to referral under New York State General Municipal Law (GML). GML Article B, Sections 239-m and 239-n require municipal boards to refer certain planning actions to the County Planning Board for review before taking final action. The purposes of these laws are to encourage local decision-makers to consider the countywide and inter-municipal impacts of their local land use decisions.
The County Planning Board meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM in the Large Conference Room of County Building 2, 3837 West Main Street Road, Batavia. A tentative list of meeting dates is provided by following the link above. Submittals (also called referrals) from local municipalities must be made by 5:00 PM on the Wednesday that is eight days prior to the regularly scheduled Thursday meeting to be included on the agenda. Referrals are not accepted directly from project sponsors or applicants.
County Planning Board Meeting Dates and Submittal Deadlines for 2018
Regular meetings begin promptly at 7:00 PM (Doors open at 6:30 PM.)
Applicants are encouraged to arrive early and sign-in as they enter the conference room.
The order in which referrals will be heard reflect this sign-in sheet.
Final Date for Zoning Referral
Wednesday, January 3, 2018– 5:00 PM
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 – 5:00 PM
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 – 5:00 PM
Wednesday, April 4, 2018 – 5:00 PM
Wednesday, May 2, 2018 – 5:00 PM
Wednesday, June 6, 2018 – 5:00 PM
Tuesday, July 3, 2018 – 5:00 PM*
Wednesday, August 1, 2018 – 5:00 PM
Wednesday, September 5, 2018 – 5:00 PM
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 – 5:00 PM
Wednesday, October 31, 2018 – 5:00 PM
Thursday, November 8, 2018
Wednesday, December 5, 2018 – 5:00 PM
Thursday, December 13, 2018
* Earlier date due to July 4th Holiday
*Note: Referral Recommendations/meeting results are e-mailed to the municipalities the day after the meeting and are also usually posted on this website.
The Genesee County Planning Board is a policy making board. It was established by Resolution No. 195-66 and amended on 12/6/97. It consists of nine members (eight volunteer members and one County Legislator) appointed to two-year terms by the Genesee County Legislature.
Berney Staats, Vice Chair
New York State General Municipal Law Article B, Sections 239-m and 239-n require municipal boards to refer certain planning actions to the County Planning Board for review before taking final action. The purposes of these laws are to encourage local decision-makers to consider the countywide and inter-municipal impacts of their local land use decisions.
Who needs to be aware of these requirements?
Chief elected officials (council presidents, supervisors and mayors), municipal clerks, zoning enforcement officers, members of local planning & zoning boards, as well as city, town & village boards.
What land use actions should be referred?
The following municipal actions may be subject to County Planning Board review:
- Adoption or amendment of a comprehensive plan
- Adoption or amendment of a zoning ordinance or local law
- Issuance of special use permits
- Approval of site plans
- Granting of use or area variances
- Proposed subdivision plats
- Other authorization which a referring body may issue under the provisions of any zoning ordinance or local law
What land use actions should not be referred?
- Land separations (not defined as subdivisions)
- Interpretations by the Zoning Board of Appeals
- Sketch subdivision plats or preliminary site plans and other informal reviews by the local boards
*When in doubt please contact the County Department of Planning for advice.
When or under what circumstance does a planning action need to be referred?
A proposed action is subject to review if the real property is within 500 feet of the following:
- The boundary of any city, village or town.
- The boundary of any existing or proposed county or state park or any other recreation area.
- The right-of-way of any existing or proposed county or state parkway, thruway, expressway, road, or highway.
- The existing or proposed right-of-way of any stream or drainage channel owned by the county or for which the county has established channel lines.
- The existing or proposed boundary of any county or state owned land on which a public building or institution is situated.
- The boundary of a farm operation located in an agricultural district, as defined by Article 25-AA of Agriculture & Markets Law (this shall not apply to the granting of area variances).
What is the time schedule for referrals?
The County Planning Board has 30 days after receipt of the full statement of the proposed action in which to respond with a recommendation. The planning department will review the Referral Form and the submitted materials to determine completeness. If the statement of proposed action is deemed incomplete, the department will notify the referring body.
If the County Planning Board does not respond within that 30 days after the referring body has submitted a full statement of the proposed action, then the municipality may proceed to take final action.
How is a planning action submitted for County Planning Board review?
Referrals are not accepted directly from project sponsors or applicants, and must be submitted by the local municipality. Genesee County Department of Planning has prepared a Referral Formto simplify the process of referring planning actions for review. Use of this form is required by our department. The steps of the referring process are as follows:
- Complete the Referral Form.
- Include the following:
- A State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) EAF (Environmental Assessment Form) and all materials used by the referring body to make a determination of significance pursuant to the SEQRA.
- Part I of the SEQRA EAF is required for referral. If the community has determined that the action is a Type II Action requiring no further SEQRA action, please note on the County Planning Board Referral Form the number of the action as listed under 6NYCRR Part 617.5 (c).
- Copy of the full text of the ordinance or local law being proposed, adopted or amended (unless current document is on file with the department).
- Copy of any application submitted to the referring body.
- Copies of all maps and plans submitted to the referring body.
- Email, mail or deliver by hand by 5:00 PM, the completed Referral Form along with all materials to the Genesee County Department of Planning Office. Please refer to County Planning Board Meeting Dates and Submittal Deadlines chart.
- If sent via email, each referral must be one file in PDF format and sent to Director Felipe Oltramari at Felipe.Oltramari@co.genesee.ny.us. If scanned, must be in color and at least 300 dpi.
- If mailed, the packet must be received by the deadline date and sent to the Genesee County Department of Planning, County Building 2, 3837 West Main Street Road, Batavia, NY 14020.
- If the deadline is missed, the application will be put on the following month’s meeting agenda.
The County Planning Board generally meets on the second Thursday of each month (Please refer to County Planning Board Meeting Dates and Submittal Deadlines chart).
How does the County Planning Board evaluate a referral?
The County Planning Board’s job is to determine if there will be any countywide or inter-community impacts as a result of the proposed action. In doing so, they may consider the following:
- Compatibility of adjacent land uses
- Impact of any additional traffic
- Compatibility with existing municipal comprehensive plans
- Effects on community character and appearance
- Impacts on community facilities
What type of recommendations does the County Planning Board make?
Once a full statement of the proposed action is submitted for review, the County Planning Board may choose from the following actions:
- Approval with Modifications (binding conditions)
- Disapproval - citing serious and unavoidable countywide or inter-municipal impacts or citing that sufficient information was not provided that would allow the board to evaluate the nature and magnitude of potential county-wide or inter-municipal impacts.
- Not Subject To Review - used when the board has determined that the action is not subject to review by the County Planning Board.
- No Action – used when the County Planning Board cannot reach a decision (usually due to lack of quorum for a particular action).
Non-binding comments (prefaced by a statement such as “It is recommended…”) can be used alone or in conjunction with the aforementioned actions. These comments are used to address issues of local significance that the board wishes to bring to the municipality’s attention.
How do the County Planning Board’s decisions and recommendations affect local decision-making?
A municipality may only act after the County Planning Board’s decision has been issued. No straw polls or approvals conditioned on County approvals should occur at the municipal level. A municipality may also act after 30 days without notice from the County Planning Board once a full application has been received and accepted by the County.
If the County Planning Board issues:
- Approval – the municipality may approve, approve with any conditions or disapprove with a simple majority vote.
- Approval with Modifications – the municipality may approve with the exact County modifications or disapprove with a simple majority vote. The municipality may add further conditions to its approval. A municipality may approve or override any County modifications with a “super majority vote.” This is a vote of the majority of its members plus one vote (including absent or vacant positions). The board must then adopt a resolution citing the reasons for its decision.
- Disapproval – the municipality may disapprove with a simple majority vote. An approval or approval with conditions would require a “super majority” vote and resolution described above.
- Not Subject To Review – the municipality may proceed to take final action.
- No Action – After 30 days without further notice, the municipality may proceed to take final action.
Regardless of the approval or disapproval of the proposed action, the municipality must always Mail or Email a Notice of Final Action (pink form) to the County Planning Board. The municipality is said to have agreed with the County’s decision if the final action required no “super majority” vote.
What are the consequences if a referral is not made?
Neglecting to refer a land use action pursuant to General Municipal Law may constitute a “procedural or jurisdictional error” that could legally invalidate the local municipality’s land use decision. In a court challenge, the local decision on an application may be nullified. To clarify any of these issues, the municipal board may wish to consult their attorney.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Genesee County Department of Planning, contact information below: