New York Alternative County Government Law

Sec. § 552
County Planning Commission


If the alternative form of county government, or the modification or change of any such form, shall so provide, there shall be a county planning commission in such county. Such commission shall consist of seven members who shall be appointed by the board of supervisors and either one or two ex-officio members as hereinafter provided. Of the appointive members of the commission, three shall be appointed for terms of one year, three for terms of two years and one member shall be appointed for a term of three years. Successors shall be appointed for terms of three years each. A vacancy occurring otherwise than by expiration of term shall be filled by appointment by the board for the unexpired term. The county executive and director of public works in a county having such a director, shall be ex-officio members of the commission. The appointive members of the commission shall receive a compensation to be fixed by the board of supervisors at not exceeding ten dollars for each meeting actually attended, together with their necessary traveling and other expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. Such commission shall have power, within the limits of the appropriation made by the board of supervisors, to employ a secretary and other necessary clerical assistants and employ or contract with such technical assistants as may be necessary from time to time to give full effect to the provisions of this section. The department of public works, in counties having such a department, shall furnish such engineering service as may be required by the commission.


The county planning commission shall have control of land subdivisions in towns outside cities and villages, and no map subdividing land into lots for residential or business purposes in any such town shall be accepted for filing by the county clerk unless it shall have been first approved by the county planning commission and shall have such approval endorsed thereon.


It shall be the duty of the county planning commission to make and recommend to the board of supervisors a master plan for the physical development of the county, which plan, with the accompanying maps, plats, charts and descriptive matter, shall set forth recommendations of the commission for the development of the county, including, without excluding any other thing:


the general location, character and extent of streets, highways, viaducts, subways, bridges, waterways, water fronts, boulevards, parkways, playgrounds, squares, parks, aviation fields, public and private parking spaces, and other public ways, grounds and open spaces;


the general location of public buildings and other public property;


the general location and extent of public utilities and terminals whether publicly or privately operated, for water, light, sanitation, transportation and communication, power and other purposes; and


the removal, relocation, alteration, vacating, abandonment, change of use or extension of any of the foregoing features of the plan. As the work of carrying the master plan into effect progresses, such commission may, from time to time, recommend to the board of supervisors that action be taken with respect to a part or parts thereof covering one or more major sections or divisions of the county or one or more of the functional matters included in the plan. Before recommending the master plan or any part thereof, or any amendment, extension or addition thereto, to the board of supervisors, such commission shall hold at least one public hearing, of which it shall give at least seven days’ notice by publication in the newspapers designated to publish the concurrent resolutions of the legislature. In addition, at least seven days’ notice of the hearing shall be given in writing to the supervisor and town clerk of each town and to the mayor and clerk of each city or village, any portion of which falls within the part of the master plan under consideration. Any recommendation made by such commission must be by resolution carried by the affirmative vote of not less than five members, failing which, the resolution shall be deemed to have been lost.


The board of supervisors shall have power by local law to adopt the master plan recommended by the county planning commission, or any portion, amendment or extension thereof or addition thereto, in so far as the same relates to any portion of the county other than the territory within the boundaries of any city, or village which have adopted a plan of development and also any portion which relates to state highways and county or town roads, county buildings and navigable waterways, irrespective of whether they may be located within the boundaries of any city or village or elsewhere within the county. Upon the adoption of any such local law, the board of supervisors shall file with the county clerk forthwith a certified copy thereof, including copies of all relevant maps and plans.


Whenever a master plan, or one or more parts thereof, shall have been adopted as hereinbefore provided, no street, square, park or other public way, ground, open space or other public place, public building, structure or public utility (whether publicly or privately owned) shall be constructed or authorized in any portion of the county in respect to which said plan or part thereof has been adopted, until the location, character and extent thereof shall have been submitted to and approved by the county planning commission as conforming to the general intent and purpose of the master plan. The county planning commission shall make rules relating to such matters, which shall provide for notice to all parties interested, including units of local government which may be affected thereby, and including the office of parks and recreation if the matter submitted relates to any portion of the county within two hundred feet of any state park or parkway. If the matter submitted relates to the territory of any unit of local government which has adopted a plan of development prior to the adoption of the master plan, such plan shall not be superseded except by a two-thirds vote of the whole number of members of the county planning commission.


The laws conferring authority upon units of local government and the officers, boards and commissions thereof, to adopt ordinances regulating and restricting the height, number of stories and size of buildings and other structures, the percentage of lots that may be occupied, the size of yards, courts and other open spaces, the density of population, and the location and use of buildings, structures and land for trade, industry, residence or other purposes shall continue in full force and effect and such ordinances shall continue in full force and effect in such units of local government, provided, however, that if such master plan and the provisions of any such zoning ordinance conflict, such master plan shall supersede such zoning ordinance, if, in such respect it shall be reaffirmed by a two-thirds vote of the whole number of the members of the county planning commission, after a hearing thereon in the manner provided for the adoption of such master plan.

Last accessed
Dec. 13, 2016