New York State Legislature Adopts New Law to Allow More Flexibility in Granting Extensions of Time to Complete Requirements of Conditional Approval of Final Subdivision Plats

Land Use

The New York State Legislature amended Section 32-7(c) of the New York State General City Law, Section 7-728-7(c) of the New York State Village Law and Section 276-7(c) of the New York State Town Law.

These amendments permit the Planning Board or other municipal body having subdivision jurisdiction to grant more than two (2) extensions of conditional approval of final plats if warranted by the particular circumstances of each application. Previously, conditional approval of a final plat expired after 180 days, with a maximum of two ninety day extensions. The new amendment gives Boards greater discretion to extend the duration of the conditional approval of the final plat for periods of ninety days at a time, with no limit to the number of extensions.

The new amendment directly relates to the current economic conditions with respect to the difficulty in obtaining financing to develop subdivisions. According to a Memorandum written by the Bill’s Sponsor, “the current economic climate, combined with the difficulty in obtaining project financing in many cases, argues for giving the Planning Board the discretion to extend conditional approval of the final plat. There are already significant hurdles and expenses generated in residential development which should not be compounded because of a time limitation that would effectively terminate a project. The municipality has made a significant investment in reviewing the project and generating the conditions required for approval of the plat. If additional time is required with no negative consequences to the municipality, the Planning Board should have the appropriate discretion.”

The new law gives Boards increased discretion to determine the particular circumstances surrounding each request for an extension. As always, Boards may consider individually the merits of each extension as it relates to the circumstances, facts and issues within its own municipality, but now, Boards are not bound by only two ninety day extensions. If the circumstances of a particular subdivision require more than two extensions, Boards are now allowed to grant such a request.

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