Proposed New York State Law Would Allow Developers to Avoid Established Planning Processes

Trail Conference Conservation & Advocacy Committee


There is proposed legislation in NYS that gives developers the ability to circumvent the land use process in order to avoid appropriate changes to zoning regulations.  The bill is titled the Vested Rights Act.  It allows development applications to move forward irrespective of new zoning regulations that might be adopted by a municipality within nine months of an application.   

Thus, even though a community could adopt zoning or environmental laws that implement the goals of its already established comprehensive plan, a developer could submit an incomplete or poorly  drafted plan that may be counter to the community’s vision, and thereby secure rights under the old zoning and environmental laws to move forward with the development for another six years.   To get an exemption a developer need not even submit the full formal application normally required.

If you do not support this change in current law, please let your elected state officials know as soon as possible.

More information on the Vested Rights Act, together with an automated system to contact your elected representative, are available through the following link to Scenic Hudson’s website: