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Proposal to Move Blooming Grove Ambulance Headed on A Fast Track for Improvement in Safety

Blooming Grove residents are eager to see the next presentation of plans for a proposed new Ambulance Department Building. It will be at a new,, and they believe a much safer location when emergencies happen and lives depend on how quickly fire and ambulance vehicles can get out, onto the road, and to the location. The ambulance department staff will also be at less risk since they currently have to exit North Street in the Village of Washingtonville, which is just a block away from the busiest intersection in the area.

Half a block from existing Emergency Ambulance Building, this is the first of 2 corners it must negotiate and it is often a bottleneck at commuting and bus times.

Davve Higgins of Lanc & Tully and Mike Weeks of MHE made the preliminary presentation and analysis of the new building's structure and architectural design. With its proximity to the adjacent Highway Department Buildings there was some discussion about making sure their access would not interfere with Highway Department activities which also frequently have to go on emergency calls. There is, however, plenty of space to adequately serve both departments on the property,, and a good line of sight for exiting when a call comes in. The new facility is over 6,000 sq. ft.

More details will be included in their next presentation, along with clarification of the process. The project is on Town property. As such the relation between Town Board and Planning Board input is a little different. The Town Board in this instance will be the Lead Agency and it will then go to the Planning Board for its review. (THE FINAL DECISION WILL GO BACK TO THE TOWN BOARD ONCE THE PLANNING BOARD IS SATISFIED THAT THE BUILDING STANDARDS AND LAYOUT IS ACCEPTABLE. The process will follow a standard called "The Monroe Balancing Test" (See below)

A second presentation is expected soon, perhaps at the 2nd June meeting which is a Work Session. All parties are eager for this to be on a fast track since significantly improved safety is an issue.

New York State Zoning Codes include the following "Monroe Balancing Test of Immunity From Code is bas" which is based on the preponderance of a project being "For the benefit of public good" when the project site is owned by a municipality. It's criteria are as follows:

Governments often undertake development activities within their own or other communities. Local governments may find their community to be the site of a development action by another nearby municipality or another level of government, such as the county or the state. For example, a county may construct a new building in a town, village or city. When this happens, questions are often asked about how zoning regulations affect these development activities. This paper is a guide for local government officials faced with these questions. Certain acts of government may be exempt or “immune” from zoning. Government acts could also be exempt or “immune” from other forms of local regulation. Before 1988, New York courts recognized that certain entities were entitled to absolute immunity from zoning regulations, including the federal government; state government; state urban development corporations; and public schools.i These entities were not required to comply with local land use regulations. Other governmental entities, such as towns, villages, cities, counties and fire districts, are accorded only a limited immunity, and may be subject to zoning and other local land use regulations. In the 1988 case of Matter of County of Monroe v. City of Rochester, 72 N.Y.2d 338, 533 N.Y.S.2d 702, the New York Court of Appeals (highest State court) established a new method for determining whether the actions of governmental units are “exempt” from local zoning regulations using the “balancing of public interests” analytic approach. Unless a statute exempts it, an encroaching governmental unit is presumed to be subject to the zoning regulations of a host community when the encroacher seeks to develop within the geographic boundaries of the host. Working from that premise, the following nine factors are considered to determine whether or not it is in the public interest to continue to subject the encroaching government to the land use regulations of the host community: 1. The nature and scope of the instrumentality seeking immunity; 2. The encroaching government’s legislative grant of authority; 3. The kind of function or land use involved; 4. The effect local land use regulation would have upon the enterprise concerned; 5. Alternative locations for the facility in less restrictive zoning areas; 6. The impact upon legitimate local interests; 7. Alternative methods of providing the proposed improvement; 8. The extent of the public interest to be served by the improvements; and 9. Intergovernmental participation in the project development process and an opportunity to be heard. Legal Memorandum LU14 Updated: January 2020 Page 2 of 5 After that 1988 case, the “balancing of public interests” analytic approach has been the method to be used to resolve various inter-governmental zoning disputes. See, for example, the case of Cty. of Herkimer v. Vill. of Herkimer, 109 A.D.3d 1166, 1167 (4th Dept., 2013), which identified the approach to resolve whether the site of the proposed Herkimer County Correctional Facility would be subject to certain new Village of Herkimer Zoning provisions. In addition, when an encroaching government seeks to undertake activities, other than zoning, within the geographic boundaries of a host government, the “balancing of the public interests” analytical approach and its nine factors have been used to determine whether or not it is in the public’s interest to subject the encroacher government to the host government’s legislation.ii The discussion below addresses some practical application of the “balancing of the public interests” analytical approach and its nine factors.

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