New York Municipalities Blog

Insights on Issues Facing NYS Municipalities and Agencies

Latest Posts

Municipalities Wrestle with the Challenges of Non-Hotel Rentals

A recent article published in the New York Daily News reports that up to 20 percent of vacant apartments in trendy parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn are operating as hotel rooms listed on the Airbnb web site. How a homeowner, or multifamily building owner, makes some money “to pay the bills” or fu...
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August 17, 2015
Lesson Learned in Arizona Sign Code Case – Municipal Ordinances Should be Content Neutral

On June 18, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a unanimous 9-0 decision, invalidated a Gilbert, Arizona municipal ordinance (Sign Code) that restricted the size, number, duration and location of certain types of signs, including temporary directional ones.  The case decided a challenge brought to the...
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August 03, 2015
Summary of 2015 Reform Legislation for Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs)

The New York State Legislature recently passed legislation (A.7915/S.5867) reforming the General Municipal Law (GML), in an attempt to increase accountability and improve the efficiencies and transparency of the operations of Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) by mandating the adoption of standa...
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July 27, 2015
Novel Financing Structure Could Benefit NYS Municipalities

On June 17, 2015, the Tuxedo Farms Local Development Corporation (the Issuer) issued its Revenue Bonds (Tuxedo Farms Project), Series 2015 (the Bonds) to finance a project consisting of the construction of a waste water treatment plant, which will be owned by the Issuer, in the town of Tuxedo, New Y...
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July 22, 2015
New Timeframes Set for Teacher and Principal Evaluations

The Education Transformation Act of 2015 includes Section 3012-d of the Education Law which provides for a new Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) system for teachers and principals based on just two categories, student growth measures and teacher observations. Each component has mandatory...
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July 22, 2015
The “Big Ugly” 2015: Understanding the Impact on Education Stakeholders

The end of the legislative session in Albany brought with it an element of anticipation for education stakeholders as the New York State Legislature passed a 72-page omnibus bill, nicknamed the “Big Ugly.” As the name suggests, the bill is anything but pretty. It is packed with revisions and add...
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July 20, 2015
What Makes a Park?

The public trust doctrine, since 1892 has been held to apply to both park and other publicly held lands as well (Illinois Central R. Co. v. State of Illinois) and in 2000 famously stopped the development of a water filtration plant in Van Cortlandt Park in New York City (Friends of Van Cortlandt Par...
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July 02, 2015
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Schedules Sea-Level Rise Public Meetings

In a previous blog – “New York’s Climate Change Act Will Impact Localities’ and Private Development Projects” – we discussed the newly enacted Community Risk and Resiliency Act (CRRA), which requires the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to adopt a regulation ...
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June 19, 2015
New York State Brownfield Programs Strengthen Communities

Globalization has deindustrialized many areas of the state, leaving behind a legacy of environmental contamination, brownfield sites and blight that are thwarting community revitalization. Clusters of contaminated sites are often concentrated in low-income neighborhoods, communities of color and on ...
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June 16, 2015
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Announces Proposed Rulemaking to Brownfield Cleanup Program

In a previous article, – “Brownfield Cleanup Program Should Continue to Thrive Despite Recent Amendments” – we provided an overview of significant statutory changes to the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP), which was due to expire at the end of the year. These changes, adopted in April in Par...
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June 11, 2015