20-g. Intermunicipal cooperation in comprehensive planning and land use regulation. 1. Legislative intent. This section is intended to illustrate the statutory authority that any municipal corporation has under article five-G of the general municipal law and place within land use law express statutory authority for cities, towns and villages to enter into agreements to undertake comprehensive planning and land use regulation with each other or one for the other, and to provide that any city, town or village may contract with a county to carry out all or a portion of the ministerial functions related to the land use of such city, town or village as may be agreed upon. By the enactment of this section the legislature seeks to promote intergovernmental cooperation that could result in increased coordination and effectiveness of comprehensive planning and land use regulation, more efficient use of infrastructure and municipal revenues, as well as the enhanced protection of community resources, especially where such resources span municipal boundaries.
2. Authorization and effects. (a) In addition to any other general or special powers vested in a city to prepare a comprehensive plan and enact and administer land use regulations, by local law or ordinance, rule or regulation, each city is hereby authorized to enter into, amend, cancel and terminate agreements with any other municipality or municipalities to undertake all or a portion of such powers, functions and duties.
(b) Any one or more municipalities located in a county which has established a county planning board, commission or other agency, hereinafter referred to as a county planning agency, are hereby authorized to enter into, amend, cancel and terminate agreements with such county in order to authorize the county planning agency to perform and carry out certain ministerial functions on behalf of such municipality or municipalities related to land use planning and zoning. Such functions may include, but are not limited to, acting in an advisory capacity, assisting in the preparation of comprehensive plans and land use regulations to be adopted and enforced by such municipality or municipalities and participating in the formation and functions of individual or joint administrative boards and bodies formed by one or more municipalities.
(c) Such agreements shall apply only to the performance or exercise of any function or power which each of the municipal corporations has the authority by any general or special law to prescribe, perform, or exercise separately.
3. Definitions. As used herein:
(a) "Municipality", means a city, town or village.
(b) "Community resource", means a specific public facility, infrastructure system, or geographic area of special economic development, environmental, scenic, cultural, historic, recreational, parkland, open space, natural resource, or other unique significance, located wholly or partially within the boundaries of one or more given municipalities.
(c) "Intermunicipal overlay district", means a special land use district which encompasses all or a portion of one or more municipalities for the purpose of protecting, enhancing or developing one or more community resources as provided herein.
4. Intermunicipal agreements. In addition to any other powers granted to municipalities to contract with each other to undertake joint, cooperative agreements any municipality may:
(a) create a consolidated planning board which may replace individual planning boards, if any, which consolidated planning board shall have the powers and duties as shall be determined by such agreement;
(b) create a consolidated zoning board of appeals which may replace individual zoning boards of appeals, if any, which consolidated zoning board of appeals shall have the powers and duties as shall be determined by such agreement;
(c) create a comprehensive plan and/or land use regulations which may be adopted independently by each participating municipality;
(d) provide for a land use administration and enforcement program which may replace individual land use administration and enforcement programs, if any, the terms and conditions of which shall be set forth in such agreement; and
(e) create an intermunicipal overlay district for the purpose of protecting, enhancing or developing community resources that encompass two or more municipalities.
5. Special considerations. (a) Making joint agreements. Any agreement made pursuant to the provisions of this section may contain provisions as the parties deem to be appropriate, and including provisions relative to the items designated in paragraphs a through m inclusive as set forth in subdivision two of section one hundred nineteen-o of the general municipal law.
(b) Establishing the duration of agreement. Any agreement developed pursuant to the provisions of this section may contain procedures for periodic review of the terms and conditions of the agreement, including those relating to the duration, extension or termination.
(c) Amending local laws or ordinances. Local laws or ordinances shall be amended, as appropriate, to reflect the provisions contained in intermunicipal agreements established pursuant to the provisions of this section.
6. Appeal of action by aggrieved party or parties. Any officer, department, board or bureau of any municipality with the approval of the legislative body, or any person or persons jointly or severally aggrieved by any act or decision of a planning board, zoning board of appeals or agency created pursuant to the provisions of this section may bring a proceeding by article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules in a court of record on the ground that such decision is illegal, in whole or in part. Such proceeding must be commenced within thirty days after the filing of the decision in the office of the city clerk. Commencement of the proceeding shall stay proceedings upon the decision from which the appeal is taken. All issues in any proceeding under this section shall have a preference over all other civil actions and proceedings.
7. Any agreements made between two or more municipalities pursuant to article five-G of the general municipal law or any other law which provides for the undertaking of any land use regulation or activity on a joint, cooperative or contract basis, if valid when so made, shall not be invalidated by the provisions of this section.
8. The provisions of this section shall be in addition to existing authority and shall not be deemed or construed as a limitation, diminution or derogation of any statutory authority authorizing municipal cooperation.
Last modified: February 3, 2019