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NYS A9870

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The law relates to the acquistion of lands previously comprising Pilgrim State Hospital by the Oak Brush Plain State Preserve, located on Long Island. The bill passed both house and senate unanimously, but was vetoed by Governor Paterson

BILL NUMBER:A9870A

TITLE OF BILL:Edit

An act to amend chapter 635 of the laws of 1987,establishing the Oak Brush Plain State Preserve, located on Long Island, in relation to the acquisition of lands previously comprising Pilgrim State Hospital

PURPOSE:Edit

This bill requires the state of New York to transfer certain lands to the Oak Brush Plains State Preserve by December 1, 2008.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:Edit

Section 1 of the bill amends sections 7 and 8 of Chapter 635 of the Laws of 1987 by requiring the commissioner of general services, or any other successor in title, to transfer certain lands now or formerly within the Pilgrim State Hospital site on Long Island into the Oak Brush Plains State Preserve by, and to further require the transfer of the same lands into the State Nature and Historical Preserve by December 1, 2008.

Section 2 establishes the effective date.

EXISTING LAW:Edit

Chapter 635 of the Laws of 1987 established the Oak Brush Plains State Preserve on Long Island. Section 7 of Chapter 635 required the office of general services to transfer to the Oak Brush Plains State Preserve the lands comprising the Pilgrim State Hospital that were not necessary for hospital use and where native foliage could reasonably be reestablished.

JUSTIFICATION:Edit

Chapter 635 of the Laws of 1987 established the Oak Brush Plains State Preserve on Long Island in the Towns of Babylon and Huntington. The Preserve represented the last vestiges of a transitional forest between the historical grassy plains of central Nassau County and the pine lands of central and eastern Long Island. Its creation was recommended in 1984 by the Citizens Task Force on the Pilgrim Edgewood State Properties. The Task Force also recommended that certain lands contained within the Pilgrim State Hospital grounds be transferred into the Preserve. Due to this recommendation, section 7 of Chapter 635 required the Commissioner of OGS to arrange for the transfer to the Preserve "such lands now comprising Pilgrim State Hospital now or hereafter not necessary for use by Pilgrim State Hospital..."

More than twenty years have elapsed since Chapter 635 of the Laws of 1987 was enacted and the Pilgrim State Hospital land has not been annexed to the Preserve. In recent years, however, the Pilgrim State Hospital land had been considered as a possible site for the New York State Department of Transportation to construct a large commercial multi-modal project known as the Long Island Truck & Rail Inter Modal (LITRIM) Facility. The Region 10 Staff of the New York State Department of Transportation dedicated a tremendous amount of time and energy into the planning of the LITRIM project with the goal of reducing long haul truck traffic on the roads of Long Island. While the sponsors recognize and support the need for the development of alternative methods of freight movement on and off Long Island in order to reduce the burden of long haul trucking on the highways of Long Island, the Pilgrim State Hospital location, due to recent substantial commercial development in the surrounding areas, is unsuitable for a multi-modal facility. Today, the area immediately surrounding the land is so vastly different than it was just a few years ago when the LITRIM project was first proposed. The recent approval of three major construction projects by town officials has so overburdened this area with traffic congestion that the State should not support yet another project that would further exacerbate the traffic congestion problem in this area. Consequently, this area should not undergo further development and the subject land should be transferred to the Edgewood Preserve as originally called for in 1987, thus ensuring more green space and mitigating future traffic congestion.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:Edit

Chapter 635 of the Laws of 1987 established the Oak Brush Plains Preserve on Long Island in the Towns of Babylon and Huntington.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:Edit

Minimal transactional costs.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:Edit

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:Edit

This act shall take effect immediately.

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