The Deerpark Town Board unanimously passed a resolution opposing the proposed New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's wetlands map, which adds about 20,000 additional acres of wetlands in Orange County on Agust 16. The DEC is proposing an expansion of wetlands from 28,815 to 44,815 acres.
"We all feel that this proposal will ultimately restrict landowners rights, diminish property value, and cause a further burden to the taxpayers in these hard economic times," said Supervisor Karl A. Brabenec.
The resolution cites many reasons for opposition to the proposal such as the DEC not having practical means for affected property owners to appeal the DEC map amendments, a loss in property value, a shift of tax liability at a time when officials are trying to keep taxes stable and the fact that there already is a great amount of wetland acreage in the county. Board members are hoping to generate support among other communities to fight the proposal and to have officials from the state DEC reconsider their position.
"This proposal as the equivalent to a government confiscation of private property without due compensation," said Councilman David M. Dean. "We hope that the DEC will not move forward with this proposal for the benefit of the taxpayers."
The Deerpark Town Clerk has been directed to send copies of the resolution to the New York State Association of Towns, Governor Cuomo, DEC officials and all state and local leaders in the area. It is also available online at www.townofdeerpark.org .