§ 57-0105. Legislative findings and intent.
The legislature hereby finds that eastern Long Island contains a maritime
region of statewide importance known as the Pine Barrens-Peconic Bay system.
The legislature finds that within the Pine Barrens-Peconic Bay system
the federal, state, county and local governments own and manage significant
properties in the form of parks, preserves, historic sites and protected
open space, where there is an interdependent and reciprocal relationship
between human activities and natural processes, and where fishing, agriculture
and tourism have been the dominant industries for more than three hundred
The legislature also finds that within the Pine Barrens-Peconic Bay
system natural processes have created unique landforms such as Robin's
Island, Shelter Island, Gardiners' Island, Fisher's Island, Long Island's
North and South Forks, and numerous wetlands, bluffs and beaches.
The legislature finds that the Long Island Pine Barrens, an area encompassing
over one hundred thousand acres in the county of Suffolk, is of critical
importance to the state because it overlies the largest source of pure
groundwater in New York. The Pine Barrens are interconnected to the Peconic
Bay system by the Peconic River, the longest groundwater river in New York,
and the ecologic and hydrologic integrity of this system should be protected
in a comprehensive plan adopted by the state and individual local governments.
The legislature also finds that the Pine Barrens-Peconic Bay system
contains one of the greatest concentrations and diversities of endangered,
threatened and special concern species of plants and animals to be found
in the state, and that protection of their habitats is in the best interest
of the people of New York.
The legislature further finds that the Pine Barrens-Peconic Bay system
contains many other unique natural, agricultural, historical, cultural
and recreational resources that are mutually supportive and ultimately
dependent upon maintenance of the hydrologic and ecologic integrity of
Therefore, the legislature finds that the purpose of this article is
to allow the state and local governments to protect, preserve and properly
manage the unique natural resources of the Pine Barrens-Peconic Bay system
and to encourage coordination of existing programs and studies affecting
land and water resources in the region and to protect the value of the
existing public and private investment that has already been made to acquire
land in the region.
The legislature further finds that a portion of the system known as
the Central Pine Barrens area requires the preparation and implementation
of a state supported regional comprehensive land use plan that will provide
for the preservation of the core preservation area, protection of the Central
Pine Barrens area and for the designation of compatible growth areas to
accommodate appropriate patterns of development and regional growth with
recognition of the rights of private land owners and the purpose of preservation
of the core area.
The legislature recognizes that the provisions of this article may
restrict the beneficial use of some lands currently in private ownership.
These restrictions are deemed to be necessary and desirable to protect
and preserve the hydrologic and ecologic integrity of the Central Pine
Barrens area as well as the public's health and welfare for future generations.
The legislature intends that a comprehensive regional land use plan be
implemented whereby private landowners whose property is located within
the Central Pine Barrens area are afforded an opportunity to receive benefits
from the plan such as transferable development rights, conservation easements,
rights and values transfers, purchase of development rights and/or fee
acquisition with monetary compensation.