What's New

Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

March 18, 1999 

Council: 'Smart growth' bill evokes both concerns, opportunities

A "smart growth" bill introduced in the Legislature presents both concerns and opportunities for business growth, The Council has told the bill's sponsors.

The bill, which is sponsored by Senator Mary Lou Rath (R-Williamsville) and Assemblyman Sam Hoyt (D-Buffalo), would authorize the Governor to implement statewide "smart growth" policies designed to:

The bill would also create a commission to advise the Governor on smart-growth policies.

Policies that mitigate urban sprawl at the expense of economic growth would be cheered only in other states "which, until recently, have eaten our economic lunch by providing better competitive opportunities," Walsh wrote.

He added that:

Top-down land-use planning would turn New York's rich home-rule history upside down, Walsh wrote. The framework in this bill could make such state planning possible, he added, noting that advocates at a recent smart-growth conference urged New York to adopt statewide land-use planning requirements modeled on the Adirondack Park Agency.

"Nothing would bring economic development in New York to a screeching halt faster than implementing a similar land-use regulatory regime on a statewide basis," Walsh warned.