Mineola, NY – In another step to make Nassau County more business friendly and increase opportunities for economic development, County Executive Laura Curran launched the Blue-Ribbon Panel to Streamline Development Approvals, including a group of technical advisers and key stakeholders that will provide recommendations on improving the Department of Public Works’ (DPW) “239-F” permitting application and approval process. The “239-F” process affects any construction project that fronts a Nassau County road.
“When I took office, the County was months behind in the backlog for “239F” requests for building permits and curb cuts,” said Curran. “This complex and antiquated process has created immense challenges and delayed construction projects for everyone from mom and pop business owners, to large corporations, to single family homeowners in Nassau County. We need less red tape and more ribbon cuttings – I will continue to break down the barriers to doing business in our County.”
The County Executive was joined at a press conference today by Panel members including:
- Co-Chair Kenneth Arnold, Commissioner of DPW
- Co-Chair Kyle Strober, Executive Director, The Association for a Better Long Island
- Legislator Ellen Birnbaum
- Legislator Laura Schaefer
- Richard Bivone, Chairman, Long Island Business Council
- Mitch Pally, CEO, Long Island Builders Institute
- John Skinner, Nassau County Commissioner of Labor
- Kathleen Deegan Dixon, Partner, Forchelli Deegan Terrana
- Kevin Gershowitz, VP, Gershow Recycling
- Denise Carter, EVP, Greenman-Pedersen, Inc.
The Panel will perform an examination of the Departments’ procedures, available resources, use of technology, fee structure and other considerations. The Panel will explore opportunities to modernize and digitize the processes, as much of the paperwork is completed manually, slowing approvals.
With the current protocol in place, the County sites that on average it takes between 12-24 months for a construction project to be approved. DPW attributes the lag to antiquated and limited technology, low staffing levels and outside engineers not meeting the County’s requirements.
Currently, Section 239-F of New York State General Municipal Law requires municipalities to refer building permit applications to the Commissioner of Public Works for review. The Commissioner has established requirements to meet the technical aspects of the approval which includes review and approval by four units including: traffic and safety, civil site, waste water, and storm water. Often the Towns and Villages have different criteria.
The Commissioner is required to respond in writing with approval, disapproval or approval with conditions to the referring agency. The referring agency may accept or vary the Commissioner’s report prior to making a final determination on the particular application.