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Second Lease Site Application

Leaseholders that wish to maintain their current lease site and expand their operation by obtaining a second lease on a separate 10-acre site may do so at the discretion of the Department of Economic Development and Planning (Department). Applications for second lease sites shall be subject to either the unallocated acreage from the Annual Acreage Cap Limit or available acreage from the Legacy Cap limit. Prior to the start of the Annual Lease Application Cycle, the Department will announce how much acreage from the Legacy Cap, if any, may be available for second leases. Applications for second lease sites shall be considered during the Annual Lease Application Cycle, which generally begins in January of each New Year. As leaseholders are limited to two leases at any one time, leaseholders may only submit one application for a second lease during an application cycle. Leaseholders applying for a second lease shall be subject to the lease applicant eligibility criteria outlined in Section 3.1 of the Revised Administrative Guidance document (RAG). Additionally, leaseholders applying for a second lease site must demonstrate that they meet the Substantial Shellfish Aquaculture Activities as defined by Section 4.6 of the RAG on their existing lease and must make a compelling case for why a second lease is needed.

Pre-Application Meeting: Once an application period is established by the Department, leaseholders interested in submitting an application for a second lease must schedule and attend a pre-application meeting with Department staff prior to submitting an application. Applications will not be accepted without having attended a pre-application meeting. Information pertaining to the implementation of a Lease Application Cycle and the respective application period will be posted on the home page of the Lease Program website.

Application Fee: A non-refundable application fee of $150 must be submitted along with a completed Second Lease Site Application.

Submission and Review of Application: Subsequent to the conduct of the pre-application meeting, leaseholders must submit their completed Second Lease Site Application via mail to the Department during the established application period. The Department will review all applications received, and make a determination on applicant eligibility. Pursuant to the RAG, all applicants are required to submit a Shellfish Cultivation Plan and Aquaculture Business Plan. The leaseholder should demonstrate the need for a second lease in their Shellfish Business Plan and describe how they plan to incorporate a second lease into their existing shellfish farming operation. See Appendix C and D in the RAG for examples and additional information. The applicant shall be notified by receipt when the application was received and if it has been accepted by the Department. Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant who may then resubmit their application with the missing information, provided there is adequate time remaining in the application period. Any applications received which are postmarked, after the final day of the established application period will not be accepted and shall be returned to the applicant.

Public Comment Period: Public Notice shall be provided for at least two months by posting such notice in the Office of the Department; the Office of the Suffolk County Clerk; the Office of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), Division of Marine Resources; the Clerk’s Office of the five East End towns; and the Office of the East Hampton, Southampton and Southold Town Trustees. Such notice shall also be published in the official newspaper(s) of the County; a local newspaper where the lease site is located; posted on the Lease Program website; and emailed to all who have signed up for notifications regarding ALP. The notice shall include the name of the leaseholder; the lease site identification number; the name of the town where the lease site is located; the lease site coordinates; proposed operation type (Commercial, Experimental/Educational, or Resource Restoration); and the proposed cultivation method (On-Bottom, Off-Bottom, On/Off-Bottom). The public will be able to submit written comments to the Department on the lease site during this two-month period. Once the comment period has concluded, the Department will send to the leaseholder any comments and/or objections received during the Public Comment Period.

Aquaculture Lease Board Meeting(s): The Department will issue a Meeting Notice, which announces the date, time and location of the Aquaculture Lease Board (ALB) Meeting, and will be posted on the Lease Program website. ALB meetings are open to the public and lease applicants. During the ALB meeting, staff will present to the ALB members the lease sites that were applied for during the application period, and any comments and/or objections to a specific lease site submitted during the Public Comment Period. Lease applicants and/or members of the public will also be given the opportunity to make any additional oral comments on the proposed lease sites at that time. Once all comments are presented and/or heard, Department staff will present their recommendations to the ALB. The ALB, by majority vote, will make determinations based on a regional and environmental perspective on which potential lease sites will be approved; conditionally approved; or disapproved for leasing.

Notification: Subsequent to the ALB meeting, the Department will notify the applicant of ALB’s approval or disapproval of their proposed lease sites. Lease applicants shall be required to verify their desire to proceed with the lease execution and confirm their approved lease site selection. As required by law, all lease sites must be surveyed by a licensed land surveyor. Upon confirmation of the applicant’s selected/approved lease site, the Department will provide the applicant with the lease site boundary survey specifications and coordinates. Lease applicants are responsible for the procurement and cost of the lease site boundary survey and boundary survey maps; the applicant shall have a period of six (6) months from the date of this notification to submit the required lease site boundary survey maps to the Department. All surveys must meet the requirements outlined in the RAG Appendix A. As the lease site boundary survey map is a required attachment to the Shellfish Aquaculture Lease Agreement, a lease cannot be executed until the survey maps are received. Failure to submit the boundary survey maps within the specified six (6) month period may result in the termination of the application and the discontinuance of the lease execution process. During this six (6) month period, lease applicants should also start the process to submit permit applications to the applicable Federal and State regulatory agencies; and submit copies or PDF’s to the Department.

Preparation of Lease: Once the Department receives the final copies of the lease site boundary survey maps, Department staff will prepare a draft Shellfish Aquaculture Lease Agreement (Lease), which will be sent to the lease applicant for their review. Please be advised this is not an amendment to the leaseholder’s initial lease and will be a separate Lease Agreement subject to all terms and conditions in effect at the time of execution. Upon receipt of the draft Lease, the lease applicant will have forty-five (45) days to sign the Lease and associated documents. Lease applicants must contact the Department to schedule a date to come to the Division of Planning and Environment office to sign the documents. The lease applicant shall be required to submit the first annual lease rental fee payment to the Department upon signature of the Lease. Once the Lease is fully executed by the Department, an original shall be recorded in the office of the Suffolk County Clerk. Leaseholders will receive an original Lease and copies of all recorded documents for their records.

Shellfish Permits and Marking Lease Boundaries/Equipment: Leaseholders must obtain all permits and licenses required by the NYSDEC, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Coast Guard and any other applicable regulatory agency prior to the conduct of any shellfish cultivation activities on their lease site. Leaseholders shall have six (6) months from the date of Departmental notification regarding the ALB’s decision to apply for all applicable Federal and State regulatory permits. Hard copies or pdf’s of all permit applications must be submitted to the Department to document the completion of this requirement. Lease site boundaries must be identified and marked according to requirements specified in Appendix B of the RAG. Once permits are issued, leaseholders must submit copies of the issued permits and/or approvals to the Department and may deploy lease site boundary markers and shellfish aquaculture gear. Leaseholders must also contact the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to initiate chart/coastal pilot corrections prior to deployment of shellfish aquaculture gear on the site. It is strongly recommended that upon notification and selection of an approved lease site, applicants pursue their permits and the conduct of the lease site boundary survey concurrently. If the required regulatory permit applications have not been submitted within the established timeframe this shall be cause for termination of the Lease by the Department.

Leaseholder Annual Report: Per the Shellfish Aquaculture Lease Agreement, in order to maintain a lease, leaseholders must complete and submit a Leaseholder Annual Report form to the Department, 30 days before their lease anniversary date (start of term), along with their payment of the annual lease rental fee and the SC Form 22, each year that they retain their lease with the County. Please be advised that a separate Annual Report must be submitted for each of their respective lease sites, along with the Annual Rental fee payment and required documents. The Leaseholder will also be required to submit this report 30 days before the termination or expiration of a lease, and prior to the approval of a lease renewal, assignment and sublease.

Suffolk County Government

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Hauppauge, NY 11788

Riverhead County Center

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Riverhead, NY 11901