Policies 24 and 25
19 NYCRR Part 602
POLICY 24: PREVENT IMPAIRMENT OF SCENIC RESOURCES OF STATEWIDE SIGNIFICANCE
Explanation of Policy:
The Coastal Management Program will identify on the coastal area map scenic resources of statewide significance. A list of preliminary identified resources appears in the Appendix (to the NYS Coastal Management Program). The following general criteria will be combined to determine significance:
Quality. The basic elements of design (i.e., two-dimensional line, three-dimensional form, texture and color) combine to create all high quality landscapes. The water, landforms, and man-made components of scenic coastal landscapes exhibit variety of line, form, texture and color. This variety is not, however, so great as to be chaotic. Scenic coastal landscapes also exhibit unity of components. This unity is not, however, so complete as to be monotonous. Example: the Thousand Islands where the mix of water, land, vegetative and man-made components creates interesting variety, while the organization of these same components creates satisfying unity.
Often, high quality landscapes contain striking contrasts between lines, forms, textures and colors. Example: A waterfall where horizontal and vertical lines and smooth and turbulent textures meet in dramatic juxtaposition.
Finally, high quality landscapes are generally free of discordant features, such structures or other elements which are inappropriate in terms of siting, form, scale, and/or materials.
Uniqueness. The uniqueness of high quality landscapes is determined by the frequency of occurrence of similar resources in a region of the State or beyond.
Public Accessibility. A scenic resource of significance must be visually and, where appropriate, physically accessible to the public.
Public Recognition. Widespread recognition of a scenic resource is not a characteristic intrinsic to the resource. It does, however, demonstrate people's appreciation of the resource for its visual, as well as evocative, qualities. Public recognition serves to reinforce analytic conclusions about the significance of a resource.
When considering a proposed action, agencies shall first determine whether the action could affect a scenic resource of statewide significance. This determination would involve: 1.) a review of the coastal area map to ascertain if it shows an identified scenic resources which could be affected by the proposed action, and 2.) a review of the types of activities proposed to determine if they would be likely to impair the scenic beauty of an identified resource. Impairment will include: (i) the irreversible modification of geologic forms; the destruction or removal of vegetation; the modification, destruction, or removal of structures, whenever the geologic forms, vegetation or structures are significant to the scenic quality of an identified resource; and (ii) the addition of structures which because of siting or scale will reduce identified views or which because of scale, form, or materials will diminish the scenic quality of an identified resource.
The following siting and facility-related guidelines are to be used to achieve this policy, recognizing that each development situation is unique and that the guidelines will have to be applied accordingly. Guidelines include:
-- siting structures and other development such as highways, power lines and signs, back from shoreline or in other inconspicuous locations to maintain the attractive quality of the shoreline and to retain views to and from the shore;
-- clustering or orienting structures to retain views, save open space and provide visual organization to a development;
-- incorporating sound, existing structures (especially historic buildings) into the overall development scheme;
-- removing deteriorated and/or degrading elements;
-- maintaining or restoring the original land form, except when changes screen unattractive elements and/or add appropriate interest;
-- maintaining or adding vegetation to provide interest, blend structures into the site, and obscure unattractive elements, except when selective clearing removes unsightly, diseased or hazardous vegetation and when selective clearing creates views of coastal waters;
-- using appropriate materials, in addition to vegetation, to screen unattractive elements; and
-- using appropriate scales, forms and materials to ensure that buildings and other structures are compatible with and add interest to the landscape.
POLICY 25 PROTECT, RESTORE OR ENHANCE NATURAL AND MAN-MADE RESOURCES WHICH ARE NOT IDENTIFIED AS BEING OF STATEWIDE SIGNIFICANCE, BUT WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO THE OVERALL SCENIC QUALITY OF THE COASTAL AREA.
Explanation of Policy
When considering a proposed action which would not affect a scenic resource of Statewide significance, agencies shall ensure that the action will be undertaken so as to protect, restore or enhance the overall scenic quality of the coastal area. Activities which could impair or further degrade scenic quality are the same as those cited under the previous policy, i.e., modification of natural landforms, removal of vegetation, etc. However, the effects of these activities would not be considered as serious for the general coastal area as for significant scenic areas.
The siting and design guidelines listed in Policy 24 should be considered for proposed actions in the general coastal area. More emphasis may need to be placed on removal of existing elements, especially those which degrade, and on addition of new elements or other changes which enhance. Removal of vegetation at key points to improve visual access to coastal waters is one such change which might be expected to enhance scenic quality.