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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

The Academy for New York State's Local Officials

Protecting the Public’s Interest: A Tutorial on Local Government Ethics and Transparency in New York State

Module 2 - Codes of Ethics and Other Local Actions

Land Use Disclosure

Article 18 imposes a disclosure requirement in connection with every application, petition, or request for a variance, amendment, change of zoning, approval of a plat, exemption from a plat or official map, license or permit submitted pursuant to any ordinance, local law, rule, or regulation constituting the zoning and planning regulations of a municipality. Every such application, petition, or request must state, to the extent known by the applicant, the name, residence, and nature and extent of any interest in the applicant held by any State officer, or any officer or employee of the municipality, or any officer or employee of a municipality of which such municipality is a part.

For purposes of this disclosure requirement, a municipal officer or employee is deemed to have an interest in an applicant when he or she, or his or her spouse, parent, sibling, child, grandchild, or the spouse of any of these relatives:

  • Is the applicant
  • Is an officer, director, partner, or employee of the applicant
  • Is a member of a partnership or association applicant, or owns or controls stock of a corporate applicant (however, ownership of less than 5 percent of the stock of a corporation listed on the New York or American Stock Exchanges does not constitute an interest)
  • Is party to an agreement with the applicant where he or she may receive a payment or other benefit dependent or contingent on the application’s favorable approval.

A person who knowingly and intentionally violates this provision of Article 18 is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Module 1 discussed disclosure of interests in contracts. Land use disclosure differs in two ways:

  • The circumstances under which a municipal officer or employee is deemed to have an interest in an applicant are broader than the circumstances under which a municipal officer or employee is deemed to have an interest in a contract. For example, a municipal officer or employee is deemed to have an interest in an applicant when the applicant is a parent, sibling, or grandchild, but is not deemed to have an interest in the contracts of a parent, sibling, or grandchild
  • The disclosure must be made on the application by the applicant, rather than by the municipal officer or employee.

Let’s listen to what Mark has to say about land use disclosure.

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Text for Video: Additonal Disclosure

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