SEQRA, the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act, creates a process whereby public actions are reviewed with the intent to mitigate adverse environmental impacts. The SEQRA process has several flexible time constraints, which through negotiation, may be extended. Issues often arise due to the discrepancies between SEQRA’s imposed time limits and the time limits imposed on land use boards to make determinations about proposed projects. The question of which time limits apply was determined in Sun Beach Real Estate Corp. v. Anderson Beach. In that case, the court held that decisions, such as site plan approval deadlines, do not apply until the proper portion of the SEQRA process is completed. The rational for this decision was founded on idea that the protection and use of the environment for future generations outweighed the rights of developers to attain swift responses to their project proposals.
John R. Nolon, Impact Statements: Regulations Leave Room for Delays in SEQRA Proceedings, N.Y. L.J., Dec. 16, 1998, at 5, http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/722/.