Referral Procedures

On Friday, April 21, 2017 the Washington County Board of Supervisors created the Washington County Planning Agency. This new body is now responsible for the review of certain local planning and zoning actions pursuant to General Municipal Law Section §239 (GML §239-M). The result of these changes is that local Planning and Zoning referrals, as required under GML §239, previously handled by the Washington County Planning Board are handled by the Washington County Planning Agency.  

As of August 2021 the Planning Agency has changed its procedure for the receipt of GML§239-m referrals to the Washington County Planning Agency. The Planning Agency was established in 2017 primarily to maximize convenience and minimize expense to both applicants and the referring municipality. One advantage of the Planning Agency is its flexibility to respond to referrals as they are submitted. This ability to meet on an as needed basis continues when local municipal time constraints require immediate Agency review.

While the flexible option is still in place, the Planning Agency has determined it more efficient to hold regularly scheduled meetings, which will typically be the last Tuesday of the month
As such, local Planning and Zoning referrals, as required under GML§239-m, are to be submitted no later than six (6) business days prior to the regularly scheduled Planning Agency meeting.

Applicants are not permitted to submit referrals directly to the Agency; therefore referrals must be submitted by the referring body.     

  1. Referral submission forms must be completed and accompanied by a “full statement of such proposed action” as required by §239-M. 
  2. Local Planning and Zoning Boards will submit one (1) paper copy of all submitted materials as well as a digital copy of all materials.

Applicants are no longer requested to attend referral review meetings, though meetings are open to attend. If the Planning Agency has questions on a referral, they will first reach out to the referring municipality. The Planning Agency will only contact the applicant if absolutely necessary.

Document Checklist

The following items are to be completed and are provided as a checklist to ensure the proper documents are complied by the referring body ensuring a “full statement of such proposed action”

  • GML §239-M Referral Form
  • Environmental Assessment Forms (EAF) and all other materials used by the referring body to make a determination of significance pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA)
  • Arial photograph(s) showing the context of the site location
  • Maps & Plans: Provide three (3) copies of  maps and plans that exceed letter or legal size. 
  • Copy of the full text of ordinance or local law being proposed (if applicable) 
  • Electronic copy of the full statement: An electronic copy my be submitted by CD or email 
  • Copy of the application submitted to the referring body
      *Provide details of any requirements of the municipalities codes or regulations that were waived 

All materials for referral must be delivered by hand, email or by postal mail to the Washington County Planning Department office by 4 p.m. 11 days prior and no less than 6 days prior to the meeting date on which it wishes to be reviewed.

Physical and Mailing Address:
Washington County Planning                                                                                                                                                        
383 Broadway
Fort Edward, NY 12828

Any questions regarding procedure for GML §239 referrals and the Washington County Planning Agency please contact the Washington County Planning Office at (518)746-2290