Is a Permit Required by a Governmental Unit Indulging In Public Enterprise ?

In Matter of City of Ithaca v. Tompkins County Board of Representatives, 164 A.D.2d 726, 565 N.Y.S.2d 309, the County had assumed responsibility for solid waste disposal within its geographic boundary which includes the City of Ithaca. The City demanded its recognition as an "involved agency" under SEQRA since, arguably, a City permit would be required if the County facility was connected with the City's sewer system. The case was decided upon other grounds but the opinion ends with the observation that: "In any event, it may well be that the county is exempt from any such permit requirements", citing Monroe County. This concluding remark, though semble, can only be explained as a recognition of the possible precedence which should be accorded to the governmental unit which plays the paramount role in some public enterprise which does not admit of fragmentation. Thereafter, in 1995, the Third Department ( Matter of Town of Queensbury v. City of Glens Falls, 217 A.D.2d 789, 629 N.Y.S.2d 120) gave more explicit recognition to the use of the Monroe County balancing of interests doctrine in relation to zoning disputes between municipalities. In Matter of County of Monroe, 72 N.Y.2d 338, 533 N.Y.S.2d 702, 530 N.E.2d 202, the airport expansion could only occur if linked to the existing facility.