Under New York State law, zoning boards and planning boards are authorized to impose reasonable and appropriate conditions and restrictions on the grant of a variance or special permit, provided that they are directly related to, and incidental to, the proposed use of the property. Such conditions shall be consistent with the spirit and intent of the zoning ordinance and shall be imposed for the purpose of minimizing any adverse impact such variance or special permit may have on the neighborhood community. As a further limitation on the imposition of conditions, said conditions must also be authorized by the zoning ordinance.
In Matter of Ronald Citrin v. Board of Zoning and Appeals of Town of North Hempstead, 2016 NY Slip Op 06827 (2d Dept., October 19, 2016), the Town of North Hempstead Zoning Board of Appeals granted Petitioners’ application, brought pursuant to Town Code § 70-225(E), for a special permit. The special permit sought to continue the use of a parking lot that was located adjacent to its restaurant and extended into the residentially-zoned portion of the Petitioner’s split-zoned lot. The Zoning Board granted the Petitioner’s application to continue the use of the parking lot in the residence district, but imposed a five-year durational limit on the grant.
The Petitioners commenced a CPLR Article 78 proceeding, seeking to annul the five-year durational limit. After the Supreme Court denied the petition and dismissed the proceeding, the Appellate Division, Second Department, reversed and annulled the portion of the Zoning Board determination that imposed the five-year duration limit. The appellate court found that the Zoning Board did not have the authority to impose a duration limit on the special permit because Town Code § 70-225(E) does not explicitly provide the Board with the authority to impose durational limits upon permits granted pursuant to that section. Accordingly, it was improper for the Board to include a five-year durational limit on a special permit granted pursuant to that provision.