Residents of the Village of East Williston have prevailed (for now) over the East Williston Union Free School District’s plan to install a six-foot tall perimeter fence at the North Side School in the Village of East Williston, Nassau County. On October 4, 2019, Judge Sharon M.J. Gianelli handed down a Decision and Order (‘Decision”)

Legal pre-existing nonconforming uses (aka grandfathered uses) have a tenuous existence in New York.  Although protected by vested property rights in the Constitution, many local zoning ordinances seek to eliminate these vestigial uses with regulations that hinge on continual use.  The allowance of nonconforming uses by the courts has been grudgingly tolerated, with the ultimate

A recent Fourth Department decision upheld a determination by the Town of Westmoreland Zoning Board of Appeals (the “Westmoreland ZBA” or the “Board”) finding that a dog training business is not a “customary home occupation” within the meaning of the local zoning code.

Matter of McFadden v Town of Westmoreland Zoning Bd. presents a strikingly

In Schmidt v. City of Buffalo Planning Bd., 174 A.D.3d 1413 (4th Dept., July 31, 2019), the petitioner, Terrence Robinson, filed suit to prevent the demolition of an architecturally significant apartment complex, claiming that the City Planning Board failed to comply with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) when it adopted a negative

By decision dated December 17, 2015, the Town of Southampton Zoning Board of Appeals granted relief from Town Code §330-82 to allow a zero foot road frontage (where 40 feet is required) for two landlocked parcels located at 86 and 138 Old Sag Harbor Road in North Sea to allow for the construction of

Historic Brownstone Houses in Residential Neighborhood of Fort Greene in Brooklyn

A recent Supreme Court decision, In the Matter of Preserve Our Brooklyn Neighborhoods v. City of New York, demonstrates the difficulty a litigant faces when challenging a zoning determination on constitutional grounds.  The petitioners are “an incorporated association of community members” from the Fort Greene area of Brooklyn (the “Petitioners”), who oppose proposed development

A recent decision from the Supreme Court of Warren County, John Carr v. Village of Lake George Village Board, demonstrates how a simple omission on a site plan approval application can upend an approved project, even though the municipality wants the project and enacted a local law to smooth the pathway for its approval.

While the Town of Halfmoon (“Town”) in Saratoga County, New York,  may be far from any given reader, the issues in Micklas v. Town of Halfmoon Planning Board, 170 A.D.3d 1483 (3d Dep’t 2019), are close to the heart: whether a golf course may brew beer on-site for its patrons, and

Fairway Manor, a senior rental housing complex for ages 55 and older, located on the border of Blue Point and Bayport, was created in 1991 when the Town Board of the Town of Islip approved a change of zone application on a 70 acre parcel (with 45.6 acres located in the Town of Islip and