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On September 2, 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation (S.50001/A.40001), which includes a number of statutory protections and other emergency public health measures adopted in response to the recent increase in the transmission rates of the COVID-19 Delta variant.  One of the measures effectively suspends provisions of the Open Meetings Law and allows local government meetings that are
Continue Reading New Law Authorizes Virtual Option for Public Meetings

The Suffolk County legislature is currently considering a bill (I.R. 1478-2021) that would provide towns and villages with a greater opportunity to weigh in on certain zoning applications proposed in adjacent municipalities as part of the formal County review process pursuant to General Municipal Law § 239-m and Article XIV of the Suffolk County Administrative Code.  The proposed legislation
Continue Reading Legislation Seeks to Amend County Planning Review Process to Provide Towns and Villages with Greater Say over Zoning Actions in Adjacent Communities  

In 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) issued an Order governing the installation of small cell nodes and other telecommunications facilities in an effort to speed up the deployment of the newest generation of wireless technology known as 5G.  A small cell node typically consists of a single small antenna and related accessory equipment placed on existing utility poles or
Continue Reading Town of Huntington is the Latest Long Island Community to Regulate Small Cells in the Public Right-of-Way

After several stalled attempts, New York State became the 16th state to legalize recreational cannabis (marijuana) use.  This occurred on March 31, 2021, when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the “Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act” (S.854-A/A.1248-A) that was passed by the legislature the night before.  The stated intent of the law is to regulate, control, and tax cannabis in
Continue Reading New York’s Cannabis Law Legalizes Adult Recreational Use but Permits Local Governments to Ban Retail Sales and On-Site Consumption

In an effort to stimulate the revitalization of abandoned, vacant or underutilized commercial shopping centers, bowling alleys and health club properties, the Brookhaven Town Board recently voted to adopt a new zoning classification, known as the Commercial Redevelopment District (“CRD”).  In the past year, there were a number of retail and commercial recreational businesses in the Town that were
Continue Reading Brookhaven Adopts Innovative Zoning Regulations to Foster Redevelopment of Vacant and Underutilized Commercial Properties

This blog post provides an update to a post that was published on November 30, 2020, regarding a dispute over the Town of Oyster Bay’s recently adopted rules governing conduct at public meetings.  The new procedures, which created rules of decorum and prohibited inappropriate and disruptive behavior during public meetings, were challenged by Kevin McKenna, a town resident and self-described
Continue Reading Settlement of Lawsuit Causes Town of Oyster Bay to Revise its Rules of Decorum for Public Meetings

In response to a resolution passed by the Oyster Bay Town Board on October 6, 2020, that purports to create rules of decorum at Town Board meetings and seeks to prohibit inappropriate behavior during board meetings, a Town resident commenced an action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York challenging the resolution’s constitutionality. The
Continue Reading Federal Court Reviewing Town of Oyster Bay’s Rules of Decorum for Public Meetings

As the popularity of short-term rentals continues to grow and many local governments are adopting restrictions to keep their use in check, the authors of the Long Island Land Use and Zoning blog are closely monitoring how these restrictions are faring in the courts.  As you will see from the recent case entitled Churchill v. Town of Hamburg, 2020
Continue Reading Short-Term Rental or “Tourist Home” Deemed a Permitted Use despite Need for Special Use Permit from Planning Board

As a “home rule” state, New York’s zoning and other land use decisions are typically made at the village, town, or city level.  However, Section 239-m of the General Municipal Law (GML) requires a referral to, and a subsequent recommendation by, the local county planning commission for certain local land use actions that might affect the interests of other jurisdictions.
Continue Reading State and County Laws Require Oversight of Certain Local Land Use Decisions

The Town of Smithtown is considering the adoption of a local law that would allow residential uses as part of mixed-use developments in the Hauppauge Industrial Park.[1]  The proposal follows on the heels of an April 2019 report commissioned by the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency (“SCIDA”) which called for the park to position itself to become a regional
Continue Reading Smithtown Seeks to Reinvent the Hauppauge Industrial Park by Allowing Residential Development