For most people, the idea of “Green Energy” likely evokes images of solar panels and wind turbines. However, the movement toward renewable energy, and a more reliable and efficient power grid, involves many other forms of technology that may yet be unfamiliar to the average person. But as the push to expand Green Energy production grows, so too will theContinue Reading To BESS, or Not to BESS? The Emergence of Battery Storage Systems on Long Island
Philip A. Butler
Is a Freeze in the Forecast for Riverhead’s Industrial Development?
Long Island has seen a tremendous influx of investment in new industrial projects over the last two years, particularly in the self-storage, warehousing and distribution sectors. These projects promise to bring much needed, state-of-the-art facilities to Long Island’s towns, which industry leaders describe as a long-underserved market. Of equal importance to Long Island’s future is the tax revenue and jobs…Continue Reading Is a Freeze in the Forecast for Riverhead’s Industrial Development?
Bow-wouch: A Word on Special Protections against Municipal Tort Liability
When performing governmental functions, municipal agencies are immune from tort liability for negligence unless it is shown that there was a “special relationship” between the plaintiff and the agency at the time the claim accrued. The special relationship doctrine can arise in any number of situations involving a municipal actor, especially claims for personal injury. Interestingly, the doctrine was recently…
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Boon or Bane? New York’s Environmental Rights Amendment
Last week’s election had news outlets across the State and nation talking about Long Island’s rare “red wave”. While many are now debating what the apparent sea change means for Long Islanders, at least for the next few years, equal attention should also be paid to another important and far-reaching election result of a different color: New York’s “Green Amendment”.
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New Standards for Nitrogen-Reducing Septic Systems in Suffolk County Starting July 1st
A recent and alarming statistic shared by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services indicates that more than 80% of nitrogen found in Long Island’s surface waters is attributable to sewage. As if the idea of sewage constituents making their way into our lakes and bays isn’t concerning enough, the environmental impacts of nitrogen on water quality are as varied…
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Third Department Reaffirms That Private Ownership with Public Purpose Okay Under the Public Trust Doctrine
The Public Trust Doctrine holds that when a municipality acquires land for an expressly public purpose, it cannot later sell or otherwise alienate the use of that land for private use without the State Legislature’s approval (see e.g. 10 E. Realty, LLC v Inc. Vill. of Valley Stream, 17 AD3d 474, 476 [2d Dept 2005]). The Doctrine…
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Appellate Division Rejects Neighbor Attempt to Add Variances to Scope of Property Owner’s ZBA Application.
Absent local legislation to the contrary, town and village zoning boards act solely as appellate bodies authorized to hear and decide appeals taken from decisions by local zoning enforcement officials (ZEOs) (see Town Law § 267-A [McKinney’s]; Village Law § 7-712-A [McKinney’s]). The most common example of such appeals occurs when an applicant property-owner or developer applies to their local…
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Snow Way They’re Paying for That: Limitations on Government Liability for Snow Plow Accidents
With all the recent snow Long Island has seen, and with more in the forecast, snow plows, sanders, and other emergency response vehicles have been a common sight. The time is right, therefore, for a quick word on the heightened burden plaintiffs face when suing a local government for auto accidents involving one of these vehicles while engaged in emergency…
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“Know thy enemy”: The Importance of Identifying Proper Defendants in Land Use Litigation
When commencing an action or proceeding challenging a land use approval, it is critical that the plaintiff/petitioner identify all parties having an interest in both the approval itself and the real property to which it pertains, and to consider which of those parties should be named. As in other areas of litigation, the potential penalty for failure to name a…
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Is It Time? The Importance of Updating Town and Village Comprehensive Plans
The Covid-19 health crisis has sent widely-discussed shockwaves through the real estate industry that could have long-reaching impacts on the future of land use on Long Island. For starters, the pandemic shutdown hit the brick-and-mortar retail industry like a bomb. In addition to devastating small businesses everywhere, the pandemic forced under several long-struggling (and some not-so-struggling) retail giants. The pandemic…
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