Last year, the New York County Supreme Court heard an Article 78 challenge by Preserve Our Brooklyn Neighborhoods (“POBN”), a civic organization dedicated to maintaining the unique character and historical significance of the Fort Greene area of Brooklyn, New York.  This lawsuit, which I discussed in a previous post, turned on whether a resolution passed by the New
Continue Reading First Department Affirms Dismissal of Constitutional Challenge to Zoning Resolution

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
Continue Reading Is It Time? The Importance of Updating Town and Village Comprehensive Plans

View of Hudson River from Upper Nyack, New YorkPetitioner, Claude Simon (“Petitioner”), owns approximately 2.25 acres of property in the Village of Upper Nyack (the “Village”), which he sought to subdivide into two separate lots.  The first lot would contain the existing dwelling and other existing improvements.  The vacant second lot would be improved with a single-family dwelling.  However, the Village advised Petitioner that he would need to
Continue Reading Second Department Affirms Article 78 Reversal of Village Zoning Board Determination

In a recent decision, Matter of Red Wing Properties, Inc. v. Town of Rhinebeck, et al., the Second Department held that a landowner’s intent to continue using its property for mining operations established a valid pre-existing nonconforming use.

Red Wing Properties, Inc. (“Petitioner”) owns roughly 241 acres of property located with the Town of Rhinebeck (the “Town”).  For several
Continue Reading Landowner’s Intent to Mine Property Sufficient to Establish Nonconforming Use

In the land use and zoning arena, discussion of article 78 proceedings is commonplace. They are, after all, the primary mechanism for challenging decisions on the full litany of land use applications (i.e. subdivisions, site plans, variances, special permits, etc.). An aggrieved party seeking to overturn a board’s decision is given a window of time in which to seek judicial
Continue Reading A Decision without Recourse? The Unique Hurdle When Pursuing Zone Changes and Zoning Amendments

A recent Second Department decision, Matter of Village of Kiryas Joel v County of Orange, et al., addresses the intriguing justiciability doctrine of ripeness, as applied to judicial review of municipal administrative action.

In 2007, Orange County (the “County”) acquired property known as Camp LaGuardia from the New York City Economic Development Corporation.  Originally, the County’s plan was to
Continue Reading Second Department Reverses Dismissal of Article 78 Proceeding on Ripeness Grounds

When landowners oppose a project that involves the rezoning of a neighboring property, they almost always have the opportunity to air their grievances through a public hearing process. If the rezoning is approved over their objections, landowners can sometimes seek judicial review of the board’s decision through an Article 78 proceeding.[i] However, there is another tool available to landowners
Continue Reading Third Department Decides Novel Question of Law Relating to Zone Change Protest Petitions Under Town Law § 265

The City of New Rochelle adopted an ordinance in 2017, amending the zoning code to apply a senior citizen overlay district to certain real property comprised of approximately 3.4 acres at 121 Mill Road in New Rochelle.  The City adopted a negative declaration pursuant to the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act for the amendment. The zoning code amendment
Continue Reading Second Department Affirms Dismissal of Article 78 Proceeding for Lack of Standing

In Matter of Magid Setauket Assoc., LLC v The Town of Brookhaven Bd. of Zoning Appeals, the petitioners were the owner and the operator (“Petitioners”) of a Shell gas station located in the Old Setauket Historic District (the “Historic District”) Transition Zone, in the Town of Brookhaven (the “Town”).  Petitioners applied for an area variance to permit them to
Continue Reading Court Upholds Zoning Board’s Denial of Gas Station’s Area Variance Application

In Town of Brookhaven v Golemi, 2019 NY Slip Op 51477(U) [Sup Ct, Suffolk County 2019], the Town of Brookhaven (“Brookhaven”) successfully sought and obtained injunctive relief to remove a structure that violated Brookhaven’s Town Code (“Code”). This case reminds landowners to be responsive to local governments in their enforcement of zoning ordinance. It is also a simple
Continue Reading Town Takes Trailer: Enforcing Zoning Ordinance against Unresponsive Violators