The Town Board of the Town of Southampton adopted the Hampton Bays Downtown Overlay District (“Overlay District”) Form Based Code by Town Board resolution 2020-288 on February 25, 2020 with the support of a Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (“SGEIS”) Findings Statement.  The intent of the Overlay District was, in part, to “prepare Hampton Bays for redevelopment.  The Town is
Continue Reading Hampton Bays Downtown Overlay District Form Based Code Annulled for Failing to Comply with SEQRA

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 controversy in Matter of McGraw v Town Board of Town of Villenova (4th Dept Docket No CA 19-01362, Aug. 20, 2020) arose from the environmental review conducted on a proposed wind farm in upstate New York. The developer of the project sought a local code amendment and special permit from the Respondent Town Board for 29 wind turbines up
Continue Reading A Win for Wind Power: Court Affirms Decision to Forgo Supplemental SEQRA Review of 600-Foot Wind Turbines

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

How and when to challenge multiple municipal actions regarding a single project often perplexes Article 78 litigants. Varying statutes of limitations may apply to actions taken at various stages for one project, and the judicial concepts of finality and ripeness affect the viability of a challenge. For example, a litigant must challenge a lead agency’s determination pursuant to the State
Continue Reading How and When to Challenge SEQRA Determinations: Addressing Ripeness and Finality in Article 78 Cases

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

In SEQRA litigation, there is an oft-quoted proposition that the Lead Agency may not abdicate or defer its responsibilities under SEQRA to another agency. See Riverkeeper, Inc. v. Planning Bd. of Town of Se., 9 N.Y.3d 219, 234 (2007). To satisfy SEQRA’s requirements, the Lead Agency must conduct an independent study of the relevant areas of environmental concern and
Continue Reading When it Comes to SEQRA, Reasonable Agencies Are Allowed to Disagree

Several prior blog posts discussed standing requirements under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and the timeliness of challenging a SEQRA determination. A decision from the Appellate Division, Third Department, Schulz v Town Board of the Town of Queensbury, issued on October 24, 2019, involved both of these elements and was a one-two punch that knocked out
Continue Reading SEQRA Challenge Rejected by Appellate Court Because of Lack of Standing and Untimeliness of the Challenge

The Appellate Division recently issued a decision that explained why a massage therapist and the American Massage Therapy Association, (AMTA), a professional organization of massage therapists, lacked standing to challenge a local law enacted by the Town of Greenburgh.  At issue in Matter of American Massage Therapy Association v Town of Greenburgh  was  a  local law that  required massage
Continue Reading Lack of Standing Prevents a Challenge to a Local Law that Requires Massage Therapists to be Licensed by the Municipality

The Ludovico Sculpture Trail (Trail) is located near the Women’s Rights National Historic Park in Seneca Falls, NY.  Its website can be found at  cnyhiking.com/LudovicoTrail.htm.  The Trail recently became a centerpiece of a land use dispute with the Town of Seneca Falls (Town).

In Matter of Frank J. Ludovico Sculpture Trail Corp. v Town of Seneca Falls, the Fourth
Continue Reading Town’s Decision To Acquire An Easement To Install A Sewer Line Along The Ludovico Sculpture Trail Is Annulled