“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” -Benjamin Franklin.  This pithy logic from Benjamin Franklin to prevent fires in colonial Philadelphia should serve as a reminder to municipal boards of the strict compliance required by New York’s General Municipal Law (GML) §239-m mandated by the courts.  In New York, the failure to refer certain actions to the
Continue Reading New York’s General Municipal Law §239-m “An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth A Pound of Cure”

Plaintiffs own property in the Village of Freeport on Randall Bay and granted a drainage easement to the Village in 1961. The easement, dated September 6, 1961, allowed the Village to “construct and maintain one underground storm water drain and one tide gate accessory thereto for drainage purposes.” The Village constructed a drain pipe which was encased in a wooden
Continue Reading Appellate Division finds Village Responsible for Maintenance of Bulkhead Related to Drainage Easement

This month, in Gershow Recycling of Riverhead v Town of Riverhead, 2021 NY Slip Op 02156 [2d Dept 2021], the Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed the motion court’s decision granting an Article 78 petition to annul the denial of a site plan amendment application. The motion court and the appeals court held the denial exceeded the scope of
Continue Reading Second Department Affirms Limits on Site Plan Determinations

In Matter of Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Ctr., Inc. v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of the Inc. Vil. of Brookville, the Second Department reviewed a local zoning board’s denial of an applicant’s request to expand and improve the facilities on its property.  The applicant/petitioner, Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center, Inc. (“Petitioner”), is a “nonprofit nonsectarian Jewish organization” that uses
Continue Reading Second Department Affirms Denial of Religious Organization’s Application for Conditional Use Permit

The tide seems to have turned against the Town and the Trustees of the Freeholders and Commonalty of the Town of East Hampton (Trustees) in a recent decision by the Second Department.  In Seaview at Amagansett v, Trustees, the Appellate Division reversed much of a trial court’s 2016 decision and seemed to erode the Trustees’ ability to issue beach
Continue Reading Truck Beach – Drawing Lines In The Sands of East Hampton

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

In Matter of Bernstein v Putnam Val. Zoning Bd. of Appeals, property owners sought to construct a hot tub on their residential property, located in a protected area known as a wetland buffer.  The Wetlands Inspector for the Town of Putnam Valley (the “Town”) granted the owners a permit waiver, and shortly thereafter, the Town’s Zoning Board of Appeals
Continue Reading Second Department Upholds Town’s Determination Allowing Property Owners to Build Hot Tub in Wetland Buffer

Last May, in Commissioner of the State of New York Department of Transportation, et al. v Polite, Index No. 610010/2019, the Suffolk County Supreme Court denied the State’s application for a preliminary injunction to enjoin the completion, maintenance and operation of two sixty-foot tall electronic billboard-monuments (“Project”) on opposite sides of State Route 27 a.k.a. Sunrise Highway. The
Continue Reading Shinnecock Nation’s Second Sign Sees Renewed State Resistance

With prospects of featuring its history and architecture on screen, the Village of Amityville (“Amityville“) has been considering adopting a local law to regulate filming and photography for movies, television and commercials. The purpose of the proposed law is to minimize the adverse impact of these activities for village businesses and residents, while simultaneously creating a framework for
Continue Reading Amityville Prepares For Production: Avoiding the Horror with Proposed Filming Law

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