Typically, zoning variances “run with the land”, and absent a specific time limitation, they continue until properly revoked. See, St. Onge v. Donovan, 71 NY2d 507, . As a result, variances cannot be made to apply only to the current owner. But under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), reasonable accommodations can be made that are essentially personal variancesContinue Reading Zoning – Reasonable Accommodations Under the Fair Housing Act
Single and Separate Exemptions For Substandard Lots
Zoning codes are constantly evolving in response to perceived or real threats of overdevelopment. Generally, a municipality may in the reasonable exercise of its police power, amend its zoning code to be more restrictive in the bulk area requirements required for development of a parcel. Known as a “merger provision” when a landowner purchases an adjacent substandard parcel of land,…
Continue Reading Single and Separate Exemptions For Substandard Lots
How Small is Too Small of a Lot? Limits on Area Variances for Subdivisions
When requesting deviation from setback minimums or minimum lot size requirements, a developer must request an area variance. Even if the lots are zoned residential and the developer only wants to build a single-family residence, there is no guarantee that a Zoning Board of Appeals will allow deviations and grant an area variance, as in Matter of Stelling v. Gaudioso…
Continue Reading How Small is Too Small of a Lot? Limits on Area Variances for Subdivisions
What’s So Special About Special Use Permits?
The “Special Use Permit” is a zoning term and process used by a municipality to encourage, but still regulate, land use in a zoning district by making it subject to a special review and criteria detailed in the zoning ordinance. See, Town Law Section 274-b, Village Law Section 7-725-b and City Law Section 27-b.
The “Special Use Permit” also…
Continue Reading What’s So Special About Special Use Permits?
Second Department Annuls Local Planning Board’s Grant of Special Use Permit and Site Plan Approval
In Matter of Marcus v. Planning Board of the Village of Wesley Hills, et al., the respondent, Rockland Tree Expert, Inc., d/b/a Ira Wickes, Arborist (“Wickes”), sought a special use permit and site plan approval to conduct arborist and landscaping services and to operate a nursery on its property located within the Village of Wesley Hills (the “Village”), in…
Continue Reading Second Department Annuls Local Planning Board’s Grant of Special Use Permit and Site Plan Approval
Single and Separate and the Doctrine of Merger
Generally, many property owners assume that where a lot is held in single and separate ownership they are entitled to an area variance “as of right.” That is not entirely true. An exception to the single and separate doctrine is the doctrine of merger. Undersized lots that share a common boundary and are owned by the same person or entity…
Continue Reading Single and Separate and the Doctrine of Merger
Fourth Department Frenzy: Reversionary Zoning, Sewer Agreements, Site Plan Review, and Constitutional Rights
In Riedman Acquisitions, LLC v Town Bd. of Town of Mendon, 194 AD3d 1444, 2021 NY Slip Op 02952 [4th Dept 2021], the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, addressed several significant issues concerning land development projects: (i) reversionary zoning, (ii) mandatory and discretionary site plan review, (iii) sewer agreements, and (iv) due process and equal protection rights. Ultimately, the…
Continue Reading Fourth Department Frenzy: Reversionary Zoning, Sewer Agreements, Site Plan Review, and Constitutional Rights
Second Department Affirms Denial of Religious Organization’s Application for Conditional Use Permit
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
Apartments Over Stores Are No More – In Oyster Bay
Surprise! During the summer of Covid-19, the Town Board of Oyster Bay passed Local Law 4 of 2020, amending Chapter 246, the Town’s zoning code, to eliminate apartments over stores or offices as a permitted principal use in the Nonresidence District designated as Neighborhood Business (“NB”), Central Business (“CB”), and General Business (“GB”).
This town-wide code amendment prohibiting apartments…
Continue Reading Apartments Over Stores Are No More – In Oyster Bay