Local Law 84 Energy-Use Benchmarking Data Due May 1, 2011

Land Use

Pursuant to Local Law 84 of New York City’s Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (“GGBP”), on May 1, 2011, owners of “covered buildings” must provide the City with energy-use benchmarking data. The GGBP was enacted in 2009, as part of the City’s effort to tackle carbon emissions and address sustainability, by, among other things, requiring certain existing buildings to conduct energy-use benchmarking, energy audits, and retro-commissioning. Local Law 84 benchmarking is the first component of the GGBP to impact the built environment in New York City. Local Law 87, another component of the GGBP, requires the completion of energy audits and retro-commissioning beginning in 2013, and will be the subject of future blogs. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Daniel Braff

APPELLATE DIVISION REAFFIRMS FUNDAMENTAL RULE THAT A PETITIONER CANNOT RAISE NEW CLAIMS IN A CPLR ARTICLE 78 PROCEEDING THAT WERE NOT INITIALLY RAISED AT THE ADMINISTRATIVE LEVEL

Land Use

The Appellate Division, Second Department, has reaffirmed the fundamental rule that a Petitioner in an Article 78 proceeding cannot raise new claims to the Court that were not originally raised at the administrative level.  In the Matter of Brian Kearney v. Village of Cold Spring Zoning Board of Appeals, 2011 N.Y. Slip. Op. 02881. Article 78 proceedings are available to review administrative decision making.  In the context of a decision of a board of zoning appeals to grant or deny a variance, the standard of review is whether the decision of the Board was arbitrary and capricious.  In this regard, the function of the Court is to review the administrative record and determine whether there was a rational basis for the zoning board’s decision.  As the Courts have stated many times, the decision will only be set aside when the record reveals that the board acted illegally or arbitrarily, or abused its discretion.
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Posted by Michael Sahn

THE PROPOSED AT&T AND T-MOBILE USA MERGER WILL AFFECT MUNICIPALITIES, NOT JUST CONSUMERS

Land Use

The proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA has many implications for wireless customers.  The merger conceptually creates the largest United States wireless carrier.  If the two companies were combined now, according to industry analysts, there would be more than 129,000,000 subscribers.  By comparison, reports indicate that Verizon has approximately 102.2 million subscribers.  AT&T and T-Mobile subscribers have asked many questions about the merger such as the availability of the I-Phone, changes in billing cycles, the impact on fees, the availability or changes to data plans and the roll over of unused minutes.  Many experts are expressing opinions and studying whether consumers will benefit or lose if the merger proceeds.
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Posted by Michael Sahn

Federal Court Dismisses Diocese’s claims against Village of Old Westbury

Land Use

In the most recent legal decision in a dispute that has been ongoing between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre and the Village of Old Westbury for over 15 years, concerning the development of property located within the Village for use as a cemetery, the Court dismissed the majority of the Diocese’s causes of action against the Village and its consultants.  Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York v. Incorporated Village of Old Westbury, 2011 WL 666252 (E.D.N.Y.).  More specifically, the Court dismissed the Diocese’s claims against the Village’s consultants pursuant to Sections 1983, 1985 and 1986 and RLUIPA for lack of subject matter jurisdiction; and with respect to the Village defendants, the Court found that several causes of action that the Diocese asserted were beyond the applicable statute of limitations, and that those causes of action related to the SEQRA process were not yet ripe for judicial review.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by John Christopher