Thirty Day Statute Of Limitations Under Town Law § 267-C(1) Begins Running Upon The Filing Of The Minutes Of The Hearing At Which The Determination Was Made, Not Upon The Later Filing Of A Formal Written Decision

Land Use

The Appellate Division, Second Department re-affirmed the well established standard that the statute of limitations for a zoning board’s determination under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) must be commenced within  thirty days of the filing of such decision in the office of the town clerk pursuant to Town Law § 267-c[1].  Matter of 92 MM Motel, Inc. v Zoning Bd. of Appeals of Town of Newburgh, 2011 NY Slip Op 08945 (December 6, 2011).  However, of particular interest in this case was that the Court held that the thirty day statutory period began to run upon the date of the filing of the minutes of the public hearing at which the board rendered a verbal decision, not at the later date upon which the formal written decision of the board was filed in the office of the town clerk.  This distinction is of great importance, as in many instances a zoning boards will grant or deny an application at a public hearing and then follow up on their verbal decision with a formal written decision that contains findings of fact in support of the decision. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by John Christopher

New York Appellate Court Finds that a Town of Hempstead Zoning Code Provision Adopted to Regulate the Location of Check Cashing Establishments is Preempted by State Law and Invalid

Land Use, Municipal Law

Recently, in Sunrise Check Cashing & Payroll Servs., Inc. v Town of Hempstead, 2011 NY Slip Op 08745 (Decided Nov. 29, 2011), the Appellate Division, Second Department, issued an opinion on whether a section of the Town of Hempstead Zoning Code enacted to regulate the location of Check Cashing establishments was preempted by New York State Banking Law and, therefore, invalid and unenforceable.  The Town of Hempstead Code provision at issue was Section 302(K) of Article XXXI of the Building Zone Ordinance.  Section 302(K) prohibited check-cashing establishments within the Town in any zoning districts other than industrial and light manufacturing districts.  Further, Section 302(K) provided a five year amortization period, requiring that any check cashing establishments located outside the permitted districts must close or relocate to a permitted location within such time.  The Court held, that based on the doctrine of conflict preemption, the Town Ordinance at issue was preempted by New York State Banking Law, and therefore, invalid.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by John Christopher

Court Annuls Planning Board’s Denial Of Special Use Permit, Finding The Board’s Determination Was Not Based On Substantial Evidence, When The Board Disregarded Its Own Expert Study And Negative Declaration Under SEQRA

Land Use

In Kinderhook Development, LLC v. City of Gloversville Planning Board, case no. 511289 (3d Dept. October 27, 2011), the Appellate Division, Third Department, affirmed the Schenectady County Supreme Court’s granting of the Article 78 Petition of Kinderhook Development, LLC (“Petitioner”) to reverse and annul the decision of City of Gloversville Planning Board (the “Board”), which denied the Petitioner’s application for a special use permit for a proposed multifamily housing project.  The Court found that the Board could not base its denial on the issue of storm water runoff, when the Board’s own expert study found that storm water runoff would not create a negative impact on the surrounding area, and the Board issued a negative declaration under SEQRA on that issue.

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Posted by John Christopher

New York City Bar releases discussion paper entitled, “Further Utilizing the Zoning Resolution to Create a More Sustainable New York City, Better Prepared to Adapt to Climate Change”

Land Use

Last month the Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee of the New  York City Bar released a discussion paper entitled, “Further Utilizing the Zoning Resolution to Create a More Sustainable New York City, Better Prepared to Adapt to Climate Change.”  This discussion paper was “designed to advance the dialogue of how the Zoning Resolution can be amended to shape a more sustainable New York City, better prepared to adapt to climate change.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Daniel Braff

Even Substantial Area Variances Are Warranted Under The Statutory Balancing Test When There Is No Detriment To The Surrounding Community

Land Use

More often than not, the Judiciary in New York has taken a “hands off” approach in proceedings commenced under CPLR Article 78 to challenge a zoning board’s determination.  In many cases, this has been the court’s position even when it appears that the zoning board’s determination is incorrect.  Recently, however, the Appellate Division, Second Department, overturned a zoning board’s denial of six area variances required for a property owner to maintain its two-family home, finding that the board’s determination was irrational based on the record before it.  See Matter of Cacsire v. City of White Plains Zoning Bd. of Appeals, 2011 NY Slip Op 06838 (2d Dept. 2011).  Could this be a step by the Judiciary towards providing greater protections to New York property owners?

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Posted by John Christopher

ST. VINCENT’S HOSPITAL CAMPUS REDEVELOPMENT MOVES INTO ULURP

Land Use

Last month, the ULURP application for the redevelopment of the old St. Vincent’s Hospital campus was filed with the New York City Planning Commission.  The Rudin family has proposed to redevelop the old campus, situated along Seventh Avenue between 11th Street and 13th Street, with a large mixed-use development.  This project is one of the largest in Manhattan, and would be transformative for the Greenwich Village area; an area that has been principally dominated by community facility development and expansion by New York University.  The project requires a number of zoning map and text amendments, as well as various special permits from the City Planning Commission.  The ULURP filing is a significant step forward. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Daniel Braff

NYC Department of City Planning Unveils “ZoLa” – a Web-Based Land Use Application

Land Use, Municipal Law

 

On August 25, 2011, the New York City Department of Planning unveiled “ZoLa,” a web based application intended to provide property owners with information regarding NYC Zoning and Land Use regulations.  See Katherine Clarke’s article: City Planning launches all-in-one app to access zoning and land use information, at http://therealdeal.com/newyork/articles/city-planning-and-department-of-information-technology-launch-all-in-one-app-to-access-zoning-land-use-information.

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Posted by John Christopher

HURRICANE IRENE’S LAND USE LESSONS

Land Use

Hurricane Irene provided very important lessons for land use law and development.  In no particular priority, here are several to consider:

  1.  Strict building codes requiring buildings to be designed and constructed to take into account natural events, such as hurricanes, or earthquakes, are vitally important.  These codes work.  They may, in some instances, add cost or expense to a construction project, but the protection of the public that these codes provide far outweighs the costs to a particular building project.  Although “Green” building codes or “Sustainability” laws are at the forefront of many development discussions right now, building codes that address natural weather events must always be a major land use law focus. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Michael Sahn

AFTER THE COLISEUM VOTE, IT’S TIME TO FOCUS ON NEW OPPORTUNITIES AND IDEAS

Land Use

The Coliseum vote is history.  We should consider the vote as an opportunity to generate and focus on new ideas for the redevelopment of the Coliseum site, and the surrounding area.  The public and the private sector should embrace the chance to rethink the future of the very center of Nassau County. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Michael Sahn

NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Considers Two New Historic Districts for the East Village

Land Use

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (“LPC”) is considering two new historic districts for Manhattan’s East Village.  The first, which is smaller, is the East 10th Street Historic District, located on the north side of East 10th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B.    This portion of East 10th Street is situated along the north side of Tompkins Square Park.  According to the LPC’s website, “The entire 19th- and 20th-century history of the East Village is reflected in the buildings of the proposed East 10th Street Historic District, from its early development as a fashionable residential community comprised of elegant dwellings to its subsequent transformation into an immigrant neighborhood filled with purpose-built tenements and converted row houses.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Daniel Braff