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New post on LAW OF THE LAND

New post on LAW OF THE LAND


NY Appellate Court Upholds Denial of Site Plan Application Where Board Made Sufficient Conclusions

by Patty Salkin

Valentine sought site plan approval from the planning board to develop a project known as “Terrace Place.”  The planning board ultimately denied the application following a hearing on the basis that that it was unsafe and contrary to the public welfare.  Specifically, the board was concerned with the driveway grade combined with a 90-degree turn and deep cut bordered by a proposed retaining wall, difficulty that emergency vehicles would have in negotiating the turn, the erection of large retaining walls, the fact that the walls could not be built without encroaching on neighboring property and that the walls could require excavation on neighboring properties, failure to make provisions for snow removal, and deleterious changes that adversely affect adjoining areas. Despite these concl usions, the trial court annulled the planning board’s determination on the grounds that it was arbitrary and capricious, and it ordered the board to approve the site plan. Blum appealed.

The appellate court noted that pursuant to Town Law 274-a(4), the Town Board vested the planning board with the authority to impose reasonable conditions and restrictions directly related to and incidental to a proposed site plan.  When conducting such review, a planning board has broad discretion to consider whether the project is consistent with the use of surrounding properties, whether it would bring a noticeable change in the visible character of the area, and whether the change would be irreversible.  Where the board’s decision has a rational basis, explained the court, it will not substitute its judgment for that of the board, even where the evidence could support a different conclusion.   

Because here, the planning board offered seven conclusions to support its denial, the appellate court upheld the planning board’s determined and reversed the lower court.

Valentine v McLaughlin, 2011 WL 4507052 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept.  9/27/2011)

The opinion can be accessed at:  http://www.courts.state.ny.us/courts/ad2/calendar/webcal/decisions/2011/D32373.pdf

Patty Salkin | October 15, 2011 at 1:51 am | Categories: Current Caselaw - New York, Site Plan Review | URL: http://wp.me/p64kE-1tw


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