X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
DECISIONS Young’s e-mail address is gyoungnlj.com. a new york statute governing the process of evaluating zoning variance applications occupies the field, pre-empting inconsistent local laws, the New York State Court of Appeals said on July 2. Cohen v. Board of Appeals of the Village of Saddle Rock, No. 2003 NYSlipOp 15697. Seeking to build a home, petitioner Jack Cohen applied to his village government for a variance from certain zoning requirements. Similarly, another couple, the Russos, applied to their village for a height variance so they could install a wrought-iron gate. Both applications were denied, as were both petitioners’ appeals to their local zoning appeal boards, on the ground that neither Cohen nor the Russos had demonstrated “practical difficulties” or “undue hardships” if forced to stay within the confines of existing regulations. Cohen appealed to the county trial court, arguing that his village should have applied the balancing test codified in the state’s Village Law § 7-712b(3). The trial court agreed and an intermediate appellate court upheld the trial court’s ruling. The Russos’ case followed the same path. Affirming, the state’s highest court said that the state legislature enacted § 7-712-b(3) with the intent to pre-empt enactment of conflicting local laws, such as those that prevented the petitioners from getting the variances sought. That statute provides that a local zoning appeals board “shall” weigh the benefit to the applicant against the detriment to the health, safety and welfare of the community. While it acknowledged that state law allows villages to amend or supersede the state’s village law in certain instances, the high court concluded that here the state had evinced an intent to “occupy the field” of the variance application and review process.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.