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It has been almost 20 years since the New York State Legislature amended both the Town and Village Laws to bring a measure of statewide consistency to the variance application and review process. Since then, when making determinations on applications for area variances, for example, zoning boards of appeals have been under an obligation to “weigh the benefit of the grant to the applicant against the detriment to the health, safety and welfare of the neighborhood or community if the variance is granted”1 and to consider five specific factors2 set out in the amended statutes.3

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