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Responding to and Winning a Zoning Variance Lawsuit in NYS Supreme Court


copy of the Supreme Court Order
New York State Supreme Court Decision & Order

 

Geraci Law Offices wrapped up another victory in NYS Supreme Court in response to an Article 78 filing against a client planning to build a beautiful new home who ran into questions about the local zoning code.

 

Earlier this summer, Geraci Law Offices represented a client who had purchased land and torn down the dilapidated existing structure. They proposed to build a new single-family home that would leave a beautiful and updated mark on the neighborhood.


Unfortunately, not everyone in the neighborhood was pleased about this new development. After our client had removed the run-down house and drawn up a proposal for the house he plans to build, the next-door neighbors decided to challenge the zoning portion of his proposal. When all parties got together in front of the town's Zoning Board, our client argued his case, and the neighbors argued theirs, with both groups having supporting town citizens on deck.


Our client sought a couple of zoning variances with his new proposal that did not stray from most of the houses in the long-standing neighborhood. As he mentioned when addressing the Zoning Board, the neighborhood had once featured much smaller houses, but most lots had received variances in recent decades to build larger homes. This means that variances to front and rear setback requirements and total lot coverage percentages, had been approved repeatedly in the past, including for the lot of the dissenting neighbors.

Building Plans, Wix Media

The neighbors argued that the lot size coverage of our client's proposed structure was too large for comfort and that the new structure would infringe on the efficiency and effectiveness of their preexisting solar panels. However, our client was not seeking a height variance, which could reasonably impact the neighbors' solar panels if approved for a higher-than-regulation house height. Since he planned to keep the height to the maximum allowed by the town, the mere existence of another house following all zoning guidelines plus those front, rear, and lot coverage variances sought to be granted by the board would likely not be enough to massively impact the effectiveness of the solar panels.


The Zoning Board ultimately agreed with our client and approved the modest front, rear, and lot coverage variances sought through his proposal.


That's when the neighbors pursued legal action against the Zoning Board, the Town, and our client. After careful and dedicated research into the property and proposal in question and a history of zoning variances granted in the neighborhood of the lot, Geraci Law Offices knew that our client had done nothing wrong.


In the end, a Justice of the Supreme Court agreed with that assessment and ruled in our favor, delivering another victory for a Geraci Law client.


If you have questions regarding zoning or another legal property matter, contact Geraci Law Offices today at mgeraci@geracilawoffices.com or 585-888-6453. We look forward to hearing from you.



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