EHADP partner Christine Perrucci Smith and counsel Lisa J. Ross gave a presentation to the East End community at the Southampton Business Alliance breakfast meeting on the recent statutory amendments to New York landlord-tenant laws. The presentation addressed how the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 is changing various aspects of the landlord-tenant relationship in New York, including such topics as collection of security deposits and advanced rent, new notices addressing late payments and non-renewal of a lease required of the landlord, and the additional delay which will likely be caused during eviction proceedings. The event was well-attended by over 70 members of the community, including real estate brokers, business owners, landlords, and members of the local press. Thank you to partner Lisa D. Tymann for coordinating the event with the Southampton Business Alliance.
The firm congratulates Amanda Star Frazer, Christine Perrucci Smith and Lisa D. Tymann on becoming partners. Amanda, Christine, and Lisa have worked with EHADP for several years, each bringing to the firm a variety of experiential knowledge from their prior practices, as well as growing and expanding their practices to better serve the community in the East End of Long Island. Amanda’s practice as a litigation attorney includes handling a variety of commercial disputes; real estate, title and land use cases; and contested estate matters. Christine’s practice focus is in the areas of real estate, corporate, and estate administration. Lisa’s work in the firm’s transactional practice areas includes estate planning, trust and estate administration, real estate and corporate work.
The firm is pleased to welcome Kimberly A. Oringer as Associate Attorney. Kimberly previously worked as in-house counsel to a commercial lender and other New York firms. Kimberly attended Vanderbilt University and Hofstra Law School, where she served on its Law Review. She will be practicing as part of the firm’s litigation and land use practice groups.
- Sale of bayfront home and lot, $2,940,000 (2019)
- Purchase of bayfront home, $999,900 (2018)
- Sale of improved lot, $1,625,000 (2018)
Berg v. Cahill, Suffolk Index No. 621195/2016 (Supreme Court, Suffolk County 2019): dismissal of challenge to ongoing golf course subdivision application
The Supreme Court, Suffolk County (Hon. Martha L. Luft) has dismissed an attempt to stop a Northport subdivision application, in Berg v. Cahill, Index No. 621195/2016. The action involved an ongoing application pending before the Huntington Town Planning Board. The plaintiffs, a group of nearby landowners, brought an action that sought to prevent the Town from processing the application, based on, among other things, nuisance and easement claims. The court dismissed all of the plaintiffs’ claims, some on the merits and others because they were premature.
After 48 years of practicing law, Martin R. Gilmartin has decided to retire. Mr. Gilmartin’s career included service in the U.S. Marine Corps as a judge advocate and military judge. After leaving active duty in May, 1975, Mr. Gilmartin returned to his home town where he practiced law for more than four decades. Most recently, Mr. Gilmartin practiced as “of counsel” to EHAD&P. The firm wishes Marty, Pam, and their family well during his retirement.
In a closely-watched decision within the agricultural community, the Appellate Division, Second Department reversed a lower court decision that had prevented the County of Suffolk from issuing certain permits on lands preserved under the County’s farmland preservation program, in Long Island Pine Barrens Society v. Suffolk County Legislature, 2018 N.Y.Slip.Op 01598.
The County’s farmland preservation program, one of the oldest in the nation, began in 1974, but the case involved a more recent law, adopted in 2013, establishing procedures for the issuance of permits for structures on protected farmlands. While the lower court had stricken the law on the ground that it constituted a give-back of development rights previously acquired by the County, the Appellate Division disagreed and concluded that: “Permitting land to be used for commercial horse boarding and equine operations, ‘U-pick’ operations, crop mazes, hay rides, agricultural educational activities, the regulated processing of agricultural products, and the provision of agricultural permits for structures and alternative energy systems, and special use permits for site disturbances do not amount to a transfer of the County’s development rights, as these land uses all constitute or are sufficiently related to agricultural production.”
Esseks, Hefter, Angel, Di Talia & Pasca, LLP represented a coalition of amici curiae — “friends of the court” — who joined in support of the County’s appeal, including the Peconic Land Trust, the Long Island Farm Bureau, Farm Credit East, the New York League of Conservation Voters, the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, the American Farmland Trust, and the Long Island Wine Council, Inc. These amici curiae argued that the County’s farmland preservation program could not continue to protect farmlands if the courts were to take an overly narrow and outdated view of farming, such as by preventing the types of structures needed to engage in many types of modern agricultural practices and activities. The Appellate Division’s decision re-established that these practices and activities were consistent with Agriculture and Markets Law § 301(4)(c) and should not have been prohibited on protected farmland.
The Supreme Court, Suffolk County (Hon. Martha L. Luft) has dismissed a proceeding seeking to shut down a small restaurant in a Montauk motel, in JHCR Trust v. East Hampton, Index No. 4297/2016. One issue decided in the action is whether a neighbor can challenge the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) years after it was issued, if the neighbor claims not to have received notice of the CO’s issuance. Challenges to COs by appeal to a zoning board are ordinarily governed by a 60-day statute of limitations, but the neighbor in this case argued that it had no notice of the 2005 CO in question, and therefore had the right to challenge the restaurant use authorized by the CO when the owner later obtained a building permit in 2015. The zoning board found, however, that the neighbor had constructive notice of 2005 CO dating back to at least 2010 and 2011, when the property underwent a site plan review. The Supreme Court upheld the zoning board’s decision as consistent with New York law, further noting that the subsequent issuance of a building permit in 2015 would not “re-start the clock” on the statute of limitations. The Supreme Court then addressed — and dismissed — the neighbor’s claim for an injunction against the restaurant, finding that the restaurant was a lawful use of the property and had obtained all of its required permits.
The Supreme Court, Suffolk County (Hon. Joseph C. Pastoressa) has dismissed an action claiming the violation of a restrictive covenant in Birch Tree Partners v. Windsor Digital Studio, Index No. 10-1350. The action involved the interpretation of a 1956 covenant that restricted a strip of land by prohibiting the erection of any “building or structure” and by restricting the removal of desirable trees or vegetation. One question resolved by the court was whether a fence was a building or structure, and the court found that, under the circumstances, the terms were meant to apply to buildings like those that existed in 1956, rather than to a mere fence. The other question resolved was how to interpret the concept of “desirable” trees. The court found that the purpose of the covenant was to maintain a “screen” between the properties and further concluded that the plaintiff failed to prove that the defendant violated the covenant when it removed older trees that were no longer serving as an effective screen between the properties.