June 30, 2016

The Supreme Court, Suffolk County has dismissed a neighbor’s challenge to the Town of East Hampton’s decision to buy and preserve a waterfront parcel in Levin v. Town Board, Index No. 21518/15.  The case involves the use of the Town’s “Community Preservation Fund,” or “CPF,” which is a dedicated fund used by the five East End towns to preserve open space.  The Levin case was a rare example of a neighbor who, rather than supporting the preservation effort, opposed it and argued that the acquisition of the property would negatively impact the enjoyment of his adjacent parcel.  The Honorable Daniel Martin of the Supreme Court rejected the challenge and found the neighbor’s concerns speculative and in disregard of the “… intent of the [CPF] program which is motivated by the greater good of the entire town and the Peconic Bay region.”  The case appears to be the first of its kind where a neighbor directly challenged a Town’s compliance with the mandates of the CPF program, as set forth in section 64-e of the N.Y. Town Law.  In this case, Justice Martin reviewed those requirements before concluding that the Town followed “all the mandates of 64-e of the Town Law concerning the CPF….”