June 8, 2016

The Appellate Division, Second Department has upheld a Village of Southampton Zoning Board decision in Wambold v. Village of Southampton ZBA.  The case involved the often misunderstood zoning issue of whether an accessory dwelling is a nonconforming use or a nonconforming structure.   The Village ZBA had concluded that the accessory dwelling was a nonconforming structure, which could be expanded through an area variance, but a neighbor challenged the decision on the ground that it was a nonconforming use, which could only be expanded through a use variance.  After the Supreme Court upheld the ZBA’s decision, the neighbor appealed.  The Appellate Division affirmed and agreed that only an area variance was required, because the owners “were not seeking to change the essential use of the property.”