October 1, 2016

The Supreme Court, Suffolk County has upheld a challenge to the East Hampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals’ attempt to impose an unreasonable condition on the granting of an area variance, in Lee Avenue Lot 1 LLC v. ZBA of Village of East Hampton, Index No. 5690/2015.   The case involved the issue of how far can a zoning board go in imposing conditions on variances.  The zoning board had granted a variance but tried to condition the variance on the owner addressing issues over a separate scenic easement area that was not involved in the underlying application.  Although a zoning board  may impose reasonable conditions on variances that “are directly related to and incidental to the proposed use of the property,” the court concluded in this case that the “condition imposed is totally unrelated to the variances granted, and is not aimed at minimizing the adverse impact to an area that might result from the grant of the variances requested by the petitioner.”  The condition was therefore “vacated and annulled.”