A Planning Board Majority Vote May Nevertheless Result in a Denial

The result may be counter-intuitive, but a majority vote in favor of a Planning Board application in New York may nevertheless result in a denial of the application.

The applicable law pertaining to cities, for example, is New York State General City Law Section 27(17) which states in relevant part that “every motion or resolution of a planning board shall require for its adoption the affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of the planning board.” (emphasis added) Therefore, if there is a seven member Planning Board with one vacancy and one absence and the applicant receives a vote of 3 in favor and 2 against, the application is denied because a majority of all the members of a seven member board is four, not three.

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