May 24, 2016

In Harris v. Town of Carmel Zoning board of Appeals, decided March 23, 2016, the Appellate Division, Second Department affirmed the Zoning Board of Appeals’ denial of an area variance.  The Court held that “The Board rationally found that granting the variances would produce an undesirable change in the character of the neighborhood and that the benefit sought by the petitioner could be achieved by other methods.”

In response to the Petitioner’s claim that the Board was arbitrary and capricious because it approved other applications for area variances, the Court held that Petitioner failed to prove that the other applications were factually similar.

Last, the Court held that “While it would have been advisable for the vice chairman of the Board to recuse himself from the proceeding if he felt that he had any bias against the petitioners, there is no proof that the outcome flowed from the alleged bias.”

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