Let There Be Parking, Says Court to Church

In the matter of Evan Daniel Bray v. Town of Yorktown Zoning Board of Appeals, 151 AD3d 720 (2nd Dept. 2017), the Appellate Divison, Second Department upheld the determination of the Town of Yorktown Zoning Board of Appeals that a variance was not necessary to allow Faith Bible Church to park vehicles in the front yard of the Church’s property.

Mr. Bray commenced a proceeding under CPLR Article 78 to review the decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Yorktown.  The Zoning Board of Appeals found that parking vehicles in the front yard “was permitted as of right” as a “residential use” within the meaning of Section 300-183(B) of the Town of Yorktown Zoning Code.  Section 300-183(B) of the Town Code states that “In any residence district, no required off-street parking facility shall be developed within the required front yard to serve other than residential uses, nor shall be developed within five feet of a side or rear lot line.”

The Court also found that the ZBA’s decision was based on facts as well as law and, therefore, the ZBA’s interpretation of its zoning ordinance is entitled to great deference, and judicial review is limited to ascertaining whether the action was illegal, arbitrary and capricious, or an abuse of discretion.  Consequently, the Court held that “affording the ZBA’s determination appropriate deference, we cannot say that its determination of this issue was illegal, arbitrary and capricious, or an abuse of discretion.”

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