Courts Continue to Defer to Zoning Boards

In another in a long line of cases, last week the Appellate Division again deferred to the decision of a zoning board which had denied an area variance. In DiPaolo v Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town//Village of Harrison, the court found the zoning board had engaged in the required balancing test and therefore had acted appropriately in denying a request for a rear yard setback variance.

The court held the findings of the zoning board that the "requested variance was substantial and would produce an undesirable change in the character of the neighborhood, and that the hardship to the petitioner was self-created, were supported by testimony of several local residents and objective and factual documentary evidence. Moreover, evidence was adduced that construction on the subject property might adversely affect protected wetlands and cause drainage problems. Contrary to the petitioner's contentions, the Board's determination was not illegal, had a rational basis, and was not arbitrary or capricious."