Court Overturns Recreation Fee For Senior Housing

The Appellate Division overturned the requirement that a recreation fee be paid as a condition of site plan approval for a senior housing community. In Matter of Pulte Homes of N.Y., LLC v Town of Carmel Planning Bd. the court held that the planning board failed to make the requisite findings to justify imposing a recreation fee and remitted the matter to the planning board for further consideration.

The Court found:

"The Planning Board for the Town of Carmel (hereinafter the Planning Board) has the authority to impose a recreation fee as a condition to site plan approval as long as certain findings are made prior to the imposition of such a fee (see Town Law § 274-a[6]... Here, however, the Planning Board made no "individualized consideration" prior to imposing the recreation fee and made no specific findings as to the recreational needs created by the petitioner's improvements"

As the statute requires a determination that the proposed use will impact recreational needs before a fee can be imposed, the Court remitted the matter to the planning board for additional findings.

-Steven Silverberg