Eight Car Garage Not Customary Accessory Use

The Appellate Division overturned the decision of a zoning board which upheld the granting of a building permit to construct an eight car garage on the same property as a single family home. The court in Matter of Witkowich v. Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Yorktown found that the proposed eight to nine car garage, which was approximately twice the size of the house on the same lot, was not, as the zoning ordinance provided, a "subordinate building . . . the use of which is customarily incidental to that of a main building on the same lot."

In rejecting the argument that there were other similar structures in the area the Court held:
“there is no indication that the members of the ZBA relied on evidence of any specific accessory structures in the neighborhood, or as to the dimensions or uses of any such structures. In addition, although Sabo submitted letters from friends and neighbors asserting that there are several accessory buildings in the vicinity that are similar to the proposed garage, those letters did not detail the locations or dimensions of those structures. Under these circumstances, the ZBA lacked a rational evidentiary basis to support its finding that the proposed garage constitutes a permissible accessory building, within the meaning of the subject zoning ordinance.”

The Court likewise took issue with the manner in which the zoning board calculated the height of the structure and concluded that the finding by the zoning board that no height variance was required is also incorrect.

Steven Silverberg