An appellate court agreed with Silverberg Zalantis LLP that the zone changes implemented by the Village of Lake Grove did not require a full environmental impact statement before a SEQRA negative declaration could be issued. In Matter of Lake Grove Partners LLC v. Middleton, the Appellate Division Second Department upheld the lower court decision finding that the Village Board had taken a “hard look” at the potential environmental impacts from the creation of a “Business Districts Plan” and was not required to issue a draft environmental impact statement (“DEIS”) prior to issuance of a negative declaration and the approval of zoning amendments.
Lake Grove Partners LLC, the owners of property within the zone complained that the new zoning precluded development of “Big Box” stores such as Home Depot and that the Village should have prepared a DEIS to look at the potential economic impacts of precluding such stores. The Village argued that the detailed plan and reviews by its consultants was sufficient to demonstrate that the zone changes would have beneficial impacts, including the impacts upon potential traffic generation. In addition the Village found that the changes would maintain the vitality of the existing retail districts. The Court agreed with the Village, finding the Village had taken the required hard look and had provided a reasoned elaboration of the basis for the negative declaration.
The appeal was argued by Katherine Zalantis of Silverberg Zalantis LLP, who acted as co-counsel with Mark Anesh of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP on the appeal.