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Subdivision Application Not Complete Until Filing of Either a SEQRA Negative Declaration or a Notice of Completion of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement

In an Article 78 proceeding, the Appellate Division Second Department denied an applicant’s petition to compel the Department of Planning of the Town of Brookhaven to place an application for preliminary approval of a subdivision plat on the Planning Board calendar.

In denying the petition, the Court in Matter of Pheasant Meadow Farms, Inc. v. Town of Brookhaven noted that “the time within which a planning board must act upon a preliminary subdivision plat does not commence until the application is deemed complete.” The Court went on to find that the preliminary plat would not be considered complete until either a negative declaration is filed pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) or until a notice of completion of a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) is filed pursuant to SEQRA.

Since neither filing had occurred and since there were still unanswered questions regarding storm water drainage, the relevant SEQRA review was continuing. The Court therefore held that the board was not required to place the application on the calendar.