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Resolution Approving Consideration of Cluster Development Is Not Subject to Challenge

The appellate division dismissed a challenge to a town board resolution authorizing consideration of a cluster development in the case of Maor v. Town of Ramapo Planning Board, finding it was not a “final determination” subject to review.

Toll Brothers had applied to the planning board for a subdivision and submitted a conventional subdivision plat of 51 lots. The Planning Board referred the application to the Town Board to consider authorizing the Planning Board to treat the application as a cluster development, with a maximum permitted lot count of 51 lots, under Town Law section 278. The Town Board held a public hearing and adopted a resolution authorizing the Planning Board to consider a maximum 51 lot cluster development.

The petitioners brought a challenge claiming the resolution was contrary to law and had not been subject to review under the Environmental Conservation Law (SEQRA). The Court held the “determinations were preliminary steps in the approval process for a ‘cluster development’ subdivision and, as such, were not final determinations subject to judicial review….” Therefore, contrary to the claims of the petitioners, no SEQRA review would be necessary prior to the initial step of merely permitting consideration of a subdivision as a cluster development.