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Court Holds Challenges to Zoning Amendments Do Not Alway Have to Be Brought Within Four Months

In August, 2006 we discussed the Court of Appeals decision in the case of Eadie v. Town Board of the Town of North Greenbush (7 N.Y.3d 306[2006]) in a post entitled “Court Holds Challenge to Zoning Law Must Be Brought Within Four Months- Sometimes.” A few weeks ago in the case East Suffolk Development Corp. v Town Board of Town of Riverhead, the Appellate Division, Second Department advised that sometimes the challenge can be brought within six years.

The Town sought to have a challenge to a zoning amendment dismissed as untimely because it had not been brought within four months. We can only presume there was no SEQRA challenge involved, as SEQRA is not mentioned in the decision.

In denying the Town’s motion the court held the amendment is a legislative act and that : “a declaratory judgment action, not a CPLR article 78 proceeding, is the proper vehicle to challenge the validity of the defendants’ action…and the six-year statute of limitations set forth in CPLR 213(1) applies….” Thus, it now appears the statute of limitations for challenging a zoning amendment is six years-sometimes.