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Court Restates Standard of Review for Zoning Board Decisions

The Appellate Division restated the limited nature of judicial review of the decisions of a Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). In Matter of Slonim v. Town of E. Hampton Zoning Bd. of Appeals, the Court noted that the ZBA properly upheld the determination of the building inspector finding that a particular retail use was pre-exisiting.

“In a CPLR article 78 proceeding to review a determination of a Zoning Board of Appeals (hereinafter the Zoning Board), which was made after a quasi-administrative proceeding, judicial review is limited to considering only whether the Zoning Board’s discretionary determination was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or irrational… Thus, the Zoning Board determination at issue in this proceeding may be set aside only if the Zoning Board acted illegally, arbitrarily, abused its discretion, or succumbed to generalized community opposition, and must be sustained if the determination has a rational basis… To the extent the phrase “substantial evidence” arises in cases involving challenges to Zoning Board determinations made after a quasi-administrative proceeding, in this context that standard is limited to examining ‘whether the record contains sufficient evidence to support the rationality of the determination’ ….”

-Steven Silverberg