In a decision that reiterated the need for there to be other than economic impacts to a property owner to serve as a basis for challenging the environmental review of a local law or ordinance, the Appellate Division affirmed the lower court dismissal of a challenge to a zoning amendment. In the case, Matter of 1160 Mamaroneck Avenue Corp. v City of White Plains, the Appellate Division Second Department upheld the lower court decision dismissing the challenge to an amendment of the local zoning regulations and modified the lower court decision by affirmatively stating that the local law is valid.
Petitioner/Plaintiff (hereafter “Petitioner”) in this hybrid proceeding owns property in a residential district of the City of White Plains. Petitioner maintains a non-conforming use on its property consisting of a nursery. As part of the nonconforming use, Petitioner processes various materials such as soil, wood chips and mulch. The City undertook a review of those uses which included a proposed amendment to the City’s zoning regulations. The amendment was subject to review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) as a Type I action. After conducting an environmental review, the City issued a negative declaration. The City Council “upon determining that processing activities had various harmful effects that were incompatible within residential districts, adopted amendments to the City’s zoning ordinance (hereinafter the zoning amendments) which ban processing activities by nurseries located within a residential district.”