Is New York City’s Marx Brothers Playground a Park?  The Answer is No Laughing Matter A fierce legal battle is currently being waged between preservationists and the City of New York (“City”) over a parcel of land in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, known as Marx Brothers Playground.  The parcel, which is located between 96th and 97th Streets on Second Avenue, is named after legendary comics Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Gummo and Zeppo Marx, who were raised at nearby 179 East 93rd Street.  View Full Post
Federal Oversight of Zoning within the Fire Island National Seashore Fire Island is a 32-mile long, slender barrier sand bar island located between the Atlantic Ocean and the South Shore of Long Island.  The island, which varies in width from as little as about 550 feet to not more than about 1,760 feet, divides the Great South Bay and the westerly end of Moriches Bay from the Atlantic Ocean.  View Full Post
Are Land Use Fees the Solution to Long Island’s Fiscal Challenges? – Part 3 In this post, which is the third and final segment of a three-part series, we look at real property recording and related fees, which have increased significantly in Nassau and Suffolk Counties in recent years. Like illegal impact fees and excessive administrative review fees, fees related to the recording of legal instruments are being used by both Nassau and Suffolk Counties as another revenue-generating measure to help balance their budgets. View Full Post
Queens Shopping Mall Nixed by Court’s “Public Trust” Doctrine Ruling In Matter of Avella v. City of New York, 2017 NY Slip Op 04383 (June 6, 2017), the New York Court of Appeals reviewed a decision by the City of New York approving a proposal by Queens Development Group, LLC (“QDG”) which sought to construct a large-scale retail, restaurant and movie theater complex known as “Willets West,” on the portion of Flushing Meadows Park where Shea Stadium once stood – currently, the parking lot for Citi Field.  View Full Post
Are Land Use Fees the Solution to Long Island’s Fiscal Challenges? – Part 2 In this post, which is the second segment of a three-part series, we will highlight the various ways that local governments facing fiscal challenges have turned to imposing fees related to the administration of their zoning, subdivision and other land development ordinances to generate additional revenue.   View Full Post
East Hampton Considers New Laws Mandating Nitrogen-Reducing Sanitary Systems and Offering Rebates to Replace Existing Systems The Town Board of the Town East Hampton (“Town Board”) is considering progressive new legislation that will require advanced nitrogen-reducing sanitary systems for all new commercial and residential construction and major renovation projects.  This law, loosely modeled after a similar law adopted by the Town of Brookhaven for projects located within the environmentally-sensitive Carmans River watershed, imposes regulations designed to supplement those required by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services (“SCDHS”), pursuant to Article 6 of the Suffolk County Sanitary CodeView Full Post
Appellate Court Invalidates Condition Imposing Durational Limit on Special Permit Under New York State law, zoning boards and planning boards are authorized to impose reasonable and appropriate conditions and restrictions on the grant of a variance or special permit, provided that they are directly related to, and incidental to, the proposed use of the property.  View Full Post