Posted by: Patricia Salkin | June 11, 2009

Neighbor Had No Avenue of Appeal for Decision of Architectural Review Committee Other Than Court Within Statute of Limitations Timeframe

A Neighbor objected to the approval by the Committee of Architectural Review for the design of a single family house. The petitioner challenged the determination in an Article 78 proceeding, and did not join the property owners who received the approval. The Architectural Review Committee moved to dismiss for failure to join a necessary party and the neighbor moved to withdraw the petition (without prejudice) as premature on the ground that the Committee’s decision was not final. The trial court granted both motions and the Architectural Review Committee appealed that part of the decision allowing the petitioner to withdraw their petition without prejudice.

The Appeals Court agreed with the Architectural Review Committee that the Committee’s determination was final. Relying on the Village Code in effect at the time, the Committee had exclusive authority to issue architectural approval of the plans for the proposed residence, and no avenue of appeal for aggrieved persons other than the applicant existed to review a determination of the Committee. Because the petitioner had no avenue of additional review under the Village Code, and therefore subsequent determinations by other Village agencies would not have affected the Committee’s determination, the Court said that the Committee’s determination was final for purposes of CPLR article 78 review, and that the four month statute of limitations had begun to run.

Lagin v. Village of Kings Point Committee of Architectural Review, 2009 WL 1238467 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept. 5/5/2009).

The opinion can be accessed at: http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2009/2009_03734.htm


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