Posted by: Patricia Salkin | January 22, 2010

Substantial Evidence Supported Board’s Denial of Special Use Permit for Summer Rental Property

The owner of a three-apartment, 10-bedroom house that is rented to college students on an annual basis applied to the city council for a special use permit to rent the property during the summer to transients on a weekly basis.  Although the use is allowed subject to special use permit, the application was denied based on the list of criteria for denial set forth in the zoning ordinance, including street congestion and insufficient on-street parking. The record showed that the council appropriately considered the criteria in the zoning ordinance, and specifically with respect to parking, although the petitioner’s property has one off-street parking spot for each unit, the rental agreement states that any tenant wishing to use these spots must pay a fee and sign a separate agreement.  Therefore, the Court said it was reasonable for the council to conclude that tenants could choose to park on the street to avoid an additional fee. The owner did not appear at the hearing on the application to answer questions about the number of transient tenants and vehicles that would be using the premises, and a neighbor did appear and raised public safety concerns.  As a result, the appellate court agreed with the trial court that there was substantial evidence in the record to support the determination that the proposed special use was undesirable due to current conditions in the neighborhood.

Steenrod v. City of Oneonta, 2010 WL 27113 (N.Y.A.D. 3 Dept. 1/7/2010).

The opinion can be accessed at:

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