Posted by: Patricia Salkin | June 10, 2013

Second Circuit Court of Appeals Holds that Failure to Give Notice of Amendments to Zoning Laws to Landowners Did Not Violate Procedural Due Process

This case involves the City of Middletown, New York’s 2009 amendment to zoning laws that prohibited nonconforming uses of non-owner-occupied multiple dwellings in various zoning districts. The plaintiffs filed suit against the City alleging the change violated their due process rights guaranteed by the fourteenth amendment of the United States Constitution because they were not notified of it.

The District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of the City, holding the change of zoning rules did not offend the procedural guarantees of the due process clause because the zoning amendment was “prospective and generally applicable” and therefore “legislative” in character rather than “adjudicative.” The Second Circuit affirmed. The fact the ordinance was not retroactive and had the same effect on all uses of land falling within the ordinance, as opposed to clearly targeting one person or one group of people, made the ordinance legislative in character and therefore no notice is required.

Edelzhertz v. City of Middletown, 2013 WL 1896325 (C.A.2 (N.Y.) 5/8/2013)

The opinion may be accessed at:  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCOURTS-ca2-12-03923/pdf/USCOURTS-ca2-12-03923-0.pdf


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