A proceeding was commenced by individual petitioners who are also members of the petitioner Riverhead Neighborhood Preservation Coalition, Inc. to challenge the proposed construction of a regional shopping mall. The individual petitioners live at distances ranging from approximately 1,300 feet to approximately 2,000 feet away from the site of the proposed mall. The petitioners allege that they will be harmed by the construction of the proposed mall primarily because the road that provides access to their community is located directly across from the main entrance to the proposed mall. The trial court dismissed the proceeding since the petitioners lacked standing, The petitioners appealed.
The appellate court agreed with the trial court, noting that in land use matters, the petitioners must show that they would suffer direct harm, injury that is different from that of the public at large. The Court noted that the individual petitioners did not allege that the proposed mall is visible from their homes and that living in close proximity to the site alone does not afford a presumption of injury-in-fact. Further, the Court determined that individual petitioners’ allegations are” insufficient to demonstrate that the construction of the proposed mall would cause them to suffer an environmental injury different from that of members of the public at large” who also use the road at issue to access other amenities such as a gold course. Concluding that the individual petitioners do not have standing, the Court also held that therefore petitioner Riverhead Neighborhood Preservation Coalition, Inc., also lacks standing.
Riverhead Neighborhood Preservation Coalition, Inc. v Town of Riverhead Town Board, 2013 WL 801040 (NY AD 2 Dept. 12/26/2013).
The opinion can be accessed at: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/courts/ad2/calendar/webcal/decisions/2013/D40185.pdf