Posted by: Patricia Salkin | May 3, 2014

NY Appellate Court Upholds Condemnation for Expansion of Industrial Park

Petitioner, GM Components Holdings, LLC (GMCH), commenced this original proceeding pursuant to EDPL 207 seeking to annul the determination of respondent, Town of Lockport Industrial Development Agency (LIDA), authorizing the condemnation of 91 acres of vacant land owned by GMCH for the purpose of expanding LIDA’s industrial park. The court’s review was limited to whether (1) the proceeding was constitutionally sound; (2) [LIDA] had the requisite authority; (3) its determination complied with SEQRA and EDPL article 2; and (4) the acquisition will serve a public use”. The burden was on the party challenging the condemnation to establish that the determination was without foundation and baseless (Matter of Butler v Onondaga County Legislature, 39 AD3d 1271, 1271-1272 (2007)).

In support of its determination authorizing the condemnation, LIDA found that since the creation of the 201-acre industrial park in 1981 it has assisted 30 businesses, accounting for investments totaling $399,164,000 and employment of 491 area residents. The court therefore found that the LIDA’s determination to exercise eminent domain power was “rationally related to a conceivable public purpose” The Appellate Court concluded with respect to the statutory compliance factor that, contrary to GMCH’s contention, LIDA “identified the relevant areas of environmental concern and made a reasoned elaboration of the basis for its determination that there would be no negative impact on the environment as a result of the acquisition of the property. Accordingly, the decision to condemn the property was confirmed by the court.

GM Components Holdings, LLC v. Town of Lockport Indus. Dev. Agency, 977 N.Y.S.2d 836 (N.Y. App. Div. 4th Dept. 2013) appeal dismissed, 22 N.Y.3d 1165 (2014)

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