Posted by: Patricia Salkin | October 20, 2018

NY Appellate Court Dismisses Claim Regarding Subdivision and Site Plan Approval Rescission as Moot

This post was authored by Matthew Loeser, Esq.

This case arose out of petitioner’s development of Chestnut Ridge, a 396–unit townhouse complex in the Village of Bloomingburg, Sullivan County. As construction on Chestnut Ridge continued, documents about petitioner’s development plans became public during the course of federal litigation. These documents indicated that petitioner intended to market Chestnut Ridge, which it referred to as phase one of a more expansive project to families having, on average, eight children each. The Town Planning Board issued a notice stating that it intended to consider rescinding petitioner’s 2010 subdivision and site plan approval. The Town Planning Board then rescinded petitioner’s 2010 subdivision and site plan approval for Chestnut Ridge, except with respect to any dwelling units that were “completely constructed or to the roadways and other infrastructure required to service those dwelling units.”

Petitioner thereafter commenced this hybrid CPLR article 78 proceeding and declaratory judgment action seeking an order annulling the Town Planning Board’s rescission of petitioner’s subdivision and site plan approvals, declaring that such approvals remained in effect and that petitioner had a constitutional vested right to complete Chestnut Ridge, and enjoining the Town from exercising authority over the development. The trial court partially granted the petition/complaint by annulling that portion of the Town Planning Board’s determination as prohibited the future issuance of building permits and certificates of occupancy in connection with Chestnut Ridge, and otherwise dismissed the petition/complaint.

On appeal, all parties acknowledged that the Village Planning Board had since granted an application by petitioner to reaffirm the subdivision and site plan approvals that had been rescinded by the Town Planning Board. As petitioner’s rights were no longer “actually controverted” and a determination of this appeal would not affect the rights of the parties, the appeal was dismissed as moot.

Sullivan Farms II, Inc. v Town of Mamakating Planning Board, 2018 WL 5046699 (NYAD 3 Dept 10/18/2018)

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