Posted by: Patricia Salkin | June 12, 2019

NY Appellate Court Holds City Did Not Have Standing to Seek Review of SEQRA Determination of Board

This post was authored by Matthew Loeser, Esq.

Petitioners, the City of Rye, Joseph A. Sack, and Richard Mecca, commenced this proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 78 to review a determination of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, which adopted a negative declaration under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”). The SEQRA determination related to several proposed development projects at Playland Park, an amusement park located in the City of Rye, and owned by the County of Westchester. The Supreme Court denied the petition and dismissed the proceeding, holding that the petitioners lacked standing. The petitioners appealed.

The court found that the trial court properly employed the “balancing of public interests” test enunciated by the Court of Appeals, and determined that the subject development projects were immune from local zoning and land use laws. Specifically, the court determined that the City of Rye did not have standing to maintain this proceeding based on its status as an “involved agency” Additionally, the petitioners failed to demonstrate that the City of Rye had standing based on any demonstrated interest in the potential environmental impacts of the development projects on the City of Rye’s community character. With respect to the individual petitioners, the court agreed with the Supreme Court’s determination that Mecca failed to demonstrate his entitlement to a presumption of standing based on the proximity of his home to the development projects, and that neither Mecca nor Sack demonstrated their entitlement to standing by showing an injury-in-fact that fell within the zone of interests protected by SEQRA.

City of Rye v. Westchester County Board of Legislators, 169 A.D.3d 905 (2019)


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