Posted by: Patricia Salkin | July 5, 2019

NY Appellate Court Rejects Challenge to Urban Renewal Property Conveyance

This post was authored by Amy Lavine, Esq.

A lawsuit challenging the sale of certain property as part of a municipal urban renewal plan was dismissed in June by a New York appellate court.

The case involved a Master Developer Agreement entered into by the Incorporated Village of Hempstead and the village’s Community Development Agency, which outlined the sale of municipal property to Renaissance Downtowns UrbanAmerica, LLC pursuant to the urban renewal provisions in the General Municipal Law. Following the dismissal of an earlier lawsuit claiming that the agreement violated the Open Meetings Law and statutory restrictions on municipal urban renewal projects, several parcels of land were transferred to Renaissance in accordance with the Master Developer Agreement. The petitioners then began this lawsuit, claiming that the conveyance was null and void due to de facto changes to the Master Developer Agreement that necessitated prior approval from the village and the authority.

On appeal, the court determined that the village defendants failed to establish sufficient evidence that the petitioners lacked standing under the General Municipal Law’s taxpayer standing statute. The court agreed with the village defendants on the merits, however, as the evidence showed that the Master Developer Agreement had not been modified in any manner that would require new approvals under the Open Meetings Law or the General Municipal Law. Accordingly, the court granted the village defendants’ motion for judgment as a matter of law.

Matter of Wilson v Incorporated Vil. of Hempstead, 2019 NY Slip Op 04956 (2d Dept. 6/19/19).


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