Posted by: Patricia Salkin | November 18, 2022

NY Appellate Court Upholds Finding that Planning and Architectural Review Board Improperly Classified Project on SEQRA but Finds Appropriate Review was Conducted

Petitioners sought to annul the decision of the Village Planning and Architectural Review Board which issued a negative declaration under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and then granted site plan and architectural review approvals for the repurposing of an existing 57-residential unit, 25,780 square foot building to an 87 unit mixed-income apartment project.

The Court agreed that the Board improperly listed the project as an unlisted action, rather than a Type I action, however the Court noted that, “a misclassification does not always lead to the annulment of the negative declaration if the lead agency conducts the equivalent of a type I review notwithstanding the misclassification” (citations omitted).  The Court determined that the Board did conduct a coordinated review and demonstrated that it did consider environmental factors, and that it therefore complied with SEQRA mandates.  The Court also found that in finding no significant adverse impact on the environment, the Board too the requisite hard look  and made a reasoned elaboration to support its determination.

In the Matter of Williamsville Residents Opposed to Blocher Redevelopment v Village of Williamsville Planning and Architectural Review Board, 2022 WL 4591376 (NYAD 4 Dept. 9/30/2022)


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