Standing Still Perplexes Challengers In SEQRA Actions

May 23, 2019

It has been a decade since the New York Court of Appeals’ landmark decision in Matter of Save the Pine Bush, Inc. v. Common Council of City of Albany, 13 N.Y.3d 297 (2009), on standing in actions under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). Municipalities, however, continue to face court proceedings challenging their actions under SEQRA brought by petitioners who do not have standing and, therefore, who see their cases dismissed at the trial or at the appellate level.

Although not every court decision since Pine Bush on standing in SEQRA cases has rejected standing claims, many have done so. These decisions in particular can help elucidate the rules that property owners and other petitioners should keep in mind when evaluating whether to go to court—which also might have the beneficial corresponding effect of limiting the volume of SEQRA litigation that local governments face. That’s because standing is a threshold issue that must be considered before a court action may proceed.

Charlotte A. Biblow, a partner in the environmental, land use and municipal law and litigation departments of Farrell Fritz, can be reached at cbiblow@farrellfritz.com.

Reprinted with permission from New York Law Journal, Thursday, May 23, 2019, Vol 261 – No. 99.

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  • Related Practice Areas: Environmental, Land Use & Municipal
  • Publications: New York Law Journal