When Can Land Use Applicants Challenge Pass-Through Fees?

January 23, 2019

When a property owner or developer seeks an approval or other form of relief under a municipality’s land use or zoning laws, fees typically must be paid. Over the years, New York courts have issued a number of decisions exploring whether, and the extent to which, these fees may be charged.

The Standard

The leading decision, by the New York Court of Appeals, came down more than four decades ago.

Jewish Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore, Inc. v. Incorporated Village of Roslyn Harbor, 40 N.Y.2d 158 (1976), arose when the Jewish Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore, Inc., sought a variance and a special use permit from the Incorporated Village of Roslyn Harbor for property it had purchased in the village to use primarily as a house of worship and religious school.

The board of appeals hired a hall for the hearings, retained its own legal counsel, and ordered that the proceedings be stenographically recorded rather than following its more usual and less expensive practice of taping them. It also required that the minutes be transcribed and a copy provided for each of the five board members.

Anthony S. Guardino, a partner with the law firm of Farrell Fritz, P.C., practices in the areas of land use, zoning, and environmental law. Resident in the firm’s office in Hauppauge, Long Island, he can be reached at aguardino@farrellfritz.com. Reprinted with permission from New York Law Journal, Wednesday, January 23, 2019, Vol 261 – No. 15

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