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Lighthouse Shores, Inc. v. Islip, Town of

Citation: 7 ELR 20290
390 N.Y.S.2d 827, 41 N.Y.2d 7, (N.Y., 12/02/1976)

The court upholds a local ordinance prohibiting the operation of vehicles on Fire Island without a permit and limiting permits to year-round residences insofar as it applies within the Town of Islip. Protection of the fragile ecology of Fire Island provides a sufficiently reasonable basis for the ordinance to render it constitutional, in view of expert testimony that excessive vehicle traffic was destroying the dune ecosystem. The ordinance does not offend equal protection since the residence classification intends no arbitrary selection and is based on a reasonable ground for differentiation. The lower court correctly concluded that the ordinance cannot bar traffic on state highways on the Island or in the federally controlled Fire Island National Seashore.

Counsel for Plaintiffs-Respondents
Robert M. Calica
Meyer, English & Cianciulli
160 Mineola Blvd., Mineola NY 11501
(516) 741-6565

Counsel for Defendants-Appellants
Francis G. Caldiera, Town Attorney; William J. Kent
Town Hall, Islip NY 11751
(516) 581-2000

Counsel for Amicus Curiae Fire Island Association
Donald J. Cohn, John E. Runnells
Webster & Sheffield
1 Rockfeller Plaza, New York NY 10020
(212) 582-3370

BREITEL, C.J., and JASEN, GABRIELLI, JONES, WACHTLER and FUCHSBERG, JJ., concur.