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Bonnie Briar Syndicate, Inc. v. Mamaroneck, Town of

Citation: 30 ELR 20183
No. No. 99 N.Y. Int. 0155, 721 N.E.2d 971/94 N.Y.2d 96, (N.Y., 11/10/1999)

The court holds that a town's decision to rezone a landowner's property from residential to solely recreational use did not constitute a regulatory taking under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The court first rejects the landowner's contention that the town must demonstrate a close causal nexus between the town's objectives and the new zoning law. In explicitly rejecting the application of the rough proportionality test in City of Monterey v. Del Monte Dunes at Monterey, Ltd., 119 S. Ct. 1624, 29 ELR 21133 (U.S. 1999), when, as here, the zoning law merely denies development, the U.S. Supreme Court necessarily rejected the applicability of the essential nexus inquiry to general zoning regulations as well. Moreover, the current standard for a regulatory takings analysis is whether the regulatory action substantially advances a legitimate public purpose, and a regulatory action substantially advances a legitimate public purpose if the action bears a reasonable relationship to that objective. The court then holds that the town's zoning law substantially advances a legitimate public purpose. Zoning the landowner's property for solely recreational use bears a reasonable relation to the town's legitimate objectives of furthering open space, recreational opportunities, and flood control. The fact that the town had before it other less restrictive options to choose from in arriving at its ultimate conclusion with respect to zoning is irrelevant.

The full text of this opinion is available from ELR (7 pp., ELR Order No. L-122).

Counsel for Appellant
Stuart R. Shamberg
Shamberg, Marwell, Hocherman, Davis & Hollis
55 Smith Ave., Mount Kisco NY 10549
(914) 666-5600

Counsel for Respondents
Robert S. Davis
Robinson, Silverman, Pearce, Aronsohn & Berman
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York NY 10104
(212) 541-2000