Forchelli Deegan Terrana LLP Attorneys Overturn Zoning Board of Appeals Denial / Clients Permitted to Build Sports Court

Uniondale, March 20, 2019 — Forchelli Deegan Terrana LLP (“FDT”) Land Use & Zoning Partner Judy Lynn Simoncic, assisted by Associate Jessica A. Leis, successfully appealed and secured the reversal of a Village of Sea Cliff Zoning Board of Appeals decision which denied our clients the right to construct a multi-use sports court on their residential property. The suit arose from the Building Inspector’s improper determination that the proposed sports court was an “accessory building” under Sea Cliff Code (‘the Code”), requiring a variance of the 500-square-foot maximum for accessory buildings. Ms. Simoncic and Ms. Leis successfully argued that the proposed sports court was an ancillary structure under the Code. It was not subject to the 500-square-foot maximum, nor did it require a building permit to be constructed. The Supreme Court agreed, finding that the Code is ambiguous as it pertains to what constituted an “accessory building” versus an “ancillary structure.” The Court held that ambiguity in the Code must be resolved in favor of our clients. Accordingly, the Court directed the Zoning Board of Appeals to make a determination that the proposed sports court is an ancillary structure, which does not require a variance or building permit.

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