Matter of Avy v. Town of Amenia
Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court
27 A.D.3d 557 (2006)
Jack and Linda Gregory owned approximately eight acres of undeveloped land, which was split into two sections, one zoned for residential use and the other for agricultural use. In 2002, the Gregorys applied to the Amenia Town Board (defendant) requesting the rezoning of three acres of their property to general business use for purposes of expanding their car repair business. The proposal included construction of a 6,000 square foot building. Environmental Assessment Forms (EAFs) were completed to determine the environmental impact of the project on land, air, plants, and wildlife. The EAFs indicated that nearly 1.65 acres of plant life would be cleared during construction, and discussed potential effects including erosion, increased odors and noises, and danger to rare and endangered flora and fauna, among other things. The Town Board held public hearings on the proposal and reviewed the EAFs, thereafter concluding that the potential environmental effects of the project remained below the maximum permissible impact levels set under New York law. As a result of these conclusions, the board issued a negative declaration and adopted a resolution enacting a local law that re-designated the Gregorys’ property for general business use. The court overturned the board’s conclusions, finding that the board did not take a “hard look” at the potentially serious environmental effects of the Gregorys’ proposal. The town appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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