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Matter of New York Botanical Garden v. Board of Standards and Appeals
New York Court of Appeals
91 N.Y.2d 413, 694 N.E.2d 424, 671 N.Y.S.2d 423 (1998)
The main campus of Fordham University (Fordham) (defendant) was located in a medium-density residential zoning district. Fordham operated an on-campus, educational radio station, and in 1993, it applied to the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) for a permit to build a new one-story radio station along with a 45-story radio tower (the broadcasting facility) on its campus. The application identified the broadcasting facility as an accessory use to the principal use of the property as an educational institution. The DOB approved Fordham’s application, but the New York Botanical Garden (the botanical garden) (plaintiff), which was adjacent to the site of the new radio station, objected and appealed to the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA), arguing that the broadcasting facility did not qualify as a permissible accessory use of Fordham’s property. The botanical garden’s main concern was the height and power of the radio tower. Fordham responded by establishing that broadcasting facilities of a similar scale are commonplace on college campuses. The BSA, which was comprised of experts in land-use planning, affirmed the approval of Fordham’s application. The botanical garden petitioned the trial court to annul the decision of the BSA. The trial court dismissed the petition, and the botanical garden appealed to the appellate division, which unanimously affirmed the judgment of the trial court. The botanical garden appealed to the New York Court of Appeals.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Wesley, J.)
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