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Otto v. Steinhilber

Court of Appeals of New York
24 N.E.2d 851 (N.Y. 1939)


Facts

The property at issue in this case is located in the village of Lynbrook. The front 150 feet of the property (less than half of its area) is zoned for commercial use, while the remainder is zoned for residential use. The front of the property lies along a busy highway, while the rear abuts a residential neighborhood. The property owner applied to the zoning board for a variance of the residential zoning restriction so that he could construct an ice skating rink on the property. He introduced evidence that while he could build a rink completely within the commercially zoned area, doing so would prevent him from using the residentially zoned portion for other purposes and would require patrons of the skating rink to park on the nearby streets because there would not be room for a parking lot. Over 600 people living in neighboring residential properties objected to the request for a variance. The zoning board granted the variance on the ground of unnecessary hardship, finding that the residentially zoned portion could be accessed only by crossing the commercially zone portion, that the skating rink would obstruct access to the residential portion if constructed solely in the commercial portion, and that patrons would have to park on the nearby streets if the skating rink were restricted to the commercial portion. The intermediate appellate courts affirmed, and the case went to the state supreme court.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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