Fed. Dist. Court in NY Dismisses Fire Island Property Owners Claims of Due Process and Equal Protection Violations Following Denial of Variance Request

LAW OF THE LAND

Plaintiffs, Michael DeFalco and William Matthews, own property on Fire Island, New York.  Plaintiffs’ dwelling and amenities occupied a total of 42.6% of the lot and all the structures had valid certificates of occupancy (“COs”).  Although the town’s zoning laws only allowed for 35% coverage, Plaintiffs’ structures existed before the enactment of such laws.  In 2010, Plaintiffs sought variances to make changes to their home. While the proposed changes would alter the structure of the dwelling, Plaintiffs insisted that the lot coverage would remain at 42.6%. The Board of Zoning Appeals for the Town of Brookhaven (“Board”) partially granted Plaintiffs’ application but placed limits regarding the lot coverage.  The Board determined that the 42.6% lot coverage was far greater than the permissible 35% and to allow such coverage would set a negative example for others.  As such, the Board agreed to allow Plaintiffs 37% lot coverage if they chose to…

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