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Pompa Construction Corp. v. City of Saratoga Springs

decided: May 2, 1983.

POMPA CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION, DANIEL POMPA AND NELSON POMPA, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
CITY OF SARATOGA SPRINGS, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE



Appeal from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, Roger J. Miner, Judge, denying appellants' request for a declaration (and injunction) that appellee City of Saratoga Springs' zoning ordinance violates the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution as applied to appellants' 68-acre tract of land within the City.

Feinberg, Chief Judge, Cardamone and Davis,*fn* Circuit Judges.

Author: Davis

DAVIS, Circuit Judge:

Pompa Construction Corporation, Daniel Pompa and Nelson Pompa (Pompas or Appellants) appeal the denial by the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York (Miner, District Judge) of their request for a declaration (with injunctive relief) that a zoning ordinance of the City of Saratoga Springs, New York (City of Saratoga Springs), violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution as applied to their 68-acre tract of land within the City. Finding neither a legal error, a clear error of fact, or abuse of discretion, we affirm.

I

On July 7, 1971, the City amended its zoning ordinance according to a Comprehensive Development Plan*fn1 (Master Plan), adopted by the City Council that same day, a plan which had been submitted in May, 1970 to the New York State Office of Planning Coordination. After those amendments, appellants acquired approximately 68 acres of unimproved land (the Pompa tract) in the northwest quadrant of Saratoga Springs on which they wished to operate a stone quarry.*fn2 Although the zoning ordinance in effect prior to the 1971 amendments permitted uses for the district in which the Pompa tract is located for "quarries, sand and gravel pits," those uses are no longer allowed under the 1971 ordinance. Rather, that district is now designated as a conservancy district, based upon the Master Plan's finding that:

raw developable land is a basic natural resource that the City must judiciously safeguard. It offers flexibility for development and the City should retain this flexibility for as long as possible. * * * The intent of this land use designation is to conserve land by discouraging premature development and avoid undisciplined and needless urban sprawl with its consequent municipal headaches.

Master Plan at 149-150.*fn3

Permitted uses in conservancy districts fall into the following categories:

Permitted Principal Use

1. Site plan review for all uses

2. Single family residence

3. Public schools, parks and playgrounds; places of worship

4. Golf course and club house

5. Riding academy

6. General farming

7. New York State conservation, highway and spa facilities

8. Farms; picnic groves; marina

9. Reforestation ...


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