resources, and other areas of environmental, economic or social
concern. The City also satisfied its duty to attempt to mitigate
to the extent feasible any adverse impacts that were identified.
The City carefully considered alternative sites and
comprehensively articulated the advantages and disadvantages of
each and the reasons for the selection of the Mosholu Golf Course
site. Friends does not and could not seriously suggest that the
City was required to forego construction of the WTP in order to
save the clubhouse, and Friends does not suggest that the City
could have excavated the site and constructed the plant without
removing the clubhouse. Nor does Friends offer any evidence to
show that the clubhouse was of such historical, aesthetic or
archeological interest that the City should have taken
extraordinary measures to preserve it by dismantling and
relocating or reconstructing it, as Friends now argues.
The City met its obligations under SEQRA by identifying
destruction of the clubhouse as an adverse impact, disclosing
relevant information available to it relating to the clubhouse,
considering the alternatives to alleviate adverse impact, and
deciding that preservation of a photographic record, from which a
replica will be built, was the most practicable alternative.
Friends' challenge to the adequacy of the City's examination of
the matter during the environmental review process is equally
without merit. The steps taken included: examination of primary
and secondary literature and maps in regional archives and
libraries; interviews with long-term residents and local
historians and archeologists; inspection of the site and
assessment by an architectural historian; and examination of
records and consultation with the City's Landmarks Preservation
Commission, the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic
Preservation, and the State Museum Education Department. Friends
offers no evidence to support its speculation that,
notwithstanding these measures taken by the City, the clubhouse
might have been suitable for inclusion in the National Register
or other landmark designation.
As with review of other agency determinations under Article 78,
a SEQRA decision should be upheld unless it was "made in
violation of lawful procedure, was affected by an error of law or
was arbitrary and capricious or an abuse of discretion." C.P.L.R.
§ 7803(3); see Chemical Specialties Mfrs. Ass'n v. Jorling,
85 N.Y.2d 382, 396-97, 626 N.Y.S.2d 1, 649 N.E.2d 1145 (1995). In
reviewing a SEQRA determination, the court must examine whether
the agency reasonably satisfied its obligations under SEQRA to
identify areas of potential concern, take a "hard look" at those
areas, and give a reasoned explanation for the choices, but it is
not the function of the court to second-guess agency
determinations or to substitute its judgment for that of the
responsible public officials who discharged their obligation to
evaluate the matter and consider the reasonableness of
alternative courses to mitigate the impact. Jackson, 67 N.Y.2d
at 414-17, 503 N.Y.S.2d 298, 494 N.E.2d 429; Neville v. Koch,
79 N.Y.2d 416, 424-25, 583 N.Y.S.2d 802, 593 N.E.2d 256 (1992).
The City discharged its obligations under SEQRA in a serious and
reasonable manner, and its determination must be upheld.
3. Adequacy of Record
In a footnote, Friends claims that the City did not satisfy its
obligation in an Article 78 proceeding to file a complete record
of the proceedings being reviewed, because the City did not
include transcripts of the hearings and proceedings before the
City Planning Commission and the City Council. This argument is
The requirement in C.P.L.R. § 7804(e) of filing a "certified
transcript of the record of the proceedings under consideration"
does not require that the kind of documents at issue here,
minutes of public hearings held for informational purposes,
and the internal deliberations of public entities, be recorded
and furnished to the court in transcript form. A hearing
transcript is necessary to review adjudicative proceedings, but
it is not required to review decisions in administrative or
quasi-legislative proceedings that were conducted to consider
proposed actions of public agencies. Compare Petty v. Sullivan,
131 A.D.2d 762, 517 N.Y.S.2d 60 (2d Dep't 1987) (minutes of
disciplinary proceeding required), with Save the Pine Bush, Inc.
v. Planning Bd., 83 A.D.2d 741, 442 N.Y.S.2d 602 (3d Dep't 1981)
(public hearings held by environmental quality review board,
planning board and common council in approving construction
project and zoning amendment properly characterized as
"informational" hearings which are part of administrative or
legislative proceedings that are not subject to "substantial
evidence" review under C.P.L.R. § 7803(4)).
The record before the court; which includes the FEIS and all of
the reports and decisions of the Planning Commission and the City
Council, contains all documents necessary to resolve Friends'
challenges. Moreover, there is no suggestion that the omitted
transcripts — portions of which have been submitted by Friends on
this motion — contain information pertinent to the specific
issues raised by Friends in its SEQRA challenge, i.e.,
demolition of the clubhouse or the legal arguments concerning the
need for State legislation and a zoning amendment, that is not
otherwise contained in the record.
The application of the State, through its Attorney General, for
relief pursuant to the dispute resolution provision of the
Consent Decree in 97 CV 2154 is denied, and the application is
dismissed. Summary judgment is granted to the City in Norwood, 99
CV 6224, and Friends, 99 CV 7399, dismissing the petitions, and
the cross-motion of Friends for partial summary judgment is
denied. The Clerk of Court is directed to enter judgments in
accordance with this Opinion and Order.