In the Matter of Mamaroneck Coastal Environment Coalition, Inc., et al., appellants,
Board of Appeals of the Village of Mamaroneck, et al., respondents. Index No. 2382/14
Ledyard & Milburn LLP, New York, NY (Stephen L. Kass,
Karen E. Meara, Madelyn K. White, and Hugo E. Arenas of
counsel), for appellants.
McCarthy Fingar LLP, White Plains, NY (Lester D. Steinman and
Anna L. Georgiou of counsel), for respondents Board of
Appeals of the Village of Mamaroneck, and Lawrence Gutterman,
Barry Weprin, Robin Kramer, David Neufeld, and Greg Sullivan,
as members of the Board of Appeals of the Village of
& Steinmetz, White Plains, NY (Michael D. Zarin and David
J. Cooper of counsel), for respondents Hampshire Club, Inc.,
and Hampshire Recreation, LLC.
C. BALKIN, J.P., SHERI S. ROMAN, SYLVIA O. HINDS-RADIX,
HECTOR D. LASALLE, JJ.
DECISION & ORDER
proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 78 to review a
determination of the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Village
of Mamaroneck dated May 1, 2014, which, after a hearing,
granted an application for a special use permit, the
petitioners appeal from a judgment of the Supreme Court,
Westchester County (Jamieson, J.), dated May 18, 2015, which
denied the petition and dismissed the proceeding.
that the judgment is affirmed, with one bill of costs to the
respondents appearing separately and filing separate briefs.
Recreation, LLC, owns a 216-acre property in the Village of
Mamaroneck situated between the Marine Recreation District
and a residential district upon which the Hampshire Country
Club, a membership golf and tennis club, is located. Pursuant
to Village of Mamaroneck Zoning Code regulations, a
membership club must be operated by a not-for-profit
corporation or organization. Hampshire Recreation, LLC,
incorporated Hampshire Club, Inc., as a not-for-profit
corporation and leased the property to Hampshire Club, Inc.,
to operate the Hampshire Country Club (hereinafter the
Country Club). Thereafter, Hampshire Club, Inc., applied for
a special use permit to host nonmember events at the Country
Club. After a public hearing, the Zoning Board of Appeals of
the Village of Mamaroneck (hereinafter the Zoning Board)
voted to grant the special use permit to Hampshire Club, Inc.
The petitioners commenced this CPLR article 78 proceeding to
review the Zoning Board's determination and to annul the
grant of the special use permit. The Supreme Court denied the
petition and dismissed the proceeding.
a variance which gives permission to an owner to use property
in a manner inconsistent with a local zoning ordinance, a
special use permit gives permission to use property that is
consistent with the zoning ordinance, although not
necessarily allowed as of right" (Matter of Leon
Petroleum v Board of Trustees of Inc. Vil. of Mineola,
309 A.D.2d 804, 805; see Matter of Smyles v Board of
Trustees of Inc. Vil. of Mineola, 120 A.D.3d 822, 823).
The burden of proof on an applicant seeking a special use
permit is lighter than that carried by an applicant for a
zoning variance (see Matter of Smyles v Board of Trustees
of Inc. Vil. of Mineola, 120 A.D.3d at 823). Once an
applicant shows "that the contemplated use is in
conformance with the conditions imposed, a special [use]
permit or exception must be granted unless there are
reasonable grounds for denying it that are supported by
substantial evidence" (Matter of Leon Petroleum v
Board of Trustees of Inc. Vil. of Mineola, 309 A.D.2d at
on this record, there was substantial evidence that Hampshire
Club, Inc.'s contemplated use comported with the
requirements of Village of Mamaroneck Zoning Code
§§ 342-3 and 342-35(B)(9)(a), and there were no
reasonable grounds for denying the special use permit.
Therefore, the special use permit to host nonmember events at
the Country Club should have been granted (see Matter of
Leon Petroleum v Board of Trustees of Inc. Vil. of
Mineola, 309 A.D.2d at 806; Matter of Ray v Zoning
Bd. of Appeals of Vil. of E. Hampton, 282 A.D.2d 464;
cf. Matter of Retail Prop. Trust v Board of Zoning
Appeals of Town of Hempstead, 98 N.Y.2d 190, 195-196).
"Where substantial evidence exists, a court may not
substitute its own judgment for that of the board, even if
such a contrary determination is itself supported by the
record" (Matter of Leon Petroleum v Board of
Trustees of Inc. Vil. of Mineola, 309 A.D.2d at 806).
the Supreme Court properly denied the petition and ...