This post is the third part of our Oakwood Cemetery series. If you haven’t been reading thus far, scroll down to read the earlier posts on this case. If you have, let’s pick up where we left off.
As previously discussed, a trial court in Westchester County thwarted a cemetery’s attempt to build a crematory by upholding a village zoning ordinance prohibiting such construction on cemetery land. On March 12, 2014, the Appellate Division, Second Department rendered a decision that, in all material aspects, affirms the lower court’s ruling. Oakwood Cemetery v. Village/Town of Mount Kisco, 115 A.D.3d 749, 981 N.Y.S.2d 786 (2d Dep’t. 2014). The appellate court in Oakwood Cemetery, like the trial court, rejected the argument that Article 15 of the Not-For-Profit Corporation Law, which regulates the operation of corporations that own and manage cemeteries, prohibits local land use regulation of cemeteries. Therefore, according to the court, the Village of Mt. Kisco was free to pass zoning laws addressed to the use of cemetery land. While the lower court merely dismissed the Cemetery’s claim addressed to Article 15, the appellate court went further, holding that a judgment should have been entered declaring the restrictive zoning law valid, and not barred by Article 15.
Check back soon for our final post on Oakwood Cemetery, which will cover the importance of administrative appeal and conclude our discussion of this case