Second Department Holds ZBA Properly Granted Country Club Special Use Permit

Hampshire Recreation, LLC, owned a 216–acre property in which the Hampshire Country Club, a membership golf and tennis club, was located. Pursuant to the Village of Mamaroneck Zoning Code, a membership club must be operated by a not-for-profit corporation or organization. Accordingly, Hampshire Recreation, LLC, incorporated Hampshire Club, Inc. a not-for-profit corporation, and leased it the Hampshire Country Club to operate. Hampshire Club, Inc. later applied for a special use permit to host nonmember events at the Country Club. After a public hearing, the Zoning Board of Appeals (”ZBA”)voted to grant the special use permit. Petitioners commenced an CPLR Article 78 proceeding to review the ZBA’s determination and to annul the special use permit. The Supreme Court denied the petition and dismissed the proceeding. Petitioners appealed.

On appeal, the Court noted that once an applicant shows that the contemplated use conforms to the conditions imposed, a special use permit or exception must be granted absent reasonable grounds for denial, supported by substantial evidence. Here, the evidence showed 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 that there were no reasonable grounds for denying the special use permit. Accordingly, the Court found that the special use permit to host nonmember events at the Country Club should have been granted. As such, the Court affirmed the decision to deny the petition and dismiss the proceeding.

The case was Mamaroneck Coastal Environment Coalition, Inc. v Board of Appeals of the Village of Mamaroneck, 152 A.D. 3d 771 (2d Dep’t 2017).

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