Court Finds Rezoning Not Impermissible Spot Zoning When Consistent With The City’s 2020 Vision Plan

Plaintiffs brought a declaratory judgment action against the City and other Defendants challenging the rezoning of property in the City of Oswego (City) to accommodate the construction of a hotel. The Supreme Court, Oswego County granted summary judgment to the Defendants, and Plaintiffs appeal.

The Appellate Division began its analysis by noting zoning amendments enjoy a “strong presumption of validity,” ensuring that such amendments will not be disturbed unless they can be found to be in clear conflict with a city’s comprehensive zoning plan. Here, Defendants presented evidence that the rezoning application underwent a thorough review, including review by the City Planning Board, County Planning Department, and Common Council's Planning and Development Committee before the Common Council acted on the petition. In addition, the zoning amendment at issue furthered the City’s legitimate interest in carrying out the planned development of the city.

Plaintiffs also claim the Common Council’s decision to reverse its approval of the zoning petition was arbitrary and capricious. As the Common Council substantially adhered to its procedural requirements, and is a legislative and not, as Plaintiffs allege, an administrative body, the court dismissed this claim with minimal analysis. The court thus upheld the zoning amendment and granted judgment in favor of the defendants.

The case was Restuccio v. City of Oswego, 114 A.D.3d 1191 (App. Div. 2014).

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