Court Upholds Approval of Special Permit

Petitioner commenced a CPLR article 78 proceeding to challenge Respondent City of Rochester Planning Commission’s approval of the application of Respondent Morgan Management, LLC, for a special permit. The special permit allowed construction of an apartment building on property owned by Respondent Monroe Voiture No. 111 Memorial Home, Inc., La Societe Des 40 Hommes, “in association with the overall redevelopment of the property.” Petitioner is a not-for-profit corporation that owned the adjacent property, including the George Eastman House.

Pursuant to the Municipal Code of the City of Rochester, Chapter 120, Article XVII, the City established Planned Development District No. 14, which includes the Petitioner’s and Monroe Voiture’s properties. The City's intent in creating the District was “to recognize and permit a defined area for the delivery of programs and community services offered by George Eastman House and the Monroe Voiture… and to provide for the orderly growth and development of the properties.” After a hearing, the Planning Commission found that the proposed project met the City's standards for approval of a special permit, including that the proposed project would be in harmony with the goals, standards and objectives of the City's Comprehensive Plan. The Planning Commission also considered that, beyond the construction of a multifamily apartment building, the proposed project included renovation of the clubhouse, allowing for the continuance and expansion of the programs and community services offered by Monroe Voiture. Thus, the Court found the Planning Commission's approval of Morgan's special permit application was not arbitrary and capricious, irrational, or contrary to law.

The case was George Eastman House, Inc. v Morgan Management, 130 A.D.3d 1552 (4th Dep’t 2015).

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