First Department Reverses Lower Court And Upholds Denial Of Application to Install Advertising Sign

Petitioner Skyhigh Murals – Colossal Media Inc. (“Petitioner”) owns property in the City of New York.  The New York City Department of Buildings (“DOB”) denied of Petitioner’s application to install an advertising sign on its property, and that decision was later affirmed by the Board of Standards and Appeals of the City of New York (“BSA”) on May 17, 2016.  Petitioner challenged brought a CPLR Article 78 proceeding to challenge the determination, and the Supreme Court, New York County annulled the BSA’s determination.  The BSA appealed.

On appeal, the Appellate Division, First Department held that the BSA rationally found that the proposed sign was prohibited by New York City Zoning Resolution § 42–561.  The proposed sign was located within 100 feet of the boundary of a Special Mixed-Use District superimposed on a Residence District, and the record showed that the 1997 resolution of the City Planning Commission of the New York City Department of City Planning that created the first Special Mixed Use District indicated that restrictions governing Residence Districts could apply to Special Mixed Use Districts, depending on the regulations at issue. Thus, the Court found that the BSA’s determination that the DOB properly denied Petitioner’s application had a rational basis and was supported by substantial evidence.  It concluded that the lower court should have deferred to BSA’s determination instead of applying a de novo standard of review, reversed the lower courts decision, and affirmed the ruling by the BSA.

The case was Skyhigh Murals - Colossal Media, Inc.  v Board of Standards and Appeals of the City of New York, 162 A.D.3d 446 (1st Dep’t 2018).

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