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Christian Browne

Christian Browne Obtains Reversal of Hempstead Board of Appeals Variance Denial for Two-Family Dwelling

Christian Browne, a Partner with the Firm, recently successfully represented a client before the New York State Supreme Court, Nassau County, seeking to reverse the decision of the Town of Hempstead Board of Appeals denying his application for a variance to maintain a two-family dwelling on a parcel located within the Town’s Business District.

The property, located in Bethpage, has a 10-car parking lot and had been previously used as an office. The owner later converted the structure to a three-family dwelling, but, following a lengthy legal battle with the Town, the owner proposed the elimination of one of the dwelling units. Under the Town’s Building Zone Ordinance, a two-family home must be located on a parcel of at least 12,000 square feet. The subject property has just over 10,000 square feet and so required a variance in order to legally host a two-family home. On March 3, 2016, the Board denied the application.

Mr. Browne argued before the Court that the Board failed to set forth any proper legal grounds for the denial of the application. Because there was no evidence in the record to show that the 10,000-square-foot size of the subject parcel is inadequate for the two-family use or that the deficiency in the size of the lot would cause harm to the surrounding neighborhood, the Court held the denial improper, vacated the Board’s decision and returned the matter to the Board for reconsideration.

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