The Third Department determined the town planning board’s approval of a final subdivision plan was proper. The petitioners challenged the approval arguing, in part, that the town’s repeated renewal of grandfathering provisions (under which the subdivision plan was approved) was unlawful. Under the grandfathering provisions, the subdivision was deemed exempt from certain conservation measures. The Third Department disagreed:
“A town’s zoning determination is entitled to a strong presumption of validity; therefore, one who challenges such a determination bears a heavy burden of demonstrating, ‘beyond a reasonable doubt, that the determination was arbitrary and unreasonable or otherwise unlawful'” … . While “[z]oning laws must be enacted in accordance with a comprehensive land use plan” … to establish compliance, “respondents need only show that the zoning amendment was adopted for ‘a legitimate governmental purpose'” and the amendment will not be considered arbitrary unless “‘there is no reasonable relation between the end sought to be achieved by the regulation and the means used to achieve that end'” … . … As set forth in the comprehensive plan, the Town’s primary concerns included “ensuring the community remains a great place to live, work, and visit, attracting new industry and employment opportunities, and conserving the area’s natural resources and remaining open spaces.” The adoption of the initial grandfathering provision clearly evidenced and furthered the Town’s interest in balancing conservation measures with community development and, particularly, the interests of property owners who had, at the time the comprehensive plan was adopted, invested substantial time and money in developing their property in accordance with previous land use laws and zoning requirements … .
Petitioners have not shown that, under the circumstances here, the challenged extensions … were inordinately lengthy as to render them “arbitrary and unreasonable or otherwise unlawful”… . Matter of Birchwood Neighborhood Association v Planning Board of the Town of Colonie, 516284, 3rd Dept 12-19-13