The Second Department, in upholding the zoning board’s denial of a special exception permit and a variance, explained the criteria for a special exception permit:
“Unlike a variance which gives permission to an owner to use property in a manner inconsistent with a local zoning ordinance, a special exception gives permission to use property in a way that is consistent with the zoning ordinance, although not necessarily allowed as of right” … . Thus, the burden of proof on an owner seeking a special exception is lighter than that on an owner seeking a variance … . The owner must show compliance with legislatively imposed conditions pertaining to the intended use before a special exception permit may be granted … . The denial of a special exception permit must be supported by evidence in the record and may not be based solely upon community objection … . However, where such evidence exists, deference must be given to the discretion of the board authorized to rule upon the application. A court may not substitute its own judgment for that of the board, even if such a contrary determination is itself supported by the record … .
Here, the Board’s determination that the petitioner failed to establish compliance with the legislatively imposed conditions for issuance of the requested special exceptions was supported by evidence in the record, and was not affected by an error of law, was not arbitrary and capricious, was not an abuse of discretion, and was not irrational… . Matter of M & V 99 Franklin Realty Corp v Weiss, 2015 NY Slip Op 00541, 2nd Dept 1-21-15