The Second Department determined the zoning board’s failure explain why it departed from its own precedent rendered its grant of variances arbitrary and capricious:
[The] variances permitted [petitioner] to subdivide a parcel he owned into two substandard lots, and to construct a two-family residence on each lot. In February 2014, the petitioners commenced this CPLR article 78 proceeding to review the Zoning Board’s determination on the ground that it was arbitrary and capricious, because the Zoning Board failed to properly distinguish the subject application from a substantially similar prior application, made as to the same parcel, which the Zoning Board had denied in 2010. The Supreme Court granted the petition and annulled the determination … .
“A decision of an administrative agency which neither adheres to its own prior precedent nor indicates its reason for reaching a different result on essentially the same facts is arbitrary and capricious” … . Where it is shown that a zoning board has reached contrary results on substantially similar facts, an explanation is required … . Here, the Zoning Board’s failure to set forth a factual basis as to why it was departing from its prior precedent rendered its determination arbitrary and capricious … . Matter of Amdurer v Village of New Hempstead Zoning Bd. of Appeals, 2017 NY Slip Op 00300, 2nd Dept 1-18-17
ZONING (ZONING BOARD DID NOT SET OUT A FACTUAL BASIS FOR FAILING TO FOLLOW ITS OWN PRECEDENT IN THIS VARIANCE PROCEEDING, ZONING BOARD’S GRANT OF THE VARIANCES WAS THEREFORE ARBITRARY AND CAPRICIOUS)/VARIANCES (ZONING, ZONING BOARD DID NOT SET OUT A FACTUAL BASIS FOR FAILING TO FOLLOW ITS OWN PRECEDENT IN THIS VARIANCE PROCEEDING, ZONING BOARD’S GRANT OF THE VARIANCES WAS THEREFORE ARBITRARY AND CAPRICIOUS)