The Fourth Department determined the ruling of the zoning board of appeals (ZBA) was properly upheld by Supreme Court. Petitioner-trust owns a landlocked undeveloped parcel. An offer to buy the parcel was contingent on the grant of variances allowing off-site billboards visible from the adjacent highway. The town code allows only on-site billboards. The ZBA denied the variances.
We reject petitioners’ contention that the ZBA acted arbitrarily and capriciously in determining that they failed to establish the factors constituting unnecessary hardship required for the issuance of the use variances (see Town Law § 267-b  [b]). The court properly determined, upon review of the record as a whole, including the evidence submitted to the ZBA, the findings and conclusions articulated by the ZBA during the hearing, and its subsequent letter decision … , that there is substantial evidence supporting the ZBA’s determination that the hardship was self-created (see § 267-b  [b] ). * * * … [T]he Trust possesses the same unused, oddly-shaped, difficult-to-develop property that [its predecessor] purchased, and although the purchase may now be viewed as a poor investment, courts are not responsible for “guarantee[ing] the investments of careless land buyers” … .
Contrary to petitioners’ contention, the court properly concluded that there is substantial evidence supporting the ZBA’s determination that the billboards would have a negative and adverse effect upon the character of the neighborhood inasmuch as the relevant area could not aesthetically support additional signs … . Matter of Expressview Dev., Inc. v Town of Gates Zoning Bd. of Appeals, 2017 NY Slip Op 00874, 4th Dept 2-3-17
ZONING (DENIAL OF VARIANCES FOR BILLBOARDS UPHELD, ANY HARDSHIP DEEMED SELF-CREATED)/VARIANCES (ZONING, DENIAL OF VARIANCES FOR BILLBOARDS UPHELD, ANY HARDSHIP DEEMED SELF-CREATED)/BILLBOARDS (ZONING, DENIAL OF VARIANCES FOR BILLBOARDS UPHELD, ANY HARDSHIP DEEMED SELF-CREATED)