The Fourth Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined: (1) the correspondence between the property owner (PCP) and the town concerning proposed construction created an agreement to agree, not an enforceable settlement agreement allowing construction; and (2), Supreme Court’s directing what the town could and could not consider with respect to the construction project encroached upon the town’s administrative authority:
… [T]he letters that the court found to have memorialized the settlement agreement did not contain all the material terms of the settlement and constituted no more than an agreement to agree … . [The town] stated therein only that it was “now in a position to agree to a settlement of the mass and scale issues,” but that first it would “need to receive, review and approve all of the items that it normally reviews in connection with any application it receives.” Any agreement was further conditioned on [the town’s] receipt of additional documentation from PCP, including “an accurate, to-scale site plan” and further roof specifications … .
We further conclude that, in the absence of an enforceable settlement agreement, the court’s hearing on the issues of mass and scale, subsequent decision rendering findings of fact related to PCP’s new application for a certificate of approval, and remittal to [the town] for consideration of that application with specific directives regarding what [the town] could and could not consider were impermissible intrusions into respondents’ administrative domain … . Matter of Pittsford Canalside Props., LLC v Village of Pittsford Zoning Bd. of Appeals, 2020 NY Slip Op 01812, Fourth Dept 3-13-20