The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined a local law requiring permits for changes to buildings designated “historic” was not unconstitutional. The local law, the “Historic Building Preservation Law,” gave the town’s Historic Building Preservation Commission (HBPC) the power to approve or disapprove proposed alterations to historic buildings which were identified as such in a “Survey:”
“Legislative enactments enjoy a strong presumption of constitutionality . . . [and] parties challenging a duly enacted statute face the initial burden of demonstrating the statute’s invalidity beyond a reasonable doubt” … . “The exceedingly strong presumption of constitutionality applies . . . to ordinances of municipalities” … . The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution guarantee due process protections for life, liberty, and property (see US Const Amends V, XIV). “The requirements of procedural due process apply only to the deprivation of interests encompassed by the Fourteenth Amendment’s protection of liberty and property” … .
… Here, the petitioners/plaintiffs failed to identify any constitutionally protected property interest that was implicated in the enactment of the 2017 local law and, thus, the petitioners/plaintiffs were not entitled to a hearing prior to the enactment of that law … . Contrary to the petitioners/plaintiffs’ contention, the 2017 local law did not require property owners to submit to warrantless searches of their properties in order to challenge a property’s classification or inclusion on the Survey. Matter of Santomero v Town of Bedford, 2022 NY Slip Op 02552, Second Dept 4-20-22
Practice Point: A local law which designates certain buildings as “historic” and requires permits for alterations to the historic buildings is not unconstitutional.