Zoning and Planning

Integral to the use of any real estate and to many transactions is the right of the owner to use the land in the way they expect, which involves an understanding of municipal zoning and planning. As a member of the Village of Nyack Planning Board, zoning lawyer Peter Klose stays well connected to the ordinances and regulations that govern land use and zoning issues.

What is Zoning?

Zoning consists of land use regulation for the purpose of planning by local governments. Zoning rules dictate what a given piece of land can be used for, height of the intended building and other issues related to the building and use of the structure. If a property owner seeks to use their property in a way that is not permitted by the zoning laws, that property owner may seek a variance. A variance is an exception to the zoning laws that may be granted in a particular instance. A property owner would have to make an application for a variance to a zoning board. The zoning board would then decide whether to grant or deny the variance.

Based on their many years of experience in this area, the zoning attorneys at Klose & Associates can assist you with the myriad rules, regulations, and procedures for understanding building codes and getting variances.

What is a Zoning Board of Appeals?

A zoning board is a local elected or appointed government board. Individuals on the zoning board make recommendations to the local town, village, or city council with respect to the boundaries of the original zoning districts, appropriate regulations to be enforced therein and any proposed amendments thereto.

For example, the Village of Nyack maintains a Zoning Board of Appeals consisting of five members and two alternate members appointed by the Village Board. All members are volunteers. The Zoning Board of Appeals hears and decides appeals from any order, requirement, decision, interpretation, or determination of the Building Inspector, the Planning Board and the Architectural Review Board. Most appeals seek either an interpretation of the zoning code or a variance from the zoning code. In addition, the Board has the power to grant special use permits in certain instances as defined in the Zoning Code.

The website for the Village of Nyack Zoning Board of Appeals may be found here.

What is a Planning Board?

The Planning Board helps to determine how land should be used in a particular community. The first main function of the Planning Board is to review "Site Plans" for proposed construction or alteration of many parcels of real property. The second function is to decide whether a parcel in the village or town can and should be sub-divided.

Peter Klose has served as the Chair of the Village of Nyack Planning Board. Peter Klose and the other members of the Village of Nyack Planning Board are guided by Village Code regulations as related to land use as well as its sense of the lot and the community. Nyack has adopted a Comprehensive Master Plan, which sets forth the general vision of the village in the future.

For more information about the Village of Nyack Planning Board, you can click on this link.

What if a Property Owner Disagrees With the Zoning Code?

We are affected by the decisions made by local government. The zoning attorneys at our firm see this in cities, counties, villages, towns and entities such as school or water districts.

Sometimes local government zoning and planning departments harass local business owners by withholding permits, issuing violations, refusing to remedy problems, including drainage, runoff, and fire hazard. If you are homeowner with an objection to development or a developer with a project, you need local attorneys familiar with proper planning and zoning rules.

The process can involve attending public hearings and court proceedings.

Can You File a Lawsuit Against the Zoning Board in a New York State Court?

Yes. Action or inaction by local governments in New York can be challenged by way of an Article 78 proceeding. Courts review the evidence presented at the public hearing. Zoning lawyer Peter Klose can assist clients in Nyack, the Town of Orangetown, the Town of Clarkstown, and in other areas of Rockland County. He will make sure you have a professional and comprehensive record for the Court to review.

The New York State Zoning and Planning Laws may be found by clicking on the following link.

For a fun read on Town and Village Codes, check out this Blog Post by Peter Klose Want fresh eggs everyday? Get a chicken (but check the Town Code first in New York) by Peter Klose.

Client Reviews
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Peter Klose handled my Will, Living Will & Health Care Proxy. Peter was VERY easy to work with... he is knowledgeable, answered all my questions clearly and concisely, was sensitive to my situation, and expeditious in handling my legal needs. Anonymous
When I looked for a lawyer in New York to help me close that on the house in Harrison, I looked high and wide. I chose you. There were folks I knew from my hometown, there were family members, others. I didn't choose them. You were the one who was the selected representative for lawyers on the ethics committee. And you carried on in your father's stead... Susan F.