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Court Rules Article 78 Proceeding Challenging Subdivision Application Was Time-Barred

Christian Browne and Joseph Bjarnson, Partners with the Firm, successfully represented a defendant-respondent in an Article 78 proceeding challenging a decision of the Nassau County Planning Commission. The Planning Commission granted the client’s minor subdivision application, but two neighbors filed a challenge to the Planning Commission’s action and sought to annul the subdivision approval. It is exceedingly rare for the Court to hear a challenge to a minor subdivision approval.

The Firm filed a motion to dismiss the Article 78 proceeding as time-barred, arguing that the applicable four-month statute of limitations began to run from the date on which the Planning Commission voted to approve the subdivision application at a public hearing. The challenging neighbors argued that the clock did not begin to run against them until they received a formal, written certification of the approval decision.

Justice Jeffrey Brown ruled in favor of the Firm’s client, holding that the statutory clock was triggered by the vote, not by a later “certification.” Because the challenging neighbors failed to file their action within four months of the Planning Commission’s vote, the Court dismissed the case as untimely. The Firm believes this is the first time a court has ever ruled on the application of the statute of limitations in a proceeding involving the Planning Commission.

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