CMM attorneys are diligent in obtaining a positive outcome for our clients, no matter how complicated the process. Though this case involved over 40 exhibits and numerous submissions from experts over the course of six years, our team successfully fended off a court challenge to the decision of an East End village’s Planning Board and helped the Village finally put this matter to rest.

CMM serves as the Village Attorney for the East End village involved in this matter, advising its Boards and representing it in Court. The Article 78 petition (essentially a legal challenge to the actions of an administrative agency or municipality) stemmed from a longstanding disagreement between the Village and a local homeowner. His home is built on a bluff overlooking a bay, and he was concerned about erosion destroying his home over time. The homeowner applied to construct a rock revetment at the toe of his bluff, arguing that this would stabilize the bluff and prevent erosion.

The homeowner hired experts who submitted evidence to support his argument. The Village Planning Board ultimately denied his application, noting that less destructive improvements could be implemented instead. These methods, known as “soft improvements,” included planting certain shrubs and grasses to prevent erosion. The implementation of soft improvements would have the identical effect of stabilizing the bluff and had been proven successful in adjacent properties. The Village also argued that these soft improvements would avoid the negative consequences of the rock revetment, which could accelerate erosion and in fact had done so on adjacent properties where revetments had been installed. The homeowner was not satisfied with the rejection of his application, and he filed the Article 78 challenge the Board’s decision.

CMM’s Scott Middleton and Richard DeMaio vigorously opposed the petition, arguing that the record contained substantial evidence to support the Planning Board’s denial of the homeowner’s application. The Court agreed with CMM’s cogent arguments and dismissed the petition. Due to CMM’s hard work and diligence, this protracted disagreement is finally resolved.

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