The firm successfully defended New York real estate developer Southern Realty and Development, LLC (“Southern”) in a State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”) challenge to a supermarket development in the Town of North East. The Petitioners argued that the approving agency, the Planning Board of the Town of North East, should have required a full environmental impact statement (“EIS”) under SEQRA to gauge the environmental impacts of the project. The Court found that Southern and the Town of North East fulfilled all obligations under SEQRA by adopting a thorough Negative Declaration and Environmental Assessment Form (“EAF”) which identified all small to moderate and potentially large impacts stemming from the project. Crediting the numerous environmental studies and mitigation measures undertaken by Southern, the Court found that the record sufficiently considered environmental impacts.
While the Court reached the merits of the SEQRA claims in the proceeding and found them to be unavailing, the Court was also persuaded by the procedural argument made by Southern and the Town of North East that the proceeding was barred by the statute of limitations. The Appellate Division affirmed the lower Court’s decision (139 AD3d 740 (2016)).