New York Land Use Litigants Beware Injunctive Relief Must Be Sought to Preserve the Status Quo While an Appeal is Pending

In Matter of John G. Molloy, et al, the New York Appellate Division, Second Department reminds us that it is critical to preserve the status quo during the pendency of an appeal by moving for a preliminary injunction. Failure to do so resulted in the dismissal of an Article 78 proceeding challenging the grant of a use variance by the Town of Carmel Zoning Board of Appeals to the Putnam Arts Council, a not-for-profit organization, permitting it to operate in a residential zone. Appellants’ failure to preserve their rights during appellate review allowed construction of the new arts center to be completed and a certificate of occupancy to be issued thereby resulting in dismissal of the appeal as academic when it was eventually heard by the Appellate Division.