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New York Land Use & Zoning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for New York on
Q: I live in a small town in Orleans County, New York. Many of us just got our new property assessments .

Our assessments went up a minimum of $40,000 per property!!!! Our county is one of the poorest in the state and none of us have improved our property. The law used to be the assessers could not raise the assessment more than $10,000 in one year. I can't find that law now. Can you give me the... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on May 7, 2023

In New York State, the rules for property assessments are governed by the Real Property Tax Law (RPTL). According to RPTL Section 305, property assessments must be based on their market value, and should be made at least once every four years.

Regarding the increase in assessments, RPTL...
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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Land Use & Zoning and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I guess the question is, how in any way could a contract, lease, agreement, etc. be enforceable if it wasn't signed?
Carl Nelson
Carl Nelson
answered on Mar 30, 2023

Contracts generally do not need to be in writing to be enforceable. Certain types of contracts do, such as those for the sale of real property or leases for periods of more than year. But unless excepted from the “statute of frauds” which requires certain agreements to be memorialized in... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: My neighbor keeps tying his trees to my fence as when they are not tied they fall to the ground. There Is now damage

The damage is caused by my neighbor tying his trees to my fence. I have asked him not to do so and have cut the lines whenever I see them. This has gone on for months. There is damage to my fence (it now leans in his properties direction) and I am wondering if I can hold him responsible to pay for... View More

Elaine Shay
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Elaine Shay
answered on Mar 21, 2023

If you own the fence and it is on your property, you can seek to hold your neighbor responsible for any damage caused by his/her unauthorized use of your fence. If the damage is less than $10,000 you may sue in Small Claims Court for money damages. However, if you also want an injunction... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for New York on
Q: In NY can you claim ownership of someone else's property because you have used it for some of period of time?

We have an adjacent neighbor whose driveway has two exit points: at one end onto a main road which is what they are supposed to be using, the other end onto our church parking lot and then onto a side road. Part of the driveway that leads to our parking lot crosses over part of our property. The... View More

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
answered on Aug 23, 2022

Yes and no on the ownership. If you write to them and tell them to stop, that cuts off any ownership issues. You can legalize the driveway through your land by doing what it called an easement. It is a recorded document, like a deed, that states that the driveway is for access but subject to... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Land Use & Zoning for New York on
Q: Hello. I live in a road that has a shared egress. What is a common road agreement for a shared road? How is it split?

There are 3 owners that live on the adjacent property. One is a farm with 28 acres, 9 homes and businesses. One is a restaurant with 2 acres. I own 1.9 acres and have 2 homes on my property. The farm with 9 homes and businesses has the most land and travels the whole length of the shared road. They... View More

Peter Christopher Lomtevas
Peter Christopher Lomtevas pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on May 17, 2022

The type of easement described here is a roadway easement for ingress and egress to another parcel of property. In this case, ingress refers to having the right to enter a property, while egress refers to the right to exit a property. An example of this type of easement is a shared roadway through... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Land Use & Zoning and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I want to buy a property for personal use, not for profit or rental, what kind of tax is involved if any in NY state LLC
Jason D. Jones
Jason D. Jones
answered on Jul 4, 2023

If you are only using the property for personal use then you would not put it in an LLC and you would only pay property tax.

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for New York on
Q: What kind of lawyer would be familiar with nys fire code and whether it applies to Dutchess county conservation developm

Specifically the law seems to allow local fire departments to deviate if they feel access is sufficient. Can that be challenged legally?

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jun 27, 2023

An attorney specializing in municipal or local government law, or specifically in fire code and regulations, would likely be familiar with the New York State fire code and its applicability to Dutchess County conservation development.

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Public Benefits and Construction Law for New York on
Q: Am I required to have a permit to block public parking space(s) in a private community in the state of NJ?
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Jun 20, 2023

You may have better chances of a response by reposting this in New Jersey, since the question asks about a parking setting there. Good luck

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for New York on
Q: Hi, The NYC DOB says my curb cut and home parking is illegal after 45 years.

I've lived in my home for 45yrs. When the home was purchased it already had a curb cut and a parking area at the front of the house. Suddenly the NYC DOB says the parking area is illegal(they considered it a front yard) and also the curb cut is illegal. I was giving a request for corrective... View More

Steven Warren Smollens
Steven Warren Smollens
answered on May 4, 2023

Dear Brooklyn Home Owner:

As best as I interpret the regulations a curb cut is an artifact of a legal driveway. If there is no driveway there should be no curb cut. Consult a zoning attorney familiar with dealing with the DOB in Brooklyn.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Small Claims for New York on
Q: The Village DPW employees plowed snow onto our property and destroyed our Fence and wont pay to fix it

The village is stating they do not have to pay for it. The fence is set 10ft back from the edge of the road. The codes enforcer verified where we were putting the fence and approved our permit with the Village & town of Wilna. We submitted an estimate to the village, which we were never advised... View More

Steven Warren Smollens
Steven Warren Smollens
answered on May 3, 2023

The Village will do this to you as long as you do not take the steps needed to commence a lawsuit and as long as you do not involve your homeowner insurance company.

Without filing a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the occurrence of the damage, you cannot sue. If the time has not run out,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: My sister was "offered an agreement" in her mobile home park. She did not sign the lease. Is she bound by the agreement?
Carl Nelson
Carl Nelson
answered on Mar 30, 2023

As a general matter, and there may be some exceptions where, e.g., performance begins or acceptance may be implied, an “offer” is just that, and until both sides agree (by the other side accepting the offer) to something, it is not enforceable.

Q: I live across the street from a developer who used to play nice. You knew what was going to be built 6 months in

advance, I checked the plans that often. Then BOOM, they are bulldozing across the street and I get told one day “that is not an office building across the street they are building—it’s gonna be a hotel!”

WAS ALL OF THAT LEGAL?????

It’s been a few years.

Do Towns... View More

Elaine Shay
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Elaine Shay
answered on Sep 22, 2022

Your concern about neighboring development is understandable. However, there is no way to provide a meaningful response to your inquiry based upon the information you have provided.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: How do I relinquish all responsibility for land received by forced inheritance?

My grandmother died a few years back and my father and three siblings inherited the property. My father no longer wants his share of the land but my uncle and aunts still want their shares of the property. What is the process to go about so my father no longer has any bearing to the land? This land... View More

Sandra M. Colatosti
Sandra M. Colatosti
answered on Apr 28, 2022

He can deed his share over to his siblings.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: My grandma died and left no will for her property and land in Jamaica, WI. I live in the US. What do I need
Elaine Shay
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Elaine Shay
answered on Apr 20, 2022

If your grandmother resided in Jamaica at the time she passed, the laws of Jamaica determine how her property will be distributed. Therefore, you should seek counsel in that jurisdiction.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Neighbor& I have recent surveys that conflict, they want me to move my fence.Farthest discrepancy is 5 inches.De Minimi?

Contact original surveyor. In New York State, courts will allow de minimus non-structural encroachments, such as fences. Past court decisions have allowed even more than 5 inches, electrical wires with exterior lighting, stone walls, etc. if meets this statute, non-structural, such as your fence.... View More

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
answered on Nov 5, 2021

You can move your fence, or agree with them to give an easement for the disputed lands. Five inches will not make title unmarketable.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Hi my grandmother is the only survivor of her siblings and parents. How can we find out how much land pertains to her?

Currently some family members have built houses on the land. We would like to find out how much land she would currently have? We like to built on the land as well. Not sure where to start? Or how much this would all cost. We have asked some family members but no one seems to know anything. Thank... View More

Anthony Armando Nozzolillo
Anthony Armando Nozzolillo pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Mar 13, 2021

Greetings:

You would need to ascertain who is the vested owner of the property by having a "last deed search" run. Once you are in receipt of the deed, this will reflect who is the "of record" owner of the property. If it is discovered that the land is currently owned by...
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3 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Land Use & Zoning for New York on
Q: I bought a house with a "friend", realizing too late I've been manipulated. Can I "break" our agreement?

I should have gotten a lawyer to represent my interests at the time, but our co-homeowner agreement seems very lopsided now. I don't want to sell or take on another mortgage, but I need some kind of relief from the onerous conditions she keeps imposing. These include limiting my privacy,... View More

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Nov 28, 2020

One option as a starting point could be to arrange a consult with an attorney to review the agreement. Without seeing that, it could be difficult for an attorney to advise meaningfully, solely based on general principles of contract law. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for New York on
Q: How can I fight to contest rpa871.My neighbor is requesting to have my fence remove from on my boundary line.

I’ve lived at this property for over 10 years they recently purchased their property which is already fenced

Toshinori Isoai
Toshinori Isoai
answered on Nov 17, 2020

We need more factual background to better answer your question.

If your fence height is less than the legal max and it's located on your property, then RPAPL § 871 won't help the new owner requesting for removal of your fence unless it's encroaching on his/her land.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for New York on
Q: Can I be imprisoned and fined $1000 for putting a dumpster in my driveway for 10 days! Im being discriminated

No one else in town has to be fined it even says so in an article the town put in the post journal! It is my first offense and they stated that no fines for first time offender I have a dumpster so I can dispose of things because I’moving and a trailer that I put unwanted things in to take to the... View More

Toshinori Isoai
Toshinori Isoai
answered on Oct 26, 2020

I don't know where you reside, but dumpsters are often regulated at a local/township level. Some cities have ordinances that require you to obtain a "dumpster permit" even if it will be placed on your private property. You may want to contact your local/city/municipal township for... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law, Civil Litigation and Land Use & Zoning for New York on
Q: NYS recently passed a law superceding a local law. The local law has provisions inconsistent with the NY law, but parts

are more restrictive. Will the local law have to be rewritten and can all the extra restrictions be added right back in?

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Aug 18, 2020

As a general rule, state laws generally supersede local laws. There are settings where local laws are sometimes stricter than state or federal laws. In terms of local laws being rewritten, that could be up to city officials, based on peoples' feedback. It would be best to consult with an... View More

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