November 11, 2009
Salkin on Local Laws on Planning & Zoning Board Composition
Patricia Salkin (Albany) has posted Providing for Alternate Members of Planning and Zoning Boards: Drafting Effective Local Laws, Planning and Environmental Law, American Planning Association, Vol. 61, No. 8, August 2009. The abstract:
It is not uncommon for members of planning and zoning boards to have conflicts of interest with respect to applicants and applications before the board. When these members disclose and recuse themselves from further involvement in pending matters, it can lead to problems including a lack of quorum for the conduct of business and to tie votes resulting in either inaction or in default approvals. A number of states specifically authorize, but do not require, the appointment of alternate members to these local land use boards. However, many of these statutes fail to provide necessary guidance as to how alternate members are to be selected and appointed, and what their responsibilities and powers are during their term of office. This article offers lawyers, municipal officials and other community leaders best practices with respect to the drafting of effective local laws for the appointment of alternative members of planning and zoning boards.
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