In order to comply with certain demands of the Town of Oyster Bay Code, residents must apply to the Town’s Department of Planning and Development for approval. When the Department denies an application, its decision may be appealed and brought before the Zoning Board of Appeals. After proper notice is given to the neighborhood, a hearing is conducted and a decision is made by the Zoning Board to either grant or deny a “variance” to the appealing party.
Residents who are interested in the outcome of a Zoning Board hearing are afforded valuable rights under New York State law. The Old Harbour Green Civic Association would like to explain these rights so that members of the community can make their voices heard on variance applications of significance to them.
The following is a brief description of the Zoning Board hearing process. Further details can be obtained by consulting the New York State Department of State website at Dos.Ny.gov:
- Within 5 days of the Zoning Board hearing, the Town of Oyster Bay must advertise the hearing’s details (time, place, and general subject matter) in a local periodical;
- Residents who live within a 100 foot radius of the subject location must be notified about the Zoning Board hearing in writing by the applicant, who must also provide proof of notice to the Town;
- Any resident may attend the Zoning Board hearing, regardless of how far away she or he lives from the subject property;
- Any resident may speak at the Zoning Board hearing to have her or his comments heard by the Board and preserved for record;
- If a resident is unable to attend the Zoning Board hearing, she or he may compose an email and submit it to the Board through the website OysterBayTown.com. Also, written letters may be mailed to the Board at 74 Audrey Avenue, Oyster Bay, New York 11771;
- In making its decisions, the Zoning Board may consider a wide array of evidence. This means that residents who address the Board may submit photographs, petitions, or other documents that they think are relevant;
- The Zoning Board is considered a quasi-judicial entity because it interprets Town law in arriving at its decisions; and
- Any Zoning Board decisions can be appealed via “Article 78” proceedings, which are conducted in the Supreme Court of Nassau County. Therefore, while binding, decisions of the Board are not necessarily final.
For more information on the Town of Oyster Bay Zoning Board of Appeals, including Rules of Procedure, application, affidavits, and Meeting calendar, please visit the official page