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Appellate Practice Group Obtains Dismissal of Land Use Appeal

Firm partners, Zachary Murdock and David Lazer, moved successfully to dismiss the appeal of Pinelawn Cemetery in a case involving a stop work order issued by the Town of Babylon on Pinelawn property leased to the MTA/Long Island Railroad and operated by the firm’s client as a transloading facility. The court below had agreed with the operator and railroad parties that the Town was statutorily barred from regulating the facility. The Town and its Board of Zoning Appeals initially joined with Pinelawn in appealing the judgment but, prior to argument, stipulated to accept the judgment, vacate the stop work order, and withdraw their appeal. In a decision issued November 29, 2017, following argument of Pinelawn’s appeal and the respondents’ dismissal motion, the Appellate Division, Second Department agreed with respondents that the Town’s actions had rendered Pinelawn’s appeal academic “because a determination of the issues regarding the validity of the stop work order will not directly affect the rights of the parties and the issues raised do not warrant an exception to the mootness doctrine.” Matter of New York & Atlantic Railway Company, et al., v. Town of Babylon, et al., ___ A.D.3d ___ , 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8419, 2017 NY Slip Op 08375 (2d Dep’t 2017).