Judge Rules That Lawsuit Against Town Over Bridgehampton Barn Decision Can Move Forward Judge Rules That Lawsuit Against Town Over Bridgehampton Barn Decision Can Move Forward - 27 East

Real Estate News

Real Estate News / 1413441

Judge Rules That Lawsuit Against Town Over Bridgehampton Barn Decision Can Move Forward

authorEvan Reeves on Aug 27, 2014

In a ruling filed last week, U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Spatt gave Cantor Fitzgerald CEO Howard Lutnick’s legal team to move forward with a lawsuit against Southampton Town and individual members of the Planning Board and Agricultural Advisory Committee seeking to reverse a ruling prohibiting him from building a barn on his Bridgehampton property.

The ruling, which was handed down on August 19 in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District struck down a motion filed by the town to dismiss the suit—which was originally filed in February against the town in general, as well as six members of the Planning Board and 15 members of the Agricultural Advisory Committee—on several legal points, finding that Mr. Lutnick’s suit had merit.

Mr. Lutnick twice applied for permission to construct a barn on his property on 545 Halsey Lane in Bridgehampton, which lies within an agricultural overlay district. Such districts were first established by the town in 1972 and later amended in 1994 to prohibit all construction within the districts except those permitted by the Town Board as “accessory and incidental to agricultural production.”

The lawsuit, seeking $20 million in damages, is unique in that it implies that the individual members of both boards should be held personally responsible for the losses incurred by the plaintiff and applicant.

The town’s motion to dismiss, filed in May, charged that “failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted,” according to the court’s memorandum.

The court’s ruling now allows Mr. Lutnick’s team to proceed in advancing the case against the individual members of the two boards by establishing that they infringed on property rights in an “arbitrary and irrational manner,” according to the memorandum.

“The property owner [Mr. Lutnick] is happy with the court’s decision and happy to pursue the case,” says Michael Giusto of Neufeld & O’Leary, the firm representing Mr. Lutnick.

Highlighted in the Plaintiff’s study is a parcel located across the street on 445 Halsey Lane, on which “the Planning Board had approved 19,305 square feet of agricultural structures—more than 70 percent larger than sought by the Plaintiff—situated on an agricultural reserve parcel of only 13.3 acres,” according to the memorandum.

Mr. Lutnick purchased the 40-acre property in 2003 for just over $15 million. He first applied for construction of a 11,250-square-foot barn in 2006 to use for agricultural purposes servicing an existing 3-acre apple orchard.

He later amended the application to include a slightly smaller barn and an expanded agricultural use that totaled 10 acres of orchard and a vineyard. The Planning Board, under advisement of the Agricultural Advisory Committee, felt that the size of the barn was not appropriate for the proposed agricultural use. Instead, the AAC suggested their own amended application for the construction of a 2,400 square foot barn, which would also require the baseball diamond and jungle gym that Mr. Lutnick built when he purchased the property to be removed.

You May Also Like:

Neighboring Landowners Object As Sagaponack Farm Proposes Deer Fence

The Fosters say the deer population has grown to the point that they have no ... 15 Nov 2019 by Brendan J. OReilly

Elie Tahari’s Sagaponack Home Now Asks $39 Million

More than two years after it hit the market for $45 million and failed to ... 7 Nov 2019 by Staff Writer

Peter Matthiessen’s Former Sagaponack Home Could Become Center For Writing, Conservation, Zen

When author and naturalist Peter Matthiessen died in the spring of 2014, uncertainty reigned. His ... 6 Nov 2019 by Hannah Selinger

Attorney Jack Lester Helping OLA Help Renters Wronged By Landlords

For renters on the South Fork who feel that they have been mistreated by their ... by Brendan J. OReilly

Cee Scott Brown, Jack Pearson Join Compass

Cee Scott Brown and Jack Pearson, a duo of associate brokers who are veterans of ... by Brendan J. OReilly

Sagaponack Reserve Property Sells For $4.75 Million

The only available reserve land in Sagaponack, a 10.4-acre parcel, has sold for $4.75 million. ... 5 Nov 2019 by Staff Writer

Agency News: Saunders Hosts Food Drive; Paulina Keszler Joins Elliman

Saunders Hosts Thanksgiving Food Drive Saunders & Associates is hosting its fifth annual Can-Do Thanksgiving ... by Staff Writer

People Behind LLCs Must Now Be Disclosed When Buying Real Estate In New York

Limited liability companies buying or selling homes in New York State now have to disclose the identities of their owners, managers and agents under a new state law. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation into law in September and it became effective immediately. It applies to properties with between one and four living units, inclusive of houses, apartments and condos. If the property has mixed residential and commercial uses, such as a retail shop with an apartment on the second story, the law still applies. Names and addresses must be disclosed on the joint tax return that the buyers and ... by Staff Writer

Breakfast Presentation On New State Rental Law’s Impact On The East End Is November 19

The Southampton Business Alliance is hosting a breakfast at the Southampton Inn on Tuesday, November 19, to inform business owners of the impact of new state rental laws on the East End. Esseks, Hefter, Angel, Di Talia & Pasca LLP, Attorneys at Law, will make a presentation, which will be followed by a discussion. The new laws are part of sweeping housing reform that the New York State Legislature adopted in June, The Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019. Though the legislation mainly dealt with protections for New York City rental tenants, it had some statewide implications and ... 1 Nov 2019 by Staff Writer

Hedges Lane Estate Sold For $15 Million After Several Price Cuts

A Sagaponack Village estate on coveted Hedges Lane sold for $15 million in October, according ... by Staff Writer

Welcome to our new website!

To see what’s new, click “Start the Tour” to take a tour.

We welcome your feedback. Please click the
“contact/advertise” link in the menu bar to email us.

Start the Tour
Landscape view not supported