No Environmental Impact Statement Needed
LVT Number: #21168
Landlord applied to the DHCR for permission to demolish a rent-stabilized building at 220 Central Park South. The DHCR ruled for landlord. Tenants appealed, claiming that the DHCR failed to order an environmental impact statement as required by state law before ruling on landlord’s application. The court ruled for tenants, finding that the DHCR’s determination to either grant or deny an eviction certificate was an action that required review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act. The DHCR appealed, claiming that no environmental review was required.
The appeals court ruled unanimously for the DHCR. The DHCR’s consideration of landlord’s demolition application under Rent Stabilization Code Section 2524.5(a)(2) wasn’t an action requiring an environmental impact statement. The Code required the DHCR to consider only whether landlord had the financial ability to demolish the building, whether plans had been approved by DOB, and whether landlord had complied with tenant relocation and stipend provisions. The DHCR wasn’t authorized to consider environmental concerns, and the DHCR’s determination wasn’t an “action” on which preparation of an environmental impact statement was required.
220 CPS "Save Our Homes" Association v. DHCR: NYLJ, 4/2/09, p. 40, col. 3 (App. Div. 1 Dept.; Tom, JP, Andrias, Nardelli, Buckley, DeGrasse, JJ)