Eminent Domain

Matter of Frank J. Ludovico Sculpture Trail v. Town of Seneca
(click for case PDF)

Court: Appellate Division, Fourth Department
Citation.: 2019 NY Slip Op 04621
Petitioner: Frank J. Ludovico Sculpture Trail
Respondent: Town of Seneca

Facts: Petitioner Frank J. Ludovico Sculpture Trail (“Trail”) owns a nature trail in the respondent Town of Seneca (“Town”). In a condemnation proceeding pursuant to EDPL 207, Town wanted to condemn a portion of the nature trail for an easement and construct a sewer line in that easement. The Town prevailed in the condemnation proceeding and Trail appealed..

Holding: The Appellate Division, Fourth Department annulled the condemnation finding that the Town failed to comply with the corresponding SEQRA requirements. The Town had been informed by the New York State Department of Conservation (“Conservation”) that there was potential harm to endangered species on the easement site, that the Town had to conduct a survey to determine such impact, and that there was potential impact to surface water. Since the Town failed to take the requisite “hard look” at the elements suggested by Conservation, the condemnation proceeding was annulled.

Submitted by: Phil Sanchez, Esq. www.spnylaw.com

Precis:Davida S. Scher