Federal Judge Allows Lawsuit Seeking to Declare Hempstead Landmark Statute Unconstitutional to Move Forward
Attorney Christian Browne has announced that a federal judge denied the Town of Hempstead’s attempt to dismiss a case in which his client, a local residential developer, has sued the Town for violations of its constitutional rights. The client, South Nassau Building Corp., bought property at 3171 Elm Place in Wantagh for the purpose of subdividing and building two new homes where the older home existed. At the behest of local residents, the Town Board voted to designate the existing home on the property as a landmark, which prohibits the developer from demolishing the existing home, and, therefore, effectively destroys his ability to subdivide the property and construct two new houses. The developer commenced an action against the Town in Federal District Court, alleging that the landmarking of the house constitutes a taking of the developer’s property without just compensation, in violation of the Fifth Amendment.