Legal Analysts

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Zoning Regulations are Concerning with Use of Land, Not Identity of User - Per the Court of Appeals

In Sunrise Check Cashing and Payroll, Inc. v. Town of Hempstead, the State's Highest Court ruled that "a zoning measure that prohibits check cashing establishments in a town's business district is invalid, because it violates the principle that zoning is concerned with the use of land, not with the identity of the user". 

While the Court does state that adult entertainment and pawnshops can be regulated based upon their negative secondary effects on the surrounding communities, check cashing is not a similar category. The court did therefore provide for the possibility that adverse secondary effects could justify zoning, but said that such effects were not proven in this case regardless. 

This opinion is important for commercial real estate professionals because it provides support for occupants' discretion in their business enterprises and is very pro-business while reducing barriers to entry.