Real Estate Law

New York High Court Asked to Re-hear Arguments in Local Zoning Ban Case

By Michael C. Murphy

Citing a recently decided case in Colorado, the bankruptcy trustee for Norse Energy filed a motion in early August urging the New York Court of Appeals to re-hear arguments in the case, [enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers]. In June, the Court of Appeals issued an opinion which affirmed local zoning laws adopted by two upstate towns that prohibited oil- and gas-related activities within their borders. The motion filed by the trustee in August asserted that a Colorado court’s rationale in striking down a voter-approved local law prohibiting hydraulic fracturing provides support for the position that municipal-wide drilling bans directly conflict with New York’s Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law. In response, the environmental group Earthjustice recently filed a motion urging the Court of Appeals to reject the trustee’s request on the grounds that the motion for reargument was untimely and the Colorado decision was based on different laws and legal analyses.

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