I'm not sure what to do about this one, so I thought I'd throw it out for the throbbing brain to contemplate -- in a nutshell:
Applicant (from Town next door) wants to build deck on lake front side of property. CEO tells him he needs an area variance because it won't line up with the rest of the new houses on this row. [Unbeknownst to the applicant, there is no such law on the books saying anything about houses lining up or about lakeside views.] Applicant PAYS (presumably) for the application, and gets DENIED from the town for 'lack of hardship'.
Let me repeat -- there is no town law that states houses must be in a row or about lakeside vistas!! and he is not encroaching on the front yard setbacks. In fact, the CEO told me that they know it's not a law, but they like to go through the ZBA process in order to avoid angry neighbors.
I received this news 2 months after the 30day legal statute is up under article 78. When I told my boss that they denied this fictional variance, he shook his head and shrugged his shoulders with this 'what can we do?' expression.
So the question becomes -- what CAN we [I, it seems] do at this point.