Matter of Ploof v. Apostol
Justice John Egan Jr.
Ploof appealed from a judgment dismissing his application to review three decisions by the City of Albany Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) that found his properties were general nuisances. He owned three multi-unit apartment buildings that qualified as pre-existing, nonconforming use structures despite being in an area zoned only to residential one- and two-family homes. Ploof challenged the finding, arguing the ZBA placed undue emphasis on the number of "calls for service" made to the Albany police and fire departments regarding the properties. This panel affirmed a lower court decision denying Ploof's challenge, ruling the record revealed ample evidence to support the finding that the properties constituted a general nuisance. It noted reports and data demonstrated that the police received a disproportionately high number of calls for service to the properties compared to similarly situated properties. The court also concluded the ZBA's determination Ploof's properties constituted a general nuisance or a hazard to the health, safety, welfare and morals of uses or structures within 200 feet was rational and fully supported.