MATTER OF WALDMAN v. NEW YORK STATE LIQUOR AUTHORITY


281 A.D.2d 286 (2001)

722 N.Y.S.2d 142

In the Matter of STUART WALDMAN et al., Respondents, v. NEW YORK STATE LIQUOR AUTHORITY et al., Respondents, and CHRISMA, INC., Appellant.

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, First Department.

Decided March 20, 2001.


Judicial review of a Liquor Authority determination to grant a license is subject to the court's "duty to make certain that the administrative official has not acted * * * in disregard of the standard prescribed by the legislature" (Matter of Guardian Life Ins. Co. v Bohlinger, 308 N.Y. 174, 183). As the motion court explained, and as all concerned acknowledge, due to the proximity of other licensed premises, the Authority was subject to a statutory mandate to deny appellant's application for a license (Alcoholic Beverage Control Law § 64 [7] [b]), unless it found that granting the license would be in the public interest (Alcoholic Beverage Control Law § 64 [7] [f]), in which event it "shall state and file in its office its reasons" for so finding (id.). Here, in its entirety, the Authority's statement of reasons is: "The Authority has considered that the applicant will operate these premises as a bona fide restaurant featuring Cuban cuisine. Accordingly, the Authority finds that approval will be in the public interest." This perfunctory recitation fails to comply with the requirement that the Authority state its reasons for concluding that it would be in the public interest. Obviously, something more is needed (see, e.g., Cleveland Place Neighborhood Assn. v New York State Liq. Auth., 268 A.D.2d 6, 12).


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