US Litigation – Chadbourne Acted as Co-Counsel in New York Court of Appeals Victory

NEW YORK — LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – Chadbourne & Parke LLP recently acted as co-counsel in a case before the New York State Court of Appeals. In a substantial victory for Chadbourne’s client, the court upheld subdivision approval granted by the Planning Board of the Town of Southeast for the residential development known as The Meadows at Deans Corners in Putnam County.

The November 19 Opinion of the State’s highest court concludes a series of lawsuits initially commenced in 2003 by Riverkeeper, other environmental organizations and several local residents contesting the Planning Board’s approval of this project.

The Opinion will allow Chadbourne client Glickenhaus Brewster Development, Inc., the developer of The Meadow at Deans Corners, to complete the approved subdivision. The development includes 104 homes on a 310 acre site located on Deans Corners Road in the Town of Southeast. The project was first proposed in 1988 and was the subject of an application process that spanned 15 years.

The lawsuits before the Court of Appeals involved the Planning Board’s decision not to require the preparation of a supplemental environmental impact statement and its subsequent approval of the subdivision project. The Planning Board and Glickenhaus Brewster Development, Inc. prevailed before the Supreme Court, Westchester County, which sustained the Planning Board’s decision and approval. The Appellate Division, Second Department, however, disagreed and overturned the lower court’s ruling in 2006. The Court of Appeals thereafter agreed to hear the case.

In an Opinion written by Chief Judge Judith Kaye, the Court of Appeals found that the Planning Board properly scrutinized the project and its associated environmental impacts. In dismissing the lawsuits, Chief Judge Kaye stated that the Planning Board had “an extensive understanding of the Meadows project” and took a “hard look” at the various areas of environmental concern before issuing its approval.

Jim Glickenhaus, a principal of Glickenhaus Brewster Development, Inc., praised the Court’s decision and stated, “We are pleased the Court examined the extensive record presented to the Planning Board as part of the application process and found that environmental concerns were sufficiently addressed.” He added the subdivision would employ state-of-the-art measures within its infrastructure to alleviate environmental impacts and that these systems had been thoroughly evaluated by the local, state and federal agencies which issued permits for the project. According to Glickenhaus, “the subdivision upheld by the Court is a model of environmentally sensitive development.”

George Rohrman, former Chairman of the Southeast Planning Board, also expressed satisfaction with the Court’s decision. “Environmental effects and due regard for the law were of paramount concern to the Planning Board during its review of the Meadows,” said Rohrman. He further stated that “the Court’s decision completely vindicates the Planning Board’s review and approval of the project.”

Chadbourne was co-counsel for Glickenhaus along with Keane & Beane, P.C.

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