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Judge throws out planning board approval of large development in Philmont

Mar 02, 2023 1:03 am

Jammel Cutler reports in Columbia-Greene Media that a group of citizens calling themselves the Summit Lake Conservation Group successfully sued the Village of Philmont Planning Board, overturning their approval of a large high-end housing subdivision there. Third Judicial District Supreme Court Judge Richard Mott overturned the planning board approval in January in an Article 78 case. The Clover Reach Partners, LLC development is proposed alongside Summit Lake, the body of water at the center of Philmont. Karen Schoemer, a former WGXC programmer and one of the members of the group overturning the approval, said the planning board barely considered any environmental factors when it originally approved the project last year. “We were hopeful that the planning board will stop and take a hard look at the environmental impact,” she said. “Instead they just brushed everything aside and moved the project forward as complete. We’re incredibly disappointed that the planning board isn’t working harder to project that lake environment.” Schoemer explained some of the environmental concerns. “There’s a lot of documented wildlife — native plant and flower species — and bald eagles are there almost every day. We know it’s an environmentally rich area, and we’re concerned about what putting in a road and building 16 houses on this sloped hillside is going to do to the biodiversity that we have at Summit Lake.” The planning board is now taking up the proposal again, with a public hearing at 7 p.m. March 20 at Philmont Village Hall. Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.

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