WGXC-90.7 FM

Village of Catskill undermines judge's ruling

Nov 02, 2021 2:30 pm

Ted Remsnyder reports for Columbia-Greene Media that on Sept. 7 Catskill Town Justice Richard Paolino ruled that a storage container on Stanley Livingston's Liberty Street property was too large and in violation of Catskill village law, and that two permanent tents there were in "violation of the Zoning/Buildings Laws that exists on the listed property.”. A week later, Catskill village officials withdrew its prosecution of Raven and let him keep the shipping container and tents on his property while the home repairs are ongoing. That upset Paolino. “I’m kind of like aggravated because the time wasted on this matter since June of this year and then all of a sudden now, because somebody doesn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings, they’re going to change the law, but not really change the law, they’re just going to cover up the violations,” he said. “That doesn’t work in my court. So figure it out and come back to this court when it’s either figured out or for a bench trial or some kind of appeal notice to the county.” The judge continued. “You wasted my time for the last four or five months.... So don’t come back to me with stuff like this ever again,” he said. “Seriously. It’s totally wrong, and again, I feel the village is circumventing the actual law on the books.” Neighbor Paul Moyer says Livingston is getting special treatment. “Our issue is not with whether or not there’s a roof on the shipping container, it’s how the village board went out entering into this stipulation agreement,” he said. “Any normal citizen would go to code enforcement and apply for a building permit.” Catskill Village Board of Trustees President Peter Grasse said the village made the agreement because the container came before the village’s codes. “I didn’t want to believe that I would allow my code enforcement officer [Michael Ragaini] to be persuaded to interpret something to enforce new zoning on something that was there prior and doesn’t seem to be very clear,” he said. Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.