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Developer sues Catskill over decision to block new housing proposal

Jul 18, 2023 1:03 pm

Raymond Pignone reports for Columbia-Greene Media that developer Dennis Frascello has filed an Article 78 lawsuit against the Village of Catskill and the Catskill Village Zoning Board of Appeals for denying a variance to convert the former St. Patrick’s Academy into 43 rental units. The former school is in a neighborhood with mostly single-family residential houses with a few multi-family homes. So without a variance, the former school. building could only be turned into another school. Gov. Kathy Hochul and many other local and state officials have identified an affordable housing crisis in the Hudson Valley. But the Zoning Board voted 3 to 1 not to allow the 43 rental units to become available. Village President Peter Grasse III said the zoning board ruled that Frascello did not prove "hardship" to get the variance. The Zoning Board ruled that a 43-unit apartment complex would alter the essential character of the neighborhood and that Frascello self-created his hardship because when he purchased the property in 2017 he knew multi-family housing was prohibited. That second reason would mean no one should buy the property unless they wanted to use it for a school. If the variance was approved, the housing proposal would have gone to the Village of Catskill Planning Board. Instead of new housing in Catskill, taxpayers will be paying lawyers. Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.

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