WGXC-90.7 FM

Judge again denies proposal for expensive homes on Philmont lake

Dec 04, 2023 1:01 am

Maria M. Silva reports in the Times Union that for a second time, the Summit Lake Conservation Group, locals opposing a housing development in Philmont, have won an Article 78 lawsuit against the project. The Woods proposal would build 16 expensive homes on 22 acres of land overlooking the lake where eagles nest in the center of the Columbia County village. Columbia County Supreme Court Justice Richard Mott has now annulled the Planning Board’s approval of the housing project twice. Joseph Miranda, an architect and Summit Lake Conservation Group member who owns a home by the lake, said, “People don’t want to be pushed out of their homes here, and I feel like there’s a great fear of gentrification.... I hear from both renters who have been pushed into this town from Hudson and other places and they are afraid of being pushed again. I hear from people who have lived here forever … this is their hometown and they don’t want big change too fast. Unintelligent or unsustainable development is a big problem people are worried about.” Locally, there is an affordable housing crisis, with few projects building less expensive housing proposed anywhere in the Hudson Valley. This high-end housing project from Clover Reach Partners, a division of Claverack Builders, also does not address that issue. The conservation group says these homes would sell for $750,000 to $1 million if this project was allowed to proceed. The expensive homes would go on property separated from Summit Lake by an 11-acre conservation area traversed by the Joshua Essig trail, which connects the village and a dock on the south side of the municipally owned lake. The court has ruled that developers misrepresented the state’s fire prevention and building codes when they proposed a narrower road for the project than what’s required by the state, and “denied citizens the rights to fully participate in the public hearing.” Members of Philmont’s Planning Board did not return calls for comment after the second time the court undid their approval of the project. Read more about this story in the Times Union.