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Summit Lake Conservation Group files Article 78 about second Philmont Planning Board approval of luxury development

Jun 13, 2023 12:23 am

On June 12 the Summit Lake Conservation Group filed a second Article 78 lawsuit against the Philmont Planning Board, the Board of Trustees, and Clover Reach Partners LLC, developers of “The Woods,” a 22-acre subdivision of luxury homes proposed in the town. Last year the group successfully overturned the Planning Board’s first approval of “The Woods” with an Article 78 lawsuit. Then, the Planning Board again approved the large development without adding much oversight, and so the group is suing again. According to the group's statement, "The Woods luxury development is wildly unpopular in Philmont. Lawn signs around town display the slogans “Save Summit Lake/Stop Clover Reach” and “Save the woods/Stop ‘The Woods.’” Many residents see houses speculatively priced at three-quarters of a million dollars and up as a sign of gentrification and an attack on a beloved natural asset. Summit Lake’s wooded viewshed has been prized by residents and visitors for generations." The group says the only change the developers promised the planning board at their second go-round was to increase the right-of-way around the loop road from 33 to 50 feet to accommodate a full-width road, should the village eventually decide one is needed. "This essentially kicks the cost of widening the road onto village taxpayers, and skirts the responsibility of supplying accurate visual simulations to reflect the increased grading and added tree removal required to accommodate a road safe enough for multiple emergency vehicles,"the group says.

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