By Matt Youngfrau
MONTICELLO May 24, 2002 The lawsuit to void parts of the Town of Mamakating Master Plan and Zoning Law was dismissed on Friday, May 10.
The reason? Numerous property owners that would be affected by the plan were not named as part of the suit and, due to the statute of limitations, cannot be added to the suit. The decision was handed down by Acting Justice in Sullivan County Supreme Court Mark Meddaugh.
The lawsuit was filed against the town by the Basha Kill Area Association, the Yankee Lake Preservation Association, the Wurtsboro Hills Community Association, the Cragsmoor Association, and Maryallison Farley on March 27, 2001. The suit sought to annul the resolution that adopted the Master Plan and to void certain amendments to the Comprehensive Master Plan and Zoning Law. The town responded to the suit on November 29, 2001.
The suit prevented the town from acting or voting on any projects on the southern side of the Shawangunk Ridge near Exit 114 of Route 17, the southern side of the Wurtsboro Hills area at Crescent Heights and the north shore of Yankee Lake all spots that were zoned for hotel or casino development in the master plan. The suit was dismissed because the petitioners failed to name property owners who are needed to be part of the action.
In the decision, Meddaugh wrote, "[I am] granting summary judgment in favor of the respondents and against the petitioners upon the grounds that the petitioners have failed to name in this action numerous property owners who are necessary and are now time-barred from adding these property owners as parties since the four-month Statute of Limitations to maintain an Article 78 against them has expired."
There was no indication whether an appeal might be filed.
Mamakating Supervisor Fred Harding said the next step is for the town to hire a professional planner to review the plan and make any changes myself and the town board might feel appropriate. The majority of the funds for that endeavor will come from several developers looking to situate large-scale projects in the town, said Harding who anticipates a smooth process with all entities.