Whitbeck Benedict & Smith LLP successfully defended the Town of Greenport Planning Board in an Article 78 petition brought by the City of Hudson challenging the Planning Board's SEQRA review of a proposed haul road. Acting Supreme Court Justice Michael H. Melkonian issued a decision and order dated January 2, 2019, dismissing the City of Hudson’s Article 78 petition in its entirety, and finding that the Town of Greenport Planning Board’s issuance of the negative declaration for Colarusso’s proposed haul road was properly issued and rationally based. 

Justice Melkonian’s decision confirms that the Greenport Planning Board’s extensive review of the project more than adequately met the requirements of SEQRA despite the City of Hudson’s allegations:

“The extensive record herein reflects that the Planning Board conducted a thorough analysis of the potential environmental impacts that were identified during the initial meeting in May 2016 (and throughout the comment period).  Indeed, the Court finds that the record supports a finding that the negative declaration was adequate and met the requirements of SEQRA.  The sixteen meetings, including a special public information meeting; consultation with state agencies including the NYSDEC regarding wetlands, plants, wildlife, and dust; consultation with an expert on the wildlife issue; consultation with the NYSDOT regarding traffic; careful consideration and response to the more than 400 comments raised during the comment period and review of all the written documentation filed with the Planning Board; and its consideration of the input by the Columbia County Planning Board leads to the conclusion that the Planning Board identified the relevant areas of environmental concern, took the necessary hard look at them and made a reasoned elaboration for the basis of its determination.”

 The Town of Greenport Planning Board was represented by Virginia D. Benedict, Esq. and Corinne R. Smith, Esq. of Whitbeck Benedict & Smith LLP.

See news story here.