November 10, 2017




Permissive referendum on Legoland denied by court

POUGHKEEPSIE – There will be no permissive referendum on the Town of Goshen selling parcels of its land to Merlin Entertainment for construction of the Legoland New York theme park, according to a ruling by State Supreme Court Justice James Brands in Poughkeepsie on Thursday.

Town residents had filed a petition with several hundred signatures calling for the referendum and Merlin Entertainments Group challenged it in court.

The attorney for the residents who collected the signatures, Michael Sussman, said the court decision “finds no support” in New York case law.

“People gathered 408 signatures; they needed 18. There is no serious challenge to the signatures; we clearly have enough signatures,” Sussman said. “There is a contrived argument in my opinion and I am very disappointed that this court accepted this and I really can truly believe the higher court will overturn it and we will have a referendum in Goshen.”

In his ruling, Justice Brand stated, “In essence the legal defects articulated in support of this application are that the petition for referendum does not set forth a description of the terms and conditions of the sale of the parcels, nor does it set forth an affirmative articulation of the protest upon which the petition is founded and also that there are defects with some of the signatures to the petition for referendum albeit there does not appear to be an argument that there are an insufficient number of signatures overall.”

Legoland New York point man Phil Royle issued a statement about the court decision. “The sale of the lots will provide income to the Town of Goshen, will be added to the tax rolls, and Legoland New York will donate two wells that the Town of Goshen could use to address water concerns in the Arcadia Hills community,” He said the company is referring all specific questions on the court’s decision to the Town of Goshen.


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