Sussman: “The [Article 78 dismissal] decision changes nothing”
GOSHEN – Attorney Michael Sussman and members of the Concerned Citizens of the Hudson Valley announced Wednesday that the dismissal of their Article 78 suit against the Goshen Town Board and Planning Board will not mark the end of their fight against the proposed Legoland project.
According to Sussman, the Article 78 case, which was looking to have
the draft environmental impact statement submitted by Merlin Entertainments
thrown out and would have resulted in a halt to the series of public hearings
on the matter that occurred last year in Goshen, was found to be premature
by the ruling judge.
Sussman said that decision has no bearing on the intention for his clients to move forward against the project.
“The decision changes nothing,” he said. “It does not deal with the substance of the project in any manner; it simply says that we’re too soon in bringing our challenges. If these two boards move forward, we expect to be in court pretty immediately to deal with whatever they do.”
Sussman’s clients, the Concerned Citizens for the Hudson Valley, maintain the entire process has not been transparent, that there have been ethical breaches by the Town of Goshen government, that the DEIS is demonstrably incomplete, and that there have already been negative impacts within the Arcadia Hills housing market they believe have been caused by the talk of a Legoland moving in nearby.
Pramilla Malick, chairwoman of Protect Orange County, the group opposing the CPV power plant in Wawayanda, and Legoland opponent, said although her organization is not involved in the suit, she is concerned with the way the process is going and believes there has been obvious corruption perpetrated on behalf of the town government.
“My concern is the integrity of the process; and again, when you have things like the executive from Legoland instructing the planning board to get rid of a planning board member, and then you have the planning board follow through on that instruction- that’s a serious violation of government ethics and it’s a serious conflict of interest,” said Malick.
Both town boards still need to approve a FEIS (Final Environmental Impact Statement) that has yet to be submitted to them.
Sussman said the decisions made between now and the submission of an FEIS will prompt their next moves against the project and when they’ll be in court again.
“Hopefully, it will be in a while because the DEIS has to be significantly approved before I would expect anybody passes it into a Final Environmental Impact Statement, or anybody takes action predicated on it,” he said.