Developer files appeal against town supervisor

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FISHKILL –  Continental Commons (The Commons) Developer Domenico Broccoli is appealing an earlier court decision that dismissed a suit against Fishkill Supervisor Ozzie Albra. Albra is an avowed opponent of Continental Commons and has pledged to use his power as supervisor to stop the project.  The appeal was filed on July 7 in the NYS Appellate Division.

The appeal alleges that the court improperly granted Albras motion to dismiss a suit, brought by Continental Commons that details malicious prosecution without probable cause, solely intended to obstruct the Continental Commons development. The proposed project calls for the development of ten acres directly across from the Dutchess Mall on Route 9. 

 The Commons say that the lower court erred in presuming that Albra had probable cause to block the water and sewer extensions, even though he carried out his scheme to abandon his case just days before he was sworn in as the Town of Fishkill Supervisor, says the law firm representing The Commons.

As early as April of 2019, the Fishkill Planning Board issued resolutions determining that Continental Commons would not have a significant adverse environmental, or historic impact. In December of 2019, the Planning Board went on to grant site plan and special permit approvals. However, the project still required a non-discretionary vote by the Fishkill Town Board to extend sewer and water lines to the subject property. Albra was scheduled to be sworn in to become the Town Supervisor on January 1, 2020.

Albra went on to file an action in court and was granted a Temporary Restraining Order. The Commons called the action “malicious”. After this, within days Albra discontinued the action and was sworn into office.  After taking office, The Commons assert that Albra used his office to block the project from going forward. Continental Commons filed suit and asked for a legal review of Albras actions. The court granted Albras motion to dismiss and denied Continental Commons ability to seek judicial review of the various schemes perpetrated by Albra, intended to block a vote on the water and sewer extensions.

Supervisor Albra engaged in malicious actions intended to block Continental Commons. His scheme was pure political payback to his supporters, and contributors, including the so-called friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot. Blocking a vote of the previous Town Board on infrastructure connections is a malicious action. It injected partisan politics into a land use review process that should always be based on the facts, and the rule of law,” said Broccoli in a prepared statement.

Supervisor Albra did not respond to a request for comment on the appeal.