Majority of town board moves Continental Commons project forward

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Rendering of the proposed Continental Commons.

FISHKILL – The town board has voted to approve the water and sewer applications for the proposed  Continental Commons development.  The board was ordered to approve the applications by Dutchess County Supreme Court Judge Christi Acker.

The extensions of the Blodgett Water District and Blodgett Sewer District to the 10.4-acre property at the corner of Route 9 and I-84 were required after the planning board approved the Continental Commons project in 2019, according to Judge Acker.

Councilmembers Carmine Istvan, John Forman, and Brian Wrye voted to approve the applications.  Supervisor Ozzy Albra, named in the litigation, abstained from voting.  Councilwoman Louise Daniele abstained after her attempt to move forward with an appeal of Judge Acker’s decision failed.

Istvan told Mid-Hudson News, “When I took my oath of office, I made a promise to the people of this town that I would always choose the rule of law,” noting that the law is clear on the approval of the extensions. Eager to move past the lawsuits that have cost taxpayers more than $40,000 to date, Istvan said,  “I agree with Judge Acker’s decision to grant water and sewer rights to Continental Commons, and appealing the decision will just delay the inevitable and cost the taxpayers more unnecessary money.”

“The important history of Dutchess County and Fishkill will be shared with guests and students as part of an inclusive visitor center and tribute museum,” said President and CEO of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Frank Castella, Jr. in a letter supporting the approvals to the town board.

“The courts have upheld the rule of law, and have recognized the very property rights that the patriots fought for,” Continental Commons developer Domenic Broccoli said after the vote.  ” Zoning and development should not be about politics and demagoguery, but upon the facts, the law, and jurisprudence itself.”

The 18th-century colonial-themed village will consist of restaurants, shops, an inn, a living museum, and a visitor center. A public groundbreaking ceremony will be held in the spring of 2023.

Continental Commons completed an almost five-year environmental review by archaeologists, engineers, and planners from the state, county, and town. As part of the review, which began in 2015, they analyzed more than a dozen archeological studies and historical documentation on the property. The Town of Fishkill Planning Board approved the site plan, and the environmental review found that no adverse environmental or historical impacts would occur as a result of this project.