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WLNG
March 29, 2006

Court Rules In Favor Of Village


A much-publicized case involving a controversy surrounding the Greenport planning board and zoning board of appeals has finally come to a conclusion, in favor of the village.

As this publication was going to press, The Independent Traveler Watchman learned that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the village planning board in its approval of the project at 123 Sterling Street.

"This is great news for the village," said Greenport Mayor David Kapell.

The conflict involved the application for site plan approval of the proposed development at the former Fish Express plant at 123 Sterling Street submitted to the planning board by 123 Sterling LLC in March, 2005, after which it was subject to the Greenport Village Zoning Board of Appeals rendering an interpretation.

The planning board approved the development, which includes commercial uses, but sent the case to the ZBA to determine whether a section of the land could be used commercially.

Several neighboring property owners, however, challenged the planning board, claiming that it had acted improperly and questioned the state environmental review process.

The matter went to the Supreme Court of Suffolk County and Central Islip and on March 20, Justice Daniel Loughlin rendered the Supreme Court's decision and upheld the planning board's determination.

"The court's decision gives a major boost to the village board's commitment to commercial/industrial activities along the Greenport waterfront in places like this property where they have always existed," said Kapell. "The jobs that will be produced by the 123 Sterling project will contribute to the balance needed to insure that gentrification does not frustrate economic development necessary to support a diverse community like Greenport."

Kapell said the decision also provides "solid support" for the planning board and its chair, Penny Coyle, "who have been grappling with this controversy for the past two years."

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