In the Matter of Eastern Oaks Development v Town of Clinton, et al.

In this Article 78 case, petitioner, Eastern Oaks Development, asked the court to review a decision of Clinton where petitioner was denied their application to have its road accepted for dedication by the Town of Clinton.

In 2005, petitioner applied with the Town of Clinton Planning Board for approval of a residential subdivision that contained eleven lots. Petitioner stated they did not intend to builds any homes on the lots and that it was up to the purchasers to build their own homes. A few months later, the Planning board granted the application for conditional final approval for the Subdivision. Planning Board stated that at least eighty percent of the construction must be done in the Subdivision in order for formal acceptance of the roads.

The Town Engineer wrote a letter to the Board pleading that they disapprove the road based on the fact that there was not eighty percent of construction done in the Subdivision. The Planning Board took this into consideration and declined  acceptance of the road stating that the Town Board disapprove of the dedication “…until there are sufficient houses constructed on the subdivision parcels.”

Petitioner, then commenced this Article 78 proceeding alleging the following: (1) the Town was aware that in order to attract potential purchasers it was necessary for the Town and Town Board to accept the dedication of the road; (2) before an actual vote took place, the Town Board already determined that they were going to decline the acceptance of the road by the influence of Budd, who had a interest of conflict; (3) Budd and the Town Engineer were good friends and they “collaborated and conspired to thwart the perfunctory approval of the road…”; (4) after a dispute between Eastern and Budd, Eastern has a dispute with the Town Engineer “… over baseless charges and has been advised that same threatened the Subdivision."

The Court denied the Town Parties motion to dismiss holding that Budd, although recused from the vote could have influenced it.

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