Attorney: 'Beginning of the end of Legoland'

Aerial view of the Legoland site by Robert Breese

By Frances Ruth Harris
GOSHEN — An appeals court last week issued a temporary restraining order that has stopped tree-clearing at the Legoland New York construction site in Goshen.
Attorney Michael Sussman, who is representing Concerned Citizens of the Hudson Valley, opponents of the theme park, sought to stop the clearing until the project gets more review. He called the restraining order "the beginning of the end" for Legoland New York.
Phil Royle, Director of Development for Legoland New York, said in a statement, "We are confident the papers we have submitted to the court will demonstrate we have followed every Town of Goshen requirement that led to the town’s issuance of the proper permits to clear trees on the property, which we now own. Our tree clearing plan has been re-verified in all of our approved permit applications. We are equally confident that once this review is completed, the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) will be dismissed."
Sussman filed a brief that stated, in part, that the Town of Goshen's approval process was sullied by "bad faith and pre-judgment," including improperly delegating lead agency status for zoning changes to the planning board, engaging in "prohibited segmentation" of the site, failing to study the impact of the re-zoning on more than 370 acres not planned for immediate development. The project also lacks an adequate and reliable water supply, the brief sayttys.
Late last year the Goshen planning board approved Legoland developer Merlin Entertainments’ site plan and permits to clear-cut 150 acres of forested land. A vigil was held Jan. 10 to mourn an ancient sycamore tree cut down at the site (see page 12).
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