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DELMAR: Vista hearing turns sour

A public hearing that began Wednesday, June 13, on the master plan for Vista Technology Park will be picked up again Wednesday, June 27, after ending with a developer who owns property next to the park accusing town officials of unethical behavior.

Constantine Kontogiannis, representing KKS properties, accused Supervisor Jack Cunningham and Economic Development and Planning Director George Leveille of unethical behavior after a private meeting inside town hall between BBL Development, the owners of Vista Park, and KKS the Friday before the public hearing.

I was accused of being a greedy developer and greeted in an outright hostile manner, said Kontogiannis, about the meeting, which was held to try to resolve a dispute related to the location of a proposed traffic roundabout at the entrance of the development on LaGrange Road.

Kontogiannis said there was a verbal commitment by BBL Development to provide KKS with back access to that company's property, which at one point was contiguous to an earlier proposed roundabout location. But other issues such as a nearby gas transmission line, adjacent wetlands, and a sooner-than-expected completion of a Slingerlands Bypass access road have prompted the town to request a change in the Vista Park roundabout location to LaGrange Road.

"All we were trying to do was facilitate, and the meeting broke down last Friday," said Leveille about the meeting that Kontogiannis said was filled with outbursts and threats.

"Both George Leveille and Jack Cunningham threatened they would take my property through eminent domain," said Kontogiannis, who said the town is favoring BBL Developers over KKS.

"I strongly encourage the board to investigate this," Kontogiannis added.

Leveille said the town is under a timeline and called into question Kontogiannis' impression of the closed-door meeting between developers.

"I don't remember anyone shouting or being hostile," Leveille said. "We agreed at the end of the meeting there was no agreement."

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