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Court lifts hold on Stanford Home

Developers can move forward with plans

The old Stanford Home might not be in the same location the next time you pass by.

The community group Friends of the Stanford Home had filed a motion to appeal the decision by New York Supreme Court Judge Barry Kramer made on Sept. 3, which granted Highbridge Development the right to move the historic property to a new location on 12.5-acre site.

On Wednesday, Oct. 13, the Supreme Court Appellate Division of the Third Judicial Department denied the motion brought by the preservationists to keep the building located on its current site. When the group filed the appeal on Sept. 28,the Order to Show Cause stated the developer couldn't move the Stanford Home, but plans can now resume for the move.

I was disappointed, said Alex Brownstein, attorney for the community group, about the recent decision. "All we were really asking for is that the developer honors the proposal made to the town when initiating the project."

Peter Scagnelli, town attorney for Niskayuna, said he was glad to see the Supreme Court agreed with the town's decision to approve the move. When the developer approached the town about the move, the town Planning Board, as advised by Scagnelli, approved the change and said a further State Environmental Quality Review wasn't needed.

"It is a building with historical value, we don't want to see that destroyed, but we have to play the hand that is dealt to us," said Scagnelli. "The developer is going to move the house and it is going to be preserved."

ir lawsuit doesn't stop all development of the site and only restricts the move of the home, which in the original approval from 2007 stated the building would remain on the current site.

"The courts are very reluctant to stop work once it has begun, particularly once there has been an investment of dollars," said Brownstein. "I think there is a recognition that development would be discouraged if there were stops regularly in courts."

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