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A driveway dilemma

Rotterdam homeowner sues developer for property infringement

— Patience has boiled over for a Ghents Road homeowner, as he fears residential development in Rotterdam could cut off access off to his property.

Christopher Hodge spoke out at the Rotterdam Town Board meeting on Wednesday, June 27, about his frustration with the town’s handling of a development south of a private drive off Ghents Road. Hodge and his wife, Claudine, claim developers have wrongfully assumed property consisting of all or a portion of their driveway, which is an extension of the road.

Furthermore, Hodge claims town officials gave the project a stamp of approval after hearing his concerns and promising the matter would be cleared up before shovels hit the earth.

The Hodges’ summons, dated June 26, doesn’t name the town, but goes after presumed property owner and developers, which include Development at Helderberg Meadows, LLC, Brookview Court, Inc., and Pigliavento Builders.

The Hodges reside at 2265 Ghents Road and also owns 2277 Ghents Road, and purchased both in January of 2012.

“We tried to work with the town to talk to them about this property — nobody seems to want to listen,” Hodge said. “We have had to take legal action to protect our property.”

On April 18, Hodge claims Michael Pigliavento, of Pigliavento Builders, painted a dashed line across the private driveway used to access his home. Pigliavento then told Hodge the survey completed for the property shows he owns the driveway and he would grant him an easement, according to Hodge.

“This is not his driveway,” Hodge said. “I explained that to him — he chose not to listen.”

Pigliavento could not be reached for comment before The Spotlight went to press.

The plans for the development of 2272 Ghents Road show the lot extending into the existing gravel drive. In addition to the Hodge residence, it also cuts off access to another residence. The developer has approval to construct a single-family home on the parcel.

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