Ghents Road debate drives on

Neighbors and
 developer clash as town prepares for legal battle

— Residents of Ghents Road in Rotterdam are again calling for the town to suspend permits issued for a construction project.

The Rotterdam Town Board on Wednesday, Sept. 12, once again heard complaints from the Ghents Road neighborhood, which comes after Claudine and Christopher Hodge filed a lawsuit against a Helderberg Meadows developer and the town. The Hodges claim developers wrongfully assumed property consisting of all or a portion of their driveway, which is an extension of the road.

Christopher Hodge delivered a letter from his attorney demanding the town suspend permits issued for Lot 126, or 2272 Ghents Road. Town Attorney Kate McGuirl said on Wednesday, Sept. 19, the town didn’t suspend any permits.

Delbert Pierce, of Ghents Road, said the town has shown “undue favor” toward the developers. He questioned why the town approved the project and issued permits when “obvious problems” were apparent.

“All I ask is that starting now you do your job,” Pierce said.

He outlined problems surrounding the project, which he said were clear cutting trees for a wetland to be filled, taking out a school bus turnaround and cutting off access to two homes.

Andrew Brick, attorney representing the developers, responded to claims from residents regarding the Pigliavento Builders construction at the site.

“The statement that my clients in any way altered or stopped the bus turning around is completely and utterly false,” Brick said. “The Hodges had a surveyor place a sign that has interrupted the bus turn around. My client actually helps the bus back up and get around.”

Brick said the information residents were presenting the board was “inaccurate, incorrect and … clueless.” Neighbors claimed construction workers and the developer have hassled them, and Brick claimed the opposite.

Michael Pigliavento, of Pigliavento Builders, did not return calls for comment.

The Rotterdam Town Board held a special meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 19, with the intent to enter executive session and discuss the lawsuit.

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