Driveway issue costs Rotterdam $85k

Ghents Road litigation nearing closure, survey results debated

— McGuirl contests the survey didn’t confirm the Hodges own the contested parcel and the town continues to assert ownership over the road, which the Hodges describe as partially being their private driveway.

“Blackstone only agrees the farm line exists, but disagrees with the remainder of the Hodge survey despite the Hodges’ assertions to the contrary,” McGuirl said.

The Hodges first sued the town to permit a fence to be placed across Ghents Road in August, according to McGuirl. Later, the Hodges requested the town join an Article 15 lawsuit over who owns the property. In return, the Hodges discontinued their lawsuit against the town.

Dennis DiGesare, the new homeowner within the disputed parcel, said he is looking forward to litigation ending.

After a building inspector walked through the completed house, he said a “verbal” certificate of occupancy was given. The actual official certificate has yet to be awarded.

“Myself along with my father-in-law built the house and had all the necessary inspections and had completed the house as of December,” DiGesare said. “We are not able to get a temporary, a conditional or a permanent (certificate of occupancy). I know it has been going back and forth for quite a while.”

About two week ago, DiGesare said the town provided documentation on what needs to be done before any certificate is awarded. He has to cap the four corners of the property, with two corners in the direct pathway of the driveway.

“We can’t do these things that are right in the middle of the driveway,” DiGesare said. “It has been very difficult on my wife and we have two small kids.”

An earlier version of this story inaccurately stated how long the Hodges have owned 2265 Ghents Road, which is since 1998. The Spotlight regrets this error and apologizes for any confusion it may have caused.

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