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Making it personal
By Margaret Menge

Cornwall was accused of snobbery and xenophobia on Tuesday night when the Village of Woodbury met and voted to approve the two local laws to increase the number of homes built at Legacy Ridge from 155 to 313. The vote was 3-0, with one member absent and one, who was just elected, abstaining.

A Woodbury resident and Legacy Ridge booster took to the microphone after the vote and told the board that Cornwall's attitude is "causing a lot of friction" between the two municipalities. He complained of the impact of Cornwall on Woodbury, and said one thing wrong with the Cornwall Central School District is the first word in its name Cornwall. Jonathan Swiller, the speaker, said Cornwall treats kids from Woodbury and New Windsor who are in the Cornwall school district as "interlopers" and "foreigners sneaking over a fence." The police chief and his wife, sitting in comfy chairs along the wall, nodded along as Swiller spoke. And Lorraine McNeil, the defeated Woodbury Town Board member who sparred with Randazzo in 2006 when he was opposing Legacy Ridge, tried to bore holes with her eyes into the skull of the editor of The Cornwall Local.

Swiller spoke after Tony Incanno of Cornwall, who told Woodbury's Village Board: "You have given us, Cornwall, taxation without representation." Brendan Coyne, president of Cornwall's Board of Education, followed Swiller, telling Mayor Stephanie Berean-Weeks and three board members (one was absent) that Woodbury can't have it both ways-they can't sell homes by talking up Cornwall schools and then overwhelm the Cornwall school district, thereby threatening the health of those schools. And he countered Swiller - "I take exception," he said. "We're in the business of educating all students." (Coyne had jumped into the ring earlier in the meeting to inquire why Gerry Jacobowitz was speak­ing up just before the vote when others could not.)

Half the people in attendance at the Tuesday night meeting at the firehouse in Highland Mills were from Cornwall, including Supervisor Kevin Quigley and three members of the board: Al Mazzocca, Kerry McGuiness and Mary Beth Greene-Krafft, and also a number of members of the Cornwall Conservation Advisory Committee, including Bernie Sussman and Ed Flynn. Also there was Iris Sandow from Cornwall, who's in charge of the public relations effort for Legacy Ridge. She was handing out copies of the Record's house editorial from Friday, April 4 "Schools can't shut doors to newcomers" to everybody coming in. Mary Gross-Ferraro, a resident of Highland Mills who's been track­ing this project from the start was also there. She had been at Cornwall's Town Board meeting the night before, and told the board members of the hearings before the Woodbury Town Board in 2006. "I was absolutely amazed at how they just blew off Randazzo's questions," she said. She told the board of leading the Save our Streams effort in the 80s, and how they raised thousands of dollars to cover the cost of the lawyers. "I'm just concerned about nipping this in the bud before everybody's driven out of these towns by higher school taxes," she said. Also at the Town Board meeting on Monday, April 7 were representatives of the Black Rock Fish and Game Club, who said they were concerned about the "Class A trout stream" that is the Woodbury Creek. "Adding another couple hundred homes could be the death of the stream," said Jimmy McGee, a member of the club's Board of Trustees.

Coming out of Woodbury's meeting the next night, Incanno said, "See you in court"; Mary Gross-Ferraro said, "Totally predictable."

The editor was stopped coming out of the door by Jonathan Swiller who said there are parents 'she should speak to. What par­ents? He rustled one up in seconds: man in a trench who said he lives on Route 32, just south of Trout Brook, steps away from the proposed Legacy Ridge development. He says he thinks the Cornwall Central School District does discriminate against Woodbury residents because he had trouble getting information about the new high school when it was being built. He calls Legacy Ridge, "the best, most wholesome kind of project there could be." When asked his 'name he conies out with it, he's Pat Conroy, husband of the former Town of Woodbury Supervisor Sheila Conroy who served from 2001 to 2005, and was the main engine behind Legacy Ridge.


Special Town Board Meeting

April 21, 2008

Whereas, the Town and Village of Woodbury have heretofore considered certain proposed changes to applicable zoning regulations in regard to a proposed development of certain lands called "Legacy Ridge;" and

Whereas, the Town Board of the Town of Cornwall, as well as the Board of Education of the Cornwall Central School District, have heretofore communicated to the Town and Village of Woodbury certain concerns and objections to the proposed action; and

Whereas, it appears that the Town and Village of Woodbury have disregarded the said communications from the Town Board and Board of Education and have proceeded to act in violation of applicable law and to the detriment and injury of the Town of Cornwall and its citizens; and

Whereas, the Board of Education for the Cornwall Central School District has adopted a resolution authorizing commencement of a lawsuit against the Village of Woodbury seeking to annul the action taken by the Village regarding the Legacy Ridge project as being unlawful; and

Whereas, the Town Board has determined to join the School District and such others as may participate in commencing a lawsuit against the Village of Woodbury regarding the Legacy Ridge project; and

Whereas, it is necessary and proper for the Town Board to adopt a resolution formally authorizing the commencement of such a lawsuit;

Now, Therefore, be it Resolved as follows:

1. That this Town Board does hereby authorize and direct the Town's attorneys to commence the aforesaid litigation; and

2. That the Town Supervisor be and he hereby is authorized to execute any and all documents necessary to effectuate a cost sharing agreement with the Cornwall Central School District and others.

Councilman J. Kerry McGuinness presented the foregoing resolution which was seconded by Councilman Alexander Mazzocca.

The vote on the foregoing resolution was as follows:

Mary Beth Greene-Krafft, Councilwoman, voting AYE

Randolph S. Clark, Councilman, voting, voting ABSENT

J. Kerry McGuinness, Councilman, voting AYE

Alexander Mazzocca, Councilman, voting AYE

D. Kevin Quigley, Supervisor, voting AYE

Drake Loeb Heller Kennedy Gogerty Gaba & Rodd, PLLC

New Windsor, New York


Town Joins Legal Battle

THR Briefs April 25 2008

The Town Board of Cornwall has agreed to join the Cornwall Central School Board in a legal challenge of the Legacy Ridge Development.

The legal action challenges the developers claims in the FEIS that the new development will only add 290 students to the district.

Cornwall Supervisor Kevin Quigley said it's likely the town lawyers will handle the case and share costs with the school district and other interested partys.

Two more sign on to Article 78
May 9 2008   Cornwall Local

The Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson and the Black Rock Fish and Game Club will be joining the Article 78 lawsuit against the Village of Woodbury over the proposed development of Legacy Ridge.

"We support the town and school district's effort to file the article," Mayor Joe Gross said on May 6, "and we'll be making a modest contribution to the costs."

The Fish and Game Club is concerned that Legacy Ridge will have an adverse effect on Woodbury Creek, which the membership stocks with trout and where trout are raised from eggs.

New Windsor will not join the Article 78 Lawsuit
Based on reported in the Briefs section, page 9 of the Times Herald Record dated May 15, 2008.

New Windsor Supervisor George Green said that he was never formally contacted by any of the plaintiffs in the court challenge brought by the Town of Cornwall, the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson and the Cornwall Central School District that have decided to file an Article 78 proceeding against the Village of Woodbury to try and reverse a zoning change that will allow 287 four bedroom homes to be built in the Village of Woodbury.
The land where the Legacy Ridge Project will be built is located in the Village of Woodbury and it's school age children will attend the Cornwall Central School District. The Article 78 is challenging the developers FEIS that states that the total number of children that will attend public school is .87 per household. The FEIS states that each 4 bedroom house, expected to cost $625,000.00 each, will only generate a total of 1.01 children per household.  These figures are based on a Rutgers University report.
Before the zoning change the number of houses allowed to be built would have been 164.