STEWART HILL NIXED
Residents in the area of Toleman Road in New Windsor heaved a big sigh of relief when Supreme Court Justice Sandra Sciortino decided in their favor and against a nearly 500,000 sq. ft. 120-acre warehouse project known as Stewart Hill. The residents have been fighting against its construction for several years because it blocks the scenic views of dozens of the homes along Toleman Road. There has also been anger throughout Orange County because many of these large industrial and commercial projects that claimed benefit in the form of taxes to the towns they are located in were in the end granted massive tax breaks by the IDA (Industrial Development Agency).
The homeowners, and their attorney, Michael Sussman, fought this project on the basis of it being contrary to town code which requires warehouse expansions to be incidental to the property’s main business. The New Windsor Planning Board held lengthy discussions about whether the massive expansion was “incidental”, but the court found that the magnitude of this new space would clearly be the “Dominant Use”. Residents also argued that the environmental review, which issued a NEG DEC (negative declaration of environmental impact) was not sufficiently thorough in terms of considering noise, traffic, water and fuel runoff in the neighborhood.
The site plan approval will now be null and void, and the developer will have to either file an appeal or make major revisions to the plan.