VERIFIED PETITION

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in the supreme court of the state of new york

in and for saratoga county

Plaintiff’s name,Petitioner,vs.TOWN OF SARATOGA PLANNING BOARD,Respondent.Case No.: NumberVERIFIED PETITION

NOW COMES Petitioner, and files this Verified Petition pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules against the Town of Saratoga Planning Board, Respondent, and for cause would show this Honorable Court as follows:

  1. NATURE OF THE ACTION
  2. This is a special proceeding brought pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules for relief in the nature of mandamus to prohibit Respondent from continuing with proceedings to move forward with the planned subdivision dubbed, ‘Cedar Bluff Subdivision.’
  • PARTIES
  • Petitioner is
  • Respondent is the Planning Board of the Town of Saratoga established under the New York Department of State, Division of Local Government Services.
  • JURISDICTION AND VENUE
  • Jurisdiction exists in this Court pursuant to CPLR 506.
  • Venue is proper in this Court because the causes of action took place within Saratoga County.
  • FACTS AND LEGAL ANALYSIS
  • Respondent issued a Negative Declaration to requiring a full environmental impact study to be conducted for the planned Cedar Bluff Subdivision located at 142 County Road 71, Stillwater, NY 12170. Exhibit 1.
  • In issuing the declaration referenced above, Respondent failed to perform its mandate and acted outside its jurisdiction.
  • Respondent failed to stop the cutting of 40 acres of trees with the planned subdivision prior to the project being approved. Therefore, unauthorized actions were taken by the developer prior to approval of the project.
  • The planning board head met several times in a closed meeting that excluded community members and did not include other planning board members.
  • The subdivision project encumbrances more than 100 acres with 32 homes and will clearly have a major impact on carbon emissions, carbon containment loss as 40 acres of trees have already been cut down, increase in traffic, wildlife disruption, and storm water runoff.
  • The developer cut down 40 acres of trees before the project was approved. Respondent had full knowledge that the developer was cutting down 40 acres of trees but did nothing to stop the deforestation of the area.
  • Respondent has an obligation to make decisions which serve the interests of residents of the Town of Saratoga. Allowing the developer to cut down 40 acres of trees was not in the best interests of the Town of Saratoga as it constitutes environmental degradation.
  • Public participation is crucial when making decisions that are likely to have a huge impact in the community. The Cedar Bluff Subdivision is a huge project which required public participation before approval. Respondent did not factor in any opinion of any resident of the Town of Saratoga before approving the project. The head of the planning board did not even involve other board members in making the decision to approve the project. In doing so, Respondent exceeded its jurisdiction.
  • The environmental impact that the subdivision project will have on the Town of Saratoga cannot be ignored. There will be increase in carbon emissions as there will be no trees to circulate it, wildlife disruption and storm water runoff.
  • Damage has already been partly done. Negative environmental impact is expected from the cutting down of 40 acres of trees. It is important for this Court to prevent further damage by issuing a writ of prohibition that prohibits Respondent from proceeding with the planned Cedar Bluff Subdivision.
  • Prohibition issues only where the error cannot be remedied by “ordinary proceedings at law, or in equity, or by appeal.” Livingston v. Wyatt, 1 186 N.Y. 383, 79 N.E. 330 (1906).
  • This is a proceeding in regard to a decision made by a board. However illogical, it is still in effect. There is no avenue for appeal of that decision. The issuance of a writ of prohibition remains the only remedy Petitioner has to correct the gross intentional errors made by Respondent.
  • “The absence of bright lines of demarcation in the law is not unusual; man’s language and capacity to conceptualize is not perfect. The fact is that in extreme enough cases the distinction is easily apparent. At one extreme, a trivial error in excess of jurisdiction may be just that, trivial, and hardly worthy of treatment as an excess of power. On the other hand, at the other extreme, a gross abuse of power on its face and in effect may be in reality so serious an excess of power incontrovertibly justifying and requiring summary correction.” LaRocca v. Lane, 37 N.Y.2d 575, 338 N.E.2d 606. 376 N.Y.S.2d 93, aJJg 47 App. Div. 2d 243, 366 N.Y.S.2d 456 (2d Dep’t 1975), rev’g 77 Misc. 2d 123, 353 N.Y.S.2d 867 (Sup. Ct. Kings County 1974). The present circumstances warrant the issuance of a writ of prohibition since the abuse of discretion and acting in excess of jurisdiction is already causing environmental damage after 40 acres of trees were cut down. If this Court fails to issue a writ of prohibition, there will be more damage to a larger part of the community.
  • PRAYER FOR RELIEF

REASONS WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, Petitioner requests this Honorable Court to grant the following reliefs:

  1. ISSUE an Order prohibiting the Town of Saratoga Planning Board from proceeding with the Cedar Bluff Subdivision;
  2. AWARD Petitioner the costs of this Petition; and
  3. AWARD Petitioner such further relief as the Court deems fair and proper under the circumstances.

Dated this _____ day of April, 2020.

Respectfully Submitted,

___________________________________

Insert Your Full Name,

Petitioner in pro per

VERIFICATION

I, Insert Your Full Name, being duly sworn depose and say that I have read the foregoing Petition and know the contents thereof. That the same is true of my own knowledge except as to those matters and things stated upon information and belief, and as to those things, I believe them to be true.

_________________________________

(Sign in the presence of a Notary Public)

Sworn to and subscribed before me this ___ day of April, 2022.

______________________________

Notary Public

________________________________________

(Printed name of Notary Public)

My Commission Expires: ____________________

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