Pine Plains solar hearing canceled

PINE PLAINS — The New York State Supreme Court judge in charge of the lawsuit brought by residents opposed to the Tier 3 solar project at Pulvers Corners canceled a Tuesday, March 19, court hearing.

Judge Anthony R. Molé of Putnam Supreme Court issued the cancellation order Tuesday, March 12.

The resident group, known as Preserve Pine Plains, is seeking an injunction against the solar farm project, proposed by Carson Power LLC of New York City. It filed an Article 78 action against the Pine Plains Planning Board and developers of the project, which envisions a 10MW complex consisting of 24,000 solar panels on farmland at 454 Bean River Road.

Article 78 proceedings put the action of an official or agency under review by a court.

This case was recently assigned to Judge Molé after several other justices recused themselves from the case for various reasons. Justice Gina Capone, who previously had been assigned the case, had scheduled the oral arguments.

“The attorneys are advised that the Court will review the fully submitted motion papers and determine if oral argument is necessary for disposition of the motion,”
Judge Mole wrote in a court notice. The judge also indicated that conducting an oral argument “is discretionary” and added, “should it deem oral argument necessary, the Court shall fix an appropriate date and time with advance notice.”

Since the petition was filed by Preserve Pine Plains Dec. 27, 2023, more than 120 documents have been submitted by sets of attorneys representing both sides of the case.

Mindy Zoghlin of the Zoghlin Group LLC in Rochester represents Preserve Pine Plains.

The town is represented by Warren S. Replansky. Alicia R. Legland, an attorney with Hodgson Russ LLP, represents the developers named in the case: Pulvers Corner Solar 1 LLC, Pulvers Corners Solar 2 LLC, Nexamp Inc., SolaREIT 1-A LLC and Carson Power.

Others named are: Carol Giardino, Diane Weck, Lucie M. Giardino and John Does.

The group claims the Town Board failed to take a “hard look” at “significant adverse impacts” with respect to community character and town planning documents. It also claims the Planning Board failed to take a “hard look” at the project’s impacts on plants and animals and on aesthetic resources and “ignored identified areas of environmental concerns.”

The town and the project say in responses filed with the court that the “ Planning Board fully considered the potential impacts on forested lands and potential for property value impacts prior to making its State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), Special Use Permit, and Site Plan determinations for the proposed solar energy facility.”

The defendants further say that there is no evidence of negative impacts on property values as claimed by the resident group.

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