Judge Cobb Grants Injunction

State Defends Pine Bush

ALBANY, NY &emdash; Justice George L. Cobb granted a preliminary injunction January 23 on construction of a six-unit housing subdivision in the Pine Bush in State Supreme Court today. He also granted a request for 60 additional days for the State to respond. Save the Pine Bush, represented by Lewis B. Oliver, Jr., brought suit against the Albany Pine Bush Management Commission, the Town of Guilderland, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the City of Albany for allowing a developer to build water lines in the Pine Bush Preserve, land which has been dedicated to the Commission as forever wild and owned by the taxpayers of the State of New York.

At issue is that Edward J. Pigliavento, Jr. had the water lines for his as-yet-to-be built housing subdivision constructed inside the Pine Bush Preserve.. His subdivision, called Tera Court, is located north of Willow Street in the Town of Guilderland. He had the water lines installed south of Willow Street. The State of New York owns all of the land from the centerline of Willow Street south and has dedicated this land to the Pine Bush Preserve.

Lewis B. Oliver, Jr, attorney for Save the Pine Bush, argued that the integrity of the lands dedicated to the Pine Bush Preserve requires the State and the Court prevent this encroachment. He noted that the Judge issued a preliminary injunction to maintain the status quo, which means that no construction will take place while the issue is being settled. This prevents the developer from investing more money and later arguing that he has spent so much money that he should be allowed to take this land.

Assistant Attorney General, Lawrence A. Rappaport, asked for more time to research the issue of the road. The issues in this case are complicated, and the Attorney General would like more time to review documents and records relating to the road. Rappaport also sided with Save the Pine Bush in their request for an injunction on any construction in the sub-division during this 60 day period. In papers filed on behalf of New York State, Rappaport states, "Preliminary information in DEC's possession indicates that a water line may have been constructed in that portion of the right-of-way between the centerline and the southern boundary by . . . Brookview Corp. Inc. . . . " and continues with, " . . . and, in the event DEC determines and encroachment exists, raise cross-claims for appropriate relief against respondent Pigliavento and possibly other responsible persons not yet joined in this proceeding."

In support of Save the Pine Bush's request for a preliminary injunction, Rappaport states, "Furthermore, the State respondents believe that petitioners' motion for a preliminary injunction should be granted in order to maintain the status quo and prevent further hardships from arising in the event DEC determines that the water line constitutes an unlawful encroachment which cannot be resolved amicably and which therefore must be removed.

Printed 3/98


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