Well, here we go again. After a contested election that was essentially a referendum on the New Village development, Mayor Pontieri won 58% of the vote, and the Suffolk County Supreme Court decided prior suits in favor of the developer and village, the plaintiffs have sued yet again. I realize that our courts provide a means for grievances to be adjudicated. However, residents need to recognize and understand the consequences of these suits. The start of the New Village development was materially delayed by the suits. Until the suits were settled, officially in late March, the developer could not start the demolition. The developer owned the 4+ acre site and incurred substantial expenses during this hiatus including attorney fees, real estate taxes, interest, insurance, and lost revenue. The cost to the developer has been estimated at $1 million. The Village also had costs, including $40,000 of court costs and legal fees (taxpayer’s money), as well as loss of real estate taxes by, let’s say one year into the future, likely $500,000. Importantly, these costs are “sunk”, that is, they will never be recovered by the developer or the village.
What of the plaintiffs? Some individuals, the Brick House, The Colony Shop, and Remember Yesteryears? What are the consequences for them? Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt on their original lawsuit. Reasonable people can have differences of opinion, and they may truly have believed that the New Village development would harm their businesses. They had their day in court, for which village residents have paid dearly. The court decided against the plaintiffs. Now a new suit has been filed, claiming that the Board of Trustees reinstatement of the New Village plan was unlawful because a year had elapsed from the last approval. Of course, the year had elapsed because of their lawsuits. What do they hope to accomplish? On behalf of the residents of the village, I request that the plaintiffs drop the suit and let us get on with the business that has clearly been approved by the Board of Trustees and by the residents with their majority vote in the recent election. The people and the courts have spoken.