State Supreme Court Justice Daniel J. Doyle issued a decision Feb. 7 throwing out a challenge to the town of Brighton’s Incentive Zoning Local Law in connection with the proposed Whole Foods Plaza.
The court decision also found that the town complied with the State Open Meetings Law in posting documents prior to its Town Board meetings and in relocating at least one public hearing to a different location to accommodate an anticipated large number of residents interested in the project. Eight separate lawsuits have been commenced by two groups representing undisclosed business interests since the town approved the Whole Foods Plaza Project last spring.
“I am very pleased that the judge ruled in the town’s favor on all accounts. I look forward to having the town benefit from the many amenities this project will bring to the town, including traffic safety improvements along Monroe Avenue and the hundreds of thousands of tax dollars that the project will generate each year,” said Town Supervisor William Moehle. “Perhaps now those fighting the project in court will finally get the message that their claims are without merit and the best thing for Brighton is to drop the lawsuits and let construction begin.”
The court also denied efforts to seek a preliminary injunction to halt all work on the project to prevent the town from issuing permits pending the final outcome of the lawsuits. In dismissing the lawsuit’s complaint that Moehle held a press conference to demand that the developer reduce the size of the project and restrict access to Clover Street and Allens Creek Road, Justice Doyle lauded such statements by the supervisor as the type that “ought to be encouraged.”
Over 10 different claims and causes of action were thrown out by the court in its decision and the court further denied the petitioner’s demand for discovery. The decision clears the way for the court to take on the final phase of the lawsuits in determining whether the substantial and voluminous record contained sufficient evidence to support the town’s decision to approve the Whole Foods Plaza Project.
“I am confident given the five public hearings held by the Town Board, thousands of pages of documents and many hours of testimony that the Town Board considered in this process that the record of proceedings in the approval of this project contains ample evidence and information to support the decision that the town made in approving this important project,” said Moehle.