Stuyvesant resident Will Pflaum, the owner/operator of Glencadia Dog Camp, has received a decision from acting Columbia County Supreme Court Justice Patrick McGrath in the first of his five lawsuits against officials in the Town of Stuyvesant—and it looks like he’s won a solid victory in this round... The decision can be read in full as a PDF by clicking here.
As part of his long-running dispute with the Town, Pflaum filed a lawsuit challenging the local Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) and its Enforcement Officer’s “determination to revoke his Class 2 Home Occupation permit.” McGrath’s decision finds:
As a matter of statutory construction and based on the case law cited above. the Court finds that the ZBA’s determination was made in violation of lawful procedure and was affected by an error of law.
Based on procedural errors, McGrath then orders and adjudges that
the [ZBA’s] determination is annulled and the permit to operate as a Class 2 Home Occupation shall be restored.
The ZBA is further instructed, if it still wishes to pursue the noise complaints, to address only those narrow complaints filed against Pflaum which the Board had skipped over in its eagerness to overstep its mandate and revoke Pflaum’s permit entirely. (If ZEO Gerald Ennis had wanted that done, he would have had to go to Town Court, where the burden of proof for him probably would have been a lot higher than before the ZBA, which Pflaum has characterized as highly politicized.)
“One down, four to go,” commented Pflaum in an email, adding:
The four other cases Pflaum alludes to above are:
- Pflaum v. Stuyvesant, a Federal case in which he alleges “assessment fraud, invoice fraud criminal activity, embezzlement, [and] fraud” (March 2011);
- Pflaum v. Narzynski, an “equal protection” case involving zoning, which argues that “the ZBA secretary is running a business forbidden by the ordinance” (Feb. 2012);
- Pflaum v. Naegeli, A Freedom of Information Law case, arguing that the Town is “hiding information” (Feb. 2012); and
- Pflaum v. Knott, another “equal protection” case about zoning, arguing that “the Town Supervisor needs a permit for his business” (Apr. 2012).