Monday, April 28, 2014

Protecting the Olana Viewshed

Last summer, The Olana Partnership and Scenic Hudson filed a legal challenge to overturn the approval granted by the Town of Livingston Planning Board for a 190-foot communication tower on Blue Hill, in the Olana viewshed. Eger Communications, who wants to build the new tower, challenged the standing of The Olana Partnership and Scenic Hudson to bring such a lawsuit, claiming that Scenic Hudson supporters and The Olana Partnership members would not be harmed by the tower more than the general public. Eger Communications also claimed that the lawsuit should be dismissed because the co-locators (the communications providers interested in siting antennas on the tower) had not been named in the suit.  

Last week, Scenic Hudson and The Olana Partnership announced that the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Columbia, had upheld their right to challenge the Livingston Planning Board's decision. Here's part of what Judge Jonathan Nichols wrote in his March 31 ruling:
One of the main activities enjoyed by the supporters is the view from Olana, including Blue Hill, and it is clear that the present towers and the replacement tower are indisputably visible from various locations within Olana. The supporters allege that the proposed replacement tower will be demonstrably more visible in the landscape than the existing guyed units. This is sufficient injury to aesthetic and environmental well-being to establish standing.
Nichols also ruled that the co-locators did not have to be named as parties because they would not be "inequitably and adversely affected" since they had not been co-applicants in the permitting process.

Click here to read the entire press release from Scenic Hudson and The Olana Partnership.

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