WILLIAMSTOWN -- The developer of the proposed Foxwood Lane subdivision will be allowed to appeal the Planning Board's earlier responses to court-issued questions concerning the project.
According to a June 14 order from the state Land Court, Charles Fox will be allowed to object to the board's Nov. 9, 2010 decision in which it voted on five issues that were referred back to it by the court for further consideration.
The issues dealt with the adequacy of Bee Hill Road to provide access to the subdivision by means of Cold Spring Road (Route 7), the timing of improvements to the upper portion of Bee Hill Road and three engineering matters. The issues needed to be clarified by the Planning Board in order for a judge to make a final ruling in the case.
Concerning the adequacy of Bee Hill Road to provide access, the Planning Board voted against waiving the requirement. The board then voted in favor of having the improvements to the upper portion of Bee Hill Road completed before construction of Foxwood Lane began. The three engineering matters were approved by the board.
The Planning Board's responses were part of a larger legal battle that began when residents opposed to the project appealed the board's decision to approve it in May 2006.
Fox said Thursday that he is very pleased he will be allowed to pursue the appeal, and will now file a brief with the Land Court.
Of the five issues that were remanded to the
According to local subdivision rules and regulations, adequate access must be demonstrated from a proposed subdivision to a state numbered highway.
When the Planning Board approved the project, which called for eight homes on 65 acres, it found that adequate access had been demonstrated from the development to the Taconic Trail (Route 2) by means of Bee Hill Road.
"The Planning Board decided I did have adequate access. However, it was not clearly described in the records, and as a consequence, the judge felt a remand was appropriate," Fox said. "It seems highly likely the judge will now see an error in the original remand around the issue of the adequacy of Bee Hill Road."
He said once the appeal is heard, and the judge makes a decision, that information will finalize the legal status of the remands. At that point, the judge will be obligated to make a final judgment on the whole case, he said.
Fox said the legal battle involving the Foxwood Lane subdivision has cost him about $150,000. Town Manager Peter Fohlin said it has cost the town $30,815 in legal fees.
Selectman Ronald Turbin, a resident of Bee Hill Road and one of the 11 plaintiffs in the case, said that given his position as a town official, he'd rather not comment on the case.
He did say that he hadn't really had a chance to speak to any of the other plaintiffs since the court's decision to allow the appeal.
"We're going to have to get together and make a decision," he said. "At this point, I don't know what we are going to do."
To reach Meghan Foley,