Decision Issued in Durkee Street Project Litigation

On February 24th, Clinton County Supreme Court Justice John Ellis issued a Decision in the pending litigation involving the proposed mixed-use development project planned for the Durkee Street parking lot as part of the City’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The project’s developer, Prime Plattsburgh, LLC proposed to construct 109 new market rate apartments, 13,400 square feet of commercial space, and over 300 parking spaces, for a private sector investment of over $18 million dollars in downtown Plattsburgh. 

By the end of January of 2021, Prime’s plans received the required approvals from the City’s Common Council, Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), and Planning Board. In February of 2021, local opponents of the project commenced litigation against the City and Prime, challenging, among other things, the approval decisions made by the City’s boards.

While the majority of the objections raised by the project’s opponents were dismissed by the Court, two were sustained and, consequently, the Court’s ruling invalidated the project’s prior board approvals. The Court determined that the SEQRA review was deficient with respect to the project’s effects on the habitat of the Common Loon and the potential impacts of soil removal from the site. City Officials are disappointed by the Court’s decision and are currently reviewing all available legal options.

In response to this decision, Mayor Rosenquest said, “In my run-up to office, I spoke to both supporters and opponents of this project. Even the most staunch opponents seemed to agree that a parking lot wasn’t the best use of the property. Unfortunately, the vast amount of animosity this project has received has likely also complicated the City’s current and future prospects for meaningful economic development at this and other locations.” Rosenquest added, “Regardless of who develops this site, the unresolved issues in this litigation must be addressed so that the opportunity for developing this site is not squandered.”