The Town of Le Roy Planning Board has been named in a lawsuit that attempts to block construction of a senior housing development off Robbins Road.
One of the plaintiff's in the suit, Stephen Barbeau, is the newly elected town supervisor.
The owner of the planned development, Le Roy resident Pete McQuillen, thinks Le Roy residents should know that Barbeau is using town resources to fight a battle against a project that has already been approved.
"I don’t think it’s right that after the boards that have been elected or appointed have done their due diligence and made recommendations and passed resolutions that it should be fought again by the new town supervisor," McQuillen said.
The Batavian left phone messages for Barbeau on Wednesday of last week and again this afternoon. He has not returned our calls.
While it is the town's planning board that is being sued -- along with the Village of Le Roy and McQuillen -- as supervisor, Barbeau would normally be expected to have oversight over the expenditures related to a lawsuit and consult with the attorney.
In this case, McQuillen claimed, the town and village boards will need to hire outside council to represent them and the town's funds will come out of the budget Barbeau helps write and approve.
"The taxpayers shouldn't have to spend money defending a project that the town and village have already approved," McQuillen said.
The project is known as Robbins Nest Drive and is located east of Robbins Road and south of Filmore Street on the south side of the village. It will feature 26 single-family homes on 13.1 acres, walking trails and a community garden.
The single-story units will be sold to people 55 and older, with an expected asking price of from $130,000 to $160,000 each.
"There will be no maintenance outside the units," McQuillen said. "The concept is you can sell your 3,000 sq. ft. or 4,000 sq. ft. home after your children are gone and make a lateral move. It's for people who no longer want to mow lawns or shovel snow."
Among the approvals McQuillen sought was changing the zoning for the property from R-1 (single family residential) to PUD (planned unit development).
The change allows McQuillen to build smaller lots and establish a homeowners' association. Buyers will own their homes but not the lots.
The lawsuit alleges that the town and village boards didn't follow state law in granting approvals for the project.
From McQuillen's point of view, Barbeau and his co-plaintiff David S. Boyce just simply want to block all development on the property.
Barbeau and Boyce own residences on Filmore Street and the development is adjacent to their back yards.
He said that he think's that one of Barbeau's concerns is that McQuillen will use the PUD to bring in trailers or mobile homes, but McQuillen said that's not going to happen. First, because that's not what the village approved, and second, it's not what he wants.
"He doesn't want to see his property value go down and I don't blame him," said McQuillen. "But I live on Robbins Road. I'm never going to build those things."