In written statements to the Rockland County Times, the Town Building Inspector and Town Supervisor’s Office provided new updates regarding unapproved land developments at West Hook Mountain. Both offices confirmed that the previously unauthorized second floor addition to 20 Old Stone Road has now been issued a building permit.
“The Building Permit was issued,” said town building inspector Erik Asheim. “We are waiting for a copy of the final electrical certificate, and then we will do our final inspection.”
The Supervisor’s Office said the property owner’s addition is a permitted use and did not require variances from the Zoning board of Appeals, but a building permit was needed. “Once the Town was made aware of the addition, the Building Department issued a violation notice for failure to obtain the permit,” read the office’s statement. “The homeowner immediately submitted an application for a building permit for the addition to cure the violation.”
The office further stated that the property is deemed a single family home and the property value was reassessed by the Town Assessor.
The Supervisor’s Office did not provide any additional information on the criminal investigation regarding the illegally removed trees on town property, only stating, “It is an active police investigation,” and that any findings will be referred to the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office.
Although urged by some community members and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference to withhold any settlements until the completion of the criminal investigation, the Town Supervisor’s Office indicated that the matters will be resolved separately. “The case currently pending in Town Justice Court, is based on violation of town code, and is separate and apart from the Police investigation,” read the office’s statement. “The case pending in Justice Court will follow all standard Clarkstown Justice Court procedures.”
The office also said that it hopes to revive the demolished land adjoining the property. “Restoration of the land is one of the town’s concerns and goals,” read the office’s statement.
The Town Board and the nonprofit Trust for Public Land (TPL) agreed to protect the land in April of 2003, and the town spent a reported $1.7 million to purchase the West Hook property for open space.