Village will appeal Supreme Court ruling on Widows Hole Oysters

11/28/2014 10:00 AM |
Widows Hole Oyster Company owner Mike Osinski pleads with the board to let his wetland application move forward earlier this year. (Credit: Cyndi Murray, file)

Widows Hole Oyster Company owner Mike Osinski pleads with the board to let his wetland application move forward earlier this year. (Credit: Cyndi Murray, file)

Greenport Village is appealing a state Supreme Court decision that found the board mishandled the issuance of a wetlands permit submitted by former trustee Mike Osinski to expand operations of his business, Widows Hole Oysters.

Mr. Osinski and his wife, Isabel, sued the village in February over an amendment members made when approving the company’s tidal wetlands permit in December 2013.

The judge ruled that amendment “arbitrary and capricious.”

A resolution passed at the Dec. 23 Village Board meeting included a verbal amendment made by the board moments before its passage — an amendment Mr. Osinski said was never made clear to him. Moreover, the couple’s plans to build a dock heading into Greenport Harbor, on the east side, were stalled after the board said a clerical error required a second public hearing on the plan. In August, a Supreme Court judge annulled the verbal amendment.

“The Board improperly succumbed to the pressure from the petitioner’s neighbors to limit his farming activities,” the ruling states.

Village attorney Joe Prokop declined to elaborate when asked about the case by residents at Monday’s Village Board meeting, citing pending litigation.

“I recommended to the board to appeal,” he said. “It protects our rights.”

Mr. Osinski said he is “confident” the judge will uphold the decision.

“The State of New York Department of Agriculture maintains I did not even need to go before the board for a permit in the first place,” he said before the meeting. “The real questions are why does the board continue to spend taxpayers’ monies and how much have they spent already?”

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