Clovelea awaits restoration as it has for over 20 years. The recent presumed purchaser has made no effort to follow proper procedure for the restoration of the Clovelea property. I say presumed because the “new” owner has yet to register his ownership with Ulster County. With no official owner he is unable to obtain the proper permits from the village to commence rehabilitation of the site. Also, all back taxes owed to the village remain unpaid.
Unfortunately, the lack of buyer responsibility has obscured the facts. Some conclude the village is against development, but the blame lays with the purchaser, Mr. Moskowitz. Even though he purchased the property at a deeply discounted rate, he is responsible for both the care and security of the property and back taxes owed to the village of Saugerties. These are but a few of the responsibilities’ that came with owning Clovelea. Indisputably, the restoration, or even preservation of Clovelea is a hugely complicated and expensive endeavor, however, it is the buyer’s responsibility to perform due diligence when purchasing a property, especially a historically designated one.
There is no secret agenda or back-door village politics involved here. Clovelea has become the possession of another unprepared, underfinanced owner who refuses to do what is required by law. Clovelea was designated a historical property by the Village Historical Review Board (HRB), after many public hearings where the public was invited to voice their concerns on designation.
As Chair of the HRB I can attest there has been no effort by Moskowitz to contact the board for assistance or approval to begin work. Our board and the Village would like nothing more than for the property to be restored and repurposed as a responsible tax-paying parcel. I hope, as a resident of The village of Saugerties, that Mr. Moskowitz will do his due diligence, pay his owed back taxes, and appropriately apply and obtain permits to revive the magnificent structure that is Clovelea.
Chair, Village Historic Review Board