Simple subdivision on Huguenot Street runs into difficulty

The seemingly simple subdivision Holly Hasbrouck wants to enact for 191-193 Huguenot Street in New Paltz may have another snag: an easement that can’t be plotted on a map at all. Last month, Hasbrouck learned that the survey drawn to show the new lot line wasn’t acceptable, because it was prepared by a surveyor working for a firm that has village contracts. A different surveyor has been retained, but it’s unclear if that work will be done in time to review at the October 5 Village Planning Board meeting. The public hearing has been held open to that date rather than a later one, because Hasbrouck is trying to avoid additional delays if possible. If the survey isn’t ready, though, the hearing will have to remain open at that point.

It’s generally the responsibility of the professionals involved to flag potential conflicts of interest and decline such clients, but that was missed in this case — despite the fact that the relationship with the Village government stretches back into the 1950s, when the firm Brinnier & Larios was first organized. Hasbrouck selected the firm to update a survey prepared in those same offices, which is a common practice. There’s just one line on the map that is colored by this conflict of interest, but unfortunately for Hasbrouck, it’s the only line that matters and it has to be redrawn by someone with no financial ties with the municipal government.

Board attorney Rick Golden would prefer that board members get to see all existing easements on that plan, as called for in the code, but Hasbrouck asserts that they cannot be plotted because there’s no legal description upon which to survey it. Nearly every recorded land document, from deeds to mortgages to easements over the property of another, include a metes-and-bounds description to specify precisely what land is involved. Much older documents might include references to stumps and stones, but modern descriptions are just as likely to use GPS coordinates. Per Hasbrouck, a utility easement to allow access by Central Hudson personnel doesn’t include any of those specifics. Golden will take a look at that document and those concerned how they might proceed within the bounds of law.

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There may be time to get final tweaks to the other documents agreed upon ahead of the October 5 meeting, meaning that if the new survey is produced in time, Hasbrouck may be able to secure approval at that time.

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