Third Generation Farming Family Sues Village of Pawling.
David and Goliath?
Daniel Heinchon moved his family from Europe to the Village of Pawling in 1923 and started his Dairy Farm – Heinchon Dairy. The family farm was namesake in the quiet little village for decades. But with the over regulation of the dairy industry nationwide, farming and dairy farms suffered in the 1980’s and the family pivoted and began to use their fields for a different agricultural purpose – hay. Eastern Hay, is owned by a Third Generation Farmer – Kent Chris Johnson and continues to operate on the same property as his Grandfather did in 1923 – until now…..
Slowly the commercial growth has again encroached on his agricultural business and he has been forced to relocate his business out of the Village of Pawling. Complaints about agricultural uses on the property led him to relocate and develop his parcel consistent with plans for the Village.
However, this farming family has now been met with a wall of antics, typical of the Village of Pawling, and has had to pursue a lawsuit against the Village of Pawling for their excessive billing of escrow fees.
Ken Stenger, Esq. of Stenger Diamond and Glass, prepared a Summons and Complaint which was served on the Defendants last week. The Complaint alleges and demands a refund for unreasonable unnecessary and unauthorized attorney’s fees and escrow received by Dave Daniels office as counsel to the Planning Board.
A brief of the lawsuit further claims the Village Board failed to comply with the proper section s of Village Law in providing a mechanism for reasonableness of any fee charged for escrow, leaving the process vague and subjective.
The complaint also asserts that Village of Pawling Planning Board through its consultants, charged all Applicants appearing before the Planning Board and amount that was an excessive rate and a rate higher than it charged the Village of Pawling and higher than is customarily charged by other local law firms for comparable work.
As to the Planning Boards actions, the case alleges the unauthorized use of Chazen Engineering to, at the last hour, provide a memorandum countering the year-long detailed review by long time Pawling Planning Board consultant Berger Engineering in an attempt to undermine prior decisions of the Village Planning Board and Village CEO.