Saratoga Planning Board won’t hear petition while landlord under review

SARATOGA —The town Planning Board told the owner of the Saratoga Lakeview mobile home park that it would not consider a special use permit or a lot line adjustment of his property while the state attorney general‘s office reviews his agreement with tenants.

Chairman Ian Murray told park owner Michael Giovanone on Nov. 30 that he has agreed to allow residents to stay in the park until 2026 and the board cannot proceed until it hears from Attorney General Letitia James.

“There are issues with this,” Murray told Giovanone in a transcript of the meeting provided to the Times Union. “No way can the Planning Board review this application at this time. The certification I got back from the Attorney General is that Mr. Giovanone gave a five-year window for residents to stay. That’s what’s going to be honored.”

At the meeting, Giovanone, who wanted to expand his Boat N RV Condos on Route 9P onto the 3.2-acre mobile home park, argued he won’t have to wait five years because tenants are moving out and therefore, under state real property law , the park will no longer have enough residents to be considered a mobile home park.

“When we get down to two (residents), game over,” said Giovanone who could not be reached for further comments on Friday.

Murray told Giovanone that the attorney general‘s office will guide the board’s decision, not Giovanone. Murray also said he just “wanted to put it on the record.”

This decision by the Planning Board follows an Attorney General letter to Giovanone’s attorney demanding Giovanone “cease and desist your harassment of tenants.” The letter also noted that Giovanone is “prohibited from interfering with the tenant’s privacy, comfort and enjoyment of a tenant’s home” as the actions could be considered harassment.

Dio (formerly Angela) Kaufman said the Planning Board’s decision was a relief. However, just days after the meeting, surveyors were in people’s yards, working on the property, Kaufman said.

“It’s very stressful,” said Kaufman who has been fighting with Giovanone to respect the five-year agreement ever since he bought the property in June 2021. “It’s very disruptive, the noise of Kubota vehicles, constantly documenting what’s going on and letting people know where things stand. The whole process is very disruptive. … We have no idea what’s going on. But we looked out our window and there was someone walking around in our yards. It’s net.”

The surveying company president could not be reached for comment Friday.

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