Billionaire investment banker Howard Lutnick is suing a town planning board in the Hamptons for $US20 million after members denied his request to build a barn on his property, 27 East’s Michael Wright reports.
The Cantor Fitzgerald CEO bought his property for $US15 million in 2003. In 2007, he asked permission to build a 11,200-square-foot barn on the property, but was twice denied by the Southampton Town Planning Board.
The board said Lutnick could build a 2,400-square foot barn if he removes the baseball field and playground he currently has built in his back yard, according to the report. From 27 East:
The lawsuit that attorneys for Mr. Lutnick filed in response stands out amid the parade of such legal challenges to other decisions made by the Planning Board in that it lists all seven members of the board, as well as the 17 members of the town’s Agricultural Advisory Committee, as defendants, individually. The suit, which seeks $US20 million in damages, implies that the individual members of both boards should be held personally responsible for the losses incurred by the plaintiff and applicant.
The town attorney told 27 East that members would be indemnified against legal costs and that the lawsuit was an attempt to intimidate members to change their minds about Lutnick’s barn.