Thank you for your interest in the community concerns regarding development and how we, as a community, can address them.

If you have any information to share or interests in this project contact me at this issue dedicated email address.

We now have a Facebook page so we can deliver updates or related information. Although we are featuring “The Lodge” issue, there are many other developments that need further scrutiny in town. Perhaps you can bring it to the community’s attention in this forum.


They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. I think a word begging to surface from these photos is ” exterior”. According to the Lodge and the building inspector, all these modifications can be done under a Stop Work Order. Homeowners take note!

Building Inspector cant keep her fingers off the button…issues certificate of compliance in violation of building code

The stop work order at “The Lodge” has still not been resolved. The town board admitted the building inspector made a mistake in granting a building permit on  March 25th.  Then on May 7th , despite attempts by property owners and the town board to subdue the permitting  process until the stop work order was resolved building inspector Ellen Casciaro pushed her button again and issued a certificate of compliance for for the pool.

Is the building inspector flipping buttons for developers or Woodstock taxpayers?

 On March 18th and March 19th property owners  called building inspector and zoning enforcement officer Ellen Casciaro attention to the town code (260-101) that calls for The Lodge to satisfy the stop work order before any permit can be granted.

The property owners again contacted her the morning she issued the permit, again challenging her decision. So she had 3 opportunities to re-think her erroneous decision.

Building inspector Ellen Casciaro gave “The Lodge” a building permit within days after being challenged 3 times about her decision. 

 On April 4th she let it be known that she can remove a violation with a flip of a button

[Amended 7-3-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
No building permit or certificate of occupancy or use required by this chapter shall be issued by the Zoning Enforcement Officer pertaining to any premises on which there exists a violation of this chapter or any related Town regulation which governs either building construction or the use of land and structures within the Town of Woodstock, unless the building permit or certificate of occupancy or use is necessary to allow for the removal or correction of the violation.



Selina Woodstock seeks permission to temporarily open with limited capacity

The owner of the former Woodstock Lodge is seeking permission from the Town of Woodstock to temporarily open with limited capacity while attempting to allay fears from planning-board members that the move could set a dangerous precedent . . .




Trust, but verify

…the beleaguered Selina Woodstock seeks permission to salvage at least part of the 2020 season. The town is considering a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, to allow international hotel and resort  operator Selina to open a limited amount of cabins…
“Their only alternative is to challenge the town over their right to operate, and frankly, they’d win,” McKenna said.




Selina sues former Woodstock Lodge owner

Selina Woodstock, the burgeoning international work/stay company that bought The Lodge at Woodstock last spring — and has been mired in zoning conflicts ever since — filed a lawsuit against The Lodge’s former owner Michael Skurnick and his various business aliases from which it bought the property — and who it hired to manage its renovation recently. 

But despite seeking to “rescind the Purchase and Sale Agreement, the Mortgage, and the Development Agreement” from Skurnick, along with damages “no less than $2,500,000,



Woodstock planners want Selina to study sewer connection

Off the table, at least for now, was any further discussion of a temporary Certificate of Occupancy, as discussed in prior board communication. Planning Board member Conor Wenk had floated the idea as a way to allow Selina Woodstock to open and not need to lay off staff, but neighbors criticized it as an end-run around the approval process…
“I was approached not that long ago by two members of the Town Board, (Supervisor) Bill McKenna and Reggie Earls, to talk about the shadow of the thought of an idea of granting you guys a temporary C of O,” Wenk said. 



Woodstock planners discuss a temporary Certificate of Occupancy for Selina

Asked again about how the conversation got started regarding a temporary C of O after such discussion was dismissed by planning board attorney John Lyons and planning consultant Matthew Rudikoff on July 18, Gery emailed back only that, “I wasn’t at the meeting. But I understand that Conor Wenk raised the proposal.” READ MORE


Selina, new Lodge owners, will seek all proper approvals for renovations

New management of The Lodge from Selina Woodstock, including the president of all Selina operations worldwide, assured the Woodstock planning board Thursday night, July 18, that they would do whatever was asked of them to bring their property into compliance and correct a string of bad building department permits that were vacated by the town zoning board of appeals earlier this month…  READ MORE


Selina seeks to cooperate with Woodstock on former Lodge property

As officials sort out how to proceed with the consideration of permitting for renovations at the former Woodstock Lodge, some neighbors wanted assurances from the Woodstock Town Board that their concerns are being addressed.….READ MORE


Selina, new Lodge owners, will seek all proper approvals for renovations

As officials sort out how to proceed with the consideration of permitting for renovations at the former Woodstock Lodge, some neighbors wanted assurances from the Woodstock Town Board that their concerns are being addressed.….READ MORE


Building permits for former Woodstock Lodge ruled illegal

According to ZBA members, the town supervisor, and the town attorney, the ruling puts ongoing renovation work at Selina Woodstock on Country Club Lane — for which Casciaro granted further permits while the ZBA case was making its decision — in legal limbo, with no one assured of next steps…READ MORE


Zoning unrest in Woodstock

tension appears to be building around the ZBA’s pending interpretations regarding Selina Woodstock’s building permits, and another ZBA interpretation that asks whether the planning board can help mediate a situation involving normally illegal activities in the town’s restrictive scenic overlay district, as well as oversight requests from town supervisor Bill McKenna….READ MORE


Woodstock ZBA defers for now on The Lodge…

Paul Shultis, son of a longstanding former building inspector/ZEO of the same name, has maintained a long list of cases where planners had asked the building department for opinions or information only to be rebuffed by Casciaro, as well as planning board opinions that differed with building department actions on cases involving local bed and breakfasts, tree removal on subdivisions, combined site uses on new commercial buildings, and situations (The Lodge, Silvia’s) where applicants shifted approved plans based on Casciaro’s recommendations…READ MORE


Woodstock ZBA to make Lodge decision on Thursday, May 23

Whether any of this will have stopped work at the property located behind the Woodstock Elementary School is still anyone’s guess, given that no formal stay on the work allowed by the permits in question, as well as more recent ones granted by Woodstock Building Inspector Ellen Casciaro, was still in question as of press time… READ  MORE


Lodge permitting askew in Woodstock

Issues regarding building permits, renovation allowances, pool safety and the transformation of what was known as The Lodge and is now struggling to become Selina Woodstock grew even more complicated this past weekr…READ MORE



Woodstock Town Board wants work on The Lodge halted

The hearing had been called to interpret town zoning laws as they regard building permits granted by town code enforcement officer/building inspector Ellen Casciaro, which a neighbor has claimed (through attorney John Furst) were wrongly granted by ignoring never-formally-rescinded or fixed Orders to Remedy and a Stop Work Order…READ MORE


Does the Lodge at Woodstock have building permits or not?

What could be the community’s next big land use battle has emerged in the past week as news appeared that The Lodge at Woodstock, featured on TV as one of the nation’s worst hotels just five years ago, sold March 13 for $2.8 million to … READ MORE

Is everybody playing by the rules?

My name is Marcel Nagele, a resident and business owner, residing on property contiguous to The Lodge project. I have watched this saga unfold as both the developer and town have engaged in curious business practices that according to the laws and ordinances warrant further investigation.

Development is a red hot topic in Woodstock these days. Woodstock and surrounding areas have always been a destination, but we are fast becoming the investment capital of the Hudson Valley. Magazines and publications tout the beauty and charm of the Catskills but the direction is turning from trees to condos.  If this is to be, perhaps we should take a closer look at how this is to be carried out.
Any Woodstock homeowner knows there are laws and taxes that come along with living here.
But do they apply to everyone?
Let’s aim an eye at some development and see if all is well.


Let's take a look at The Lodge...

Previously, The Lodge was a 29 room hotel & bar business located at #20 Country Club Lane. It was bought in 2016 by MHS Worldwide Holdings lll, LLC. and they began seeking approvals from the town board. For unknown reasons, the owners discontinued their efforts at gaining planning board approval.

Since that order, the proposal has taken on many new twists and turns enroute to and from the town offices and boards.

Subsequently, non-permitted work commenced. My landlord and I ( I have an interest beyond simple tenacy) engaged a lawyer and after communications with the town got a “stop work order” in place in July of 2018 for their violation of town zoning laws.

It has just been learned that property was flipped for $2.8 million dollars to a hotel enterprise with corporate headquarters in Panama.

Along with its purchase on March 13, 2019 came public announcements it will be open in August ahead of the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock festival.

Within 2 weeks of its sale the property received a building permit before appearing before the planning board.

A total reversed sequence.

How could that happen?


A look at the documents. Stay tuned there's more!

Letters from homeowner and lawyer to supervisor April 30-July 2, 2018
Email correspondence July 10. 2018
Order to remedy violation July 10, 2018
Town lawyer to Code Enforcement Officer August 23, 2018
Lawyer letter to town building inspector August 27, 2018
Letter to town August 27, 2018
Email to town board  asking to enforce code August 28, 2019
Asking for enforcement via citations and SWOs August 28, 2018
Letter to town follow up August 28, 2018
Letter from MHS worldwide attorney to town April August 28, 2018
Town lawyer to MHS lawyer August 28, 2018
Letter from lawyer to supervisor  October 23,  2018
Letter from lawyer to supervisor December 14, 2018
Email |Property owners question  building inspector code decision March 18-19 2019
Email |Property owners again challenge code decision March 25. 2019
Flip of building inspectors button removes violations April 4, 2019
Appeal Letter and Attachments to Town of Woodstock 4/19/2019
Building Inspector responds to FOIL on issuing permits May 1, 2019
Building inspector , violates code (260-101) again and issues a certificate of compliance for the pool. 5/07/2019
Letter to ZBA with supplemental information 5/09/2019
Supervisor McKenna pressures secretaries for access to unauthorized information 5/30/2019
Town planner memo to Lodge attorney 6/20/2019
Planning board letter to the lodge 6/24/ 2019
Zoning Board decision concludes building permits not compliant with town law 6/27/2019
Stop Work Order 7/3/2019
Hotel startup Selina’s fantasy pitch meets grim reality March 28, 2020 (web article)
Selina – Planning Board Memo  04/15/2020
Who is protecting who? Letter to Editor 06/01/2020
Town selling out? Letter to Editor 06/03/2020
Memorandum of Understanding Proposal(MOU) O6/2020
Selina “Code of Conduct” Questionaire 06/2020
Response letter to Town Board concerning MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) 6/04/2020
MOU Rebuttal 6/04/2020