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Group Loses Bid to Stop Butterfly Hill Hotel

(CN) - New York's highest court dismissed an environmental group's bid to block a hotel from being built near the home of the endangered Karner Blue butterfly.

The Albany Common Council re-zoned a parking lot to allow Tharaldson Development to build a hotel there.

A group called Save the Pine Bush protested, claiming that the construction would have an adverse effect on Butterfly Hill, the nearby home of the endangered Karner Blue butterfly.

The city argued that the environmental group lacked standing because none of its members live closer than a half-mile to the hotel site.

The trial court and appellate division sided with the environmentalists, finding that the city's environmental impact statement failed to consider the project's impact on rare species other than the Karner blue butterfly.

Reversing the decision, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that the petition fails on the merits, even though the environmental group has standing to sue.

"An agency complying with (the State Environmental Quality Review Act) need not investigate every conceivable environmental problem; it may, within reasonable limits, use its discretion in selecting which ones are relevant," Judge Robert Smith wrote.

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