Sleepy Hollow Mayor Ken Wray released a statement today brimming with palpable excitement, in fact he used the word "exciting" twice.
Westchester County Supreme Court on Wednesday announced its dismissal of the lawsuit Tarrytown had filed to halt the large-scale development known as “Lighthouse Landing” on the General Motors site.
This will “allow the Village to enter a new and exciting chapter in its history,” wrote Wray. “With this news we are poised to proceed with the most exciting project Sleepy Hollow has seen in a long time.”
Wray looked forward to using the Special Permit, already in place, to begin working with a developer selected by GM. The selection has yet to be announced, as it seemed to be pending the outcome of this lawsuit.
“This next phase of our history will see the realization of much-needed tax dollars for the Village, Town, County and school district, create 1,800 jobs for the region, build new infra-structure for the entire Village and bring an infusion of new businesses to the area," said Wray.
Tarrytown had filed a lawsuit against Sleepy Hollow for allegedly failing to take a “hard look” or make sufficient mitigation efforts at the traffic and environmental impacts the project would have on its neighboring village.
Just days after a complaint was waged from Tarrytown’s traffic consultant in July, 2007, Sleepy Hollow issued a 129-page review of environmental issues.
With the issuance of this Final Environmental Impact Statement the project shrunk some from a proposed 1,562 resident units to 1,177 among many other reductions in square footage of office space, commercial space, and the size of hotel (this time without a conference center.)
Westchester County Court stated in their 25-page decision to the Village signed by James W. Hubert, Acting Supreme Court Justice, “the review of environmental impacts on the streets of both Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow was nothing short of comprehensive.”
The court seemed to call Tarrytown out on their own inaction in similar circumstances, namely their riverfront development known as Ferry Landings. “It is worth noting that this Court can find no evidence in the record that any of the Route 9 mitigation approved by Tarrytown for Ferry Landings [and adopted in the FEIS for Sleepy Hollow] was ever implemented by Tarrytown.”
The Special Permit requires the developer to provide shuttle service from Lighthouse Landing to the Tarrytown Train Station, and to create speed bumps and curb extensions where necessary.
The court noted the positives to come:
- 45 of the 96 acres of the development (46 percent) designated as open space for public use and recreation.
- A brownfield cleaned up “mitigating, if not reversing, 100 years of soil contamination.”
- Affordable senior and work-force housing construction.
- A net fiscal surplus between $630,000 and $1.5 million dollars for our shared school district.
Finally, to Tarrytown’s claim that they are an "involved agency," the County disagreed, calling them instead an “interested agency.”
In conclusion, writes Hubert, “the Petition is dismissed.”
Tarrytown Village Administrator Mike Blau this afternoon said they are drafting a press release in response to the news.
Stay tuned with Patch for updates on developments on this breaking news story.