2 years ago the Greenburgh Town Board settled a lawsuit regarding the Ridge Hill development. We had originally filed the lawsuit because Greenburgh and villages within the town were concerned about traffic impacts, poor planning, size of the project. We settled the lawsuit (even though members of the Board were concerned about traffic impacts, size of the development on the Greenburgh border) because we were advised that we had little chance of success in the lawsuit we had filed because the Yonkers Council was in support of the project.
Yesterday, a member of the Yonkers City Council, Sandy Annabi, was indicted on charges of accepting a $160,000 bribe. She was the swing vote. As a result, the Town Board will vote on a resolution at next Wednesday’s Town Board meeting directing the Greenburgh Town Attorney to review whether we have any legal recourse re: Ridge Hill.
If former Councilwoman Annabi sold her vote the integrity of the SEQR process may have been compromised. The actions Yonkers took could then be illegal. I believe that the town should explore legal options including damages and injunctive relief.
The Town Board will vote on the resolution at our meeting on Wednesday evening, January 13, 2010. The meeting starts at 7:30 PM.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor
From January 11, 2007 Greenburgh town website.
Town settles Ridge Hill--legal fees to be reimbursed to town! YONKERS/GREENBURGH FIGHTING ENDS!
Release Date: January 11, 2007
BORDER WARS BETWEEN YONKERS/GREENBURGH ARE OVER…RIDGE HILL LAWSUIT SETTLED…TOWN LEGAL FEES REIMBURSED…ROAD IMPROVEMENTS TO BE FUNDED!
The Town Board unanimously approved a resolution settling the Ridge Hill lawsuit. Yonkershad previously approved a mixed use commercial, retail and residential project on an approximately 80 acre parcel of property located in Yonkers, on the Greenburgh border.
As part of the agreement – which has also been approved by Yonkers, Ardsley and Hastings as well as the chair of the citizens committee that had opposed Ridge Hill (Mary Jane Shimsky)- Yonkers will remit directly to the town of Greenburgh $450,000 as a reimbursement for expenses certified by the Town’s Comptroller as having been incurred by the town in connection with the project.
Yonkerswill also make available to Greenburgh, Ardsley and Hastings the sum of 5 million dollars to be used to improve certain intersections and roads within our respective municipalities. A task force will be created to explore the feasibility of, design and seek funding and approvals to allow for the construction of entry and exit ramps connecting the property to the Sprain Brook Parkway. The Task Force will be under the direction of an independent, qualified task force manager who will be selected by unanimous vote of the Task Force members.
Am I happy with the settlement? I have mixed feelings. I would have preferred density reduction. I still believe that the project is too large. However, I realize that under the current state laws it would have been unlikely for the town to have prevailed if we pursued litigation. If we had pursued litigation we probably would have incurred an additional $300,000- $400,000 in legal expenses. At the end of the day we would have lost. The taxpayers would have spent $800,000 – maybe more- on legal fees and would have nothing to show. Now, our legal fees are being reimbursed. If we pursued litigation we would not have received the 5 million in road improvements.
I also hope that the settlement will end the border wars between Greenburgh and Yonkers. The Task Force will provide Yonkers/Greenburgh with an opportunity to have a dialogue…to get to know each other…to get to work with each other. Hopefully, if we establish a good working relationship with each other there will be more regional cooperation on planning issues.