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RIDGE HILL LEGAL ACTION RESEARCH AUTHORIZED...5 MILLION TRAFFIC MITIGATION FUNDS WILL BE SPENT ON...
Release Date: January 13, 2010

GREENBURGH TOWN BOARD APPROVES RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXPLORATION OF LEGAL ACTION AGAINST RIDGE HILL PROJECT
TOWN HAD RECEIVED 5 MILLION FOR TRAFFIC MITIGATION AS A RESULT OF SETTLEMENT OF PREVIOUS ACTION
COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES HOW 5 MILLION WILL BE SPENT
LEGAL ACTION COULD RESULT IN ADDITIONAL TRAFFIC MITIGATION AND SAFETY MEASURES BEING FUNDED BY DEVELOPER/CITY OF YONKERS
On Wednesday evening, January 13th the Greenburgh Town Board unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the Town Attorney's office to explore whether legal action should be taken against the city of Yonkers and/or the developers of Ridge Hill in light of the recent federal indictment against a former Yonkers City Councilwoman for having cast the deciding vote in favor of Ridge Hill after accepting a bribe. The town settled a lawsuit against Ridge Hill/Yonkers two years ago after the Yonkers City Council approved the project. We were advised (prior to the settlement) that we did not have a good chance of winning the lawsuit--because Yonkers has the right to approve developments within their borders, provided SEQR is complied with.  As part of the settlement the town received $5 million dollars for traffic mitigation.  Legal fees were also paid for by the developer. Last week the  the Ridgehill Intermunicipal Intersection Committee (Town of Greenburgh, Villages of Ardsley and Hastings on Hudson) committee voted to approve a priority list of four (4) projects from the twelve (12) study areas.
All three municipalities agreed that the survey, design and construction work should proceed for the intersections of 9A and Ashford Avenue ($1.7 Million), and the Y-intersection at North Sprain Road and Jackson Avenue ($650,000). As well as for the widening of 9A between Ashford and Heatherdell ($900,000).  The committee decided that the Jackson Avenue S-curve, between Sprain Road and the Park, would  proceed to the design phase only and asked staff to prepare an acquisition plan to present to Westchester County. 
The five million dollars we received for traffic safety improvements will not solve our traffic problems after Ridge Hill is open. The indictment of former Councilwoman Sandy Annabi highlights the fact that SEQR may not have been complied with.  It's our hope that -at the minimum- we will be able to secure additional traffic mitigation funding.  The members of the Town Board who voted for the resolution are Sonja Brown, Diana Juettner, Kevin Morgan, Francis Sheehan. I also supported the resolution.
PAUL FEINER
Greenburgh Town Supervisor
 
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE TOWN ATTORNEY’S OFFICE TO EXPLORE WHETHER LEGAL ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN AGAINST THE CITY OF YONKERS, FOREST CITY RATNER (FC YONKERS ASSOCIATES, LLC), AND/OR OTHERS, IN LIGHT OF RECENT ALLEGATIONS THAT A YONKERS CITY COUNCILWOMAN WHO WAS THE DECIDING VOTE, RECEIVED A BRIBE IN EXCHANGE FOR APPROVING THE RIDGE HILL DEVELOPMENT IN THE CITY OF YONKERS, WHICH WAS OPPOSED BY THE TOWN OF GREENBURGH DUE TO ITS SIZE AND TRAFFIC IMPACTS
 
WHEREAS, the Town of Greenburgh is a party to a Stipulation of Settlement with Forest City Ratner (“FC Yonkers Associates, LLC.”), effective January 12, 2007, pursuant to the terms of a court ordered settlement effective January 12, 2007, in two actions captioned “Town of Greenburgh, et al. v. the City Council of the City of Yonkers, et al.,” Westchester County Index Numbers 5939-06 and 22251-06; and
 
WHEREAS, the Town originally filed the aforementioned lawsuits because the Town, and villages within the Town, were concerned about the size, traffic impacts and poor  planning of the Ridge Hill development proposal in the City of Yonkers; and
 
WHEREAS, the Town Board settled the lawsuits regarding the Ridge Hill development, even though members of the Town Board remained concerned about the size, traffic impacts and planning of the development, because Board members were advised that the Town had little chance of success on the merits in the lawsuit in view of the Yonkers City Council’s support of the development; and
 
WHEREAS, in light of recent allegations that a Yonkers City Councilwoman may have received a bribe in exchange for approving the Ridge Hill development, the Town Board believes it prudent to have the Town Attorney’s office explore the Town’s legal options, including damages and injunctive relief, in the event that there is a final determination that the integrity of the State Environmental and Quality Review (“SEQR”) process and/or City of Yonkers approvals have been compromised;
 
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Board of the Town of Greenburgh hereby authorizes the Town Attorney’s office to explore whether legal action should be taken against the City of Yonkers and/or FC Yonkers Associates, LLC. and/or others, in the event that there is a final determination that the integrity of the State Environmental and Quality Review (“SEQR”) process and/or City of Yonkers approvals have been compromised, in light of recent allegations that a Yonkers City Councilmember received a bribe in exchange for approving the Ridge Hill development proposal.
 
 
Submitted: 01/11/2010
Revised: 01/13/2010
 



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