New York town moves to block GM development project

Reuters News
Posted: May 26, 2011 1:18 PM
New York town moves to block GM development project

By Jessica Dye

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York village is seeking to halt an $800 million development slated to be built on the site of a former General Motors Co plant, saying the automaker's project has not received proper environmental vetting from state officials.

The villages of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow have been battling over the proposed "Lighthouse Landing" development since at least 2007, according to a lawsuit filed by the village of Tarrytown.

Sleepy Hollow failed to take a comprehensive look at the project's full environmental impact as it was legally required to do, leaving Tarrytown to shoulder the negative consequences, the lawsuit contends.

The case was filed in New York Supreme Court in Westchester County on Tuesday. Both Sleepy Hollow and GM are named as defendants.

GM declined to comment. A Sleepy Hollow representative did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

While the 94.5 acre site beside the Hudson River is located in Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown officials charge GM's proposal could significantly hurt traffic, parking and pedestrian safety within its borders. The proposal envisions approximately 1,100 residential units and more than 170,000 square feet of commercial development and a 140-room hotel.

Sleepy Hollow first gave the green light to the project in 2007. Tarrytown filed suit to challenge the environmental review, which was stayed pending further action from Sleepy Hollow.

In 2010, after GM emerged from bankruptcy, it submitted a revised proposal for Lighthouse Landing that increased the commercial development space and added the hotel, according to the lawsuit.

Tarrytown claims that rather than addressing its concerns, the revisions actually stand to make the traffic effects of the development even worse.

The lawsuit seeks to prevent Sleepy Hollow and GM from taking further action pending a new environmental review and to block any permits issued for the development.

The case is Mayor and Board of Trustees of the Village of Tarrytown et al. v. Mayor and Board of Trustees of the Village of Sleepy Hollow and GM, in the Supreme Court for the State of New York, Westchester County, no. 11630/11.

(Reporting by Jessica Dye; Additional reporting by Ben Klayman; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)