Below is a letter printed with permission from the Secretary of the Council of Greenburgh Civic Associations regarding the lawsuit brought against many organization:I am writing to keep you informed. In case you haven’t heard, the CGCA as well as the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), the Edgemont Community Council (ECC) and a number of residents living in the Deer Hill Lane/Sprain Road area have been named in a lawsuit filed in Westchester County Supreme Court on June 9, 2016 by Formation Shelbourne Senior Living Services, LLC. Shelbourne is the firm seeking to build an 80-unit, 94-bed assisted living facility on the Sprain Brook Nursery property at 448 Underhill Road.
As you may recall, last August the ECC/CGCA filed an application with the ZBA appealing the Building Inspector’s decision that Shelbourne required no variances to build. The Zoning Ordinance requires that assisted living facilities have a minimum lot size of four acres and be located within 200 feet of a state or county right-of-way. The nursery property is only 3.79 acres and is more than 6,000 feet from the nearest state road, Central Avenue.
At its April 21, 2016 meeting, the ZBA ruled in favor of the ECC/CGCA appeal regarding the 200 feet from Central Avenue requirement but reserved decision on the necessary four-acre provision since Shelbourne was advised it could seek a special permit from the Town Board on that issue.
Before the ZBA even announced its ruling, on April 8, 2016, Shelbourne filed an application with the ZBA seeking variances from both requirements. The ZBA has held Public Hearings on the application at both its May and June meetings and is scheduled to continue the hearing at its July 21, 2016 meeting.
Regarding the lawsuit, the Town has not provided the CGCA with information on when it was served with the legal papers, but we know early Saturday morning, June 25, 2016, neighbors in the Deer Hill Lane/Sprain Road area were served with the approximate three-inch thick piles of papers stating they were named in the lawsuit. Bob Bernstein was served with papers on Monday morning, June 27, 2016. To date, no one from the CGCA has been served with papers.
The lawsuit against the ZBA is premature (not ripe) since Shelbourne is seeking the variances. The lawsuit against the ECC, the CGCA and the individual neighbors who joined in appealing the Building Inspector’s decision is frivolous and meant to intimidate and deny our First Amendment rights of free speech. The ECC and CGCA will respond in court to this frivolous lawsuit. Bob Bernstein has graciously offered to prepare and file the necessary legal papers.