Saturday, July 2, 2016

Like A Good Neighbor, Formation Shelbourne Sues Everyone Hoping To Stop Free Speech, Then Realizes Their Blunder

About two years ago, of course with Mr Feiner and his Board’s assistance, Formation Shelbourne (Shelbourne) proposed an assisted living facility on the piece of property that is currently owned and operating as the Sprainbrook Nursery by the Krautter Family. Assisted Living, also known to include Senior Living, are the latest buzzwords in the housing development debacle running amok throughout Unincorporated Greenburgh. Sadly, instead of letting the process run its course and either grant or deny the project legitimately, Mr Feiner continues to be the shill for Shelbourne.

Even though it was not time in the process for a SEQR study, Mr Feiner pushed his Board to approve the premature SEQR findings. These findings, known as a Negative Declaration or Neg Dec, were adopted by Mr Feiner and his Board without any studies, facts or information being provided. The intent was clearly to sway the Zoning and Planning Boards into approving this project. The Zoning Board previously found that variances were required under Greenburgh’s zoning code. The building inspector’s determination that no variances were required was objectionable to many, including most civic associations. Bob Bernstein, President of the Edgemont Community Council, led the charge and filed an appeal of the decision. He also paid an outlandish fee instituted in Town Hall as a deterrent for future appeals by civic associations and community groups which were never charged previously.

The Shelbourne lawsuit claims that the zoning board’s determination that variances were required under Greenburgh’s zoning code was arbitrary and capricious and should be reversed. The zoning code requires that assisted living facilities be located within 200 feet of a state or county right-of-way, excluding interstate highways and state parkways. This requirement was put into the Town’s two-year old Zoning Code change to accommodate the Brightview Assisted Living facility at Rt 119 and Benedict Avenue. Additionally, that particular provision was to ensure residents would not have emergency vehicles driving through their neighborhoods with lights and sirens.

Approximately two years ago with the aid of Greenburgh officials Shelburne sought to build an 80-unit, 94-bed assisted living facility at the corner of Underhill and Sprain Roads in Edgemont. The zoning variance point of discussion is that the proposed facility is over a mile from the area where such facilities may be located under the Greenburgh’s zoning code. It is somewhat coincidental that Shelbourne proposed this facility about two years ago and the Zoning Code change was enacted about two years ago as well. And, Mr Feiner is fighting to allow Shelbourne to build their inappropriate facility where it doesn’t belong. What’s next? There will probably be a push by Mr Feiner and Shelbourne to “grandfather” the proposal to a point before the zoning code change was adopted.

Formation-Shelbourne Senior Living Services, LLC., filed a suit in Westchester State Supreme Court on June 9, 2016 against the zoning board, the Edgemont Community Council, the Council of Greenburgh Civic Associations, and 19 neighboring residents. They went after everyone involved with the appeal because they were united with the ECC in appealing the Town’s former building inspector's decision last July that the Shelbourne facility did not need any variances. Yet, if they follow the zoning code, they do need variances!

In an email blast from Mr Feiner, utilizing the GBList that he was ordered by court decree to release to the Worthington Woodlands Civic Association but refused, Mr Feiner said, “I just learned about the lawsuit today when I received some e mails [sic] from residents who live near the proposed facility. Am very upset.”

In a new twist to this story, we received a copy of an email to Mr Feiner from Shelbourne announcing they were dropping the lawsuit. Perhaps they realized the futility of suing what might become their future neighbors. Perhaps as they realized that the limited support they had in the area was turning against them as neighbors were being penalized for expressing their opinion - still a legal right even here in Greenburgh - that they should change their tact.

Here’s what it said:

From: Jim Kane
Date: July 1, 2016 at 12:01:50 PM EDT
To: Paul Feiner <>
Cc: Mark Maberry
Subject: Shelbourne Senior Living

Attached you will find the follow up response to our discussion of yesterday. As I mentioned we have decided to withdraw the Article 78 proceeding and focus our attention our current application for variances before the Zoning Board.
James W. Kane III|Shelbourne Healthcare Development Group LLC

This is a plausible project for someplace else, not Unincorporated Greenburgh! Ironically, several members of the Feiner administration had insisted after the passage of the new Assisted Living facility Zoning Code change that allowed Brightview to be built, that there were no other locations in Unincorporated Greenburgh that would accommodate another Assisted Living facility. Apparently, if this proposal is approved by Mr Feiner and his Board, which they appear to be ready to do, it will again prove they lied to the public for the benefit of a developer. Sadly, this seems to be a hallmark of this administration. It must end. Only then will we get A Better Greenburgh.

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