Formation Shelbourne finally made a decision to cease trying to sue individuals that were against the assisted living facility they have proposed to build at the current site of the Sprainbrook Nursery location. Mr Feiner claims he intervened and convinced Shelbourne to withdraw the lawsuit. The Edgemont Community Council, residents in the Sprain Road & Deer Hill Lane area as well as the Council of Greenburgh Civic Associations were named in the lawsuit. We believe the organizations and the individuals should not have been sued simply because they exercised their right to free speech protestation. Everyone that was served papers has yet to be notified that the lawsuit has been withdrawn, only that Shelbourne has agreed to withdraw the suit. ABG has just learned that Shelbourne says it filed a Notice of Discontinuance today, July 6th.
Mr Feiner favors this development and has gone out of his way to stack the deck on behalf of Shelbourne. To insure a better outcome for the developer, Mr Feiner and his Board unnecessarily advanced through a SEQR study or negative declaration for the proposed parcel. It was his attempt to influence the other Boards, whom he appoints, to follow his lead and approve the project. While many people protested the proposal at various Town Board meetings, there were others who favored it. However, the impression we got was that those in favor didn’t necessarily favor the proposal as much as they did the sale, which would benefit the Krautter family.
You’ll recall that Shelbourne has proposed building their assisted living housing on what will revert back to residentially zoned property once the Sprainbrook Nursery property is sold. The area is zoned residential, but Mr Feiner has given the nod to Shelbourne and that has emboldened them to push forward.
The developer wants to build in a residential zone without having the 4 acre minimum and not being 200 ft. from a State or County Right-of- Way. The Shelbourne proposal is 6,000 ft. from a State or County Right-of-Way (Central Park Avenue). The ZBA would have to grant them a 3,000% variance. The Assisted Living Facility that is being proposed for Frank's Nursery property does not need any variances.
What’s also troubling is that after reviewing the Neg-Dec document, there were numerous errors. Yet Mr Feiner and his Board thought it perfectly acceptable to approve as though there were no problems. Again, they will tell the public to have faith in the process, to trust the process, they are doing their due diligence but then they pull a stunt like this. It’s difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to have faith in this Board when they routinely pull these kinds of shenanigans.
James Kane offered an apology on behalf of Shelbourne. He claims Shelbourne didn’t know it was filing a lawsuit against private citizens and that they just received bad advice from its legal team. We find that extremely difficult to believe. He claims Shelbourne has never filed a lawsuit and was able to make its case successfully in other towns. Court records show Shelbourne sued the ZBA in Waldwick, New Jersey last year when the ZBA denied variances to build an assisted living facility. Apparently, we aren’t the only ones saying, “No” to them. He claims Shelbourne is not a “litigious corporate bully” but just “a small group that provides senior living services.” Shelbourne’s website boasts it has been “involved in the development, operations and ownership of over 180 senior living communities in the United States and Canada with an aggregate value of over $2.7 billion.” This hardly seems to be the resources of a small or even medium sized company!
We are convinced that Formation Shelbourne has been working very closely with the corner office in Town Hall. We’re also convinced the lawsuit may have been at the suggestion of the same corner office. If Shelbourne was actually as small as they claim and do not routinely sue, why would they initiate a lawsuit before “the process” had really begun? There is no developer that Mr Feiner doesn’t like or want to work with. Subsequently, there are probably none that his Town Board wouldn’t work with. This kind of behind the scenes activity is what makes so many people mistrust government. It needs to change. It’s also a proof of why we need term limits. Only then will we get A Better Greenburgh.