Summit Greenfield pays up, mostly

November 7, 2008
by Christine Yeres

Developer Summit Greenfield paid three-quarters of its bill to the town of New Castle for fees incurred by the town in responding to Summit Greenfield’s application for a change in zoning to permit construction of 278 condo units on the 116-acre Reader’s Digest property.

The town had told Summit Greenfield that it would not review its voluminous draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) until it had paid. One quarter of the amount is still under review by the developer.  The second requirement – that a $100,000 escrow account be set up to cover future bills – was settled Wednesday, November 5, in a work session, when the town board decided to make the escrow amount $75,000, to be replenished whenever it is depleted to $25,000.

The town board has 45 days from the date the DEIS was received, October 16, to review it. The town board estimates that the nearest meeting date to the 45-day end point is its November 25 regular meeting, also the date for its public hearing on the 2009 budget.

At the end of the 45 day review period, the town will declare the document complete or not-complete.  If the board judges it to be incomplete, the clock stops while the developer gathers the additional information necessary to make it complete. Then for two weeks the board must publicizing a public comment period or a public hearing.

Town administrator Jerry Faiella was confident that even though the developer has refused to provide the DEIS in electronic form, with help from its consultants, the board could digest the 18-inch high set of volumes well enough to proceed to the next stage of New York State’s Environmental Quality Review Act, public review of the material. The developer’s publicist, Geoff Thompson, has said that once the board has declared the document complete Summit Greenfield would provide the document on disc.  In the meantime, one copy is available for public viewing at town hall, another at the Chappaqua Library.