General Motors Sues Sleepy Hollow — Says Project "Lighthouse Landing" is too small

The scenario has the makings of a law school bedtime story entitled "Goldilocks Revisited." In it, the recently-formed hamlet of Sleepy Hollow, wanting to break away from decades of being perceived as the "weak sister," receives angry news from the neighboring Village, Tarrytown, in the form a lawsuit over "Lighthouse Landing." "Too big," grumbles Tarrytown.

In Chapter 2, an equally angry robotic automaker, losing its share of the world market, also condemns and claims that "Lighthouse Landing" is too small. Add another lawsuit and what’s a Village to do?

From story time to real time Sleepy Hollow is set to approve a "Special Permit" on either December 11 or 18 that will enable Roseland/GM to move forward with the first phase of "Lighthouse Landing" regardless of litigation. Village officials are not concerned about either lawsuit because they have reportedly taken a "hard look" at all phases

of the proposed project as prescribed by the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). Both Tarrytown and General Motors had notified Sleepy Hollow in advance about the litigation and at the time of publication Tarrytown had actually tabled its lawsuit, according to Sleepy Hollow officials.

With the Special Permit granted for "Lighthouse Landing" a sequence of building events will get underway, the first of which will be the Beekman Avenue Bridge over the railroad tracks. It will be replaced in entirety to accommodate higher weight loads which will be inevitable considering construction vehicles and increased usage. On the eastern parcel, asphalt will be ripped up and methane gas vented from what was once a Village garbage dump that General Motors paved over.

Issuance of the Special Permit (by design) starts a series of timetables for Roseland/GM to commence the "Lighthouse Landing" project or face penalties. For those who wondered if the project would ever begin it appears that a flashing green light has been given. What remains to be seen is how Tarrytown and General Motors can assert their will in court to change the five-plus years of planning that Sleepy Hollow has invested in the waterfront development. Mayor Philip Zegarelli summed it up by saying, "Sleepy Hollow will stand by its record of taking a ‘hard look’ at Lighthouse Landing compared to the action that Tarrytown took on ‘Ferry Landings.’" Sounds like the makings of another good bedtime story for legal insomniacs.

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About the Author: Robert Bonvento