21 Aug 2014
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Carpenter: Conifer Has Threatened to Sue

New Castle town supervisor said that Conifer Realty has mulled legal action of the town's review of its affordable housing plan. A lawyer for the developer declined to comment.

Carpenter: Conifer Has Threatened to Sue

Conifer Realty has threatened to sue in connection with the Town of New Castle's review of its affordable housing proposal for downtown Chappaqua, Supervisor Susan Carpenter said at a town board work session.

Carpenter made her remark at the Tuesday meeting while talking with her fellow town board members about problems with the consistency between the zoning for the proposal's site and the process for getting a special permit that's needed to build on it. The town board decides whether a permit is granted.

Conifer's plan would be built on a property that has a zone called General Industrial (I-G). Affordable housing is a permitted use as well. The 36-unit apartment building, however, would require several variances under the zoning, and some board members suggested recently that Conifer ought to explore a smaller building as an alternative.

Carpenter made her remarks about the spectre of litigation when referring to whether Conifer should continue spending money on a project that fails to comply with the I-G zone.

“That's the issue," Carpenter said in referring to the situation. "Is, is there any point in their [Conifer] spending money on a proposal for something that doesn't meet the I-G zoning, or do, because if that's our position then they may as well just go ahead with their proposal and, as they keep saying they'll sue us.”

Councilman Robin Stout, who was in a dialogue with Carpenter when she made her comment, replied by saying, "The chips will fall where they may."

Whether Carpenter meant to bring up a litigation scenario, or whether it was an incidental remark, is unclear.

When asked by Patch for comment about the matter later in the night, Carpenter declined to comment. Alfred DelBello, Conifer's attorney, was reached on Wednesday and asked whether a lawsuit was on the table. He also declined to comment.

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