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Feuding Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow Await Ruling

This story has been updated to include the amount of money Tarrytown has spent on the lawsuit so far.

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Officials in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow are waiting for a judge's decision in a lawsuit filed over the redevelopment of the General Motors site.

"We are hopeful that he will make a decision shortly to dismiss it," Sleepy Hollow Mayor Ken Wray said.

Tarrytown Mayor Drew Fixell said in an email, “Though I suppose it's obvious, our hope is that the judge will find that our arguments are supported by the law and the record and that Sleepy Hollow and General Motors will have to consider mitigation measures that will effectively reduce negative environmental impacts.”

The Village of Tarrytown filed the suit against the Village of Sleepy Hollow in the New York State Supreme Court in May alleging that the proposed Lighthouse Landing development would cause unacceptable traffic congestion and that Sleepy Hollow had not adequately taken measures to mitigate it by considering reasonable alternatives to the project.

Sleepy Hollow officials have publicly complained about the cost of the lawsuit during several board of trustees meetings. Village Administrator Anthony Giaccio said it is difficult to calculate how much the lawsuit is costing the village because the issue is ongoing.

"It's cost this village tens of thousands of dollars,” Wray said.  Giaccio said just copies alone for Sleepy Hollow’s submissions cost more than $4,000.

Tarrytown Village Administrator Michael Blau said the village has spent $62,050.70 on the lawsuit so far. He also said that the outcome of the lawsuit, including actions by other parties and Tarrytown's response, would have their own cost ramifications.

Tarrytown Mayor Drew Fixell said the village doesn't welcome the costs of the lawsuit or the delays of the project.

“We would have been happy had Sleepy Hollow and General Motors taken measures to mitigate the project's impacts when we first raised our concerns over four years ago,” he said in an email. “However, the project and its negative impacts have remained unchanged since that time.”

Wray said he was frustrated with Tarrytown's reaction to this and other projects.

"It really bothers me that Tarrytown has consistently taken an antagonistic approach to projects undertaken in the village of SH. We have not reacted the same way."

About two weeks after the suit was filed, Sleepy Hollow approved a special permit for the General Motors site, with Deputy Mayor Tom Capossela calling the lawsuit “ludicrous” at the meeting.

“I think the lawsuit is frivolous and it’s going to do nothing but cost us a fortune,” Capossela said at the time.

The Lighthouse Landing project is a mixed-use development that would bring in an estimated 3,000 more residents to Sleepy Hollow. General Motors is currently searching for a project developer.

Both villages have filed paperwork and briefs in the lawsuit through their attorneys. There is no timeline for when Judge James Hubert will rule on the suit. Hubert could choose to dismiss the case or take it to trial, which would cost more money for the municipalities. Both villages have the ability to appeal the court’s decision.

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