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Judge Dismisses Armonk Square Lawsuit

A lawsuit against the Town of North Castle regarding Armonk Square has been dismissed.
A lawsuit against the Town of North Castle regarding Armonk Square has been dismissed. Photo Credit: Ken Liebskind, File

ARMONK, N.Y. – A lawsuit that alleged the town of North Castle made unauthorized and improper changes to the site plan of Armonk Square has been dismissed.

The Planning Board has already approved Armonk Square's site plans for the construction of a supermarket, office space, retail space, and residential units.

In July, 37 Maple Avenue, a corporation managed by Armonk Developer Michael Fareri, challenged the town's issuance of these certificates of occupancy. In a decision dated Oct.17, Acting State Supreme Court Justice Susan Cacace, wrote that the petitioner, 37 Maple Avenue, does have standing to bring this proceeding. The 2012 settlement clearly stated that the filing of a new Article 78 proceeding was not a remedy provided for in the stipulation.

The town also said that 37 Maple Avenue did not exhaust its administrative remedies by failing to appear before North Castle's Zoning Board of Appeal as is required by law. Cacace said that the court agreed that the petitioner, 37 Maple Avenue, "failed to exhaust its administrative remedies as a condition precedent to the commencement of an action or special proceeding."

Mark Miller, an attorney with Veneziano & Associates, representing Armonk Square , said, "We think the judge rendered exactly the right opinion based upon two actions." The certificate of occupancy issued by the building Inspector says the buildings of Armonk Square are safe and fully compliant with town laws.

Miller said one action taken by 37 Maple Avenue was its failure to file a challenge with the Zoning Board of Appeals within 60 days of when the certificate of occupancy was issued. Miller adds that the settlement of a prior lawsuit prohibited 37 Maple Avenue from filing an Article 78 proceeding against Armonk Square for essentially for the same project.

The lawyer for 37 Maple Avenue, Alan Singer, a partner of Welby, Brady and Greenblatt, said his firm is contemplating filing a notice of appeal of the judgement in an appellate court. They have 30 days from Oct. 17 to do so.

Singer said the judgement barring a new Article 78 suit is wrong because the previous settlement prohibiting the filing of an Article 78 suit was part of a judgement about a different set of plans for Armonk Square.

Miller said Armonk Square's parking requirements were established by the Town Board as a blend of several requirements by the central business zoning district. Miller says all of the environmental impacts were considered and addressed. "They can file an appeal and we are confident that the appellate division will make exactly the same finding."

Miller said there was excellent cooperation between his firm and the town attorney, and Supervisor Howard Arden said that the cost of defending the town in this lawsuit was $15,300

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