ARMONK, N.Y. – Robert Greene unexpectedly has decided to step down from his position as chairman of the North Castle Planning Board, a position he's had since the beginning of 2012.
Greene said Thursday morning his decision to resign, effective immediately, was to wipe his hands clean of any possible conflict of interest with Brynwood Country Club’s application to build a residential community.
“It’s very simple; the town felt threatened by a lawsuit due to a conflict of interest with my involvement in the planning board,” Greene said. “And I didn’t want to be the reason for that lawsuit.”
Greene is a longtime resident of the Windmill Farm area in Armonk, an area near Brynwood Country Club, where many residents are fighting against Brynwood’s plan to build 88 luxury condominiums. In late September, the North Castle Town Board voted 3-2 to approve the environmental review process to get the ball rolling on the project. Rather than recuse himself from the approval process, Greene said he felt it necessary to step down even though he believes a conflict of interest does not exist.
“I don’t agree there’s a conflict of interest,” Greene said of the Brynwood application. “But today you can bring a lawsuit for the most sinister of reasons.”
Mark Weingarten, a lawyer representing Brynwood, said Greene’s resignation was unnecessary.
“No one at Brynwood ever requested that Mr. Greene resigned from his position as chairman,” Weingarten said.
North Castle Town Supervisor Howard Arden said he regretted Greene’s decision to resign.
“I think it’s a great loss to the town and we’re very saddened by it,” he said.
Greene said the decision to resign was very difficult to make but he will not completely step away from North Castle.
“I’ll be involved with the town in the future as a private citizen,” Greene said. “But I agreed to serve for a five-year term and obviously I won’t have the chance to fulfill that.”
The North Castle Town Board appointed planning board member Art Adelman as the new chairman of the planning board.