May 26, 2011 / 5:18 PM / 8 years ago

New York village moves to block GM project

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York village is trying to stop an $800 million development to be built on the site of a former General Motors Co plant, saying the automaker’s project has not received proper environmental vetting from state officials.

The villages of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow have been fighting over the proposed “Lighthouse Landing” development since at least 2007, according to a lawsuit filed by the village of Tarrytown.

Sleepy Hollow wants to turn the site into a combination of businesses and homes. The plan, which GM proposed, calls for 1,100 residential units and more than 170,000 square feet of commercial development and a 140-room hotel.

Sleepy Hollow failed to fully consider the project’s environmental impact as it was legally required to do, leaving Tarrytown to shoulder the consequences, the lawsuit contends.

The lawsuit was filed in New York Supreme Court in Westchester County on Tuesday. It names Sleepy Hollow and GM as defendants.

GM declined to comment. Sleepy Hollow mayor Ken Wray said the town expects to defeat the lawsuit, which he characterized as an attempt by Tarrytown to protect its tax base at the expense of Sleepy Hollow’s.

While the 94.5-acre site beside the Hudson River is located in Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown officials say that GM’s proposal could significantly hurt traffic, parking and pedestrian safety within its borders.

Sleepy Hollow approved the project in 2007. Tarrytown sued to challenge the environmental review, which was stayed pending further action from Sleepy Hollow.

In 2010, after GM emerged from bankruptcy, it submitted a revised proposal that increased the commercial development space and added the hotel, according to the lawsuit.

Tarrytown claims that the revisions would make the traffic effects of the development even worse.

The lawsuit seeks to prevent Sleepy Hollow and GM from taking further action pending a new environmental review and to block any permits issued for the development.

The case is Mayor and Board of Trustees of the Village of Tarrytown et al. v. Mayor and Board of Trustees of the Village of Sleepy Hollow and GM, in the Supreme Court for the State of New York, Westchester County, no. 11630/11.

Reporting by Jessica Dye; Additional reporting by Ben Klayman. Editing by Tim Dobbyn and Robert MacMillan

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