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Sleepy Hollow Mayor Wray Discusses Village Updates With General Motors

Mayor Ken Wray
Mayor Ken Wray Photo Credit: Mayor Ken Wray YouTube

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. -- The following is a letter from Sleepy Hollow Village Mayor Ken Wray.

Dear Sleepy Hollow friends and neighbors,

As many of you are aware, working with General Motors to resolve issues at the site has been a long, hard slog.  Negotiations, tests, public hearings, lawsuits, permits, remediation efforts and more lawsuits have been going on for over a decade.

When I was elected mayor, GM was in bankruptcy proceedings, placing the entire project in limbo. When GM emerged from bankruptcy I reengaged them, and we made significant changes.

One of them will have a profound and long-term impact on the Village: the change in the mix of residential units from mostly rental to mostly ownership. Condominiums pay twice the real estate taxes, for both Village and school, as same-valued rental units.

The village board granted GM a special permit in 2011. That permit gave General Motors one year to identify a developer in order to keep the process moving forward.  However, the clock on the one-year period would stop if a lawsuit was initiated by a third party. Tarrytown immediately brought suit. 

After several failed attempts by Tarrytown to use the courts to challenge Sleepy Hollow’s Special Permit – and to block the project – I reached out to Tarrytown Mayor Drew Fixell and headed toward another appeal.

A settlement was negotiated that cost Sleepy Hollow nothing and persuaded Tarrytown to drop its legal action. This settlement was subsequently authorized by both village boards. The clock began ticking again in September 2013.

Early this year, we learned that General Motors had reached an agreement with a developer to move forward. The next step is for the developer to present its initial site plan for approval by our planning board. The meetings will be televised.

I look forward to hearing from you as we all look to Spring.

Ken Wray Mayor

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