The Examiner

Boys & Girls Club to Void Land Deal With Mt. Kisco

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Todd Rockefeller, chairman of the board of directors of the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester,
Todd Rockefeller, chairman of the board of directors of the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester,

The Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester is set to cancel its January 2014 contract with Mount Kisco that called for the village to buy a portion of its land and use it for recreation and open space.

At the Oct. 6 village board meeting, Charles Martabano, an attorney representing the club, said the contract needed to be voided for financial and legal reasons. A Laurel Drive property owner has threatened to sue, claiming the agreement violated the subdivision’s restrictive 1913 covenant, he said.

Adjoining property owners whose land encroaches on the club’s parcel were also mulling litigation, Martabano said. They had previously supported the village contract, but would consider legal action because they believe the construction of five single-family homes, which was also part of the agreement, would be an “adverse possession” of their land.

The homes would have been part of a subdivision of the club’s property located near the Woodcrest Village condominium complex on Woodcrest Lane. The subdivision would have required planning board approval and a rezoning from the village board to RS-12, a low density one-family residential district.

Any lawsuit would likely “take a long time to resolve,” Martabano said.

The village purchased 6.3 acres of the club’s 12 acres for $600,000 last January.

Mount Kisco Mayor Michael Cindrich said the village is disappointed the club wants to void the contract, which would have been beneficial to the club and the municipality.

“It was their right to opt out of the contract,” Cindrich said.

Had the contract gone forward, the Boys & Girls Club could have used the new playing field on weekdays for some of its programs, he said. The village was also going to preserve most of its property as open space.

There are also financial reasons for the club to terminate the agreement, Martabano said. If the club fails to cancel the contract, it will lose its letter of credit for Industrial Development Agency (IDA) bonds next February, he said.

Todd Rockefeller, president of the Boys & Girls Club’s board of directors, said the club owes $3.1 million that it borrowed from the Westchester County IDA for renovations made to its Main Street facility about 12 years ago. The club has the potential to borrow $2.1 million from private sources and the remaining $1 million from a bank to pay off that debt if the contract is voided, Rockefeller said.

As an alternative, the Boys & Girls Club is seeking to have the village rezone 5.8 acres of the property, currently a multifamily zone that was to be owned by the village as part of the original deal, to become a new recreational zone. The new zone could allow for construction of a field for the club that could also be used by the village without the possibility of development of multifamily housing on the land, Martabano told trustees.

The Boys & Girls Club also wants a portion of the remaining RM-12 land to be rezoned to a commercial office use (OG) and added to current OG property so it could be sold in the future and be a revenue source for the club, he said.

Both zone changes would be on the eastern portion of the property.

If the rezoning was approved by the village, an application to construct three houses would be sought, Rockefeller said. The village board would need to approve the rezone.

Martabano said the club will submit a formal rezoning request to the board in the near future.


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