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Chappaqua Crossing Owner Getting More Than $2.5M In Tax Settlement

Chappaqua Crossing's cupola building. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
A list that shows the retroactive property assessment reductions for Summit/Greenfield, based on a deal with New Castle. Photo Credit: Screen shot/New Castle Town Board

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- Chappaqua Crossing owner Summit/Greenfield will receive more than $2.5 million in tax refunds as part of an agreement to settle a series of assessment challenges that it filed, according local officials.

As part of the settlement, which covers challenges from 2008-14, the town of New Castle's portion of the is $326,405.55 and Westchester County's is $380,651.12, Town Attorney Nicholas Ward-Willis told Daily Voice.

The Chappaqua Central School District has the largest portion of the refund. Assistant Superintendent for Business John Chow wrote that the amount is $1,821,014.05. Chow added that it includes the Chappaqua Library, which is part of the district.

The New Castle Town Board unanimously approved the settlement and the town's refund at its May 12 meeting. Chappaqua's Board of Education unanimously approved the district's refund at a May 6 meeting, video shows.

The refunds from each entity add up to an exact total of $2,528,070.72.

The town and school district will pay for the refunds with funds on hand, according to Ward-Willis and Chow.

As part of the settlement, the Town Board approved a retroactive reduction in the assessed values of Chappaqua Crossing for each year that a challenge was filed. A screenshot of the reduction chart, which is part of the board's settlement resolution, is attached to this article.

When informed of the Town Board's approval, Summit/Greenfield spokesman Geoff Thompson was pleased with the outcome.

“We’re very satisfied with it," he said on his client's behalf. "It’s been a long and involved process.”

The settlement calls for Summit/Greenfield to abide by a freeze on filing new assessment challenges for 2015-17, unless the property's assessed value goes above $7,234,500.

The deal ends a long-running legal dispute between the owner and town. The assessment challenges, known as tax certioraris, were in addition to a pair of lawsuits that Summit/Greenfield brought against the town in 2011 over how local officials handled the review process for its multifamily housing rezoning request for parts of the site. The two sides reached a settlement of the latter cases in December 2012, which calls for the Town Board and Planning Board to review Summit/Greenfield's proposal for retail usage elsewhere on the site. The 2012 settlement did not cover the certioraris.

The Town Board approved a pair of remaining legislative items pertaining to the retail plan on the same night as the tax settlement.

Summit/Greenfield's proposal, which calls for building 120,000 square feet of retail space, will need site plan approval from the Planning Board.

Summit/Greenfield and the town are also exploring the possibility of altering the 111-housing unit maximum that it is allowed to build on the eastern part of the site, Daily Voice previously reported.

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