DATE: 26 September, 2009
MEMO TO: The Tuxedo Town Supervisor and Council
RE: Amended Tuxedo Reserve Special Permit

I want to express my thanks to this Board and prior Town Boards for all of the effort that they have expended in reviewing the Tuxedo reserve project.

The question before the Town Supervisor and Council is what is the best way to achieve the Town’s objectives of maintaining our schools and improving the sewer plant? Do the requested changes to the original permit help or hinder what the Town hopes to gain from the development of Tuxedo Reserve?

After long negotiation, the 2004 Resolution Granting Special permit Approval to Tuxedo Reserve stated in bold letters on page 10, “UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL… THE NUMBER OF MULTIFAMILY UNITS BE GREATER THAN 305.” Now, the Related Companies is sharply increasing that number to 413 units and loading 390 units into the 1st phase of construction.

The applicant’s original Environmental Impact Study (EIS) raises the question of the number of school children which will be generated by multifamily homes. This issue needs to be further studied in reference to the current proposed amount of multifamily units. Is less than ½ a child per unrestricted housing unit a realistic assumption particularly when the current proposal has reduced the number of one-bedroom units and increased the two- and three-bedroom units?

The fiscal analysis should include the impact of the number of school children which would be generated if the proposed age-restricted units fail to be marketed successfully and have to be converted to regular multifamily as has already happened in Goshen (see market study attached).

The fiscal analysis should also review the potential local tax impact of the inclusion of condominiums in the project where NYS law provides that the aggregate of the assessment of the individual units plus the common interests cannot exceed the total valuation of the property as a whole. Condos often generate less favorable tax revenues for municipalities.

Another potential local tax impact to be studied is the decrease in local taxes if the developer of the multifamily units seeks exemption under articles 18 and 19 of the New York State private housing finance law for the inclusion of affordable units.

In addition, Related offered to hold a workshop on Smart Code so that we can understand the change from the current Town zoning code. This workshop has not yet happened.

This development is not schedule to start until 2013. The developer is unlikely to pull a building permit until close to that time, so the tax status of the land is not likely to change in the intervening years. There is time to negotiate with the Related Companies on these important matters.

If the Town stays with the currently authorized 253 multifamily units, the Town will have the opportunity to see who the actual developer is (Related is currently attempting a bulk sale) and to judge whether age-restricted units are successful, how many children are being generated by the multifamily units, what tax revenues are being generated by the multifamily and condos and whether the developer is achieving the high prices they have projected. If the first 253 multifamily units are a success for the Town, the Town can consider modifying later phases to include additional multifamily units.

Given the uncertainties related to taxation of condo and multifamily projects and the difficulties of projecting the number of school children associated with the multifamily, it would seem more prudent for the Town to stay with the 253 multifamily units approved for the first phase under the 2004 permit and request that some of those units be age restricted.

JoAnn Hanson
92 Mountain Farm Road
Tuxedo Park, New York 10987

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