The City of Yorktown has formally severed ties with the developer of a brand new Par 3 golf course in Jefferson Valley for failing to right quite a few constructing code violations and not opening the ability as promised.
The motion by the City Board final week got here as no shock for the reason that board voted in early September to terminate a Concession Settlement with RC Recreation Division, LLC if it was unable to clear up excellent violations and expired mechanical, plumbing and renovation permits, and open the town-owned park by Nov. 15.
“The developer has vacillated from giving us 4 false reopening dates to claiming that our contract doesn’t require him to offer us a projected opening date. It is clear to the City Board that this firm is an unreliable companion that’s both incapable of redeveloping our golf course or unwilling to take action in an inexpensive time-frame,” mentioned Supervisor Matt Slater.
On Nov. 15, city inspectors visited the golf course and located electrical hazards and lots of unresolved violations cited in July, together with folks illegally dwelling in trailers, unsafe bridges, and plumbing points. Parks Superintendent James Martorano advised the City Board a few of the latest shoddy work on the nine-hole golf course included laying the sod on the golf greens earlier than putting in the irrigation system, which sits unassembled on the property.
“I do not see this golf course opening with this group throughout the subsequent two years, realistically,” Martorano remarked.
Yorktown Recreation Fee Chairman Matthew Talbert advised the board the extended closure of the golf course has been irritating, noting how different tasks on the town, such because the Lowe’s buying middle, have been accomplished within the interim.
“It isn’t being managed correctly, and to maneuver ahead with this group shouldn’t be in the most effective pursuits of the city. I am unhappy, as a result of I just like the folks which are there, it is simply that they don’t seem to be getting the job executed,” Talbert mentioned.
The property has not been used since 2007 when Shallow Greek Golf Course shut down. In 2014, city officers entered right into a 10-year settlement with RC Recreation to revive the location as Valley Fields Golf Course, however progress stalled when RC President Rocco Cambareri died in 2017.
In 2018, the lease with RC was prolonged to 2028 when one in all Cambareri’s companions assumed management. In 2020, Valley Fields was fined by the state for doing work and not using a required allow. A 2021 spring or summer season doable opening by no means materialized. In December 2021, the city’s Planning Board authorized the location plan for Valley Fields.
After the golf course didn’t open as promised on July 4 weekend, Constructing Inspector John Landi issued a cease work order to RC, outlining 18 “barebones requirements” that wanted to be resolved earlier than golfers may very well be on web site.
Landi additionally revealed that two campers had been planted on the property for greater than a yr, with one allegedly getting used as a dwelling. When Landi and Yorktown Police visited there was proof of somebody dwelling within the camper and so they had been ordered to depart.
Paradoxically, on Nov. 16, a highway rage incident on Route 202 and Stony Road led to the arrest of a person illegally squatting on the golf course.
Yorktown Police arrested Dennis Flynn, 57, and charged him with two misdemeanor counts of menacing and endangering the welfare of a kid. In accordance with police, Flynn was concerned in a dispute with a motorist and is accused of displaying a big butcher’s knife and threatening to kill the motorist in entrance of his youngster.
After his arrest, Flynn advised police that he lived at 795 Route 6, the tackle of the Par 3 Golf Course.
“That is one other unhappy chapter on this horrible saga. Anybody on the town who has tried to work with this group will not be stunned by this. It’s time for this dangerous actor to get out of our city,” Slater remarked. “Their efficiency has been a failure and this newest incident is totally unacceptable.”
RC filed an Article 78 continuing in state Supreme Courtroom in July accusing city officers of utilizing a “Keystone Cops method to native zoning enforcement” and fascinating in a “politically motivated marketing campaign.” RC particularly named Slater, Councilman Sergio Esposito and Landi.
“Slater, Esposito and Landi haven’t hidden their need to exchange RC at any price, whatever the current contract, and alongside the way in which haven’t solely engaged in conduct that’s arbitrary and irrational and opposite to regulation, however have additionally breached the contract in a number of respects and violated RC’s rights to procedural and substantive due course of, and the best to be free from warrantless searches and seizures, underneath the Fourth, Fifth and 14th Amendments in america Structure,” the lawsuit states.
Within the lawsuit, RC maintains the redevelopment of the course has “once in a while been delayed by exterior and unanticipated elements, be they insect infestations, COVID-19-related shutdowns, and provide chain disruptions.
The City Board is searching for Requests for Proposals from different distributors to function the golf course.
“Everyone has actually tried to work with this group,” Esposito mentioned final week. “It is unlucky that it hasn’t been reciprocated. We had been all on board attempting to get this group to succeed.”