The Town of New Castle put in its answer to the federal lawsuit by the owners of the former Reader’s Digest property accusing the town of trying to block affordable housing and preventing the owners from using their land.
In the 10-page answer, the town denies the allegations and puts forward a series of affirmative defenses, including that the owners of what is now called Chappaqua Crossing lack standing to bring the suit, that the town had legitimate and non-discriminatory reasons to make the decisions it made, that the town granted a zoning change to allow affordable housing and that the town’s actions had no discriminatory effect.
Summit Development and Greenfield Partners bought the Digest property in late 2004 and leased back part of the office space to Reader’s Digest. The Digest moved out last year and the developers were left with a largely-empty office building. They have been pursuing approvals for a redevelopment of the office building for multiple tenants and the construction of hundreds of housing units since 2005. Earlier this year the developers sued the town, shortly before the Town Board approved a smaller development than requested.