Developer Barney O’Reilly is still considering an appeal of the village council’s 4-1 vote to deny his proposal to build two four-story townhouses at 504 and 508 Elgin Avenue.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” O’Reilly said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m waiting to find out what everybody wants to do.”
O’Reilly is the managing member of the 504-508 Elgin LLC, which bought the two homes on Elgin Avenue from the estate of Sharon Calderone, mother of Mayor Anthony Calderone. On appeal, O’Reilly may challenging the council’s action in court, or submit new plans for the site.
Prior to the vote the village council was reportedly advised by its attorney that rejecting the proposal could leave the village vulnerable to a court challenge, according to Calderone and Commissioner Mark Hosty.
The plans voted down by the council complied with all village regulations and did not require any variances, according to Village Administrator Mike Sturino.
“It’s funky,” O’Reilly said. “We followed all the rules. Now nobody knows what the rules are.”
According to Hosty, Village Attorney Michael Durkin told commissioners that because O’Reilly’s proposal met the village’s minimum standards, denying the applicant’s request could be perceived as an “arbitrary” and “capricious” act. Durkin has declined to comment on any advice he may or may not have offered.
But O’Reilly apparently is not anxious to rush into court. He said he still hopes some sort of agreement can be reached that will allow him to tear down the existing homes and put up a new development.
Sturino said he has not spoken directly with O’Reilly since the Sept. 11 vote to kill the project. The developer’s attorney however, has requested copies of the meeting minutes, staff reports and other relevant documents, Sturino said.
“I would think everyone would prefer to avoid court, but I haven’t heard that from him,” Sturino said.
Durkin too, said his only contact with O’Reilly has been through the developer’s attorney, Tom Pikarski.
“They’re still contemplating their next move,” Durkin said. “I don’t have any definitive word for you.”
O’Reilly acknowledged that the vacant homes sitting on the property are costing him, but finances are not a major concern at this point.
“I’m sure some compromise will be done where everybody will be equally satisfied, or equally dissatisfied,” O’Reilly said.