“Beyond frustrating.” That’s how Keuka Moorings developer Chris Iversen describes attempts to get State Attorney General office approval for the Condominium Offering Plan that must be in place to begin marketing the units planned for the former Penn Yan Marine Manufacturing property off Mace Street.
Iversen has reached out to Penn Yan Village and Yates County officials for their support in the form of letters to the AG’s office for the project, which has been stalled for over a year while Keuka Outlet Development seeks approval.
Iversen says the only way a brownfield clean-up site can be redeveloped for residential purposes is for condominiums, according to requirements set forth by another state agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation.
In an email that was distributed last week to county and village elected officials, Iversen described a 90-minute conference call with a representative from the Attorney General’s office.
According to Iversen, a Condominium Offering Plan includes information about intended construction, shared property elements, cost to purchase a unit, annual operations and maintenance costs, the rules of governance, sponsor obligations, and the purchase process.
Iversen says the Keuka Moorings Plan discloses the brownfield history of the property, and the restrictions and obligations for future use of the property. Other information includes the developer’s experience, quotes from insurance providers, and more. All of the information must be made available to potential buyers.
“It is the AG’s responsibility, not to pass judgment on the worth of the unit, but to gauge if the Offering Plan fully discloses all the information necessary for a buyer to make an informed decision and the attendant risks,” he explained in his email.
He also wrote: “We suspect there is a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of our project, wherein we are offering three different models for sale, models of different sizes, interior layouts and prices, which buyers may select to locate on any of our 42 lots. We don’t know how to answer her demand to know the total cost of the project since we don’t know the makeup of the units that will be bought, and we don’t know how to respond to her demand to know the month, day and year when the project construction will be completed since we don’t know how quickly the market will absorb the units.”
The delay leads Iversen and some elected officials to speculate that there could be concerns in the AG’s office that there might be systemic abuse of condominium regulations, leading to an effort to thwart the application.
“I hoped that perhaps letters from local leaders expressing support for this project might sway this reviewer to take a different approach,” he said Monday.
Yates County Legislators authorized Chairman Douglas Paddock to write a letter of support for the project, with District I Legislator Elden Morrison and District II Legislator Terry Button casting “no” votes.
Paddock noted the county has made some commitments for ongoing maintenance following the brownfield clean-up.