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Mall Referendum

Palisades Mall Referendum
Posted on 10/07/2020
Palisades Mall Referendum1. What is the question as it will appear on the ballot?
“Do You Agree That The Town Of Clarkstown Shall Lift The Restrictive Covenant That Limits The Palisades Center Mall To 1.854 Million Square Feet Of Gross Leasable Space?”

2. What is this referendum about?
Clarkstown’s voters will decide whether or not to lift a restrictive covenant that limits the Palisades Center mall to 1.854 million feet of gross leasable area.

The Palisades Center wants the ability to increase the amount of gross leasable area beyond the 1.854 million square feet. This requires a two-step process. First, the Town Board must be pass a resolution to lift the covenant. Then the voters decide the issue via a ballot referendum. The Town Board voted unanimously in favor of this in July, 2020.

The second step in the process requires a voter referendum approving the Town Board’s resolution. This is why a referendum is being placed before the voters this November in a question on the back of the ballot.

It is important to note that even if this referendum is approved by the voters, ANY increase in gross leasable area beyond the 1.854 million square feet limit is subject to approval by Clarkstown’s Planning Board. Passing this referendum gives the Palisades Center the ability to APPLY to the Planning Board for the use of additional leasable area both inside and outside the current facility. It does not give the Palisades Center the right to increase and use additional area however it sees fit.

3. Why is there a restrictive covenant in place?
In order for the mall to be built at its current size and location, its developers needed to acquire certain parcels of land upon which 3 town roads were located. In 1996, an agreement was reached in which the town sold the land and discontinued using these 3 roads, while the Palisades Center agreed to limit its size to a maximum of 1.854 million square feet of gross leasable area. 

This agreement on the limit of gross leasable area, known as a restrictive covenant, was recorded as part of the deed to the property that the Palisades Center received from the town for the sale of these 3 roads. The limit of 1.854 million square feet in gross leasable area is a deeded property right owned by the town.

Because lifting the restrictive covenant involves the waiving of a town property right, (the limit of 1.854 million square feet) any resolution passed by the town board resolution to lift the covenant requires the additional step of voter approval. 

4. What is a Restrictive Covenant?
A restrictive covenant is an agreement that limits the use of property for specific purposes and limits the structures that may be built on it. In this instance, the Mall agreed to limit its size 1.854 million square feet of “gross leasable space” in exchange for the Town agreeing to discontinue and sell 3 Town roads. 

5. What would passing this referendum allow the Mall to do?
When the Mall was built, it included roughly 236,000 square feet more gross leasable space than the 1.854 million square feet of gross leasable space for which it was approved. Most of this square footage is empty space primarily on the 4th floor of the mall. Passing the referendum would allow the Mall to apply to the Planning Board to open and utilize this existing space. 

In addition, under the current zoning, the Mall could also apply to the Planning Board to develop new space of approximately 242,000 square feet outside of the current structure or footprint. 

6. What is “Gross Leasable Space”?
Gross Leasable Space is the part of the shopping center that is devoted to tenant use. Gross Leasable space excludes the skating rink, community rooms, the pump and fire stations and their related spaces, areas of the shopping center devoted to public uses and circulation (e.g. the common areas and service and emergency exiting corridors and spaces), outdoor selling areas, cooking facilities, utility vaults and incinerator rooms. 

7. Who is eligible to vote on the referendum?
Only registered voters who live in the Town of Clarkstown are eligible to vote on the referendum.

8. When and where can I vote on the referendum?
Please go to the Board of Elections website or call 845-638-5172 to learn more about registering to vote, applying for an absentee ballot, early voting and where your polling location is. 

There will be nine (9) days of early voting before the General Election. You can vote early at Clarkstown Town Hall, 10 Maple Avenue, New City, New York 10956 or at your polling location on November 3, 2020.

• Saturday, October 24, 2020 from 9AM until 2PM
• Sunday, October 25, 2020 from 9AM until 2PM
• Monday, October 26, 2020 from 9AM until 5PM
• Tuesday, October 27, 2020 from 12Noon until 8PM
• Wednesday, October 28, 2020 from 9AM until 5PM
• Thursday, October 29, 2020 from 12Noon until 8PM
• Friday, October 30, 2020 from 9AM until 5PM
• Saturday, October 31, 2020 from 9AM until 2PM
• Sunday, November 1, 2020 from 9AM until 2PM