July 9, 2002

BY FAX: 941-4837
Honorable Mayor Austin, Trustees
& Village Manager
Village of Briarcliff Manor

Trump National Golf Course: NY Times 6/30/02


Please find below material disclosure statements made by Trump that appeared in the NY Times, as well as my interpretive comments. The subjects are of sufficient importance as to warrant your immediate consideration.

Construction of Permanent Clubhouse

According to the Times, Trump has signed up more than 200 members, even though the clubhouse is still only a four-foot model, with members now gathering around the outdoor grill next to a modest portable trailer.

The October 11, 2000 Master Compliance Schedule (p.5), prepared by the Village Attorney, Mr. Pozin, contains the below provision.

Construction of a permanent clubhouse shall commence…not later than the date which is the earlier of:

  1. eighteen months (18) from which the Certificate of Occupancy for the temporary clubhouse is issued; or
  2. at such time that the golf club has reached golf membership level of one hundred seventy-five (175) membership. (The Applicant shall submit to the Village a monthly report on the number of memberships until a building permit for the permanent clubhouse has been issued).
    Failure in compliance with commencement shall result in accrual of liquidated damages”.

In view of the foregoing, the following questions should be addressed:

  1. How much of current liquidating damages is due the Village?
  2. What is the estimate for projected damages?
  3. What action has been taken or is contemplated for collection and or settlement of damages?
  4. As allowed by the site plan, is revocation of the CO for the temporary clubhouse under consideration?
  5. What Village official, besides the Village Manager, is responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance of this particular matter and all other site plan/zoning change conditions?

Trump’s Contemplated Intensive Use ?

According to the Times, Trump stated that the Trump National Golf Course will be the best course in New York, it would be sought after for PGA events, and could even surpass Bethpage State Park on Long Island, where the recent U.S. Open was held. Thus, it is implied that the site will be used for special events drawing large crowds. As I recall, the recent event at Bethpage attracted 40,000 spectators.

On page 22 of the June 13, 2000 Planning Board Resolution, provision 3a states that there be “… no more than five hundred (500) persons on the golf club property…at any one time and no golf events which attract or invite public spectators…”.

Should the Village ask Trump to confirm in writing that he will honor the 500-person limitation? Speculatively, Trump may be aiming his comments at prospective investors and lenders. If so, does the Village have an obligation – moral and/or legal – to make public site population restrictions?

Property Values/Taxes

According to the Times of June 30th, the first nine holes opened on April 15th and the back nine on June 29th. Trump said that he spent $40million to build Trump National and that he bought the site for $8million in 1997, a total identified investment of $48 million.

The Village tax roll indicates that taxable value for the Trump National Golf Club property, parcel ID # 4.9-012-8.88, is $1,119,000 for 139.660 acres. Total site acreage per the Planning Board resolution is 147.14 acres. (The difference of 7.48 acres is not ascertainable from the tax roll record.) The market value of the parcel is $12million ($1,119,000/.0933), or a variation of $36million from Trump’s disclosure. I have been informed that the current tax roll is based on values determined as of June 2001.

Accordingly, in terms of Village property tax, irrespective of value assessment date, there is a potential understatement of Village tax, current or prospective of some $214,000 ($36 million x .0933 x $63.816 per $1,000). For the school district the understatement would be much greater.

According to the minutes of the BOT meeting of April 4, 2002 the Tax Assessor estimated that for the fiscal year 2003-2004 additional tax revenue of $134,000 to $166,000 would be generated. This estimate appears to be on the low side since the Trump property alone should bring in $50,000 to $80,000 more.

Under parcel ID # 4.19-012-8 the tax roll lists 83 units with suffix numbers, which appear to be related to the 87 condominium properties – 16 town houses and 71 apartments. Four units cannot be located in the computer listing.

The below seven parcels are listed in both the Planning Board Resolution and the Treasurer’s letter of March 21, 2001 in which she certifies to Trump the taxes paid. These properties do not appear to be in the tax roll, may be out of chronological order or may be combined with another parcel number.

• 4.21-013-7
North side of Pine with frontage on Dalmeny, Sycamore & Tulip. Included with 4.12-013-10 in Plan. Bd. Resolution
• 4.21-013-10
91 Pine Road
• 4.21-013-11
81 Pine Road
• 4.27-020-8
So. Pine with frontage on Pine, Birch, Elm & Plumwood
• 4.27-021-7
• 4.27.021-8
on Elm &
• 4-29-021-12.A
Long Hill Road

Use of Aquifer Water

According to the Times, Trump stated “There’s never been a waterfall like this on a golf course… We pump 5,000 gallons a minute”. I do not recall that there is any mention in the FEIS or the Site Plan about a waterfall. Accordingly, has such a facility been approved by the Planning Board?

The Village and the region are subject to a drought alert. In addition to the waterfall, it has been observed that the Trump course is being regularly irrigated, possibly with water from the aquifer. Are drought restrictions also applicable to users of aquifer water? If restrictions do apply, are the Trump and Sleepy Hollow golf clubs being appropriately monitored?

Yours truly,

Nicholas Evanchik