A lawsuit filed by five Milton Point neighbors of the non-profit Wainwright House against the organization in early 2022 has been dismissed by NY State Supreme Court Judge Alexandra D. Murphy. The judge granted the Wainwright’s motion for summary judgement and the complaint was dismissed in its entirety. The neighbors had claimed deed covenants dating back to the 1800s prevent alcohol sales on the property. If the neighbors had been successful, the suit would have destroyed the non-profit’s event income and placed the organization in financial jeopardy.
A second suit by the Wainwright neighbors against the City of Rye just before Christmas in 2021 is still active in Westchester Supreme Court. That Article 78 proceeding names Wainwright as a respondent and claims the City’s Planning Commission renewal of Wainwright’s application to hold events is unlawful. A decision is expected in the next few weeks. Early last year, City of Rye Corporation Counsel Kristen Wilson told MyRye.com “We believe the planning commission looked at the application diligently and thoroughly and after several public hearings rendered a decision that modified the original request after listening to all sides on the issues.”
In case it is not already obvious, there is a history of deep acrimony between the immediate neighbors of Wainwright and the non-profit. In 2021, a planned coordination between Wainwright and RowAmerica Rye and its owner Howard Winkelvoss to invest $3-4 million into the property was halted. The plan was sunk by what Winkelvoss said was a misinformation campaign driven by Wainwright’s immediate neighbor to the west, the Alexander family and other neighbors.