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Planning Board Considers Easing Downtown Parking Requirements

villageThe Scarsdale Planning Board met on September 29 to consider new parking regulations that would ease the way for restaurants to open in the Village. Currently, Village Code requires one parking space per 75 square feet of space or one parking spot for each three seats in a restaurant. The parking requirement for retail stores is half that amount and the Code makes it more feasible for retailers to open than restaurants.

In response to vacant storefronts downtown, the Village Board of Trustees passed a resolution in August requesting that the Planning Board review the Code, and if warranted, prepare a recommendation to amend it.

At the meeting, Village Planner, Liz Marrinan presented a report on the current situation and a comparison of Scarsdale’s code to eight nearby towns with more vibrant downtowns. She also provided information from the Institute of Traffic Engineers with their standards for parking. She found that Scarsdale, Mamaroneck and Ardsley have the most restrictive parking requirements, and Rye, the least restrictive.

She made the following recommendations for how the code could be changed:

  • Decrease the parking requirement for restaurants to one space for every 150 square feet of rentable space, which is the current requirement for retailers.
  • Decrease the parking requirement to one space per 100 or 125 square feet of leasable space and give the Planning Board the power to waive the requirement on a case-by-case basis.

The importance of making a change was highlighted by comments from property owner Doug Karp who owns the space previously occupied by Waterworks as well as other stores in a strip along East Parkway and Spencer Place. He reported that since Waterworks vacated the property last year he has had virtually no inquiries from retailers about renting the 3,000 square foot space, but many from people wishing to open a restaurant there.

A restaurant of that size would now require 20 dedicated parking spaces, as the current code does not allow for shared use of parking spaces, even though the spaces are utilized at different times of the day. The current code allows for cash payment to the Village in lieu of spaces, but this cost is prohibitive, and in Karp’s view, the requirements have prevented a restaurant from leasing the space.

Furthermore, Karp reported that the real estate taxes on the space continue to rise, and with no tenant in place, the property value has declined. If he is unable to lease the space ultimately he will need to grieve the taxes which will not be good for the Village.

Members of the Planning Board asked Marrinan to find out if the less restrictive parking requirements in other villages are working and requested an expert opinion. In addition, they wanted to see what other professional organizations recommend for downtown parking requirements.

Beverly Sved, who chairs the Planning Board asked Marrinan to gather the additional information and prepare a draft of an amendment to the Code for the Planning Board to consider at their October meeting.

In other business, the Planning Board approved an addition to the gas station at 865 Scarsdale Avenue as well as the addition of porticos at Hitchcock Church for the Greenacres Avenue entrances and landscaping work to improve drainage.  The agenda item concerning a fence between the Quaker Ridge Golf Course and a Brittany Close home was held over.

 

Halloween Events in Hartsdale and Scarsdale

hallgrade7Edgemont parents were dismayed to learn that Halloween Window Painting in Hartsdale had been cancelled this year. An annual tradition, both kids and parents have enjoyed the event in town for as long as we can remember.

In past years, the Kiwanis Club ran the contest and it is listed in the Town of Greenburgh Fall and Winter 2010 Guide to Programs, Activities and Services.

However, this year management was turned over to the Town of Greenburgh. Rather than run the contest in it’s original format, the Town decided to ask children to paint  Halloween pictures at home and submit them to the Town to post on retail windows.

Residents complained that painting at home defeated the entire purpose of the event. In the words of one mom, “what fun is that?” Window painting draws the community together and gives children the chance to paint alfresco and decorate the Village.

They launched an email campaign to Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner to see if the event could be reinstated in its original format and it worked. On Monday September 26 Feiner sent the following email to Scarsdale10583 and local residents:

I would like to thank the parents that contacted me over the weekend to discuss the Halloween window-painting contest on East Hartsdale Avenue. As a parent and former participant in window painting contests (decades ago for me) I appreciate the tradition. After the Hartsdale Kiwanis Club informed the town that they lacked the resources to continue sponsoring the contest, the town decided to continue the contest but in a different format. Due to the feedback we received, we decided to continue the contest. We will contact all the merchants on East Hartsdale Avenue and ask if they will allow children to paint the windows, as has been done in the past. We will also allow participants the choice of participating in a separate contest in a take home format. This will enable merchants who don't want their windows painted to participate in the contest.

Once again I appreciate the good feedback I have received. I am pleased that we are able to be responsive to the parents and children who love this contest.

Paul Feiner
Greenburgh Town Supervisor

PS: If residents would like to help out on the day of the event or in the planning of the program please e mail me at pfeiner@greenburghny.com

In Scarsdale, Halloween window painting is scheduled for Sunday October 24 from 9 am to 4 pm, with rain dates on October 25 and October 26 from 4 to 6 pm. The event is co-sponsored by the Scarsdale Chamber of Commerce and there is a $100 Grand Prize.

The deadline to participate in the Halloween Window Painting programs is Wednesday, October 13th.  The fee is $12 for an individual and $18 for a double entry, and you can access the registration form by clicking here:

For questions, call the Recreation Department at 722-1160

hallcostumesIn addition to the window painting programs, there will be a Costume Parade held in the Village streets by Chase Park on Sunday September 24. The parade line up begins at 2:45 pm in front of Chase Park. The parade will start at 3:00 pm. Special entertainment and refreshments will be provided after the parade. All Pre-E and Elementary School children are welcome to participate in the costume parade.

Dogs, Cats and Coyotes from the Scarsdale Police

dogAnimals, not people, made news in Scarsdale this week as three residents were bitten by dogs and cats and coyotes continued to frighten residents, though there were no incidents. A coyote was spotted in the vicinity of the Heathcote Elementary School, which is clearly a cause for concern.

Here are the stories of the bites: On the afternoon of September 10, a child on Springdale Road was bitten on the hand by the neighbor’s dog. The mother called the neighbor to make sure the dog’s shots were up to date.

On that same day, a stray cat bit a 2 year-old Morris Lane girl. The Westchester County Health Department advised her mom to try to trap the cat so that it could be tested. If the cat is not found within ten days the girl will have to undergo treatment for rabies.

A 68 year-old Greenacres man was bitten by a dog in Scarsdale Village on the afternoon of September 11 as he was walking into Scarsdale Eyecare on Spencer Place. The owner was able to produce the dog’s vaccination certificate and the man refused medical treatment.

And are the details of the coyote sightings:

  • On the afternoon of September 7 in the yard of 126 Carthage
  • On the night of September 7 at the intersection of Fairview and Post Road
  • On the afternoon of September 8 walking down Cayuga Road
  • At 5 pm on September 8 at 126 Carthagecoyote
  • On September 8 at 5:30 pm on Secor Road
  • On September 9 on Oneida Road at 9 pm
  • At 5:30 pm on Black Birch Lane
  • On September 11 at 2 pm on Catherine Road
  • At Rock Creek Lane and Sycamore Road at 3 pm on 9/11
  • At Norma and Hazelton Drive on 9/12 at 11:14 am.
  • On Thornwood Place on September 12 at 1:51 in the afternoon
  • On September 12 at 8 PM on Innes Road going toward the Heathcote School

In other news from the police blotter, there were three car break-ins overnight on 9/10- 9/11: The passenger side window of a 2004 Honda parked on Dell Road was broken and a Garmin nav device was stolen. On Springdale Road the passenger side window of a car was broken and a nav device was taken, and on Coralyn Road the driver’s side window of a 2001 Toyota Highlander was broken and a Garmin GPS was stolen.

Theft: A Tory Lane woman reported that $10,000 in currency that had been stored in an unlocked safe in her home had vanished sometime between August 9 and August 23rd.

Drunk at Scarsdale Station: An inebriated man was “helping passengers get onto the train at Scarsdale Station at 10 pm on September 8th. He left when the police arrived.

Trespass: On the afternoon of September 9 the owner of a Birchall Road home called police to report that his neighbor was trespassing on his property and taking photographs. The home at 50 Birchall is under construction. The contractor asked the neighbor to leave the grounds and to stop taking photographs. Police spoke to the neighbor who agreed to refrain from going onto the property in the future.

Walworth Avenue residents returned home at noon on 9/12 and found a beat up red car parked in their driveway and two men filming their house. The men claimed they were filming a documentary and got into the car and left. Police stopped their car and the men explained that they were doing a film for a local resident’s Bar Mitzvah and had been filming the “Village of Scarsdale” sign.

Fight: an altercation broke out between two men working at 2 Oxford Road on the afternoon of September 9th. The first man, a landscaper, was speaking to “Joe” who had installed the sprinkler system on the property. The landscaper told Joe that the system was not working properly and that he was withholding $100 until it was fixed. At that point Joe began to yell, threatened the landscaper, pushed the side of his head and kicked his truck. He then left the scene. Though the landscaper was not hurt he wanted to document the incident.

Harassed: A Park Road boy reported that he was harassed by the driver of a West Side Taxi while he was riding his bike on the night of 9/11.

Graffiti was found painted on the back of the Heathcote School on 9/11. The word “Tiger” was painted inside a yellow heart and “Canada” was written inside a circle.

Arrest: Tyson J. Tinsley, age 23 of Mt. Vernon, was turned over to Scarsdale Police by Mt. Vernon Police at 8 pm on 9/11. There was an outstanding bench warrant for his arrest.

 

 

The Sukkah --Reinvented

sukkah2With Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur just behind us, the congregation of Westchester Reform Temple has already jumped into Sukkot, which begins on Wednesday night September 22. The temple’s men’s club gathered on Sunday, September 19 to construct a most unusual sukkah, made of carbon-steel rods clad in bamboo. In order to build it, the men affixed the bamboo to the pre-made steel frame constructed for the temple in Brooklyn.

sukkah4Architecture students at Wesleyan in Middletown, CT, who won the American Institute of Architect’s 2009 “Faith and Forum” award for the project, designed this modern and green interpretation of the sukkah. The original structure, called the WesSukkah, was larger but the scaled-back version, now on display at WRT, is ample and inviting.

The structure’s unique and modern design is consistent with Rabbinic code and the Jewish legal tradition for the creation of a sukkah - a temporary structure incorporating elements of the surrounding environment with a roof made of a living material.

The membership of WRT will celebrate a green market dinner with fresh local sukkah3ingredients and enjoy hors d’oeuvres inside the sukkah. In addition, a wine and cheese reception for single parents will be held there. The public is invited to view this marvel. If you wish to see it, please call the office at WRT to schedule a visit at 914-723-7727.

 

 

Village Planner to Address the Scarsdale Chamber of Commerce

scarsdaleAll members in good standing are invited and encouraged to attend a general membership meeting of the Scarsdale Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday September 21 at 6:15 pm. Any member who is attending is invited to bring along a candidate for membership who is interested. The meeting will be held at Rothmans at 1 Boniface Circle.

The agenda will include an update from the Village Planner, Elizabeth Marrinan, addressing a number of crucial issues facing the Village and the business community, including parking and the Popham Road Bridge.

The meeting will review 2010 – including the Fine Art Festival, the Summer Sidewalk Sale, and the new website. We will look forward to the fall of 2010 and 2011, touching on Halloween window painting, winter holiday events, the 2011 Fine Art Festival and the new Harvest Health Fair.

Refreshments provided by Lange’s Deli and Good Life Gourmet.

Please check the Chamber website www.scarsdalechamber.org for updates.

Contact:
Lewis Arlt, Houlihan Lawrence
(914) 723-8877
larlt@houlihanlawrence.com
mail@scarsdalechamber.org.

 

 

 

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