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menorahchaseparkAt Tuesday's Scarsdale Board of Trustees meeting, Mayor Dan Hochvert addressed the recent resignations of members of the Committee of Historic Preservation (CHP), and clarified the board's position on notable reversals of CHP decisions. "Deciding which houses meet the criteria in the village code regarding historic preservation is sometimes a very difficult job. Houses that do not meet the criteria but for which their owners have an offer conditioned on demolition bring public benefit of preservation into potential conflict with private property rights."

In the recent case of 12 Dolma Road, the BOT approved a "hardship" application 12DolmaRoadto demolish the home, despite the CHP's decision to preserve it. According to Hochvert, "It is one thing to designate a property as historic and entirely different to determine hardship." The owner had requested a review based on four hardship criteria listed in the village code, and because those standards were met, the board unanimously agreed to overturn the CHP decision.

The mayor also discussed 24 Morris Lane and 26 Cooper Road, both of which generated split votes from the CHP. With regard to 24 Morris, the CHP voted 3-2 to grant a certificate of appropriateness. However, because four votes are needed to support any decision, village code required that the BOT make the ruling. "The board carefully reviewed the record and agreed with the majority... a majority of CHP members who were at the meeting recommended that the board grant the certificate of appropriateness." In the case of 26 Cooper, Mayor Hochvert said that, while it was known that a renowned architect designed the garage, there was no defendable evidence that he also designed the home. "That evidence was not found by the CHP. The village board also asked expert opinion. The conclusion reached...was that there was no direct evidence the house was designed by him."

Further explaining the board's role, the mayor stated that the community should understand that before designating a home as historic, there must be enough evidence to support the decision. "When the evidence falls short of substantial, the village board is compelled to deny the designation of a property as historic," he said.

The mayor's comments clearly highlighted a need to review the current code to better reconcile the rights of property owners and the value of historic preservation. He acknowledged that there may be future changes that might be appropriate, and recommended that the board and staff be willing to "brainstorm" options to strike the right balance. "The overarching issue the village board faces is how best to preserve historic homes without creating financial hardship for property owners," he stated.

Additional Mayor's Comments:
Also included in Mayor Hochvert's remarks were a reminder for residents to complete the Scarsdale Forum's traffic survey by November 30 if they hadn't already, and praise for last week's interfaith Thanksgiving service. The mayor concluded his comments by recognizing Scarsdale Superintendent of Public Works Benedict (Benny) Salanditro for being named the Public Works Official of the Year by the American Public Works Association New York Metro Chapter.

Manager's Comments:

The village has completed the fieldwork portion of its $700,000 sanitary sewer evaluation, which covered the Mamaroneck Valley sewer district (one of three covering Scarsdale). The study, which involved installation of sewer inspections and cleaning, television monitoring and the installation of flow meters, was to determine the origin of sewer flows and a report on the findings currently is being drafted. One goal of the study is to identify illicit sewer connections from specific properties to eliminate unnecessary water from entering the system. Westchester county regulations provide for 150 gallons/day per person, and Scarsdale exceeds that amount.

Fire Commissioner:

The board voted to extend Fire Captain Daniel Purcell's service time for one year.

Municipal Services:

The board voted to extend the Ad Hoc Committee on Communications service for one year. As the committee has completed its mandate over the past year, it now is charged with 1) working with staff to maintain and increase resident subscription rates to "Notify Me," the village's online notification system; 2) updating the new resident packet and develop a version for electronic distribution, 3) developing resident boards and councils recruitment materials as well as new member packets; 4) collaborating with staff to update and standardize department handouts and forms, 5) reviewing and suggest online department overviews; and, 6) sharing ideas and suggestions for continued enhancements to scarsdale.com.

The board also voted to approve resolutions to place a crèche in Boniface Circle and two Menorahs in Chase Park.

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electionresultsThe election results from the Scarsdale Procedure Committee are in: On Wednesday, November 15, 439 Scarsdale citizens elected 10 new members to the Citizen's Nominating Committee for a 3 year term. They include two members from each of the 5 elementary school electoral units, and are:

Edgewood: Becky Bach and Susan Duncan, 66 total votes including 3 mail-in ballots;

Fox Meadow: Dara Gruenberg and Steve Pass, 54 total votes including 4 mail-in ballots

Greenacres: Michelle Lichtenberg and Adie Shore, 141 total votes including 24 mail-in ballots

Heathcote: Amber Yusuf and Eric Lichtenstein, 136 total votes including 6 mail-in ballots

Quaker Ridge: Gabrielle Wise and John Auerbacher, Quaker Ridge, 42 total votes including 2 mail-in ballots.

They will join 20 returning members in December and January to choose Scarsdale Non-Partisan Party candidates for Mayor and Village Trustee.

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Tree1A large tree in front of the post office on Chase Road was removed by the Public Works Department on Friday evening October 27. Residents wondered why the tree was being taken down and why the work was being done in the dark.

We spoke to Benedict Salanitro who heads the Scarsdale Public Works Department and he told us that the London Plane tree was rotten to the core and top heavy. It posed a risks to pedestrians and drivers passing underneath it.

With a severe rain and windstorm forecasted for the weekend, Village officials decided they had better take the tree down before it fell. They took it down in the evening to prevent disruption to business at the post office and to Village traffic.tree

Sure enough, when they cut into it they found the trunk was diseased and hollow. We asked about the age of the tree, but since the trunk was hollow there were no rings to be counted to make the determination.

The stump will be removed and a suitably sized tree will be planted in its place.

Photos from Bruce Wells and the Department of Public Works.

Tree3

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voteThe Scarsdale Procedure Committee has announced the slate of candidates for election to the Citizen's Nominating Committee on November 15. Those who are elected will join 20 current CNC members to choose candidates to run for three Village Trustee positions under the banner of the Scarsdale Citizens Non- Partisan Party in the March general election.

On the ballot are the following candidates:
(Two will be elected from each district)

Edgewood:    Becky Bach, Stephen Baer, Susan Duncan, Chris Kowalski
Fox Meadow: Dara Gruenberg, Steve Pass
Greenacres:   Alan Lewis, Michelle Lichtenberg, Jon Krisbergh, Adie Shore
Heathcote:     Eric Lichtenstein, Gregory Soldatenko, Alan Steinfeld, Amber Yusef
Quaker Ridge: John Auerbacher, Jordan Black, Gabrielle Wise

The Citizen's Nominating Committee (CNC) election brochure is now available on the Procedure Committee website. It will also be mailed to all households in Scarsdale immediately after the General Election Day, to be received one week before the CNC Election Day, November 15. The brochure contains a list of all the candidates and their biographies, as well as election rules for voters and information on Scarsdale's Non-Partisan System.

Please read the brochure and vote at Village Hall, 7-10 AM or 2-9 PM on November 15th for candidates representing your election district or elementary school district.

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vitalagingA steady stream of locals attended the Second Annual Vital Aging Fair at the Scarsdale Library on Monday. About 30 vendors were on hand to discuss a wide range of topics, from fitness and nutrition to legal and financial assistance. Local dignitaries Mayor Dan Hochvert, Trustees Callaghan and Pekarek, and County Legislator David Tubiolo were also on hand to show their support.

The free annual event is a joint effort of Scarsdale Edgemont Family Counseling Service, Scarsdale Recreation, and The Scarsdale Library. Vendors who presented this year included: My Second Home, The Kensington, Home Instead, Charles Schwaab, The Osborne, Eldercare, Medicaid Solutions, Silver Bills LLC, WestFair Rides, Ikor, Five Star Premier Residences, Right at Home, Alliance, SMHAL, Alliance HomeCare, Atria Woodlands, A Dignified Life, DOROT, WJCS, WEDC, JCC, Aging Smart, Loving Meditations, Mission to Wellness, REYNA, Fitness Link, Restore the Core, The UpperClass, and Scarsdale Police Detective Patricia Arcesi.

SFCS wishes to offer a special thanks to sponsors Massage Envy and Atria.

Article by Maryellen Saenger, Coordinator Aging in Place at SFCS

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