Tuesday, Dec 11th

Last updateTue, 11 Dec 2018 11am

You are here: Home Section Table People Planning Board Considers Three New Subdivisions: One to Cause the Removal of 247 Trees
first
  
last
 
 
start
stop
first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

Planning Board Considers Three New Subdivisions: One to Cause the Removal of 247 Trees

clearcuttingThe Scarsdale Planning Board met Wednesday August 1 to discuss the applications of three different developers who are seeking to make new subdivisions on existing plots of land in Scarsdale. Before voting on any application, the board attempts to reach a consensus, and three out of five members must vote in favor of the applicant for the project to move forward.

The first application considered was from Carla Mathias, who is seeking to create a two lot subdivision at 5 Cornell Street. This property has land in both Scarsdale and Mamaroneck, so both the Town of Mamaroneck and the Village of Scarsdale must give approval for the project to move forward. The developers of the lot met with the Secretary of the Planning Board of Mamaroneck on Thursday to ensure a checklist of necessary items has been implemented since a previous meeting. If all previous items are met, the project will undergo a peer review in Mamaroneck.

Since this property is in both Mamaroneck and Scarsdale, the board will need to decide which municipalities’ standards for zoning should apply. The Mamaroneck laws are more restrictive than those in Scarsdale. Mamaroneck has a 20 foot minimum setback requirement, while Scarsdale’s setback minimum is only 15 feet. The developer will use whatever minimum standard is applied for the setback of the new house (whether it be 15 or 20 feet). The current plan also calls for the removal of three trees and a tennis court from the lot.

The next application came from Hickory Homes, to create two building lots at 1-3 Hickory Lane. Two of the current lots will be combined into one in order to conform to the village zoning standards.

The developers have proposed two different possible entrances into the home, but neither require the removal of any trees. A tree expert, however, did go into great detail on the condition of the trees in the lot. The lot contains many white pines, which he described as “very old and dangerous” and said they ought to be removed even thought the developers didn’t initially express interest in doing so. Other species of trees present on this property include the Japanese Maple and Gingko trees which won’t be disturbed, and some Norway Maples, which are classified as invasive species.

The board questioned the setback the developers intended for the new home. One board member wanted to ensure that there was a sufficiently long setback since the home would be near the high school. From the Olmsted approach, the “worst case scenario” setback under a conservative estimate would be 35 feet, but the developer urged that the setback may easily be 60 to 65 feet.

The last, and most controversial, application brought to the board came from developers who want to build a nine lot subdivision with eight new houses at 80, 88, and 90 Garden Road. These new houses would be accessed via a private loop road. This development came before the board a few months ago, and since then has given an updated storm water preclusion plan, a traffic analysis, and a school age children analysis.

A new sewer system will be built that will begin at the first lot and reach every home before connecting with the existing infrastructure, allowing the property to maintain the existing drainage patterns. Two fire hydrants will also be installed.

The traffic analysis found a net increase in four trips during peak hours, which baffled some board and community members. Since there will be a net increase of six houses, many members were uncertain of the methodology used to reach the conclusion that there would only be an aggregate increase of four cars during peak hours. The developers insisted the methodology used was a valid one, but noted that the numbers will be re-examined before a follow-up meeting and the methodology used will be discussed in more detail. Additionally, no significant impact was found on an increase in school age children.

According to the developers, it will be difficult to “keep the existing trees in the footprint of the development”. The developers plan to remove 247 of the 369 trees on the development. They plan on keeping some existing trees in the outer boundaries of the lot but will replant trees along the roadways.

Many community members gave public comments on the Garden Road development. By far and large, most comments surrounded the issue of the water table, or the area of land below the surface saturated with water. Many neighbors who have lived in the community for over twenty years have noticed a correlation between the creation of new housing developments and a rising water table, leading to an increase in floods. One woman stated that her tennis court is always flooded, and her basement has already flooded four times this year. She also noted that three more homes are currently being built nearby, and said the board ought to wait to see if these homes cause the water table to rise even more. All of the community members present urged to board to take extreme caution when considering this proposal.

The applicant responded to the concerns of the citizens by noting that ground water does not usually overflow onto the land, and the water-related problems the residents are experiencing are likely surface level issues. While ground water depth can change seasonally, it would be unusual for the ground water to rise over time. The developer also noted that there could be many environmental issues that lead to an increase in flooding over time. As a result, the applicant believes this project would not effect the neighbor’s flooding issues in any way. A Cultec System will be installed below the surface of the houses, which will hold onto water and release it slowly over time. This water will eventually be brought to a detention basin with a concrete box, where the water will be brought out through a pipe into the nearby wetlands.

No decisions were made on Wednesday regarding the fate of the three applications put forward. The board did decide, however, to bring in an outside consultant on the Garden Road development due to the significant concern expressed by neighbors over the water table.

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

first
  
last
 
 
start
stop