Friday, Apr 12th

GardenRoadsite2Developers are proposing an 8 home subdivision in a wetlands on Garden RoadThere was promising news from the` Village Board about eating options in the Village at their first meeting of the new year. The Mayor announced the “imminent” opening of the long awaited One Rare Steakhouse in the space formerly occupied by Zachys on East Parkway. The restaurant, from the owners of Ben and Jack’s Steakhouse on East 44th Street, will feature dry aged steaks, pasta and seafood.

The Mayor also said that the owners of Martines on East Parkway plan to open Mimis -– an artisanal gelateria, serving gelato, waffles and hot lava cakes. The new shop will be at 51 East Parkway in the space once held by Webster Bank.

With little discussion, the Board also passed two amendments to Village code regarding permeable vs. impervious surfaces for lot coverage and another regarding grading for stormwater management. However residents who live in a sensitive drainage area near Garden Road were not satisfied that these changes would do enough to safeguard their homes. See below:

Budgeting Software

In an update from Village Treasurer Ann Scaglione, she unveiled new budgeting software called ClearGov, which will be accessible to Village personnel as well as the public via a link on the Village website. The software will enhance the budgeting planning process by permitting Village staff and trustees to track iterations of the Village budget, by department as it evolves.

Village Manager Rob Cole congratulated Scaglione on the implementation and said this new software was a substantial improvement over previous practice and should be easy to navigate for trustees and the public. Trustee Ahuja suggested that the Village produce a video tutorial on how to use this new software.

Speed Limit

Cole discussed the implementation of the new speed limit, which will be lowered to 25 mph on most streets throughout the Village. He said new signage will be posted at the end of the month and the Village will undertake education to inform the public of the new law. In the interim, he suggested that everyone get used to the lower limit by driving at a maximum speed of 25 mph.

Tax Cap

In other business, the Board approved a resolution to allow the passage of a budget which exceeds the tax cap, if necessary. According to the Village Treasurer, the Village must stay below a 3.28% increase in order not to exceed the cap.

Security at Village Hall

Trustees approved $392,000 for access control and security improvements at Village Hall plus $27,000 for electric work for a total of $419,824.

Gifts

The Board accepted two gifts – one for the police department and another for the fire department.

Gifts are as follows:

The Bowman Family Foundation gave $2,000 to the Police Department for projects selected by the Police Chief and approved by the Village.

Sang Han of Paddington Road gave a $1,000 donation to the fire department for training of career firefighters and volunteers.

Village Election

The Board passed a resolution to hold the village election for Mayor and Trustees on Tuesday March 21, 2023 from 6 am to 9 pm at Scarsdale Public Library.

Bonds

The Board approved a resolution to issue $1,709,472 in bonds to purchase trucks and equipment for use by the Department of Public Works.

Lot Coverage

The Board approved a resolution to amend Village code to “align the runoff curve used to determine whether a surface is permeable or impervious with the predominant soil type on a property.”

Stormwater

The Board approved an amendment to Village code to limit the changing of grades which will encourage the maintenance of natural topography and natural water flow to avert flooding of neighboring properties.

Letters

Some did not think that the two resolutions regarding lot coverage and stormwater did enough to safeguard their properties.

Helen Maccarino wrote to the Village Board regarding a proposed 8 home subdivision at 80 Garden Road, now referred to as “The Gardens.” Her letter says, “ The Gardens" is an enormous project covering over 6 acres, the equivalent of nearly 5 football fields. If you are unfamiliar with the plan, it calls for clear-cutting hundreds of trees, raising the terrain by approximately 4 feet, and installing a retaining wall just 6 feet from the adjacent property lines. Not only is there no APB, there is a retaining wall instead of a "tapered slope", a wall that runs the length of the entire site. The subdivision plan also ignores the findings of NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation which the Chapter 254 code cites prominently from the outset. The NYS DEC states that clear-cutting and terrain-raising risks altering drainage patterns across property lines, cause erosion and "have significant impact on the health, safety and welfare of the community."

Another letter was received from the law firm of Mintzer, Mauch PLLC who represents a group of 29 residents who would be affected by the development on Garden Road. They urged the Board to adopt a temporary moratorium on the processing of development applications within sensitive drainage areas while the Board makes substantive changes to land use code.

HarwoodBuildingWith the advent of the new year, we asked local leaders for their hopes for 2023 in Scarsdale. Here are their thoughts:

Interim Scarsdale Schools Superintendent Andrew Patrick

As 2023 begins, I am looking forward to further strengthening the critical connections and partnerships between our schools and our community. Since the start of the school year, our faculty, staff, administrators, PTAs, and PTC have worked hard to restore cherished activities like field trips, reestablish opportunities for parents to visit classrooms and deliver programs, and reimagine the ways our community plays a role in student learning. These connections are critical to our mission of serving the whole child, and they illustrate the meaning of the phrase, "it takes a village!" I am also looking forward to successful project collaborations with the Village in a number of areas, and to a productive budget process. However, what I anticipate above all else in 2023 is for each and every Scarsdale student to meet or exceed their goals, to learn, and to rise to fulfill the incredible potential they possess.

Scarsdale School Board President Amber YusufAmber

I hope this year that I can continue to do the things I love: give back to my community, support my friends, care for my family, and make time for myself.

I look forward to an exciting year ahead for our District. The past few years have presented a series of challenges, and once a new permanent superintendent is in place, I envision new opportunities and channels for growth for students and enhanced professional learning and collaboration for faculty and staff.

Mayor of Scarsdale Jane Veron

I enter each new year with hope and optimism. It is our strong desire that residents feel deeply connected to our community; that they can conduct their lives protected and secure; and that they have myriad Veronopportunities for fun and fulfillment. Designing a wonderful new seasonal pool complex remains a high priority for this year as well as instituting traffic and safety measures, local economic development advances and land use improvements. We will also continue to pursue other quality of life initiatives. As we embark on 2023, we will nurture what makes Scarsdale great and adapt and evolve to ensure we remain the very best place to live.

NYS Assembly Member Amy Paulin

I’m feeling very excited and hopeful about 2023. I love my job. It gives me the opportunity to help and solve problems for the people in my community. In 2023, I hope even more constituents reach out to my office for help on the many issues that we can assist with personally and legislatively – please email me at paulina@nyassembly.gov

I’m thrilled to have Edgemont in my district, starting just this week. I’ve already worked closely with the residents in Edgemont and filed a Amy Arms Folded Best copybill to stop illegal cannabis sales happening on Central Ave. Together we will work hard to get that passed in 2023. Please keep the bill ideas coming Scarsdale and Edgemont - you are my inspiration!

I was just appointed NYS Assembly Health Chair and will work hard make sure everyone in our area, and in New York State has access to high quality and affordable health care. I'm hopeful that we can address the issues raised by my constituents such as problematic nursing homes, inadequately funded hospitals, and access to reproductive health care - just to name just a few.

I am also hopeful that the legislature can pass meaningful legislation in 2023, and plan to be a loud voice. The legislature needs to address increased street crime, domestic violence, human trafficking and repeat offenders.

I would be remiss in talking about my hopes for 2023 if I didn’t mention my beloved Mets, which have made a great acquisition in Carlos Correa, and resigned two of my favorites - Brandon Nimmo and Edwin Díaz. Like every Mets fan, I’m eternally hopeful, dream of ’69 and ’86, and feel that this could really be our year to make it there once again.

President of the Scarsdale Forum Susan Douglass

First, we hope to have safety be a higher priority in Scarsdale -- let's work to eliminate pedestrian encounters with cars, or car crashes, in the downtown area or anywhere else in town. This will require reworking East Parkway and Spencer Place, Crane Road, Popham Road, Sprague Road and other "hot spot" areas. Traffic enforcement must be a priority.

Second, we need to stop gas-powered leaf blowers and leaf vacuuming. Let's be innovative leaders in environmental practices and save budget allocations at the same time.

Third, it's time for a dog park. Maybe 2023 will be the year when it comes to pass.

Lastly, we want to create many opportunities for Scarsdalians to share events, music, food and fun together. We have a wonderful community with people of all ages.

Scarsdale Conservation Advisory Council Michelle SterlingChasePark

2023 could be the year where everyone in Scarsdale participates in the Scarsdale Food Scrap Recycling program and gets to zero waste. All of us on the CAC are committed to not just caring about the environment but taking steps to do something about it. Fortunately we can do our part right here in Scarsdale. If you food scrap, and recycle everything that can be recycled, you will have hardly any waste. I’m hopeful that in 2023 we can all take a pause and think about the blessing of having clean air, water and soil. To us on the CAC it’s our foundation. I’m so appreciative for the thousands of residents that are out there with the CAC, taking action, and in that way making great sustainability achievements happen. I hope that everyone can get on board – please email composting@scarsdale.com to sign up for food scrap recycling or with any recycling questions. We’re happy to help!”

Publisher Scarsdale10583 Joanne Wallenstein

And for me: here is what I would like to see.

I am hopeful that the Con Edison moves swiftly on the gas pipeline replacement project so that I can get out of my driveway and out of Greenacres. Ditto to work on the Heathcote Bridge.

41HamptonEntrySecond: I would like the Village Board to take some meaningful steps to address home size and height restrictions, historic preservation, subdivisions and lot coverage to work toward stemming the crowding of our neighborhoods and the strain on our resources. Building two oversized houses in place of one results in more curb cuts, street crowding, diminishment of pervious surfaces and the destruction of trees, ultimately leading to flooding. The only people who benefit are the developers. It’s time for the Village Board to put the rights of current homeowners before the ambitions of our local builders.

Last, I hope that the Village can reach consensus on a plan to renovate the Scarsdale Pool Complex so that we can all continue to enjoy this community gem.

Do you have hopes for 2023? Please contribute them in the comments section below or email them to scarsdalecomments@gmail.com and we’ll add them to the article.

Happy New Year everyone!

poolsurveyOptions for pool enhancements were presented in a resident survey.Scarsdale Village Trustees have announced their plans for the renovation of the Scarsdale Pool Complex. After examining the costs and logistics of adding an indoor pool to the complex, they have decided that the cost to build it could put the Village's finances at risk and the operarting costs would be "prohibitive."

See below for a press release on the decision:

The Village Board held a work session on Tuesday, December 6, which included an update from the Pool Complex Special Assignment Committee, followed by discussion of next steps for the continuing Pool Complex Study. The video of that meeting is available online (see Item 2 video).

The Pool Complex Special Assignment Committee, comprised of Mayor Jane Veron, Trustee Sameer Ahuja, Trustee Karen Brew, and Village Manager Robert Cole, worked with the consultant team and conducted independent research over the past several months gathering information to determine whether a year-round pool facility was viable for Scarsdale. The Committee recognizes the need to save our treasured asset, while achieving a standard of design and construction capable of meeting Scarsdale’s needs for another five decades. Based on discussions with our consultants as well as operators of other year-round pool complexes, on Tuesday night the committee members informed the Village Board of their belief that the construction and operating cost for a year-round facility would impose too high of a financial burden on Scarsdale residents. The complexities associated with building a year-round facility were likely to bring additional uncertainty to both the construction timeline and ultimate cost of such a facility. Additionally, the operational difficulties shared by year-round pool operators made committee members question the long-term viability of such a facility in Scarsdale.

The full Board agreed with the Committee’s findings and directed Village staff to proceed with the design of an updated seasonal pool complex to replace the existing facility. The Board noted the importance of accelerating the planning process in order to reduce the risks presented by a volatile financial environment. The pressing needs of a pool complex that is past the end of its expected useful life and is no longer operating reliably also figured prominently in the Board’s thinking.

While a substantial portion of survey respondents expressed a preference for a year-round facility, the Board came to a consensus that the construction and operating costs would be prohibitive, and that the financial commitment necessary to build and operate a year-round facility could limit the Village’s funding flexibility and capacity for other critical infrastructure and budgetary needs. Simply put, the financial risk exceeds the threshold that our Trustees, as responsible stewards of public funds, are able to accept.

Scarsdale will now move forward with our consultants, Lothrup Associates LLP, to develop schematic design for a renovated seasonal pool complex. The Board looks forward to working with community groups and Scarsdale residents to shape and refine an appealing pool complex that best serves all members of our community, while preserving and honoring the essence of the pool experience, with its distinctive natural setting and easygoing, welcoming feel.

The Village Board’s Pool Complex Special Assignment Committee will now turn to reviewing and authorizing a contract for design development, including a public touchstone prior to contract execution, and then expediting the design process, keeping the public informed and engaged each step of the way.

To learn more about the Pool Complex Study, please review the study reports and other related material online.

graveldrivewayThe Village Board held public hearings on three resolutions that address building code, lot coverage and stormwater at the meeting on Tuesday night December 13, 2022.

Many of the changes to the code were quite technical, and both trustees and the public struggled to completely understand their underlying meaning.

There was much discussion about a resolution amending chapter 310 of the zoning code regarding drainage issues which amends lot area coverage requirements for pervious and impervious surfaces.

Explaining the code revision, a memo from the Assistant Village Planner explains,

“The current draft proposes lowering the runoff curve from 94 to 80 to align the runoff curve with the gravel runoff curve depending on the hydrological soil classification. The runoff curve number would change depending on a property’s predominant soil type in accordance with the chart below:

Class A 76
Class B 85
Class C 89
Class D 91

The goal is to allow gravel as the least pervious surface eligible to be exempt from lot coverage. This will eliminate the loophole of impervious pavement with drainage ditches on either side being considered permeable, and not included in lot coverage. Permeable pavers and porous pavement can qualify if they meet the new standard.

By way of explanation, black top is the least pervious surface and has a runoff curve of 98 with soil Class A being the most permeable. The lower the number, the more permeable the soil. Under the new code, gravel can be used on any surface to make it qualify as permeable. Village Planner Greg Cutler explained, “this ties impervious surfaces to soil composition. Gravel would be the most impervious surface that would be considered permeable.”

Cutler added, “We looked at what the runoff curve was for gravel in each soil classification. It runs A through D. This classification depends on the property. For soil classification D, you have a higher rate of run off. Class A drains really well. It allows you to use the same coverage on any soil – it levels the playing field for all properties. Gravel surfaces are considered pervious for lot coverage and impervious for stormwater requirements.”

Bob Harrison asked if Har-Tru tennis courts would be treated as pervious or impervious under this new law and Frank Diodati replied, “If it is a Har-Tru court that is on a gravel base, we are accepting Har-Tru as a permeable material. A permeable clay surface would still qualify as permeable and would not count as lot coverage.”

Trustee Mazer asked, Will pervious asphalt no longer be an option moving forward? How many have been installed? Diodati said that pervious asphalt may still be permitted depending on what is underneath. He estimated that a dozen such surfaces may have been installed this year.

Village Engineer Dave Goessl said, “The intention is not to create pre-existing non-conforming lots. The code amendment will outline soil composition and subsurface soils beneath the surface to percolate. Soil classification, proper engineering and proper product selection will all demonstrate surfaces conducive for permeability and therefore exempt from lot coverage.”

Trustee Mazer said, “The idea is to promote additional drainage into practice,” and Trustee Gans said, “the code change puts soil classes and runoff curve numbers into code.”

Resident Doug Ulene said, “I have quibbles with two aspects of the amendment: Lot area coverage matters for aesthetics, drainage and monetary reasons. I think the drainage issue is , are you absorbing your fair share of water? You won’t get credit for the area outside of the quadrangle.”

He added, “The proposed amendment allows people who are on non-conforming lots to swap driveways for pools. This will allow people to swap things and then get variances. Variances run with the land. A patio should not be swapped for a tennis court – or a tennis court for a pool.”

Last he said, “Instead of monkeying around with minor changes, the Village should make major statutory changes to build homes in the flood zones up – and large to give builders incentives. I live at 7 Cayuga Road.”

Village Planner Greg Cutler responded, We have eliminated the ability to swap surfaces for a pool, tennis court, patio etc.”

Stormwater Runoff

The Trustees next addressed proposed changes to the concerning stormwater runoff in adjacent property buffer areas. The new code would prevent disturbing the land in property buffers without the approval of the Planning Board. It creates a requirement for site plan approval by the Planning Board and update items that must be included in the stormwater management plan.

Village Engineer David Goessl explained, “There is currently no provision about the regrading of properties in the Village Code, though some applicants are required to submit a stormwater management plan and this case the engineering department looks into the whole proposal. But those that don’t require a stormwater management plan would require proposed slope changes to go before the Planning Board. About the definition of slope, this would prevent the building of a retaining wall in the middle of a tapered slope with a steep drop off on the other side. Also, this new process would not eliminate a review by the Village Engineer.”

Some felt these code changes did not go far enough.

Helen Maccarino of 83 Cushman Road said, “I was told you tried to strengthen the law after the flooding that occurred after Hurricane Ida. I see that though you tried to strengthen the law, there is still a slippery slope that allows those who want to change their lot to do so with the provision that they go before the Planning Board to do so. They allow you to bypass the Engineering Department and go directly before the Planning Board. I found confusing that you quote the DEC when talking about the risks of changing and raising terrain and clear cutting.

These two activities were proposed for a development literally in my backyard and I was buoyed by the fact it was cited but there are no restrictions on clear cutting and no restrictions on how high you can raise the terrain. Where I live the soil is primarily clay and there is a high water table. So any land disturbance automatically redirects the groundwater table somewhere else. Anywhere you dig a hole it will fill with water, and if you put something in that hole like a basement, it will force the water to go somewhere else. When we have these storms the hydrostatic pressure can force the water into surrounding homes. The water has to go somewhere and it will force its way into our basement, which happened to us. And we were helpless. There is nothing you can do. It seeps in from the ground.”

“Also – the term “tapered slope” is not defined. Without this definition it seems loosey goosey to me. It can be 10 degrees or 65 degrees.”

“Finally – there is the role of infrastructure to handle the water. In my neighborhood, it tends to flood. The slopes feed down into this area. The infrastructure needs to be replaced or improved before you allow for more development.”

Shari and Joel Beckman from 75 Garden Road echoed Helen’s comments. Shari said, ”We have also experienced flooding and I am quite concerned about the lack of specificity about flow and elevating property for any potential builder to come in and create a setting where you have houses perched up high to avoid flooding, and neighbors who will clearly become flooded if the storm is serious enough and there is no other outlet. Without the specificity of the slope and rise, it leaves it very questionable that this would be an official way to go. I would like the board to consider that before moving forward on this proposal.”

Last, the Village was required by state law to amend building code to require minimum standards for administration and enforcement of the NYS Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and the Energy Conservation Construction Code. Since the state required the adoption of this new code by December 31, 202022, By law it must be adopted by December 31, 2022, so the Board held the public hearing and passed the resolution to approve it at the same meeting.

The Board approved a resolution to authorizing members of all public bodies of the Village of Scarsdale to participate in public meetings via videoconferencing, pending the passage of a policy that will be approved by the Village Board in January.

The Village Board issued a permit to the Scarsdale Creche Committee to place a Creche in Boniface Circle and a permit to Chabad to place a menorah in Boniface Circle and hold a menorah lighting ceremony on December 18, 2022.

In other business, Bob Harrison a 42 year resident of Scarsdale asked the Village to maximize the return from the investment of the unassigned fund balance.

Village Manager Rob Cole thanked Superintendent Coleman and the Public Works team that cleared the leaves from the streets this year.

Read the resolutions and code amendments here.

At the opening of the meeting, Mayor Jane Veron made the following comments:

As the year is coming to a close, we, here in the Village, are busily preparing for 2023-2024 and beyond. Earlier this evening, as part of our budget planning, we took a comprehensive look at the Village’s capital needs. Board and staff decided to accelerate these investment discussions because our capital needs will require multiple conversations during the budget cycle. For years, we had been deferring important investments, both in infrastructure and key assets. You might recollect that last year, we allocated capital to begin playing catch up on our fleet. DPW vehicles are necessary to repair our roads, pick up trash, and perform other critical public services, as our aged trucks and other equipment have become unreliable and expensive to continue repairing. That’s just one example of many. To ensure Scarsdale remains a great place to live, we need to continue to confront our needs and reinvest in our future.

One of the major capital projects that we’ve discussed over the past 18 months is our beloved pool complex. Built in 1968, the pool complex has outlived its useful life and is existing on borrowed time. In our extensive outreach efforts, our community unequivocally affirmed their commitment to the pool, and we will most definitely replace our community gem. At our fall meeting, the consultants from Lothrop Associates developed two high level concepts based on our survey results: the first, a year round facility and the second, a seasonal pool complex. Since that meeting, the Pool Special Assignment Committee, comprised of Trustee Ahuja, Trustee Brew, and myself along with Village Manager Cole, worked with the consultant team and conducted independent research, gathering information to determine whether a year round pool facility was viable for Scarsdale. At last week’s work session, findings were presented to the full board for discussion. As a threshold matter, the Board had to evaluate whether the Village could absorb the financial requirements and operational complexities of a year round facility. As stated in our press release issued Wednesday, December 7, “the Board came to a consensus that the construction and operating costs would be prohibitive, and that the financial commitment necessary to build and operate a year-round facility could limit the Village’s funding flexibility and capacity for other critical infrastructure and budgetary needs. Simply put, the financial risk exceeds the threshold that our Trustees, as responsible stewards of public funds, are able to accept…Scarsdale will now move forward with our consultants, Lothrop Associates to develop schematic design for a renovated seasonal pool complex. The Board looks forward to working with community groups and Scarsdale residents to shape and refine an appealing pool complex that best serves all members of our community, while preserving and honoring the essence of the pool experience, with its distinctive natural setting and easygoing, welcoming feel. It is our goal to provide all of Scarsdale with a sense of inclusion and belonging.

That special Scarsdale ethos was on full display in our Village Center earlier this month during our magical Light the ‘Dale event. With estimates of 2000 people in attendance, Light the ‘Dale offered something for everyone with a full program of festive music and activities, all thanks to our dedicated Village staff who managed every detail. Lights sparkled on our tree and menorah and the Village Center was packed with young families, empty nesters and seniors, all enjoying one another’s company, As I said in my remarks, “if we build it, they will come”, and Scarsdale does not disappoint. When given the opportunity to come together, side by side with neighbors, family and friends, we show up and together we create lasting memories. As this year winds to a close, we await with eager anticipation all that is in store for Scarsdale in 2023.

On behalf of the entire Board, we wish you and your family a joyous holiday season and very happy new year.

fieldlightsA well organized group of Quaker Ridge residents renewed their campaign against a proposal to install lights at Crossway Field at a pre-Thanksgiving meeting of the Scarsdale Board of Trustees.

Mayor Veron opened the meeting by wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and expressing gratitude to the board and staff who are committed to “making Scarsdale the best possible place to live.”

Discussing upcoming work, she said, “During this meeting, we will also discuss next steps for our two Special Assignments, the Mobility and Placemaking Study and the Pool Complex. Over the past several weeks, working groups and staff have gathered information to advance both projects. Most of the Mobility and Placemaking work resides now with staff as they are evaluating how best to operationalize pilots. On the pool side, subsequent to the community meeting earlier this fall, staff and the working group have been doing external research. The focus over the last six weeks has been to assess the availability of non-traditional sources of funding, such as public-private partnerships and to learn more about year-round pool operations.”

Kudos for Adamo

The Mayor read a proclamation honoring Thomas Adamo for leading the Scarsdale American Legion Post 52 for two decades and credited him with Memorial Day and Veterans Day celebrations and the Village’s Memorial Garden.

He said, “I loved doing what I did and for those who did it with me.” He mentioned the girl scouts and boy scouts and said he was thrilled to work with them. He thanked the Village Managers for working with the American Legion and thanked Mayor Veron for an honor “which I did not deserve for something that I loved to do.”

Residents Cry Foul

During Public Comments, many came to the mic to urge the Village Board to turn down a proposal from the Scarsdale Little League to install lights at Crossway Field for baseball games at night.

Sarah Bell, President of SNAP, read the following statement on behalf of the Presidents of Scarsdale’s Neighborhood Associations, urging the Board of Trustees to listen to the residents. She said, “"The Scarsdale Neighborhood Association Presidents ("SNAP") encourage the Mayor, Trustees and Village to give priority to the concerns of the neighbors who live adjacent to and would be directly impacted by installation of permanent lighting at Crossway Field. The overwhelming majority of neighbors who live adjacent to Crossway Field have determined that they would be adversely and directly impacted by the installation of lights and extended field use at Crossway Field. The Village places a priority on the Quality of Life of its residents which therefore requires the Village to give deference to the concerns of these neighbors and residents of Scarsdale.

Many others expressed their objections:

Lori Garfunkel of Lincoln Road said, “I object to proposed lights at Crossway Field.” She said, “The field is beautiful and enjoyed by many.” She objected to the height of the lights and the view of the “steel towers,” which she said will be visible for miles. “They would light the sky.” She continued, “We have an expectation of privacy at night. The question to ask is, is there really a shortage of fields?? She called for an independent review. She said, “Elsewhere they are placed on highways or next to industrial areas. Take a field trip to look at the towering poles. Little league guidelines are important measures. 80-foot poles are unsightly. Let’s keep Scarsdale’ tranquility, We can improve our fields but we do not need lights. We have the right to peaceful enjoyment of our property. No one bought a house next to Citi field or Yankee Stadium.”

Michael Potack of Harvest Drive said, “It is impossible to protect the cars from these balls…It is absurd to put this in a residential district – we want peace. I call this a foul ball.”

Michelle Castiello expressed her objections to lights. She said, “The field shortage is a problem that does not exist. Travel teams will not go away with or without lights. There is plenty of opportunity to play night games away. The towns that have these lights are in industrial areas
They will be a permanent eyesore 365 days a year. We need a study to see what the impact will be. No one who favors the lights thinks it is a good idea to place the lights in front of their homes.”

Erica German Harvest Drive said she has four children in school. She said, “I think it is so unsafe. Very dangerous in the dark. Even homes that are not around the field will be impacted by the lights.”

Dr. Jonathan Winn a cardiologist who lives on Franklin Road said, “I enjoy my backyard immensely. I love the view. I don’t want to see bright lights. I have lived here my whole life and its peaceful and quiet. I can’t see kids playing little league at 10 pm. It’s absurd. I don’t know anyone who lives there who is in favor of these lights.

Andrew Casden of Harvest Drive said, “In 1991 the county wanted to install a driving range with lights. We all opposed it, for the same reasons we are telling you tonight. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. If we install lights at Crossway – lets light up all of Scarsdale, the tennis courts, the pool and Brite Avenue. Let’s allow big neon lights in front of every storefront and break all the rules.”

Kaare Weber from 51 Crossway said, “I am deeply concerned about the proposal to light up Crossway. The prior Little League board was working with the Village to address many of the safety concerns. It was put on the back burner because of COVID. There is a major drainage problem at the field. I don’t believe there is a field shortage. On many days there are empty fields at prime times. People also park illegally on Crossway – which is dangerous. We only heard from the lighting company – not from an independent expert. I respectfully ask the board to reject this proposal.

Gerry Antell from Archer Lane said “I speak on behalf of 200 residents who reject this proposal. We are asked, why don’t we compromise? In 2005 we made a deal and allowed an upgrade of Crossway 3 in exchange for a promise of no night games on all of Crossway. SLL and the BOT and Mayor agreed to this. Many of the same neighbors are still here. Many of us knew about that negotiation. The agreement was followed and enforced. This time the little league has not backed down and the VB is considering a proposal despite the neighbor’s objections. We find ourselves fighting the same battle that we fought in 2005 – again. This is why the neighbors don’t trust the process. The lawyer said there was not good documentation of that compromise. The neighbors don’t want lights – we fought for this in 2005 and we negotiated a deal and now we are forced to fight again. Please listen to the neighbors and reject the lighting proposal.”

A Stratton Road resident said, “The proposal is wrong on many levels. There is a surplus of baseball fields in the village. The proposal contravenes safety standards. It irreversibly impacts the quality of life. We hear the noise in the summer in our backyards. To have this on many nights is highly objectionable. This proposal should be voted down.

Bob Harrison said, “We have to respect the privacy of our residents. They deserve peace and tranquility. I hope the Board will keep the quality of life for people who live in Quaker Ridge. He called for investing the funds in the unassigned fund balance to maximize the return. He said, “we now get between 2.25% and 2.5% on these funds and the marketplace is at 4.65% return on treasury bills.”

Myra Saul from 5 Lincoln Road spoke about the Crossway Lights. She said, “I don’t believe the lights will affect me personally, but I do believe any resident should speak out when they feel anyone will be adversely affected. This proposal strikes me as strange. To my knowledge the only lights are at the high school. Many residents can use these facilities. There have never been lights at Crossway and there should not be any now. All facilities close at dusk. The Little League facility was built with the expectation that games would only be played during the day. The Little League just wants to play at this one facility. It does not seem fair to saddle the neighborhood with this intrusive proposal.”

Brett Prescott of 7 Continental Road said, “I vehemently oppose this proposal. What data do you take into account? How do you eliminate bias? How do proposals from vendors make it this far – and what we can do to limit proposals that profit from the town in the future?”

Penny Kornstein, 15 Rural Drive said, “I have a clear view of where the lights would shine. I have sent emails to the Mayor and Trustees to express my disapproval of the lights. I have repeatedly seen people double parked on Crossway and Mamaroneck Roads, dropping off kids. I often see the fields empty. The idea that our fields are overused is ludicrous.”

Anne Hintermeister asked the Mayor for more details about the pool project moving forward. She wanted to know if three designs would be presented along with financial scenarios for a variety of plans? Has any design work been done?

Responding to residents the Mayor discussed the process for evaluating any proposed gifts from Village organizations. To Bob Harrison she said, “the Village is making careful decisions on investments based on the Village’s cash flow requirements.” And to Hintermeister, she explained the pool process moving forward.

Liaison Reports: Trustee Brew said that the library ran 76 programs reaching 3000 users in October and that civic groups held big events at the library. She encouraged residents to continue to check out the library website for library events.

Trustee Lewis who is the liaison to the Scarsdale Conservation Advisory Council and the Friends of the Scarsdale Parks thanked the CAC for making the village a leader in conservation. He said, “From the food scrap program to the new paint recycling program we are making a difference. In just the first weeks of its operation, the paint recycle program has processed over 4 tons of paint - a pretty incredible number. This old paint has now been recycled into new paint, and the cans have been recycled into new cans.”

He said, “I also toured a series of Scarsdale Parks including Hyatt Field, Harwood Park,and George Field, with Madelaine Eppenstein and Cynthia Roberts of the Friends of the Scarsdale Parks. The dedication of this team of volunteers is extraordinary, not only for their hard work, but for their vision. When you walk trails, see native plants and flowers, or are surprised by the beauty of butterflies attracted to the ecosystems of our parks, know that the Friends of Scarsdale Parks have played a role.”

He continued, “Our village is experiencing a construction boom - we all see it. Personally, I wish we had a stronger historic preservation code, and tougher rules on zoning and development. There are many viewpoints on this subject and its always a challenge to reconcile property rights with conservation and preservation. Yet, while we can debate some of these topics, there should be no debate about the importance of safety at our construction sites.”

“Developers make money by knocking down homes and building bigger ones. Yet, all too often we have seen the developers that profit off our community undermine the quality of life we experience through the noise they generate, the eyesore they create, and the traffic hazards they instigate. While there are developers who work responsibly in our town, there are also others who show a disregard for our quality of life, and community safety.”

“It’s the responsibility of developers who earn their living off our community to show respect for village ordinances and to ensure proper safeguards such as fencing is in place. Please reach out to the village professionals who are responsible for enforcement when you see a construction site that is of concern. They need our support, so let’s help them. I would encourage all residents who are concerned about development in our village to speak up, to write emails, and to let your voice be heard.”

Trustee Ahuja encouraged everyone to attend Light the Dale at Boniface Circle in Scarsdale Village on Friday December 2 with the Mayor, Santa, hot cocoa and food stations. Trustees approved a resolution to permit Westchester Reform Temple to place a menorah in Boniface Circle from December 2-5, 2022.

Trustees approved the subdivision fee for two lots at 29 Church Lane. The fee is 5% or $55,000 for the one new buildable lot. They voted unanimously to approve it.

They approved a public hearing on December 13 on a resolution to comply with fire code during construction.

Speed Limit Reduction

They adopted a code change to reduce the speed limit on Village streets from 30 mph to 25 mph excluding the Hutchinson River Parkway, the Bronx River Parkway, Post Road, Mamaroneck Road, Weaver Street, Palmer Avenue , Griffin Avenue and the Heathcote Bypass from Weaver Street to Secor Road. The move was approved unanimously.

The Board approved the following appointments to Village Boards and Councils.

Talaiya Safdar was appointed to serve on the Committee for Historic Preservation replacing Thomas Schroeter who resigned. She was formerly the alternate.

Marion Herman and Marcia Stern were appointed to the Advisory Council on Scarsdale Senior Citizens.

Vicki Tse was appointed to the conservation Advisory Council to fill the term of Seema Jaggi who resigned.

Watch the meeting here:

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