Friday, Jun 02nd

Can downtown Scarsdale attract more restaurants and nightlife? Scarsdale10583 received an enthusiastic response to a letter about the subject written by Julie Rosenblatt last week. Many people said they would love to come downtown to eat and shop at night and wanted stores to stay open late. They also hoped to see an increase in the number of restaurants in town.

What has prevented restaurants from opening downtown? It turns out that parking requirements and steep village fees are a major hurdle for those who want to open eateries in the Village. According to current Scarsdale Zoning Law, restaurant owners are required to either have their own parking spaces for patrons or to pay the village for the use of the limited supply of available spots. In fact the parking requirements for restaurants are double those of other retailers. 

However, all that may change soon. Now that Christie Place has been developed and includes a garage, the Trustees and the Planning Board could relax parking regulations and reduce fees. This would clear the way for restaurants to open in some of the large vacant spaces in town, including the former site of Waterworks. At the upcoming August 10th Village Board meeting, a resolution to change these requirements and bring them in line with other retailers and neighboring communities will be considered.

Lewis Arlt, head of the Scarsdale Chamber of Commerce also weighed on the possibility of keeping Village stores open on select evenings, saying, “It may be an idea whose time has returned.” He offered to spread the word to Village shop owners and to use the new Scarsdale Chamber of Commerce website to disseminate information about evening hours.

Watch for new developments on this issue on Scarsdale10583.

This summer has brought record-setting temperatures to Scarsdale. The thermometer reached a scorching 103 degrees on July 6. With many residents experiencing power outages, and water supplies limited, it is time to become creative on how to stay cool this summer.

I asked about 20 Scarsdale residents the question, “How do you stay cool this summer?” and I got some very interesting answers. Certainly the most common response was simply to stay in the air conditioning. Many people responded that they work in air-conditioned offices and the only time they have to worry about the temperature is walking into and out of the building. Other people said that they do not leave home if it gets too hot, and I don’t blame them! Others said they frequent the pool or the beach and spend a lot of time in the water and less time working on their tans.

After a long day at my friend’s pool the other day, she and I decided to cool off with some ice cream. I asked several people at Sedutto on Garth Road what they do to stay cool. While I got most of the usual answers, I did get the two most unique answers here.

“I work in an ice cream store and refuse to leave!”

“Honey, I’m going through menopause. There’s no staying cool.” But at least she enjoyed her ice cream!

A rash of car break-ins and vandalism plagued Scarsdale this week: Home Burglary: A Hampton Road man left his house briefly at around 10 pm on the night of June 29th. When he came back an hour later he found that someone had smashed the hinges of a side door and broken into his home. The house was tossed and cash, a necklace, a bracelet, a Rolex watch and a Tag wrist watch were stolen.

Car break-ins: A Quaker Ridge man parked his car outside of Zachys on July 4th around 5 pm. He went into the store to shop and when he returned to his car he found that his car had been entered and his blackberry, crocodile wallet, credit card and drivers license had been stolen.

Shortly after midnight on 7/3 the address sign from a Greendale Road home was thrown through the windshield of a car parked on Rugby Road. The sign punctured and damaged the windshield of the 2009 blue Honda civic.

The driver’s side window of a 2009 Audi, locked and parked in a Brite Avenue driveway was smashed during the night of 6/29-6/30. An Apple iPod was taken. The owner had set the car alarm but did not hear anything during the night.

That same night the front passenger window of a car parked on Brewster Road was shattered and a Magellan GPS device was stolen. Also on the night of 6/29-6/30, an unlocked car was entered on Brite Avenue. The owners license credit cards, pool permits, cell phone, credit cards and navigation system were stolen.

A 2008 Honda, parked in the Merchant’s Lot on East Parkway, was entered on July 2nd. The driver’s side window was smashed and an airbag was taken from the dashboard. The car belongs to an employee of Chase Bank on East Parkway.

A Hastings man parked his van on Birchall Road on July 4th while he was doing work on a house. At 8:50 am he saw an unknown man leaning inside his Plymouth Voyager with the driver’s side door open. The owner of the car yelled and the intruder fled. No property was taken and no damage was done to the car.

A Briarcliff woman parked her Toyota Sequoia at Scarsdale High School on the evening of June 29th . Vandals broke the front passenger side window and took the woman’s credit cards, purse, drivers license and checkbook.

Sometime between 6/30 and 7/3 someone entered a Scarsdale man’s car and stole his Scarsdale Volunteer Firemen’s identification badge. The car was unlocked and parked in the driveway. No damage was done to the car.

Harassment: On the morning of July 4th, a Scarsdale man received a threatening phone call. His wife answered the phone and the person on the other end asked for him by name. When he got on the phone, the called said, “you’re a dead man.” The man who received the call did not recognize the voice on the phone or the phone number from which the call was placed.

At 1 am on 6/28 a Scarsdale woman picked up the phone and the caller threatened to “put a bullet in her head.” The woman did not know who called.

Missing Teen: Black Birch Road residents phoned police when their 17 year-old daughter failed to return home on the night of July 2nd. She was supposed to come home after attending a carnival in Mamaroneck but did not return. Concerned parents drove to the home of the girl’s friend early on the morning of July 3rd, but she was not there. The reached her on her cell phone at 1 pm in the afternoon of the 3rd but the girl did not give her location or offer to come home. The mother got another call from the girl at 3:30 pm but still could not locate her.

Missing Phone
: A 15 year-old girl left her cell phone in a taxi on June 30th. Her mother called Central Taxi, who said that they had found the phone and would keep it in an envelope. However, when the Mom went to retrieve the phone, it could not be found.

A home under construction on Chesterfield Road was vandalized sometime between the evening of 7/1 and the afternoon of 7/2. Intruders damaged first and second floor walls and a chandelier in the entry. The sheetrock appeared to have been kicked in and smashed. There were no witnesses.

Two Penn Boulevard mail boxes were damaged on the night of 7/2-7/3. Both mail boxes were knocked over and found lying on the ground. In addition a real estate sign was knocked over but not damaged.

Graffiti: The words F#@$ You, spraypainted in gold on the supply shed at Edgewood School were discovered on the morning of July 2nd. The school’s maintenance man agreed to remove the graffiti.

Knife: Two employees at the Scarsdale Shell Station on Scarsdale Avenue had an altercation and summoned the police on June 28. One employee approached two others wielding a steak knife. The workers agreed to handle the matter themselves and no arrests were made.

Accidents: A 79 year-old Scarsdale man drove through bushes and ultimately hit a home at 39 Carthage Road on the morning of Saturday July 3rd. The man said his shoe came off and he was unable to apply the brakes. The Scarsdale Building Inspector was called to check the home for structural damage.

A Garden Road man driving east on Huntington Avenue on the afternoon of June 28th collided with a sanitation truck at the intersection of the Post Road and Huntington Avenue. No injuries were reported.

A Goshen man, driving south on the Post Road on the morning of 6/24 reported that his car drove over a catch basin. When he hit the dip in the road he felt a “pop” in his neck and shoulder area. The Scarsdale Highway Department was called to check the catch basin.

A Bronx woman crashed into a telephone pole on Popham Road and then travelled across Popham and collided into a stonewall on Friday morning 7/2. The woman was suffering from low blood sugar and she blacked out. The 46 year-old driver and her 78 year-old passenger were both taken to White Plains Hospital and Con Edison was called to fix the damaged pole

Before the Board of Trustees meeting that took place on Tuesday July 13th, there was a Law Committee meeting to review a lease agreement on Weaver Street. This was discussed quickly and behind closed doors and a decision was not made at that time. In addition, the trustees discussed and decided to cancel the Land Use meeting that was scheduled for Wednesday July 14th.

Mayor Stevens opened the July 13th meeting and Trustee Eisenman began by discussing Scarsdale’s bills and payroll. Mayor Stevens followed with her comments. She discussed Scarsdale’s water conservation and the restrictions on lawn watering that are now in place (the details of which can be viewed on the village’s website). Mayor Stevens commented that many residents have called her questioning the need for the new water restrictions since there is currently no drought. She explained that Scarsdale is facing serious water pressure issues especially between 5 and 8:30 AM, a problem to which sprinklers, are contributing. In addition, the village is experiencing issues with pumps and the backup pumping station is not working properly. Public safety is a serious concern if the water issues do not get resolved, which is why the restrictions are in place. However, Mayor Stevens noted that a number of residents do seem to be complying with the new restrictions and she thanked them for that.

Mayor Stevens also discussed the power outages that many residents experienced last Wednesday that were the result of a Con Ed sub-station outage. She said that Con Ed had a rather quick response to the problem by rerouting and installing several generators. Most people regained power by 9 PM the same night as the outage. Mayor Stevens continued by discussing two resolutions, one regarding the Open Space Fund and the other regarding the Ad Hoc Traffic Committee. The resolution regarding the Open Space Fund provides staff the ability to, among other things, research space for the adoption procedure if Scarsdale ends up using the fund. Mayor Stevens noted that communities that used the Open Space Fund had a positive experience and now have much greener space. The resolution regarding the Ad Hoc Traffic Committee is a resolution to begin exploring the feasibility of building a modern roundabout at the Heathcote Five Corners.

Trustee Toder continued after Mayors Stevens finished and commented on the Scarsdale firefighters’ response to the July 7th fire in Bengal Tiger, noting that the Scarsdale Fire Station’s Ladder 28 really helped with the response. 180,000 gallons of water flowed from Ladder 28 to help put out the fire. Trustee Toder said that the village was very proud of Scarsdale’s career firefighters for their bravery and of the volunteer firefighters for helping at the station while the career firefighters were in White Plains.

Village Manager Gatta discussed the construction going on in the village of Scarsdale on the bridge by the train station. While the construction has in fact been going on for awhile, it is now very visible and detours are in place diverting traffic (including pedestrian traffic). The detours will remain in place for the next 18 months. The first day of the detours, Tuesday July 13th, resulted in a lot of confusion among commuters and residents. Many people were ignoring the barricades completely. Mr. Gatta asked people to do their best to follow the detours, and he hopes people will get used to the changes. He advised commuters to leave an extra 2 or 3 minutes earlier than they normally would. Details of the detour can be found on the village’s website.

After a couple of comments and announcements from people viewing the meeting, the the trustees continued with the resolutions for the meeting. Trustee Toder presented a resolution on the Scarsdale Uniformed Firefighters Association “Day in the Country Event” to raise money for the Manhattan based Ronald McDonald house. The resolution, which was approved by the Village Board, approved the use of the Crossway Firehouse and the Scarsdale pool on July 29, 2010 for the “Day in the Country.” Trustee Toder then presented a resolution regarding the subdivision recreation fee of 123 Brambach Road. The resolution passed. Trustee Totdr also presented a resolution regarding the adoption in Scarsdale of “The Hudson Valley Preservation Act” and the establishment of an Open Space Preservation Fund. The Village staff is going to research what would be required to implement a community preservation fund, and to determine if such a fund would be beneficial to Scarsdale.

Several other resolutions were presented and approved; the acceptance of a gift by the Board of Trustees from Citibabes for cosponsoring an event, the establishment of mandatory laws for watering restrictions (making the voluntary restrictions in place since June 21, 2007 mandatory), the request for proposals for traffic engineering services for the roundabout at the Five Corners (as mentioned earlier), the approval of the Scarsdale Sidewalk Sale for July 29, 30, and 31, the participation in the Mutual Aid and Rapid Response Plan Intermunicipal Agreement, and the authorization of the Village Manager to execute the furnishing and delivery of one police motorcycle to NewRoc Harley-Davidson.

The annual Sidewalk Sale will be held in Scarsdale Village Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July 29, 30 and 31.  The Chamber of Commerce and village merchants invite you to come downtown from 10am until dark for great bargains, events for kids, music and food at local deli’s and restaurants including Lange’s and Chat. 

A petting zoo, from The Nature of Things of North Salem will bring exotic animals to Chase Park on Saturday July 31 from 11 am – 3 pm. Sensational balloon artist Scott Kazan will be bending and twisting balloons into unblievable shapes in Boniface Circle and DJ Paul Vito of Music Mixers will spin tunes for all.  Don’t miss the shopping, beginning Thursday July 29th and the fun in Chase Park on Saturday July 31st.

Parking is free at the Christie Place garage and metered street parking is availabe, as always.  Residents are also encouraged to walk or bike downtown. For more information, check out the Scarsdale Chamber of Commerce newly redesigned website here:

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