Greenacres Man Pleads for Village to Stop the Construction of Tall Retaining Walls on Kingston Road
- Wednesday, 06 January 2021 16:22
- Last Updated: Friday, 08 January 2021 07:57
- Published: Wednesday, 06 January 2021 16:22
- Joanne Wallenstein
- Hits: 2471
What do you do when you find out that a developer is planning to build two rows of 130 linear feet of six foot high retaining walls on the hill in your backyard?
A. Ask the Village Engineering Department for help.
B. Appeal to the Board of Architectural Review.
C. Launch a petition to gather support from neighbors.
D. Retain counsel, an engineer, an urban planner and an architect.
Brite Avenue resident and realtor Mark Nadler took all these steps and still has no answers as to why the Village would permit a developer to build an 8,000 square foot house on a steep hill and extend the backyard through the use of tall retaining walls, which would loom above the Nadler’s backyard.
The developer is not even required to submit a rendering of how the property and walls would look from the bottom of the hill where Nadler’s home sits.
The property in question is at 4 Kingston Road, where the developer has applied to “to construct 2 or 3 retaining walls spanning approximately 130’ to maximize the size of the yard and house to accommodate a 44 x 20 in-ground pool with a complex of patios, spa, BBQ, bars and gas fire-pit surrounded by .65 acres of landscaped gardens and lush lawns,” on a property to be listed for $3.795 million.
Nadler contends that the project will require the “removal of over 30 large, medium and small trees and all foliage and will create a tall wall that will be a permanent visual eyesore in the neighborhood.”
Nadler’s queries go unanswered with the Board of Architectural Review saying they don’t get involved with the engineering department and the engineering department saying they don’t look at aesthetics.
The project will be resubmitted to the Board of Architectural Review at their January 11 meeting and the Zoning Board of Appeals will review the application for the pool at their meeting on January 13. At the June 2020 meeting of the BAR, when the plans were first presented, the applicants submitted two sets of drawings, one with two rows of retaining walls and another with three. No one noticed until Nadler’s lawyer reviewed the project after the meeting.
Nadler is appealing to neighbors to do the following:
B. Request that all Board of Architectural Review (BAR) members and the Mayor and Trustees walk the property before the meeting in order to see the steepness of the property and that the site is not suitable for this project. There were no pictures submitted by the developer.
C. Consider attending the zoom meetings and speaking up against the destruction of the hill and construction of massive retaining walls during the proposed renovation of 4 Kingston Road.
The meeting to approve the project is the Zoom BAR meeting on 1/11/21, and the meeting to approve the pool (pending approval at the BAR meeting) at the Zoning Board of Appeals is on 1/13/2021.
Nadler asks that you forward the petition to neighbors in Greenacres and Scarsdale for their support to stop the destruction of the hill.
Here are the links to see what the developer has submitted to the Board of Architectural Review:
And here are the documents for the Zoning Board of Appeals:
Below is a letter from Nadler:
Dear Mayor, Trustees, BAR members, Zoning Board of Appeals members,
I am sending this email with the urgent request that 4 Kingston Road, Scarsdale be given your attention for an additional few moments. Please forward this to the BAR and ZOA members if needed.
As the downhill neighbor of this proposed renovation, expansion and in-ground pool project, the system has not worked properly to give this the appropriate review it must have.
As a result, I have been forced hire an attorney, engineer, urban planner and a firm to represent me (and my neighborhood) and create simulations of the proposed development at significant expense to me to make sure my objections are heard.
I am emailing you now with several requests:
1. Please walk the property prior to the meeting on Monday to see the steep, unsuitable property where the developer wants to expand the yard over the hill and erect several retaining walls. The developer has not submitted a single picture, or rendering of the hill in the entire time this project has been submitted. You are welcome to physically walk in my backyard so you understand the significant loss of value to my property if this project proceeds as presented.
2. Please make sure I am allowed to have my experts present at the BAR meeting. They will have visuals and reports to present and must be allowed to be heard and NOT just under public comments. The June zoom BAR meeting was not a forum where this could be done or people were allowed to raise issues.
3. Please attend the BAR and ZBA meetings (if necessary) to make sure you see what is presented as I need you to be informed as this will negatively impact the neighborhood.
Below is the email I have sent to the neighbors and other Scarsdale residents. There are approximately 350 people who have signed the petition in opposition to this project since Sunday night.
Please email or call me with any questions.