Wednesday, Jun 19th

Letter to the Editor on the Proposed Changes to the Building Code

2DellRoad(This letter was written by Jim Detmer of Woods Lane)

To the Scarsdale Village Board of Trustees:

A few thoughts on the recent land use proposal:

The initial land use proposal put forth by BFJ is a compromise where neither side of the issue gets everything they want. That is to be expected. So I would say an initial step with a lot of work still to do.

BFJ was very clear in that the desired improvement would be the aggregate effect of all their recommendations. The Mayor was very clear that this analysis is multi-faceted with historic preservation and aesthetics still to be considered in the near future.

While new ideas like maximum lot coverage and site disturbance sound good, I am not sure how it translates to reducing bulk and mitigating storm water issues… very difficult to visualize. Is there any way to model how these proposals might impact a building parcel? Or , for example, take a lot like 25 Taunton Rd., which in the opinion of many is over built ,and show a comparison between what has been built and how the new proposal would have impacted such a building.

Similarly, is there anyway to measure the impact of these proposals, along with the other Village storm water projects, might have on flooding in our high prone flooding areas?
Including gravel and asphalt as impervious materials is a good stroke

The empowerment of the Planning Board early in the process will hopefully mitigate issues with cross messaging. The whole permitting process needs to be laid out so the public understands it.

The proposal positively increases side yard setbacks in most residential zones. Yet there is no notable decrease in allowable FAR. FAR remains the same. FAR remains a problem . Why do we need building bonuses? FAR incentives? Surrounding communities have no such thing. FAR is the biggest contributor to bulk appearance.

Further it seems a modified version of a sky exposure plane needs to be introduced for smaller lots. You won’t be able to see the sky in A-5 and A-4 zones. Otherwise, you have 32 foot side walls 10 feet apart creating a townhouse effect. Perhaps toeing to the original building plot for demolitions is a solution in the A-5 ,A-4 zones

Tree and tree canopy damage need to be recognized as a major issue in all these discussions. Many of us think of the trees as an afterthought. Yet they are integral to our health 'the earth’s health and the beauty of our community. We need to ensure they are center in our decisions.

Monitoring and consequences for compliance failure need to be developed. Fines need to be substantive.

Thank you for your work.


Jim Detmer
29 Woods Lane

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