Saturday, Nov 26th

Letter to the Editor: Hartsdale Resident Requests Environmental Study of Proposed Netting

golfcoursenet(This letter was submitted by Rudolph Rinaldi of 120 East Hartsdale Avenue, Hartsdale)
Letter to the Editor: On August 11, 2022 at 7 pm , the Greenburgh Zoning Board met to go over its agenda. On that agenda was a proposal by the Scarsdale Golf Club to seek a variance from the town of Greenburgh to make modifications to its property, supposedly to improve a number of surrounding conditions. Included in the proposal was an illuminated tennis bubble and several netting structures on the perimeter of the golf course to prevent golf balls from striking the adjacent properties.

I am the president of 120 E Hartsdale Ave Corp, one of those adjacent properties, a 110 unit co-op building not 35 feet from where the Scarsdale Golf Club is considering installing a 75 foot high by 150 foot long netting structure with 75 foot high steel poles. Our building, along with many other buildings on East Hartsdale Ave adjacent to the golf course, with some 1000 families in 6 and 7 story high apartments buildings, strenuously objected to the proposal because we felt that the proposal would have a major negative impact on the environment and the community and furthermore these impacts were not properly studied or represented by the Golf Club or the Town.

At the hearing, our community submitted papers pointing out many of the deficiencies in the proposal and the process that it has been going through.

The golf course is a major greenspace in Hartsdale. It is part of an Eco-system that supports the health of the community and the natural surroundings. The natural environment created by the greenspace with its lake and trees, performs the same function today as would a bird sanctuary or nature preserve. .

Our major objection to the proposal is that neither the Town nor the Golf Club did the type of scientific study necessary to determine the true impact of the proposed structures on the surroundings.

For example: the two so called experts with close relationships with the Town and the Golf Club, basically stated that the netting would not hurt the birds flying into it too badly and that the proposed netting is the same netting used in zoos and aviaries to contain birds. There was nothing in these document that studied or represented the environmental impact of the netting on the health or habits of our migrating and local birds. The fact that President of the Greenburgh Nature Center actually resides behind the 16th green, supports the safety of the nets for birds, and would be benefiting from the installation of netting in the proposal does not sit well with the community. We feel strongly that this tarnishes the whole discussion of the netting in the proposal and process and that an independent environmental expert should be retained to do a proper study.

At the hearing, because of the lack of a real study, some statements were made by members of the Zoning Board which we felt told only half the story (The Scarsdale Golf Clubs half of the story with its omissions and spins to support the golf Club’s positions). Unfortunately, the other half of the story, the true impact on the community and environment, was left out.

On a greenspace site of this importance and within a large surrounding community, we cannot rely on only half-of the-story statements and the story must be made complete before the Golf Club is allowed to move forward with their proposal. For if the Golf Club and town is wrong either intentionally or unintentionally, about what they have been saying about the visibility of the bubble, the impact of the proposal on additional flooding and wetlands and the impact of the netting on the community and birds, then bye bye downtown businesses, bye bye birds and bye bye Hartsdale.

We in the community appreciate and support the Scarsdale Golf Club as a neighbor and understand their desire to make the club the best that it can be, but we must ask at what cost to the community and environment?

Sincerely ,
Rudolph Rinaldi, President
120 E Hartsdale Ave

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