Wednesday, Jun 19th

cameraTrouble continues to brew on Richbell Road where feuding neighbors have now embroiled a Village Trustee in their trouble. For years, Ruth and Sandor Frankel of 17 Richbell Road have voiced ongoing objections about a home built on a flag lot adjacent to their home at 15A Richbell Road by the Tretter family.

In 2008, the Frankels and another neighbor, the Rose’s, hired an attorney to object to the construction of a swimming pool at the Tretter home, citing lot coverage requirements, potential drainage issues and the irregular shape of the property. For their part, in the summer of 2010, the Tretters complained about Mrs. Frankel playing very loud music outside. At a June, 2011 Planning Board meeting, Sandor Frankel called the Tretter home “the 10,000 square foot MacMansion built in the back,” and complained about water issues in his basement.
The Frankels did not feel that the Scarsdale Building Department were enforcing Village code and they were also unhappy with the response they received from the personnel in the department. As a result, in February, 2012 Ruth Frankel submitted a petition with 200 signatures to the Village, lodging dissatisfaction with the Building Department.

On April 11, 2012, Sandor Frankel came before the Village Board to voice a complaint about drainage caused by the construction of the Tretter’s driveway. He again conveyed his dissatisfaction with the response from the Village, and suggested that their inaction could be retribution for the petition filed by his wife Ruth Frankel.

At the 4-11 meeting, Frankel told Trustees, “I am not here to address the dirt issue where we have been forced to swallow dirt during the construction. The Village gave me no protection. I am here to address the unilateral, unauthorized change in the topography of the Tretter’s driveway.” He explained, “This narrow neck of property has been the focus of controversy between the Tretter’s and the Rose’s since the Tretters began their construction project.”

He continued to claim that the grade of the Tretter’s driveway had been changed so that it now drains onto his property -- and also stated that a drainage pipe has been installed inches from his property that will cause the water to flow onto his land. He said that the Tretter’s project had caused “tens of thousands of dollars in damage to his garage,” and urged the Trustees to come to visit his home that night to view the exposed drainage pipe.

Possibly in response to these claims, on the morning of April 13, 2012, Trustee Robert Harrison went to the property to investigate. He was spotted by Ilyse Tretter on her property taking photos of her driveway. In a letter to Trustee Harrison that was also submitted to the Village Attorney, Mayor and Village Board on April 13, Tretter says, “As I orally stated to you when I caught you in the act, not only were you unauthorized to walk about our property uninvited, but we also believe that your conduct is inappropriate for a Village Trustee.” Tretter also objected to private conversations Harrison has had with the Frankels that she received via FOIL requests and said, “More to the point and regardless of your subjective motivations, it is improper for an individual Trustee to involve himself or herself personally in one homeowner’s dispute with another about a building project,” and added, “Obviously, it is highly irregular for you to trespass on our property to take pictures with your camera in the name of your personal fact-finding. Please recuse yourself from any further communications or actions regarding our property.”

Also, in the file from the Village was a hand-written note from Ruth Frankel, dated April 10 and received at Village Hall on April 11. In the note, Frankel asks for all copies of correspondence between Trustee Brodsky and “the Traders”, concerning the development at 15A Richbell Road. Frankel then says, “Because of this conflict of interest, Ms. Brodsky should not be allowed to have voted on this development issue.”

Village Manager quickly replied to Frankel. In a letter dated April 12, he says, “ It is assumed you mean Mr. and Mrs. Tretter who reside at 15A Richbell Road,” and lets Mrs. Frankel know that a search has turned up no files and there is no correspondence. He also says,” in regard to the allegation of the conflict of interest between Trustee Brodsky and Mr. and Mrs. Trader (sic.) there is no supportive documentation for me to consider looking further into the matter. As such it is taken as a mere assertion that is unsubstantiated. Therefore, until further information is provided there will be no follow-up.”

The correspondence and FOIL requests are on the agenda for the April 24 meeting of the Scarsdale Village Board of Trustees.


bobcatwildLast week's story about the bobcat sighting on was picked up by Fox News and ABC news. Unfortunately neither network gave credit to the original source ... but we thought you would enjoy watching the video. Click here to see the story on Fox Five and click here to see the story on ABC news .






trustees4-2-12_copyIf you were out of town or out of commission this week, here’s what happened in Scarsdale: Recently elected Scarsdale Trustees were sworn in at Village Hall on Monday April 2. Kay Eisenman and Jon Mark will serve their second two-year terms on the Board, while David Lee will join the Board for his first term. Justice John Galloway (not shown) was also sworn in for another 4 years of service to Scarsdale. (photo credit: B.K. Munguia)

At the Heathcote Five Corners construction continues next to Balduccis, where SuperSol will move into an 11,000 square foot superstore with two levels of underground parking. Of more interest are events at Massa across the street.  Al Pirro, the former husband of former Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro now denies punching a waiter in a drunken brawl at the restaurant on the weekend of March 26. The fight began over a missing cellphone. Though the management of Massa had no comment for massaspring2012Scarsdale10583 on the fight, we hear the food is delicious and you should pay them a visit.

Next door, in the Massa parking lot, developer Frederick Fish continues to move forward with a plan to build luxury condominiums. The Village agreed to sell Fish a small strip of land that is now the driveway to the parking lot to incorporate into the project, provided that he did not request any variances to build the project. However, a new survey of the property revealed unexpected site conditions and Fish is now asking for parking and setback variances. The Heathcote Five Corners Coalition, accused the developer of “bait and switch” tactics and called for the Board to deny the sale of the village land to the developer now that the conditions of the term sheet have not been met.

heathcotemanor4-12And further down Weaver Street, progress is oh-so-slow on the construction of Heathcote Manor. In 2011, trees were cleared and a long concrete retaining wall went up. After calls from residents, the wall was faced with stone and some landscaping was done. Recently three stone columns appeared at the entrance. However, to date there are no signs of the nine home development that is slated for the property. Planning for the development has been in the works for 20 years. Developer Ron Paisner of Pais Built Homes promises an update to Scarsdale10583 in two weeks.

At the high school, we spotted sisters Talia, age 4 and Gabriella, age 7, enjoying some sunshine and selling lemonade at the high school track on Wednesday April 4th during a high school lacrosse game. Adorable.lemonade4-3_copy

And last, Scarsdale is awash in magnolias, cherry blossoms, forsythia and daffodils. See this beautiful display.



bobcatlsmallFirst it was coyotes, then burglars … now Scarsdale residents have another intruder in the area: A Greenacres mom who lives on the border of Scarsdale and White Plains reported two sightings of a bobcat in her yard this week. Here is a first-hand account of the incidents:

"The bobcat was spotted by two separate caregivers on Monday and Tuesday, (4/9 and 4/10) who both gave exact descriptions - small head with cat face and large body with long striped tail closer to the size of a dog and much, much larger than a house cat. It was first spotted on Monday at 2pm in my backyard, which is on the Scarsdale/ White Plains border in Greenacres. My 2 young kids were on the swing set and the cat was 15-20 feet away walking slowly then continued walking away towards Scarsdale. On Tuesday the cat was sighted at 3:30pm while the kids were again in the yard. My 2 year old kept yelling "cat, cat" until my mom realized she was pointing to the bobcat on my lawn, again only about 15 feet away and creeping slowly. I called the White Plains police first (border house) and they denied any similar reports and seemed completely uninterested in taking a report so I didn't pursue it with Scarsdale.”

The resident did not get a photo, but here is one picked up from the web: bobcatwild

The Westmoreland Sanctuary in Bedford has been tracking bobcats in Westchester for six years and has reported over 50 sightings. Nearly half were recorded in 2011 and they believe that the population is growing.

According to their site, “The average size of a bobcat is generally described to be twice that of a normal house cat. Average weight of individuals is 20 and 26 pounds for females and males, respectively. The fur is dense, short, and spotted, generally appearing reddish in the summer and grayish in the winter. They are usually solitary with exceptions during the breeding season and when females are rearing young.”

Are they dangerous? Bobcats are also discussed in local blog All About Armonk , where Adam Zorn of the Westmoreland Sanctuary, says,“Should the public know that there are bobcats in the area? Yes. Should the public be concerned about the well-being of pets and children? Not really. Their secretive and shy nature creates a highly improbable scenario in which anyone may come into direct contact with one of these animals. In very rare instances, wildlife (bobcats included) may pose a threat to humans when cornered, injured, or ill. These anomalies shouldn't be dismissed but also should not be cause for an unnecessary level of concern.”



brp3The Junior League of Central Westchester (JLCW) will participate in “Pitch In for Parks,” in coordination with the Bronx River Parkway Reservation Conservancy (BRPRC), to clean up the Bronx River parkland on Sunday, April 15th from 10am to 3pm.

The Reservation is a significant natural feature along its 12.5 miles from the Bronx border to Kensico Dam. It provides valuable green space passing through densely populated urban areas like Yonkers, Mount Vernon and White Plains, as well as the hamlets, villages and towns of Bronxville, Tuckahoe, Crestwood, Eastchester, Scarsdale and Hartsdale.

“Pitch In for Parks” is the largest single-day volunteer activity of the year for Westchester County Parks. The JLCW’s participation is being coordinated by the “Let’s Save the Earth” committee, and will be staffed by JLCW members, their families, and friends. The JLCW welcomes any additional help from the community. The JLCW is planning on vine cutting and trash pickup. Trash bags, disposable gloves, and tools for vine cutting will be provided, but we recommend bringing your own heavy-duty garden gloves. Also please remember to wear suitable clothing, and bring some water bottles, especially for your children.

Help the Bronx River Parkway Reservation Conservancy care for our County's first park, and the location of the nation’s first public parkway designed explicitly for automobile use. Volunteers are asked to meet at the location, on the pathway just north of the Harney Road entrance, on the day of the event between 10am and 3pm. Nearby parking is available on Garth Road.

Please call 914.723.6130 or email, if you have questions.



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