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11 Dolma Road Will Stand: Board of Trustees Denies Appeal to Raze Historic Home

11DolmaRoadThe Scarsdale Board of Trustees announced a long awaited decision on the preservation of a historic home at 11 Dolma Road at their meeting on March 9. Trustee Seth Ross presented the Board’s findings after a hearing was held to appeal the decision of the Committee For Historic Preservation who turned down the application to raze the house.

The Board heard that appeal on February 4, 2021 and then deliberated in private on whether or not the home met the criteria for preservation as dictated by Village code. At their hearing on September 29, 2020, the Committee for Historic Preservation found that the home met two of the criteria for preservation:

-That the building is the work of a master; or

-That the building embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period or method of construction that possess high artistic value;

However, the Board of Trustees decision went above and beyond the ruling of the Committee determining that the home met three criteria:

The home contributes to broad patterns of history: The building style and design of the home are important to this historical significance of the building of the town of Scarsdale, and it is emblematic of the suburbanization process that made the town what it is today.

The home is the work of a master: The board determined that architect Julius Gregory was a master. The Village sought counsel on this matter from architectural historian Andrew Dolkart who stated that Gregory was “a specialist in suburban homes, and among the most talented architects in the United States.” The Board agreed and concluded that Gregory was indeed a master of his craft.

The home embodies distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction that possess high artistic value: The home is an English Norman-style house, and although it has been renovated in the past, these modifications were sympathetic to the original design. Mr. Dolkhart stated that “the talented architect Julius Gregory, whose work can be seen in other areas of Scarsdale, designed a huge French farmhouse at No. 11, one of the finest houses of the type in Scarsdale. The L-shaped brick house has a polygonal corner tower and an entrance set beneath a shed hood, a sophisticated rendition of a vernacular rural French design.” The Board agreed that the house met the standard set for this criteria.

So after many months of deliberation, the house stands.

Executive Search Firm

Earlier this year, Village Manager Steve Pappalardo announced that he is retiring in the summer of 2021. Leaving big shoes to fill, the Village and the Board of Trustees is now searching for a replacement for this critical position. In his introduction, Mayor Samwick announced that after a competitive selection process, the Board has chosen the firm GovHR to conduct a nation-wide search to fill this role.

Joellen Cademartori, the co-founder and CEO of GovHR, introduced herself and explained that before starting her company she worked in local government for 24 years. She has direct knowledge of the needs of a smaller local government and will be conducting a thorough national search and a competitive review process to bring the most qualified candidates to Scarsdale. The Board voted to retain GovHR.

Scarsdale Elections

Scarsdale Village Elections will be held on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, at the Scarsdale Congregational Church from 6:00 am – 9:00 pm.

On the ballot are four candidates nominated by the Scarsdale Citizens Non-Partisan Party:

Mayor: Jane Veron
Village Trustees: Sameer Ahuja, Karen Brew and Jonathan Lewis

While the deadline has passed to have an absentee ballot mailed out, residents can pick up an absentee ballot from Village Hall until the end of the day on Monday, March 15. Absentee ballots can be delivered until the polls close on Tuesday.

Manager’s Comments

Village Manager Pappalardo addressed the ongoing issue of the late tax payments by several hundred Scarsdale residents resulting in almost a million dollars in penalties and fines. To help residents financially during the hardship caused by the pandemic, Scarsdale switched to a two-installment system for tax collection this year. While this change was implemented to help ease the burden of tax payments and was encouraged by residents, 6% of taxpayers failed to pay their second installment on time, and as a result they accrued sizable penalties.

Manager Pappalardo expressed his deep regret for the situation but stated that the Village is legally unauthorized to grant any relief from the late payment fees to these residents. Additionally, the Village is legally not authorized to accept any amount less than the amount due.

The Scarsdale Libraryteenroom

Trustee Waldman announced that the Scarsdale Library is finalizing plans to reopen in a limited capacity. Teen Services Manager Jennifer Brinley has launched the Library Teen Advisory Board, which held its first meeting last Saturday. The group will work to develop events to appeal to teenagers and will develop a weekly teen services newsletter to provide information and updates.

Dine The Dale

Trustee Justin Arest announced that the Dine the Dale tent hosted by the Small Business Association will shortly be back in town. In addition to providing Covid-safe support for local restaurants, the initiative will encourage residents to frequent the Village center and shop at all Village businesses.

Other Amendments and Resolutions

Amending the Constitution of the Advisory Council on Communications: Under current rules, members of the Advisory Council on Communications are not permitted to join any other Scarsdale boards, councils, or commissions. An amendment to permit AAC members to join one other board, council, or commission passed unanimously. The change is intended to increase the wealth of experience and knowledge on Scarsdale leadership teams.

Public Hearing on a Local Law Amending Chapter 205 of the Scarsdale Village Code Entitled Noise Pertaining to Gas-Powered Blowers. The Board voted to schedule a Public Hearing on the issue of limiting the use of gas-powered leaf blowers for Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 7:00 PM .

The Board approved an agreement with Westchester County to provide for a reimbursement for the Scarsdale Youth Sports Program for up to $3,688, payable quarterly.

The Board approved an intermunicipal agreement with Westchester County to provide reimbursement for the Scarsdale Edgemont Family Counseling Services Youth Services Project of up to $3,418.

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