Saturday, November 25, 2006

EDGEMONT CIVIC LEADERS PROPOSE MORATORIUM ON RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT ON CENTRAL AVE

Edgemont civic leaders are encouraging the Greenburgh Town Board to approve a moratorium on residential development on Central Ave. Residential development does not generate the same amount of taxes as commercial development. Commercial development on Central Ave generates taxes for the Edgemont school system and no additional students to educate. What are your views?

70 comments:

Anonymous said...

Edgemont Civic Leaders, Edgemont Civic Leader, Edgemont Civic leaders......I seem to hear that a lot from this town. Maybe we'd be better of letting them seceed from the Town, or inviting them to move back to Manhattan.

Edgemont is not the only part of this town, yet it seems to be where the majority of the complaints come from and the supervisors attention go to.

I agree with the point that commercial development is better then residential, but I can almost guarentee the minute someone proposes something commercial, the "Edgemont Civic Leaders" will find something to cry or complain about as well.

From a resident of Hartsdale....the forgotten Greenburgh community.

hal samis said...

Why now?
Why just Central Avenue?
Because a few people in Edgemont (the "gem" of Greenburgh) are concerned that another residential project might be built, perhaps on the site of the old Bally's health club.

In anticipation of these self-styled civic leaders from continuing their pilgrimages to Town Hall to tell their sad tales via "important" letters to the Town Board, I am writing this screed -- but there is a proposal toward the end.

Let me guess, Michelle McNally will read a letter on behalf of the "entire" Edgemont asking the Town Board to pass such a moratorium. If there are any Edgemonters who do not support her groups conclusions, let the Town Board by attending meetings. They only speak because they know that their supposed mandate is too lazy or self-absorbed to register a different voice.

And the Town Board will even seriously entertain this moratorium; after all it is the Christmas Season.

Ignoring that in the past this august body, the Edgemont Communicty Council, has fought against commercial development, has complained about traffic on Central Avenue and is also fighting the Ridge Hill development because it might harm (somehow, someway) Central Avenue, let me try and understand why their concerns are more valid than those who actually own Central Avenue property and pay taxes upon it.

Private property used to mean something in this country. Then curious changes in the attitudes pf the "haves" happened; citizens began to believe that private property was really owned by everyone, even if everyone did not pay to acquire or to maintain it. In Greenburgh, like other communities, the good of the "people" regulates how private property is to be utilized. And often the party that pays belongs to the class of "have nots".

Zoning and Planning laws began to expand to protect the rights of other land owners, not only contiguous but also near, or even miles away. The rights of the targeted land owner became subordinate, if non-existent, to those rights of the "community".

So in addition to FAR, setbacks, height restrictions, historic preservation, steep slopes, architectural design, exterior color and materirals, wetlands, permissable bulk, parking requirements, location of a driveway, traffic flow, school proximity, landscaping mitigations, even the manner of alternative energy sources, the good people of Edgemont now want to go beyond what is already covered as permissable under existing zoning laws and propose a section-specific moratorium because they don't feel protected enough already. Now they want to include zoning codicils to preserve their school system from the possible infiltration of that most dreaded species of mankind, newcomers.

The theory is that new residential development would likely bring families with school age children.

This would be ok if these newcomers would just buy at inflated prices, one of the homes for sale by those existing residents who have prospered while living in Edgemont. Now their children are grown up, nearing the end of their days in the Edgemont school system and it is time for these citizens to leave Greenburgh for, say, downtown White Plains or even NYC.

But before they go, they want to maximize their homes' resale value and one way to do it is to lessen competition by not allowing new homes to be built.

Why worry about those whose net worth is tied up in the ownership of property on Central Avenue?

Ok, if this is to be the way the game is played, I propose the following rule change: if a municipality wants to place a moratorium on development within its borders, then do something to lessen this burden on the owner.
If you want to "protect" some entity at the expense of the property owner, then give something back for this "taking" or "borrowing" of their property.

Thus, while the moratorium is in effect, no real estate taxes, no school taxes, no sewer taxes, no fire district taxes...no taxes will be applied, no taxes will be collected, no taxes will be owed.
Pay (dearly) for the time that "you" need to enact an even more rigorous set of codes so that the affected property owner can be even more burdened.

There is no rational argument that property which is rented at the onset of the moratorium should be exempt from such amelioration. An owner may want to sell his property and find its market value diminished by the moratorium and the uncertainty of its value post moratorium. A property which could have been developed during the moratorium will be unable to do so and thus rising costs of later development may be incurred. What does a property owner with an expiring lease do if he seeks to re-develop his property, wait out the moratorium and keep it vacant (no income) or re-rent the space and postpone his re-development. There are many reasons that a moratorium has economic impact, generally for the worse, on all afffected property, whether rented or not. Thus, all owners should receive compensation in a moratorium.

If this solution doesn't work for the Town, there is also the idea of a concurrent moratorium on home sales in Edgemont. If a spot mortorium is acceptable to those civil libertarians of Edgemont, why should a similar "spot" prohibition not be equally acceptable? Or, perhaps, to lessen the burden on all Edgemont sellers, how about deed restrictions prohibiting the sale to any buyer who has school age or might be contemplating producing school age children. If the building inspector finds children living at the subject address, he would be empowered to suspend the CofO.

Your reaction to this might be that a small group of verbal Edgemont fascists are inviting a different look at an all unified Edgemont. Attacks on Democracy and Civil Rights are ok if they are aimed at "commercial" property owners or an LLC. When such issues strike at their own homes, then these measures are an unthinkable and unacceptable by-product of a very small group's misadventures. And, please, no chorusus of it could happen on Tarytown Road or Route 9. In swordplay, the misdirection is called a "feint". That is also true when Edgemont expresses interest in say, northwest Greenburgh...

But you never know how far politicians are willing to bend, especially with less than a year before next year's local elections.

And for the record, I do not do own any real estate in Greenburgh or have any business relationships with any Central Avenue property owners.

Anonymous said...

Hal,

Are you secretly a Bernstein supporter? Because tirades like yours will drive more people to support a Village, once the A/B budget issues are resolved. I am sorry you apparently hate Edgemont. If you have constructive suggestions for the Hartsdale part of Central Avenue (which has much more vacant land), I suggest you take them to the Hartsdale civic leaders. And they are not forgotten, you just choose to say so.

hal samis said...

Dear anonymous (the run-of-the-mill cowardly type):

I am all for Edgemont becoming a Village. Go for it. But the reality is that there is no chance of this happening and the threat (wolf! wolf!) once used to be good for articles in the local papers.

So what is left to "them"? Is there any mileage to be gotten from "give us what we want or we'll secede"? I think not.

You are completely missing the point of my "tirade" if you think that I have any ideas for the portion of Central Avenue which is in Hartsdale, the area where I live.

Why should I have ideas? I don't own the parcels. I don't believe the owners of the property seek or want my advice...or anyone else's.
And that is exactly the way it should be. When you (anonymous) are ready to take "advice" from committees and civic leaders on what color to paint your house, perhaps you will be brave enough to sign comments with your name and not hide out as anonymous.

Again, let me try to make it quite clear to the those lacking the processor element within their skulls: No one who owns property needs civic leaders or civic groups to come up with ideas on how their property should be developed. There are parcels for sale on Central Avenue, buy one for yourself and develop it accordingly, meaning as the ECC would like. There's a good business plan...

If the concept of private property and free market economy are no longer to be followed, then somehow, missed by The New York Times and the local media, is the news that Communism really won the Cold War.

It is happening here.

Anonymous said...

So Hal,

YOu see no need or ability for Towns to have zoning? Or if towns can have zoning, no need to change to ever change or update it?

Anonymous said...

Does commercial generate more traffic jams than residential?

Anonymous said...

hard to say where traffic comes from; some of the worst jams are getting to train stations and schools -- which is generated by residences

hal samis said...

Dear anonymi:

I do not HATE Edgemont. There are many very reasonable residents living there. None of them are named Anonymous. Are you seeking to divert scrutiny away from the issue by starting a race war? In fact I admire the so-called Edgemont civic leaders for their skill is taking the rest of the Town for a ride. The only problem I have is when drawing the Edgemont Card in a popular Town Board game.

"Take a ride on on the Edgemont Railroad. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Roll the Dice and pay Edgemont 10 times the amount thrown."

And I am not against all Zoning laws. And from time to time existing laws do need change or updating. But what does not follow from this is the conclusion that there is such a crisis at hand in just one section of Town, that a "spot" moratorium must occur while the matter is studied and subsequent legislation drafted IF A PROBLEM CAN BE SHOWN as a result of study.

And to answer the question, commercial (retail) generates more traffic than residential because shoppers come and go continuously.
Commercial (office) generates traffic during the morning, lunchtime and late afternoon as workers arrive and leave. But the number of workers in Central Avenue office buildings is de minimus. Residential generates those leaving home and returning from work, school bus service and otherwise generally little throughout the day. But don't get fooled by the categories. It is the size and number of units within these builidngs that generates traffic. A small store may generate 20x the hourly traffic of a small office building while a large office building may generate less traffic than a large residential complex.

The thing that Edgemont "civic leaders" would have the rest of Greenburgh overlook is that the number of prospective sites large enough to generate economically feasible residential construction is maybe four or five locations with at most three located in or near Edgemont. Note that residential or condo development in the segment above "affordable" would require two parking spaces per unit to be MARKETABLE with today's two income families. Thus, because of the narrow and otherwise small parcels currently assumed as developable on Central Avenue, there is only a handful that would justify the economics of such a project, none of which would come close to replicating the number of units which now exist.

This is a typical "tempest in a teapot" created by a circle of, maybe, five Edgemont residents who know how to frighten the rest of the Community. Facts seldom accompany their fear mongering.
Certainly the Treasure Island and Barnes & Noble sites are not going to produce any appreciable number of residential units -- if the owner(s) decided to re-develop them.

And, should we really be thinking moratorium because the Carvel (for how many years did everyone argue it was ugly and should be torn down) may or may not be doing well?
What "Plan" is needed to insure its survival?

What it comes down to is the concern that the Dilmagani site could become residential due to the efforts of the Edgemont leaders who blocked its proposed commercial re-development. It is an insult to the Community for these Edgemont leaders to return to the well again and again and ask for "relief" from problems that they have caused. History does not begin at page one every time Edgemont (read five people) gets a new itch on their dorsal side.

Some residents have memories which go further back than yesterday. And this presents a very real problem for those in Edgemont who seek to return their borders to the era of "frontier justice".

Anonymous said...

Hal,

How can you say Edgemont is favored or is taking Greenburgh for a ride:

1. Hartsdale -- got town to purchase Harts property -- kept roads and schools less crowded.

2. Villages -- dont get charged parks, union day care, young center.

3. Irvington SD -- got taxter ridge property -- again, protected roads and schools.

4. Valhalla SD and Fairveiw FD -- nuf said.

5. Proposal for Ardsley FD housing


AND WHAT DOES EDGEMONT GET -- NOTHING

Anonymous said...

Well EDGEMONT CIVIC LEADERS, let's see you now take a stand.

Stand up and tell us that as part of this moratorium of your concurrent willingness to accept WESTHELP or affordable income housing on those parcels. Maybe even a Westchester County sex offender facility.

Chirp, chirp. Is that the sounds of the crickets in the silence?

Talk is cheap, so step up now and declare to all the Town Board your willingness to accept Homeless / Sex Offender housing in your "community".

Chirp, chirp. I thought so!

Anonymous said...

well maybe if Greenburgh bought the dilmanghani/european health spa land and turned it into a park. Why does everyone else get parks.

hal samis said...

I can remember those "civic leaders" of Edgemont urging the Town Board (as though it needed any urging) to vote for the Taxter Ridge purchase and the Hartsbrook purchase. How they stood on the Lousiana Purchase and Seward's Folly was before my time.

Do all of Edgemont's problems come down to who's got the most parkland? Is that why they want a moratorium? Do they think that stopping residential development on Central Avenue will allow the Town to purchase any of those parcels for conversion to Parkland?
Dream on. Do they expect that the Town will purchase the most expensive acreage in Town and the highest yielding in tax revenues to all taxing authorities and then make it into a Park which can be enjoyed by neighboring Edgemont residents?

It really is quite hard to "suffer fools" lightly.

Perahps they desire to acquire some of this land for their own Village Hall?

Surely the discussion of a sought after Central Avenue moratorium is not about Parks. If anything, this stupidity is driving me to distraction, a destination rightfully calling out for a moratorium.

OLD EDGEMONT ADVOCATE said...

Edgemont gets nothing? Are the Crane Pond enhancements nothing? Were the Cotswold Park improvements nothing? Was the town helpful to Edgemont leaders when Midway shopping center wanted to expand their complex (against the wishes of Edgemont leaders)? How come Old Edgemont is the only neighborhood in the town that gets red brick sidewalks (the most expensive sidewalks to repair)? I live near Crane Pond and think the town is, has always been, very helpful.

Anonymous said...

Edgemont was for Taxter? The only thing I remember was Bernstein warning that if Taxter were purchased, it should be charged town wide.

As to "improvements" -- they pale in comparison to real purchasors others get.

Anonymous said...

Hal,

No one really expects the Town to purchase any park land in Edgemont, unlike what they have done for other areas, like yours, Hartsdale. That is why the moratorium, so that sensible growth can be thought out, is only fair.

Anonymous said...

Old Edgemont,

I thought that the only reason Old Edgemont has brick sidewalks is becasue they paid to put them in -- which is apparently the only way any one in Edgemont gets sidewalks.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me what the Edgemont Recreation Corporation is? I am under the impression that it uses the Town recreation facilities and staff, but limits participants to Edgemont school district residents only. I am not aware of any other school district in the Town that can use town parks and staff and exclude others from their programs.

Greenburgh Taxpayer said...

ERC sponsers teams, like Dads Club in Hartsdale that play some sports on Town owned land. The better question is why are the Ardsly and other teams that have residents from the villages allowed to play in the league. The league is open to all town teams. The question is why teams including village residents are allowed.

The summer camp that ERC runs is not on town property.

Anonymous said...

"The summer camp that the Edgemont Recreation Corp. runs is not on Town property" you say.
I've seen the 'Edgemont residents only' summer day camp at the Town Pool where Edgemont kids get swimming lessons from Town lifeguards as part of their Edgemont exclusive day camp program.

Anonymous said...

Hey EDGEMONT CIVIC LEADERS, cat got your tongue?

Chirp, chirp.

Chirp, chirp.

NIMBY EDGEMONT!

Time to put up or shut up about WESTHELP and Sex Offender housing. Now’s the time to make your offer to accept it in your neighborhood, as part of your moratorium demand or go find something else to complain about.

Let the cricket's melody begin!

Chirp, chirp.

Chirp, chirp.

Anonymous said...

GO FOR IT Edgemont Civic Leaders! Get the moratorium and then see if you can bring some class to Central Ave. You're intelligent and well connected folks. Have you ever wondered why Eastchester gets Lord and Taylor, Brooks Brothers and Ann Taylor and Greenburgh gets Kmart and other assorted ugly big box stores and chintzy strip malls? I sure have.
You have a lovely community, and probably have the demographics that the good stores want. Maybe there is not enough space for the really nice big stores, but there must be smaller ones that would add a badly needed touch of class. You would be doing the whole town a big favor - tax wise and "ambience" wise. Think Miracle Mile (a la Manhasett) on a smaller scale. Set your sights high. Get the folks in Hartsdale on board. Don't settle for the ugly stuff that has been approved in the past. I bet everyone in the entire Town would be with you if you could make progess on this.

Anonymous said...

I assume all edgemont kids are resident in unincorporated greenburgh. but if you want to start a witch hunt, lets go after the elmsford and ardsly and other kids in the leauge who dont even live in unincorporated greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

and what sex offender facility is in greenburgh??

Anonymous said...

Veteran pool allows members to bring guests.

hard to believe that

1. Most of the kids dont beleive to veterans

2. ERC pays a fee

3. anyone else who belongs to Veterans can take lessions, arrange for lessons and bring guests.


but i am really glad you brought this up, because I want the situation addressed that the Sports leagues (soccer, baseball) use town fields that are only paid for by unincorporated residents so why are village teams (or part village teams) allowed. Yes, I want an answer.

Anonymous said...

dear anon at 5:54

I agree with you, but people like Hal want to destroy any Hartsdale/Edgemont working togehtor

Anonymous said...

The town funds the sidewalk maintenance in old edgemont. It's very expensive.

Anonymous said...

Red brick sidewalks are more expensive than asphalt or concrete. A mason has to be hired - it's a slow process.

Anonymous said...

Well, Hal is one man out of the thousands in the Town. I am grateful for his scrutiny of the Library's building budget. He must know as everyone in Greenburgh does, that Central Ave certainly needs a vision. I can't believe that everyone Town wide is content with the schlock on some parts of it - especially the folks who live closest - Edgemont and Hartsdale.

Anonymous said...

http://greenburghtruth.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

dear anon at 7:25

I think that Hal's hatrid of Edgemont blinds him to other things

Anonymous said...

dear anon at 7:25

I think that Hal's hatrid of Edgemont blinds him to other things

hal samis said...

Dear really stupid or state of anomie:

"Come on kids, let's put on a show." Mickey Rooney to Judy Garland et al.

"We can get really cool, hip, SOHO stores to rent space on Central Avenue, if only we can get a moratorium." Edgemont leaders to
Edgemont trolls.

I don't want to destroy the possibility of Edgemont and Hartsdale working together. In fact I think they should band together today and start by boycotting all those "schlocky" stores on Central Avenue that they abhor. Pardon me if I get confused: is Carvel a schlocky store or does it fall under historic preservation protection? Without Edgemont/Hartsdale customers, those stores will soon go out of business, making the real estate available for all those "good taste" stores who have been dying to get in. After all, not only are the local roads traffic free and there is a liberal signage policy in effect but also Central Avenue is served by the popular #20 bus, bringing all those wealthy customers from the Bronx. Bringing with them not only their wallets but their sales taxes which have something to do with balancing Greenburgh's budget. On the other hand, if there really are customers for the schlocky stores, meaning that they're not being operated as a tax loss, their patrons (not anyone that the Edgemont and Hartsdale mafia know, of course)) will vote with their dollars to keep them open. So, perhaps a boycott by the well to-do of Edgemont and Hartsdale won't be enough. What then can this group, newly bonding with a singular but common purpose do?


Right from the start, these cojoined Edgemont and Hartsdale leaders should identify which are the schlocky stores. That should only take a few minutes because everyone is of a single, cooperating mind. Next they should ask the Town Board to create a new committee: the Edgemont-Hartsdale Central Avenue Board of Taste. Perhaps the Hartsdale Parking District can provide them with temporary office space.

With this Board in place and ready to make sweeping changes, the Chief of Police should be asked to assign officers to a new unit: The Fashion Police. They should be charged with maintaining the high standards of those cutting edge, to-die-for stores such as Lord & Taylor, the Gap and the Banana Republic. And let's not leave out Borders; just because they have a store in Eastchester and one in White Plains, we should have one on Central Avenue too. Screw Barnes & Noble. By the way, how dare The Banana Republic, or even The Gap, ignore Greenburgh. Perhaps the Town Board could issue a Resolution supporting an invitation to upscale retailers "to check us out". After all, people already come from all over New York State to use Taxter Ridge. Maybe, the mighty Edgemont leaders and their Hartsdale counterparts could organize a fact-finding tour of Post Road in Eastchester and maybe they would even note that there is no left turn lane from Post Road into that fabulous strip shopping center. Be still my heart and be quiet ECC.
And why stop with Eastchester; if Beverly Hills can have Rodeo Drive, Greenburgh can at least have the Beverly Center.

Where was the mighty ECC when SAks closed in White Plains. Why didn't civic leaders rush to the store executives and say, "We're really not Caldor's or Kmart people, we're a Saks kind of town." When Bergdoff Goodman surrendered their lease to sister Neiman Marcus, why didn't Edgemont send an envoy to sound out Bergdoff? Hint: selling point, we're just on the other side of the tracks from Scarsdale. For that matter how did the good people of Eastchester ever stand for De Pinna having the audacity to go out of business? What an insult!

Say has anyone noticed how the White Plains downtown which has a lot of high-end stores, and their share of big boxes like Sears, Walmart and Target, is located just off 287 and thereby serving the upscale markets of nearby Stamford, Greenwich, Rye, Harrison as well as interior roads leading to Larchmont, Scarsdale. And how exactly do you get to Central Avenue from 287 after you have already passed White Plains?

Let me save the Town $15,000 and a lot of study. A quick course in site selection.

Location, Location, Location.
Logistics, Logistics, Logistics.
Local Law, Local Law, Local Laws.

Little Land Lots vs
Large Land Lots,
Little Land Lots Lose.

ECC/"Leaders", ECC/"Leaders"/ECC
Oppose everthing and there will be nothing left to oppose.

And, what's wrong with our local Real Estate Brokers? Why are they turning away Tiffany, Todd, Fendi, Prada, Armani, Gucci, Ferragamo, Jeffrey etc. when these stores are begging to have a store near to Edgemont?

Why would the owner's of Midway want to put in stores like CVS and Red Lobster and Linens N Things when they could have the above fabulous tenants -- all of whom lose sleep at night over the missed opportunity to be doing business in the heart of Greenburgh's very own Platinum Mile, Central Avenue.

Maybe, these stores' site people got wind of the hard time that Edgemont civic leaders gave to the Midway owners' when they unveiled their redevelopment plans. I'm sure that all the objections by citizens and the ECC regarding signage, traffic, waste disposal, landscaping, height, selling space and parking would have "gone away" if the tenant mix would only have been Petrossian, Barney's, David Yurman, Gucci, Coach and Thomas Pink.

We need a vision for Central Avenue and we only need about $145 million to condemn and rebuild Central Avenue in this vision.
Some folks also have a vision and they have a lot of experience in realizing it. This vision is called Ridge Hill but we wouldn't want this vision here because we're the masters of our universe, we're the outspoken civic leaders who know how to criticize and run other peoples real estate and we know we're right because we like to do our shopping in stores that aren't crowded or cause traffic problems.

It is child's play to show-up my fellow residents who were born without the common sense gene or any sense of how real estate is managed. What takes no common sense or expertise is to stand on the sidelines and bait the Supervisor.

Nevertheless, thanks to anonymous who recognizes that my other calling, the Library, is similarly held in high esteem by the same species who would call for a moratorium on Central Avenue while rushing a Referendum on Tarrytown Road.

hal samis said...

Dear 9:09 anon,

I can't see your point.

Anonymous said...

Oh heck Hal - You replied to my comment of 7.25pm. I don't live in Hartsdale or Edgemont, or own real estate there, and only know vaguely two people who live there - so no profit motive or political axes to grind on my part.
It sounds like you're saying we're on the way down vis a vis Central ave. and let's not stop until we hit bottom when the entire Ave is populated with Dollar General stores. I have more faith in the folks in Greenburgh. We can do better than that. You can do better than that. Maybe a moratorium is not the answer - but something should be done and if Edgemont volunteers, I say they should go for it. We might all be a lot better off - if they use their brains nad political skill to help clean up a mess. If I looked at Central Ave. every day, I sure would want to do something about it.

Anonymous said...

A moritorium on residential development sounds like a great idea for Edgemont for the simple reason of school system size. I may be mistaken, but that is the main rationale for the proposal, no?

Greenburgh Taxpayer said...

Thanks anon at 10:57.

A better Central ave benefits all of greenburgh.

Greenburgh gets property taxes, not just edgemont. Greenburgh divides up sales tax on the basis of population. So lets not be like, so busy hating Edgemont (probably becasue they dont vote for Feiner) that we cant try to see Central ave improve.

Anonymous said...

Has the Edgemont School Board approved any resolutions supporting a moratorium? If the Board has how can residents of Edgemont obtain copies?

Edgemont Resident said...

At a board meeting a couple of months ago, the board indicated that they did not feel this was within the scope of their present work -- they rely on the town to handle zoning etc. and concentrate on school policies.

I think this is a good policy. No one can do everything -- or at least not everything well.

hal samis said...

What a clever propoganda strategy.
Portray me as hating Edgemont.
For those who are unaware, Edgemont is a School District so by substitution what is being said is that I hate the School District.

I don't hate anyone in Greenburgh be they from Edgemont, from the Villages, or the rest of unincroporated.

What I do do is react, often with disappointment, or disappointment and disagreement to their understandable but still unacceptable human beheaviors of saying "my ox" is more important than your ox.

The few residents of Edgemont who pose as representing the entirety are mostly intelligent, verbal, informed but still self-absorbed. They, like others elsewhere, have come to believe their own press releases.
However, after the smoke has cleared, they are just folks who are protecting their way of life, their homesteads, their property investment and their way of life.

I, on the other hand, have not sent my son to a local school, do not own any real estate in Greenburgh and generally do not have any ties, commitments or money at risk in the Community. This frees me from the normal responsibilities to myself and family so when I speak it is without these commitments and without their acquired prejudice.

Edgemont "leaders" have long had the playing field to themselves. These leaders have attended Town Meetings and have paid their dues, perhaps more so than the many free riders who have not actually done anything more involved than post an anonymous blog.

My problem with these "leaders" is that they ignore what they said yesterday if doing so helps establish today's position. Worrying about an expanding school age population and its effect upon their schools is a legitimate concern. Calling for a moratorium on "assumed" residential construction is a means to preserving that end. This is a reasonable position to take if you live within Edgemont borders.

However Edgemont is only a part of the "continent" and Central Avenue belongs not only to Edgemont or Hartsdale but also to the entire Greenburgh and to a lesser extent the contiguous communities of Yonkers and White Plains. If this argument does not sit well with bloggers, then proposing conditions to Yonkers regarding Ridge Hill is also invalid. Greenburgh is not an island unto itself (yes I am referencing John D) and certainly a moratorium which aids only Edgemont is not something which benefits all Greenburgh (exactly what is the loss from multi-family real estate taxes (to Greenburgh, the Town) vs commercial taxes). And beyond the Greenburgh economics discussion remains the issue of whether it is right or fair to penalize all indvidual property owners along Greenburgh's portion of Central Avenue because one or two of these owners may decide to re-develop their property into residential (now, as the housing market deteriorates and lenders are less likely to take on new multi-family projects). But whether these fears are groundless or not isn't the issue. Why are the concerns of a School District any more valuable to the community than the concerns of those who own this property and made the initial investment to acquire it and have since paid the real estate and school taxes that are part of the property maintenance.

If the concern is that the re-development will lead to more school children attending an over-burdened school system, then the conclusion is not the in-between dance of a moratorium but the direct to the jugular action. Clearly Edgemont is not proposing a moratorium to gain time to expand the school system; they are seeking time to stop residential construction dead in its tracks and pass new, more restrictive Zoning laws. So why hide behind the charade of a moratorium, a temporary measure?

That is why I attack the few individuals who pose as "civic leaders". It is because they are hypocrits of the highest order. They hide behind a new-found love for commercial development while in the past they have put forth their mighty efforts to halt or reduce commericial development or place intangible restrictions like signage restraints. Now, under their newest fears that someone else should have the opportunity to move into their turf where the schools are great, they raise the bridges, martial the troops and guard their forts against this danger. Now commercial development and traffic are good and new homes are bad.

Like I said they have a right to this opinion and the resulting steps to obtain this. That is their position but it does not mean that I, or other residents have to embrace it as well.

The bottom line, after all the buzz words and positions and from-the-heart "pitches" to persuade others, is that Edgemont wants new Zoning laws to prevent new residential development on Central Avenue. And they don't care whose rights are trampled or who else will suffer enroute to this outcome.

If this translates to them as hating Edgemont, I can't stop them from thinking or writing but there will still be some Greenburgh residents who remain unconvinced of this conclusion.

Anonymous said...

Hal,

You have done such a good job at articulating your point of view. I presume you will be volunteering for Feiner.

hal samis said...

Dear 1:45,

Thank you for your compliments.
However I don't understand the Feiner reference. Has he taken a position on the moratorium?

If he comes out against the moratorium, it will be for me a reason to volunteer. But before I take that chair, do you know if anyone else is asking to be seated at the table?

prisoner of central ave said...

One small suggestion that costs nothing - change the name of central avenue to something that speaks to what we want the road to be.

Stuck in Traffic said...

Lets not forget who sullied Central Avenue with that ugly 9-11 wall in front of Webb Field (the last stretch of open land on central ave between white plains and yonkers), Feiner and then board of rubber stampers like Juettner and Barnes

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think the name is Central Park Avenue. As much as Mr. Samis seems to think there is no need for a moratorium, I think with planning, Central Park Avenue could be more vaulable to landowners. We need to address the concrete strip in the middle, filled with weeds, as soon as you leave Yonkers. We need to address why utilities are buried in Yonkers and not Greenburgh. And as the goodlooking x635 pointed out, we need to get the sewer system working so that when it pours the water doesnt bubble up in the street. We need to address what is going on with gaseteria. If there are environmental issues, we need to put pressure on the owners to get it fixed.

Parts of Central Ave are looking nicer. Now is the time as someone else said to prevent a street of dollar stores and see what can be better.

Anonymous said...

"So why hide behind the charade of a moratorium, a temporary measure?"

Good point. Yes, it's new zoning laws that are needed to prevent any additional residential development on Central Park Avenue, particularly within the Edgemont school system's border, but perhaps for the entire distance of Central Park Avenue in Greenburgh. (What's Greenburgh school system's situation like? Can they handle more students?)

Anonymous said...

The point of the moratorium, which I think Greenburgh has had before, is to allow time for a study. And yes, Central 7 must be considered too.

Anonymous said...

"We need to address the concrete strip in the middle, filled with weeds, as soon as you leave Yonkers."

Even though there is no "Welcome to Greenburgh" sign as there should be in front of Pizzeria Uno, the unmaintained median strips have clearly indicated for years that you have entered Greenburgh.

If you somehow miss Greenburgh's non-existent roadway maintanance between just north of Ardsley Road and just south of Fountain Lane, the start of messy, old-fashioned, overhead utility wires is another giveway that you have entered Greenburgh.

The signage at town lines that "all bicyclist" must wear helmets is another clear indicator that you've entered Greenburgh. (Whoever did those signs - probably at Greenburgh DPW - should be fired. Whoever hung them and didn't even notice needs to enroll in a third grade ELA class.)

Twisted street signs (Inverness/CPA), trash-covered sewer grates ... the list could go on and on with ways we're welcomed to Greenburgh. Heck, who'd want to build residential or commercial on Central Park Avenue anyway?!

hal samis said...

Dear Would-be Weedkiller,

South Central Park Avenue would even be more correct but since I take up a lot of space anyway, let's stick with Central Avenue.

Guess what, your quarrel may be with the State regarding the weeds. Central Avenue is not a Greenburgh local road and it is the State which is responsible for maintenance. Do you think having a moratorium on residential development will pressure the State to get out there with a weed wacker?

If you want to discuss why utilities are buried in other communities but not in Greenburgh, do you think we need a moratorium on residential property development to undertake this?

If you want to know why the sewer system isn't working, then ask Mr. Al Regula to return to his job running the DPW and stop spending his time sugar-coating the Library's dilemma?

If Gaseteria is an urgent problem for you, how do you think a moratorium on residential construction will solve the problem?

Maybe you know someone in Edgemont who will be able to explain how these problems will go away if the Town Board will only yield to their request for a residential moratorium?

And while you're doing something like getting answers instead of creating questions, maybe you should ask some land owners if they would favor a moratorium. Be sure to tell them it would be of value to them. While you're waiting for your answer set up a picnic table at Gaseteria, watch the weeds grow and have lunch. That way you'll not only have food for thought but I hope you get gas as well. Especially since you're already blowing a lot of hot air around.

And before you respond, take one more look at what this blog topic is about. It is posted right at the beginning. I'd like to help you out but which way did you come in.

Next...

Anonymous said...

Hey EDGEMONT CIVIC LEADERS, we are still waiting for your response

Chirp, chirp.

Chirp, chirp.

NIMBY EDGEMONT!

Let all of Greenburgh know of your willingness to accept WESTHELP and Sex Offender housing in your special neighborhood. Now’s the time to speak out and step up, as part of your moratorium demand or go find something else to complain about.

Talk is cheep and the EDGEMONT CIVIC LEADERS lack of honesty is so transparent.

Ignore this e-mail just like you ignore anything else you can not defend.

Anonymous said...

Valhalla,

There is no sex-offender housing in Greenburgh.

If you want to talk about locating Westhab, please also discuss your return of the previous years payments from Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

There is no sex offender housing in Greenburgh. There is sex offender housing within walking distance of Greenburgh- at the county shelter in Grasslands.

Anonymous said...

OK, so your point. There is no burden on schools because of this. If there are insufficient police, say so.

Anonymous said...

I think the leader in the Lets discuss the valhalla payment is rosenberg -- from dobbs ferry

Anonymous said...

So EDGEMONT CIVIC LEADERS, is that your proposal? When Valhalla "returns" the money that it previously received from what was believed to be a legal contract, you will then propose that EDGEMONT immediately accept WESTHELP housing in your neighborhood for absolutely no compensation.

Can't wait to see all the names you get on that petition.

Chirp, chirp.

Chirp, chirp.

NIMBY EDGEMONT!

Keep ignoring these e-mails just like you ignore the facts.

If you have INTREGRITY like you are so willing to mimic in your sanctimonious statements, stand up right here, right now, state for Supervisor Feiner and the rest of the Town Board (if they even are willing to admit that they remember that they are on the Town Board at this point) your willingness to accept WESTHELP housing in Edgemont for absolutely no compensation. Might as well admit to your willingness to accept Sex Offender housing right next to your community's border, because you feel that distinction is SO important.

Chirp, chirp.

Chirp, chirp.

Anonymous said...

so anon,

why do you keep picking on edgemont, when dobbs ferry rosenberg led the charge on the rental fees?

Anonymous said...

So -- no answer Mr./Ms. Chirp Chirp

as to why you would force this only on Edgemont, and not Dobbs Ferry -- is it just part of the Supervisors general policy of Edgemont should pay for, etc. everything.

Anonymous said...

I guess maybe we all should feel bad that EDGEMONT is feeling "picked on".

Maybe you would feel better if EDGEMONT was the community that was lied to by the vocal majority of the Town Board. Mind you, they feel absolutely no remorse in not honoring their commitments, in fact they don't even admit to remembering them.

Where is their effort towards "how are we going to fix this mess we created"?

As opposed to having Young Kaminer threaten people, why don't they put him on the case of coming up with a solution.

This whole thing smells of dirty politics, just like the County Board of Legislators.

If you want to get the Dobbs Ferry petition going to accept this WESTHELP housing go ahead. I don't think that there are going to be anymore names on it than the EDGEMONT petition.

Is proper punishment for Vallhalla believing in the integrity of their town government and contracts, to make them keep the WESTHELP housing? They are 15 years into this deal with a total of 3 years of compensation.

If this is such a great deal, why don't we hear of the rest of the towns and villages begging for their opportunity to share the burden?

The silence is deafening.

Look up the definition of hypocrite and then come back and rail on against Valhalla for believing in the INTREGRITY of elected officials.

So EDGEMONT, still feeling picked on?

Anonymous said...

I dont feel picked on, I just feel you are being ridiculous, and that VSD is in a very weak position.

1. The state report should be public soon -- everyone anticipates it will say that the arrangement is illegal -- but OK, we can wait to see it.

2. In addition to it being illegal -- and no one has any proposal as to how to solve that now -- much of the money was spent on questionable items. Not all, but a lot -- trips for politicos kids, cruises, etc., salary for a "double dipper".

So if you have no credible arguement, you can call Kaminer and the Edgemont people names. I do not think that will be productive, nor will stall any legitimate demands for return of the monies.

Anonymous said...

Good to see your consistency here.

Avoid the facts, and don't even address your community’s interest (or lack thereof) in taking on the WESTHELP and Sex Offender burden.

As has been said before:

Chirp, chirp.

PS - Guess you didn't take the time to look up the definition of hypocrite.

PSS- Calling Young Kaminer names? Let us hear the call from the "indigent" Board Members on whose behalf one can only assume whose bidding he has been doing. Where is the long-winded pompous preening for the cable TV cameras from the headless horseman and horsewomen on that one?

Where do YOU stand on addressing that issue?

PSSS- Please respond to this blog response in a manner that as usual, avoids the facts and attempts to deflect attention from the truth. We would have it no other way!

Anonymous said...

As I thought.

Chirp, chirp.

hal samis said...

I understand that you could buy crickets at the reptile show at the County Center for around $15 per 1000 (don't ask how they count).

I say this because if you are waiting for an answer from Edgemont you won't even hear the crickets, this being almost December.

But, in lieu of reading my even longer entry near the end of November comments, I will repeat the theme here because it references the topic at hand.

The government can't please all the people all the time, no one can, be they the Supervisor, the Town Council or even Jung Kaminer.

And it is equally stupid to assume that just because we all live in Greenburgh we are going to have the same wants and needs or even get along with each other. This even precedes the era of A and B budget partisans. The Hatfields and the McCoys have long ago moved to Greenburgh, both families changing their names to Anonymous and it still ain't one big happy family or jes folks.

There are three seminal school district issues of note in Greenburgh and from this desire to "save the cheerleader", we have as the result: the purchase of Taxter Ridge, the money to the Valhalla School District and now, on this blog entry, stop the "threat" of residential construction in Edgemont.

Everyone has an ax to grind including me. My ox was gored when Edgemont decided to ignore my pet project, the Library expansion's misconception and misdirection (now staring everyone in the face) because the ECC's leitmotif was to get Feiner at any cost even it was a $20 million plus $13 million in interest cost. To acknowledge the inevitability of the Library misfire was to make Feiner stronger because he was correct when he cautioned about rushing to the May referendum vote.
Even if it is true that he wanted it in November because he expected a greater voter turnout would vote it down, is this any different from the Library position wanting it in May because they had greater hopes that they could get their team's voters out. And the very first thing we know is that the reason given for the earlier Referendum date was that, in so doing, there could be a Spring 2006 construction start. (Fill in for yourself how this turned out). When Feiner proposed that an independent Project Manager was needed and that there was no oversignt in place, he was again right. A bitter pill for some Edgemont "leaders" to swallow. So, when I see Edgemont leaders hoping from one issue to another with the hopes of delivering the fatal blow, I wonder why these $10, $100, $1000, $10,000, $100,000, $1,000,000 issues are so important but a $33,000,000 one is not. The word hypocrite forms in my mind.

Then when I see Edgemonters make a big fuss over a gift to the East Irvington school district (town share $4 million plus interest plus upkeep) or the Valhalla school district $5 million +/- over ten years none of which is "out-of-pocket", I wonder that if these actions are wrong, then why would it be a more honorable action to provide Edgemont with their very own tailor-made moratorium to ward off an as yet phantom danger. And this "spot" moratorium would be the second edge of a sword aimed at Central Avenue property owners: first they pay real estate taxes and might also be paying Edgemont school taxes while Edgemont wants to further diminish their right to the full enjoyment and rewards stemming from their investment. The moratorium is not going to add to the value of existing parcels, whatever happens whereas if it succeeds in creating stricter zoning, this will further diminish the value of what is owned.

So what makes what was wrong in East Irvington and Valhalla right when it happens in Edgemont? If no one understood the first two agreements when they originally were negotiated and signed, aren't the leads in our current melodrama familiar by now with the revised
script?

Anonymous said...

Hal,

Who is looking to develope residential property on central avenue?? The only vacant land is in Hartsdale.

why are you making a mountain out of a molehill? why do you hate edgemont so much?

hal samis said...

Dear back to hating Edgemont,

Those in real estate know that property that is "improved" (has buildings on) can also beome vacant land simply by demolishing the buildings. And it is often economic to do so.

Thus there is certainly vacant land in Edgemont unless you think that Atlas shrugging will forever be a permanent fixture or blight upon the landscape.

But today I am told that the fear is not from the small nickel and dime plots. The ECC has a much greater fear on their plate or at least they are trying to get their way by creating a much bigger fear.

Let's try this one on for size and the source is a respected Edgemont resident.

The Midway Shopping Center site has "as of right" status to develop almost 400 residential units.

Speaking as a real estate professional, I doubt that this will ever happen but what you see isn't necessarily what you get.
Newly signed leases could have demolition clauses. Leases can be cancelled for cause i.e failure to achieve specified sales volumes. Leases can contain buy-out provisions on a declining scale based on unexpired term.
Leases do expire and leases on different units can be written with
the same expiration.

Why would the owners' consider such a radical course of action? Various family members may be in disagreement. The opportunity to realize substantial gains from creating condominium sales could exceed the capitalized value of the net operating income. The owners may be frustrated in their dealings with the EEC and the way the public adds up what is selling space and its required parking vs how the owner calculates. Etc.

The timetable? Years away if ever.
Plenty of time for Edgemont to expand their school system. Certainly, beyond the scope of a moratorium life.

The likelihood? Their store census is not exciting and lacks synergy while the lack building depth limits the possibility of meeting the larger store requirements of most chains. However, its prime location would be a good laboratory for new store concepts.

Alternatively, if it were redeveloped into a "life style center" of just four or five complementary stores, it would be viable. However with just four or five stores, income stream disruption from potential vacancies would be felt on the bottom line, even with a tenant waiting list. Or the entire plot could one day ben an IKEA. None of the various retail scenarios would have any deleterious effect on financing.
But, the issue remains is whether the NOI would be better served from rental apartment units or as a condo sale or land sale to a large builder, say Avalon Bay.

If I lived in Edgemont should I be worried today? No.
Then when? 10 years down the road.

Come back and talk moratorium in about 6 years.

Anonymous said...

Hal,

If you are so concerned with property taxes for Greenburgh, why dont you do something positive, and get involved with a Hartsdale civic association. There is undeveloped land, right now, with no buildings, on Central Avenue in Hartsdale.

But I guess you are too busy being anti Edgemont.

Oh well.

hal samis said...

Dear your ignorance is showing at 7:49am,

Civic Associations represent neighborhoods in which the members reside. The are meant to give residents who live in proximity a louder voice and to pass along information in a pre-blog world.

Therefore you just don't join any civic association and when you do, you must fulfill the requirements of their charter. If a civic association doesn't already exist in your neighborhood, one can always attempt to start one.

There is no civic association in my neighborhood that I am "eligible" to join. In lieu of that, I did join the Council of Greenburgh Civic Associations which is an "umbrella" like the EEC is to Edgemont but CGCA also includes the EEC.

Do you infer that because there is undeveloped land on Central Avenue in Hartsdale, that it can be mine or a civic associations for the taking? That I can just assume ownership and develop it?
Do you mean that I should be worried because there is undeveloped land? Do you mean that somehow I should have the right to determine its future course when developed?

Greenburgh, including Edgemont and the Villages, is still part of the United States. In this country there remains (although endangered) something called private property and under this concept there are some basic rights, and some responsibilities. However, the rights of individual property owners are becoming less and less as the voices of fascists become louder and louder. They argue that the community should have a greater say over the use of private property than that of the owner.

I noted that in Edgemont there is a parcel with Atlas shrugging. That was a reference to the novel by Ayn Rand, "Atlas Shrugged" and her theories have found a willing home in my mind. She argues that if everyone stopped doing things for the "common good" and instead pursued their own interest, society as a whole would benefit. Individualism rather than the collective consciousness is how new ideas are born and this way of thinking is the incubator for creativity. These ideas are further developed in her other books, "Fountainhead", "We the Living" and "Anthem".

So when "leaders" in Edgemont want to assume control over private property, naturally I bristle.

Zoning and Planning laws were just the start and do have some very beneficial safeguards. But, as they become more site specific and encourage sameness, I become concerned. Little boxes that all look the same (Malvina Reynolds) is a danger often greater than the problem. Similarly, the idea of a moratorium is odious to me. A moratorium "takes" or "borrows" private property without compensation to the owner. In emminent domain, at least the owner is paid.

There has been concern in the past, even from Edgemont, over "spot" zoning. Today, they are arguing for a "spot" moratorium, just along Central Avenue.

And if being anti-Edgemont is to be pro-Greenburgh, then I have a lot more being busy ahead.

What is most peculiar when writing on this blog is encountering such large numbers of residents who apparently did not receive the benefit of an education or a name at birth. It is also a basic tenet of living in the United States, in Greenburgh, in Edgemont, that freedom of speech is to be defended and preserved. This is a good thing but like all freedoms, including private ownership, there is also a downside and this is supported by the level of knowledge displayed on this blog.

Unfortunately, the ratio between assessed value and intelligence seems to at its widest when the comments from Edgemont are expressed.

Michael said...

Like I've said before, I like this Hal Samis.

Imagine if we had a Town Board made up of individuals that thought like this as opposed to petty political sniping.

No more 2am in the morning debacles.

No more positioning for greater political glory in higher titled “elected” positions.

No more forgetting the past, when it is politically convenient.

Hal for the good of all mankind, (well at least Greenburgh) save us from those who are doing us harm.

Help us find the noble men & women that will approach civic duty as an honorable role as opposed to a launching stage for higher political ambitions.

Help us find men & women, who can make difficult decisions but do so with integrity.

Help us identify those, who while not perfect, are willing to admit their own mistakes ( after all we are all human beings prone to making mistakes), but are willing to 1) admit them when made and 2) willing to put the effort in to correct them after they are made.

We hear of much complaining from the EDGEMONT CIVIC LEADERS, but their shallow protests, are nothing more than code words for NIMBY EDGEMONT!

The image of one EDGEMONT CIVIC LEADER railing on and on about the "problems" with the VERIZON deal and urging yet another round of deferral and then after passage taking credit for the deal is just the height of foolishness.

Has the Majority of the Town Board really drank that much of the KOOL Aid? Away from the preening in front of the cable TV camera, some of them actually seem like reasonable folks.

But it is far better to evaluate these folks on their deeds and not their blustery (or lack thereof) words.

Do they really think that the problem is with Supervisor Feiner? Can you imagine what this town government would be like without his level of caring?

The hypocrite parade is here marching down the avenue. Either stand and watch or cancel their parade permit.

Greenburgh deserves better than the insipid governmental foolishness as demonstrated by King Andy Spano reigning just down the road.

Let the citizens arise and work together to make the most of Greenburgh, otherwise we will become as ridiculous as the lands under the Spano monarchy.

Anonymous said...

People who dont agree with Feiner (or Hal) dont put their names because we are afraid of garbage or leaves not being picked up.

it is that simple.

hal samis said...

Dear afraid simpleton,

Are you in charge of leaf collection at the day care center.

For everyone else, here is a great opportunity for Edgemont or Hartsdale would-be real estate mavens. Meet the national tenants. Meet the owners. Get ideas for the developable land on Central Avenue you don't own or represent.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday next week at the New York Hilton is the ICSC (shopping center convention) meet. Cost: $490 per attendee.

This a a great opportunity for you to bring to the Cental Avenue commercial property owners the list of stores tenants that YOU think are not schlock and would better serve the market. You can sit down with the owners and offer them the complete lease package, price per foot, space required, lease term...
Join the exciting and lucrative field or retail leasing. This Convention will offer insights, the ability to meet owners and tenants and afterward when you return to the blog, you will be posting more informed comments and be able to point to your friends and say, "See that comment by anonymous, that's from me."

Anonymous said...

Hal,

friends of feiner have no fear -- good for you

and you are great at suggesting how others spend money --

why dont you join a group?

Hartsdale Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, JCoC -- is there no group which meets your standards?

hal samis said...

Anonymous @ 1:30,

From that great writer Harold Robbins in "Never Love A Stranger"

'Go forth with crowds in loneliness is danger. Call no man foe but never love a stranger.'

I don't have to be a joiner to have an audience, afterall you and I, we'll always have Paris, sorry, I meant to say Feiner's blog.

If "great at how others spend money" is somehow connected to my proposal that residents might learn something at a $490 conference, that was only a suggestion of how they might give them some food for thought before they shoot off their mouths'. But let's say you are especially sharp, a cut above the masses. How come you missed the plan to appropriate the property of Central Avenue land owners who must still pay the taxes that are due even during a moratorium? That is what this blog topic is about.

What I might be open to is joining your group therapy sessions. Do you wear a mask there also?