Tuesday, January 02, 2007

LEGISLATOR ABINANTI URGES COUNTY TO ASSIST TOWN PROTECT PROPERTY NEAR NATURE CENTER

County Legislator Tom Abinanti is calling on the county to assist the town and Greenburgh Nature Center in acquiring additional land near the Greenburgh Nature Center as open space. A developer is proposing to build on the property-which now links the nature center and Edgemont High School's northern playing fields. The protection of this property, according to Legislator Abinanti, is "essential to protecting the wildlife habitats in the area."
The acquisition of this property as open space depends on a partnership with the county & state governments and private donors. The support of Legislator Abinanti is significant. In the past we have worked cooperatively acquiring Hartsbrook Preserve off of Ridge Road, Hartsdale; Glenville Woods near Tarrytown and Taxter Ridge park in E Irvington.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Edgemont very much needs to keep this land from being developed residentially.

Unfortunately, Tom Abinanti is Westchester's weakest county legislator. He doesn't get along with his fellow legislators. Other than issue press releases, he has done virtually nothing for the residents of unincorporated Greenburgh, where he lives.

And even worse,he's backed Feiner and his losing candidates for town board, all of whom took the position in the last election that they would never, under any circumstances, support further town acquisitions of open space if the courts rule, as they have thus far, that village taxpayers in the town must pay their fair share of the town's costs for such acquisitions.

Not only would Abinanti have zero credibility on this issue with his fellow legislators, but he's issued his press release on the Nature Center's behalf without waiting to see whether the Nature
Center's Board of Trustees believes this small parcel of land (which abuts an existing condo development and is not adjacent to Nature Center property) should even be part of the Nature Center.

He claims to have issued his press release on behalf of "Edgemont residents." However, Abinanti didn't say whether he supports Edgemont's four month old request for a moratorium on residential development along Central Avenue. Nor did he talk to the ECC or any of Edgemont's civic leaders to get their input on what should be done here.

In short, this is political grandstanding by Abinanti and Feiner at its absolute worst.

Anonymous said...

I don't know much about this matter, but when I read the e-mail and the blog posting, the very first thing that came to my mind was that it just sounded like grandstanding for grandstanding's sake.

Also, curious, does the Nature Center actually want the land?

Anonymous said...

Stop being so negative and nasty!

hal samis said...

I don't like Abinanti, for other reasons, and was mentally agreeing with anonymous #1 until I got to the part about the moratorium on Central Avenue and consulting Edgemont civic leaders.

Edgemont take your moratorium request and shove it!

Is there anything that happens in Greenburgh, which may or may not have benefit to all Greenburgh residents, that can pass muster without prior consulting with Edgemont "civic leaders"?

And, do Edgemont "civic leaders" oppose the Town/County purchase or is this just being used as another opportunity to attack. It seems to me that, if anything, this blog entry is really the pot calling the kettle, guilty of grandstanding.

It is getting tiresome.

Anonymous said...

Gee, Mr. Samis, what part of "Edgemont very much needs to keep this land from being developed residentially" do you not understand?

Abinanti said in his press release that he was responding to concerns raised by "Edgemont residents." Shortly after Feiner launched this unwise publicity campaign, the developer filed an application to use the land to build apartments.

Further residential development along the already congested Central Avenue corridtor may have an adverse impact on the town in a number of respects. One of those impacts would be on the Edgemont School District, but that is not the only impact.

Accordingly, the ECC had asked the town four months ago to impose a moratorium on further residential development there so that the town could determine whether Edgemont's concerns were valid, not just for Edgemont, but for the town's unincorporated area as a whole.

Mr. Samis, you may not like the idea of zoning and planning, but they are both necessary to balance the interests of developers against the interests of the town, its residents, and its businesses.

Anonymous said...

If Abinanti had bothered to talk to Edgemont's civic leaders before issuing his press release, he would have realized that there are practical problems involved in getting the town and the county to purchase the land "for the Nature Center."

Problem No. 1 is that the land is not adjacent to the Nature Center. It sits next to an existing condo complex.

Problem No. 2 is that it may be a stretch to call this a natural habitat for wildlife. The land was previously used as a single family residence. The house was recently taken down, but there is still a swimming pool on the site. Some might call that a natural bird bath, but it's really a natural habitat for mosquitos and vermin.

Problem No. 3 is that the town and county have never before purchased a parcel as small as this for open space.

Problem No. 4 is the political problem the town faces with leaders such as Feiner saying they'd never support town money being used to buy open space if the villages have to pay their fair share.

Had Abinanti bothered to talk to Edgemont's civic leaders, he'd understand that what's required here is not another press release, which will only drive up the price, but serious thought on how to address these problems.

Serious thought does not appear to be in Abinanti's lexicon, or in Feiner's for that matter.

Anonymous said...

Paul, would you please stop discussing this publicly -- unless your and your friend Samis' goal is just ot prevent Edgemont from doing anything.

Hal -- we know you hate Edgemont -- but if you could tone down your language.

And village leaders - so you got Feiner to acquire land to protect Villages, but no to Edgemont. Why does that surprise me.

In the end, Paul, just keep this private. You are accomplishing nothing.

hal samis said...

Gee Anonymice,

What makes you think I care a whit (think alternative descriptions) about Edgemont's needs? It is all too clear what "Edgemont" wants but this is not a revival of "Damn Yankees" and "Whatever Lola Wants..."

I see that the flavor of the week is that Central Avenue is congested.
Last week it was concern that Ridge Hill would put all the stores out of business. Presumably to include the ones that would be welcomed in lieu of residential development. Hopefully more warmly than the proposed retail development of the old Bally site.

Since Mr. Feiner and Mr. Abinanti are apparently in favor of purchasing the subject parcel for some use which clearly is not residential or commercial, then why are you criticizing their efforts?
If the parcel is indeed for sale, then whatever filings are made by the "developer" will have been a waste of his time and dollars. If it is not for sale, then that would, reasonably or otherwise, be a basis for your concern. And, if it is not for sale, then the price won't be driven up.

However since this is Greenburgh in America which tolerates even anonymous malarky, we get bloggers who practice biting the hand that is jockeying to feed them...If Feiner and Abinanti even mention acquiring the property for the Nature Center or as mere open space, people like yourself use this as an opportunity to attack them. It would seem that removing the property from development would be a goal of Edgemont; thus the smart thing would be not to attack those who have some ability to effect a purchase.

It is true that I am troubled by over-zoning and planning but if I elected to purchase property in a municipality, I would first become aware of these laws before making such a purchase. If I did complete the purchase I might seek what lawful relief is available through variances etc. However, the shabby aspect of the process is for the very few to seek a moratorium which is another name for a "taking" of property in the hopes that the existing laws might become more harsh, more restrictive.
Even with this risk, it can be tolerated BUT what is NOT tolerable is the expectation of the municipality/school district to continue to collect real estate, school taxes etc. during the moratorium period. If you want a moratorium, common decency suggests that you should not further penalize and charge the prisoner along the path leading to the gallows. I have written this before and you have read this before so don't play the naif and tell me that the owner still collects rent; if you do, you are insuring my rebuttal. Of course, cowards that you are, you insure that others will not be able to identify your personal stupidity. Hiding behind anonymous has become the hallmark of so-called Edgemont civic leaders. When are Edgemont civic leaders ever going to step forward and identify themselves?

In any case I don't seem to get the feeling that these anonymous bloggers really want the parcel to be purchased by the Town. They delight in their version of a primer on how not to buy the property, noting reasons to be unsuccessful. Thus, if everyone listened to them there would be no possibility of any governmental entity purchasing the property: not adjacent, swimming pool, too small and the villages would have to pay their share. BUT there is a way out of these problems, just come talk to Edgemont civic leaders because they alone have the answers.

My eyes view this as a self-serving Public Service Announcement. Indeed, it also sounds like an outtake from "The Godfather". If you want something done, you've got to speak to the Don.

Edgemont, get over it. Politicians may be too needy or polite to throw the glove back in your face. I am not. You've monopolized the ball too long and the game is no longer being played exclusively on your court, by your rules. What happens in Edgemont does NOT guarantee that it will happen elsewhere. It just means that there may be a few unhappy Edgemont residents left on the losing team bench. If you don't like playing in the all-Greenburgh league, get out.

Finally, those that own property that is currently for sale, or eventually may be for sale or sub-division, they too are residents with rights. They may even be Edgemont residents of Edgemont or just school district taxpayers. They have an investment asset to protect while they (or their real estate) will be equally burdened by the tax consequences. So while you seek to limit residential opportunities, you are also bumping up the value of your property while devaluing the property values and righta of "enjoyment" by others.

But hey, all's fair if it is sanctioned by these anonymous civic leaders. And, anything, any topic, anytime is fodder if it can be used as the lynchpin for Feiner. Even if it means harming innocent "civilians", native to Edgemont or Greenburgh entire.

If you think you've got a legitimate beef, put your name behind it, coward(s).

Anonymous said...

"Shortly after Feiner launched this unwise publicity campaign, the developer filed an application to use the land to build apartments."

Will he ever learn?!

Anonymous said...

I am glad that the town and Tom Abinanti are working together to protect the nature center.

Anonymous said...

Samis so often speaks for Feiner these days that when one reads Samis' rants, it is easy to understand why Edgemont civic leaders are frustrated.

A moratorium on residential development along Central Avenue is not a taking of property. It is merely an opportunity for the town to take a short-term time-out to determine whether its zoning code for that particular area is up-to-date and appropriate.

The town has done this before, and other municipalities throughout New York do it all the time.

If the study shows that further residential development would have no adverse impact, then there would be no legal basis for altering the zoning code.

But if the study demonstrates that such development would not be onsistent with town needs for that area, because of adverse impacts on area residents, schools, and businesses, then a legal basis would exist for a zoning code change.

Given the problems that Edgemont has identified, a moratorium seems like a reasonable course to pursue, particularly now that a new multi-family dwelling unit appears to be in the works.

Samis also complains that Edgemont civic leaders are "anonymous." However, Edgemont's civic leaders speak at most town board meetings, they identify themselves by name, and they're not shy about giving their opinions. They are hardly "anonymous."

What's difficult to understand is why, if Feiner and Abinanti are so sincere about helping Edgemont with this problem, they continue to ignore pleas from civic leaders that they stop issuing press releases about the property and instead start working with them to get the problem solved.

Their behavior reinforces the view of that first blogger who suggested that these guys are simply engaged in political grandstanding.

Anonymous said...

I can't understand the negativity. Tom Abinanti is doing something positive for Edgemont. He is doing something positive for the town. He is doing something positive for open space and the nature center. I'm sure that the silent majority of Edgemont residents applaud our Legislator for working to protect our quality of life.

Anonymous said...

What's so hard to understand?

Edgemont leaders have been complaining for weeks about Feiner's unwelcome press releases and what does Abinanti do? Without bothering to talk to any of Edgemont's civic leaders about the problem, he issues a press release of his own and, to add insult to injury, he has Feiner use the town's e-mail system in an attempt to get his press release even more publicity.

Talk about shooting oneself in the foot.

If the problem gets solved, and hopefully it will be, it won't be because of anything Feiner and Abinanti are doing.

Anonymous said...

Many Edgemont residents applaud the efforts to acquire this property as open space. So far, the only Edgemont leaders who have objected have done so anonymously. If you are a leader you have to identify yourself.
Kudo's to Tom!

Anonymous said...

Applaud self serving and destructive press releases -- I think not. Genuine efforts and discussion with Edgemont leaders -- wont happen. Feiner wont do a real thing to help. I dont even think he knows how.

hal samis said...

One man's rant is...another man's rant. However, Edgemonters never rant, only "friends" of Feiner.

Edgemont civic leaders are not anonymous says..."anonymous @ 11:56". Thus we know that this blogger is not an Edgemont civic leader and speaks for no one but his/her ego.

A moratorium is not a "taking" but merely a short term time-out and the town has done this before. The last moratorium lasted roughly two years, somewhat more than most people would define as a "short time". A little longer than a property owner may favor when attempting to sell his land at the highest price. And, of course, he should continue to pay his real estate taxes and school taxes while the good citizens of Edgemont argue his fate.
For the record, that cited Greenburgh moratorium occurred town-wide, not just along one four mile strip of one roadway. A spot basis moratorium is discriminatory. And, since Edgemont has already endorsed a Central Avenue study, what problems that may be unearthed can be quickly identified (especially since they are so obvious to Edgemonters) without a moratorium.

Even more ludicrous is the self-defined illusion that these adverse impacts exist and have already been identfied. Here we have a new pose: the pot has called itself a pot. we know this because the blogger says there are and therefore they must exist: "adverse impacts upon Edgemont residents, schools and businesses". Thus, if a handful of newly domiciled residents appeared, this would be a tragedy to other residents, beware of strangers? would have a bad effect upon businesses (all businesses other than Bellini)?...which leaves only the schools which is the real issue. Edgemont simply cannot tolerate the thought of welcoming any new child-bearing residents, having no doubt underwritten studies to predict which of the existing residents will be conceiving (and how many times) over the next 12 years. Planned Parenthood was never more rigidly enforced than by the good citizens of Edgemont.

And, how dare Feiner and Abinanti announce their interest in obtaining a parcel of land in Edgemont. It is widely known that everyone favors secret back-room deals made by politicians and being informed about these deals only after the fact. However if we can't have total secrecy, it would be acceptable if only Edgemont civic leaders were let in on the secret.

So naturally, what is the assumed result of doing things out in the open? Why a "developer" filed plans...something developers hardly ever do short of being tortured.

How dare anyone, especially Feiner or Abinanti, issue a press release without consulting Edgemont civic leaders? Everyone knows that the only legitimate ruling dynasty of Greenburgh is the Edgemont hierarchy of civic associations and umbrella vendors. Sure there may be these occasional annoying blips called elections but just because a candidate wins these trifles, Edgemont bloggers know that this doesn't really have anything to do with mandate or power. Thank god, that remains in the hands of the true government, the ECC. The Greenburgh Town Supervisor, the Town Board, even the Town Council? Such a riciculous premises that next year Edgemont Schools will be teaching that after the President of the United States, Congress, The Governor of New York, the County Executive, is the ECC.

What never ceases to amaze me is how Edgemont can maintain such a fine school system while most of its resident cheerleaders writing on these blog pages exhibit themselves as reactionary, self-serving bigots. The only solace is the knowledge that they are a gene pool of about 8 writers representing only themselves and not the sentiments of everyone who live in Edgemont.

Anonymous said...

It would be irresponsible for the Town to negotiate any open space acquisition in secret. The public has a right to know what's going on - how our tax dollars are being spent.

hal samis said...

Let me be clear.

I was making the point that it is not irresponsible for elected officials to make notice of their interest or intentions. Perhaps the charge of grandstanding as characterized by others would be clearer if I gave some examples of it. Grandstanding would be if, say a member of the Town Council, decided to belatedly express how important it would be to preserve this parcel as either for the use of the Nature Center, as open space or to block development. This statement would be verbalized only after the Town Board vote to acquire the parcel.

You can always recognize grandstanding when it occurs at Town Board meetings after a moment of silence for a Town resident/employee who has passed away; Ms Barnes and Ms Juettner have cornered the market on this opportunity to express their "sorrow".

As for the parcel on Central Avenue, if one had to assign blame (not that intending to develop a property is not already the universal mantra of developers) for filing residential intentions, then Edgemont should look to their own civic leaders like Michelle McNally who, in seeking a moratorium on such development, signaled to developers that they need to file their applications immediately in advance of such a moratorium and the possibility of down zoning.

Of course it is de rigeur to blame higher profile figures such as Feiner and Abinanti but whisper "moratorium" and you will open the door to whatever plans have been waiting in the wings.

On the other hand, if there is no rush to build residential under the existing zoning, then perhaps the worst fears of some Edgemont residents are only fears, not reality. If I owned a parcel that I felt absolutely had to become residential, then I would file my plans Yesterday and worry about buying out leases of any occupied space Tomorrow so that I would be in a position to start construction within imposed time limits. If I was unable to start development because of balky tenants, or financing problems, whatever, then my only downside would be my filing fees and cost of plans but that would be better than being prevented from building residential (if that was my intent).

So, if there is really a burning desire to build residential, we should know this from filings within the next 30 days or so.

Or, we will recognize it for what it was, merely an orchestrated plan to drive everyone crazy over nothing.

Anonymous said...

I am grateful to Tom Abinanti and Paul Feiner for fighting to save the property near the nature center from development.
Maybe the people who are angry at them for pushing for the open space acquisition are angry that they did not propose the plan themselves. If they had there would be blog comments criticizing Feiner and maybe Abinanti for sitting on their hands and doing nothing.
Sad but true.

Anonymous said...

The people who are bad mouthing Mr. Abinanti are sick people. What do they wish for? More overdevelopment? More congestion? More kids in our very overcrowded Edgemont schools?
If you are an Edgemont leader you should take a hike! Most of us are sick of your tirades. Mediate at the nature center or take some anti depressive medicine.

Anonymous said...

No, everyone is unhappy at how Feiner and Abinati have handled this.

Anonymous said...

No, everyone is unhappy at how Feiner and Abinati have handled this.

We are also sick and tired of Feiner not getting input from us.

Anonymous said...

How do you know that EVERYONE is angry at Feiner and Abinanti. I am a person. Everyone includes me. I live in Edgemont. I like Tom. I like Paul. I like open space.I don't think I like you!

Anonymous said...

What I think is being said is that it is potentially a good idea, but that it was handled incorrectly (PR stunt vs. basic business acumen).

hal samis said...

Anonymous @ 9:52,
Peacekeeping in not a partial credit course. To be accredited you have to be enrolled for more than one course.

When government leaders come out in public for purchasing land, it is a necessity otherwise residents would be yelling "foul". Remember a little purchase called Taxter Ridge?
Even though everyone knew about it, still the municipal buyers ended up with the purchase, even extending the contract closing and developers didn't get to build homes there.

I opposed both Mr. Feiner and Mr. Abinanti on the purchase. But even I see the unreasonable injustice in calling their announcements mere press releases. Would it make anyone in Edgemont happier if they said they were against the purchase. Obviously not, because what Edgemont civic leaders really want is a sense of entitlement and recognition that anything that happens on their turf can only happen if they, the leaders themselves, sanction it. The ECC wants its own seat on the Town Board dais. Thus to teach Feiner and Abinanti this lesson, the camouflage was unpacked and a round of blame was aimed at the two politicians -- all of this meant to deflect attention away from those who let the cat out of the bag, first. And that would be Edgemont civic leaders.

When civic leaders come out promoting a moratorium, anywhere, they do so at their own risk. You don't get a moratorium overnight. If Developers see the possibility of a change in wind direction, they act quickly by steering to avoid the coming squall.

And some of these Developers are going to outrun the storm. That is if there really are any Developers on the water.

So the result for Edgemont in seeking a mortorium, spelled out at Town meetings, in letters and on this blog, is to alert Developers to get their applications in NOW before a moratorium is voted upon.
I'm not blaming Edgemont for seeking a moratorium. I don't agree with this that this is the solution to their problem. I don't think a moratorium, even if legal, is an honorable response and that it has an undesirable affect upon land owners who must bear the burden of the moratorium. What I am blaming Edgemont "leaders" is for trying to blame others for their own cupidity and to pretend that their own actions have no downside.

If they want a moratorium, then accept the likelihood that Developers will respond accordingly.
Just don't blame Feiner and Abinanti who should be instead thanked.

The "business decision" as it were was to shoot for a moratorium. Go with it but be big enough to accept the consequences.

Since Edgemont civic leaders cannot commit the Town or the County to purchasing the property, since Edgemont civic leaders don't want to dig into their own pockets, then the people they need to turn to is preferably Greenburgh alone or Greenburgh with the County as partner. Feiner represents the Town, Abinanti is the area representative of the County. I just don't get why they are getting so much flack over an issue that was no longer a secret after the
first Edgemont request for a moratorium.

I can't stop anyone from reading this as merely supporting Feiner. I just wish that someone in Edgemont will understand that Edgemont made a choice and that choice will bring, perhaps, the desired moratorium but it may also, just as likely, bring consequences.

To summarize: if you request a moratorium some Developer(s)is going to try to get in under the wire. Fact of life.

Anonymous said...

Gee Mr. Samis, back in November you said Edgemont was acting prematurely in asking for the moratorium, and now you say Edgemont acted too late.

You didn't know what you were talking about then, and you certainly don't know what you're talking about now.

This isn't about anyone's ego (except perhaps yours). It's about trying to find ways to work together to solve a problem.

Mr. Samis is also ignorant about history. Edgemont has faced open space problems like this before.

The town's position under Feiner and before Feiner has always been the same: if you want it Edgemont, pay for it yourself. And Edgemont (through one or more of its civic associations) has done exactly that.

How and why do you think Edgemont's Cotswold and Green Ridge park districts were formed?

Maybe the town and county will step up to the plate and help. Maybe, instead of shamelessly promoting themselves on the issue, Feiner and Abinanti will actually go to bat for Edgemont.

Right now, though, I wouldn't bet on it.

hal samis said...

Anonymous:

If you fabricate on another blog entry, why wouldn't you fabricate here as well. Or to be charitable and blogger friendly, let's instead assume that you are quoting from another anonymous author without yoirself actually reading the original blog.

What I wrote on November 30 (see November, "moratorium") was about a knowledgeable Edgemont resident (civic leader) hypothesis of a possible conversion of the Midway Shopping Center (tear down the buildings and you have land) into 400 units of residential. I said then and elsewhere on this month's Moratorium headed entry (where you have just come from obviously) that it would take about 10 years for this to become a real threat (new national tenants have signed 10 year leases, probably with renewal options) and therefore would not be vacated so quickly if the decision were ever made to convert the property.

So from this site specific reality you have constructed a story that I said back in November that Edgemont was acting prematurely in seeking a moratorium and embellished it with your total fabrication that I said that now Edgemont has acted too late. Show me anywhere, the blogs exist, where I said this. Since I have to treat you like you have a reading diability let me direct you again to the comment you must have misunderstood.
"You don't get a moratorium overnight" This does not mean that
Edgemont requested it too late; it means that you are at risk during the period from requesting a moratorium through the granting. A time during which alert Developers will act by filing plans.
Once more...
What I did say was that by requesting a moratorium, Edgemont has sent a message to Developers that the time to file applications is now before the moratorium is granted.

Nor have I made any reference to Edgemont history. What I did say (see the blog) is that Edgemont civic leaders don't want to dig into their pockets to purchase this parcel (near the Nature Center). Thanks for the history lesson which I didn't know just like there are many things I don't know but what does this historical footnote have to do with solving Edgemont's current problem? If history taught you that you can buy your way to no growth, then why bother with Feiner or Abinanti. Do it again on your own.

I also fail to see how you reconcile your statement that this isn't about egos but about working together to solve a problem and follow that up with a comment that Feiner and Abinanti are shamelessly promoting themselves and that you doubt that they will go to bat for Edgemont. Is this your draft of the Pepsi Challenge?

It is not so difficult to read my 9:52 comments and then see your response which follows at 11:47.
Does anyone think that this blog which you are reading right now is an unfair response to 11:47?

Anonymous said...

The blogger who pointed out Edgemont's history of having park districts created to preserve open space was right on the mark.

There are at least two ways to go here. The town could follow the precedent set by the acquisition of the Nature Center property which involved using both town and federal funds.

Or the town could create a park district and require Edgemont taxpayers to pay for it (perhaps in combination with funds from the county, state or federal programs).

Given the Taxter Ridge precedent of using town, county and state funds to protect the Irvington School District from the residential development threatened by a sale of the Moonie property, Edgemont taxpayers may find the second approach unfair and discriminatory.

Anonymous said...

but in any event, had the town adeuqately provided for short term/long term uses of Central Avenue (eg moratorium and rezoning) edgemont would be in better shape.

but since Hal (the new new pit bull for Mr Feiner) samis is against it, kiss that goodbye

Anonymous said...

County Legislator Abinanti and Greenburgh Supervisor Feiner are providing the residents of Edgemont with a great public service by pushing to save our nature center.

Anonymous said...

The Nature Center is not threatened by the proposed condo development on Dromore Road, Edgemont is. The property doesn't even border the Nature Center. It borders an existing condo development, the high school playing fields, a monastery, and Dromore Road itself.

The Nature Center property itself is protected on Dromore Road by a huge brick wall.

Feiner and Abinanti could help Edgemont greatly if they'd stop issuing self-serving press releases, take a look at the property, and work with everyone else trying to figure out what to do here.

Anonymous said...

someone should ask the police
chief why a disbared member of the
force who happens to be african
amercican was promoted to lieutnant
over a white officer with an
unblemished record..in fact how
does a disbarred attorney who
violated his oath as an officer
of the court get to stay on
the police department who job
it is to uphold standards and
morality in the community

hal samis said...

To: Pail Feiner
Tom Abinanti

Subject: Property across from GNC

Gentlemen, you've been snookered.
This afternoon I walked the property and the immediate area. Some residents are trying to pull the wool over the Town's and the County's eyes in order to make it harder, if not more expensive, to live in Edgemont.

The tiny property is neither rustic nor sylvan. It is not a wildlife habitat or home to unusual species of either flora or fauna. It was a former single family home and is located between the Scarsdale Woods apartment complex fronting on Central Avenue and a Monastary on the East. The rear of the property abuts the playing fields of Edgemont High and across the street (Dromore) is the Greenburgh Nature Center (GNC) which is located behind a near 10 foot high brick wall.

The property is NOT the likely choice for school students to reach the GNC as there are more rustic alternatives called paths. However, if this is an objective, then I'm sure a four foot right-of-way or easement along the westerly side (abutting the Scarsdale Woods Development property line) would be an accomodation or mitigation that the Developer would agree to make.

This is NOT open space as Edgemont leaders and the CAC would have other residents believe. There is an OPEN SPACE behind the parcel but it is the enormous playing field areas of the School. If anyone should be trying to buy the parcel, the Edgemont School District should take the bait. And in this immediate area, I would think that between arrangements with the GNC and the School, the recreational needs of families could be met. Again note, other than the Scarsdale Woods Apartments, there are no single family homes nearby.

The property is located (make that hidden) on the southern side of Dromore Road, up a steep hill about 100 feet from Central Avenue. It is not visible from Central Avenue. Typically people think of open space as an unbroken vista, a space which presents visual relief amidst the surroundings. No one is going to seek out his pint-sized plot for that purpose. Dromore Road (a Dead End just past the property) is too narrow to allow on street parking and other than the Scarsdale Woods complex, the nearest residential is on Central Avenue past an intervening retail strip or on the other side of Central Avenue, a dangerous road to cross with no immediate street light. Thus, like Taxter Ridge, the property is inaccessible to anyone, those who drive there will have to use the parking of the GNC but why would anyone want to go there.

Mr. Abinanati have been screwed for the second time by Mr. Bass and I can only expect that he has made his offer without actually visiting the property.

As for Greenburgh, Edgemont may want to restrict residential development and this property is too far off Central Avenue to be caught up in that imbroglio but to say that this parcel is the needed "open space" for Edgemont is as the English would say, bullocks.

If the property it to be purchased, the only justification is to prevent residential development. This may or may not be a good reason for Greenburgh taxpayers but I doubt that it is something that the County should be involved with.
Since Edgemont bloggers doubted Mr. Abinanti's sincerity, I hope I have provided him with a good reason not to continue his efforts.

As for Greenburgh, since Edgemont wants to leave and incorporate, let this be their last straw. Why should the rest of Greenburgh be stuck with another purchase that is neither necessary, viewable nor visitable.

Paul Feiner said...

In recent days I have been criticized by some bloggers for going public re: this property. The major reason why I went public and believe that I should always go public regarding town issues is to solicit comments before decisions are finalized. I believe that the comments by bloggers have been helpful. My goals has always been to protect the nature center from undesirable development that will impact the future of the center. I welcome additional input and additional suggested options.

Anonymous said...

So, if Samis is right that this is not really a Nature Center issue (and it seems that he is since his findings are consistent with what others on this blog are saying), and Feiner is saying that the only reason he's going to bat here is for the Nature Center, then if Edgemont needs to keep this property from being developed residentially (which it does), it doesn't sound like Edgemont will be able to count on Feiner for any help.

Hopefully, we'll be able to look to other town officials for help.