Friday, May 18, 2007


Starbucks wants to develop a 1700 sq foot facility on Central Ave, on the site occupied by the owner of the abandoned Gaseteria, just south of the 4 corners. They claim that no variances are required. They are seeking a meeting with the Planning Board to discuss. This could eliminate an undesirable eyesore on Central Ave. It's my hope that some of the vacant stores/businesses on the avenue will be leased in the near future.
Yesteray I spoke to commercial realtors. The avenue continues to be a desirable location --there is lots of active interest in the other vacant spaces.


Sick of Starbucks on every corner said...

Great...another "Starschmucks" in Hartsdale, as if the one in the Hartsdale MNRR station isn't sufficient enough to serve the Hartsdale area. How's about denying the lease to Starbucks and attracting a business we truly need, like a supermarket or grocery store that will be within walking distance of residents who live on E. Hartsdale Ave and the 4 corners? I am not against business expansion, but Starbuck's practice of opening up shop at every corner is killing the diversity of business within the neighborhood. Just look at what they have done in Manhattan...there's a starbucks on every corner as if people are in desparate need to drink coffee every 100 feet. With the Hartsdale Farm being closed down until further notice, there really isn't another convenient alternative to purchase groceries, other than driving to Pathmark or A&P.

Anonymous said...

A Starbucks will attract other desirable businesses. It would be a great boost to the area.

Starbucks is bad for business! said...

Response to anonymous:

We already have a Starbucks in the Hartsdale MNRR station as well as in the Barnes & Nobles Bookstore on Central Ave. How is having another Starbucks going to attract other desirable business? Starbucks is in the business of pushing other businesses out by overtaking the neighborhood with their coffee shops on every corner. This is insanity!

Ellen said...

I welcome it. It will have no impact on the other starbucks at the train station which has no parking, caters to commuters, and does a good business. There isn't one in the B&N, because, well, there's no B&N anymore in Hartsdale. They should have a drive thru as well.

hal samis said...

Dear Ellen,
I think the blogger @12:51 was not talking about one Starbucks canibalizing another Starbucks but that if you can already go to other Starbucks, its mere presence elsewhere and everywhere does not bring new shoppers to any one particular area. If you want a cup of java and continue to use the Starbucks at the train station, you will not find yourself shopping on Central Avenue. If however, you visited a new store at the proposed Starbucks site, you might be also be a prospective customer at one of the nearby stores since you are now in the vicinity. That said, I personally believe that Starbucks will bring new shoppers to Central Avenue.

However given a finite number of suitable retail locations, if non-chain stores, mom and pops, have to compete with the generally better credit of chains, they will get the short end of the stick. Landlords get better mortgage terms when credit tenants are the income stream. Likewise, each location that becomes a chain store reduces the number of locations available to others. Finally, the best locations go to the financially stronger tenants who can afford to pay even when sales are "off". What is left is the equivalent of table scraps which means that having to choose from mostly the inferior locations (i.e. roadside visibility and entrance/exit conditions) or floor plans or parking provided, the strong get stronger and the weak get weaker. Not surprising to those in retail or real estate.

And finally, finally. There is a Starbucks in the Barnes & Noble just over the Town line on the Yonkers border.

Anonymous said...

Dear "Starbucks is bad for business!"

How will another (and I agree there are a lot) Starbucks attract business? Let's see, if you were looking for a location for a business and could put it near an empty, ugly gas station or a Starbucks, which would you choose? That place has been vacant for year, let's not wait a few more years for a business more desirable than a Starbucks.

Plus should the town even have a say of what businesses go in what buildings? If it's zoned for food, than it seems ridiculous the government should be able to deny a business buying the property based on their business type.

Anonymous said...


i'd like to see the town be involved in marketing all the other vacant spaces on central park ave ... and others are closing soon ... has anyone analyzed why the continuing exodus?

Hartsdale Wine & Liquor Store said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hartsdale Wine & Liquor Store said...

First of all Starbucks should open on Central Park Ave and vacate the train station. That's the problem with the hamlet.
The Hartsdale Chessery, The New York Deli Expierience and when it finally re-opens Bagels and More sell coffee. And have been before Starbucks came in. Now they sell less,but thats Hartsdale. Just like The Hartsdale Pharmacy has to deal with the fact that Eckard is breathing down thier necks battling to fill perscriptions, but thats Hartsdale.
Luckly The New York State Liquor Authority has a law preventing another store from opening across the street from my location, But somehow on North Central ave some really clever guy has the name "Hartsdale Wine Shop" on his new store. Hartsdale again.
We have our corp. name "Hartsdale Liquor Store, Inc." Somehow the Stae Department over looked this and granted this wise guy "Hartsdale Wine Shoppe, Inc". The store itself stands on the border in Hartsdale and the parking right in front, is White Plains! See?
The thing is our D.B.A(doing biz as) is "Hartdale Wines & Liquor" and has been for 77 years. Phone listings, biz cards, calanders, Invoices, ect.......
I'm not afraid of another store in the area. Many men have come and gone up on Central ave in our 77 years. I'm concerned about the name variation, but thats Hartsdale.
When it comes to Liquor Stores, Greenburg is practicing saturation not moderation.
As the hopeful and probable future President of the Hartsdale Hamlet's Chamber of Commerce, I vote NO for another Starbucks or any other stores that may cause a conflict of interest with an existing merchant. As if I really had a say. Ha!

5/19/2007 2:42 AM

Anonymous said...

good news. let's get rid of the eyesores

Anonymous said...

I'm concerned with the lack of economic development in Greenburgh, as well as the eyesores on Central Park Avenue, so this is great news. The township should do everything possible to promote filling commercial vacancies to maximize tax revenue.

Ignatius said...

I'd rather not have another chain store coming into Hartsdale or Greenburgh for that matter. It makes no sense to have a Starbucks at the train station and then have one right on Central Avenue. Starbucks is really overdoing it throughout this nation!

If they are planning to move from the train station to the new location then that is different however.

I'd like to see an independent business come into that space if possible, though I know the costs to an indy and it would be hard for them. Although, if one of the small businesses that are having trouble on E. Hartsdale due to the flooding could get a crack at the new location that would be interesting to look at. Also, a grocery would be ideal or anything other than another Starbucks!

I often think about getting something to replace the B&N we lost. If there were a way to tempt Borders to relocate from White Plains where they are competing with B&N and Cappelli Land there to Hartsdale that would be interesting too. Again, independent is always my first preference as opposed to chains but I understand the reality Indies do better in NYC than they do up here.

Anonymous said...

I would love a true value hardware store.

Anonymous said...

It's disturbing to see my previous comments taken way out of context in regards to "Starbucks being bad for business" because there are so many Starbucks supporters who are biased. Yes, I agree that the current empty lot on Central Ave is an eyesore and should have something built on the property, but let's get real folks...another Starbucks when most residents of Hartsdale already go to the one in the MNRR Station? Unless the one at the train station shuts down, I don't see another Starbucks attracting business to the area or causing current customers of the MNRR Station Starbucks to all flock to the one on Central Ave. As I've stated before, what we need is a conveniently located supermarket or large grocery store like the Turcos or A&P on Central Ave. I'd certainly welcome that to the area, as it would save me from having the "schlep" by car to Pathmark on Central or A&P on the West side of Hartsdale. I'm thinking more on the practical and convenient side for the village resident, not on what will attract residents from other neighboring villages or towns who already have their own share of Starbucks in their areas.

I grew up in NYC and have seen my fare share of chain stores opening up on opposite sides of the street or around the corner from one another, but the truth of the matter is, if consumers are used to shopping at one location, they won't automatically flock to the other location simply because it just happens to be there. I've seen these mistakes made time and time again by businesses, only to end up shutting down one location because they are in effect competing against themselves and not generating the revenue they anticipated by such moves.

hal samis said...

Hello, my fellow Americans. The "eyesore" was available to all of you who have the answer as to what store should go there and you could have opened your own store of the use of your choice. However, this being America, the government does not determine how many Starbucks may exist, you the consumers do. If you don't want to see Starbucks at a given location, don't buy your coffee there. If the location doesn't work for Starbucks, they will close it.

discussion misses the point said...

The issue of whether the abandoned Gaseteria should be replaced with a Starbucks is so completely beside the point as to be both offensive and ridiculous at the same time.

The Gaseteria property is located in the Central 7 school district. Central 7 last year lost $2 million worth of ratables.

The issue should therefore be what use of that Gaseteria property would generate a ratable that would be in Central 7's best interest.

In fact, using that valuable site as a single story stand-alone Starbucks is most likely not in Central 7's best interest.

Instead, that interest would probably be better served by construction of a multistory commercial and/or residential building where, with retail space on the first floor, Starbucks if it wants, can open up there.

If Greenburgh would take the time to first consider what makes the most sense for that area -- instead of having its whirling dervish of a supervisor got all excited about a Starbucks moving in -- Greenburgh's planning would move beyond the ad hoc hodge podge that is so characteristic of the portion of Central Avenue that belongs to Greenburgh.

Ted Mann said...

That's phenomenal news! You probably don't need me to tell you that Starbucks is single biggest magnet for drawing new commercial business, and one of the few businesses that have been shown to significantly boost surrounding real estate prices. I wrote an article on David Firestein, the guy who does almost all of the chain's real estate deals in the NYC region a few months back:

Anyway, suffice it to say that their interest in opening another Hartsdale branch is a huge vote of confidence. Paul, I hope you will do everything possible to make this happen.

hal samis said...

Dear Mr. Discussion Miss the Point,

Which way did YOU come in, I'd like to help you out. Do you think that Greenburgh owns the site?

We don't vote yet in Greenburgh on what tenants should occupy private property or what the owner should do. Guess what, the owner could even leave the property vacant.

In Hartsdale we don't yet take control over private property for the presumed cash flow which might flow to the School District. We leave this to the world class represntatives from Edgemont to argue whose rights and freedoms we can take away.

How about returning to the model where the owner of the real estate decides who his tenant will be? How about a user being allowed to purchase property for their own use?

I thought you made a good start with your posting when you said that the whole idea was so ridiculous because I thought you were going to say because it is no one's business other than the owner of the property. But then you went downhill into absurdity. Perhaps you've been reading too much Bob Bernstein or Michelle NcNally.

Finally, just because it needs to be reminded to all of the concerned parties who have taken the trouble to write, when Barnes & Noble was across the street, inside was a Starbucks. The savvy folks in the regional Starbucks office must have been pleased with the results and thought returning to this location would be a good idea. Frankly, I don't shop at Starbucks for my coffee or cds and I don't care one way or the other.
But, if there is agreement between the owner and the tenant, that floats my boat and all this discussion is superfluous.

And to Mr. Mann, apart from tooting your horn, do you recognize that this is one of the few stand-alone Starbucks in the area that cannot expect to benefit from nearby foot traffic. It should be an interesting experiment. Maybe they are expecting Scarsdale Country Club foursomes to stop by.

Anonymous said...

Samis doesn't seem to understand the reason Central Avenue is a mess -- and why replacing the abandoned Gaseteria with a free-standing Starbucks might not be the best use of that property -- is that the town doesn't have a well thought through zoning plan for that area that makes sense, not for the residents who live there, not for the school district that levies more than half of the property taxes, and not for other businesses there.

Samis seems to think that's none of government's business, that private property owners know best what to do and that any restriction on their right to develop property as they see fit --or even let it remained abandoned if they so choose -- violates their property rights.

That, however, is not the law in this country.

Every private property owner buys property subject to the right of local governments to alter zoning if, in their collective judgment, the area would be better served by a change.

Samis apparently likes the low-life look that Central Avenue has in that area, what with its abandoned gas stations, the empty B&N box, the overgrown weeds, and the garbage. Presumably that's why he chooses to live there.

Feiner presumably agrees with him. So if you like what Samis likes, and you're a Democrat, you should vote to keep Feiner in office because we're for sure going to get more of the same.

But if you think we could do better, that the zoning laws could be changed so as to improve property values for everyone in that neighborhood, then you should find another candidate for town supervisor.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Town should buy the prpoerty and build housing for the volunteers of the Ardsley Fd. Maybe that would make Michael Kolesar happy.

Anonymous said...

This is a great proposal.

Anonymous said...

"It makes no sense to have a Starbucks at the train station and then have one right on Central Avenue."

Those two locations serve two different customer bases, so I don't see a problem. Plus, if a Starbucks is there, it might attract additional business to invest in the blighted sections of Central Park Avenue.

Anonymous said...

How does this fit with the Town's comprehensive commercial economic development plan?

hal samis said...

Dear Bob,

Yes there are zoning laws and the area we are discussing currently permits retail under the zoning. Zoning is not created on a spot basis as you well know. So are you suggesting the Gasteria parcel be spot zoned differently so the Town could control the owner's use? Just because it comes from your mouth is no longer taken as the gold standard of what's right.

And you fail to mention what the Town should do specifically about this parcel -- if it could.

All this talk about advocating the specific uses of a private party's property borders dangerously on how dictatorships come to power under the guise of doing what's best for society at large.
What you suggest about taking away property rights is neither Democratic nor Liberal ideals. Do you think the Town should decide within a retail permitted use whether the use should be a Starbucks, a hardware store, a pet store, a card store, whatever. As long as the use is permitted, the parking requirements are met; then shut up.

And with all the problems that bloggers remind us that exist in Greenburgh, how high on the list should: first deciding if the Town can decide, and thereafter what to decide about a tenant on a small commercial site on Central Avenue in it the #1, the #2, the #7 priority or even in the top 100.

Now that the urgency of this is decided, the bloggers of Edgemont want the Town to take on the very pressing issue apparently of addressing the absence of Town laws preventing stores from being vacant, like the former Barnes & Noble which IS for rent. One way for the Town to do this is make it illegal for the owner of the property to turn down any offer to rent the premises, at whatever rent is offered. Take away his right to set an asking price. By forcing the owner to rent, poof! no vacancy. And if you dare, no home should be left vacant either.
The Town should also force the sale to any bid to avoid homes from being vacant.

And because the Edgemeont mafia doesn't believe in property rights on property they don't own, then this should be decided right after the spot zoning issues are resolved. And there is no need to wait for the Fall elections either.
Feiner isn't doing it, why not ask the Town Council which outvotes him to do it. They have 4 votes; Feiner only has 1. It takes 3 to tango.
You got problems Edgemont, then take a ride on the Town Council railroad.

Anonymous said...

Samis, who is this Bob guy you keep writing to?

No one was suggesting spot zoning for the Gaseteria site. No one was suggesting legislating against vacancies.

No, the suggestion made was that Central Avenue very much needs a comprehensive plan for the 21st century, that it's as much in Central 7's interest as Edgemont's, and that Feiner's glee over replacing the abandoned Gaseteria site with a free-standing, single story Starbucks illustrates the problem perfectly.

Anyone who pays taxes in the Central 7 school district should be demanding what Edgemont has suggested -- that it's high time the town came up with a plan that protects each school district's tax base.

That means looking at what's currently permissible in terms of zoning, and asking what's the highest and best use for that area for the community at large, including, for goodness' sake, the school district?

We know what happens when those questions don't get asked. You get the ad hoc mess on Central Avenue that Samis calls his backyard.

hal samis said...

Dear Anonymous Bob,

OK, I'll bite.
What is the highest and best use for the Gaseteria site, if not a free-standing retail building?
With that in etched in your mind, buy the property and build it.

And, is Greenburgh not getting this fabulous comprehensive plan?
Is it not underway and isn't there also a separate Central Avenue study.

So what do you suggest, that the owner should keep the property vacant pending the outcome of the
the comprehensive plan which will tell everyone what the Government says is the best and highest use.

"Good government does not sit on its hands" would be a nice theme unless Feiner were to say it. So being happy with the arrival of Starbucks is not such bad news versus a vacant Gaseteria. Of course, my position is that it is none of the Government's business in the first place unless the Government also wants to get into the business of providing low cost financing to the owner as though they were "partners" in development. And willing to forgive the loan if the best use didn't succeed in the marketplace.

No one is proposing legislation to prevent vacancies is true. But then no one is proposing legislation preventing residents from complaining about vacancies at buildings they don't own.

Samis doesn't call anything his backyard. Samis lives in a apartment building and doesn't have a backyard. Nor does Samis all that portion of Central Avenue which is in Hartsdale the Gateway to Edgemont. Samis, in fact, would like know better those who have taken such a fervid interest in Hartsdale, especially if any of them actually live within the Central 7 school district. This would be accomplished by identifying yourself, not on the blog as "anonymous living in Hartsdale" but with a name and a contact reference. Perhaps we could meet to discuss the threat that the presence of Starbucks brings to Hartsdale.

And, I'll be at both the Wednesday Town Board meeting, the Thursday Library Board of Trustees meeting and the Democratic Convention if anyone wants to present with a copy of THE EDGEMONT REPORT.

Anonymous said...

Several of the local and regional planners who participated in the recent walk-about in that area said they thought the highest and best use in that neighborhood were multistory mixed use buildings, with retail on the ground floor, and offices and/or residences on the upper floors.

Whether that would be the consensus of the town's new comprehensive plan committee remains to be seen.

But putting in a free-standing single story Starbucks would clearly be inconsistent with that concept.

Normally, municipalities in the process of creating a comprehensive plan try to avoid allowing piecemeal construction that might be inconsistent with the overall plan by approving a temporary moratorium on such construction.

Whether or not Greenburgh takes that route remains to be scene, but if it doesn't, the real losers here are the taxpayers of Central 7.

hal samis said...

In the real estate business, one story retail buildings are known affectionately as "tax payers" meaning that they provide income until such time as they are viewed or needed as a development site.
Unlike residential tenancy, there are few statuatory protections available to retail or office tenants. And whereas retail or office tenants obtain longer leases than the 1 or 2 years allowed residential tenants, smart owners include a demolition clause in a commerial lease which can kick in after a lock-out period. Furthermore, a noramlly a tenant such as would be offered a 5 or 10 year lease with or without options but in the situations in which the owner builds to suit, the lease would be longer. The point is that the type of development use you say that planners (who are not developers or builders) would favor is not yet "there" in this location. There is no need for additional office space of the small floorplates that such a plot would allow, especially when parking is considered. However an assemblage is always possible over time but remember that the strip of land in that area is literally a strip and does not contain much depth which would further limits the type of development that "planners" (again not those wearing development or construction hats) encourage. That the school districts need more money to spend is not the concern or the objective of real estate investment. If the school district wants to go into real estate development and earn the big bucks, then, Board of Education restrictions not withstanding, they should do so. However, when development is done in the private sector it is done either prudently or speculatively but both plans looking to an ending with the result of turning a profit. Planners are not in the development business; they are merely those who comment on what would look nice, fit in, or by some stretch of the imagination be deemed appropriate. However, since the risk taker is the owner and often needing to borrow money for construction and ultimately obtain "permanent financing based on net operating income", then all this talk of what they should do is only conversational; while not even granting that ultimately developers all have to follow the golden rule; he who has the gold rules. Thus it is, in the final analysis, the lender that determines the use as few developers like to use their own money for projects. On a good day, their "equity" in a project is the land.

So while the prevailing notion on Central Avenue is that mixed-use development would be nice, as we get away from Central 7 (which needs students) and enter Edgemont (which doesn't want any), it becomes apparent that the concept of mixed-use is now re-defined and limited to retail with offices above as opposed to residential above. On the other hand, away from four corners, some of the potential land parcels also have greater depth which would justify larger floor plates and perhaps invite the creation of more residential units. One certainly hopes so.

Finally, as is true of many of the parcels on Central Avenue, those which are not owned by active real estate corporations like the Midway owners, the remainder are owned by families for generations and likely have a very low cost basis. Whereas the need (not interpreted as the raising of dollars for schools) as a use determinant is still greatest for residential on the Central Avenue corridor while the tax consequences of a sale would be substantial. Therefore if the land parcel hasn't been sold already there may be no rush to do so in the near future. And, as a reminder, producing condos results in a taxable event whereas building rental unit does not.

Furthermore what has been called normal/overall planning versus piecemeal is appropriate for so-called new communities which start from scratch. This vision of tickytackiness may fly off the shelves in Florida or Arizona or Southern California but has not been tried in the Northeast for at least 50 years because the possibility of assembling large tracts of land is nil. If you want to live in a newtown move, otherwise recognize that Westchester County, especially southern Westchester is a mature area and piecemeal is what you got and piecemeal is how it will remain...comprehensive plans may have their day and be the guidelines to rebuilding when it is safe to return after an Indian Point meltdown.

Anonymous said...


You will be at the Democratic convention? With your ideas on development anywhere with no regulation, I would have assumed you were of the Republican fold.

hal samis said...

I have no problems when regulations already exist such as the zoning laws which permits mixed use development on Central Avenue. This includes retail, office and residential.

As soon as word got around that someone purchased a piece (OFF Central Avenue as I noted on the blog at the time) land for the express purpose of constructing multi-family, the Edgemont mafia rushed to Town Hall to demand a moratorium on residential development on Central Avenue. It turns out much later that the parcel was, in fact, not protected by the existing mixed use Central Avenue zoning. However what Edgemont sought was to get around the existing zoning that would permit residential by tacking on a moratorium which could last not the six months "advertised" but two or three years. The moratorium was needed to stop residential development cold while Edgemont lobbied for a zoning change to eliminate the allowed residential component.

Now Edgemont will respond with all the reasons they don't want anymore multi-family development of Central and I disagree with all of them. But for this posting let me just say that they didn't want to anger Edgemont residents who owned parcels elsewhere in Edgemont that could be developed as residential so they limited it to Central Avenue. Furthermore, the reasons (School District at capacity) given would apply only to Edgemont but they felt they had to disguise the purpose so they extended the moratorium into Hartsdale; however the Central 7 schools were not at capacity. I'm sure we'll be reading lots of angry responses and attacks which we've read before. However, with the killing blow to the developer on Dromore, the demands for the moratorium also died, perhaps to be renewed after the elections.

However why I am reviving it for this topic in response to the Republican dig is to illustrate that I am not against zoning; I am against down-zoning when it is done just to benefit one special interest group. And if Edgemont were successful, then the result would be to punish those who already own property, made investments and paid the taxes due over the years; in short the owners being good citizens of the Community. By denying them their right to develop residential under the existing zoning would invoke a severe economic penalty.

But even that is not the issue. If you want to change zoning then follow the standard process and start with the proper resolutions.
By crying moratorium, you seek something that is not illegal but the need must still be established.
I believe that Greenburgh has a responsiblity to all its citizens, residents or corporate as they all pay taxes. Greenburgh must also protect the rights of those that have few votes, in this case the land owners on Central Avenue and not bow to the crushing weight of activist voters. So, when existing zoning laws are in effect, the honorable course is to swallow, prepare for what might happen but pursue your goal in an orderly manner and not seek the hysterical reaction of a moratorium.

So Edgemont will respond they wanted a moratorium to prevent everyone from filing residential development plans before the door closed. Other than the one owner at whom the moratorium was targeted, knowing that such a moratorium was in the offing since early last fall, how many other owners came forward with residential development plans before the door closed? Zero. So much for the fear tactics of the Edgemont so-called leaders.

So sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.
Call me Republican but as a registered Democrat I shall also remind you that Democrats also stand for the rights of man and the taking of someone's property is a no-no.

Now if Edgemont wants a zoning change they should ask the Town Board to start the process for the appropriate hearings. My anguish will be considerably less pronounced and more moderate if it is done without a moratorium.

Anonymous said...


White Plains has a plan -- look on their website -- I guess they are less developed than Greenburgh.

Scarsdale's going to be voting on a moratorium on subdivisions.

Other towns seem to be able to move forward, without acrimony.

hal samis said...

Then you are admitting that you haven't attended meetings of the White Plains Common Council. How would acrimony appear on a Town website look so I can be sure I haven't missed it. And I think you need to re think what you wrote because I read it as saying larger, more developed places like White Plains need a plan whereas less developed places like Greenburgh don't. And that's even without viewing the "urban density" of the larger place being Central White Plains and what in Greenburgh looks like White Plains?
Must be that not having a plan results in Greenburgh but having a plan results in White Plains. Even with our problems, where do you choose to live, where there is a plan or where there is none?

And, as reported in last week's Scarsdale Inquirer, "the trustees Land Use Committee will propose a sic-month moratorium, that if approved by the Scarsdale Village Board after a May 22 (that be tonight) public hearing, would immediately halt all subdivision applications in the A2a and A3 zoning districts, about half the village".

Of course someone at this hour probably knows the outcome but you do note that the ENTIRE districts are exposed and these districts comprise half of the village.

This is not comparable to an about 3 mile strip of one road regarding one componet of one zoning class in one part of town, the benefits of such action acccruing to only one school district. Apples and apples, hardly.

And further "By enacting a moratorium law, you're taking away someone's property rights. That's why it's limited to six months."
Six months may mean something in Scarsdale but in Greenburgh, the last six month moratorium lasted almost three years.

Now I don't know what these zoning designations in Scarsdale mean but it seems apparent from the article that they are talking about sub-divisions of smaller lots, not about excluding an entire building class -- multifamily complexes which may be either rental or condominium.

So Mr. Gee, different issues, different communities and different results. But I can understand those that fear conflict always choosing vanilla.

Anonymous said...

I would be very happy if someone would look into the leaking, abandoned gas tanks that are on this Gaseteria property.

Anonymous said...


From your post at 4:07

"Furthermore what has been called normal/overall planning versus piecemeal is appropriate for so-called new communities which start from scratch."

Neither White Plains nor Greenburgh are new, both are in dense areas of Westchester, which you say

"Westchester County, especially southern Westchester is a mature area and piecemeal is what you got and piecemeal is how it will remain"

So how come White Plains has a comprehensive plan, and Greenburgh does not? White Plains' comprehenseive plan covers many areas other than the central business distict, areas that have the same density as Central Ave., Tarrytown Rd, and also many residential neighborhoods. White Plains is trying to preserve residential neighborhoods and foster a better environment.

Anonymous said...

Scarsdale's moratorium is in contemplation of a zoning change that would limit further residential subdivision of existing properties. Its purpose is to "preserve the character of the community" and, because Scarsdale only has one school district, the zoning change obviously benefits the school district too.

Indeed, this is a perfect example of a municipality that sees its interests and the school district's interests as being one and the same.

Samis, who seems proud to be living in the most blighted part of Central Avenue, doesn't think Greenburgh or its school districts should have anything to do with re-thinking what belongs there.

He thus suggests Edgemont should mind its own business when it suggested a moratorium on further multifamily development along Central Avenue (where in Edgemont there are 900 apartments already) and wrongly asserts that Edgemont's request was made in response to a developer's plan to build more, when in fact Edgemont's request was first made last October, before anyone ever heard of that developer.

In any event, since Samis seems to have Feiner's ear these days, it should be clear that a vote for Feiner is a vote for more of the same blight we've seen for the last 16 years.

hal samis said...

Aonymous, (10:25)

How can you read it and then refer to what I have written as though it proves your view?

Let me go through it again because you need help in distinguishing from what you want to conclude and what I have said.

You have concluded that the proposed Scarsdale moratorium will help the school district. How?
Do they face the same problems as Edgemont or Central 7? One of the concerns in Scarsdale is McMansions as it is in Greenburgh.
Is there a proven correlation between McMansions and school population or do these larger homes have other amenities beside filling more bedrooms?

When there is one municipality and one school district, it may even be reasonable to conclude that they share the same concerns. However, since we live in Greenburgh and there are different municipalities and different school districts, the comparison, other than one of wishful thinking, is simply irrelevant. What benefits Edgemont may not benefit Hartsdale and it certainly doesn't benefit the villages or Fairview.

What is your definition of blight?
Is it like the Passover plagues?
Is it an occasional for rent sign?
Is it ok for a company to go out of business or lose their lease?
I'm afraid I don't see blight but if beauty is in the eye of the beholder. which part of the blight do you OWN that you feel the right or the responsibility to improve?

Now the statement that Edgemont first made their request in October does not preclude knowing that the property was sold during the summer and for what purpose. Perhaps removing the then existing house was a clue. Apparently you are not very high in the loop or forgot to read your emails. Things that appear on the blog are not always the starting point of hostilities, often the blog only reports on a war already underway. Maybe you should ask Michelle McNally what she said in October to understand what was really going on.

Feiner was supporting the moratorium. Maybe YOU should change your EENT appointment.

Anonymous, (9:45),

Guess what, Greenburgh has a so-called Comprehensive Plan but it is old and in tatters and comprehensive in the sense that if you collect the chapters and assemble them into one folder, it pretty much covers all the bases.
So, residents say we need a true Comprehensive Plan and one that is up to date and covers everything.
No, wrong!
Big surprise that I don't think we need a new one?

Comprehensive Plans are out of date while still in the binding stage. Things change.
Comprehensive Plans cannot predict the future. An Indian Point meltdown and throw the Plan out the window.

Comprehensive Plans are useful to newer communities which still have lots of undeveloped land within its borders. That is no longer the case in Greenburgh. At last count, I believe there are less than 25 remaining plots of a formidable size (I don't know offhand what the size break is). For example one of these is the Orce property in Edgemont which was not about to be thrown into anyone's demands for a moratorium on residential development to save the Edgemont school system.

Each year(s) this number diminishes and it won't ever rise.
So each year(s) there is less to worry about and less need for a "plan".

When a "Plan" is actually written, does anyone still think that it is not an article of political clothing? Ask Ella Preiser and Madelon O'Shea if they are satisfied with the results of their efforts. What goes in as pure does not always emerge unblemished.

What is really behind the Comprehensive Plan is that those parties with a wish list will be able to obtain them if they can cloak them with acceptability when bound within a Comprehensive Plan.
To do this, they need to have the Town pay upwards of $500,000 to the usual gang of consultants who wear white hats when they work for the Town and black hats when they work for developers.

And you get the same garbage.

If there are problem areas that need to be addressed, then pay to address those problems. A Comprehensive Plan does not appear over night. By the time page 300+ is in place, page 1 is no longer accurate.

Finally a Comprehensive Plan is something that Greenburgh can address and satisfy its telling directives within only its borders. What the next Community over does may conflict with what Greenburgh's Plan tolerates. Greenburgh, in most cases, cannot with certainty (even though there have been situations of record to the contrary) enforce its own Comprehensive Plan conclusions on neighboring communities. And what the County, the Region may invoke may also not coincide with the sentiments of the Greenburgh Comprehensive Plan.
So it is not the good for (?) number of years that its supporters would have you believe and it may just as easily be out of date yesterday. For example, what if Greenburgh finished its Comprehensive Plan 3 years ago?
And along comes a little matter like replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge.

When Greenburgh is ready to tolerate high rise development and its attendant high density results on a grand scale, then that time is when I would consider such an endeavor of POSSIBLE value. However, since there is ZERO tolerance for such extensive skyline altering structures in Greenburgh or the need, what little development remains as unbuilt puts the expense of a Comprehensive Plan decidedly on the down slope.