Friday, November 23, 2007

IS THE COMMUNITY READY TO SUPPORT REMOVAL OF HEALTH SPA ON CENTRAL AVE AND THE REDEVELOPMENT OF THE PROPERTY?

The health spa on Central Ave (near the Dilmaghani rug store) has been vacant for years. It's an eyesore. A number of years ago the owner of the property wanted to tear down the property and build a small shopping center at the location. There was community opposition to the plan and the developer never pursued the proposal.
Tearing down the eyesore and developing the property could bring needed revenue to the town and Edgemont school district. What actions, if any, should the town take to encourage the property owner to demolish the spa and develop the property. Would a pre-development proposal meeting with community, school and town leaders be a good starting point to discuss options?

80 comments:

Anonymous said...

This would be inapprorpirate. It smacks of a way for Paul to get a donatin from a builder, or his lawyer. If they have a proposaal let them go to the bulding deparmtent.

Anonymous said...

This would be inapprorpirate. It smacks of a way for Paul to get a donatin from a builder, or his lawyer. If they have a proposaal let them go to the bulding deparmtent.

Anonymous said...

Let the owner take the necessary steps to do what he wants with this land,
The civic associations in Edgemont will not allow him to do what he wants and we all know this.
Just remember they are not the bosses anymore.
We in the Edgemont area do need some good revenue coming our way.
This developement will be a good shot in the arm to help us with our tax base.
If there were a way to keep the civic associations out of the following meetings preparing for this happening would be great.
What makes you say that there will be a donation going to Paul from this developer.Yes the only donation will be to our taxes.
Shame on you for thinking this way. Yes from what you said I know just where you're coming from.
Every board,executive,planning and zoning ,should allow this project to go full speed ahead.
What ever he has in mind a shopping center or a nice building with many apartments will be accepted .You know how much help this will bring to the town.

Anonymous said...

Dear Supervisor you know if there is a pre-development meeting with the civic associations it will not get off the ground.
The less publicity this plan receives is the best.
You know and I know that Bernstein,Mcnally and O'Shea will be yelling till they turn blue.They have done enough harm to this town for sometime.

Anonymous said...

This is steep slope property. Hard to develope. Would need variances.

Paul should buy it for parkland. Get the money by sellling Waterwheel.

Anonymous said...

The new ethics law prohibits developers from donating to candidates. The Edgemont civic leadership claims they want ratables. This is an obvious parcel of land that should be targetted for development.

Anonymous said...

I think Paul should first provide a list of all money he has recd from Dilmaghani, any current proposed developer of the property, and thier lawyers.

Anonymous said...

And the rest of his slate -- list of any related donees.

Anonymous said...

Why is this so obvious -- there are vacant parcels all over -- on Central in Hartsdale, etc.

Anonymous said...

What makes it obvious is that Dilmaghani, a Feiner supporter, was the last one who wanted it developed.

Anonymous said...

Want to increase ratables -- SELL WATERWHEEL

Anonymous said...

I think an attempt to push along this will be watched by Fortress Bible. And if either party appeals from the soon to be announced District Court case, Fortress will use this as another caprecisou zoning. And dont kids yourselves, Westchester Hebrew Day in Mamaroneck, in an area with not good roads recently won at the district and appelate court level. They are primarily a school with a religous affiliation.

hal samis said...

Dear Inappropriate,

I agree that the developer should take the appropriate steps. Otherwise, how would the Edgemont Community Council be able to get the developer's plans before the Zoning and Planning Boards do?

This whole thing smacks of a way to get an Assistant Planner on the Department's payroll or support for the Comprehensive Plan.

Just in case everyone is still sleeping off the turkey dinner, supporting new development to boost Town rateables was one of the arguments that those promoting the Comprehensive Plan made.
However, the sparks will fly when those supporting the Comprehensive Plan are the same people who will oppose such development in their part of town.

What the impasse will be, whenever in the timeline it occurs, is that the owner will want to maximize the permitted use while the few of the "community" that oppose this will retrace the same steps and reach the same conclusion. Time will, however, favor the developer as fewer developable sites remain. The longer the debate lasts will define the loser. In this matter the loser will be the Town which sorely needs higher property tax revenue. Given this reality, the Town doesn't hold a lot of aces in its hand. And, all of this flap is over development, not on a quiet residential street but on a bustling mixed use boulevard.

What is unique about this situation is that (if the proposal is substantially the same as presented before) the developer, the owner and the tenant are the same party. Thus, the developer is already content to take the occupancy risk, being the major tenant.

Since the property is sited on the same "steep slopes" as the other nearby properties are or were once, to make this work may entail the suspension of the enacted steep slope laws. Thus the issue: what serves the Town best, holding to the legislated loss of buildable footage or getting rid of an eyesore and earning more in taxes as the result.

Were I the developer, I would also present completed plans for condominium development as "Plan B". Then we can see just how concerned about reversing the rateable slide the good burghers of Edgemont really are.

To the victor belong the spoils.
However this implies a war.
I would substitute for victor the term "property owner". It is this party that pays the taxes, takes the risk, does the work and is entitled to harvest the fruit of his investment and labors.

In Edgemont there are no victors, only spoilers.
They delight in watching fruit rot on the vine.
After all, it is not their orchard although they act like it is.

But think too about the losers. They are the residents of unincorporated Greenburgh, the people who have to pay the taxes which the rising cost of government services requires. The only practical palliative to this frustration of the pocketbook is to allow new development to increase revenues.

That said, hopefully Edgemont "leaders" are not going to play the NIMBY game, certainly not after they so verbally expressed their WESTHELP concerns.
Any development on this site would result in the classic win-win model.

Goodbye eyesore, hello rateable.

When good things happen to good people, why must there be so much fuss?

Anonymous said...

So if you support the property owner, Hal, what about Fortress Bible -- why can they not develope their property without a federal suit (where BTW, the US govt is on their side agasint the Town)

Anonymous said...

One hopes the consultation with Edgemont community leaders will be meaningful and in good faith.

The Edgemont community is responsible for 55% of the property taxes in Edgemont.
Edgemont has also undertaken its own study of the best use of land along Central Avenue as part of the work it did to plan for ways to enhance its tax base.

Because Edgemont taxpayers are the ones footing the lion's share of the property tax bill, and because they've already put pen to paper to evaluate what they would most like to see in terms of future ratables, it makes sense for town leaders to consult in good faith with Edgemont community leaders regarding the development of a potential ratable on the Dimalghani property.

Suffice to say, "consultation with Edgemont community leaders" should not mean inviting political friends to a strategy session with a political contributor to see how best to "lobby" for the contributor's project. That kind of "consultation" will only lead to further mistrust between the town and Edgemont.

hal samis said...

Dear 10:26,
No problem.

Because there is a difference between how property is treated when owned by a private individual (or LLC) vs that property owned by a Church or religious organization.

The power to tax is the power to destroy and that is the basis for why Churches get favorable tax treatment and land use bonuses.

On the other hand, I believe in separation of church and state and thus these two concepts don't co-exist for me so readily.

The commonality between Fortress Bible and Central Avenue to ME is as follows:

The Federal Government is to Greenburgh local laws like the Edgemont Community Council is to private ownership. Both the Feds and the ECC want to ignore the inherent rights of the little guy and instead use their weight to push their designated victim around.

Were it a proposed shopping center on the Fortress site, there would be no question that the building size and potential traffic problems at a highway entrance/exit would be an issue and that private property rights would be held subordinate to the "will of the people" as spake by local zoning and planning prejudices. Such would be the reality too on Central Avenue although there are significant differences in the nature of the location and roadway.

But Fortress Bible will not ease the tax burder whereas private development on Central Avenue would.

However, because it is a Church, the property is seeking certain preferences and favorable treatment not available to a private developer. And these goodies are what the Town is opposing, choosing instead to support the priorities of its existing citizens over those of "foreigners". Or favor taxpayers over non-taxpayers if you will.

DISCLAIMER
These utterances are solely the product of my speculation and I acknowledge that I am not well versed in the specifics.

That said and nevertheless, since I believe that the property owner, Fortress Bible, already is entitled to certain (undefined by me at this time) ownership benefits (the cost born by the "state", Greenburgh), there are applied limits (undefined by me at this time) to the benefits sought by the owner. The conflict is over the undefined "limits".

And two miles away, the private property owner, Dilmaghani, does not receive any similar benefits from the "state" (Greenburgh). Thus even though both the Church and Dilmaghani are property owners, they both do not receive the equal tax treatment or development rights.

If separation of Church and State were really (and I know some of the case law) upheld, there would be no "in god we trust" or "one nation under god" and all of the illegitimate step-children issue profiting from this inconsistency.

Interesting tidbit Department
One of the largest untaxed real estate owners in the world is the Catholic Church. And I guess that fact is balanced by most of the largest real estate developers in New York City being Jewish. Go figure...

hal samis said...

Dear would-be Bob,

Welcome back and thanks for sending me to the dictionary to learn that the word is "ratable" not rateable as I have been posting.

But I do have questions.

Who pays the other 45% of the property taxes in Edgemont? Are they not considered members of the Edgemont community?

For example is the subject property's owner not a member of the Edgemont community?

You (Edgemont?) got a study, we got a study, all god's chil'ren got studies...

But guess what, it comes back to what is best for "Edgemont" may not be best for the property owner.

But as I write, I'm thinking of the solution and maybe it can be sold to the private property owners.

In consideration for "Edgemont" having the final say on all matters of relating to development of the subject parcel, "Edgemont" will agree to the following conditions:

The Property owner and "Edgemont" will first agree on the investment return to which the owner is entitled.

Thereafter,
The Property owner and "Edgemont" will agree on who is to "do the work" or what compensation is to be paid to the doer of the work. Such work to be done will include but not be limited to: drawing up of plans, hiring of professionals, securing construction and permanent financing if and when needed, hiring of contractors and marketing personnel...The cost of such endeavors to be guaranteed by "Edgemont".

"Edgemont" will have sole right to determine the best use of the subject property and will do so with the realization that both the owner's return and the obligation of paying property taxes and other taxes will be satisfied.

"Edgemont" will be the sole guarantor of the owner's investment return and the timely payment of such real estate taxes as may be levied by Greenburgh and all other taxing authorities.

"Edgemont" will be the sole guarantor of any mortgages or liens placed upon the subject property to comply with realizing the aforementioned agreed rate of investment return.

"Edgemont" community members will pledge their personal assets as the bonding for the guarantee. Since the community has consented through their Agents, the terms of this guarantee will not be onerous, being spread over the entire community. If members of the community do not wish to participate in this agreement, their obligation/shares will be assumed by those remaining who shall hereafter and heretofore be designated as "Edgemont".

This agreement shall be in full force and effect over the agreed upon useful life of any improvements made upon the property. At such time as the agreement has expired as defined above, "Edgemont" will assume any or all costs to return the property to its pre-agreement condition.

This should be snapped up by "Edgemont" as it will insure that the property will be utilized in a manner consistent with "Edgemont" goals and values and such guarantees and representations that may be provided should pose no problems for the community because, after all, "Edgemont" has a study and put pen to paper.

Of course I have no doubt overlooked some additional stipulations but let's leave that to the lawyers.

Speaking of lawyers, do I detect a similarity between the pre-conditions to the meeting with the Dromore developer and this meeting proposed by the Supervisor? Obviously, this time, no one is going to bar the Supervisor from his own meeting but there seem to be certain exclusions as to who should be invited. Some public meetings are less public than others?

Who are the Edgemont community leaders? Who are political friends. Who is the political contributor. Consider these rhetorical questions, just as readers should consider Bob the blogger's polemic not as a functional guideline but as a statement which denigrates any reason to hold such a meeting. Needless to say, Edgemont needs only Bernstein to represent it and Bernstein won't qualify anyone from the other side as his equal so it should be a "short" meeting.

And one final observation. Since you are concerned about "Edgemont" rights, the rights of those paying the "lion's share" of Edgemont property taxes, does not 100% of Edgemont property taxes go to the Town's Receiver of Taxes to be applied in the proper allocation to the benefit of the Town of Greenburgh and its rightful assigns? Hence, having paid taxes, the payor has no further claim on how they are dispensed, to what specific use they are used.
So, if this is correct, what extra rights does "Edgemont" have over the use of the private property located on Central Avenue. Surely you are not suggesting that because "Edgemont" pays property taxes, it should be given exclusive rights over such property as may be located within its boundaries. What you are requesting is that "Edgemont" should be heard regarding their views on how the property should be used but, if this Courtesy is extended, don't conclude you have any control over the guest list.

And returning to the earlier paragraphs regarding how to satisfy the owner, maybe it would be simpler just to have a master lease over a build-to-suit improvement and "Edgemont" as the master lessee would only be responsible for paying rent and those items defined as additional rent.

Since "Edgemont" already knows from its own studies what it would most like to see, let it be the driver behind the wheel and assume the responsibilty -- just be able to guarantee the timely payment of the leasehold rent. Nothing unusual, I'm equally sure the usual permitted use clause language would be working in "Edgemont's" interest.

Just one thing, in case the Town needs to reserve a room for this meeting, how many chairs should be set aside for the "Edgemont" community? 2, or 3 seats?

Anonymous said...

An earlier blogger suggested that it would be a good idea for town leaders to consult with Edgemont community leaders regarding development plans for the Dilmaghani property.

The blogger suggested that because 55% of the property tax dollar that gets paid is attributable to Edgemont schools, that Edgemont community leaders have a financial interest in what gets developed there. There are obviously some ratables which will enhance the tax base for the benefit of the school and fire districts; while there are other ratables which, because they are associated with more costs to the community, will, if allowed to be developed, result in higher school and fire taxes.

In an effort to control its budget (which is now under control and in excellent shape financially) The school district's Government and Demographics Committee spent two years studying these issues and coming up with recommendations. Why not consult with Edgemont community leaders familiar with these recommendations?

It therefore seems to make sense that town officials consult with Edgemont community leaders about this project.

Contrary to Samis' rant, there was no quid pro quo demanded for any such consultation. The only suggestion was that if such consultation took the form of a meeting of political friends with a political contributor to see how best to "lobby" for the project, the Edgemont community would likely react badly.

It's therefore too bad that less informed residents like Samis don't seem to understand the importance attached to such consultation. Indeed, less informed residents like Samis seem to revel in mocking even the idea of such consultation.

The 55% number is a number used to illustrate that when it comes to development within their borders, Edgemont taxpayers are big stakeholders while the town, relatively speaking, is a small stakeholder. That's because town taxes account for only about 18% of the property tax bill in Edgemont.

Put another way, attracting a new ratable to Edgemont will have far more important on Edgemont and itx tax base than it would have on the tax base in unincorporated Greenburgh, or the town entire.

Yet town leaders (some elected town-wide, some appointed from unincorporated) make all the land use decisions for Edgemont. Thus, even though Edgemont itself successfully administers a $47 million budget each year (between its school and fire districts), Edgemont remains dependent on town officials to get it right when it comes to land use planning for future Edgemont ratables to support its tax base.

All the earlier blogger was suggesting was that Edgemont community leaders be consulted, if such consultation is to take place. If Samis speaks for the town leaders, Edgemont community leaders shouldn't hold their breath waiting.

But perhaps, just perhaps, common sense might prevail and meaningful good faith consultation might take place after all.

Anonymous said...

Paul,

An excellent idea. There are two areas of caution.

1. THE TOWN DOESN'T OWN THE PROPERTY. THE OWNER CAN SELL TO WHOMEVER HE WANTS. Don't get people start thinking about what they can do, espcilally Edgemont people who like to control everything, until there is some evidence that the conversations have some useful purpose.

2. As the last blog shows, some Edgement people will always find a way, verbally or arithmetically, to show that they should be in charge and that their views should dominate. Taxes and revenues are not an Edgemont issue, they are an issue for all of unincorporated. If there is to be a discussion, include Edgemont, but don't let them call the shots. We have seen what the self-appointed Edgemont spokespersons (Bernstein and McNally) do, and the good of the town is not important to them, so include a broader section of Edgemont people.

Anonymous said...

Why shouldn't Edgemont community leaders have a say in the kind of ratables being proposed for development within Edgemont's borders?

For the same reason that Greenburgh Central community leaders should have say in the kind of ratables being proposed for development within that district's borders.

The reason is that the taxpayers within these respective school districts are in fact the biggest stakeholders when it comes to future development.

The office building nearing completion at the corner of West Hartsdale Avenue and Dobbs Ferry Road is a good case in point. This is an excellent ratable for Greenburgh Central which last year lost more than $2 million in assessed ratables, forced school taxes up, and contributed to the defeat of the school budget there. 55% of the property taxes paid by Greenburgh Central residents go to the schools -- just as they do in Edgemont.

But bringing that new office building onto the tax roles will have an almost negligible effect on town taxes in the rest of unincorporated Greenburgh. Make no mistake, it's good to have the ratable -- it's just better to recognize that when it comes to making good land use decisions in unincorporated area school districts, the biggest stakeholders are the taxpayers in those districts. The town should therefore consult with those community leaders whenever and wherever possible.

That generally doesn't happen in political Greenburgh, and the real losers are the taxpayers, be they from Greenburgh Central or from Edgemont.

Anonymous said...

There should be no development of the site until after it has been remediated at the owner's expense.
For just a moment leave aside the excellent case Samis makes for Edgemont incorporating as a village. Also leave aside the question of donations to election campaigns and questions of a long history of attempts to treat certain Central Avenue property owners differently than others.
Focus on this:
The property in question has SERIOUS environmental issues. Years of neglect and improper storage of chemicals have left the property little better than a toxic waste site.
The cost of returning that property to usable condition MUST be borne SOLELY by the OWNER. Any attempt by the Town to use the property for anything will require a VERY EXPENSIVE, long term effort to remove the TOXIC CHEMICALS from the property. TAXPAYERS SHOULD NOT PAY FOR THIS - DILMAGHANI IS RESPONSIBLE, NOT GREENBURGH!!!
Can you imagine the lawsuits which will be filed if the Town issues permits for residential building and ten years down the road the known carcinogens in that soil cause a cancer cluster? You will all wish you'd forced Edgemont to become a village so the Town would be off the hook...
STOP - LOOK AT THE ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT - CALCULATE THE COST OF REMEDIATION - THEN TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE PROPERTY!

Anonymous said...

I bet the 9:00 blogger thinks that only specific Edgemont residents should have a say, only those that share his views. He couldn't care less about the views of other Edgemont residents, just as he doesn't care about the views of other Greenburgh residents.

Samis is right. Anything that goes up has to make sense to the owner and developer, or else it won't go up. If we want some more ratables, we might have to compromise a bit here and there, and not let McNally's and Bernstein's agendas control. Their way leads either to nowhere or to a lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

I think it is the law that an owner has to clean up a contminated site. Any buyer knows that. And if Dilmaghani plans to be the owner-developer he must certainly be required to clean up the property.

Other than Feiner's proposal, is there any reality to this? Or is it just a dream?

Anonymous said...

Evironmental issues can be quite serious. The property must be remediated. Why is the Town not enforcing law/code on that at that property and at Franks.

Anonymous said...

Edgemont leaders are calling for a comprehensive plan. This property should be the easiest property to develop. If they don't agree to development here they won't agree anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Now it finally makes sense to me why that property has not been developed for years. This -- owner in bankrupcy line -- makes no sense. Bankrupcy trustees try to get valuable property sold as soon as possible. This and Franks will be around for a long time.

hal samis said...

Isn't it great to be back exchanging electronic epithets again? Let's deal with a few of the venomous issues.

I can always tell when I've hit the nail on the head because that is when the panicked anonymous bloggers from "Edgemont" start their campaign of misinformation. It is so clear to them that I'm wrong but still they have to be sure that no one will listen...

First they have to deal with their mistaken belief that I am close to Feiner or that he would even listen to me. Thus "if Samis speaks for Town leaders..." What is the intent here, sending a message to Feiner? Shouldn't they also ask for a list of every winning politician I've supported so that they can send them the same message? Do they think that because I favored Feiner in the last election that he has installed me as the Grand Duke of Edgemont? I speak my and Ayn Rand's views on real estate development and property rights wherever I see ignorance by others displayed. Unfortunately for the Edgemont mafia, they being so vocal about "their" rights and Edgemont is adjacent to Hartsdale,
that I just can't ignore their blatherings.

"the excellent case Samis makes for incorporating as a village..." and there too is the message to Feiner and Greenburgh, if we don't get home rule, then goodbye.

Behind all this talk about ratables is a great fear about the school district and the cost of, if needed, expanding the school capacity were more students be added to the population. This is why "Edgemont" fears residential development on Central Avenue because it is the only Edgemont address with both permissive zoning and available land which could accommodate multi-family housing. More students, higher school taxes. It's really all about the money...well maybe a little about class issues too, "garden" apartment dwellers simply don't have the same cachet as Edgemont's stately manses.

But if it is really about money and rising taxes that leads "Edgemont" to the ratable trail and wanting to control its own destiny by insisting that Central Avenue development be limited to office/retail use, then please note that the last time I looked, the rate of exchange for a dollar in dollars was still one dollar equals one dollar. If "Edgemont" doesn't want to pay higher taxes, then Edgemont will never incorporate because incorporation will be more costly to operate in the long run. And there must be two Edgemont's because the Edgemont that the "Edgemont" leaders lead and the Edgemont that is composed of the good, but softer spoken, citizens inhabit, among all of those residents there is no support for incorporation. Yes, it would be a disaster for the remaining unincorporated Greenburgh but we already live in a world with Bin Ladens, Indian Point, high school students with assault rifles...so what's the extra burden to live with the fear that if "Edgemont" leaders don't get their way they are going to commit the equivalent of economic hari-kari.

"also leave aside the question of donations to election campaigns and questions of a long history of attempts to treat certain property owners differently than others..."
Gee, news of the election results must still be enroute to Ghent. Hello, "Edgemont", Feiner won. If you want to "leave aside", why did you bring it up and bring it up in such an ambiguous manner as though signing as anonymous wasn't enough protection. If you want to sit down at the table, it is customary to start with a cease fire.

Some specifics to rant about.

STARTING A FIRE TO BECOME A FIRE FIGHTING HERO DEPARTMENT
I have no problem with the owner paying for remediation. In fact any construction lender or permanent lender is going to insist on it (if the property goes into the foreclosure, the lender would then assume the responsibility which they want to avoid). But I'm curious as to why you bring up this issue. Is there any reason to believe that the Town is going to let the owner off the hook on curing this problem? Please advise of same otherwise as your "Duke". I'm going to assume this is just a straw man issue.

WHOSE IDEA WAS IT DEPARTMENT
"An earlier blogger suggested that it was a good idea for town leaders to consult with Edgemont community leaders regarding development plans for the Dilmaghani property". Didn't Feiner write in his blog topic introduction "Would a pre-development proposal meeting with community, school and town leaders be a good starting point to discuss options?"

But then the sliming came from anonymous "Edgemont" bloggers i.e.
"Suffice it to say 'consultations with Edgemont community leaders' should not mean inviting political friends to a strategy session with a political contributor to see how best to 'lobby' for the contributor's project" Does this mean that I'm not welcome? Does this sound a little like the playbook for meetings with the Dromore developer? Does this sound like the antithesis of what Feiner had been criticized for regarding scheduling a meeting with the developer of a proposed supermarket on Tarrytown Road?

I don't care who pays property taxes or in what percentages. All of the property taxes (as opposed to school, sewer, fire taxes) go to the same destination: the Town of Greenburgh and from there they are used to pay for town services and expenses. A dollar from Edgemont is co-mingled with a dollar from Fairview. Thus, claiming special rights to determine how Edgemont located ratables are determined is an issue that affects the welfare of the entire Town and is not an issue covered by "Executive Session" privilege. To threaten reprisals from "Edgemont" if the guest list is not to "Edgemont's liking is high on the business as usual order of certain "Edgemont" leaders. In the ancient Dromore farrago, the developer's own attorney and the town supervisor didn't make the cut and I was named as not spongeworthy to be apprised of the proposed transaction. What have they to fear? What is their concern about discussing matters in the open. Or is that Feiner is not a real estate professional and that not having counsel would be be an advantage to "Edgemont".

EDGEMONT LEADERS COME FORTH DEPARTMENT
In the interest of clarity and in response to seeing anonymous bloggers referencing "Edgemont community leaders", who are the people who qualify to be called Edgemont community leaders. We know who the leaders of Greenburgh Town government are. We know who some of the self-determined town activists are because they speak at Town meetings and provide their names when writing on this blog. But let's put an end to ambiguity.
Edgemont community leaders are presumably some finite group and has some basis to call themselves "community leaders". Thus it is not outrageous to ask for a list of these leaders. Put it another way, let's say I was making arrangements for a large party and I didn't want to offend anyone by leaving them off the invitation list. Who from Edgemont should be on the list? Let's clear this up for once and for all. Let's have all of you Edgemont authors submit a list to this blog of your top 5, 10, 15, whatever, names of people who shouldn't be left out. Then everyone will know just who carries the weight in Edgemont. That way all Edgemont residents will know who speaks for them. Doesn't that seem fair?

ABBOTT & COSTELLO PERFORM MATH TRICKS DEPARTMENT
55% of property taxes means:
1) 55% of all property taxes received from only the unincorporated section of Greenburgh
2) 55% of all property taxes received by the Town entire
3) 55% of property taxes raised from Edgemont homeowners and 45% raised from Edgemont commercial property
4) 55% of all taxes which are property based, this would include those taxes paid to school districts, fire districts etc. Of course, if you choose to spend more on your wholly contained school district, this would inflate the percentages.
5) 18% of Edgemont property taxes go to the Town, thus for all the benefits that the Town provides, including the Library, just this small percentage covers their membership dues and they're complaining?
6) ?% and the decision by King Solomon stands. Cut the baby in half. One set of zoning laws for Edgemont, one set for the rest of the Town.

RATABLES vs RECREATION
We need more parkland in Edgemont. Look at all the open space that East Irvington got. Let's make Dromore a park, let's give it to the Nature Center. Increase in ratables? Negative $$
vs
We need to maximize ratables in Edgemont to support our higher and unique expenses. Home rule is the answer. We want to determine our own zoning and planning. We are the champions of the world.

OK, time to for lunch with a denizen of Edgemont. While I'm offline, come and get me.

Ed Krauss said...

Marrying a prostitute with hopes of reforming her, rarely works out. Buying a piece of property zoned for other than what you need is a roll of the dice.

As a member of the Edgemont community, I resent the pejorative attributed to my community. Edgemont is not a monolith. There are all kinds of people living here: rich and poor; black and white and yellow; Democrats and even a Republican or two; those in favor of becoming a village and those opposed; and there are even a handful who regularly vote -foolishly,in my opinion, down the school budget.So the broad brush,negative label of "Edgemont," is shorthand for people who are either misinformed or just envious/prejudice/cantexpress specifics.

I think it's about time, given your shield of anonymity, you take issue with individuals, organizations and not the Edgemont community which for the most part is not a party to your tirades.

As to participation in meetings to determine land use, area representatives have every right to attend and participate.Thousands of Yonkers residents along with other area residents effected by Ridge Hill had a say; Mayfair-Knollwood had a say in WestHelp, and there should be no reason why the community most effected by the land use decision should not have a say.

Finally, some people in Edgemont DO NOT and HAVE NOT controlled the Town Board, nor can they. However, me saying so won't change you thinking. You win some,you lose some but you get what you deserve if you don't try.And sometimes it's not what you want. Exhibit A,"W"( who's lucky to have that name because he can spell it and not mispronounce it.

Truth said...

To Mr. Krauss.

-- You say that Edgemont is not a monolithic community. But you would have a hard time knowing it since Robert Bernstein and Michelle McNally are the only Edgemonters who regularly speak at Town Board meetings. Speak is not really the right word. They make demands, and they imply that they are speaking for all of Edgemont.

-- Nobody said that Edgemont representatives should not have a say about development in Edgemont. What people said is that Edgemont should not presume that it is only about Edgemont because it affects all of unincorporated Greenburgh. The Westhelp people had their say, but the determination about the withholding of further money to the Valhalla School Dustrict was made on the basis of the entire town's interests, not just the Mayfair-Knollwood interest.

-- You say that Edgemont people do not and have not controlled the Town Board. Until the recent elction, they sure did. It was well-known that Bernstein had entree to the Town Council, that McNally had the same, and it was known even before the famous Troy affidavit abuut Dromore that the Town Council danced to Bernstein's and McNally's tune.

Edgemont always suffered from the fact that other Edgemont residents didn't have the time to devote their lives to coming to Town Board meetings and making demands week after week. It was the Town Council's responsibility to not give in constantly, and to protect the rest of the town, but the Town Council didn't do it. So indeed, two or three (I include O'Shea) Edgemonters dominated the Town Board. That is why Berger, Barnes and Bass lost the election -- the rest of the town wised up to what was going on.

Anonymous said...

Before the Duke of Samis' consciousness awoke there were other attempts to develop the Dilmaghani property. Two are particularly worthy of mention.

Pre-Samis, pre-Bernstein (August 2003) the Supervisor placed on his then rubber stamp Council's agenda a proposal to agree not to enforce the Town's ordinance on tent sales so that Dilmaghani could erect a tent twice the permissible size and leave it up more than twice the permitted time. Edgemont, through the ECC, objected. After some fairly acrimonious discussion (during which Mr. Bernstein made his very first appearance at a Town Board meeting) the proposal was dropped -
and to this day no one in Edgemont is sure exactly why.

The shopping center Dilmaghani proposed in about 1996-97, which would have required setback variances, included both his existing retail store and the adjacent spa. He went so far as to begin the process with a preliminary environmental survey.

The environmental studies indicated the spa property posed a problem with toxic chemicals in the soil - and indicated remediation was possible, but with a potentially very large price tag. The study also indicated the geology of the site would likely require blasting - and the newly renovated football field at Edgemont High School would probably suffer significant collateral damage. The Edgemont Board of Education wrote Dilmaghani a letter expressing its concerns and requesting further information. I am told there is no response from Dilmaghani in the public record. Shortly thereafter the proposal was withdrawn.

If Feiner is looking for support to request remediation of the property at Dilmaghani's expense even the most rabid Edgemonters would probably sign on. If the removal depends on the community and/or Town for funding, it is almost certainly a non-starter.

So, Mr. Feiner, could you please elaborate on what you need as community support and what kind of redevelopment you have in mind.

Anonymous said...

Well some of the Edgemont community leaders, the former presidents of the civic associations did support Feiner in the election. They said the Fiener wanted the Dromore property to be open space. What has Feiner done fo rthat?

Anonymous said...

Dromore Rd, is not for open space.
The owner wants to build on his parcel.
What makes you think that Edgemont supported Feiner in the past election the residents did but the civic leaders were deadly against him.
THE PROPERTY ON cENTRAL aVE. SHOULD BE DEVELOPED ASAP.
This parcel has been an eyesore for sometime.
IF I were the resident from across the street and along side of this property I would ask for a great reduction of taxes. It has been a disgrace that it could not be developed into a nice building of condos.
I remember that a supermarket chain wanted to buy it to open a super market and the civic assoc together with O'Shea opposed it like the plague.
That's the problem too many chiefs in Edgemont.

hal samis said...

I HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND IT IS...DEPARTMENT

Seriously, who are the community leaders of Edgemont.

Not to be entirely disingenuous, let me suggest some names to prime the pump. Appearance on this list does not imply endorsement or qualification or any other form of ratification for wearing this title.

And Ed, even though I consider you a friend, Edgemont may not be monolithic but only in the sense that Noah's ark wasn't either. Allowing two of every species does not a balanced community make.

It's time for the Mouseketeer roll call,
in alphabetical order

Anonymous
Bob Bernstein (sick leave)
Ed Krauss (ret)
Jim Lasser
Arnold Laubich
Michelle McNally
Madelon O'Shea
Hugh Schwartz
Mike Segal
Don Siegel

Gee, I feel just like the winner at an awards show who fears fogetting to thank someone. There must be some people I missed. Please feel free to add to these names Even to nominate yourself, OOPS, that's already been done.

But if you're unahppy with the result, then consider the words of the Firesign Theater, "I think we're all bozos on the same bus".

Anonymous said...

Samis, does speaking endlessly at Town Board meetings make one a leader, or just an obsessive stage door johnny?

Edgemont is a community of very educated, very capable, very smart people. Aren't there leaders among them who might have more to offer than the tiresome speeches of most of your nominees? Maybe more of them would emerge if the conversation wouldn't be dominated by the bellicose Bernstein and his flock.

missing edgemont leader (not) said...

hal - didnt you miss someone? eddie may edgemont, god's candidate?

Anonymous said...

The leaders in Edgemont are just trouble makers.
Take the ones that are fighting the bank on Central Ave.the North Fork Bank I think that's the name.
The lighting is too much .I would like to see if anyone in their family were to get mugged they would be the first to sue to say the lighting was bad.
The leaders just can't mind their business.
How can we respect these people that insist that they represent all the residents of Edgemont.
I don't think they do,because a lot of the residents don't even know who they are.

Feiner needs to update blogsite/ emails said...

Please get rid of this eysore AKA beast 2. While at it please grant the candle light restaurant the variance to open up take out in the old furniture store located in the same parking lot they're in.

Anonymous said...

If the health spa is developed how much revenue will a redeveloped shopping area generate for the Edgemont school district? Will it reduce school taxes? By how much?
Why would anyone say no?

ED Krauss said...

Hal, thank you for promoting me to the rank of "Edgemont leader." But modesty and a real sense of individuality prevents me from accepting the title.

If anything, I prefer to think of myself as a "community activist," the entire Greenburgh community...villages and unincorporated.

I know I have always tried to speak out for what was right, and do right by my community.

If my "speaches" at Town Board meetings were tiresome they only lasted for five minutes at a time. I am, however, moved by the blogger who followed your "outing," with the sense the he/she said "some." and, I hope he/she excluded me from "tiresome."

I would also like to point out that the elected and unofficial leaders of the villages (approxiately 50+%) of our town, rarely, if ever,speak at town board meetings. I hope that is not taked literally the inference being the villages are "leaderless."

Parochialism is a natural stance. Giving-in for the "greater good" is rare. So, it's understandable that "activists" as opposed to "leaders" articulate positions they think are best for their area.

I agree, Hal, instead of the generic "leaders" posters should name names INCLUDING their own so we CAN tell the player's without the scorecard and not THINK we know who the poster is referring to.

hal samis said...

Dear 7:26,

Has Eddie Mae Barnes ever done anything for or even mentioned Edgemont?

I consider her already forgotten, in a month she'll be gone.

Anonymous said...

This parcel of land is the perfect place to build a large condo building with enough parking underneath for the tenants. Looking at the parcel today told a few of us that's the way the owner has to go
As far as retail stores I do not think that is a good idea as one can see all the vacant stores along Central Ave.It seems that at a certain point going north on central business dies dowm and businesses close.
A nice multi condo would go perfect ..

Anonymous said...

Thats not what anyone wanted todo wit hthe vacant treasure island, etc. and certainly not with the environmental problem. Sounds like you are a friend of Pauls, tryng to help Dilmaghnai negotaite.

Anonymous said...

I am not a friend of either one. I'm a tax payer who is getting tired of paying taxes for the likes of you.You talk about Treasure Island,what about it.
I think it's empty again.maybe getting ready for the holiday.What happens after that will it too hit the dust as Barnes and Noble.

Anonymous said...

The spa should be developed asap.
It does look bad for the building that once was such a hit to start falling apart the way it is.
The owner wants to do something with HIS land and why not.
Friendship does not enter this picture.
Some people are always looking for some way to belittle the supervisor.
If you were the owner you would probaly do the same as this gentleman .
So keep your mouth shut.

hal samis said...

Dear Anonymous @ 7:09,

"That's not what anyone wanted to do with the vacant Treasure Island..."

Would I be right in assuming that by "anyone" you mean the owner?
Otherwise you're full of manure.

Dear Anonymous @ 2:42,

It is especially poignant that the Town Board meeting, which you distinguish as Bob Bernstein's first meeting ever, was held at the Theodore Young Commmunity Center, which would be the first victim of the Edgemont incorporation. Perhaps it can be saved somehow under the Town's Historic Preservation Laws even though it may not have reached the ripe old age of 50 years which would otherwise qualify it. But, the place where Bob's ox was gored should be at least commerated by some kind of marker or annual event. Please bring it up at the next ECC meeting.

As for the tent sale, true it was not permitted by the Town's existing laws. And a good thing too because can you imagine how bad Greenburgh would look to its neighbors if it had laws permitting such events. Can you imagine how people would talk. Can you imagine how the bond rating would suffer? Can you imagine how the residential real estate market would crash? And it would be hard to see how the owner would want to hold the tent sale for as long as a month what with all the offended Edgemont residents boycotting the event. Still, not allowing the tent sale could be construed as contrary to Edgemont comments of how we should support local Central Avenue businesses -- unless of course the business owners need to find new ways to stay open.

Imagine the chutzpah, wanting to have a larger tent up longer than allowed.

Suzie Creamcheese, waht's got into you?

(cue the orchestra)

"We don't want your takeout business, all we want is another brick in the wall."

Yes, it would have violated the Town laws and it was a victory for the ECC. And perhaps it launched the good ship Bernstein. And as Edgemont leaders continue to fight the good fight to keep their community intact against the diabolical incursions of imperialistic developers, the rest of the town can sleep well knowing that thanks to the ECC, we'll always have an Edgemont.

Fairview Firefighter said...

Actually Hal - Shove it!
The tent sale ordinance was passed by a concerned Town Board after a tragedy in another community. It was strongly supported by the Fire Chiefs of the 3 fire districts with responsibilty for public safety in the unincorporated area.
While Ayn Rand might not have approved, the Town Board did. Individual responsibility was a strong Rand theme - but I don't recall her stand including greed a defense for stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that the traffic etc. is unbearable on Dobbs Ferry Rd such that the Fortress Bible Church and School cant be built but there should be a tent sale on Central Ave? I think Central is a lot more crowded?

hal samis said...

Dear firefighter,

Apparently other communities still allow tent sales of the same size and Greenburgh still allows them but of a smaller size than the one proposed. But since I am not aware of the situation that the Fire Commissioners faced, perhaps you could supply the background. And, are there no ameliorations that could be done that would appease the Fire Commissioners? Hard to believe that a temporary outdoor tent couldn't pass the same muster as say, the carpet store itself.

However because even in the dark I still like to theorize...
Is there any relationship between the size of the tent and the number of people who come to buy? If you're displaying carpets and rugs, one might need more room than to sell t-shirts. And will there be huge crowds every day to buy carpets? The point is that what is being offered for sale will have as much effect as the tent size. And I suspect that a goodly portion of the traffic on Central Avenue are Greenburgh/Edgemont residents already who would either be served by the tent sale or wouldn't be seen shopping at a tent sale. I don't think that the prices of the offered carpets and rugs would be $29.99 either so the feared onslaught of buyers from the Brox and Yonkers might not materialize either.

I'll be happy to shove it. I just don't want to block your exit.

Anonymous said...

Did you ever figue out how many churches lead off of that intersection.
Take a ride and let us know just about the churches.Then you have the traffic going into ELmsford,White Plains and Hartsdale with all the surrounding areas.
Once the library and the health center are in place add a few more cars.
Whether you believe it or not Dobbs Ferry intersection happens to be busier than Central Ave.
Central ave. does have plenty of traffic too but it it thru traffic mostly going from south to north.
Dobbs ferry rd, is coming and going into all direction.
The residents don't need anymore .

Anonymous said...

Bloomingdales and Pedigree in WP have tent sales, but that is because both have access with at least one traffic light to the main street. Dilmaghani does not.

Also, please dont try to tell me that Dobbs Ferry Rd has more traffic than Central Avenue, that is absurd. Yes, the traffic backs up beyond belief at Hartsdale Avenue. At least the Fortress Bible location is close to a highway. Many people going to WP can take Sprain to 287. Many going to Elsmford can take Dobbs Ferry west, away from more traffic to 9A.

hal samis said...

Hard to keep track of the bloggers but are you related to firefighter?

I'm having trouble keeping the objections to the tent sale in any semblance of sanity.

Are you saying that the objection to a tent sale on Central Avenue has to do with the access and egress on and off Central Avenue and that it not a "fire" issue?

So size (tent) doesn't matter after all?

Or that retail isn't good for this location and that residential which has less arrivals and departures would indeed be the best use.

If you've got a shaky story to peddle, then you guys should all get together and find ONE that works.

Anonymous said...

Eyesore? I think its a really cool building - very futuristic, 2001 Space Odyssey kind of look, especially with the bizarre fascistic Atlas statue. Landmark it!

Anonymous said...

YOu are right, it is truly unique building.

Anonymous said...

DOBBS FERRY RD. HAS MORE THAN ENOUGH TRAFFIC.
THIS CHURCH SHOULD GO ELSEWHERE.YES YOU AGREE THAT TRAFFIC BACKS UP ON HARTSDALE AVE. WHICH IS THE MAIN THOROUGHFARE GOING THRU TOWN.
gET THE FACTS STRAIGHT,THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN THAT THEY DO NOT NEED ANOTHER CHURCH IN THE VICINITY.
HAVE YOU COUNTED HOW MANY CHURCHES ARE IN THAT AREA.TAKE A MOMENT.

Anonymous said...

It matters more what the federal judge will say as to Fortress. And Feiner has not helped the situation with his capricous manner in assisting some (GNC, Union Church, too many developers to list), including those that need variances. The Judge may find no reasonable basis why the others were allowed, and not Fortress. Which is a violation of Federal Law, RURPLA.

hal samis said...

Dear 5:00,

Are all variances equal?
Maybe the Judge will consider that if he considers "comparable matters" which is why you are not Anonymous Judge.

And while you're at it, I'm not going to ask you to list the developers too numerous to mention because you are obviously a very busy person who can't take time to think before writing but perhaps you could explain just what variances were "arranged" for the applicants you did list: GNC, Union (Baptist) Church and then explain how Feiner "helped". Just because I have a difficulty recognizing veracity when it is written anonymously.

Anonymous said...

No, all variances are not equal -- religous organizations are supposed to have first seat at the table. But you're right, we will have to wait and see what the Judge says. Have you read the Westchester Day opinions?

hal samis said...

Only the Journal News.
But since we have lawyers, judges, courtrooms and a jury empaneling system and since I am not a lawyer, I await the decision from the Court.

Not to mention innocent until proven guilty unless you are writing Greenburgh ethics laws.

Anonymous said...

Hal Samis says "Not to mention innocent until proven guilty unless you are writing Greenburgh ethics laws."

This is the shortest and best critique on the new politicized ethics law and the new politicized ethics board.

Anonymous said...

Hal,

The Journal News

To the Editor

September 9, 2004



The Union Baptist Church Takes a Step Forward



Last night at the Greenburgh Town Board meeting Supervisor Paul Feiner again showed why he is well known as “The Problem Solver.” Against the advice and counsel of many, Supervisor Feiner put his “hands-on” approach to the Union Baptist Church’s 2-year-old struggle to expand its already overcrowded facility. Supervisor Feiner led the Town Board in endorsing a resolution to become the “lead agency” in regards to the Church’s effort to modernize and expand its existing home. In this way the Town of Greenburgh assured the Union Baptist’s congregation, that any future “red tape” and “roadblocks” would be directly addressed. On the other hand I must object to one veiled assertion that somehow the noble effort of the Union Baptist Church to expand was more justified, because of their long association with Greenburgh, then the expansion of the Solomon Schechter School. It seemed to me, that there was an insinuation that the Schechter School, because of some kind of “advantage,” did not meet the delays faced by the Union Baptist Church. This type of divisive disingenuous remark does nothing to solve the ongoing problems of growth facing the Union Baptist Church and its most loyal supporters. By the way the Solomon Schechter School did not expand, but merely completed its originally approved building plan.



Richard J. Garfunkel

Anonymous said...

Hal,

Re the GNC From the town website, supervisors 2005 goals

) Amend zoning code to provide for new definition of health care/medical/clinics. Work with GreenburghNeighborhoodHealthCenterso that they are not forced to close down their operations due to lease not being renewed. Approved 100%

Anonymous said...

Garfunkel's posting makes no sense.

Feiner was on both sides of the issue - and his public press oriented pronouncments and public comments to interested community members without the benefit of a press presence were completely different, and contradictory.

Paul had to right on this one - he held both positions. Sort of like playing checkers against oneself. You always win.

Anonymous said...

Why must the public be included in talks concerning an owner and what he wants to build.
You know dam well that the people in this area do not want anything to be built.Whomever the developer is he should submit his plans and go forth.
Again by stopping development we have lost a lot of revenue.
You have to stop this asap.
We are in trouble. Services must not be cut but we can allow developers to do what they want with their land.
If cuts have to be made make them in the school tax.
There is too much waste in our schools.

Anonymous said...

So when does Fortress get to build their church and school? They own that property?

Anonymous said...

This whole topic is asinine.
The Town can and should order the landlord to clean up the property.
Under existing law the building inspector (a Feiner appointee) can ORDER the owner to either make repairs or can have the repairs made and BILL the owner.
All it takes is ONE public official with the courage to do it.
Stop hiding behind the ignorance of the community when you don't want to offend a major political contributor.

Anonymous said...

Who is the major contributor?

hal samis said...

Dear 8:16,

The acronym for the Greenburgh Health Center (as it is listed in the phone book) is GHC. I don't know where you got "neighborhood" while it being in one location in as broad an area as Greenburgh defines the service area as a rather extended neighorhood.

The acronym for the Greenburgh Nature Center is GNC.

Anonymous said...

Hal,

Sorry re typo.

hal samis said...

Again, I'm going to ask what are the facts? What is the specific environmental problem and how does it affect future development.

If it stays where it is and no development is attempted is it a danger or just the measurement of a presence?

If new development would occur and the problem remains buried under paving and impermeable surfaces, does it still pose a threat?

Is the danger incurred when removing as great as the danger in leaving it alone?

Often in financings that I have seen, the owner and lender agree either on mitigations or the purchase of an insurance waiver which protects the lender.

Granted that whatever the perceived danger is, high or low risk, the parcel would be better without it. My sincere question is not that it flunks a test but what is the practical threat if the condition remains untreated -- either by leaving the improvements intact or bulldozing to begin new development.

For example, I suspect that there are parcels already developed and standing that would similarly fail such testing if the occasion warranted. Without any proposed new development on these sites, no one is concernedor wiser. Thus I'm seeking the reasons that make the Dilmaghani parcel such a threat.

I do understand that certain chemicals are dangerous when humans come in contact with them thus, the question becomes on of: will humans come in contact with them either, as is, or, as to-be- developed?

Anonymous said...

aGAIN THAT AREA DOES NOT NEED A CHURCH AND SCHOOL.
there is too much traffic with the other churches and schools.
The residents have spoken they do not want this project to go foward,and that's it.
If the pastor of this chuch would take a good look at that area in the morning then lunch time,and later at three he would change his mind.
Then comes saturday and Sunday when it takes on a year and a day to get across the intersection of hartsdale an dobbs ferry rd.
he then would put up his hands and surrender.
It's a total mess.
Take a good look fortress pastor,and let's see what you think.And by the way the library is not finished and neither is the medical center in construction yet.

Anonymous said...

I thoughts a church was supposed to care about people. I guess the fortress church dosent care about the people of greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

Hal,

I dont know how to get the facts, but I suspect the environmental issues are pretty serious. Why has the property been vacant so long? It has been like this as long as I can remember. Some have said because the owner was in bankruptcy. That is ludicrous, the first thing the trustees in BK sell is valuable real property. My guess is no one could get fiancing or insurance etc, and Dilmaghani is hoping his buddy Paul will let it get developed.

hal samis said...

Then the first question to be resolved is whether the property is in bankruptcy or not. I don't believe that to be the case.

What I do understand, and it doesn't sound right but neverthless possible, is that the tenant Bally health spas did not default on the lease and chose to continue to rent the premises and allow it to remain "dark". The explanation given that they didn't want it leased to a competitor. That is my understanding.

Anonymous said...

Hal,

That story, which I have also heard, sounds crazy. At a miminum, anyone with a brain would either lease it to one of the many banks or CVS, or a furntiture store, etc. Which is why I think there is more here than we know.

Anonymous said...

If all the friends that people say that Paul Feiner has were really his friends, he would be governor by now.

Maybe a better excuse for the trashing is in order.

hal samis said...

Dear 5:00,

I hear, you hear; together we do not know.
However, if true, then Bally fulfilled its lease obligations by continuing to pay rent and thus the property could not be rented to a third party without the consent of Bally's.

Perhaps the owner could make a case that (see lease) the building remaining vacant was harming the marketability of the premises but it would be a stretch to argue that while accepting the rent checks. And given the income stream, (bird in hand) the owner had little incentive to go to Court to dislodge a good tenant, albeit one absent of occupancy.
sic, he evicts Bally's and then finds his building joining Treasure Island and Barnes & Noble as vacant stores.

Aside. Were it it a vacant store in a shopping mall with leases containing % of sales as additional rent, by being held to a leased but vacant store, the landlord would argue that he was being deprived of this % potential income and the vacancy was harming the nearby mall tenants whose leases may require the owner to maintain continuous occupancy percentages throughout the mall.

And even if the owner were free to lease the space, that doesn't means that what he would want to get in rent would be agreed to by a tenant, that the tenant would desire the location (some chains do not want free-standing units) or that some the site people would recommend a location with the ascribed access and egress problems. Finally to further dazzle you, commerial mortgage lenders may exact a rate premium for single tenant retail on the theory that if the tenant defaults, the only income to service the debt has left with Elvis. Or, the owner may wish to develop the property in the future and won't give a long lease to a would-be tenant. There are many factors which ONLY the property owner can decide, not what a Comprehensive Plan suggests would be good for Town ratables.

Anonymous said...

The property started life as a Jack LaLane spa. LaLane was purchased by Bally's and sometime later the facility was closed because the swimming pool was leaking and couldn't be economically fixed.
Commercial swimming pools and whirlpools (this facility has both) are normal sanitized with chlorine and bromine. Both chemicals are potentially dangerous and can be lethal. Both have very slow rates of decay and require special handling.
Testing done by the Town indicated bromine and chlorine had leached into the soil. The distance from the site to the edge of the contaminated field at the time of testing extended at least as far as the Central Avenue right of way, but no testing was conducted beyond that boundary. The contamination had, at that time, reached a depth of more than 4 feet.
The recommended remediation included the excavation of the site to a depth of 2 meters (a little more than 6 feet), replacement of the contaminated soil with "clean" fill, and a suggestion that the Town adopt zoning prohibiting human or animal habitation.
The recommendations noted that paving over the site would not alleviate the hazard as the leaching would continue so long as the soil beneath the paving materials remained contaminated. Once the contaminated soil is removed, paving over the site is a viable option for continued use.
Materials are available from the New York State Department of Environmental Preservation and the archives of the Greenburgh Town Clerk.

Anonymous said...

I think the community is ready to support to the removal of dangerous chemicals.

Anonymous said...

Prediction -- Anything unfavorable to Dilmaghani will disappear from Town Clerks office when Alfreda goes.

hal samis said...

Dear 8:56,

Thank you for taking to the effort to explain the problem and don't think that because I react, as I am, to you input that I am not sincere in this thanks.

You've said that the bad guys are those nasty chemicals chlorine and bromine and that they require special handling. So?
Practically every household cleaner contains these chemicals and the warning is to wash your hands. But more specific to your explanation is that these are the chemical that were and still are used to control the spread of the other bad guys which collect in swimming pools. Thus the humans and animals are likely exposed to these chemicals many times in their lives.

However, you would argue, not in the concentrations found in the soil samples. And because the topography is sloping downhill toward Central Avenue it is not unlikely to detect them at that point whereas all liquids tend to flow down when passing through pourous materials such as soil. No surprise here. The question remains though as to whether knowing that traces of these chemicals are to be found is itself a problem, whether the concentrations of these chemicals are problematic and whether your concern about the potential dangers or "life-threatening" aspect is the reality of what is present at THIS location.

And after that determination is made and such a conclusion is rendered, then we can go on to the next part and ask how humans and animals are going to come in contact with this "danger" when it remains buried beneath paving or a structure on top. Gravity and osmosis together do not create a flow upward and the strength to wade through asphalt or concrete.
In fact, those who discuss steep slopes argue for remediation because the impermeable surfaces direct the flow of water (storm/rain) in unwanted directions rather than allow it to pass through the "topping" and "leech" into the soil.
Thus the real concern about the future effect of the chlorine and bromine leeching should be registered perhaps by the inhabitants of "China" and not those driving by Central Avenue.

You have defined how to remove the "contaminated" soil but you have stopped short of saying that it is required or that it has been deemed an actual hazard to health in its present location below ground; or if so, whether appropriate signage should be posted on the property warning the public of the lurking danger.

Tempest in a teapot comes to mind.
And not unlike all the other arguments that the three "Edgemont" mouthpieces like to trumpet when they want to stop development.

And, to conclude on a recidivist note, here's the recent history of Central Avenue retail.

*We have too much traffic already.
*We have to protect the store owners against Ridge Hill.
*We have too many vacant stores.
*We need to encourage more retail development and not multi-family.
*We need to find "grounds" to prevent Dilmaghani from developing his retail project.
*We need a Comprehensive Plan which will tell us that higher ratables will follow from retail development.

It's a typical day in Dogpatch.