Friday, January 04, 2008

AN ECO FITNESS AREA AT GOLF RANGE? what are your thoughts?

I have always encouraged resident feedback about proposed developments BEFORE applications are submitted. Early feedback provides potential applicants with the ability to determine whether it's worth spending their time and money submitting land use applications. I received the following e mail from Jeff Binder. John Lucido, Building Inspector, advises that this proposed use may be possible with a change in the Ordinance. Currently, the Ordinance permits a facility which includes; ice-skating, tennis, swimming and similar facilities on land containing 5 acres in residential districts by Special Permit, however, they are only permitted in association with “Private clubs or social clubs operated by nonprofit membership corporations exclusively for members and their guests.” What has to be established is if the person who is interested wants to run it as a private membership club or if it is to be open to the general public. If that’s the case then there needs to be a modification in the Special Permit language to allow it.
PAUL FEINER
PROPOSAL FOR ECO FITNESS AREA AT GOLF RANGE
I have a client who is interested in developing a portion of the Westchester Driving Range site on 100B into the area's first "Eco-Fitness" venue which would include indoor multi-sport, tennis, pool, fitness and organic foods restaurant. The complex would be located on about 6 acres of the 32 that was at one time proposed as a residential subdivision site (a no longer viable deal apparently).
Solar, biodiesels, and geo-thermal would help provide power to run the facility. Local produce would also be served at the restaurant.
Before we go much further with the transaction, we wanted to get a general sense from you whether you thought this would be a positive project for that location and the Town.
Jeffrey Binder, Esq. PS -- I can be reached at (914) 946-3191 as well as e-mail binderlaw@hotmail.com.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why is it that we cannot have more housing to bring some tax revenue.
By not having this we will never get out of trouble with the huge tax hikes.
We got ourselves into trouble and it will not be easy to get out unless more revenue comes into the town.
The civic leaders that have said no more construction are not the ones that are paying our taxes.
Sell the land to a developer for the construction of homes.
We have enough with parks,pools and the center for recreation.
How many fitness centers have opened up so far in Greenburgh how many tanning salons?
Yes these bring in some revenue but not enough to help the residents of Greenburgh
We do not need more green space in Greenburgh what we need is more green paper coming to our aid..

Anonymous said...

A critical question to ask is whether this would be a good ratable for the Greenburgh Central School District because 55% of the annual tax revenue generated from that site will go to the school district.

This question needs to be addressed because Greenburgh Central (Central 7) needs better ratables to reduce the tax burden faced by its residents who last year twice voted down the school budget. At the same time, there has been such a reduction in enrollment at the Central 7 schools that it is estimated that fewer than 50% of the students who live within Central 7's borders actually attend school there.

Planning in unincorporated Greenburgh never seems to take into account the specific needs of individual school districts, and Greenburgh's leaders seem to think the needs of individual school districts are irrelevant when it comes to smart planning.

Last year, for example, the Edgemont school district, which badly needs additional commercial development along the Central Avenue corridor, asked the town for a moratorium on residential development in that corridor and got nowhere with town leaders.

On the other hand, developable acreage in the Central 7 school district would seem to be a good candidate for additional housing because it would generate additional ratables and, just as important, more students.

Rather than lead a thoughtful discussion about what kind of development actually makes sense in these areas, we instead have a seemingly oblivious town supervisor who uses his blog to promote a project by one of his lawyer friends.

PS -- How smart is it for the town supervisor to promote an indoor sports facility with a tennis facility less than a mile as the crow flies from the tennis courts at Veteran Park that the town is hoping to privatize during the winter with the assistance of Sporttime?

Anonymous said...

Seems like an irresponsible idea with no benefit for the town.

Jim Lasser said...

When looking at the proposal one should also note that it requires either a change in the Town's Zoning Code or a variance. Either step is permanent and irrevocable. Given the Town's history of long periods before adopting revised master plans (which include zoning) and the fact that variances, once granted, "travel with the deed", any and all accomodations made for this project should be considered permanent changes. Now consider that once a variance or waiver is granted to one developer, similar variances and waivers are generally viewed by the courts as a matter of right for subsequent developers.
Before making permanent changes to the Town's land use ordinances, careful thought must be given to the implications of those changes. Do we wish to permit private, for profit, development of parcels like this one throughout the Town?
Do not misconstrue this posting - I have not yet heard enough to make a choice for or against the proposal. I only ask that we, as a community, give serious thought to the changes necessary to accomplish this project - and what those changes will mean in 5, 10 and 20 years.

Anonymous said...

Lasser what we need to help the tax base is more developement of homes.
There is no other way that we would have a single tax hike for the future unless this is done.
The way things ar going now we are looking at double figures for a few years to come.
This is not fair to the tax payers when there is a solution.
How many more businesses'are going out along Central Ave.
If a few more go out the landlords will be asking for a reduction of taxes.
The different associations have fought every kind of development in Greenburgh,this is why we have trouble and are looking for more to come.
Jim don't look at this problem as a civic leader look at it as a working taxpayer who is having trouble to make ends meet.
If variences and zoning rules have to be changed what difference does it make so long as the tax base goes way down maybe in three years.

Anonymous said...

commercial development is better for the taxpayers. The schools get the money but don't have to pay for students. That is why this proposal may make good sense.

Anonymous said...

Yonkers is doing great with their commercial development.
Why cant Greenburgh do the same with this parcel .
It is already zoned commercial what has to be done to get someone to develope this parcel and get some tax revenue.We really do not need another fitness center.

Anonymous said...

I don't necessarily agree that the land should be sold to a developer for the construction of homes. First, the land is already zoned for commercial use so it was always contemplated that it could be used for commercial development. Second, selling the land to a developer for construction of homes sounds nice but probably isn't realistic right now. With the credit crunch, home sales have plummetted and developers are desperate to get rid of existing inventory. I'm guessing that developers are not beating down the door to buy this land and I expect that is because no developer is going to embark on a new development under current economic conditions.
I think that as of now most of the land in question is unoccupied, undeveloped and generating very little tax revenue. As long as their is a fair, reasonable and viable proposal to put the land to a use that enhances the community and increases tax revenue it should given every consideration.

Anonymous said...

We have many large parcel that could be bringing in plenty of revenue.
Why is it that this town refuses to let property owners put up what they want within the laws so they could help with our taxes.
Whether it's school taxes or property taxes we need any kind of help within this year or we will be looking at higher taxes for three or more years to come.
We do not need what this blog is proposing we have enough centers.
We need big money to help us so I think the town should start making good money deals.
Construction and more construction.

Anonymous said...

To those who want to sell the land:
Selling the land will produce a one-time revenue and the asset will be gone. The Town has repeatedly used one-shot gimmicks to reduce tax increases in a single year - and found the expenses just keep on coming.
A specific example: The Town accepted a one time payment for taking on the permanent maintenance of certain county roads, including Ardsley Road. The Town found it was too expensive to do the maintenance, so the conditions on "County" roads have deteriorated along with those on Town roads. The one time payment allowed the Town to not raise taxes in that (surprise,surprise) election year, but has done nothing for us since - except perhaps establish the grounds for one heck of a lawsuit when someone is finally killed by the lack of maintenance.
One time gimmicks like selling land are one time gimmicks, not solutions to our financial crisis.

THE TRUTH said...

WHY NOT BIULD A NEW POLICE STATION ON THAT SITE.OH I FORGOT IT MAKES SENSE.

Anonymous said...

WHO SAID THAT A NEW POLICE STATION IS NEEDED.
THE EXISTING ONE WAS JUST RENOVATED
Have you heard the saying money doesn't grow on trees..
What we need is some good revenue
to help with the tax base.

Anonymous said...

build a new poilce station on Frank's property, sell the property where the poice station is now. While you're at it close the library and sell the property.
make a small library and we could go to Scarsdale or White plains Library for free.

Anonymous said...

How can we justify allowing this when we wouldnt allow Fortress Bible to build their school/church just down the street?

THE TRUTH said...

YOU CALL THAT A RENOVATION,TAKE A TOUR 3 BATHROOMS FOR OVER 125 COPS TAKE A TOUR.LOCKER ROOMS WITH EXPOSED PIPES AND WIRES.NO PARKING FOR COPS OR RESIDENTS.JUST BECAUSE IT HAS A FANCY LOBBY ITS RENOVATED GET YOUR FACTS BEFORE YOU BLOG.

THE TRUTH said...

WHEN THE NEW LIBRARY GETS DONE ALL THE COPS WILL USE THOSE RESTROOMS.FOR 22MIL MAYBE THEY CAN PUT NEW LOCKER ROOMS WITH RESTROOMS AND SHOWERS.WAIT WHILE WE ARE AT IT A GYM TOO.

RESIDENTS OF GREENBURGH said...

ALL RESIDENTS WANT A NEW POLICE STATION!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

NEW POLICE STATION ON THAT SITE GREAT IDEA.

Anonymous said...

Why would we want a new police station now. They should have never gone ahead with the work that was done previously.
We spent good money on that work all of a sudden things are bad again.
They should have waited and not get that work done at the time.
This goes to show you how and what they think of the residents of Greenburgh.
What is happening is when they demand something we the residents have to give in.
The town should not spend our money so easy.
They never have 125 police officers in the building at the same time.
Who are they kidding.
Let's wait to see what happens with the library.There will be plenty of space there where they can set up house.
By the way Ardsley is expanding their library so who needs that big monster on 119.

Anonymous said...

Why not look at what is needed to save Greenburgh from going into a bigger hole than they are in now.
WE NEED REVENUE.not pennies to bring us up the line a bit.
How can anyone say that we need a new center when we have the TYC
plus the facilities at central 7.
Please consider in putting this on the table to build something that will bring in tax money.

Anonymous said...

Building things to bring in tax revenues is NOT something the Town should even be thinking about. That is for PRIVATE industry and investors - not for the government.
One of the biggest problems in Greenburgh is ignorance - not even a new library can provide the population with basic knowledge like whose responsibility it is to make investments which return tax revenues.
What we need is LESS government. Fewer employees and reduced services translates into LOWER TAXES. With lower taxes might come a climate more favorable to private business investment - and consequently more tax revenues.
Think about the frills which can be cut from the budget - Start with things like our internet dating service and reducing the number and variety of recreational programs.
The most expensive part of Town government is PEOPLE! Fewer jobs paid for by the Town means lower taxes - not hiring seniors for "make work" jobs.
Town residents must learn to do without some of the fancy perks our government has added over the years - five days a week of library services and only one garbage pickup each week will save huge amounts of money.
Reducing the number of "no-show" and patronage jobs at TDYCC, Town Hall, Community Development and Parks and Recreation will save real money.
Start now by dumping the positions of Town Historian and Arts Co-ordinator to show good faith - then let's talk about returning coaches to volunteer status instead of paying them - and charging fees for use of the Town's facilities rather than giving them away.
You want to lower taxes - think smaller and cheaper, starting with employment!

TRUTH said...

O.K LETS GET RID OF ALL THE JOBS TO LOWER TAXES.THAT WAY YOU CAN BURN YUOR GARBAGE,PROTECT YOURSELF AND IF YOU HAVE A FIRE YOU CAN PUT IT OUT.OH I FORGOT IF YOU NEED EMS TAKE A CAB.THE PROBLEM IS 22MILL YOU CAN BUILD BOTH. THIS LIBRARY BETTER HAVE GOLD TOLIETS,WITH SOMEONE WIPING MY A$$$$$.

Anonymous said...

POLICE STATION GREAT IDEA ON THAT SITE.IT WOULD BE CENTRALLY LOCATED.

Anonymous said...

By the time the library is finished in 2009 the price would be way above the price given to us some time ago. How about 25 or 26 million dollars.That's without furniture.

Anonymous said...

This library has three floors right.
1 for the library.
2 for police headquarters and
3 for the court .
How about that.

THE TRUTH said...

I THINK WE SOLVED THE BUDGET 9:51.HOW ABOUT ACOUPLE OF PATROL CARS WITH THAT ORDER. THIS IS EASY ..........

Anonymous said...

Dear 8:50 -
Fire protection is completely separate from anything the Town does - so stop being stupid or a shill for Feiner (is there a difference?).

Anonymous said...

why not put the police station at the TDYCC, that way the station is in the middle of the high crime area. It's bigger and has facilities for the cops.
Then take the TDYCC and move it to Franks, located in a better area for residents to take advantage of the center.

Anonymous said...

Why say that the center is in a high crime area.
There is more crime being committed in the Edgemont area than that area.
The police dept. should stay whaere they are for a few more years.
We cannot afford any new facilities at this time.

Anonymous said...

What other site has room to handle the police station-court and about 250 parking spaces.The center is not a good location and does not have parking that is needed.the site on dobbsferry is centrally located.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to add my two cents into this whatever is decided at the old Frank's Nursery/Golf Range. The town and DOT should look at installing a light at that Sprain Pkwy south bound exit ramp. There is one on the north bound entrance. There would be a delayed-green light for those west bound on 100C to allow east bound vehicles to make left turn onto Sprain Pkwy south. Many times, cars waiting to make a left to 100C from that south bound exit ramp need to wait until there is an opening in traffic, or put metal to the petal to beat a speeding east-bound vehicle looking to validate a crash dummy test. And comment like 'people should be driving with the speed limit' is an oxymoron. It will never happen. A traffic light is the solution.

Anonymous said...

FORGETABOUTIT
We do not have enough money to build a new facility to house the police and court.
Wait, maybe in five years we will get our bubget on the right tract.The residents interest at the moment is to lower taxes PERIOD.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE PAY ATTENTION ... this is about PRIVATE PROPERTY. The development being proposed is a PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT. The developers are not asking for PUBLIC FUNDS and, unless the Town wants to buy the land itself, it has no right to put up a police station or library on the site or to demand that the property be used for that purpose.

What right do any of you have to tell a private property owner what he or she can do with their land?(other than to demand that they comply with the applicable zoning laws)?

I'm pretty sure that if you wanted to sell property you owned for a use that was permissible under the zoning code, you wouldn't other residents dictating to you what you can or cannot do with your property.

Anonymous said...

Hey 12:44 -
This developer is asking for VARIANCES from the existing zoning.
You're right, the Town cannot use the property for something else, but does have the right (indeed, the responsibility) to ask questions when the owner wants to change the zoning (variances permanently change the zoning as they "travel with the deed").

Anonymous said...

5:11, Fair point regarding the need for variances. However, from the original posting, it does not appear that this is a situation where a developer is asking to dramatically change the intended use of the property. In other words, the developer is not asking to put up a strip mall on a residential street. The current zoning permits tennis and swimming. The only restriction is that it be private as opposed to public. Because this doesn't appear to be intended to be a "public park," and will probably be like a "country club," except for the fact that it is likely to be for-profit and open to anybody who wants to join, I can't imagine that a variance from this restriction would make a meaninful difference to anybody.

I also agree that the Town has the right and obligation to ask questions when somebody asks for a variance. However, most of the comments were not questions at all. Moreover, the comments had nothing to do with whether or not the Town should grant a variance. Rather, they generally proposed and debated alternative schemes for use of the land that the Town has no power to enact.