Wednesday, March 05, 2008

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN MEETING SATURDAY MORNING

The Greenburgh Town Board announced today that the Town of Greenburgh has moved to the next step in embarking in the preparation of a full-featured Comprehensive Plan for the unincorporated area of the Town of Greenburgh. The Town is holding its Comprehensive Plan ‘Kick-off meeting’ this Saturday, March 8, 2008, from 9:45 AM to noon, at the Multipurpose Center at Anthony Veteran Park, on Heatherdell Road. Broad-based public participation throughout the planning process is essential for the town to get the maximum benefit from the Plan.

The proposed Comprehensive Plan is designed to improve Greenburgh’s quality of life, promote the community character the Town’s residents envision and provide needed support services, while finding ways to reduce the tax burden. The Comprehensive Plan will look at important issues for the future of Greenburgh, including economic development, open space, affordable housing, roads and traffic, flooding, Tappan Zee Bridge replacement impacts, and others that will affect residents’ lives in the future.

As with all community-based planning, the Town is initiating a public process to encourage public involvement, build consensus and develop a comprehensive plan which will define the character of the Town; identify the defining character and current development patterns of individual neighborhoods; and will evaluate current, future and potential development patterns and pressures that will impact the Town.

In addition to the Kick-off meeting on Saturday, there will be a series of public input meetings (8–10) throughout the Town to gather opinions on community, neighborhood and Town wide issues. The first such meeting will take place on March 11, 2008 at 7:30 PM at the Irvington Recreation Center.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

oops

why? said...

i thought sheehan had agreed this would not be done unless the tennis bubble deal could be made.

paul kept his promise. francis??

Anonymous said...

I can't believe Bernstein is appealing the court case/

Did he pay the court fees yet?

legal observer said...

if the case was firmly decided on constitutional grounds, he has an absolute right to appeal.

the appellate court decision is internally inconsistent and the town's violation of finneran was given a wink and nod by the court.

court of appeals may not like that.

should be interesting.

Anonymous said...

I'm quite sure if Bernstein has made another motion concerning the Finnernan law there is something that was missed the first time.
Good luck Bernstein.

Anonymous said...

Bernstein is yesterdays news. No one on the Town Board listens to him anymore.

Anonymous said...

I attended the inaugural meeting of the Comprehensive Plan effort at the Anthony Veteran Center. There were approximately 30 people there who were not intimately involved in Greenburgh Town government. In other words, besides the Supervisor, the Town Board members, some commissioners, members of various town boards and some community activists, there were very few citizens. Of course, the weather wasn’t terribly inviting, and the publicity was sparse. According to the latest information, the yellow information survey, which was inserted in the Parks and Recreation publication, has not been returned in any discernible numbers.

The meeting, which lasted a few hours, attempted to collate information from the attendees on their specific interests. These subjects varied from the following: quality of life issues, neighborhood sanctity, commercial development, sidewalks, parks and recreation, signage, traffic, taxes and a host of other smaller concerns. Of course, the current Board, and the Supervisor, were saddled with this last minute $400,000 contract by the outgoing and defeated Board. Personally I was not impressed with the session, the turnout, and the focus of this effort. This reminds me of the last “parks and recreation” effort that was done a few years ago. Most of these expensive plans wind up on a shelf collecting dust. Their recommendations are too expensive and they quite often remind me of the metaphor regarding the re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Hopefully we are not the Titanic or anything close to that ill-fated vessel.

My feeling is that this money would have been much better spent developing an “Economic Development Board” that would deal with the following: developing and encouraging commercial development on Route 119, Central Avenue and Route 9A, lobbying the state on giving incentives for businesses, having the State and Federal government halt their practices of saddling communities with unfunded mandates, and pressuring our state assembly and senators to focus more on the tax burdens on Greenburgh. The schools currently consume about 60% of our local property tax revenues, and with a decline in sales tax revenues, along with the abandonment of commercial property and givebacks on taxes, as property values decline, our community will be under continued economic pressure.

In fact, the parks and the ball fields are fine, the services are excellent, the quality of life is good in Greenburgh, and some of the other problems are small. People grouse about the cost of Taxter Ridge, but in fact, the cost to the average taxpayer for that park is about $7.00 per year. The problems of signage, traffic control, and sidewalks, pale in comparison to citizens being unable to afford to live in Greenburgh, or having their children unable to live in the same community.

I therefore hope that this whole project be condensed to much less than the projected eight month effort, the cost cut dramatically, their progress closely monitored, and their emphasis be on commercial development, a growth in ratables, and tax relief.


Richard J. Garfunkel

good report said...

garfunkel is right on this one.

but taxter should also be sold - its a monument to a an era that has long passed and one we cannot afford
the whole comprehensive plan idea is a fantasy.

its doa esp with ridge hill coming down the line.

Anonymous said...

The cost of holding on to Taxter Ridge is not onerous. It is hilly, rocky and almost impossible and unwise to commercially develop. But it is a buffer and a place that may have the potential for a wind energy farm at its apex. As to using its land for commercial usage, I am sure that no one would want a change in zoning, if necessary, to actuate that end. The surrounding communities certainly would not want to change the character of their neighborhood and environment. If we could sell Taxter Ridge, and I do not believe that we can do it legally, it would be most likely sold to residential developers. All studies reflect that new residential developments are not a "revenue plus" for our region.

Therefore, I believe that the trade-off made for this "intellectual" debate regarding the selling off Taxter Ridge is moot.

Let's get on to making our commercial zones more economically viable. Let's call for Governor Spitzer to make some of our commercial areas, "Empire Zones" with state sponsored incentives regarding taxes, energy expenses, and low-cost loans.

We cannot afford to make unilateral concessions, without state help, to real estate interests that will mortgage our present with no guarantees for our future.

Richard J. Garfunkel

development needed said...

we need to get rid of the" taxpayer" zoning on central avenue and see if more intensive development can be implemented, e.g., mixed use.
taxpayers are single stand alone commercial properties that make enough to pay the taxes. thats no development - thats stasis.

Anonymous said...

Dear Garfunkel
If smart money can get a hold of that parcel to fill it and put up a golf course with condos it would be bring in more tax money than it is now.
Yes a wind farm is even greater,oh how we do need another form of energy here in Westchester but that is something that will never happen.
The town should have never never
bought that parcel just to satisfy Gold and his demands as to not to have a developer take over.
Favors like this in the long wrong prove to be an enemy of the tax payers.

Anonymous said...

With regards to a golf course and surrounding condos, the idea sounds wonderful, but I am sure that the dynamics of achieving that are incredible. Assuming it could be physically accomplished, which any casual observation of the topography belies, and the economy was not in a pre-recessionary mode, the local opposition would be incredible. Golf courses in this area of the country aren't built every day. In fact, most of the courses that we currently have, south of I-287, were built between 80 and 100 years ago.

Taxter Ridge was purchased for other reasons than just reacting to a whim of Danny Gold and his neighbors. Most parks, in the last few decades have been carved out buffers, not unlike Glenville Woods. The percentage of people outside of the immediate area of Glenville Woods, who use that park, or hike those trails is incredibly tiny. In fact, the amount of people who border on local parks and use them is small.

Over-development for the sake of economic "quick fixes" usually do not serve long-term interests.

To create more congestion, pollution, flooding problems with overburdened sewer systems, and crowed schools in areas that cannot sustain such expansion is a fool's journey.

Again, I would like to see any comprehensive plan focus much more on economic development in areas zoned for that purpose. Having our elected officials focus on lobbying the state for regional or statewide incentives for businesses is needed.

Richard J. Garfunkel

taxter a mistake and not a buffer said...

buffers should be paid for the neighborhood it serves. this is how its done in cotswold area of greenburgh. create a special park district for the people it serves.

richard - 200 acres is not a buffer. it was a giveaway to the irvington school district. it was a huge and costly mistake undulged in foolishly by our town board and our state and county leaders.

woe is us.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:34

If Taxter Ridge could be sold, what would you suggest the new owners do with the property?

I am curious what our fellow bloggers have on their mind for this mountain ridge. In fact, I am so inspired about Taxter Ridge, and its future that I am going out of my office, which is located on Taxter Road, and take a ride over to Route 9 and take a closer look.

Richard J. Garfunkel

directions please said...

richard - when (or if) you find it, please let us know
a)where it is
b) where you can park


thx

Anonymous said...

Well I drove up and down Taxter Road, and I am sure all of you John C. Fremonts out there in blogland can easily get to it from Routes 9 or 119. Its pretty hilly, heavily wooded, rocky and desolate. If a development were placed there, it would overburden that road and create immense quality of life issues for the surrounding area, but stranger things have happened.

But of course this argument is moot, the park is financed by three entities, and I assume it will stay that way for a long, long time.

The money was spent, two election cycles have passed, but, I assume, the current and the following Town Boards have the right to attempt to opt out and put it on the block if they wish. Good luck!

Richard J. Garfunkel