Wednesday, February 27, 2013

reassessment forum planned for march 20th

The Town of Greenburgh is partnering with some other communities in Westchester in preparing for a municipal wide reassessment of properties. The last time properties in Greenburgh were reassessed was close to 60 years ago. The 2013 capital budget will include funding to start the project . The League of Women Voters is holding a forum on this issue on Wednesday, March 20th at New Rochelle City Hall. Edye McCarthy, Town Assessor, will be one of the panelists, along with several other qualified individuals.

You're invited to this forum. Learn about experiences of other communities that have embarked on reassessment. If you would like Edye McCarthy and town officials to meet with your neighborhood association or neighbors to discuss reassessment - we would be pleased to do so. It's important that people be educated and understand the benefits of reassessment to the town. It will stop the bleeding--at every Town Board meeting we issue significant tax refunds to businesses that have successfully filed tax grievances. Once a reassessment is done there won't be many certiorari's. Please e mail me at if you would like to host a special presentation for your neighbors on reassessment.

REMINDER- 225th anniversary celebration of the town of Greenburgh will be held Thursday, March 7th at 6:30 PM at Greenburgh Town Hall. You're invited to our reception. And, to the ceremonial Town Board meeting beginning after the reception.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

yonkers proposing development on yonkers/greenburgh border--255,000 sq ft of additional retail

Yonkers is proposing 255,000 sq ft of additional retail on Yonkers/Greenburgh border..Yonkers Planning Board to hold hearing on March 13 2013 at Yonkers City Hall....

Yonkers is considering an amendment to their zoning code that could impact traffic on the Jackson Ave corridor, 9A, Hastings and Ardsley. They have proposed an amendment to their zoning ordinance to permit 255,000 square feet of additional retail to be built at the Austin Ave development (undeveloped land near Costco, Home Depot and Stew Leonards). They also have proposed 400 units of residential apartments at the site.
Copies of the positive declaration the town has received form the city of Yonkers for the proposed PMD zone change and Austin Ave redevelopment next to the Stu Leonard's site will be shared with residents who request copies. them. The Yonkers Planning Board has scheduled the Scoping Session for the project on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at 7:00 PM in the City Council Chambers.
Our planning department is reviewing the draft scope. I will invite Yonkers city officials to brief the Town Board on this proposed project at a public meeting of the Town Board.
The town has not been successful in preventing previous developments on the Yonkers/Greenburgh border. However, the Ridge Hill developers agreed (as part of a settlement) to pay for $5 million in road safety improvements on Greenburgh roads near the Ridge Hill development.

Friday, February 22, 2013

editorial in newsday concerning Ferncliff/WESTHELP

OpinionNewsday New York


Editorial: Don't let politics block Ferncliff school move

Special education teacher Molly Conway, 33, helps Justin
Photo credit: Elizabeth Daza | Special education teacher Molly Conway, 33, helps Justin Irizarry, 17, play a tambourine and sing along during class at the School for Adaptive & Integrative Learning at Ferncliff Manor in Yonkers, (Dec. 13, 2012)
It's time for Westchester County lawmakers to get moving on Ferncliff Manor.
Months of rhetoric, finger-pointing and political wrangling have left students, teachers and families at this school for the developmentally disabled in Yonkers in legislative limbo. Meanwhile, New York State, which provides oversight, is telling the school it has to relocate because its current home, a former tuberculosis hospital with a line of trailers acting as classrooms, isn't suitable.
It's not. That's why Ferncliff -- which has 56 students, ages 5 to 21, from all over the region and with varieties of autism, severe brain impairments and behavioral issues -- has its sights on a former homeless shelter and transitional housing now vacant near Westchester Community College's campus in Valhalla. Complicating matters is that the six-acre property is owned by the county, but under the control of the Town of Greenburgh, part of a deal in the 1990s to build the shelter there.

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Ferncliff proposes to invest $17 million in the property and pay the town $500,000 a year in rent in exchange for a 50-year lease, with most of its money coming from the state. Republican County Executive Rob Astorino supports the move, as do state legislators and Greenburgh officials, all Democrats. The town board, including Supervisor Paul Feiner, also a Democrat, approved Ferncliff's proposal unanimously last year.
The county's Board of Legislators also must sign off, but first it seems old political scores -- between local and county Democrats, and between Democratic legislators and Astorino -- must be put aside. Several Democratic county legislators remain opposed, saying they would prefer affordable housing at the site. Those on the fence say they might support the lease if the state guarantees the rent, creating a sort of Catch-22, since the state says the school must first secure county support.
So far, 10 county legislators -- seven Republicans and three Democrats -- are on board, but they need 12 votes, a supermajority, of the 17-member board to move forward. Just last week, the county board sent Astorino's lease proposal to three legislative committees. It deserves a fair vetting, not a slow bureaucratic death.
The Ferncliff relocation is indeed complicated; the state, county and town all play a role. But given its merits, lawmakers must resist petty differences and give it a full and proper airing.
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Friday, February 15, 2013

pool open tuesday..road improvements planned for ardsley thanks to ridge hill settlement


I received the following from William Carter, Commissioner at the TDYCC re: indoor pool.

The pool is fixed and the water is clear. The water temp this morning is 68 degrees and is steadily coming up. We anticipate the pool temp being in the 70s by Tuesday so we will be open for business on Tuesday morning. It may still be a little cold but we will be open.. The following article appeared in NEWSDAY today about efforts to address Ardsley’s traffic gridlock. Funding for this road improvement is coming from the Ridge Hill settlement. The town had filed a lawsuit when Ridge Hill was first proposed. We settled the lawsuit and received a pledge of $5 million for road/intersection improvements. The Ardsley road improvements should improve traffic flows.


Ardsley plans to widen traffic-plagued Route 9A

Originally published: February 15, 2013


Work on widening a 350-yard stretch of Route 9A in downtown Ardsley plagued by gridlock is expected to begin later this year, village administrators said.

The project will add 5 feet to the width of Route 9A, or Saw Mill River Road, between Ashford Avenue and Heatherdell Road, allowing for an additional southbound lane leading to the intersection with Ashford Avenue.

Currently, a single southbound lane widens to three some 30-40 yards before the intersection. One of the lanes is for right turns, one for left turns and one for cars traveling straight through the intersection. When traffic backs up to the single lane behind cars turning left, the road is too narrow for cars to pass on the right. What results is a line of cars sometimes extending north as far as three-quarters of a mile during peak hours.



The project, costing about $1.2 million and six years in the making, will add a southbound lane that will allow cars to pass while ensuring pedestrian safety, according to village administrators.

"It's going to improve the traffic flows," Ardsley Mayor Peter Porcino said. "It'll improve flows through the downtown and we're hoping it'll improve flows in the Route 9A-Ashford Avenue intersection, getting people through quicker and reducing pollution."

Work is expected to take six months to complete. No date has been set for the work as officials will need to submit the expansion plans to the state for approval. It is not clear how long the approval process will take.

Ardsley suffers from several traffic bottlenecks dating back to the 1920s, when construction of the Saw Mill River Parkway segregated the village from Dobbs Ferry to its west. The situation was exacerbated when the New York State Thruway was built in the 1950s, severing most of the east-west arteries, Porcino said. The Ashford Avenue Bridge over the Saw Mill River Parkway is now the only east-west artery, and is congested.

To widen Route 9A, the village acquired by eminent domain 3,216 square feet of land from three commercial property owners on the northbound side of the road.

According to village officials, ISJ Management, which owns the property where CVS sits at 717-725 Saw Mill River Rd., received $90,000 for 1,232 square feet. Bernie and Sylvia Love, who own the strip mall at 715 Saw Mill River Rd., received $50,000 for 676 square feet. Joseph Butta, of Butta Enterprises Inc., who owns the closed Westchester Garage at 701 Saw Mill River Rd., was compensated $100,000 for 1,308 square feet.

Butta and the Loves declined to comment, and ISJ could not be reached for comment.

Funds for the land as well as the work come from a $5 million pot established by the developer of the Ridge Hill luxury mall and housing complex in Yonkers after Ardsley, the Town of Greenburgh and the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson filed a lawsuit expressing concerns that the shopping development some 3.5 miles away would adversely affect traffic in the municipalities.

The suit was settled in 2007, and developer Forest City Ratner established the fund to be used by the municipalities to improve intersections and roads.

The improvement to the intersection at Saw Mill River Road and Ashford Avenue is one of potentially three projects the settlement might fund.

A second $2.6 million project is planned for the intersection of Jackson Avenue and North Sprain Road in Greenburgh, said Thomas Madden, commissioner of Greenburgh's Department of Community Development and Conservation and project manager for the Ridge Hill Intermunicipal Intersection Committee.

Work there will include the installation of a traffic signal and realignment of the intersection, as well as the widening of Jackson Avenue from North Sprain Road to the Sprain Ridge Park entrance. Drainage work will also be done using money from a dedicated drainage improvement fund.

So far, no third project has been planned.

"People are generally very happy about the proposed improvements," Madden said. "The improvements focus on safety and alleviating traffic congestion in the area. The elected officials are very supportive, as this will offer relief from the congestions in the area."

Thursday, February 14, 2013 article says greenburgh doing more than others re: affordable housing

  • Real Estate

    Official: Greenburgh Is Providing Affordable Housing

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Greenburgh has done a fair job in providing affordable housing, according to a Weschester Residential Opportunities representative, who hopes a presentation at 11 a.m. Friday will assure that continues.
    In honor of Black History Month, Weschester Residential Opportunities will have a presentation at the Greenburgh Public Library to provide information to both tenants and landlords about discriminatory housing issues in Westchester County. Agency representatives will answer questions about housing rights and common complaints when it comes to housing discrimination.
    "My goal is there will be some landlords in the discussion who will really listen, understand and adhere to the law," said Ariana Calderon, the agency's program manager for fair housing education and outreach.
    Greenburgh has come a long way in terms of fair and affordable housing, Calderon said. While there currently is an affordable housing issue surrounding the future of WestHELP apartments, Greenburgh has done well in providing affordable housing to low- and moderate-income households, minorities, senior citizens and disabled citizens, Calderon said.
    "Greenburgh has done a much better job than the other communities," said Calderon, adding surrounding villages like Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington and Tarrytown are on the list of 31 communities in the county that need improvement. "Greenburgh is already considered to be integrated. They are doing their fair share of building affordable housing."
    The housing issue at WestHELP, which has led a Greenburgh NAACP chapter to publicly oppose the construction of Ferncliff Manor, a school for disabled children, instead of affordable housing, is the same property that was the subject of a 1989 discriminatory case. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled it was unlawful for the nearby Mayfair-Knollwood neighborhood to block the affordable housing's construction and exclude racial minorities.
    Weschester Residential Opportunities is not taking a position in regards to the WestHELP's current situation, where the Greenburgh Town Board still is pushing for the site to be purchased by Ferncliff instead of affordable housing.
    "We want the best for everyone. We want the children of Ferncliff to have a home and we want more affordable housing," she said. "WRO is not taking a position right now."

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

    assisted living law approved to help seniors

    The Greenburgh Town Board approved a local law at the Town Board meeting on February 13,2013 amending the zoning ordinance of the town by adding a definition of assisted living facilities and by creating a special permit criteria for such facilities. We amended the zoning map. We will allow up to 100 bedrooms to be constructed in an assisted living facility on four acre sites within 200 feet of a state or county road. The town will allow permits for facilities that accept medicaid. The Board has the right to deny permits to facilities if they have an adverse impact upon the town.

    Brightview, an assisted living facility, is seeking to build a 3 story building off of Tarrytown Road (near the Sheraton/Marriott Hotels/Benedict Ave) near Tarrytown (unincorporated Greenburgh). The just approved law will enable Brightview to proceed with their application. The Town Board had many public discussions/hearings on the proposed zoning change before the new law was adopted.

    Supervisor Feiner,
    On behalf of our client, Brightview Senior Living, I wanted to give you an update about the project. In light of the request that you and the Town Board made for our client to consider including an additional element of affordability into this exciting, assisted living project, Brightview has decided to offer two programs to address your articulated concerns.
    First, Brightview is prepared to offer the “Greenburgh Charter Club.” This is a program that would extend up to six (6) months rental rate discounts (between $500 to $1,000 per month) for residents who make the move within the first 30 days of opening of the new Brightview at Greenburgh. That savings, which we anticipate would be made available to community members at the earliest possible date, could literally amount to $6,000.00 per resident!
    Second, Brightview is prepared to offer up to ten (10) residents of moderate income levels within this 90 unit residential facility a reduced rental rate (approximately 20% of monthly charges). We think this second program is not only consistent with the spirit of the Town’s desire to facilitate reduced housing expenses for deserving individuals, but also would result in reducing the cost of food and assisted living services which are covered as part of the monthly rental charges.
    We believe that with your help, these reduced rates and special discounts will be made available to Greenburgh residents. We look forward to discussing these programs with you and the Town Board at the Work Session meeting next Tuesday, September 11, 2012.
    If you have any questions, or wish to further discuss this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.
    David S. Steinmetz, Esq.
    Zarin & Steinmetz

    Saturday, February 09, 2013

    snow update (8:10 AM)...facts about snow removal

    Just spoke with the highway department. We have 29 trucks out plowing the roads. The main roads are all open but many of the side roads are not. We had no reported power outages or downed trees. The snow is extremely heavy - --it's taking the crews a very long time clearing the snow from the roads. It could take the trucks between 6-8 more hours to finish the job town wide (it's now 8:10 AM).

    Suggestion: You might want to wait until the plows finish the job to clean your driveway. It's possible that you'll spend alot of time clearing the snow from your driveway and then a truck will push more snow to the edge of your property again.

    I asked Commissioner of Public Works Victor Carosi to provide us with a summary of snow removal operations. The following information may be helpful.


    (cell: 438-1343)

    During and after a major snow storm, the DPW fields concerns about our operations. Perhaps the following can help residents understand our operations and the impacts some of our operations may have directly to their own property.
    Q. Why do the plows block my driveway with snow?
    A: The primary goal of plowing is to remove snow from streets so that the road is open to vehicular traffic. Because snow plows are designed to push snow to the side, plowing pushes snow to the curb or edge of the street from the middle of the street. This results in snow piling up in front of driveways. The operator cannot stop or raise the plow at each driveway as this would leave a pile of snow in the roadway, in front of each driveway. Residents are advised to wait until the plow has been through their road prior to cleaning their driveway. The plows make multiple passes on a road throughout the storm to keep the road clear. At the end of the storm, a final push is made to clear any left-over snow and to re-apply salt. If possible, plow drivers will try to prevent excessive snow amounts at driveways but at most times this is just not possible. Snow piles at the edge of the driveway is a fact of snow plowing and in most situation simply is unavoidable. Residents must understand that the clearing of driveway is the responsibility of the resident.
    Q: Why did the plow push snow up onto my shoveled sidewalk?
    A: Pushing snow onto sidewalks occurs when the volume of snow is great and snow storage space is minimal. It is challenging to keep the streets open and as wide as possible for the entire snow season, while trying to remove the snow and not have it end up deposited in the sidewalks. It is not possible to avoid snow on the sidewalks. Please be reminded that e make multiple passes during a snow event and a final push at the end of the storm event. It may be necessary for the resident to clear snow multiple times from a sidewalk. Please do not push the snow into the street as our operator will continue to push snow from the street until it is clear.
    Q: Why was a plow on the street next to mine but did not plow my street?
    A: There are 26 routes throughout the Town; the plow you saw may not be the same plow assigned to your street.
    Q: My street was not plowed! Why?
    A: Plow operators have routes to follow. All streets do get plowed. Some are plowed before others as a matter of efficiency of the routing. In major snow events, it may take several hours between passes and the snow may accumulate significantly between passes. Please call 693-8121 for problems with your street.

    Q: When does the Town start to plow snow?
    A: As soon as snow begins to accumulate during any snow/ice event, Public Works will begin plowing the larger “arterial” streets to keep them passable and allow traffic to continue flowing. Generally, after an accumulation of about 2-inches we begin to plow, as salting is no longer practical.

    Q: How long does it take to plow the entire Town?
    A: The Town plows over 130 miles of roads. When there is 6” or less snowfall it would typically take about 6 hours to plow the entire Town. With snow falls over 6” it can take substantially more time to clear the streets. Once plowing is completed, we begin cleaning intersections and do a final cleanup of streets.

    Q: Why does plowing take so long?
    A: There are 26 plow routes throughout the Town which encompass 260 lane miles. The Public Works typically has 34 employees using 30 pieces of equipment and 4 front end loaders, plus 5 supervisors, 7 mechanics during a major snow event. Additional staff from Building Maintenance and Parks clears Town buildings and sidewalks.

    Q: A parked car was in the way before the plow came, can the plow come back?
    A: Yes, residents should call 693-8121 to report that a section of their street was not plowed because of an obstructing vehicle. The Highway Department will re-plow when time permits.

    Q: I parked my car at the edge of my driveway, yet you still plowed me in.
    A: Some residents park their cars parallel to their driveway. This greatly hampers the plow operator from safely performing snow removal operations. It also places your vehicle at risk for damage. The plow operator has no choice but to push snow up to the vehicle, depositing a large amount of snow adjacent to the parked vehicle. The vehicle is also noted and the Police are alerted to the situation. We urge residents not to park your car in such a manner that you obstruct the street and create a potentially dangerous situation. It is a fact of plowing that snow plow operations will deposit snow across driveways. It is unavoidable.
    Q: My mailbox was damaged by the Town snow plow.
    A: The Town plowing operations occur throughout the storm. At times, visibility is greatly diminished and occasionally mailboxes are damaged from the weight of the snow pushed to the edge of the roadway. The Town’s liability for damage is protected, but we ask you to call the Highway Department at 693-8121 to report the damage. We will try to make a repair as a courtesy to our residents, but have limitations on what we can repair.
    Victor G. Carosi, P.E.
    Commissioner of Public Works

    Friday, February 08, 2013

    experiences from around the country- snow trucks dumping snow in front of driveways


    Every municipal official in the nation gets the same complaints after every major snow storm. Municipal snow trucks pile big piles of snow right back in front of the driveway just after the driveway was cleared. It's frustrating. It's aggravating. But, unfortunately,I haven't found a community anywhere in the United States that has been able to avoid this problem. If you are aware of any community anywhere that is able to avoid having trucks piling of snow right in front of driveways please advise.

    Tomorrow, after the snow stops, you might want to wait to finish your clearing of the snow until the town finishes our work. This way you'll avoid double work! A story CBS Philadelphia did provides some other tips. I am also sharing some commentaries from other localities around the nation- that have the same experiences we do in Greenburgh.


    By Mark Abrams
    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – So, when that next snowfall hits the region in the coming weeks, how can you prevent that municipal snow plow from ruining the work you just did clearing out your driveway access to the street?
    There’s probably nothing more frustrating than shoveling out the driveway and clearing a nice apron area to the street to pull out… And then, along comes the snow plow and pushes a big pile of snow right back in front of the driveway. “A lot of people don’t realize it that the snow plows we use are just the big dump trucks,” says Don Cannon, Lower Merion Township’s director of public works. “They’re not like the plows in the parking lot where they can articulate the plow back and forth and move the snow one way or the other. What we say is that snow is loaded on the front of that plow and it just continually comes off — driver’s side to passenger’s side — or left to right towards the gutter line.”
    But Cannon says there is a way to avoid having the municipal plow block your driveway.
    “If you shovel out a space — looking at your house to the right side of your driveway — that would allow for the amount of snow that’s on that plow to be, say, discharged in that area before it goes past your driveway that’s that much less snow that goes in front of your driveway when the plow comes down.”
    Cannon insists many plow drivers are sensitive to the work suburban residents do to dig out.
    (Credit: PennDOT)
    (Credit: PennDOT)
    Why do they plow snow in front of my driveway? Bay Village, Ohio

    Snow plow operators do not place snow in driveways on purpose. There is no practical way for the snow plow operator to cut off the windrow of snow when crossing a driveway. This problem is especially acute in cul-de-sacs because of the space. One thing you can do to reduce the amount of snow that is plowed in front of your driveway is to place as much of the snow as possible to the right side of your drive as you face the street.

    City of Lafayette - Frequently Asked Questions
    Problems may arise for residents when snow piles up on sidewalks and driveways are blocked because of snowplow activities. We try very hard to plow so as not to block driveways, but this is not always possible. The most efficient method to plow snow is to push it to the side of the road. Plowing to the center of the road would leave your driveway open, but it would not provide enough room for fire trucks and other emergency vehicles to operate.
    Wicomico County Department of Public Works, Roads Division

    1. Why do the plows block my driveway with snow?
    The primary goal of plowing is to remove snow from streets so that the road is open to vehicular traffic. Plowing pushes snow to the side from the middle of the street naturally, and, unfortunately, this results in snow piling up in front of driveways. Snowplows typically push snow to the right of the travel lane and the driver has no control over this. Also, the driver cannot stop or raise the plow at each driveway as this would leave a pile of snow in the roadway. Residents are advised to wait until the plow has been through their road prior to cleaning their driveway and mailbox area. If drifting or more snow occurs the plows may have to make multiple passes on a road at a later time to keep the road clear. If possible, plow drivers will try to prevent excessive blockages at driveways but at times this is not possible. Please remember that the clearing of driveway and mailbox areas is the responsibility of the resident.

    Thursday, February 07, 2013

    road improvements/knollwood-119...why pool has been closed

    PEDESTRIAN ISLAND AT KNOLLWOOD/ROUTE 119 WILL BE RECONFIGURED. Police Chief Joseph DeCarlo and I have received many complaints about the new pedestrian island at Knollwood Road and 119. We have forwarded the complaints to the NYS Department of Transportation. The road is a state road, not a town road. In regards to the pedestrian island at Knollwood Road and 119, the consultant for the Health Center, Kellard Sessions, 500 Main Street, Armonk NY, has forwarded the plans for the construction of requested revisions such as a wider right turn lane and the reconfiguration of the island to keep two north bound lanes open. On December 20, 2012 these plans were sent to Mr. Shahid Quandri, P.E., resident engineer, DOT 1 Dana Road, Valhalla, NY. According to Chief DeCarlo, The DOT recently gave them a permit amendment (approval) so now this construction can start anytime they want to.

    POOL REPAIRS ARE BEING MADE...The TDYCC Pool has been closed for nearly 4-weeks for repairs. According to the Commissioner of Public Works, Victor Carosi the reason for this extended closure has been to determine the source of a leaks or leaks in the pool, and to service the pool mechanical systems. Starting on January 14, the pool was drained so an inspection could be performed by a contractor familiar with the pool. It takes several days to drain the pool. Once the pool was drained to an appropriate level, the technicians inspected the pool, located potential leaks, and made the repairs. This process takes time as material to correct the leaks must cure and as it takes time to refill the pool and monitor water level for further leaks to be sure they were all located and adequately sealed.

    The pool leaks are now corrected.

    While the leaks were corrected mechanical systems were also inspected. A CO2 system was repaired, the automatic water feed and level system was repaired, and repairs were made to the disinfection system.

    At this time, a second contractor repairing the main pump advises he will compete his work over this weekend and reinstall the pump Monday. It takes several days to refill the pool, filter and disinfect the water and heat the water to a comfortable temperature.

    We expect to re-open the pool before the end of next week. Maybe by Thursday. Obviously, weather conditions could impact the re-opening date.


    Greenburgh Town Supervisor

    Wednesday, February 06, 2013

    status update:: TDYCC pool repairs

    The indoor pool at the Theodore Young Community Center is over 30 years old. The main pump is not working. Once the pump is rebuilt, the pool can be refilled and the water can be heated up so that it can be used. Commissioner of Public Works Victor Carosi advised me tonight that the main pump has been removed and is being serviced. Contractor advises parts are scheduled to arrive Friday. Contractor will work Saturday to rebuild the pump. Re-installation scheduled for Monday, Feb 11. If all stays on schedule, pool should be ready to open Thursday.

    Unknown that may affect schedule is forecast for snow Friday if it impacts delivery of parts and ability of contractor to work. We apologize for the inconvenience and promise you that we're doing what we can to expedite the pool repairs.

    Monday, February 04, 2013

    Greenburgh Neighborhood Health Center opens Tuesday

    The new Greenburgh Neighborhood Health Center opens Tuesday morning at 9 AM