Internet based journal created to document environmental and architectural conditions in Scarsdale under the non-partisan system governing. Read our efforts to preserve this town. Read articles Scarsdale10583.com or the local newspaper The Scarsdale Inquirer will not publish! Come to Scarsdale, see what a beautiful town this is worthy of UNESCO World Heritage designation. But our elected resident volunteers will not protect this town. We need your help to preserve it forever, for all !

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Scarsdale Inquirer Letter to the Editor



I wrote the following letter to the editor, which was published in shortened form in the Scarsdale Inquirer of Friday, December 20th, 2013. The entry it is referring to below is what I wrote here on December 16th.



Dear Editor,

As the year end approaches it is customary to reflect on the past year and think of our wishes for the new year. 

I am thankful for your paper and the reporting you and Ilene Nechamkin have been accomplishing reporting on the many issues, meetings taking place in our village. Granted no one person can attend all these meetings all the time and whenever I cannot and even when I am present I still like to read carefully the objective analysis provided in your paper. I am grateful for this. 

Your paper also serves as a unique venue of communication between our administration and residents. As such it is a very important form of communication even in this blog and internet age where news is everywhere. Thank you for mentioning my blog Save-Scarsdale,  several times already in your paper. I have recently written this:

Letter to the Inquirer December 2013.

You are welcome to publish it all or parts of it as a letter to the Mayor, the Board Trustees as well as the Village Manager and staff, and to you as Editor.  

I hope you can join my efforts for a sorely needed park now at Heathcote Five Corners.

With best wishes for the holiday season and 2014, and for our Scarsdale to resume being a Village-in-a-Park again...

Lika L. Levi
Lockwood Road

Last revised  7:57 p.m. EDT, Sunday April 23, 2017. 


Monday, December 16, 2013

2-4 Weaver Street, BAR Meeting of Monday, December 2, 2013

For those of you who are interested and able to devote the time, I encourage you to attend these meetings. They are posted on the Village website and the process provides valuable insight into the design and legal process in our Village.

These meetings I must add are not for the faint of heart though. Monday night I finally left at about 11:30 p.m. There were two more items on the agenda, plus 4 Dell that was going to come back for more discussions.

The BAR's mission from our website is to:

   " preserve and promote the character of and appearance of buildings within the Village of Scarsdale". They can also " impose design conditions to ensure that buildings are designed in harmony with the neighboring community. "…

I am not a native Scarsdalian, ( rather an Istanbullu ) but I fail to understand how One Palmer contributes to the harmony of our Village or how for that matter 2-4 Weaver with 11 units and a design reminiscent of  Neuschwanstein will be preserving the character of our Village and then of course there is Heathcote Manor down the street that looks like Squatters' Paradise. No wonder they chose such a name. Reminds me of the saying do not judge a book by its cover. Maybe they hope there will only be buyers buying through the Internet site unseen...

This was the fourth revision for 2-4 Weaver Street. I was also present at the first meeting when Farley Baker had said: " Make it smaller "… It certainly did not seem any smaller Monday night.

They have now retained Bana Choura in addition to Rick Behr's son as architects. Flowery, frilly lilly doily sketches were presented, with no detail. I was at the building department Friday, December 6th afternoon wanting to take another look at these pictures, when there were none to be found. My phone call to Bana on that Friday as well has still not been returned.

When Mr. Baker asked where the gutters were, Bana answered they were concealed.

The windows though are going to be white painted Azec ! David Fenton of Twin Oaks was in attendance to answer the questions. I do not know why David Fenton would want to undertake a building with painted Azec ! Not much quality there. A four, five story building depending on whether you are on the Weaver side or the by-pass side to be built on pillars on the existing parking lot… Some structure, some design, some beauty…

No, tax revenue is all that is being considered here. More tax revenue and your project will be approved. Instant gratification instead of long term planning. We have a very able and capable planner, yet her hands seem tied in this poor vision.

That same evening we heard of an architect talk about natural, real materials, such as wood, copper, slate, stucco for the home he was designing. He talked about humility, about blending into the surroundings even though the house is on Richbell… And yet, this building huge as it is, with artificial materials only shows the poor taste of the developer and the goal to maximize profits forgoing all else using some man made poor facsimile substitute materials that cry out cheap a mile away…

We do not need more insult to add to the injury already done at Heathcote Five Corners after Heathcote Manor, One Palmer and now a 24 hour Shell gas station convenience store  on the New Rochelle side slated for more development. It is time to protect what we have and stop the abuse.

Ironically it was reported in the Scarsdale Inquirer of December 6, 2013 that our Trustees recommended that New Rochelle " carefully analyze the potential impacts of the proposed project on the surrounding neighborhood, including traffic, lighting, noise and storm water runoff"….

How come our Trustees are all of a sudden full of caution when up the street they are letting Heathcote Manor happen and now 2-4 Weaver Street ? If they could not stop Heathcote Manor, they now have every occasion to stop 2-4 Weaver Street. What have they done, what are they doing ?

Do they really mean what they say ? It is time to throw that Non-Binding agreement out to Weaver Street itself. Trustee Mark was smart enough to draft such a flexible document and now it is clear Scarsdale does not deserve one more insult. It is time for repairs, amends, repatriation. Give back to this town what it has been robbed of for far too long now: the open air, the trees, the views, the green.
This town is in need of healing. Enough of drainage basins and Cultecs.

Business districts are successful if and when they present a relief from the commercial nature of the area. A yin and yang type of dependency exists for example in the Village Center with Crane Park and the stores in the area. Greenwich Avenue in Greeenwich, CT is also successful with the park nearby.

In a similar vein, we need a park at Heathcote Five Corners to give a little yang to the yin of the commercial nature of the area. Why sell Village land to a profit maximizing, unimaginative, dull, absentee  mall developer from New Jersey (  F. W. Fish )  who cannot even keep the Tavern cupola in good repair ? Nor could they make up their minds as to what they wanted: the extra storage area, the parking, the map that was not accurate,  the appeal that they needed, etc., etc. This project has been problematic and plagued with problems from the very start.

This Village that can spend $ 12 Mil. on a public safety building should spend a couple of million dollars and acquire this property via eminent domain and give us a little breather in an area bereaved, hurt and damaged by all the latest development and traffic.

Heathcote Park is what we need here and what I have been asking for all along. See my letter to the Editor published in the June 21, 2009 edition of the Scarsdale Inquirer.

Now, I hope it is obvious to our Trustees and the management in Village Hall that this is the only viable solution for the area. Or else, one more sentence will be written into Scarsdale's death sentence that has  already received far too many entries lately.

This applicant has been with us since 2007. In the last two and a half years alone they have had to appear in  more than 17 meetings, in this round as our planner puts it. They have been pushing this project like venom through the throat of a sick man and they are still saying there is "no opposition"… Yeah, because people who really care about Scarsdale are leaving and the rest are fed up with the futility of the fight and disgusted with the insensitive attitude of our Trustees who cloaked in all verisimilitude of righteousness are doing everything but protecting our Village. Where is visionary  proactive, contemporary, green planning ? Why not finally change the zoning in Heathcote Five Corners ? Why not give us a park at Heatchote Five Corners ?

The British have left, but we have let this enemy conquer us, infiltrate us and they are now intent on destroying us. It is time to wake up. Scarsdale is in pain.

Show us you care, give us Heathcote Park !

Of course, if I had a magic wand I would want Heathcote Park where One Palmer is now and move One Palmer to the 2-4 Weaver Street location in its entirety.

As they say in French: " L'homme propose Dieu dispose". Man proposes or asks, and  God, ( or the authorities, in this case our very capable Mayor and the Board of Trustees together with equally capable, diligent and responsible Village Manager and team )  delivers. Amen !

Monday, December 9, 2013

November 19th Meeting of the Law and Land Use Committees

Dear readers,

It has been a while since the above meeting, my apologies for not writing sooner. First I was not going to write at all, but now I think it is best to record this meeting for those of you who would like to know more about what happens at events such as these.

Typically, there are not too many residents attending these meetings. At this one Ilene Nechamkin attended as a reporter as she often does and reports dutifully and objectively on the events as they transpired. This time her article was published in the November 22, 2013 edition of Scarsdale Inquirer.

Deb Pekarek of the League of Women Voters sat to my left. A while into the meeting Mr. Soldatenko came and sat to my right. We were the only residents in attendance.

The Village Manager's office was in full attendance as they usually are. Now, we have a new person just in charge of FOIL applications, plus another new gentleman. He said he was Mr. Nunzio Piterosanti's assistant and had been with us already three weeks. I congratulated him, since his predecessor had not lasted two days, I had been told.

At the end of the meeting I could not help but comment on the many law suits Mr. Soldatenko has now ongoing with our Village. I was told he has five pending. I wanted to clarify this, he would not comment. Then, I asked him if he had found a lawyer, who was offering a special: " Sue for two and get three more for free, or some other kind of special "… He liked the joke, laughed. He said:  "Ask Mr. Esannason". I said I had asked him, but he would not give me a definite answer either. We both laughed.

Trustee Lee has come along way since the day he had announced the fate the Canada Geese in our Village. He tried very hard this time to steer our trustees towards some kind of action regarding the development problem. Unfortunately delay, delegate and procrastinate again resulted. No definite result.

They decided they would meet with Seth Ross, Planning Board Chair and Farley Baker the BAR Chair and try to come up with a way to curb development. In the meanwhile every two weeks the BAR is reviewing 18 items on its agenda for new homes, etc., the CHP is meeting once a month to demolish old homes, the BOA is meeting once a month to do what it can to abuse this land even more if the current laws do not allow. The Planning Board does its share to plan for more abuse.

The Trustees and the Staff are considering options….Democracy is fine, but there is a point where it becomes counter productive. Our administration has ceased to protect what it was set out to do. It is now catering to the developer or to the resident whose project will produce the most tax revenue. Nothing else matters.  It is all theatre till there ! As residents they are shooting themselves in the foot as well…  Don't they see this is no solution ? Am I the only one who likes trees and open space ? Don't they see it will be a Silent Spring soon, even in Scarsdale ?

They have to act faster than their opponent, or else they are defeated. Don't they see this ?

Eight months into this new Board, and still nothing.

The Mayor was not present nor was Trustee Stern.

We are waiting for some real leadership from our resident and very capable volunteers.

Hopefully soon, before we are buried in concrete and asphalt...

Friday, October 18, 2013

18 Heathcote Road

Here are pictures of 18 Heathcote I was able to take the other day. Look carefully, all this got the approval to be demolished !





Halloween Decorations

Here are some Halloween scenes I could not resist:


Brayton Road, Berkeley Road homes

Here are some homes on Brayton and Berkeley Roads in the Greenacres section of Scarsdale.

All these homes could go, curtesy of the Committee of Historic Preservation and of course our Trustees under current legislation - except for the last one: One Berkeley Road which was mentioned in the Li / Saltzman Report.










One Berkeley Road

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Exactly my sentiments....

I am now at the point where I am more than upset at the lack of sensitivity towards our heritage in this town and of course by extension in most of this country. So, even though I read about the activities of the so called " Committee of Historic Preservation ", I do not attend their meetings.

The administrator of the Scarsdale10583.com site shares my feelings. She recently wrote about one more home approved for demolition: You can  read about it here:  18 Heathcote Road

We complain about lack of depth, authenticity, character in this town, this country. Yet, how are we going to acquire these qualities we all cherish if we keep destroying our past ?

Yes, it is not the easiest task to live in an old home. Things break down, they cannot be easily fixed. You wait for the repairmen who often do not show up, etc., etc. But there is value in cherishing the past in stopping this use and abuse attitude. Our children learn the value of quality if they see us cherish it, uphold it.

Scarsdale is like the teen-ager gorging himself or herself on junk food. Parental guidance is necessary.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Petition to Save Scarsdale


Petition to Save Scarsdale and UNESCO Criteria


Dear Readers,

I will leave this  post here  so it can be accessed by anyone wishing to do so.


Sign my petition: Click here to sign the petition to preserve Scarsdale  to urge our 

Trustees to act to conserve Scarsdale, our architectural and environmental heritage.

Forward to all, resident and non-resident alike or else watch a potential World Heritage site get buried live: our architectural and environmental heritage get lost, bit by bit, day after day descend into the abyss of an inferno engulfing us all.

From the UNESCO World Heritage Site:

The Criteria for Selection

To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria. These criteria are explained in theOperational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention which, besides the text of the Convention, is the main working tool on World Heritage. The criteria are regularly revised by the Committee to reflect the evolution of the World Heritage concept itself.

Until the end of 2004, World Heritage sites were selected on the basis of six cultural and four natural criteria. With the adoption of the revised Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, only one set of ten criteria exists.
Cultural criteriaNatural criteria
Operational Guidelines 2002(i)(ii)(iii)(iv)(v)(vi)(i)(ii)(iii)(iv)
Operational Guidelines 2005(i)(ii)(iii)(iv)(v)(vi)(viii)(ix)(vii)(x)
Selection criteria:
  1. to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
  2. to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
  3. to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
  4. to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;
  5. to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
  6. to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);
  7. to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;
  8. to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth's history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;
  9. to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;
  10. to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.
The protection, management, authenticity and integrity of properties are also important considerations.
Since 1992 significant interactions between people and the natural environment have been recognized as cultural landscapes.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

More meetings, more abuse of this land !

Every month the BAR ( the Board of Architectural Review )  meets twice to oversee plans for new homes, additions, etc. The CHP ( Committee for Historic Preservation ) similarly meets, you would think to preserve, no - to approve demolition of seemingly unworthy homes. They approve almost all homes to be demolished.

The Board of Appeals meets once. We heard from Mr. Matt Callaghan the only member of the BOA who showed up for the meeting with the trustees on September 25th. They review the application based on some antique criteria by the NY State who is all for development like it is, 1701 !

Last night the Trustees met to re-zone 2-4 Weaver Street, to clean up the zoning there to make way for the proposed sale of Village land to a huge monster---- Again ! Trustee Jon Mark read his prepared statement- again ! We all know once they make their mind, nothing is going to change the tune of the marching band ! They were in a hurry to get going...

Government by the people, for the people everywhere, against the people -  in Scarsdale !

We just received the agendas for the BAR and the CHP coming up in the next few weeks. Same old, same old. More destruction, more abuse of this beautiful town. Yes, our government is non-partisan but it is also non-functional !  They'll talk their way and listen their way to our destruction and annihilation !

Our administration seems equally incompetent. They wanted to charge for after hours parking now that there is life after 6 p.m., in the Village Center. Luckily, the Chamber of Commerce alerted them and said that would not make much business sense. Then we learn, further mismanagement: the Village is owed $ 720,000 in past due parking tickets and finally they hired a towing company and will tow repeat offenders. That was a problem last year when I attended the finance talks, glad to see something is being done. By the way, at $ 4,000 per home, per year tax for Village tax, this is like tax from 180 homes they did not collect...

Last Wednesday night, our Village Manager lamented overall population is down, student enrollment is down, even water accounts are apparently down. Well, people are leaving town, they are sick and tired of this unresponsive, greed and build government... And what are they proposing ? You would think they would listen and be receptive to resident comments... No, build: congest, clutter and crowd. In spite of resident opposition. What if they listened, and changed our laws so our streets would be preserved and would not become piles of clapboard and asphalt ? There would be trees, green, life ?...

They keep hiring consultants to advance their view of build, build and build: The Saltzman Cultural Resource Report, and the Village Center Report. What kind of a cultural resource is it, if it only preserves 68 out of about 6,000 homes ? Verisimilitude. You would think this is what they are doing, but it is the exact opposite. This seems the modus operandi for this Village: The CHP not preserving, the trustees eroding our trust. The Manager not managing, the planner not planning. Only the resident is doing his duty, voicing his or her opinion and then to be shut down, to be silenced. The resident is the nay saying enemy, and not the benefactor he or she truly is...

Yes, it is a short term solution, but a long term disaster. And if you think carefully, not even a short term solution. It is a disaster in the making. What do they care for long term consequences ? They will be gone and drawing on their pensions...

The resident volunteers are working part-time for no compensation, the developers, architects, the village staff full-time and for their bread and butter. The professionals are winning, advancing their cause and the volunteers are just gaping, hands tied. Doing nothing. Same story, different boards. Different very bored boards.

Our laws were written with everything in mind but an incompetent and incapable administration. Laws are written to be re-written. The zoning, the building laws could be changed if these are no longer serving the public. Case in point the Supreme Court recent decision regarding gay marriage. You have to move with the times... Not in Scaresdale... The typo is intentional and borrowed from a recent Halloween poster in our Village Center.

We have to evolve, adapt and adopt. Darwinian evolution theory applies here.

Scarsdale is an organic organism. It needs to change, evolve, adapt and be in step with the times. Where is our Mayor and the Board on this ? When will they show us they have been listening and they can act ? When will they show us they are worthy of the power bestowed on them, on the trust we have given them ?

Maybe next Village Board meeting.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Mistakes...

Dear Residents, Readers,

In Scarsdale we have resident volunteers who serve on our land use boards. Their actions are governed by the Village Code. Our board members listen to applicants as well as residents objecting or approving ( none of those recently...
)  and decide.

Lately, frequently the application reviews have been acrimonious and contentious. Too many projects are being deemed too big, too much, not in character, insensitive, etc.

A recent example is One Palmer that was scrutinized forever, through many boards. A resident Coalition, the Heathcote Coalition was formed and yet, a very able attorney herself Janet Bell, even said: "Lika, they ( the boards )  do not listen"... Similarly,  Millicent Kauffman of the Coalition was exasperated and said" Lika, we tried"...

And now, months later we have a huge monstrosity. They lost their only tenant, they went over Village land and had to pay penalties, they did not even conform to the plans they presented to the BAR. At the meeting on Wednesday night, September 25th, Trustee Brodsky said" We are working on it ( how to make good on all the bad they have caused... )  A frustrated resident herself victim to senseless development on Dell and Rock Creek Lane asked: "When is it going to get razed ? Nobody likes it. "

And now, you would think with 20/20 hindsight, the current application for 2-4 Weaver Street would be approached with sensitivity. No, plans for a residential building four times the size of One Palmer was in front of the BAR last week.


One Palmer

Depot Place
 

Depot Place Tower

Christie Place Condominiums

Heathcote Manor on Weaver Street
The Dance Studio on Sunday, September 29th,  2-4 Weaver, who needs a huge monster here ?????

The Planning Board Chair who had approved One Depot Place, herself admitted publicly that it was a mistake, that even she hated it. At the BAR meeting last Monday, the Chair himself this time admitted One Palmer was a mistake... How many more do we need ?

Time to acquire 2-4 Weaver by eminent domain, not to sell Village Land and give this town the park it deserves so much, after all these "mistakes " and abuse. Waste of our time, not needed aggravation... Why do they claim they are listening to us, when nothing is heard, nothing is done ?

Our zoning, our building laws have to be amended to reflect current environmental conditions and residents' needs. We all know the NY SEQRA is a joke and is decades behind the times.

Time for Scarsdale to wake up and act !


Friday, September 27, 2013

Petition to Save Scarsdale ...


Petition to Save Scarsdale and UNESCO Criteria


Dear Readers,

I will put this  post, in every month,  so it will be easier to access the petition.


Sign my petition: Click here to sign the petition to preserve Scarsdale  to urge our 

Trustees to act to conserve Scarsdale, our architectural and environmental heritage.

Forward to all, resident and non-resident alike or else watch a potential World Heritage site get buried live: our architectural and environmental heritage get lost, bit by bit, day after day descend into the abyss of an inferno engulfing us all.

From the UNESCO World Heritage Site:

The Criteria for Selection

To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria. These criteria are explained in theOperational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention which, besides the text of the Convention, is the main working tool on World Heritage. The criteria are regularly revised by the Committee to reflect the evolution of the World Heritage concept itself.

Until the end of 2004, World Heritage sites were selected on the basis of six cultural and four natural criteria. With the adoption of the revised Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, only one set of ten criteria exists.
Cultural criteriaNatural criteria
Operational Guidelines 2002(i)(ii)(iii)(iv)(v)(vi)(i)(ii)(iii)(iv)
Operational Guidelines 2005(i)(ii)(iii)(iv)(v)(vi)(viii)(ix)(vii)(x)
Selection criteria:
  1. to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
  2. to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
  3. to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
  4. to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;
  5. to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
  6. to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);
  7. to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;
  8. to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth's history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;
  9. to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;
  10. to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.
The protection, management, authenticity and integrity of properties are also important considerations.
Since 1992 significant interactions between people and the natural environment have been recognized as cultural landscapes.

Another mistake, coming up !!!

Dear Residents, Readers,

I attended part of the BAR meeting on  Monday, September 23rd, where 2-4 Weaver Street was discussed and 24 Herkimer prior to that. The BAR in its capacity to try to alter the esthetics did all it could to make those two homes on Dell and Rock Creek Lane look smaller... But they cannot alter the square footage. That is up to the Village Board, and the Board is still very unresponsive. After six months in office, they still have to meet with the Planning Board, they still have to enact laws to safeguard our Village.

2-4 Weaver Street is another disaster in the making. The VB is saying it's preferring residential use to commercial use, but we will end up with a huge boxy building -again- ! This is after One Palmer, after Heathcote Manor on Weaver Street, after One Depot Place, after Christie Place... One would think those were enough, I guess not.

The Trustees have tried hard, but they have to try harder.

The Trustees say the residents will have an opportunity to voice their opinion and many of them do, but the residents are finally disgusted with the process since there is no indication that our comments are being heard. Seems like Nazi Germany all over again. They do not listen to anyone !

To sell Village owned land for another monstrosity is not acceptable. To say that the owner could develop the property to make a commercial building is not acceptable. The only sensible and right solution is to change the zoning at 2-4 Weaver Street so that these kinds of big projects are not feasible any more. No, they are pretending this solution does not exist. I am very disappointed. All very capable men and women, many of them lawyers, residents with many years of experience and  the obvious is escaping them ! Why ? Because we need more ratables, more tax revenue... That is not an answer.

There is no end to that kind of rationale. Scarsdale will be covered with concrete all over and they will still want ratables. There is no satiating the appetite for tax revenue, but our Village landscape is deteriorating under their watch. It is the end for Scarsdale in the making - again !!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Mayor and Village Board of Trustees



   I am very appreciative if not in awe of the hard work our Mayor and Trustees put in to govern our Village. They are volunteer residents who have been elected for this job. Their terms are scattered so new trustees come on board in April, and a Mayor is elected every two years. They are on a revolving door basis whereas the professional staff has been serving the Village for years, sometimes decades.
They set policy, or so we think, the staff carries out their duties with their guidance.

However, the task of the Trustees is so burdensome, that I feel they are crushed under the burden. For example, when Mayor Flisser was in office, I would get answers to my e-mail via return e-mail, but now it is back to the old days, when even your e-mails remain unanswered, let alone our many requests, pleas.

I have been trying to draw attention to the "development" going on in our Village ever since Mayor Flisser days going back even further than that to 2009... Very little was done. I had every confidence this board would be different. They have now been in office since April, again very little, if nothing.

They have scheduled meetings. They have now met with the CHP, the BAR, the Planner. They will meet with the Board of Appeals. I hope they will also meet with the Planning Board. So far, nothing on the calendar.

They held a meeting about an "Open Space Fund" they wanted to institute. I sent my comments via e-mail, since I could not attend the meeting. My e-mail was not answered. I read about the meeting in the local newspaper and was dismayed and disappointed by the lack of initiative. They have referred the matter to the Scarsdale Forum and the League of Women Voters.... The Forum's Zoning and Planning Committee has submitted numerous reports to them urging for the importance of open space, etc. for years. I was part of such a report... No, pass the buck on, delay is again the norm. Very disappointing.

I finally last spring, decided to attend as many meetings of our boards as I could to gain a solid understanding of the processes. I attended meetings of the BAR, the CHP, the Planning Board, the Board of Appeals and the Village Board of Trustees.

I think this was very important, and very informative. If one does this for a two week period when all the boards are in session one gets an idea of what is involved. The whole scenario repeats itself, in the following weeks...

Nobody was doing this, however. If a trustee did this, he or she would understand "the disconnect"'s the residents, are all talking about...

The Planner, for example does not attend the BAR meetings nor the CHP meetings. The Manager does not attend any of these meetings. I know they are very busy during the week to attend night meetings when these meetings are held. But maybe they should have an afternoon or two off, so that they can attend these volunteer chaired, land use board meetings and hear from the residents. No, all week long they hear from the developer, the builder and the resident is the nay-sayer enemy... Bu it is the resident who pays the taxes, who truly owns this Village.

The Village Board members, as liaisons, are supposed to attend these meetings, but I have not seen them, since I assume they are so busy with all their duties, they hardly find time to do what they are required to do. Maybe this, they think is not that important. But these meetings are where the grieved residents are, and this is precisely where they should be, all the time, every time.

Thus, I think a review is urgently needed so that our elected officials and the staff finally do serve this Village and this Village gets the care it needs.

Otherwise look what is going on:

This is 73 North Chase Road: These big homes should not be allowed on plots a quarter of an acre or less...

On North Chase Road, a huge home, three stories high with no yard !

Right down the street, a typical one story home with plenty of yard...One an ugly monster, the other a beauty !





Petition to Save Scarsdale and UNESCO Criteria


Dear Readers,

I will make this the last post, so it will be easier to access the petition.

Newer  blogs will be below the UNESCO criteria blog.  I hope this will make it easy for anyone to access the  petition and understand the UNESCO criteria.

Sign my petition: Click here to sign the petition to preserve Scarsdale  to urge our 

Trustees to act to conserve Scarsdale, our architectural and environmental heritage.

Forward to all, resident and non-resident alike or else watch a potential World Heritage site get buried live: our architectural and environmental heritage get lost, bit by bit, day after day descend into the abyss of an inferno engulfing us all.

From the UNESCO World Heritage Site:

The Criteria for Selection

To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria. These criteria are explained in theOperational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention which, besides the text of the Convention, is the main working tool on World Heritage. The criteria are regularly revised by the Committee to reflect the evolution of the World Heritage concept itself.

Until the end of 2004, World Heritage sites were selected on the basis of six cultural and four natural criteria. With the adoption of the revised Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, only one set of ten criteria exists.
Cultural criteriaNatural criteria
Operational Guidelines 2002(i)(ii)(iii)(iv)(v)(vi)(i)(ii)(iii)(iv)
Operational Guidelines 2005(i)(ii)(iii)(iv)(v)(vi)(viii)(ix)(vii)(x)
Selection criteria:
  1. to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
  2. to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
  3. to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
  4. to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;
  5. to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
  6. to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);
  7. to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;
  8. to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth's history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;
  9. to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;
  10. to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.
The protection, management, authenticity and integrity of properties are also important considerations.
Since 1992 significant interactions between people and the natural environment have been recognized as cultural landscapes.