Web based journal created to document environmental and architectural conditions in Scarsdale. Read articles Scarsdale10583.com or the local newspaper The Scarsdale Inquirer will not publish! Come to Scarsdale New York, see what a beautiful town this is. Now, we need your help. Funds or time, whatever you can, whenever you can will be appreciated. See the PayPal icon below or email me at Lika@Save-Scarsdale.org. Thank you.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Land Use or Land Abuse...

I wrote this email to Trustee Mark yesterday, his response follows.

Like a seasoned politician he deflects the question and does not answer it. This is our resident lawyer volunteer who grew up in Scarsdale, not a politician with 50 years' experience...

No further comments your Honor, I rest my case.

Lika L. Levi <lika@save-scarsdale.org>
9:31 AM (21 hours ago)
to Jonstaceybrodsky
Trustee Mark,

I do not quite know how applicants get on the agenda of the Land Use Committee or any other committee of the Scarsdale Village Board.

But it seems anyone from the Soldatenkos wanting to extend a road, so they can build on a previously unbuildable lot, to Mr. Fish and Mr. Oder, to the developers of assisted living get on the agenda swiftly and quickly whereas our internal issues of development and conservation have been getting the back burner treatment and have remained unanswered for decades through many mayors, boards. It is time we dealt with our internal issues first and did a little house keeping this summer through fall.

I hope you agree this is the case. May I then suggest you do not take in any further requests until we have resolved this conservation, preservation issue adequately. The applicant can simply be told, we are back logged, we can not get you on the agenda till September or later. We will get back to you then.... We have to deal with residents' requests that have not been met for quite a while and that is now a major concern.

Same for all the land use boards that review new developments from planning to BOA and to BAR, if they are to decide on a demolition....There are important issues that need to be resolved. We are moving too fast for our good and need to sit back and reflect on what has happened in our town in the last 10, 20 years. What have we done to our environment, how many historic homes have been lost, how much cubic feet of air has been replaced with concrete and sheetrock, forever ?  How much green space have we added to counteract all this assault on our environment ? What is our green plan ? When are we going to stop development ? When are going to respect the environment ? How many creeks are there in Scarsdale, implicit and explicit ? How many sump pumps connected to  our drainage system, illegally ?...What about wildlife in our Village ? How are we protecting them ? Their habitats ?...

When I filed for a FOIL from the building department and wanted the number of building permits issued per year for the last five years, I got a note back from Mr. Goodwin that they could not accommodate my request. 
You know how Mr. Gatta felt about my need for some data from Village Hall a while ago...They do not even  have the time to do any of this...

You call the building department, you get put on hold. They cannot answer the phones. You stand for ten minutes at the counter on the second floor, you see how busy they are, all the time...They are over burdened to an unacceptable degree. We cannot treat our employees this way.

I hope you agree we stopped running and paused for a while.

Let me know your thoughts. You are welcome to call me, if they will make  communication easier.

With best wishes,


Lika L. Levi

Founder, Save Scarsdale (a non-profit in formation)
21 Lockwood Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583-5301

Jon Mark
12:54 PM (18 hours ago)
to bobsteveskay.eisenmandlee.trusteemartintbstern.billagattawesannasonmestaceybrodsky
Dear Ms. Levi--Development and the other matters you mention are big topics to discuss. Many residents share your concerns, but there are a range of views on how to address them (including some views that may differ from your own).  The operation of the Village cannot realistically be brought to a halt simply because you are unhappy.

You say you do not know how applicants get on the agendas of the various Boards and Councils, but as you have recently been attending meetings of those bodies, you should be getting a sense of what the process is.  In terms of the timing of the two cases you mention, I note that the May 29, 2013 meeting regarding the Soldatenko's application was simply one proceeding in a process they began approximately a year ago.  With respect to the meeting scheduled for June 3, 2013 to discuss the latest request by the Developer of 2-4 Weaver Street, the particular request being considered was first made by the Developer by letter dated February 26, 2013--more than three months ago.  Over all, the 2-4 Weaver project the Developer is presently proposing has been before three different Village Boards extending back to 2009.  The meeting on June 3, 2013 will be the seventh Land Use Committee meeting I will have Chaired on the matter (inclusive of five in 2011and one in 2012).  Depending on one's perspective these time frames may seem quick or slow, but they do not strike me as indicative of a rushed timetable.  And of course, all of the meetings were open to, and attended by, the public.

The Village Board, Councils and Staff are required to conduct the business of the Village in accordance with the Village Code, the laws of the State of New York, other applicable laws and applicable court decisions and agency rulings enforcing and interpreting those laws, rules and regulations.  We all do the best we can within that legal framework taking into account and trying to strike a balance in light of the numerous, often contradictory, inputs we receive on the issues that come before us.

While I understand your concerns and the issues you raise, my suggestion to you is that you consider other means of trying to achieve your objectives since simply making repeated demands that Village government take a "time out" is not, in my view, likely to be productive.

Respectfully yours, Jon Mark

Jon Mark
58 Brookby Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583


An afterthought: On Wednesday at the Land Use Committee meeting the Trustees said they were going into executive session to discuss the matter of Farragut Road in private. I thought they could only do that if they were discussing personnel matters and that was not on the agenda...I thought all their discussions had to be in public...

Istanbul, Gezi Park Occupation:

My neighbor thought I was involved with the latest on Gezi Park uprisings through my blog ( ?)  and protests in Istanbul, Turkey... But I was only born and raised and lived full time there till 1977, since then my family and I have been visiting Istanbul regularly. 

No, it is totally coincidental but then again may be not, if you believe in Quantum Physics and know about action-at-a-distance phenomena...Trustee William Stern who has a PhD in Physics and has studied Atomic Physics should be able to elaborate on this. 

Anyway, of course I support the park and I do not think it should become a shopping mall. Same story, 6,000 miles apart. Power does blur some politicians' visions and often steers them off course. You can't push the envelope too far, it backfires. As in the school budget in Scarsdale and Gezi Park in Taksim, Istanbul Turkey for recent examples of this.

In Turkey there has been periodic periods of unrest as the country's democracy matures...Inşallah ( God making it possible, facilitating it, building it  ... inşa is build and Allah is God, the combination means with God's blessing or facilitating in this secular state, yet God is in every other word, almost... From Good-bye-Allahaısmarladık, to Allah aşkına...for God's sake...)

It  is a relatively young democracy in a politically unstable part of the world at a very important strategic area of the world. It has always been so, it looks like it will continue to be so ...Inşallah !

( Blogger does not show the updated post time, and posts only the time of initial posting, sorry...)

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