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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 !

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