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.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Concluding Remarks...

Dear Readers,

After trying to keep up with the very interesting real estate, conservation and environmental events in our town for more than five years now and 475 posts, including this one I have to inform you that I think I have done what I was set out to do as best as I could.

This is probably as good a time as any to finally conclude this enterprise and move on.

Thank you all for your unflinching support, words of encouragement and best of all sunny thoughts full of good will and less concrete.

With best wishes to you all,


First revision 10:33 a.m. EDT July 27 2018.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

6 Fenimore Road - July 24th Meeting

Building and cottage denied permission to demolish, garage can be demolished.

Just attended the meeting of the VB. Our mayor Dan Hochvert read the Findings of the Village of Scarsdale report - all 12 pages of it. I was informed the report will be online later.

Here are pictures, of the applicant group and the Village Board.

Monday, July 23, 2018

6 Fenimore Road on the agenda tomorrow: July 24th

As I have previously noted, we will hear the outcome of the VB's closed door session tomorrow.

Here is the agenda for tomorrow morning:

Note the meeting is at 8:30 a.m., per summer schedule.

Our tap water, with Giardia and Cryptosporidium

As you may know, I have been upset with our tap water. Not only did we get an increase, but excess users got a decrease in their water rates. Why ? Because the Village is afraid consumption will decrease if they do not give a break to excess users: those who get $5,000 water bills.

All the while advocating water conservation...Go figure...

To add insult to the injury, they were also delivering contaminated water: Why ? Because Westchester County did not keep up their decontamination efforts. This we learned was finally fixed. We received a water information pamphlet with our latest water bill. As usual the interesting part was in the fine print. Here it is:

Yeah, you read right: " Current test methods do not allow us to determine if the organisms are dead or if they are capable of causing disease. "

As anybody who has taken even an elementary school Biology class knows microbial pathogens, organisms, if they are not dead, they can multiply especially in host organisms, or environments: such as the human intestines...

What good are EPA Surface Water treatment Rules, if they cannot establish such an elementary fact ?  Dead or not ? If not dead, then it is alive or it is not there. Better assume the worse: they are alive and will multiply in your intestines. Avoid tap water, just like in a third world country...

Unless you want to get sick, over and over again thanks to water at your sink delivered curtesy of our government, inspite of increase in water rates...

What good was the UV treatment, so hailed as the epitome of excellence ?...

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Life in a teaspoon of soil...

Article above, from the Nature Conservancy's Spring 2018 magazine, page 40.

Article " Down to Earth" by Amy Crawford.

This page last revised Thursday, July 19th 2018 10:03 a.m. EDT.

BAR Agenda for July 23rd, 2018

Last updated Friday, July 20th, 10:59 a.m. EDT.

Friday, July 13, 2018

ZBA Agenda for July 25th, 2018

Meetings week of July 23rd, 2018

Meetings week of July 16th, 2018

None !!!

"Public Meetings" in Scarsdale - 6 Fenimore Road

I did not attend last night's meeting, since it was going to take place in executive session, meaning closed to the public. I e-mailed our Assistant Village Manager, and here is her answer below.

Public meetings in Scarsdale, can be closed to the public and the results withheld from the public, in this case for 12 days...Welcome to democracy in Scarsdale...Hard to believe this is the USA.

From: Lika L. Levi [mailto:lika@save-scarsdale.org]
Sent: Friday, July 13, 2018 7:53 AM
To: Ingrid Richards <irichards@scarsdale.com>
Subject: 6 Fenimore Road

Good morning Ingrid,

I could not attend last night’s meeting.

Could you summarize what happened please ?

You can call if you prefer. Thank you.

    Lika L. Levi


Good to hear from you!  Hope your summer is going well.  Unfortunately, I was not a last night’s meeting, however, it was an executive session and would be precluded to disclose the discussion had I attended.  I spoke to the Village Manager and he noted that the decision will be placed on the July 24 Board of Trustees agenda. The July 24th meeting will be held at 8:30 am in the Board of Trustees room on the 2nd floor if you would like to attend. 


Last revised Monday July 16th, 2:02 p.m.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Board of Trustees Meeting Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

In Scarsdale, we are privileged to have these Board of Trustees meetings where resident volunteers and staff meet every other week ( most of the time, have to check the schedule to be sure )  on a Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. at Village Hall, to discuss and enact laws.

This is also a chance for residents to come up to the mike and voice their concerns, opinions and/or Village officials/ local organizations to announce important events. Each speaker is allotted five minutes with no limit to the number of speakers. These meetings and respective agenda are announced on the Village website  Scarsdale.com as well as here Save-Scarsdale.org, this website- not the agendas, just meeting dates and time.

This past Tuesday night, was an interesting night as well. A young resident came up and suggested a survey should be taken to gauge public interest and priorities. I could not agree more.

The School Board sends surveys every five years to find out residents in each household to plan for school attendance.

In a similar manner, we could receive surveys asking us what our priorities are, whether we favor more buildings, or not, more trees or not, more preservation or not. The Village has already all the e-mail addresses I assume, since they mail the Village Newsletter, so this should not be a problem.

Survey Monkey to the rescue.

The Village sends out their newsletter about these meetings that take place, you can attend the meeting yourself, or watch it all on line live or in recorded form.

Main points from last Tuesday:

- There was again considerable reference to what apparently transpired at the last meeting with Bob Harrison's treatment at the mike. Apologies were suggested. None was heard by this soul - at least.

- Survey was suggested by myself, and the young resident.

- A look at the taxes collected was suggested to see changes if any in taxes collected since Tyler, Ryan revaluations, etc. Our taxes increased, but what about the services received ? Our roads are still full of uneven surfaces, our trees are leaving us along with our old houses. Our lots getting subdivided every which way imaginable... Just attend the latest ZBA meeting to observe the assault.

- We received a letter indicating a water rate increase along with notes on how to conserve water. And then noticed that excess water consumers get a reduction on their rate - presumably because the Village does not want their water revenue to decrease... This is not consistent policy. If water reduction is advocated it should be across the board.

- Such inconsistency is also apparent on Village Building laws and Tree Preservation law. If we want to maintain and even make our Village more beautiful, more of a heaven form the concrete jungles around us, we cannot enact a Tree Law that does not preserve our trees. Trees taken down are now getting replaced only at the rate of 20 %. That is clearly not feasible.

- We talk about neighborhood character, our Village-in-a-Park and yet regularly approve subdivisions,  meet to demolish houses - even ones that belonged to prominent architects such as Andrew Thomas who designed and lived at 6 Fenimore Road. This has to stop without  delay. A moratorium on real estate is advocated, so bulk and foot print of houses cannot be altered.

- Now that a Charitable Fund Law is passed, funds should be allocated to  preserve old houses as well as acquire more land and to return to wildlife, to parks.

-More building raises tax revenue collected in the short term but has irreparable damage on our environment cultural or architectural - let alone making it less suitable for human life.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Our New Tree Law....

This is from our Village website: Scarsdale.com:

If you look at the graph above, last line:

Total number of trees removed: 741, number of trees replaced with the proposed amendments: 123.

That means out of 741 trees removed, only 123 will be replaced - or 743-123=620 will be gone forever.

For a percentage calculation: 620/743 x 100% =83 %.

Even with the new law, we are still losing 83 % of our trees.

As Trustee Ross remarked, that is a staggering number of trees to loose.

Tree law needs to amended, once more.

The problem is with the way new buildings are going up, there is hardly any more place to plant these new trees. That is why I am advocating a complete moratorium. No expansion on foot print or bulk of existing houses. That is the only solution to this epidemic that has our Village under its grip.

This way we will not loose our beloved old houses either.

First revision 8:18 a.m. Thursday June 14th, 2018.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Our Assessed Values for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Here are our aggregate assessed values for 2013, before Tyler: 154 Mil.

Taxes for 2014 with Tyler revaluation: 10 Billion...

 Taxes for 2015 with Tyler: in excess of 9 Bil.

 Taxes for 2016 again in excess of 9 Bil. with Ryan revaluation:

The above charts obtained by permission from Nanette Albanese, Scarsdale Tax assessor's office.

As our assessed values increased almost 100 fold,  so did the taxes collected, of course. 

How about services received.?...

When you consider that most of our boards consist of volunteers who are not paid, you begin to wander what is not right, in our budget...And lately the fact there is no long term financial plan...

Last revised  Wednesday, June 13th 2018 7:42 a.m.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Appeal Board Hearing- 6 Fenimore Road

The Village Board met as an Appeals Board last night for about an hour from 6:20 p.m. till about 7:30 p.m. and heard from experts from both sides.

In the audience Catherine Ferris from the Inquirer, Joanne Wallenstein from Scarsdale10583.com, members of Village staff. 

Sorry, the case for demolishing this lovely house that the architect Thomas had built for himself was indeed very poor...

I could tell this is a very significant house, just by visiting yesterday and through a visual inspection, but it turned out there was much more to this house.

As much as the side presenting to demolish this house tried to bury this house, it kept rising up again and again. The architect had won numerous prizes, he was architect to Rockefellers, his houses were landmarked. What more do we need to keep this house ?

Joanne Wallenstein of Scarsdale10583.com fame,  was there until about the last half hour. She left upset, or even disgusted, saying the following:

 "They have not saved one single house in 5 years". 

How come ?...

No vote was taken. Another hearing will be scheduled. 

Details will follow as they become available.

Last revised  Tuesday, June 12th, 2018 at 3:44 p.m.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

6 Fenimore Road

Here is 6 Fenimore as of June 5th, 2018:

This afternoon at 6:00 p.m. the Board of Trustees will meet as an appeals board to probably reverse  the CHP's decision not to demolish this house.

Why demolish this ? Looks in good condition. Brick walls, great roof, wood carving...

A perfect example of what makes Scarsdale, Scarsdale.

The resident this afternoon:

BAR Decisions for June 4th Meeting

Sunday, June 3, 2018

8 Overlook Road, Scarsdale

This is the house that was on the CHP agenda last week. Demolition was denied.

That it should have come to the CHP is insult enough !

Check out Iconic Houses

This is a picture from the web:

The description, below:

Recent messages from across the pond....