Monday, January 11, 2016

Town Board Goes Against A Good Project

There is a proposal in front of the Town Board to build an apartment complex at Lawrence Avenue and Saw Mill River Road (and Parkway). It is comprised  of 272 apartments, down from its original proposal of 296, based on feedback the Jefferson Management team received from the community. Almost immediately after the proposal “hit the bricks,” Mr Feiner came out against it, as did Ardsley resident and Town Board member Diana Juettner, claiming it would burden the infrastructure. While hypocritical to say the least, the Jefferson offered to make significant changes to the area, even going as far south of the project itself to Jackson Avenue. The Loft complex approved by Mr Feiner and his Board near Jackson Avenue offered no changes. Nor has Mr Feiner and Ms Juettner ever offered help to the area.

But the lies have already begun from the corner office. The offering has not generated as much “significant controversy” as Mr Feiner would have you believe. It is he that is trying to create a controversy where controversy does not exist. The development, while overgrown with weeds, dumped dirt and debris, offers value from the stand point of flooding and water absorption Still, they resist this property in a commercial area, ideally suited for a project such as this. You can read more about this project in our earlier post from Sunday, April 19, 2015
JPI Proposing 296 Multi-Family Apartments Jefferson at Saw Mill River(

Mr Feiner claims he is “proposing initiatives” that frankly are either already in the original proposal or too ridiculous to entertain. However, Mr Feiner's standard method of operation is to throw these types of inane ideas out there and hope that something gains traction. But he knows that if he can get some of his supporters to be at the meeting to parrot these points, he’ll get what he desires in publicity from the media, a quote or two on News 12 and possibly other TV stations - depending on whom he invites.

Here's a few of his “initiatives.” Ours are in black, his are in blue:

Widening of both Lawrence Street and Saw Mill River Road to include turning lanes as appropriate from Lawrence street to entrance of the thruway. I believe that the entire length of Saw Mill River Road from Jackson Ave to Ardsley downtown should be widened. 
The plans show a widening and turning lane added on 9A at Jackson Avenue to allow for an increase in traffic heading south on 9A. As we’ve written previously, the Ginsburgh developer of The Loft should be doing this but is not. Nor, is Mr Feiner saddling them with similar conditions.

Construction of sidewalks and bike lanes on both Lawrence and Saw Mill Road from Jackson to downtown Ardsley to promote safe pedestrian/bicycling.
Sidewalks are a condition in our Town for all new construction, regardless of whether or not they connect or lead to anything. These were in the initial plans that had been submitted. The Jefferson project has also made accommodations for bike path use as well as creating a section of public parking that bikers can use to come to the site by car, park and ride the bike path.

Construction of an overpass from Lawrence Street westbound to Saw Mill River Parkway Southbound. As it is the light is problematic, prone to back up and causes systematic delays.
Our staffers travel this route every day and say the light is not so much the issue as are the quantity of construction vehicles moving to and from the area, slowing things down. As our elected representatives, if the traffic light is problematic, then it is up to he, Ms Juettner and the other Town Board members to get it fixed, not the Jefferson!

Construction of additional parking in downtown Ardsley to address the shortage of parking in the business district. Almost 300 new apartments will definitely increase parking problems.
While parking in Ardsley has been an issue for at least 24-years, Mr Feiner’s tenure as Supervisor, he has never made any overtures to address their parking issues. In fact, their Village Board had sidewalks added in Town through grant money Mr Feiner didn't even apply for. The Jefferson plans show all parking for the facility will be provided on their property and not utilize any from the Village proper. If this facility was in the Village itself it might affect parking – but it’s not and it won’t.

Possible construction of additional parking at area train stations to address commuter parking problems.
Even after being lifelong residents, this has us baffled as we cannot locate a train station in Ardsley.

A requirement that frequent shuttle service be provided to train station and downtown Ardsley.
Again, there is no train station in downtown Ardsley.This indicates that this is purely a boilerplate exercise by Mr Feiner.

We need to analyze ability of first responders to come to the assistance of those with emergency medical needs if the Parkway is closed and there are major traffic jams on Lawrence and on Saw Mill River Road.
This is a phony excuse. There has been no study for any other projects anywhere in the Town that was ever denied for lack of access to emergency responders. Emergency vehicles always get through traffic. In fact, the one project that actually does have inadequate access for emergency vehicles is the Brightview Assisted Living facility at Rt 119 and Benedict Avenue. Yet, Mr Feiner and his Board made themselves the lead agency for the project and then approved every aspect of it. Fire trucks responding there are forced to pull in, do whatever is needed and then back their rigs out when they are finished. This is absurd! But, Mr Feiner wanted this regardless of what was needed. In fact, a similar project endorsed by him is the Shellbourne Assisted Living project where the old Sprain Nursery was located. They too, will be building more than the property and surrounding area can handle, thwarting the effectiveness, efficiency and safety of the emergency services responders. Apparently, the safety of assisted living living residents also means little to Mr Feiner and his Board.

There has also been discussion that the Ardsley Schools District will be overrun with new students. According the a spokesman at The Jefferson, the goal of this project is to attract single and newlywed Millenials, and not families with school age children. In fact, our discussion with them indicated that this is a “starter” home for both of those groups, leading them toward purchasing a home when the do have kids. While no one can guarantee this will be the case, the Jefferson Management based their information and projections on other projects of theirs throughout the country.

You may be wondering why the Town Board would object to this project when it seems to be in the right spot, doesn't negatively impact the area, and in fact improves it, falls in line with the other developments Mr Feiner and his Board readily approved and can add to the tax roles, albeit at a discounted tax rate? Because Ms Juettner is afraid of making her constituents mad and losing votes. But, it’s not just her, it’s also Mr Feiner not wanting to lose any votes from Ardsley. After all, the Villages add an awful lot of votes to their campaigns. Sadly, they’re not doing what’s right for the taxpayers and constituents. Rather, they’re acting in their own best interests.

This project is right for the area and needs to be approved. Ultimately, it will go through and be built. In the meantime, we believe Mr Feiner will try to coerce more from the Jefferson Management than is required for approvals. Don’t believe us? Just look at the disastrous results of the Fortress Bible Discrimination case that Mr Feiner lost in Federal court and was found guilty on seven counts. Come and weigh in this Wednesday night at the Town Board meeting at 7:30PM. Be an active part of the Town. Only then will we see A Better Greenburgh.


  1. the lofts were approved by the village of Hastings not the town.


  2. Dear ABG, you really should get out more. The parking issues are at the train stations where Ardsley residents have limited opportunities to park so as to get to work and pay the taxes to live here. The Jefferson is benefiting from our tax dollars to build dubious luxury housing for which no need has been established. If The Jefferson was a stand alone development without Rivertowns Square or The Lofts or The Waterwheel of The Preserve, then opposition would be much more muted.
    You ignore the dangers to life safety with a Greenburgh police department stuck at 116 when the number of calls has been growing and growing - including more and more to doctor's offices and assisted living. As for schools, developers always promise little or no impact - if its going to have childless millennials - why are they even projecting 32 kids? Oh, those kids have to be bussed to school. Perhaps you missed the memo from the Ardsley School District calling for a moratorium on development in its district? While you can shill for JPI, even they know better - they just built a sensible transit oriented development in Farmingdale across from its LIRR station. Your friendly developer is promoting this as a bicycle oriented development as its on the South County Trail - guess what - JPI is doing nothing to improve the trail it seeks to exploit. The whole bicycle angle is a sham and a transparent feel good marketing ploy. You are also clueless that the site is served by a volunteer fire engine company and an EMS at the breaking point? Have you even been to the Lawrence Street exit since the State did the bidding of the developer and screwed it up royally? So is this a good project? Its a best a mediocre project. Why are you willing to settle for that? Don't you want "a better Greenburgh?"