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19 Livingston Avenue; Round Two at the ZBA, December 10

Before vs. (Proposed) After, at 19 Livingston Avenue, Dobbs Ferry NY

Before vs. (Proposed) After, at 19 Livingston Avenue, Dobbs Ferry NY

For the second time this year, the developer of the proposed and contentious 12 unit condominium complex, at the former Rudy’s Beau Rivage site in Dobbs Ferry, which seeks to block the panoramic Hudson river views from both the street and neighbors homes, will be appearing in front of the Dobbs Ferry Zoning Board. The purpose of their visit will be to appeal their second denial of the project by the Dobbs Ferry Architectural and Historic Review Board. The developer seeks to make the case that the AHRB once again acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner in denying their application with respect to a number of discrepancies between the proposal and the AHRB village code mandate required for approval. The developer seeks relief and permission to build the project as designed. Their first attempt, was denied by the ZBA, after a multi-month round of hearings. According to the Finding of Fact, submitted by the AHRB on October 22, the reasons for denial include Excessive Dissimilarity to the Neighborhood, Excessive Similarity of the Development to Itself and a failure to follow various parts of the Dobbs Ferry Residential Design Guidelines, as well as a lack of harmony with the neighborhood. Of particular concern in the denial is the fact that the construction of the complex as proposed, will result in a loss of property values to adjacent neighbors of between 10% – 20%. This is borne out by two appraisals from licensed real estate appraisers, submitted by neighbors. That equates to a loss of at least $60,000 – $120,000 per homeowner. Given the obvious and profound ramifications, when viewing the before and after documents and since there certainly must be many other ways to design and build a project like this, yet to the benefit of all, it remains to be seen how development of this parcel will proceed. The ZBA meeting is a public hearing and will be held at village hall, December 10, beginning at 8 PM.

UPDATE 12/11/2014: After an almost 3 hour debate, the application was continued on by the ZBA, until their next scheduled meeting; January 14, 2015 at 8 PM.

Also see:

An 1850 Dobbs Ferry Landmark Disappears Forever

Dobbs Ferry Hudson River Views In Peril

Rivertowns Square Public Hearing Is Tonight At 6:30 PM

Rivertowns Square Proposal October 2012

Rivertowns Square Proposal

The oft postponed Rivertowns Square public hearing, regarding the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), prepared by the applicant and accepted as complete by the Dobbs Ferry Board of Trustees, will be held tonight at 6:30 PM at the Embassy Center, 60 Palisade Street, Dobbs Ferry. This will be the first opportunity for members of the public to comment on the final document and air their concerns. Although there may be additional meetings scheduled after this and written comments will also be accepted, it’s possible this may be the only opportunity to comment on the FEIS, before this project proceeds further in the development process.
An abbreviated version of the public notice, from the Dobbs Ferry village website, is as follows:

Description of Action:

Application by Saber Dobbs Ferry LLC and Lincoln Dobbs Ferry LLC, as co-developers, for site plan approval of a proposed mixed-use redevelopment of the former AKZO Nobel Chemical, Inc. property. In response to comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (“DEIS”), the applicant has modified the project to now include: (i) approximately 202 residential units (including affordable units); (ii) an approximately 18,000 square foot supermarket; (iii) approximately 62,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space; (iv) an approximately 123 room hotel; and (v) a 33,600 square foot hotel, together with approximately 1228 parking spaces to serve all uses.

Location of Action:

The subject property is located on Stanley Avenue, Danforth Avenue, Livingstone Avenue, Ogden Avenue and Lawrence Street, Dobbs ferry, New York.

A copy of the FEIS is located on the Village of Dobbs Ferry Website and is available at Village Hall, 112 Main Street, Dobbs Ferry, New York 10522.

Rivertowns Square FEIS Meeting October 30 at 6:30 PM

Rivertowns Square Proposal October 2012

Rivertowns Square Proposal


The FEIS (Final Environmental Impact Statement) for the proposed Rivertowns Square development has been released to the public by the Dobbs Ferry Board of Trustees. This voluminous document, prepared by the developer, attempts to address all of the comments presented by a variety of village planners, advisory boards and residents, which were raised during a number of public and semi-public meetings.  
There will now be at least one and possibly several public hearings held by the Board of Trustees to address the remaining issues in this document. The first, and for the moment only, meeting in front of the Board of Trustees, is scheduled for October 30 at 6:30 PM at the Embassy Club, 60 Palisade Street, in Dobbs Ferry. This is a very important meeting and may represent your last opportunity to make comments into the record at the Board of Trustees level and therefore should not be missed. Written comments will also be accepted if you are unable to attend the meeting.
Prior to that there are also two Planning Board work sessions to discuss the FEIS from the Planning Board perspective.  The first was held October 15 at village hall. The second is scheduled for Monday, October 22 at 7:30PM at the Embassy Club.
If you missed the October 15 work session, a complete video record of it can be found here: http://dobbsferry.com/mediaitem/37-rivertowns-square-work-session-10-15-2012

A brief synopsis of the current proposal, according to the published public notice, is as follows:

“Application by Saber Dobbs Ferry LLC and Lincoln Dobbs Ferry LLC, as co-developers, for site plan approval of a proposed mixed-use redevelopment of the former AKZO Nobel Chemical, Inc. property. In response to comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (“DEIS”), the applicant has modified the project to now include: (i) approximately 202 residential units (including affordable units); (ii) an approximately 18,000 square foot supermarket; (iii) approximately 62,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space; (iv) an approximately 123 room hotel; and (v) a 33,600 square foot hotel, together with approximately 1228 parking spaces to serve all uses.”

The complete public notice, as well as the complete FEIS itself can be found here: http://dobbsferry.com/Projects-and-Initiatives/Rivertowns-Square/

A Dobbs Ferry Pizza Truck?

A pizza truck from Eddie's Pizza, New Hyde Park NY

There is currently a proposal before the Dobbs Ferry Board of Trustees regarding a Peddlers Permit for the operation of a “pizza truck” from The Cookery Restaurant in the village. At Tuesday nights BOT meeting, concerns were raised by two village pizzeria owners as to whether the village really needed another pizzeria to compete with the existing businesses and whether, if it did, a mobile truck parked at the Farmers Market, across the street from existing pizzerias, seemingly capitalizing on their location, at little or no comparable cost to the truck owner, was really the way to go. Other options included parking the truck at the waterfront.
The larger question is whether, in these tough economic times, it makes sense for the village of Dobbs Ferry to be looking for ways to make it even more difficult for existing village businesses to survive and flourish. Given that the village already has three pizzerias within one block who either pay high rents, high taxes, or both, the addition of a mobile pizza truck would seem to be an affront to those businesses.
There can be no doubt that the Farmers Market already competes with other brick and mortar village businesses in the selling of produce and other foods. Village residents have recently lamented the loss of Brothers Market, a local produce purveyor which left because it couldn’t afford to pay its rent. Providing alternative places to purchase the same products (pizza, produce, wine, baked goods etc.), from outside vendors, who don’t have the same level of investment in the village downtown, would seem to be an odd choice in this economy.

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