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 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/

Dobbs Ferry Walgreens Site Plan Approved


The Dobbs Ferry Planning Board, by a 3-1-1 vote, approved the site plan for the proposed Walgreens to be located in the Gateway zone on Ashford Avenue during this past Thursdays meeting. During the public hearing portion of this application the board heard from residents who had concerns about traffic patterns that would be created or exacerbated due to the results of this proposal. One resident noted that all traffic leaving the site and wishing to head back east towards Ardsley will be required to drive thru local residential streets, such as Maple Street, Storm Street or Washington Avenue as opposed to using the main arterial road of Ashford Avenue. This is because no left turns will be allowed on to Ashford or Broadway from the site and thus there is no other way for vehicular traffic to travel east on Ashford. The planning board, rather than doing any planning, chose to ignore this unique opportunity to correct, what the board noted to be an existing problem and instead simply approved a project which, according to even the projects own traffic engineers, will cause an increase in traffic at that intersection to the extent of 25 cars per hour, at its peak.
Three more village boards will need to weigh in on this application in order for it to move forward. The Zoning Board, The Architectural Review Board and probably most importantly, The Board of Trustees. The Zoning Board meets the 2nd Wednesday of each month, the Architectural Review Board meets the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month and the Board of Trustees meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month.

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