FIRST MEETING OF NEIGHBORHOOD COMMITTEE TO MONITOR GAME ON SPORTS FACILITY REVIEW TO BE HELD THIS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22nd AT 7-8 PM AT TOWN HALL (so far 16 residents who live near Dobbs Ferry Road have volunteered)
Less than two weeks ago the Town Board voted to start the review process that will determine whether the Town Board rezones the Dobbs Ferry corridor to allow for an indoor sports facility on Dobbs Ferry Road. Traffic and environmental studies will have to be conducted before a decision is made whether Game On will be successful in persuading the town to rezone Dobbs Ferry Road to allow for recreation.
Under the law - the applicant pays for the consultant. But...the Town Board gets to choose the consultants we retain and the consultant answers to the Town Board. It's very important that the neighborhood have confidence in the review process and in the integrity and impartiality of the consultants we retain.
I've invited residents who live nearby and who have had concerns about the project to participate in a citizens committee that will help select the consultants we retain and will help decide what issues will be studied during the review process. This concept is based on the "Deputy Supervisor" concept that worked early in my tenure. I invited the leading critic of land use proposals to serve as Deputy Supervisor for that project and to partner with the town during our review processes. In many cases (Glenville, Solomon Schecter, Taxter Road-Avalon) compromises were reached because there was a dialogue between the citizens, developer and town. Because the community was involved in all aspects of the review process the anger people initially had subsided and we were able to obtain concessions from the applicant and turn proposals into win-win opportunities for everyone.
Our first meeting will be held this Wednesday, April 22nd from 7-8 PM. As of today 16 nearby residents (who had expressed concern about the Game On application) have volunteered to be a part of the committee. More are expected.
On Wednesday the committee will review a draft RFQ (request for qualifications) that will be issued -seeking traffic and planning consultants. This is the first step leading to the selection of consultants.The citizens group will also discuss some of the concerns that will be analyzed by the consultants we select during the review process: traffic, noise, lighting, quality of life, etc..
During the review process the citizens committee could also discuss possible compromises with the applicant--height & size of the building, maintaining a green corridor along the property facing homes/Dobbs Ferry Road, aesthetics, location of building, parking area, lighting, keeping the portion of the Golf Range that is used as a range as open space permanently, sidewalks, traffic improvements on Dobbs Ferry Road, etc... The committee may also look at and compare financial impacts to the town of different kinds of land uses.
Our committee meetings will be open to the community. The immediate goal: everyone should keep an open mind. Let's get the facts. Let's commence an impartial study. Discuss all concerns residents have. And--then make a decision. I am very pleased that so many people who live nearby have agreed to participate in the review process.
No decisions have been made whether we will rezone or not rezone the property. The decision will be based on facts at the conclusion of the review process.