MEMO FROM TOWN ATTORNEY TIM LEWIS APPEARS BELOW...
The Jefferson at Saw Mill River is a proposal for the re-development of an existing property (the former the Akzo Nobel chemical plant) fronting on Lawrence Street and running northerly along Saw Mill River Road (NY 9A) in the unincorporated part of the Town near the Villages of Ardsley and Dobbs Ferry. The proposed re-development project includes the construction of a four-story residential apartment building that will include a total of 272rental apartment units and 438 parking spaces, 316 of which will be within a separate 4-story parking structure surrounded by the apartment building.
The site consists of approximately 10.77 acres and is within the Town of Greenburgh's GI ("General Industrial District") zone. The GI zone regulationsprovide for a multifamily residential use, such as the Jefferson at Saw Mill River, as a ¨Special Permit Use¨ approved by the Greenburgh Zoning Board of Appeals so that a ¨Special Permit¨ must be granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals before the Town Board can consider any site plan or development application. The Zoning Board of Appeals is seven member board different than the Town Board.
In addition to a Special Permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals, JPI, the sponsors of the Jefferson, must also obtain (1) Site Plan Approval and acquisition of rights-of way on Danforth, Eastern, and Meadow Avenues from the Town Board; (2) Wetland, Steep Slope and Structured Parking Permits from the Planning Board; (3) Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) Approval and a Floodplain Development Permit from the Engineering Department (4) and Building permits from the Town Building Department.
Pursuant to New York State law, the Town is legally required
to conduct an environmental review (SEQR or SEQRA) of all proposed development applications, such as the Jefferson at Saw Mill, that come before the Town other than applications for one or two family homes. The New York State regulations of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are found within Title 6 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)
which can be obtained by accessing the DEC’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/regulations.html
At Wednesday’s January 13, 2016 public hearing (known as a “Scoping” session), the Town Board will commence SEQR proceedings by permitting the public and the developer to suggest the relevant items that each believe should be studied and the Town’s Planning and Development consultant, Ferrandino & Associates Inc., will do the same. Of course, the primary issues to be studied are traffic, flooding, drainage, remediation of the site and impacts to the school district, but there may be other impacts that are identified or need to be identified. The Town Board, with input from the public, frames the issues to be studied in an environmental review known as SEQR.
After Wednesday’s Scoping session, the Town is required to conduct a detailed analysis and outline and conclude the issues to be studied by the developer and responded to. The developer will subsequently respond to the issues raised at the Scoping session by drafting an extensive document known as a Draft Environmental Impact Statement or DEIS. The Town Board and its Planning consultant will then study the DEIS and later, a Final Environmental Impact Statement or FEIS will be drafted and the Town Board, in conjunction with Ferrandino & Associates, will make a final determination whether the impacts of the project can be mitigated.
It is not permissible for the Town to delay the environmental review of the project until Rivertown Square or other nearby projects are complete. If the Town could wait to see the impacts of other projects it would. The Town’s consultants and the developer’s consultants are required to anticipate the impacts of other projects and to outline ways to mitigate those impacts.
Significantly, the Town cannot simply advise the sponsors of the Jefferson at Saw Mill that the Town does not like its development application and to withdraw its application and go away. If the Town proceeds in this manner it will be sued and the sponsors of the Jefferson will prevail in court.