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REMINDER--COMMUNITY MEETING AT FRANK'S NURSERY TONIGHT---gelsprain 24 homes approved
Release Date: May 24, 2011

REMINDER: COMMUNITY MEETING AT FRANK’S NURSERY TONIGHT AT 7:15 pm TO DISCUSS POSSIBLE FUTURE USES OF THE PROPERTY (WHICH THE TOWN RECENTLY ACQUIRED VIA FORECLOSURE). FRANK’S IS LOCATED ON DOBBS FERRY ROAD. IN EVENT OF RAIN MEETING WILL BE HELD INSIDE THE BUILDING. IF YOU CAN’T ATTEND TONIGHTS MEETING (ESPECIALLY IF THERE ARE HEAVY THUNDERSTORMS)- WE WILL SUMMARIZE OPTIONS AT TOMORROWS TOWN BOARD MEETING AT TOWN HALL AT 7:30 pm.
 
GELSPRAIN APPROVED—24 NEW HOMES TO BE BUILT OFF OF ARDSLEY ROAD/SPRAIN
The town approved the Gelsprain development. I live near the site and had abstained from participating in the review because I live near the property. This is a summary of  what has been approved.  The following was prepared by Alan Schmidt, our forestry officer.
Paul Feiner
 
The project referenced below is known as the Gelsprain subdivision. The Project site is approximately 40 acres in size and was formerly undeveloped land.  Pre-existing physical characteristics of the site include woodland vegetation, rocky terrain with steep slopes, and rock outcroppings.  Historical research indicates that the site was used for agriculture, and was previously pastureland; there is evidence of landscape changes and disturbance. A 2nd generation forested area exists on the site.
 
The site is located within the R-20 District.  The original proposal called for a total of 50+ residential lots with 50+ new single family homes to be constructed. In response to comments received from the public and the Planning Board as described in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), the Project was revised and has been approved for 24 single family lots, with approximately 16.8 acres (+/- 40% of the total site area) set-aside as permanent open space.  The 24 approved residential lots conform to all of the regulations of the R-20 One-Family Residence District (“R-20 District”) as well as the Town’s steep slope density regulations (Town Code Section 285-39E).  The minimum lot size in the R-20 District is 20,000 SF. The lots range in size from approximately 26,000 SF to 40,000 SF. No further subdivision of the residential lots or open space parcel will be permitted.
 
The Project is estimated to disturb a total of 25 acres of the 40-acre site (approximately 63%) in order to develop the 24 single family homes and related improvements.  With the exception of the areas covered by impervious surfaces, such as homes, roads and driveways, all of the acreage is to be re-vegetated.  The designated open space is located primarily on the western boundary of the site, between the site and the existing single-family homes along Sprain Road, and will be a contiguous parcel between Ardsley Road and the Town owned land known as Parcel “O”.
 
All trees within the limits of disturbance with a diameter at breast height (DBH) of six inches and greater (regulated trees) were marked with a numbered tag, measured for DBH, and survey located.  In total, 1,881 trees with a DBH of six inches or greater were surveyed.  Of that total, 404 are trees with a DBH of 18 inches or greater. Trees in the disturbance area with a DBH of 24" or greater were surveyed to determine whether any could potentially be saved.  Thirty (30) trees out of a total of 115 trees with a DBH of 24” or greater have been identified for potential preservation based on their location within the limits of disturbance. An evaluation of their condition will be conducted in the field prior to tree clearing activities and a final determination on preservation of such trees will be made at that time. Further, additional trees on the project site will be identified and scheduled for preservation based on a field inspection by the applicant’s representatives and the Town Forestry Officer or designee. Finally, 16.8 acres of the approximately 40 acre site will be set-aside as permanent open space. The preservation of the ±16.8-acres of open space and of the “farm lane” is a beneficial impact of the Project. The open space will be made subject to a declaration of covenants, easements and restrictions that will permit the use of the land only for passive recreation and research purposes, associated with the historical and archaeological aspects of farm lane, (including a potential “Greenway” trail from Ardsley Road to Parcel “O”).  Preservation of open space is a beneficial impact of the Project.
 
The overall Landscaping Plan calls for the planting of 990 trees and shrubs, 405 which are large canopy and evergreen trees, 585 of which are understory and smaller canopy trees and shrubs. Since each of the lots will be sold off individually, the landscaping of trees and shrubs on individual lots is not included in the overall landscaping figures provided above. Conceptual plans have been submitted to the satisfaction of the Planning Board and Town Forestry Officer which call for the planting of not less than 4 trees and 20 shrubs and foundation plantings on each individual lot. All trees to be planted will be native to the area. A chart has been provided which identifies the species of trees which are acceptable for planting on the individual lots. The individual lot owners will be required to meet with the Town Forestry Officer at the time a building permit application is submitted in order to fully develop a Lot Landscape Plan.
 
Currently, I have met with the applicant’s representatives on-site and inspected the trees scheduled for removal and scheduled for preservation within the limits of Phase I site work. The applicant has also funded an escrow account for an on-call environmental/arboricultural consultant to make site inspections and oversee tree removal and preservation when the Forestry Officer is unavailable to be on-site.
 
At this time, the applicant has been granted permission to fell trees within the limits of Phase I site work. Additional inspections of the site are scheduled and will take place throughout each phase of work.
 
Aaron Schmidt
Environmental Planner/Forestry Officer
ISA Certified Arborist NY-5607A
Department of Community
Development and Conservation
 

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