RESIDENTS WHO LIVE CLOSE TO DOBBS FERRY ROAD (NEAR GOLF RANGE) INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE TRAFFIC CONSULTANT SELECTION INTERVIEWS AND TO HELP US MONITOR TRAFFIC/ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW PROCESS
Earlier this week a majority of the members of the Greenburgh Town Board agreed to to start the review process of their application for a zone change to allow a recreation facility to be built on Dobbs Ferry Road. The proposal calls for an approximately 107,000 sq. ft. indoor recreation facility along with an outdoor playing field, retain a portion of the existing golf driving range, and provide related features such as landscaping and parking.
The applicant claims that there will be minimal traffic impacts. They do not anticipate any impact during morning rush hours because their peak usage periods in the afternoon when school is out. The facility and programs are designed to accommodate only a small number of athletes at any given time. And, there is no stadium seating at the facility -limiting the number of spectators who will watch the athletes play.
Nearby residents expressed skepticism about the claim that there won't be traffic impacts. How do we know who is right? What's next in the process?
The Town Board will hire a traffic expert to conduct a traffic study. We will analyze the traffic impacts (and environmental/quality of life impacts) in communities that have similar Sports facilities. Under New York State law the applicant (Game On) pays for the consultant costs. But, the Town Board selects the consultant. I want the community to recognize that the study will be fair, unbiased. If the Town Board determines (at the end of the review process) that traffic, noise, lighting, quality of life will be negatively impacted the application WILL NOT be approved. On the other hand- it may turn out that all the quality of life concerns can be addressed to the satisfaction of the neighborhood. And, that traffic from the sports facility will not be bad. We may, during the review process, pursue additional compromises and modification to the application (which could include aesthetics) and also require traffic mitigation to take place--improvements to the Dobbs Ferry Road corridor.
The Town Board did not approve any application this week. We just started the review process. During the review we will also be able to analyze other possible uses for the property --providing the community with a chance to participate in a community discussion- what do we want the corridor to look like 20-30 years from now? What happens if the Golf Range goes out of business? Do we want to lose that open space? Would a Sports Facility help the Golf Range survive? Can we require the Golf Range property to stay green if a sports facility is approved -as a condition of approval?
It's important that nearby residents, who expressed concern about the Game On application, have confidence in the review process. And, that they understand that the application is not a done deal. There will be a comprehensive review. We won't tell the consultant to write up a report that tells anyone what they want to hear. We want the facts.
The next steps: The Town Board will be hiring a traffic consultant. We will be issuing a request for proposals inviting qualified traffic consultants to submit bids to the town. I would like to invite nearby residents (people who live in the Worthington Road corridor, Secor neighborhood) to participate in the interview process, to help the Town Board select an unbiased qualified consultant and to help monitor the consultant review process. If you live in the neighborhood and want to be a part of the process- please advise. If you have expertise in land use --your involvement would be appreciated. Please e mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Our working group of neighbors will be encouraged to participate in all aspects of the review process that takes place. The review process will not be done in secret.
I have always believed that government should work in partnership with the community that is impacted by proposed developments. We welcome your participation. I will also be contacting those who have already written to me expressing concern about traffic, quality of life -inviting their involvement in the review process.
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