Village Perspectives – Briarcliff Manor

Current Priorities and a Look Ahead
We asked the Village Managers of Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, Briarcliff Manor and the Town Supervisor of Ossining to address recently completed projects, current priorities and challenges and 2020 initiatives.

There are many parts in constant motion in Briarcliff Manor. The Mayor and Board of Trustees (M/BOT) have embarked on a series of varying but focused initiatives since coming into office this past April.  While several ongoing projects continue, the M/BOT added three major, purposeful topics beginning with a “B-Zone” review. The B-Zone consists largely of former corporate campuses, now shuttered, nestled in residential areasall subject to potential re-development.  Mayor Steven Vescio and the Board of Trustees established a one-year building moratorium in June, which triggered a full review of not only the properties themselves but the changing nature of these older corporate offices into future potential mixed uses. We have engaged consultants to assist us in a “fresh-eyes” approach to ensure whatever future uses are proposed are oriented to the core elements that reflects our community and the lifestyle that Briarcliff Manor residents enjoy.   

A second initiative led by the Mayor is the current condition of Route 9A...a heavily carandtrucktrafficked north/south road which runs through the heart of Briarcliff Manor splitting neighborhoods and our Business District. Officially designated as the Peekskill/Briarcliff Parkway, this early 1930’s construction is obviously dated in its construction, road conditions/limitations, and volume capacities. A fullcourt press was done “encouraging” the NYSDOT to address both important short-term repairs and safety issues while pursuing the longer-term re-construction and modernization of this heavily trafficked “parkway.” An extensive outreach effort has been made to our residents, local jurisdictions, WC, NYS, and Federal agencies to have the NYSDOT move these important safety issues up the chain of command for future design and funding. 

Our Downtown Business District is another target of the new administration. A comprehensive “Streetscape” study is underway with an accelerated timeframe for the completion of a master plan driven, phased development within a two to threeyear period of this 1600+ foot run of local district businesses. We have sponsored meetings on a committee and community basis to ensure that not only the merchants but the property owners become fully engaged in what we believe will be a full modernization of our downtown while maintaining the existing community orientation of a “small town” environment. 

When it comes to other current projects, we are nearing completion of the WCDOT road upgrades and in particular the total replacement of the Pocantico River Bridge. Upgrades to our municipal poolone of the first public municipal pools in Westchester County, are ongoing. As an integral part of our downtown drainage basin upgrades, we have completed the dredging phase of the Law Park Pond as a first step to these upgrades. Full restoration of the pond resumes in Spring 2020. 

These obvious “inside” Village projects aside, VBM heads up the Tri-Village Work Works (with VTT and VSH): by the time this issue is in print the UV Connection providing Delaware sourced Water should be fully operational and enabling extensive Catskill Aqueduct rehabilitation, long overdue.  Early next year, a companion project to our 30” transmission main near the Regeneron campus is to be relocated (at Route 100-C) by the NYSDOT as they resume work on traffic and roadway upgrades. 

Briarcliff Manor may be viewed as a quiet community, but below and above the surface the projects currently underway, being planned, initiated and/or in progress, are visible and in high gear. And...Briarcliff is a great place to live: better still with our bond rating upgraded to a AAA (stable) by Standard & Poors. People seek out opportunities to live here: our projects and goals are to ensure that Briarcliff continues to be the home of incredible volunteerism, great educational systems, extensive municipal services, and welcoming neighborhoods. It goes without saying that we thrive on volunteers offering to help, speaking at meetings and interested in making VBM even better. More great news to follow and thanks for asking about what’s new in VBM.

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About the Author: Philip E. Zegarelli