Village Perspectives – Tarrytown

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.

Prioritize the importance of current projects either recently completed or are ongoing. Choose at least 3 areas where Village government has placed their attention 

Station Area Overlay Zone Draft Proposal – As many know, Tarrytown adopted our Comprehensive Plan on November 19, 2018. Since then, the Comprehensive Plan Management Committee has been drafting the Station Area Overlay (SAO) Zone law. This has provisions to encourage projects that will have greater benefit to Tarrytown including Land Use, Mobility, Transportation, Housing (with focus on affordability), Character, Infrastructure, Open Space, Sustainability, and “Bonus.” It is important to note that only projects that receive a total score of 85 or better can move forward under the SAO Zone. We have scheduled the public hearing on the draftproposed local law to open on Monday, December 16, 2019, and will continue it into January, 2020. The Tarrytown waterfront remains a priority both for the presentday and longterm future of the Village, so we welcome everyone’s comments.  

Parking – The Village has taken steps to maintain our high priority for parking around the downtown.  We finalized the purchase of the 21 public parking spaces behind 2 South Broadway (aka Citibank Lot), for a total purchase price of $475,000, which is at market prices for on-grade parking. Additionally, the Board appointed a Parking Task Force of staff and professionals to look at the alternatives available to us and explore how we can create more parking and use what we have more efficiently and effectively.  

Tarrytown RiverWalk – During 2019, the Village has been moving forward with a number of grant-funded projects along the Tarrytown RiverWalk. We restored the eroding shoreline in Losee Park, installed a brandnew segment of RiverWalk along Losee Field, and purchased brandnew LED ballfield lights to save money, energy, improve safety, and eliminate light pollution. We encourage everyone to check out the new section of the RiverWalk when we open it!  

Water System Repairs and Rehabilitation – A significant $1.8 million water improvement project has been awarded for new and replacement water mains in the Crest neighborhood of the Village. This work will begin soon, most likely in early 2020. Furthermore, replacing and rehabilitating the water mains along White Plains Road is the next major segment of Tarrytown Water System improvements.  This work will be bid out soon and will hopefully start sometime in 2020 or even 2021.   

What are some of the challenges facing your Village in terms of growth, parking, available housing, village basic services, etc.?   

Developments around the Village are high on our list. Current applications are presently before the Village for approximately 65 to 70 residential units at the 29 South Depot Plaza, near the Train Station. We are aware that the Hitachi building remains available for sale, and we are awaiting a proposal from interested partiesThe Artis Corporation has proposed a long-term, memory-care facility of approximately 60 to 65 beds for patients with severe dementia and Alzheimer’s. The YMCA is in contract negotiations with a firm to buy and redevelop their property, and we are awaiting a formal proposal from that developer. Initial reports we have say they would preserve the building façade on Main Street, add a number of units in a new building in the back, and build a parking structure that will serve their residents and add parking to the downtown.   

Name a problem area or areas where a coordinated effort is needed within your Village. If not a problem area, then an area that requires governmental vigilance. 

Two key things fit this category. 

A coordinated effort is continuing between Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, and Briarcliff Manor on studying the consolidation of our water treatment and distribution plants. While the operation of the water systems and pipes will remain entirely separate to each Village, the consolidation of the treatment and pumping plants could save the Villages significant amounts of money each year.  

When the Shared Use Path opens over the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, the adjacent and neighboring communities like Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Irvington, and Elmsford will all see a major increase in bicyclists, bike-oriented tourism and pedestrians. Two studies have been completed–the Route 9 Active Transportation Plan and Route 119 Plan–and will need to be coordinated between our Villages, the Town of Greenburgh, Westchester County, and New York State. While the Shared Use Path was scheduled to open in 2019, at this time it appears it will happen in 2020.  

What projects are on tap or in the planning stages for 2019? 

Eastview Pump Station – The Village is hoping to finalize lease negotiations soon with Duncan’s Abbey, a local microbrewery, which was selected after an RFP process, to take residence in and restore the old Pump Station building as a brewery and/or brew-pub. This project and the agreement for it has been delayed, and is complicated by the fact that the nearest sewer that could serve the building is approximately a quarter of a mile away. We are continuing to investigate whether this project can be made a reality.  

H-Bridge rehabilitation – The Village has been working with our designers and the staff from the New York State DOT, with funding from the New York State DOT’s Bridge Fund. Due to some issues with design, between the DOT, the Village and our engineers, the project has faced a number of adjustments, which has delayed the start of the project. We anticipate the project will start sometime in 2020 and will require periods of closure and detour over the bridge ramps.  

Long-range plans for the RiverWalk over Metro North continue to move ahead, with assistance from New York State, Westchester County, and with leadership by Scenic Hudson. Sometime in the future, hopefully in 2020, we’ll begin discussions with the involved governments on environmental reviews, planning, and actual design for this new walkway/bikeway.  

Tarrytown Lakes — Ecosystem management remains a priority for the Village, from the standpoints of aesthetics and ecology. Harvesting the milfoil weeds at the upper lake was successful to reduce the algae in the lake, and we continue to monitor the lakes for when we may have to do this again. This is especially important since we use the lakes for recreation, are adding trails, and continuing to offer kayaking. As we have done in the past, we will have public skating if the winter weather is cold enough.  

Add any basic information of import for your specific Village that you would like our readers to know.  

As always, the Village will continue to make every effort to operate the Village efficiently and effectively, within our budgeted limits, and within the tax cap implemented by New York State. The Village has enacted budgets that comply with the Tax Cap, and we plan to have a Tax Cap compliant budget proposed and adopted for the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year. It is our priority to provide quality, friendly, professional, and affordable local services to our residents and visitors to Tarrytown and seek shared services when possible.  

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About the Author: Richard Slingerland