Dear River Journal,
As a long-term Sleepy Hollow resident, I attended last week’s Lighthouse Landing hearings with great interest, and a great deal of concern.
I agree with all my fellow neighbors’ issues, and those of Tarrytown’s mayor — we know what we don’t want — overwhelming site density. While Kendal-on-Hudson is 280 units, and Tarrytown’s Ferry Landings development is to be 250 units, Lighthouse Landing is proposed to be an overwhelmingly massive 1,250 units!
Contributing to that huge issue is our lack of a positive vision for what we do want our village to look like and become in the future, as a guide for responsible development of this site. We are all custodians of historic colonial ground, caring for a village with a national historic significance that attracts over 100,000 visitors a year. Protection and support for this historic legacy should shape our positive vision for Sleepy Hollow and the Hudson, a vision that celebrates and builds on the colonial history and legends that make our village unique in the world, and that also defines the limits for what responsible development should be here. In a development opportunity the size of Lighthouse Landing, we need to actively support the village’s colonial heritage and scale, and in the process not forget our origin as the Hudson River port of Slaepering Haven (“Sleepy Harbor”), the site where Lighthouse Landing is to be built.
We need to have density levels, building heights and architectural discipline consistent with this colonial heritage, and develop the GM site at village-density not Brooklyn-density levels. No building should be over 3 stories in height. We also need to restore enough of the old harbor to allow tall ships like Clearwater to again regularly dock and share their value and beauty with our waterfront, as in days gone by, and even relink the historic Philipsburg Manor Upper Mills with the Hudson estuary it was founded on.
We do not need a Kendal-on-steroids as our image to the world, overwhelming our village with a monolithic 6-story mass, congesting our streets, debasing our world-renowned colonial heritage, and creating another eyesore on the east bank of the Hudson River. Just as the Palisades Park Commission protected the west bank of the Hudson in the last century, we must do our part to responsibly protect the beauty and quality of life on our east bank of the Hudson for future generations.
Peter & Beth Hildick-Smith