An Open Letter to Tarrytown Mayor Tom Butler
I read with interest your recent quote in the Hudson Independent in regards to the Board’s rejection of the Station Area Overlay (SAO) zoning amendment where you stated that “The community is divided over this because of misinformation.” I heard that word used in the meagre comments and correspondence from the few who supported the SAO, yet I can’t think of one instance where the person who carelessly introduced that word (including you) provided any examples of actual “misinformation” used by opponents of the SAO.
On the other hand, I can recall several instances where misinformation was used to support passing the SAO:
- You and Trustee Brown told the public that what was presented as “concepts” in the Tarrytown Connected study for the station area would not necessarily be built, yet two applications (29 Suth Depot Plaza or SDP; Boatel) depicting almost exactly or even worse scenarios than what’s in the study have already been approved by the Board of Trustees (BOT).
- Some Board members and the SAO “cheerleaders” endlessly trumpeted the fallacy that the SAO was consistent with the Comprehensive Plan (CP), as if repeating this falsehood frequently enough would eventually make it true. As you know, and as it was pointed out to you and the Board on numerous occasions, 60-foot high, super high- density buildings in the station area make no appearance anywhere in the CP. Even the 48-foot building height in the station area that the Board begrudgingly conceded to after endless public hearings on 29 South Depot Plaza is missing from the CP.
- A Village official falsely stated and the Hudson Independent published that 650 residential units in the SAO zone was an “exaggeration”, yet as you know through the simple mathematics submitted to the record, well over 700 residential units could be built in the SAO.
- The public was told by you and Trustee Brown that the Village Hall property would never be developed, yet for some strange reason it remained part of the proposed SAO and therefore eligible for development. Why would that be?
- To justify 29SDP’s outrageous density and height (and the broader SAO) we were told that Tarrytown needed more “affordable housing” and that residents were somehow callous if we didn’t “open our hearts” to allow the project to move forward, despite 29 SDP proposing predominantly high-end market rate dwellings ($4k/month for a 2 BR apartment) with only the Village mandated minimum number of affordable units.
- We were told that there would be little or no impact on traffic congestion if the SAO were developed, yet nobody actually knows this because no comprehensive traffic study has been performed and we don’t yet know the impact of Edge on Hudson.
- You implied to the public that the innocuous and accurate comment that nobody walks around Tarrytown thinking that what we need is more people and more cars was rooted in racism and xenophobia.
Did you mean to suggest with your quote that those who supported the SAO were using misinformation as justification for their position? If so, I completely agree with your assessment.