So many McMansions, where do we begin?
Before the Tarrytown Planning Board tonight are a number of agenda items that are expected to generate some heated public debate, and much of them have to do with Really Big Homes.
The first public hearings are slated for three lots sold and up for approval for Toll Brothers building single-family dwellings at 110 Wilson Park Drive, 7 Warner Lane, and 5 Warner Lane. One of these properties will severely crowd the Ice House on Warner Lane and has already generated negative responses from the neighbors at the Board's recent site visit, though these homes pale in comparison to other items on the agenda (Jardim East, Greystone).
Among the most vocal dissenters is resident Rob DeRocker, who put out a call on Facebook for folks to come tonight to fight the construction of homes he described as “behemoths,” “absurdly out of place,” and “entirely out of character” with the surroundings. He wrote:
Neighbors: The Toll Brothers project is proceeding apace, including a hearing scheduled for this Monday, April 23 regarding the gargantuan 8,000 sq. ft. McMansion Toll is proposing to build next to our 2,500 square foot historic "Ice House" on Warner Lane (and near other houses that are all between 1/3 and 1/2 the size of this proposed Toll structure – one that along with the proposed house next to it a neighbor characterized as hotels, not houses).
It’s hard to even begin to describe how ridiculously out of place these houses, if allowed to go through as proposed, would be – not to mention detrimental to the adjacent public park and damaging to a beautiful, century-old maple tree on our own lot. (One of the Toll stakes labeled “house corner” is almost directly under the drip line of that tree. An arborist we’re retaining has said that construction anywhere near that stake would kill the tree.)
Not only is the proposed house absurdly out of place – even comically so, except that we’re not laughing – it is enormously bigger than the one originally proposed by the previous developer. (E.G., a width of about 65 feet in the original vs. nearly 120! Ft. for the latest proposal). We can argue whether houses of this magnitude belong anywhere in Tarrytown. But of the 14 lots, the one place it makes absolutely no sense to put it is in the lot next to ours on Warner Lane. The original developer recognized that.
The Board, since the size of the house is actually within code, plans to focus instead on format and siting: perhaps making the structure L-shaped instead of long and narrow, and moving it away from the Ice House.
There should also be debate about access to the soccer field — pedestrian only, so no ambulance if some young soccer player gets hurt — and about the heavy-duty wall proposed to separate private lots from parkland. Residents can see a sample of the wall down beyond the stone house on the driveway to the right of the park (the stone house also to be demolished, which could draw comment too).
It will certainly be a long session as also on the agenda are continuation of public hearings on the following:
Greystone on Hudson, 612 S. Broadway
In the final stretch before subdivision approval with its Final Environmental Impact Statement is the . Thanks in part to developer Andy Todd having addressed many of the points one Patch reader submitted to him, there will perhaps not be many fireworks, though there's likely to be a tangle with Greenburgh over their having to pay for maintenance on the 21.7 acres to be donated as open space. Could this be closed to the public as a result?
Jardim Estates East – Subdivision, Browning Lane
Jardim East, having submitted its Draft Environmental Impact Statement, faces active debate on the basis for a subdivision: how many lots and where, how to deal with code issues. If resident Linda Viertel is back, she will be vocal on not destroying Gracemere and Taxter amenities. What's in all this development for the folks who want to enjoy the vanishing open space? Can we connect Taxter Ridge Park, the Aqueduct trail, the new Tappan Zee Bridge pedestrian and bike crossing?
The rough numbers here are six to eight new $2 million dollar homes, compared to Greystone's 20 properties at $5 million a pop — McMansions all, or maybe trophy homes. A worthy question: who buys such houses and why?
Tarrytown Honda, 480 S. Broadway
is back on the agenda after a gap and sure to generate more debate from local residents with issues on the massive demolition and rebuild proposed for this automotive dealership.
EF International, 100 Marymount Avenue
The , proposing a conversion of an existing library into a dormitory for about 225 students, is tabled for the moment but sure to generate residential complaints about unruly students on Neperan when it returns...
Stay tuned and come to tonight's meeting, Monday April 23, 2012, 7 p.m., Village Hall, One Depot Plaza