Ossining’s “top-down” planning approach for developing Downtown Ossining runs counter to the needed revitalization of this neighborhood. A venture like this requires that the Ossining community buy into it at the very beginning and not later. While it is true that the community has been presented with several alternatives, all of them support the Village Administration’s vision of a densely built, out of scale city. Despite their protestations that the massive block representations of the structures are not final and that there will be later consultations with relevant community boards like the Historic Preservation Commission and others, the fact remains that the major decisions have already been made and anything after that is literally window-dressing.
Regardless of what the buildings will actually look like, they will be massive, block-out light and air and overwhelm the immediate surrounding neighborhood. Two of the most negatively impacted buildings will be the one story commercial building on Spring Street just to the south of the parking lot. Another is the Calvary Baptist Church on St Paul’s Place. This building dates back to 1834 and is on the National and Village Historic Registers. (Incidentally, this building was damaged during the construction of the nearby Post Office several years ago and given its great age, the chances for further harm should not be lightly dismissed.)
During the recent public presentation the consultant group made reference to the idea that in order to attract developers the project would have to be large enough to turn a profit. This is true. The more rentable space there is the more developers like it but the reference is to major developers and the fact is that there are smaller developers that are ready, willing and capable to take on smaller-sized projects, under the right conditions.
I suggest that the Village give away its parking lots to those developers who will build a smaller-scaled, less dense projects that are in general sync with the architecture of the near-by historic district. Further, these developers should get a five-year tax holiday. The fact is that these lots have not produced tax revenue for 50 years and a few more years of no taxes is not going to make up for all that time. Furthermore ownership of buildings and rental tenancy in them should be conditioned on membership fees of a Business Improvement District in order to finance maintenance security and other quality of life projects commercial Additionally, some of the lost revenue will come from the sales taxes that the new stores will generate and we should not discount that existing neighboring business will see a surge in sales as well. In addition, the State of New York has a number of tax and other incentives to bring business into Downtown Ossining as this area meets all the criteria of the State’s various economic development programs.
Chief Burton is not a numbers cruncher. He is a down-to-earth blue collar, awe-shucks, kind of cop. Bill10562 If you live or work in the Village of Ossining don't nit pick what the Chief Burton said. Praise what he and his force do to keep us safe. View Comment
As some of you may know, St Ann's School in the Village of Ossining recently closed and now, St Teresa's is on the way out. Only St. Augustine's School is left. Wondering if there has been conversations or studies on the feasibility of a consolidated Catholic School System. I personally believe in public education but I do think that Catholic and other private schools add value to our society. Studies have shown that while certainly not perfect, overall, Catholic School have been effective particularly in urban areas that have large racial and ethnic minorities. In a strange way Catholic Schools seem to be the model for many of today's Charter Schools.
I never attended Catholic schools when I was growing up in the tough Williamsburg section of Brooklyn in the 1950s but I had friends who did and while they invariably complained about the strict discipline every single one of them went on to college and on various levels were went on to become successful people, even the ones who were thrown out of RC schools for serious disciplinary problems -- a measure that is generally not available to public school officials. View Comment
Hi Shirley: You are to be commended for taking on this much needed job. I just got the notice of your event so I am not sure I can make it but I will try to see if I can reshuffle my schedule
Miguel Hernandez View Comment
Ok, this gentleman has the wherewithal to build a $75 million dollar home smack dab in the middle of the Village of Hastings. No doubt the property taxes he will pay will be substantial and help the Village’s bottom line. Of course, he is entitled to deduct these taxes from his federal and state income taxes and he will get further tax breaks because he plans to put in geothermal and other energy saving devices. All of this on top of the other loop-hole tax breaks he gets on his off-shore investments and other non-job producing hedge fund business. In a way then, all of us are contributing something to satisfy his desire to build a palatial home overlooking the Hudson that neither he or his family needs. I am not suggesting that he house them in a typical suburban split-level but that he consider how excessive a 4.5-acre property with a 30,000-plus square-foot single-family house is and that when all is said and done, this enormous building does not contribute much to society. View Comment
Congratulations to "Homebound Senior" (HS) on his past scholastic and other achievements and pride in having attended Catholic schools. Generally speaking parochial schools are smaller, autocratically run, can pick and choose their students and dismiss those who are not meeting their religious and academic standards. These standards and conditions were and are not available to public schools who by law must take everyone in, cannot freely eject their students in an unfettered manner and are subject to policies made by locally elected boards of education and the mandates of the state and federal governments. It was also fortunate indeed that HS' parents were also able to scrape up the money for uniforms, books and supplies to these private school of choice required. In summary Homebound Senior is making an an unfair comparison.
Frankly I don't know that the average Catholic School student knows the dates and other details of various U.S. Supreme decisons anymore than does the average public school studentsdoes so I will take HS' word for it. Perhaps we have a Supreme Court Case contest that pits average parochial school students against average public school students to find out which of thes classes of students know more about this arcane subject. I do know however, that the case that he refers to, Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co.,is no longer law and that in quite a number of subsequent cases, the Supreme Court declared and affirmed the constitutionality of the federal income tax numerous times since then. Nonetheless there are many tax evadesr posing as constitutional and law experts who argue otherwise. No doubt that proportionately. the average number of these legal quacks who went to Catholic Schools and those who went to public schools is equal. View Comment
On Saturday, May 19th at 11:30 AM, the Ossining Historical Society Museum (OHSM) will be hosting an inside tour of five ( 5) of the Village's many historically and archtecturally significant homes. The tour will be held rain or shine and features the following homes: Moorehaven, Stanton House, Boxwood, Eagle's Nest and McCord Farm. Travel is by bus and trip begins at 11:30 AM and ends at the Museum, 196 Croton Ave. Ossining, NY. 10562 at 4:30 PM. Cost is $35 per person and includes a wine & cheese tasting following the tour. You MUST pay in advance to secure a spot as NO tickets will be sold at the door on tour day. Send your check marked "House Tour" to the OHSM at the above address no later than May 12th. Call 914-941-0001 or send email to OHSM@Bestweb.net if you have questions. View Comment
In addition to Washington's HQ in North White Plains there are other historic sites in Westchester County that face the wrecking ball. One of these is in the Village of Ossining where a developer, Plateau Associates is seeking permission to take down the Brandreth Pill Factory, a building that is on the National Register of Historic Places to put up a 165 unit condo. Some years ago he bought this property and informed the village that he intended to save the building's exterior and repurpose the interior for 18 apartments. However he has intentionally neglected to maintain the building by not fixing broken windows, other apatures and removing roof coverings so that he could later seek a demolition permit on the grounds that the building was far too deteriorated to be economically preserved. In short , this developer has engaged in the practice of "demolition by intentional neglect." View Comment