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Letters to the Editor

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Letter to the Editor: Village Should Not Include Parking Structure in Master Plan PDF Print Email

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To the Editor:

Jun. 26, 2019:  I believe one statement in Mayor Marvin’s recent column on the village’s comprehensive plan requires clarification. Her column stated that the recent opinion survey by the village shows that “A parking structure was favored by 55 % of the survey takers while 25% did not support a structure. The most favored location was in the Kraft Avenue lot on the undulated land near Saint Joseph’s Church.”

In fact, 253 people answering the survey favored a parking structure on Parkway Road on the site of the Avalon parking lot while only 134 people approved of a structure at the south end of the Kraft Avenue lot. Unfortunately, the survey did not ask a direct question comparing all possible locations for a parking structure in the central business district.

Question 53 asked whether respondents would support a parking structure at any one of three locations east of the train tracks. A structure west of the tracks was not offered as an option. A total of 471 people answered this question.

The largest support by far, at over 42 percent, was for “Other,” the only alternative offered to the three east-side locations. Although respondents were asked to specify what they meant by "Other," individual answers aren’t posted on the village website.

None of the three east-side locations received anything like majority support. Only about 28.5 percent of people responding, or 134 individuals, were in favor of a structure over the south end of the Kraft Avenue lot. About 20 percent answered that they would support a parking structure over the Garden Avenue lot, while only about 9 percent favored a structure over the Cedar Street lot.

In contrast, Question 18 addressed the possibility of a parking structure on the west side of the central business district, although in a roundabout way. This question asked what use respondents would “like to see” in addition to surface parking at the Parkway Road (Avalon) parking lot. Six hundred fifty people answered this question.

The largest number of respondents, almost 39 percent, or 253 individuals, answered “parking structure.” Almost 25 percent, 161 individuals, answered “mixed-use,” which presumably could include some additional parking.

The survey allowed “stakeholders” who do not live in the village to respond to the survey. About 10 percent of responses came from non-residents. Although the survey does not show answers broken down by resident or non-resident status, it seems fair to assume that business owners, landlords, and non-residents would be more in favor of a parking structure.

My conclusion from all this is that the village should not include a parking structure in the master plan for any of the three east-side locations in the central business district. An overwhelming 79 percent of people responding to the survey felt that “additional urbanization and crowding threaten the character of the village in the long term.” The lack of enthusiasm for an east-side parking structure certainly reflects that sentiment.

Betsy Harding 

Editor's note:  MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements in letters to the editor, and the opinions do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. Its objective in publishing letters to the editor is to give air to diverse thoughts and opinions of residents in the community.

 
Letter to the Editor: Bronxville Could Reduce Litter by 520,000 Pieces with One Small Act PDF Print Email

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To the Editor:

Jun. 19, 2019:  A heartfelt thank you to BHS science teacher Justine McClellan and her students in the Bronx River Research course, Kelly Weild, Luke Redman, Julia Curran, and Catherine Faville, for their study of littering in Bronxville and its pollution of the Bronx River and for their creative anti-littering campaign via the 2019 Storm Drain Art Contest, with kudos to the winner, BHS sophomore Olivia O’Keefe.

We are all suffering, and our planet and its future are under grave threat because of litter pollution, which is so easily preventable! According to the National Geographic magazine’s January 17, 2019, issue, “Each year, an estimated 18 billion pounds of plastic waste enters the world's ocean from coastal regions. That's about equivalent to five grocery bags of plastic trash piled up on every foot of coastline on the planet.”

Bronxville is fortunate to have many organizations committed to keeping it green and clean, including the Green Committee (which I recently joined), the Bronxville Beautification Council, and the Boulder Ledge Garden Club (apologies for any important omissions—I’ve lived in Bronxville less than two years), as well as Ms. McClellan and her student brigade. It’s time for all of us in the village to support these efforts by becoming Green Angels, picking up litter where it besmirches our sidewalks, streets, parks, and train station and putting it in the appropriate trash and recyclable receptacles. We are all busy people, but just a few minutes a week dedicated to this task would make a difference—if just 100 people each picked up and disposed of 10 pieces of litter a week, that would be 1,000 pieces of litter a week, 52,000 pieces of litter a year—and if 1,000 people were to become Green Angels, we could spare the environment a whopping 520,000 pieces of litter annually. Visitors to Bronxville might be inspired to become Green Angels in their own communities as well.

Our teenagers challenge us to join them in environmental stewardship—let us respond by becoming Green Angels.

Joan Marlow Golan
Bronxville resident

Editor's note:  MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements in letters to the editor, and the opinions do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. Its objective in publishing letters to the editor is to give air to diverse thoughts and opinions of residents in the community.

 
Letter to the Citizens of Bronxville from Mayor Mary Marvin PDF Print Email

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To the Citizens of Bronxville:


Apr. 3, 2019:  Thank you. Thank you for allowing me to serve as your mayor for another term. Your support means everything. I am honored, humbled, and filled with gratitude. Your faith in me drives me to want to excel every day in representing you with intellect and compassion, for I truly have the dream job – on a daily basis I speak with the most engaging senior citizens; talk to students from high school that I consider my friends; hear wonderful high-pitch hellos from second-grade pals, and speak with the most informed and often most patient residents I know, truly some of the finest people to cross my path.

Together we must preserve our village and treasure all of its intangibles – the way we look out for each other with no fanfare; the civility in which we conduct our discourse; the smiles and hellos on the sidewalks; and the compassion for those in need of our help.

Embrace our smallness – our collective love, respect, and compassion.

Aesop said, “A man is known by the company he keeps.” How blessed are we in Bronxville.

With enduring friendship,

Mary Marvin


Editor's note:  MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements in letters to the editor, and the opinions do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. Its objective in publishing letters to the editor is to give air to diverse thoughts and opinions of residents in the community.

 
Letter to the Editor: Perception Creates Reality--A Realtor’s Opinion on Cellular Facilities and Property Values PDF Print Email

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To the Editor:


Apr. 3, 2019:  On Wednesday, April 10, the Bronxville Village Planning Board will examine and discuss the application by New Cingular Wireless (AT&T) to install a cellular facility atop the elevator tower at 7 Pondfield Road adjacent to the Gramatan Court condominium townhouses. I’ve been asked, “Will there by any negative impact to the salability and value of these condos?” The short answer is, yes.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has a substantial archive of resources for its members regarding all things housing, including case studies about the impact on home values in proximity to cell towers/facilities.

This is just a couple of items that my research in the NAR archives has returned:  An article displayed by NAR and published in Realtor Magazine unequivocally states, “An overwhelming 94 percent of home buyers and renters surveyed by the National Institute for Science, Law & Public Policy (NISLAPP) say they are less interested and would pay less for a property located near a cell tower or antenna.”

And this: An article titled "Property Values, Desirability and Cell Towers" clearly states, “Mike Abrahamse, from Rawson properties: 'while it was hard to pinpoint the impact of cell towers had on property values, a buyer would rather buy a property where no such structure is visible, and while the jury might still be out on whether cell tower radiation was a health threat, the perception that it might be, was, in itself, enough to deter buyers.'" 

In light of these sentiments, I cannot possibly advise that the erection of the cellular facility would have a positive impact on property values. Luxury communities throughout Westchester County, including Bronxville Village, over the last several years have experienced increased inventory of homes for sale, downward pressure on pricing (as expected in a supply-and-demand world) and decreases in both the number of homes sold as well as the median sale price.

Though I certainly am not qualified to weigh in on the perceived health risks of proximity to cell towers/facilities, I can comment with authority that buyers weigh the existence of, and proximity to, these cellular facilities when making home-buying decisions. And it is the buyers’ decision-making that determines the value of any given property. Inarguably, buyer perception creates reality, and it is their perceptions that could decrease the desirability and value of properties like Gramatan Court.

Please, Bronxville Planning Board, do no harm to Bronxville real estate.

Leah Caro
President, Park Sterling Realty

Editor's note:  MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements in letters to the editor, and the opinions do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. Its objective in publishing letters to the editor is to give air to diverse thoughts and opinions of residents in the community.

 
Letter to the Editor: Village Should Take Leadership Role in Managing Cell Phone Antenna Issue PDF Print Email

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To The Editor:


Mar. 27, 2019:  As longtime residents of Bronxville, we are writing to voice our concern about the cell phone antennas AT&T/Cingular is seeking to install on the elevator tower at 7 Pondfield Road.

As shown by the standing-room-only crowd at the most recent meeting of the planning board, there are many village residents who share our concern. (To the planning board's credit, it postponed any decision-making due to lapses in the notification process, giving affected residents more time to study AT&T’s proposal and assess the impact of the new construction.)

While we recognize the need for high-quality cell phone service, we do not believe that putting the antennas of a single carrier in a single location will meet the long-term needs of this village. At present, at least three different telecom providers have antennas atop Lawrence Hospital, which has apparently decided that it no longer wants them there. If so, the village will face relocation controversy over and over again once leases run out for the respective companies.

Typical municipal guidelines ordain that cell phone antennas be placed in the following areas, in order of preference: co-location with an existing tower, municipal property, industrial property, light industrial property, business district. 

By choosing the tower at 7 Pondfield Road, AT&T is aiming at the very last choice on this list – and it’s a choice that, although zoned for commercial use, is closely bordered by residential buildings, a church, and an elementary school.

We believe it is now up to the Village of Bronxville to take a leadership role in managing this problem – as it has done successfully so many times in the past. It appears that AT&T’s current lease is renewable on a month-to-month basis, giving all interested parties a terrific opportunity to get this project done right. A single carrier in a single location amounts to kicking the can down the road. We can do better than that.

Nancy and David Snell

 
Editor's note:  MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements in letters to the editor, and the opinions do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. Its objective in publishing letters to the editor is to give air to diverse thoughts and opinions of residents in the community.
 
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