Hartsdale Neighbors Association (“HNA”) is a volunteer driven community based organization whose goal is to promote, advance and protect the interests of the property owners and residents across all Hartsdale neighborhoods. Our mission is to work towards protecting and enriching a quality of life that is expected, deserved and welcomed by those in our community.
- Greenburgh School Updates-
- The vote for the GCSD district consolidation and bond proposal is now scheduled for 3/19 at Woodlands High School. You can learn more about the proposal here. The district has just put out an updated FAQ here.
- The HNA’s Schools Committee met with the GCSD administration and board leadership on 2/27 to discuss the upcoming bond. We conveyed what Hartsdale people told us they still need to understand regarding the bond. We followed up that conversation with the following letter. We appreciate their time, and look forward to continuing the dialogue not just on the bond, but on all matters related to GCSD.
- For more, including the school district response, check out our page dedicated to the School Bond with information. School Bond Proposal
Dear Dr. Chase and team,
Thank you for the discussion last night on the GCSD bond. To recap, these are the points that HNA members are telling us they need clarified or expanded and some of the suggestions that came out of the meeting.
- Communicate the actual metrics by which success will be measured in the next five years and why. Taxpayers are looking for specific metrics that are recognized as credible and commonly used by educators and home buyers when comparing school districts. Hopefully this will help to counter old perceptions and avoid GCSD potentially appearing as an outlier. Being able to compare apples to apples will illustrate in a more compelling way the trend of the academic performance. Today residents believe their home prices are lower than they should be because GCSD student outcomes are seen as lower than metrics being used by surrounding communities.
- Show a list of the programs (like Universal pre-k, STEAM, special needs programs etc.) that cannot be offered now or barely pass compliance because of the inadequacy of current physical plant. Perhaps build a chart, noting current conditions for each and how the bond offers and improves on the space we now have for each of these.
- Insert hyperlinks on the website to all studies noted.
Bond costs and basis for them
- Show the all-in-cost of the bond — the $114 million cost plus the interest (including projected interest rate of calculation).
- Post on the GCSD website the financials for each segment of the project. Along with the costs that are already listed, please provide the likely interest rates (range for illustration purposes) at which the money will be borrowed and the lending periods. It would be helpful to reiterate that both principal and interest are included in the AVERAGE $14/month/$100K, but that this number is subject to fluctuations due to interest rates at the time of borrowing, and which are beyond the GCSD’s control. A graphic showing how the payments will fluctuate over time, as per David Warner’s suggestion, would also be helpful. Finally, if you plan to have the bond rated (and thereby lower the rate of borrowing), this too should be posted and would be a good confidence-builder for the community.
- Display the payment schedule for tax increases over time (perhaps a line graph showing that March 20 does not mean tax Armageddon. Superimpose this with the payment of the borrowing costs)
- Clarify that the tax increases of $14 month per $100k of assessment includes interest. (this is an average, does that mean that some people will be taxed higher.)
- Provide us with the actual Bailey and Highview assessment study. Mary’s email today notes that the NYS estimate of $2.5 million was 2008. We need to understand how the estimate increased nearly tenfold in a real estate market in Greenburgh that has barely recovered to those levels. We want to be sure that those who work with the development community provide a realistic number and have zoning knowledge given the “use” limitations on the Highview sites: both Bailey and Highview have single-family home zoning, yet today single-family homes are not being developed here for market reasons. Zoning changes for single properties are extremely difficult to get and a zoning change would take several years in Greenburgh with no certainty. Residents will remember “$20 million” and if the properties actually sell for considerably less, it will be a point of confusion or credibility. Being really clear on the future possibilities for the properties will reduce heartburn with taxpayers.
- Consider adding to your text that if new Greenburgh development is approved and added to the tax rolls, that some of these assessments go to GCSD, and will help cover some repairs at Woodlands and other schools.
- Today we received a suggestion that to cut fear of cost overruns and future bond increases that the Board say it will create an independent oversight committee and think this needs to be explored.
- Having a response to the Town’s traffic study communicated as soon as possible will also reduce community questions or concerns.
The additional information recommended may go a long way to diminish fear and increase trust that can kill this bond’s prospects. Again, thank you all for meeting with us and hearing the concerns that have been raised in the HNA.
HNA Schools Committee
- Four Corners Revitalization- Updated 3/11
- 3/27 will be a Public Hearing at Town Hall to consider the Draft Hartsdale Four Corners Study. 7:30pm. Rest assured, none of this would be happening without your support. HNA thanks all those who have contributed towards this important process.
- The 2019 preliminary budget originally included only $50k for 4 Corners traffic, storm water, and planning studies. After HNA representatives made the case to the town this amount was woefully insufficient, that amount was increased to $150k. A huge win for Hartsdale and the HNA. Thank you to all those who joined us in speaking out about the need for additional funding.
- You can download a copy of the Draft Study here. Let us know what you think!
- Further details and the ability to join the conversation are on the dedicated Four Corners page. If you have not already signed the petition make sure to do so at the above link!
- Elmwood Country Club Property Development
- Ridgewood Realty, the private developer who purchased the Elmwood property with an eye to redevelop it into an Active 55+ Townhome community recently met with the Planning Board. This was despite the fact, that just like 4C, the Town Board has not moved to act on this proposal. Click here to read the Letter to the Editor in the Scarsdale Inquirer by HNA President Eric Zinger on this subject. We believe whether you are for or against the requesting PUD and zoning change, the Town Board should take a position and provide clarity.
- The developer has submitted their plans to the town and met with the Town Planning Board informally in August. It is now pending action from the Town Board to move forward in the process.
- The former Elmwood Country Club has been sold to private real estate developers who are looking to develop the property. The property is currently zoned R-30 which allows for a variety of uses but is most often associated with single family detached homes. The developers have an as-of right to develop the property in this manner if they wish.
- The developer Ridgewood Real Estate Partners would like to see the property rezoned to allow them to build an “Active 55+ Adult community” with townhouses. This would allow them to build a higher density community and increase the number of units on the property. There are many issues at stake here including density, traffic, impact to Greenburgh schools, taxes (single family homes are taxed much higher then condos & townhouses), parkland, and more. It is also important to note that any zoning changes could lay the groundwork for similar projects in the future.
- Click here to see the town work session with the developers.
- Edgemont Incorporation-
- The New York State Court of Appeals denied the motion from the Edgemont Incorporation Committee (EIC) to hear their appeal thereby allowing the 2nd Appellate Division decision (reversing the initial decision of NY Supreme Court Judge Cacace) to stand. This effectively ends the battle of the first petition for Edgemont Incorporation as the courts ultimately found that Supervisor Feiner was not acting illegally when he denied the Edgemont Incorporation petition. Any future incorporation effort would require filing a new petition which we understand is being contemplated by EIC leadership. For the time being, however, Edgemont incorporation is off the front-burner as an urgent matter before the town.
- If you are new to this topic, Click here to see the HNA Presentation on the potential impact of Edgemont Incorporation on the rest of Unincorporated Greenburgh and Hartsdale.
- Potential Edgemont Incorporation is the topic on everyone’s mind in Hartsdale and Unincorporated Greenburgh. Hartsdale Neighbors Association was first formed in response to Edgemont potentially becoming Greenburgh’s 7th Village. Confused about villages, towns, town outside village designations? Click here for some background on Hartsdale and the makeup of the Town of Greenburgh.
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