Thu, Dec 31, 2015 • General
As the year comes to a close, we thank our dedicated friends and patrons, who support PEPA. With the help of members, staff, volunteers, patrons and consultants PEPA continues to achieve significant results and positively impact and protect the Purchase community. Working together with PEPA, we can all continue to keep Purchase the special community that we all know it is; but we need your help.
During this season of goodwill, and in order to advance our mission and success, we are requesting your financial support. For those who have already contributed, we are grateful. Thank you for your generosity. If you have not had a chance to donate, please consider including the Purchase Environmental Protective Association in your year-end giving plans. A holiday appeal letter should have recently reached your mailbox. Giving information can also be found on our website.
PEPA is a New York nonprofit corporation and is a federal 501 (c) 3 charitable organization. Your tax-deductible gift is essential, and makes a true difference in PEPA's ability to protect our community from proposals that threaten the cherished quality of life in Purchase. We have included some highlights of our activities from 2015:
The Trinity Presbyterian Church application, was before the Planning Board on December 15th. The Board voted to adopt the SEQRA Findings which are posted on the Town website.
The applicant also said they were planning on appearing at the January 26, 2016 meeting to continue the Board's review of the project.
The Trinity Presbyterian application seeks to construct a 26,000-square-foot facility for worship services and other activities after making significant expansions on its existing property on 526 – 530 Anderson Hill Road. Throughout this (24 month) process, PEPA has engaged the services of Legal Counsel (Harris Beach) and an Environmental Planning firm (Louis Berger Group) to analyze the application. With adoption of the FEIS findings, PEPA's dedicated consultants continue to make the case for further FEIS given the excessive parking, traffic safety issues, incongruous traffic data and absence of a reduced alternative among other issues.To view the consultants comment letters, visit the Trinity Presbyterian Church Archive.
The Normandy Realty/Toll Brothers application that has been wending its way through the Town approval process was most recently heard on December 15th 2015. The Board reviewed the application commenting on the traffic study and scheduled the matter for a January 26, 2015 Public Hearing on the FEIS.
The FEIS will now be examined by the Planning Board in preparation of a “findings statement” (positive or negative) and a vote. Further, PEPA's consultants will thoroughly review the FEIS. Throughout this application process, PEPA has engaged the services of Legal Counsel (Harris Beach) and an Environmental Planning firm (Louis Berger Group) to analyze the application, and the DEIS for both substantive and procedural deficiencies. Likewise, PEPA will now review the FEIS with equal diligence and prepare comments that will be presented and submitted at the public hearing. Previous comments from PEPA's consultants can be found in the Corporate Park Drive Archive.
The Corporate Park Drive proposal involves the demolition of current office buildings and construction of a new, six-story multi-family residential building on the 103-105 Corporate Park Drive. The proposed apartment building will contain 421 units; there will be 770 parking spaces and includes a change of zoning proposal.
The applicant, Purchase Corporate Park Associates VI presented to the Planning Board, most recently in November. PEPA has been steadfastly opposing the Parcel B proposal for 14 years. The application's inadequacies violate provisions of New York State law as well as a 1984 Settlement Agreement between PEPA and Purchase Corporate Park Associates. Many of the problems derive from the use of an old EIS (1983) as the basis for the developer's report.
The Board had many questions for the applicant last month, including whether the use of an office building was feasible and noted that the environmental reviews need to be updated. The Board scheduled a site visit and acknowledged receipt of the Harris Beach Letter that argued a Supplemental EIS needs to be prepared due to the delay and time passed since the last one. The letter also commented on the failure of the Impact Statement to address the cumulative effects of changes in the community since the previous 1983 EIS. IN fact, PEPA believes, "the resulting proposal effectively circumvented the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA)."
The site walk through was held for the proposed Parcel B Office Building on December 9, 2015 with 1) members of the Harrison Planning Board; 2) the Applicants ' (Purchase Corporate Park Associates VI) attorney and applicant; and 3) members from PEPA including Harris Beach (attorney), Louis Berger (environmental consultant) and a Board Director.
The Planning Board asked the applicant what height of the new building would be, stating concern that the view from Manhattanville's Reid Castle, a national landmarked site could be obstructed. While viewing the proposed additional parking, there was discussion as to the location of existing wetlands east of the proposed parking lot. Louis Berger pointed out the wetlands had been delineated and the proposed parking lot expansion would encroach into the 100-foot wetland buffer zone. To read more on this proposal and to view PEPA's comment letters and submissions regarding Parcel B, visit the Parcel B Document Archive.
If you have driven on Purchase Street for the past couple of years, you have noticed how bad traffic congestion has become. You've also seen the new traffic signals installed on Purchase Street between Manhattanville Road and the Hutchinson River parkway. Those signals were installed to handle the additional traffic generated by the office parks on Manhattanville Road. PEPA has been steadfastly arguing the Purchase Corporate Park Associates (PCPA) application that wants to build an additional office building on Manhattanville Road near Purchase Street.
By adding yet another building on Manhattanville Road the Parcel B application will require:
Inevitable consequences of the PCPA "Parcel B Application" include:
Now, as this successful year draws to a close, PEPA remains vigilant. Unfortunately, just over the horizon, lurks a new set of challenges to the quality of life in Purchase chief among them is:
Our attorneys are monitoring and researching this project on 40 acres of the SUNY Purchase campus. We understand the proposal will include 385 units, with a minimum of 20% affordable units. Our attorneys have submitted a FOIL to secure additional information. As usual, we will keep you informed of all developments.
Finally, on behalf of the Board of Directors, please accept my best wishes for a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season, and a very happy New Year. Together, we look forward to meeting the challenges of 2016 and beyond.