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avalonfreightwayrenderingA rendering of the proposed development from Avalon - November, 2018Planning for the redevelopment of the Freightway site reached another milestone on Tuesday November 26 when the Scarsdale Board of Trustees announced the names of two developers selected as finalists. The finalists are Avalon Bay Communities and a joint proposal from LCOR and East End Capital.

Trustees Jane Veron and Justin Arest and Mayor Marc Samwick reviewed the background of the project, reminding residents that the Freightway Garage was constructed in 1971 and needs $2.5 million in repair and maintenance by 2022. Over the next 20 years it is anticipated that the existing garage would need extensive repairs or possibly need to be replaced at a cost of $25 million in today’s dollars.

The goal of the 2-acre development is to improve the aging parking structure and to enhance the Village center in a viable and sustainable way. The development is in line with the Village’s comprehensive plan and the advice of Village planning consultants. The transit-oriented development seeks to create a vibrant, livable, and walkable development in the community with the potential to enhance the entirety of the Village.

Here’s some information about the two finalists:

The first is Avalon Bay Communities, led by architects Perkins Eastman. Over the past decade they have built over 2,000 apartments in Westchester, among them the Avalon in Harrison, Avalon Yonkers and most recently Avalon White Plains, a 14 story, 393-unit apartment tower near the train station in White Plains.

In Scarsdale, Avalon is proposing to build a 6-level parking garage with 650 spaces, 225 residential apartments in a 5 story building over the residential parking garage and a Village Plaza at the corner of Popham Road and Scarsdale Avenue.

LCOR Village MewsLCOR's November 18 Proposal for Village Mews in Scarsdale.The group that is led by LCOR and East End Capitol also proposes to build 225 residential units, ground level retail and “improved vehicular and pedestrian experiences in a new parking structure.” LCOR is backed by the California State Teacher’s Retirement System.

The finalists will make presentations of their design concepts to the community on December 11 at 7 pm at Village Hall. This will be followed by a 45-day public comment period to garner as much input as possible. Residents will be able to comment on presentation boards in Village Hall, at a dedicated email address and via a link on the Village website that will be open to accept input. Input can also be given after the presentations on December 11. All comments will be reviewed and responses will be provided after January 23.

According to the Mayor, the Board of Trustees will continue to do their due diligence by conducting tours of the developers projects in the area and meetings with the developers.

Samwick reiterated that, “any community development project must provide a net benefit to the community.” He said, “Doing nothing is also an option. It is not a free option as there are already short and medium term expenses with maintaining the parking garage.” He reassured the community that the “Trustees are focused on the same issues that concern you – such as impact on the schools, parking, fiscal and Village impacts. We are residents too – and we care about these matters deeply.”

He said that they hope to select the preferred developer last in the first quarter or early in the second quarter of 2020. He encouraged everyone to attend the community meeting on December 11.

Update on Village Attorney

The Mayor provided an update on the status of the search for outside counsel to replace the current in-house Village Attorney. He said that “many comparably sized communities-and our school district – utilize outside counsel. Based on information by the selection committee the Board believes that outside counsel can provide deep legal experience and expertise and a high level of service at cost that is comparable to maintaining an inside counsel. The Board expects a resolution at the December 10 meeting to engage a law firm – to start sometime in January.”

Capital Projects

The Mayor praised the Village Managers Office, Department of Public Works and the Village Engineer for seeking and securing highly-competitive grants to fund three major capital projects planned for the Village. These include the dredging and restoration of Cayuga Pond, mitigation of flooding along the Hutchinson River and repair of the Heathcote Bridge. Samwick said that the abutments of Heathcote Bridge are 100 years old as are many sections of our water system.

Leaf Pick Up

Village Manager Steve Pappalardo reminded residents that the fall leaf program is in full force – until Friday December 6. He reported that he has only received one complaint about leaf collection and that’s a good sign that the collection is going well.

As of November 26, the Village had collected 70% of the anticipated total volume, picking up
1,370 truck loads and collecting 3,300 tons of leaves. By the end of the season they expect to collect an additional 1,400 tons of leaves. He reminded residents that leaf piles should be on the grass, not in the roadway in violation of village code. Leaf piles narrow the roadway, create obstructions, block catch basins and may create flooding.

Christmas Tree Lighting

The annual Christmas tree and menorah lighting will be held this Friday December 6 from 5-7 pm. There will be Christmas carolers, food, activities for the kids and a visit from Santa, who will arrive by fire truck. Everyone is encouraged to come to the Village. The Scarsdale Library will host kids’ crafts.

New Asian Fusion Sushi Restaurant in the Village

Trustee Veron provided good news about retail tenants in Scarsdale Village. A new Asian fusion restaurant called Akai Asian Fusion Sushi Lounge has signed the lease for the space formerly occupied by Lange’s Deli and will begin to build out the space soon.

Watch the meeting online here:

NYLCVPhotoThe New York League of Conservation Voters honored the Scarsdale Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) and the Village of Scarsdale at their annual cocktail party on November 13th. The honor is for the Village's food scrap recycling program - both for being the first in the County to start a food scrap recycling program and how our program has become a model for the other food scrap recycling programs that have started in our County and New York State.

Since its start in 2017 the Scarsdale food scrap recycling program has collected over 900,000 pounds of food scraps which have been returned to our earth as compost. Want in? Email to sign up! It’s easy, neat, NYLCVPlaquedramatically reduces your trash, and is a great way to help and preserve our environment!

Pictured above: From left to right: Jeanne-Marie Castiello, CAC member, Adie Shore, CAC member, Jeff Coleman, Scarsdale Superintendent of Public Works, Heather Kolb, CAC member, Tyler Seifert, Scarsdale Assistant Superintendent of Public Works, Ron Schulhof, CAC member, Michelle Sterling, CAC Chair, Julie Tighe, NY League of Conservation Voters, President, Jon Lewis, Scarsdale Board of Trustees, Lena Crandall, Scarsdale Board of Trustees, Jane Veron, Scarsdale Board of Trustees, Michael Bogin, NYLCV Board, Westchester County Chapter Chair.

flood1“In municipal government it all comes back to the sewers,” opined Scarsdale Village Manager Steve Pappalardo at the November 12, 2019 meeting of the Village Board. He was responding to complaints about sewage back-ups from a group of residents on Barry Road who reported that raw sewage was “forced into the basement sinks and floors of some homes” at 2 pm on Sunday October 27, 2019.

According to Greg Schwend, who spoke on behalf of the Drake Edgewood Neighborhood Association, this was not the first incident. The issue was first noted in 2005 but it took until 2011 for neighbors to organize and complain to the Village. In 2011 the County of Westchester cleaned a sewage trunk line that lies in the bed of the Hutchinson River. According to Schwend, “Capacity was improved by their cleaning and the problem seemed to have gone away after that for a few years.” However he said, “Now it has reappeared. It happened three times last year and at least twice this year.” He said, “I stood before the Village Board eight years ago and asked the Village Board to treat this issue as if it were you and your own home. And here we are eight years later.”

Reading from Village code Chapter 244, Schwend said, “It is critically important that the Village maintain, repair, improve and replace when necessary components of the sanitary sewer system in order to reduce extraneous flows and illegal discharges. Municipalities must by law take action to fix and maintain sanitary sewage collection systems to reduce all non-sanitary flows into the system.” He added, the Clean Water Act creates strict guidelines for municipalities to maintain their sanitary sewer systems. Westchester County code mandates that municipalities must take immediate action to reduce extraneous flows into the sanitary sewer system.”

He continued, “These extraneous flows get into the Hutchinson River. We know we have a flooding issue. We know there is an intra municipal agreement to take care of the flooding, but this is not the cause of our sewage overflows. The cause is too much water getting into the sanitary sewer system. What I didn’t know before but know now is that a lot of Arthur Manor and Edgewood are connected into a sewer system that has an overflow connection into the Barry Road line. The Bronx River district is causing our problems. It is likely that there are illicit connections going into that system that need to be investigated. I like the idea of a Village code change that allows inspectors to go into homes to check these connections.”

Greg Linn, also on Barry Road said, “I moved here in 2010 and at the closing the previous homeowner told me about the shut off valve to turn off if sewage starts coming in. It did improve after 2011 but the problems are back. They are disgusting and gross. When it rains heavily sewage backs up into our downstairs shower. I appreciate all the effort but it is continuing to happen. If there are any faster solutions, I would be very appreciative for the health of my family and our neighbors and the value of our homes.”

Mr. Zeng on Barry Road said, “I just moved here two years ago. Before he moved here we heard about a good town and good neighbors. We found a lovely house on Barry Road and bought it – but then got a big surprise. It was raining and I found a back-up in the basement and found out about the sewage issues from neighbors. People have a good impression of Scarsdale and good expectations. I hope you will spend more time helping the residents understand the problem and tackling it. I appreciate your help to resolve this problem.”

Village Manager Steve Pappalardo had prepared remarks on the subject. He said, “I want to provide background information on the flooding and sanitary sewer issues, specifically at the end of Barry Road. This section along the Hutchinson River is within the FEMA 100-year flood plain. It is an area at high risk for flooding. These floods have been happening more frequently.
Standing high water of the Hutchinson Riverbed exacerbates these problems. The Hutchinson River in this area is in need of clearing and de-silting…. During rainstorms, it overflows.
Scarsdale Village is collaborating with the County and the Village of New Rochelle on a multi-million improvement project for this work. The work also involves moving four existing culverts to move the water downstream more quickly. This is different than building retention basins as we did in Fox Meadow. In this case we want to move the water out of Scarsdale more quickly.”

He reported, “After numerous stops and starts over the last few years, the proper intra-municipal agreements are now in place for a $3.5 million in county and NYS grants for this work. The work to draft an RFP has now begun. It is a very complicated project because it involves getting the right of entry from numerous private property owners and it involves a dam where ownership issues exist. Despite these obstacles the three entities will see this through. Hopefully when the work is done, homes along that river will be removed from the FEMA flood map.”

He continued, “In 2011 the County conducted certain flow studies and determined during certain rain events that the flow level of the sanitary sewers spiked. Storm water entered the sanitary sewer system through either direct storm water connections, or storm water entering through faulty sewer pipes. This is called infiltration. The Village lined defective sewer pipes on Barry, Carmine and Johnson and Tunstall Roads to seal the pipes. The Village did smoke testing. Tests resulted in violation notices to homeowners.’

‘Sewage in this area enters the system through a county owned 12-inch trunk sewer which sits in the river bed. The city of New Rochelle also discharges sewage to this trunk line. During 2011 the County reported that this pipe was only operating at 60% of capacity. The County flushed and cleaned the trunk line in 2012. It requires annual cleaning in order to handle the volume.
During rain events this county trunk fills up, the sewer line backs up, causing the sewer manhole at the end of Barry Road to pop and dispense sewage onto the roadway. These issues continue to concern the village. We are doing an SSES of all districts. The Village is considering doing a study of how the Bronx Valley to the Hutchinson Valley. Necessary to discuss the impacts and expedite this study.”

He concluded, “The Village is working on the flood and sewage issues in this area to mitigate the issue. If there was an easy fix, we would have made it by now.”

Village Engineer David Goessel described the work that Village, County and City of New Rochelle has already done, admitting they were not able to solve the problem.

He provided a list of action items to continue to address the problem:

He recommended continuing to study the problem and to work with architects and engineers to review the results of prior studies. He said that wet weather televising and monitoring could help to locate the sources of inflow.

He believes that removing the connection to the sewer system from other neighborhoods might have impacts on other properties. He said, “Scarsdale will continue to work with the City New Rochelle on the trunk line and we will work with the neighborhood associations to identify the sump pumps and find out how relevant they are. If many homes have illicit connections to the sanitary sewer lines, the village can consider adding drainage to accommodate those homeowners.”

He said, “The Village will continue to work with the County to guarantee that the trunk line is cleaned so that it can work at capacity. In 2011 hydraulic capacity was found to be at 60%. Annual service is key to preventing back-ups.

The Village will work with staff to develop Village code regarding defective sewer laterals and illicit hook-ups to require inspections or affidavits from plumbers. At the time of sale the homeowner would need to provide affidavits from a licensed professional or village staff to show that there are no faulty laterals or illicit connections.

Last he said, “The staff will work with occupants to provide advice.”

Scarsdale Village Ambulance Corps

In other public comments David Raizen from the Scarsdale Ambulance Corps came to the mic to ask the public to support the corps. He said, “It’s annual fundraising time. We mailed out an appeal. We made 1800 calls this year. We do mutual aid to neighboring communities

Half of our budget comes from donations and half come from “soft billing” where we get paid over 80% of the time. We received some stipends from the Village for fuel and repairs to the vehicles. We also take residents to doctor’s appointments. We have four ambulances for now.
We are able to staff three. We run CPR and EMT classes at the ambulance corps, one for high students during senior options. In short, it’s fund drive time. We now also cover a small sliver of the north end of New Rochelle” He asked residents to respond to the mail appeal.

Scarsdale Youth Council

SHS student Ben Assa proposed the creation of a Scarsdale Youth Council comprised of 10 -15 residents aged 14 to 18. This would allow young residents to advocate for themselves and discuss local issues relevant to them. It would promote civic education, leadership, public speaking skills and support civic engagement projects. He suggested they could deal with issues such as distracted driving, vaping and smoking.

Remembering Jim Labick

Bob Harrison
spoke in memory of his friend Jim Labick who passed away. He said Labick worked on the Scarsdale Forum and on fiscal affairs committees. He said, “We worked together to see that the Boards did their best to keep our tax rates down. Jim was 80 years old. He moved to Nashville to be near his daughter. I think it is important to let the community know about Jim’s passing.” He proposed a minute of silence on behalf of Jim Labick.

In his comments, Mayor Samwick discussed leaf season and said, “Leaf piles in the streets are a hazard. Put leaf piles on the grass – or mulch in place. He also warned residents about the new license plate readers that police are using for parking enforcement. He said, “There are different zones in different areas – so please be aware of the regulations – and please use Pango.”

Assistant to the Village Manager

Village Manager Steve Pappalardo welcomed Assistant to the Village Manager Aylone Katzin who replaces Josh Ringel who is now working in Tarrytown. Katzin has a masters degree in Public Administration from SUNY Binghamton and previously worked for the Town of Port Chester.

shscupolacopyThe Joint Committee of the School Board Nominating Committee is proposing several amendments to its Resolution, the governing document of the Scarsdale non-partisan school board nomination process. According to Jordan Copeland, Committee Chair, “the Resolution was last revised six years ago, so many changes are long overdue and will improve the functioning of the SBNC.” The committee is soliciting public comments on these changes.

The changes include the following:

-Altering the structure of the Administrative and Joint Committees

-Permitting a smaller, “greener” election mailer which refers voters to more detailed information online

-Allowing all Nominating Committee members to serve full three year terms

-Allowing Nominating Committee members who move within Scarsdale to complete their terms

-Allowing the Nominating Committee to ask individualized or follow up questions to Board of Education candidates

-Changing the Administrative term length of SNAP and Scarsdale Forum / TVCC nominees to two years.

Copies of the proposed amendments and a markup of the Resolution can be found on the SBNC website at, at Village Hall, and at the Scarsdale Public Library Annex.

Public feedback on these proposed changes is requested. Members of the community may comment by attending a public meeting on Tuesday, December 3, 2019, at 7:45pm at Scarsdale High School, Rooms 170-172, and by emailing chair Jordan Copeland at by December 13, 2019.

The public vote on the Resolution amendments, as well as the election of SBNC candidates, will be held on January 14, 2020 from 7am to 9pm at Scarsdale Middle School or by mail-in ballot.

The members of the Joint Committee are Miriam Beveridge, Felicia Block, Colleen Brown, Michael Chayes, Jordan Copeland, Wendy Gendel, Liz Guggenheimer, Sang Han, Sharon Higgins, Stacey Kaufman, Amy Lewis, Manos Makrakis, Elizabeth Massey, Tanya Singer, and Susanne Vleck.

Public and Media Contact: Jordan Copeland, Chair, Joint Committee, by email

EmilyMichaelsEmily Michaels, SHS Class of 2010 completed the race for the second time, this year in just 3:46.As always, many Scarsdale natives were among the 50,000 who ran the New York City marathon on Sunday November 3rd. Here are a few locals who took to the streets of the five boroughs and completed the 26.2 mile race under sunny but cool skies.

Zach Gompertz SHS ’08 trained to run the NYC Marathon years ago only to see the event canceled as a result of Hurricane Sandy. This year he was determined to try again despite starting the MBA program at USC’s Marshall School. All was going well until he suffered a knee injury in the last few weeks. On Sunday he had the knee taped and ran despite the pain. It was touch and go for a while but he managed to make it to the finish line and fulfill a lifetime goal.

Running his fourth NYC Marathon, Greg Seiden, SHS Class of 2011 said, "I was only looking to finish the race smiling. I ran alongside a long time friend from college which proved to make a huge impact on my time and level of fun. We pushed one another through the Bronx, Harlem and down 5th Avenue to the finish line. I was so grateful for the beautiful weather, another opportunity to run and for the friendship."

seiden2Greg Seiden, from the SHS class of 2011 is a veteran of the race and this year was his fourth NYC marathon. He crossed the finish line in 4:32.


GigiEmily’s classmate, Gigi Rawanduzy from the SHS Class of 2010 looked great after finishing the race in 5:25.

zachgompertzZach Gompertz flew in from Los Angeles to do the run.

 MattPaskalidesMatt Paskalides, age 29 and a graduate of Edgemont High School finished in 3:47

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