The following letter was published in this week’s issue of the Gazette.
To the Editor,
I strongly suggest that all residents take a short ride over to Piney Point and Hill Street to view the destruction of a very steep hillside. Perhaps the Board should make a site visit. I guarantee it will be eye-opening.
Old growth trees with diameters almost four feet are gone. The slopes have grades greater than 45 degrees and they are now barren with the exception of construction equipment. Fifty pilings are being dug on the site with all the related noise and dust disturbance to the surrounding homes. Complete your tour with a ride on Nordica Drive and decide if this is a good thing after viewing the two sites there.
I’ve been told you don’t make money on single home development, you need commercial. Why then are we destroying the Village with these projects? Can we really trust the engineering? Do we really believe there will be a viable storm water runoff plan? One parcel is about 20 feet from the Croton River and I cannot believe that the river will not be affected by this project no matter what was told to the planning board.
The environmental disturbance to the land and surrounding homes is significant. There have been subsidence issues in the past in this area. My guess is their home values will plummet rather than increase.
I find it interesting that the Mayor removed a rather qualified individual from the planning board who was not only a landscape architect but also an environmental attorney. He brought great knowledge to the board and is now gone just like the trees on Nordica and Piney Point. I’m not sure the replacement can measure up and you have to wonder if patronage is in play.
It seemed at the 9/3 board meeting that the members were surprised and thought something was “amiss.” The Mayor was content to say that the planning and zoning boards are “independent entities” and the board is not really involved. This can’t be true in a municipal corporation such as Croton. The mayor is part of the whole operation and should know what’s going on in the Village and cannot duck issues, like these projects.
There have been climate walks, save the planet demonstrations, etc. in the Village much of which deals with more global issues. Perhaps it’s time to sit back and reflect on what you can do here in our quaint little Village. Maybe those trees would have been saved. Perhaps this development train should be slowed down. High density housing may be a detriment and not a savior. The rezoning charade has already been decided by the folks in the back room and this is just political theatre.
Maybe at the next “Post Card Tuesday” some cards should go to this Board asking how the Village environment is being protected. Think Croton first.
Finally, it’s time to scrap the current steep slopes law since it’s clearly being ignored. Money, power and influence will get you a variance.