One Street, One Neighborhood, One City
The following letter was mailed to the paper and the Board of Architectural Review.
We have been Rye residents and taxpayers for 50 years, and we are writing on a matter of great concern to us, our neighborhood, and our city.
In December 2012, the property at 79 Fairway Avenue sold to a developer who is contemplating the construction of a massive, oversized home that would dwarf the other homes on the street and set a dangerous precedent for future development. We join with some 75 residents of Milton Point in voicing our strongest possible opposition to the construction of such home. It would sit cheek-by-jowl with those of its more modest neighbors and would therefore be wholly out of character with the scale and aesthetics of the neighborhood.
Here are several critical issues for your consideration:
· While the builder’s plans appear to comply with the code at 4,900 square feet, the house as currently planned is actually some 7,000 square feet.
· A house of such dimensions would affect the water table and sewer capacity, traffic, and neighborhood quality of life.
· The builder appears to ignore environmental impacts, since the property has become a dumping ground for dirt and trash, an old truck, and a boat trailer.
Let’s be clear. The 79 Fairway Avenue case goes well beyond the concerns of one street or one neighborhood. Increasingly, the behavior of aggressive developers seeking the maximum square footage for development is changing the character of our community. We take great pride in our modest home, built 75 years ago, and have welcomed young families attracted by the scale and beauty of the neighborhood, its well-kept properties, and its closeness to Milton School.
We urge the Board of Architectural Review to oppose the exaggerated development of 79 Fairway Avenue and to do everything in its power to curb such efforts in the future.
Sol and Nina Hurwitz
Why Not Allow Dogs Early A.M. Run Time at Rye Town Park?
As a dog owner, I thought Bill Lawyer’s article in the most recent Rye Record made some great points. But I am left to wonder, why not just ask the Rye Town Park Commission to stick to the informal agreement we’ve had in place for 25-plus years, rather than try and establish a new place and a new bureaucracy. Or why not just formalize our informal agreement? As they do in Central Park, the dog owners could have from 5-9 a.m. to let their dogs run around. We would be happy to pay a yearly fee for use.
We’ve proposed this several times to Rye Town Park, but they keep turning us down. Seems to me that this is simpler and easier than starting from scratch.
Suki van Dijk
Outpouring of Concern Greatly Appreciated
The following letter from Osborn Principal Angela Garcia was sent to Osborn parents after news of possible testing misconduct at Osborn and Milton schools became public.
My appointment as Principal of Osborn School continues to be the highlight of my professional experience as an educator. I am blessed with a strong faculty, supportive parents, and the most incredible children in Westchester County. As you know, we have faced many great challenges this school year, including the new state evaluation mandates, new Common Core Learning Standards, the impact of Hurricane Sandy, and the horrific events in Newtown. Such external circumstances often affect our actions in schools.
The allegations of testing irregularities at Osborn School have been both difficult and stressful for all of us. School officials and personnel are required by New York State to report any and all allegations of testing misconduct by an educator or other adult involved in testing. There are many unfortunate consequences of such allegations that involve our entire learning community. Some parents have asked questions about the allegations and investigation process. It is extremely challenging for us to communicate about this issue due to legal constraints and the confidentiality of personnel matters.
I greatly appreciate and am touched by the outpouring of concern for our teachers and children. Caring and cooperation are such important qualities that permeate all our work together. I hope you will continue to respect the sensitive nature of this complex and serious matter. Whatever its outcome, I am confident that our Osborn School community will be even stronger than before.
Thank you for your support of our school and children!
The Glew That Holds the School Drop-Off/Pick-Up Together
As the parent of Rye High and Middle School students, I am writing to commend the tremendous work of Rye Police Department’s Bob Glew, who is assigned to direct traffic in the morning and afternoon at the Milton/Apawamis crossing. He makes the morning drop-off experience at school actually pleasant, for both students and parents, with his friendly greetings and unfailingly cheerful demeanor.
Bob Glew is a great role model for our children and his positivity really makes a difference in the tenor of the morning commute. Thanks to him for a job very well done.
RGC Strategic Committee Sets the Record Straight
The Rye Record dated June 7, 2013 contains two statements attributed to the Rye Golf Club Strategic Committee that require further clarification.
The article stated that Peter Marshall, who chairs the RGC Strategic Committee, recommended the City consider merging the operations back into the General Fund of the City or to transfer the land to a Land Development Organization to be managed by the City off balance sheet.
Our report stated that a General Fund Model would introduce “risk that RGC surplus funds would be utilized for other City initiatives or budget balancing needs so, when needed, a bank balance might not be sufficiently available for RGC needs.” As an Enterprise Fund, the club has historically been self-sufficient, at zero cost to taxpayers, and has also contributed about $375,000 annually to assist with City of Rye General Fund expenses.
With regard to a Land Development Corporation alternative, our report simply indicated that, “transferring the land to an LDC, to be managed by the City of Rye ‘off balance sheet’ was deemed out of scope due to classification as a property sale.”
While we fully advocate for meaningful changes to improve internal controls, transparency, and decision making, the alternatives to merge into the General Fund or create an LDC were not our recommendations.
RGC Strategic Committee members Peter Marshall, Bill Gates, Angela Sposato, and Al Vitiello