by Robert Kimmel
Rather than focusing primarily on the project investigating prospective developments within its train station area and waterfront, Tarrytown is broadening its perspective to include that task within a fully revised village-wide Comprehensive Plan.
Tarrytown’s Board of Trustees’ recent action integrating the Station Area Study into the Comprehensive Plan was based partially on the fact that it has been ten years since the village’s last plan was updated in 2007, and various changes have taken place or are anticipated in the village, as well as major waterfront development in neighboring Sleepy Hollow and the construction of the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement.
The ongoing Station Area Study will continue to pursue potential development in that location and the needed zoning code changes to make way for what is finally projected for the district.
Zoning in the Metro North Station and nearby waterfront was based on industrial uses in the 1950’s; however, in 2013, public hearings were held to make amendments to the zoning code along the waterfront for other uses. That led to a Steering Committee which produced a “Tarrytown Station Area Strategic Plan,” the following year, and in turn, a further report, “Tarrytown Connected. A Framework for the Station Area & Waterfront.”
The project has pursued a traffic study, explored the need for better connectivity to Tarrytown’s Main Street businesses, and also came up with several different prospects for the area. These were a “Park Concept,” in which the waterfront would serve “primarily for recreation and culture;” a “Neighborhood Concept, primarily a residential area;” or a “Waterfront Destination Concept,…designed to attract both residents and visitors.”
The Board of Trustees has authorized expenditures up to $200,000 for the upcoming work. Grant funding from the New York Department of State accounts for $100,000 of that amount, with the village providing the remaining $100,000.
“We selected a consultant team, WXY architecture + urban design, to work with us on this new phase of the project,” said David Aukland, co-chair of the Steering Committee. Aukland, who co-chairs the Committee with Joan Raiselis, will head the Comprehensive Plan work, while Raiselis will focus on zoning changes.
A broadened committee, “representing the village as a whole,” will be formed, Aukland noted. “We will hold public outreach events, such as open houses and workshops, as we proceed.” Aukland said that progress will be shown on the project website, tarrytownconnected.com.
WXY’s manager for its part in the project, Adam Lublinsky, will be bringing in other parties to support the effort, according to Aukland. Among them is Melissa Kaplan-Macey, who had been a prior consultant for the project and who is now a director of the Regional Plan Association; Tiffany Zezula, Deputy Director, Land Use Law Center in the Pace University School of Law; and George James, principal of George M James & Associates. “They will bring valuable expertise to this practical phase of the project,” Aukland emphasized.
Aukland went on to state that, “WXY is preparing a work schedule and public events to bring this phase of the project to a conclusion in twelve months, in the spring of 2018. This will open the way to actual development proposals which will be subject to the usual process of public review and comment,” he said. “Everyone can expect to benefit from improved amenities in the area of the station and from clear direction established through the revised Comprehensive Plan.”