| by Robert Kimmel |
Two associated projects that will impact Tarrytown are picking up momentum. A study dedicated to finding ways of revitalizing the area on both sides of Tarrytown’s railroad station has led to a broadened mission encompassing parts of the village beyond that location.
The more extensive initiative, the Tarrytown Economic Development Strategy (TEDS) is in its early planning phase. Village Administrator Michael Blau said that while it “…comes out of the planning study for the train station area, it will ultimately benefit the entire community, not just the targeted station area.”
Among the objectives of the station study and economic strategy are developing better connections between the waterfront, Main Street, and Broadway, boosting local businesses, retaining and attracting jobs, providing diverse housing choices, and improving parking.
Those goals were among topics discussed at two open house events late last month directed at bringing the public’s voice into the ventures as well as helping to shape them. The first session, a breakfast meeting at the Tarrytown Senior Center, was billed as a “special preparatory workshop for the business community,” at which “merchants, professional service providers and investors” were hosted.
The second meeting took place this past Sunday, also at the Senior Center, for the public at large. Attendees learned more details about the projects and were invited to ask questions and offer comments.
The rail station revitalization project, launched last year, is a collaborative effort with a steering committee that includes Planning Board members, residents, and village, and county officials, assisted by the Board of Trustees. Planning Board members Joan Raiselis and David Aukland lead the steering committee as co-chairs, with support coming from the consulting firm Collaborative Planning Studio, whose principal is Melissa Kaplan-Macey. An initial study reported in a strategy document in December, 2014, has led to a second phase authorized by the Board of Trustees. It will prepare specific recommendations as the basis for zoning changes and other implementation steps.
Aukland noted that, “For this second phase, Kaplan-Macey has brought in land use and economic consultant Kevin Dwarka of Kevin Dwarka LLC and Rob Lane of the Regional Planning Association.” Dwarka moderated the September open houses. “Lane will be active in public visioning work to follow this fall,” Aukland informed The Hudson Independent.
“Most all of the work on the two programs until recently has been “in-house,” Aukland said. He added that for the remainder of this year, “It is becoming more public, with more public involvement and input.”
The initial station study report by Collaborative Planning Studio set up a list of projects, “…that should be undertaken by the village and its partners in order to maximize the potential of the station area as a destination and a gateway to the greater village.”
Blau explained that the final report is due next March, and would be subject to input from the Board of Trustees. He indicated that implementation of any of the studies’ recommendations might not begin until next fall.