by Robert Kimmel
The “East Parcel,” the 29-acre section of the former General Motors site set aside for use by the Village of Sleepy Hollow, is one important step closer to achieving its purpose.
A mandatory environmental review process for the parcel was formally completed by the Sleepy Hollow Local Development Corporation, (SHLDC) at a public board meeting late last month.
The process required the SHLDC to adopt a “Statement of Findings” as part of the State Environmental Review Act (SEQRA). It also has submitted a Riverfront Development Concept Plan to the Village Board of Trustees.
The village turned over the “East Parcel” to the SHLDC in 2014 after acquiring it as specified in its special permit that allowed GM to sell its long vacated plant site to the developers of the Edge-On-Hudson mixed-use project. That project is being developed on the 67 acres along the river to the west of the Metro North Tracks.
Situated east of the tracks, between Beekman Avenue and Devries Park, and next to Continental Street, the 29-acre “East Parcel” is expected to provide a variety of uses for the village and its residents.
Those uses are spelled out in a modified Riverfront Concept Plan within The Final Environmental Impact Statement for the site. They include: a community center, a Department of Public Works facility, a mixed-use synthetic turf athletic field, an outdoor performance amphitheater, a skate park, the expansion of a “Great Lawn” for green space passive use and a terraced community plaza.
The modified plan also calls for a Continental extension bridge over the railroad, a road connection to Beekman Avenue, a pedestrian connection to Barnhardt Park, and a reduction in the number of dedicated spaces for overflow parking. The parking is to be used both for the community and for events at Philipsburg Manor.
A new DPW facility is seen as a necessary replacement for the antiquated DPW unit on River Street, particularly with the increased needs anticipated by the adjacent Edge-on-Hudson $1 billion development with its 1,177 residential units, retail and office space, and a 140-room boutique hotel.
The SHLDC also determined the Riverfront Development Concept Plan to be in harmony with the village’s Waterfront Revitalization Program.
Residents of Sleepy Hollow had offered their ideas as to what should be constructed on the East Parcel at a series of informal meetings led by Village Board members, an online survey by the village, and a series of public hearings