by Rick Pezzullo –
A public hearing on the Village of Sleepy Hollow’s long-awaited Comprehensive Plan and Local Waterfront Revitalization Program was held May 28 at Village Hall.
About 50 residents crammed into the meeting room to address the Board of Trustees on a variety of issues and recommendations contained in the 170-page document. Only 2,684 persons inhabited Sleepy Hollow in 1980 when its last master plan was adopted. The population has increased to more than 10,000 residents, and with the development of Edge-on-Hudson likely to add 3,000 more, village officials decided it was time to explore new opportunities for the community.
One of the suggestions made in the plan, a marina at Horan’s Landing, was panned by several of the approximately 15 residents who spoke during the hour-long hearing. In the proposed plan, it states “the village should explore the potential for water-related recreation on the waterfront, such as docking and/or mooring facilities for transient boats, a marina, along with considering opportunities for recreational and commuter ferry operations.”
However, the plan also pointed out the cove area at Horan’s Landing “is shallow and would need to be dredged in order to support this use.”
One resident questioned the cost of such a venture, while Char Weigel said village officials should scrap any thoughts of a marina and instead pursue an available grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for “a resilient shoreline and environmental education center at Horan’s Landing harbor.”
“The biologically rich and diverse tidal, subtidal and low intertidal habitats at Horan’s Landing harbor are a strong fit with the focus for these grants, habitats that would be threatened or destroyed by commercial development of the shallow and sheltered harbor,” Weigel stated. “Instead, the village can create a living shoreline that acknowledges and responds to climate change, engages residents with the Hudson River, and preserves this important Inner Village shoreline park.”
The Comprehensive Plan, which representatives from BFJ Planning indicated could be adopted by the board as early as July, includes 10 Action Areas for village officials to focus on: Economic Resources, Housing, Land Use and Zoning, Connectivity, Parks and Open Space, Natural Environment, Sustainability, Community Resources, Municipal Services and Governance, Communication and Transparency.
Some of the housing recommendations were encouraging diverse housing types in the village by attracting private developers to create workforce housing and exploring the potential to facilitate accessory apartments in single-family homes. It was also suggested to look into regulatory changes to promote mixed-use and/or residential development of sites in the downtown.
Meanwhile, the plan suggests studying the potential sharing of services and facilities with neighboring Tarrytown and combining drinking water systems with Tarrytown and Briarcliff Manor.
At least one other public hearing will take place in June. Besides Board of Trustees approval, the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program will require approval from the state, a process estimated to take at least two months.
The draft recommendations and other documents pertaining to the Comprehensive Plan may be found at the online link, http://sleepyhollowconnected.com/documents.