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Public Requests a More Readable Waterfront Revitalization Plan in Mamaroneck Village

The third public information session to discuss the revision of the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan took place last night in Mamaroneck.

Although the revised Local Waterfront Revitalization Project (LWRP) is still being fine-tuned by the village’s steering committee, members of the Mamaroneck community were unanimous in their appeals to the board to make the document less befuddling. 

“Who is this written for,” asked Jim Desmond, a resident of Prospect Avenue, to the board.

“It should be written for everybody, and right now it just doesn’t read for me at all.”

Paul Ryan, a Waverly Avenue resident and Flood Mitigation Advisory Committee member, echoed Desmond’s concerns.

“I tried to read this and I thought, ‘It’s probably very easy for an attorney to read.’  I’ll be darned if I can get all the nuances,” he said.

The General Manager of the  on Rushmore Avenue, Randy Ruder, also lambasted the document for it’s complicated terminology and organization.

“I find the revised LWRP extremely complex,” he said, continuing, “If the Harbor and Coastal Zone Management  (HCZM) Committee finds it complicated, what about the rest of us?”

Highview Street resident Doreen Roney pointed to the omission of a riverine flood hazard area—defined as the overflow from a river channel, flash flood, ice-jam or dam-break flood—northwest of I-95 on Fenimore Road, from the revised LWRP draft’s Floodplain Map. This area had previously been included in the Proposed Land Use Map in the original LWRP (pages 69-70).

In an e-mail sent to board members yesterday, Roney included a picture of the area in question while it was recently flooded.  That picture and a short video can be viewed by clicking the box above the article.

“The flood zones in the village are established under the national flood insurance program,” said Village Manager Richard Slingerland by way of explanation. “It’s not something we have jurisdiction over to change.”

“Perhaps the tributaries off the Sheldrake are not mapped in the national flood insurance program,” said Roney, referencing an April 2011 Department of Environmental Consistency (DEC) review on the Nolles Ridge subdivision that noted the area may have been omitted from the current Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood zone map.  

Additionally, said Roney, there is a significant discrepancy between the wetlands map in the current draft and the areas designated as wetlands on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website.  The map can be viewed here. 

The Village of Mamaroneck (VOM) LWRP—a New York state community-based planning program designed to address potential environmental issues in waterfront areas— was initially adopted in 1984 and, since then, its regulatory context has changed in the wake of more stringent stormwater and wetlands laws.  The village has been tasked with updating the document before year’s end.

In an effort to incorporate community feedback in the revision of the LWRP process, the village has held a series of three public feedback sessions in order to garner public opinion in the wake of potential change.

The most recent revision—completed in September and available on the village’s website here—was sent off to the Department of State (DOS) over the summer for the final say on whether or not the document meets state regulations.

“We hope to get a revised copy back to our committee in December so that we have a draft that can be acted on by the trustees,” said BFJ Senior Consultant Frank Fish, adding that the village would need to comply with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) to decide if approval of the LWRP would result in a significant impact.  More information on SEQR is available on the DEC's website here. 

After the last public information session in June, the draft was updated to incorporate the addition of waterfront access to several village-owned areas bordering the Sheldrake River including an industrial area bound by Fayette, Concord, Center and Rockland Avenues, near the Zee neighborhood; the street end of Ogden Avenue and the intersection of Fayette Avenue and Fenimore Road, where the Department of Public Works’ (DPW) salt shed parking lot is not being fully utilized.

VOM Mayor Norm Rosenblum—who had the final word at the conclusion of the meeting—seemed to hear what his constituency was saying.

“The most salient points are…the process of applicants before land use—it’s not user friendly,” he said, continuing, “It must be user friendly by HCZM and other land use boards.”

 

 

The next meeting to discuss the LWRP revision will be held the last week in November or early December. A rewritten version of Section III of the LWRP by Dan Natchez, owner of Daniel S. Natchez and Associates, Inc., as well as letters written to the board incorporating community feedback is available by clicking above the article.  Section III of the LWRP rewrite will be discussed at the next meeting.

Doreen Roney November 04, 2011 at 07:10 PM
Is this village LWRP update meeting the specifications outlined in the Grant document? Have a look-http://www.village.mamaroneck.ny.us/pages/mamaroneckny_webdocs/LWRP%20Grant%20from%202004.pdf
Stefani Kim November 04, 2011 at 08:53 PM
Hi Doreen, The link didn't work. Best, Stefani
Doreen Roney November 05, 2011 at 12:38 PM
Thanks Stefani. Here's a re post with the hope it will work. Is this village LWRP update meeting the specifications outlined in the Grant document? Have a look here- http://www.village.mamaroneck.ny.us/pages/mamaroneckny_webdocs/LWRP%20Grant%20from%202004.pdf
Stefani Kim November 05, 2011 at 06:07 PM
Hi Doreen, The short answer is I don't know. I'm unsure, for example, if the village has obtained RFPs. Some of the other requirements seem to have been met, such as sending a final copy to the DOS for final revisions. The other question is, have they completed the required tasks in the order indicated by the grant document and is that a requirement? I think another important question to consider is how will the revised document specifically effect people living in the village? Will it become easier or harder for developers to obtain land use permits?
Doreen Roney November 06, 2011 at 03:01 AM
The short answer to your last question is I believe if the laws currently in place are followed by an applicant it is easier for developers to obtain land use permits. This document is referenced in the Grant along with an assessment tool to be part of considering where gaps in our local program or LWRP exist AND are to be part of this update- http://www.westchestergov.com/PLANNING/environmental/wac4report/WAC4report.htm

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