The 'Master Plan Update Report, Village of Dobbs Ferry, New York (1971)' states:
Residential uses are shown in Map No. L-2, the Village
Land Use Plan. The major aspects of the Plan as they
pertain to residential uses are as follows:
1) All residential areas should be stabilized at existing densities.
In this connection, the practice of converting single-family
homes into two- and three-family houses should be discouraged.
If this were to become wide-spread, as oft-times happens in
older communities, the Village's population could double,
causing overcrowded schools, increased traffic congestion, and
overtaxing of various community facilities. The community's suburban
character would be drastically altered as well.
2) In the central business district, the prevailing pattern of
co-existing residential and non-residential uses should be encouraged
to remain. In connection with this, uses which may be incompatible
with the residential function because of nuisances should be relocated
elsewhere in the CBD [Central Business District]. Emphasis should be on
restoration and rehabilitation in deference to the area's heritage of buildings
and architectural values.
3) The present industrial site, which extends from Palisades Street
to the River, is an enclave within a residential neighborhood. The very
old, multi-story factory building situated on the site is obsolete and
inefficeint for modern manufactoring purposes; it has been used only
intermittently over the years. Even if this site were to remain for
industrial purposes, the mixture of uses would ultimately have adverse
effects on the surrounding residential area, by allowing a high volume
of industrial traffic to be routed through residential neighborhoods,
and over steeply-inclined streets. This site should, more appropriately,
be improved for residential uses at a scale and a density compatible
with development in and around the business district.
What residents of the Virginia/Lefurgy area are saying  is
consistent with the spirit of what is said in the excerpt from the 'Master Plan'
quoted above - about 'stabilizing existing densities' in residential
areas, about relocating 'uses incompatible with residential function' and
about concerns regarding the 'adverse effects on the surrounding area' (such as
increases in 'volume of traffic') of non-conforming uses.
As the 'Master Plan' suggests, when in doubt development planners in
Dobbs Ferry should follow the principle that states that the site in
question 'should, more appropriately, be improved for residential uses
at a scale and a density compatible with development in and around the
[existing] business district'.
The concerns voiced in the above-excerpted section of the 'Master Plan' -
about 'stabilizing residential areas at existing densities', '[relocating] uses which
may be incompatible with the residential function', converting single-family
areas into two- and/or three-family areas, and the 'adverse effects on the surrounding
residential area' of non-residential development - are concerns that are
reflected in the current Dobbs Ferry Code, in the section on land use and zoning
(300-71) that specifies how a 'site plan review' shall be conducted:
... In its deliberations, the Planning Board shall consider each site plan
with the following purposes and objectives in view:
- To protect the character of the neighborhood and
prevent the depreciation of adjoining properties.
- To achieve a harmonious relationship and maximum
compatibility among the uses shown on said site plan and uses located in
- To assure the adequacy of buffer landscaping,
screening and building setbacks.
- To prevent the overcrowding of land with buildings
and the inappropriate concentration of same.
- To lessen and, where possible, prevent traffic
congestion and hazards on the streets which provide
access to the site.
- To assure the adequacy of vehicular ingress,
egress, interior circulation, parking and loading
facilities, particularly in regard to traffic and
- To conserve significant environmental features
- To prevent the inappropriate sitting of buildings
and other improvements without due regard for the
limitations of slope soils, hydrology and vegetation
on the site.
- To provide adequately for the cumulative effect
on infrastructure, particularly roads and utilities,
of reasonably anticipated future development.
But such a 'review' was not required in the case of the Virginia Avenue
subdivision application. Yet, as Trustee Dengler told the Planning Board on June 27th  , 'If any site called for planning, itís this one'. So the failure of the Planning
Board to invoke its powers to require a Site Plan Review amounts to an egregious failure
on the part of the Village to pursue development planning in an 'orderly' and 'responsible'
fashion, as required by its own Code.
If a Site Plan Review had been done for the Virginia Avenue subdivision application, the Planning board would have found the development plan severely wanting - for reasons articulated, in detail, in the information packets recently submitted to both the Planning Board and the Board of Trustees . For more on the Master Plan, and how it relates to the Virginia Avenue
development project, see: