Why was a site plan waiver granted by the Planning Board for the Virginia Avenue Development project?
Section 300-68 of Article XVII of the Dobbs Ferry Code empowers the Planning Board to 'review site plans' in order to establish 'a reasonable degree of control should be exercised over the character, the exterior design of buildings and the development and use of land, including open-land uses, such as parking areas, with or without new building construction or the reuse of existing buildings'. [See Section XVIII]
Although Section 300-70 of the Code states that the Planning Board MAY NOT waive site plan review 'in any case involving environmentally sensitive areas or features', it does not REQUIRE that a site plan review be waived in cases that do not involve 'environmentally sensitive areas or features'. So why has the Planning Board waived the requirement for a site plan review despite the uproar that the proposed development has caused in this case?
Neighbors are objecting to the proposed development on a multitude of points covered in Section 300-71. Planning Board review[see Section 300-71] - which defines the objectives that the Planning Board MUST consider in reviewing a site plan! These objections [see the specifics in another article on this web site] were originally raised in the Public Hearing on the matter, before site plan review was waived. The objections were stated again in last month's meeting of the Planning Board - prior to approval of the subdivision application. Under the circumstances one would think that the waiver would NOT have been granted, or at least that specific reasons for granting the waiver - which was, in essence, under protest at the time - would have been given. But neither of these things happened. Why is the Planning Board trying to avoid asking the nine questions enumerated in Section 300-71?
In Planner's Report Number No. DF02-05 [written on April 23rd, one week before the Public Hearing on the Virginia Avenue development], the Village Planner is already advising the Planning Board that they 'may want to waive further site plan review' after having, by that date, struck a deal with the developers to dedicate a piece of the land in question to the Village.