Remarks to City Council by Bob McCaffrey on Echo Bay DEIS

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The City Council, having voted to accept the document at the February 12th meeting, the next step in the process was for The City to make the Draft DEIS for the Echo Bay Project available to the public and hold a public hearing. The DEIS was not available until the afternoon of 2/22/13, again a Friday afternoon? If they are asking for a public hearing, where is the detail? Why is it always, to follow or will be posted on the city web site? Why is it that the content is produced several days later shortening the time for the public to review the details? If a public hearing is asked for then the information should already be in hand to distribute.

Echo Bay Project Area consists of over 10 acres of City-owned land primarily consisting of the City Yard and City Armory properties which is about four of those acres. Back in May 2008, Forest City Residential proposes to redevelop and rezone 16 acres of municipally-controlled property and 10 acres of land currently composed of light industrial, auto-related and other commercial uses. Delays and extensions pursued. Good Profit is chosen over the Veterans Proposal and the deal falls through. How can a project go from 26 acres to 6, the chosen developer for the Armory backs out and no new developers are given a chance to submit proposals? Council, the process is flawed and for that reason alone the Developer and their DEIS should be in question regardless of content.

Anyone’s DEIS will show the same needs and effects. If you steamroll the entire area and plant grass, that would be an improvement. It is not the DEIS that should be rejected but the developer and the current plan.

The City’s vision for the redevelopment of Echo Bay is no longer clear as it has changed like so much here in New Rochelle. There are still too many questions, to many challenges and objections. The answers are eagerly awaited by the vast majority of residents of New Rochelle. New Rochelle understands that value of a revitalized waterfront and eagerly wants to achieve it, at what cost and with which developer?
Please think twice before you move forward. Show the courage that you did when you saw the process for the police commissioners plan was flawed. You only get this one chance and will be saddled with it’s success or failure so take the time a new direction dos not have to take long for this area to be developed and move forward. It just needs to be handled in the right way.

Now, with a new season of possibility and promise upon us, there’s much more we can do. By enhancing partnerships with communities throughout the region, we can deliver greater value in exchange for every dollar and chart a course of fiscal sustainability. And through forward-looking planning, we can strengthen our business climate, improve our environment, and help more people achieve their potential.

“Common sense for the Common Good”

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

Tara on Fri, 03/15/2013 - 23:56

I heard you speak and your well presented thoughts should give everyone in New Rochelle pause. You are right and if the City makes another development mistake it will have to live with it for many years. Keep up the good work.

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