Save Hart’s Brook Park Preserve: Stop Residential Development of Marion Woods

Hart’s Brook Park Preserve is a wildlife preserve being threatened by development! Sign the petition to help protect this land and prevent negative impacts to wildlife and habitat.


SIGN THE PETITION HERE


Hart’s Brook Park Preserve is a wildlife preserve owned by 3 entities: NY State, Westchester County and the Town of Greenburgh. These owners are “stakeholders”. It was purchased in part through grants provided by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP) Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) grants program for Parks, Preservation and Heritage. Per the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, it is officially designated as a “Critical Environmental Area” for its “Preservation of Open Space, Exceptional or Unique Character and a Hilltop at or > 400 feet”. This designation is reflected on the Environmental Assessment Form, page 14 of the applicant’s own submission

The Catholic Church was permitted to create a retirement home for nuns inside a wildlife preserve with the promise it would never be developed. They now seek to subdivide and sell this parcel for profit with no regard for the consequences. This application represents a violation of trust between the church and the parties who created the preserve. It further represents a threat to the preserve itself, the wildlife inside it, and quality of life of the surrounding neighborhood. It represents an increase in traffic and human density, a profound disturbance to the ecosystem the preserve seeks to protect, and a net decrease in quality of life for both the neighborhood and the preserve inhabitants.


The applicants have not contacted or consulted NY State or Westchester County who are 2/3 owners of the preserve. They have made zero effort to seek preservation status, historic status or offered to return the property to the preserve owners. They claim the impact to the neighborhood is nonexistent and the impact to the environment is non existent. These claims are self contradictory and we, the community and neighbors of Hart’s Brook Preserve, disagree in the strongest terms possible. They claim “the benefit to the applicant does not outweigh detriment to the neighborhood”. This claim is both blatantly and demonstrably FALSE. It has been and is still being strongly refuted by the community and several members of the Town of Greenburgh’s Zoning Board of Appeals in a hearing conducted on 14 July 2022. That hearing can be viewed Here: Discussion of the case starts at 52:41 (52 min 41 sec into the meeting).


If permitted, this will set a terrible precedent whereby the Town may allow further subdivision and development of what remains as the church divests itself of property they no longer have use for. Just as they are doing now, the church will seek to divest themselves of the 50 bed facility they built on that same parcel inside the preserve as there will be less need for it over time. The applicant’s own attorney has already admitted they “can’t promise it won’t happen”, and The Zoning Board of Appeals stated it had no doubt as to their plans to do so. To be clear, the applicants have not honored their promise. This parcel will be the subject of future conflict if nothing is done to prevent it. If this subdivision is permitted, it will seriously and irreversibly harm the preserve and the neighborhood. To state otherwise is both dishonest and insulting.


Impact and Consequences:

While the preserve itself can never be developed, it can and will be seriously and forever altered by the careless human activity inside it. Property development and increased human density does not happen in a vacuum. It has a significant impact on everything around it. The application pretends that residential development is somehow magically self-contained. It ignores the permanent consequences of severely altering the environment and increasing human density. It misrepresents the impact on traffic, noise, property value and quality of life for us, the neighborhood. And it sets a precedent that prizes development over preservation, and the needs of the few over the needs of the many.


Impact and Consequences for Wildlife, Environment & Preserve:


  • Noise pollution

  • Light pollution

  • Physical pollution & Human Disturbance

  • Further Habitat loss

  • Further introduction of invasive species

  • Permanent alteration of the preserve’s character and intended use

  • Impact and Consequences for the neighborhood:

  • Decreased quality of life by dramatically altering the preserveIncreased traffic in an intersection known to have “accident rates that are significantly higher than the statewide average for similar type intersections.” per the Town of Greenburgh’s own traffic consultants

  • More vehicle noise and traffic

  • More human traffic and litter

  • More wear to our residential streets which are already in a state of perpetual disrepair


Request:


  • We ask the Town of Greenburgh to deny this application and seek alternatives that will improve our neighborhood and protect the wildlife preserve instead of aiding in its destruction.

  • We ask that the applicant consider remedies through the same NY State Grants that created the preserve.

  • We ask the applicant to perform due diligence by contacting the State and County stakeholders who are 1/3 owners of the preserve itself.

  • We ask the applicants to work with the owners of the preserve - the State of New York, Westchester County and the Town of Greenburgh to preserve and protect this property rather than carve it up and sell it for profit to the highest bidder.



ZBA Case 22-15 – Marion Woods, LLC, located at 152 Ridge Road. Parcel is located in an R-20 One-Family Residential District and is designated on the Town Tax Map as Parcel Lot ID: 8.241-181-4.


Erin Hart Consultant, Clinical Research & Life Sciences NYC, NY Linkedin: Mobile: 646.247.7311 erinhart@me.com


SIGN THE PETITION HERE