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Dobbs Ferry Architectural & Historic Review Board Elizabeth A. Dreaper, Village Clerk, Village of Dobbs Ferry, 112 Main Street, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522 October 21, 2014 Re: _ Disapproval of AHRB Application: 19 Livingston Avenue, Dobbs Ferry, NY Findings of Fact - 19 Livingston Avenue, Dobbs Ferry, NY ‘The Board of Architectural and Historic Review confirms it’s denial for approval for the above referenced property at its September 22, 2014 meeting, based upon the Village of Dobbs Ferry Land Use Regulations and Zoning Resolution; Article IV, Section 300-17, C. Powers (3) and (2): Excessive Dissimilarity to the Neighborhood as well as Excessive Similarity of the Development to itself. Also, with respect to Article IV, Section 300-18, B (b) Design Review, Residential Design Guidelines Contextual Design and Hillside Construction, as well as Article IV, Section 300-18, B (c) Harmony with the character of the neighborhood and surrounding area. The development consists of 2 buildings, containing 6 attached units each. ‘This application, the second iteration before the AHRB, isa new, separate application from the first. The first application, which began with a lengthy pre- submission phase on February 25, 2013 was denied by the AHRB at their January 13, 2014 meeting and that denial was upheld by the Zoning Board of Appeals on May 14, 2014. ‘The applicant first appeared before the AHRB for the new application on July 28, 2014. However, the AHRB, which consisted of 4 members at that time, could not obtain a quorum on the application, as one member was asked to recuse himself by the applicant and another member was absent. There were no AHRB meetings in ‘August, At the September 8, 2014 AHRB meeting the Board consisted of only 3 members after a resignation, and with the applicant requesting the recusal of that, same member, the AHRB could once again not obtain a quorum on this application. The application was heard at the September 22, 2014 AHRB meeting, at which time the AHRB once again consisted of 4 active members and a quorum of 3 were able to vote on the application. There were no substantive changes made to this application with respect to the old application vs. the new, with the exception that this application was SEP compliant. As was noted in the previous Finding of Fact with respect to the past denial of the AHRB, each opportunity that this applicant has had to discuss the actual architectural issues of the project were instead "characterized by a desire to only be denied for the sky plane penetration, so that they could proceed to the ZBA, as opposed to any meaningful conversation on the architecture of the project’. In fact, the applicant's attorney is on videotape at the numerous past meetings stating a wish to be denied for the sky plane penetration and further stating that the applicant understood that they would need to come back to the AHRB, after any AHRB decision was reviewed by the ZBA, to discuss the actual architecture of the project. As per the applicant, the recently submitted, SEP compliant plans, had not otherwise changed since the previously denied application. Individual AHRB members had the better part of two months to study the new plans before the September 22, 2014 meeting, After July 28, 2014 a considerable amount of new information was submitted to the record, including two property appraisals by the Landmark Appraisal Group showing a loss in property values of between 10% - 20% if this, project were to be built as proposed. One appraisal for a property at 12 Livingston Avenue and one for a property at 152 Broadway. Once again, at the September meeting however, the applicant's sole summation was that they were now compliant with the sky exposure plane. ‘The meeting began with the Chairman of the AHRB asking the applicants if they were familiar with all the documents submitted. They stated they were. Then the Chairman suggested that he state some concerns that he had about the application. ‘The applicant however asked to do their presentation first. The AHRB agreed. Then the applicant changed their minds and asked to hear the Chairman's comments first. Accordingly, those comments were made and after a brief discussion with the applicant afterwards, a motion was made to deny the application. The motion to deny was unanimous; 3-0. The reasons for the denial were as follows: 7, C. Power: Excessive Dissimilarity to the Neighborhood: ‘The massing, bulk and configuration of the development is dramatically out of character with the scale and proportions of the surrounding Fairmead residential neighborhood (as defined in the Dobbs Ferry Vision Plan) and as a result is ultimately harmful to the property values of the immediate neighbors. The neighborhood context is one of singular, freestanding residential structures that allow for space, light, air and views between adjacent buildings. The proposed development would alter the successful approach of the previous two centuries by creating a continuous, over-scaled street wall of attached buildings. This out of neighborhood character of massing, bulk and configuration would cause a harmful effect in the form of diminished property values of the surrounding homes, specifically 12 Livingston Avenue, Dobbs Ferry as appraised by The Landmark Appraisal Group, Inc. in their documents submitted to the AHRB on September 13, 2014. Certainly, itis a fair assumption that if one resident that lives across the street from this development will see their property values decrease from 10% - 20%, a minimum value in this neighborhood of between $60,000 - $120,000, most residents across the street from the development will see a similar decline. Please find attached to this document the submitted appraisal. ‘The Livingston Ridge development is not a relevant precedent for this analysis as it is the anomalous development in the surrounding area. Powers, (2: Excessive Similarity of the Development to Itself: While the architecture of the individual unit may be acceptable to the AHRB, the application of a repetitive motif along the facade is detrimental to the ensemble. The architecture should be a cohesive whole consisting of a shared architectural style employed in multiple buildings, but the submitted symmetrical mirroring and repetition represents a significant impediment to meeting the character of the neighborhood. nial Residential Design Guidelines: Contextual Design: The Dobbs Ferry Residential Design Guidelines, under the section titled “Contextual Design”, makes four recommendations for residential construction, the first two of which are relevant to this proposal. The applicant's plan and elevation drawings, submitted by Paul Petretti on July 17th, 2014 make perfectly clear that the first two guidelines have not been addressed. From Dobbs Ferry Village Code: "Street Proportion is the relationship between the height of the buildings on each side of the street and the width of space between those buildings. All new development in the Village should analyze the existing context of building massing and street proportion.” There is no consideration paid to the concept of Street Proportion in this proposal. The proposed buildings are proportionally incongruent with the neighborhood as evidenced in the “Scaled Streetscape” drawing by the applicant, and our own visual inspection of the site and surrounding structures. Hillside Construction: Further, the Dobbs Ferry Residential Guidelines makes three recommendations for residential construction on sloping sites under the section titled "Homes in Hillside Areas’, the first two of which are relevant to this proposal. The applicant's drawings (referenced above) make clear that the first guideline has not been addressed: “The placement of new homes ... should adapt to surrounding terrain and should be compatible with existing topography.” The applicant's proposal instead embodies the opposite approach, failing to engage the unique typography of this beautiful steeply sloping open site to the River. There is no instance of any interplay between the structures and the site, as is proscribed by this section of the guidelines. Instead, there is only a simplified solution to a parking-problem, one that should not be the driving factor in a development located at the Southern Gateway to the Village. wit le Ee ‘The proposed buildings are disharmonious with the scale, massing and character of the neighborhood and for this reason will negatively impact the property values of the immediate neighbors Summation ‘The AHRB believes that any new development should comply with the new code, which reflects the concerns established by the entire community. This application has been reviewed with consistency with the code, Accordingly, based on the above Finding we would encourage the Zoning Board of Appeals to reaffirm our denial of approval for this application. Respectfully, Dobbs Ferry Architectural and Historic Review Board Wh Rodtiaer? Michael Patino Chairman, Architectural and Historic Review Board

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