Construction Angers Scarsdale Homeowners, Want Changes at Building Dept.

05 Mar, 2012

By Polly Kreisman

Residents of 140 Saxon Woods Road, right, are part of group seeking changes at Scarsdale Building Dept. for construction next door, and other issues


Controversy in Scarsdale over the construction of a house on Saxon Woods Road, and other concerns have led 200 residents to sign a petition asking for changes in management at the Village Building Department.


In the most publicized case, Richard and Toril Hanna, who live next door to a construction site at 140 Saxon Woods Road, have complained to both the Mayor and the Building Dept. that the building permit was granted with “no consideration of an underground stream,” which the homeowners say has already caused a pool of water in their yard and other problems.


The new house is already on the market for $1,389,000.


The petition reads:


Dear Scarsdale Village Board of Trustees,

The undersigned residents of Scarsdale strongly request the Trustees to make significant changes in the management of the Building Department as they have clearly demonstrated they do not represent the best interest of established residents.

This is evidenced by the water table increasing to unacceptable levels due to over-development and building without due consideration of the impact these constructions have on the immediate neighboring and Village environment.

We insist on due diligence for each and every incidence that concerns any new construction or improvement.


In public records, Building Dept. head Nunzio Pietrosanti  has responded to the owners, saying  “the Board of Architectural Review only approves look and aesthetics. They have no involvement or jurisdiction as to… the design for drainage.”


Further investigation by the Village showed an open channel once existed between eight of the homes and the Saxon Woods Golf Course, that has since been filled in by individual homeowners, presumably at different times.


“This previously existing open channel, swale or watercourse, unfortunately, may have been completely filled in by the individual property owners” says the Village.


“If a pipe is found and it is deemed to be a necessary part of the Village’s drainage system, the cost to excavate & expose, cut, repair and backfill the exposed section of pipe will be the responsibility of the individual owners.”


Toril Hanna tells theLoop “no pipe has been found.”


Furthermore, writes Pietrosanti, “The attacks on the Building and Engineering Departments as well as the Village Manager’s office are wrong and without basis.”


This very plot has a history. Ms. Hanna tried to stop the demolition of the home that was on the lot, and tried to prove the building known as “the Dollhouse” had a significant link to local African-American history.


To be continued…
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