I am a concerned resident of Marquand Place, which is next to the new 8 Boulevard West high-rise that is still in construction.
I am writing to endorse the Pelham Village Party Candidates (Ripoll for Mayor; Doka, Long and Marriott for Trustees) in the upcoming election on March 19 because I believe they understand the impact such a high-rise has on a small community like Pelham. We do not want to see something similar happen to our neighbors and friends who live near all the other proposed sites, where traditional zoning codes limiting scale, height, and density no longer apply under new Business Development Floating Zones (“BDFZ”).
While it is too late for Marquand Place, I hope the Common Sense Pelham team can help preserve for our neighbors and friends the character of greater Pelham by slowing down the construction of more high-rises under BDFZs. I agree with their strategy of waiting to see what effects the current buildings (8 Boulevard West, 185 Lincoln Ave, and the 6 new units adjacent to the firehouse) will have on the Village before authorizing hundreds more apartments in the Colonial and Hutchinson school districts.
It is my understanding that there are at least four more projects in these that have been — or are about to be — approved, including a 63-unit high-rise next to Rockwell’s, a large complex next to the Picture House, and a 60-foot tall, 24-unit building on the site of Village Hall. There are plans for up to 140 units along 5th Avenue (on the two parking decks and the old bank, and the existing row of stores south of the Art Center which will add further to vehicle traffic and congestion and reduce public parking dramatically. We do not know how this will affect the flooding problem here and the strain on our resources.
Few other Pelham residents know more than those of us on Marquand about how much a large high-rise impacts a neighborhood. The building is still under construction, yet we feel its claustrophobic presence with each cycle of the sun, and each time we leave or enter our homes. Where there was once open sky, there is now a giant brick wall. For those of us in the shadow of the building, we feel our very privacy has been taken from us —balconies and large windows now allow unobstructed perches from which anonymous observers can peer down into our lives. We will have to become accustomed to closing our shades, when in the past we never did. We thought we moved to Pelham to escape large, imposing apartment buildings. Worst of all, homeowners on our street have not yet calculated the damage to our property value.
We encourage every resident, especially those on Sparks Ave, Brookside/Carol Aves, and anyone near Rockwell’s, as well as homeowners on 4th and 6th Avenues, to look carefully at what’s at stake: a dramatically different and unsightly skyline, much less parking, a lot more traffic, and the loss of your privacy, not to mention the impact to our already-crowded schools.
We further encourage all neighbors to drive past the new building on Boulevard West to see what the current Board of Trustees’ idea of development for Pelham looks like, and then make your decision to vote against more high-rises by voting for the Pelham Village Party team (Common Sense Pelham; Ripoll, Doka, Marriott, and Long.)