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Sunday, August 14, 2022
Home Government LETTER: The Osborn Development Plans & Ten Whole Foods

LETTER: The Osborn Development Plans & Ten Whole Foods

Osborn Road resident Amanda Timchak writes a letter to MyRye.com to raise concerns about the development plans of The Osborn home.

(PHOTO: Now called The Osborn's Envision initiative, the new site diagram shows nine new buildings on the campus ranging from 2 to 5 floors with a total of 525,000 square feet.)
(PHOTO: Now called The Osborn’s Envision initiative, the new site diagram shows nine new buildings on the campus ranging from 2 to 5 floors with a total of 525,000 square feet.)

The Osborn (senior living) will be appearing before City Council this Wednesday April 6th at 630pm via zoom for a Public Hearing to discuss its Proposed Zoning Amendment.   Residents are encouraged to email the City Council (publichearingcomments@ryeny.gov) prior to Wednesday at 4:15pm with their thoughts on this important community wide issue and to attend the Zoom meeting.
Reminder of the Issue:
The Osborn (senior living) is asking for an increase in FAR (building capacity) from .3 to .45 on their 55.8 acre campus.  This equates to approximately 364,000 sq ft of additional development.  They have 97,000 sq ft of FAR currently available, and can gain another ~68,000 when they knock down the 20 existing independent living homes, which they have shown doing in their potential plans.  That’s a total  of approximately 530,000 sq ft of development – for reference that’s the size of 9.6 White Houses or 10.8 Port Chester Whole Foods.
The Osborn has shared an Illustrative Site Diagram that shows replacing the 20 quaint cottage homes around Osborn School with 6 large four story multi unit apartment complexes that are 55,000 sq ft each, along with additional development in other parts of their campus.  Similar to the St. Regis, the 330,000 sq ft covered by the 6 large multi unit apartments are designated as Independent Living for residents age 55+.
Concerned residents recognize that The Osborn provides important services and housing for seniors.  We want to see The Osborn succeed and be able to adapt as they see fit.  We hear and acknowledge The Osborn’s concerns around changes in senior living and their need to keep up with these trends.   On a 55.8 acre campus we hope that there are development solutions that The Osborn could pursue that would give them the flexibility to develop that they desire without it coming at the cost of the surrounding residential neighborhood or our children’s public school’s environment.
Here’s Why Many Residents are Upset:
  • Years of “multi-phase” construction around our school and neighborhood – which will create noise and air pollution from rock blasting, chipping, tree removal; public safety concerns near a school’ and long term quality of life issues
  • The majority of potential development is shown next to Osborn School and the nearby residential neighborhoods.  Why not develop on other parts of their 55.8 acre campus that face industrial complexes?
  • Removal of mature trees and green space
  • Flooding concerns – As we all know, many homes and businesses in Rye flooded during Ida.  This project would remove mature trees and green space and increase impervious surfaces from 30% (of which 26.5% is being currently used) to 35%. This 5% increase represents 122,000 sq ft, or more than 2 football fields of asphalt!  All of the surrounding residential neighborhoods are downhill from The Osborn.  What impact will this have on flooding for neighbors?
  • Traffic  – local streets are already operating beyond capacity.  This adds years of construction vehicles and eventually new residents and their visitors / care providers to the roads.
  • Pedestrian safety – particularly around Osborn School during construction.  Pedestrian school children already face dangerous challenges along Boston Post Road and Osborn Road.  Pedestrian safety issues should be addressed before additional stressors are considered.
  • Overdevelopment – adding building density in a residential neighborhood will take the atmosphere from suburban to more urbanized and commercial, and places strain on already challenged community resources
  • Visual Impact – The 4 and 5 story buildings sit uphill from the surrounding neighbors and streets, so the proposed 60 and 65 ft high buildings will loom even larger due to sitting upon a hill
  • Lack of a Comprehensive Plan for our City – the Comprehensive Plan for Rye was last updated in 1984.  Many of our elected officials have acknowledged that there is a need for this plan to be updated.  Before a zoning change of this scale is considered the Comprehensive Plan should be addressed so that the needs and goals of our overall community are properly addressed.
  • Negative impact to nearby property values
  • Strain on already stretched local resources like EMT and ambulances
  • The Osborn states it needs a zoning amendment to succeed.  Many residents believe there are alternative plans that give the Osborn flexibility to expand that they desire, without the heavy burden being placed on the surrounding residential neighborhood and school (who will receive the negative impacts with little to no benefit).
What can you do?
1.   Email the City Council and Mayor who will be voting to approve or not approval this proposal.  Please email publichearingcomments@ryeny.com no later than 4:15pm on Wednesday April 6th.  State your name and address and your concerns.  The more residents that write in, the more the Council can understand that this isn’t an issue affecting just a few angry neighbors but rather a community wide issue.
2.  Share this info with friends and neighbors and Osborn School parents.  There were Public Hearings held on this topic during start of the pandemic, when many residents just didn’t have the bandwidth to pay attention.  We’ve talked to so many people who have no idea this proposal is on the table.  Once it is approved and construction starts it will be too late to object.
3.  Join the City Council Zoom meeting Wednesday April 6th at 6:30pm.
TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PUBLIC HEARING, PLEASE ATTEND THE MEETING VIA ZOOM VIA THIS LINK:
Or phone: (646) 558-8656 or (301) 715-8592 or (312) 626-6799
Webinar ID: 872 5735 6475
Password: 343973
The full City Council agenda may be found here:
Below is the Illustrative Site Diagram that The Osborn provided. Osborn School and Rye Gardens have been added for for reference.  The 6 large brown and purple, blue, orange and green buildings are new developments.
Osborn Illustrative Site Diagram.jpg
From,
Amanda Timchak
Osborn Road, Rye

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