FOCAAdmin  May.17.2019

Thank you to all who have written to the Ossining Zoning Board of Appeals supporting enforcement of the required 25-foot buffer between the Aqueduct property and the 4-story building proposed for 49 Spring St.

Decision: At its May 14 hearing, the Village of Ossining Zoning Board of Appeals voted to allow the variance from Ossining’s 25-foot buffer requirement.  Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct and its supporters on this issue did achieve some concessions.  The property owner is required to abide by the 8-foot buffer he had agreed to; the original proposal had no buffer.  In addition, he committed to installing a nicer fence than the one currently in place, and to planting low shrubs next to the Aqueduct. He stated he will not store any garbage behind the building - garbage will be stored in the basement.


Although the 8-foot buffer is far less than required and that we all strenuously argued for, we definitely raised the profile of the Aqueduct as a National Historic Landmark, state park, and popular regional trail traversing Ossining. Officials are now also aware of the large number of visitors who come to Ossining – and often stay to patronize shops and restaurants - because of its Aqueduct features. Many of these visitors come to Ossining as participants in the Friends’ walks and weir tours.


An important, indirect achievement of this campaign is the reopening of the Aqueduct section between Maple Place and Waller Ave., which had been gated off for decades. The section was improved and is now a very green swath in the heart of downtown (see photo), with signs announcing it as part of Old Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park.

The Friends are grateful to the activist who alerted us to this project and the variance application. We count on Aqueduct devotees to keep “eyes on the park”!


View original blog entry here.