Proposed Streetscape Project:
on Public View
by Judy Silberstein
(January 7, 2004) For close to two years, the Village Board
has been studying, planning, and mulling over details of
for a section of Larchmont’s business district. Now,
for the first time, the public got a look at drawings and
heard details of the plan at the Village Board meeting
on Monday, January 5. Trees feature prominently; new lights
are friendly to pedestrians and the night sky; sidewalks
are simple and curbs are granite in the proposed design.
County planner Suzette Lopane, who has been working with
the Board since April of 2002, unveiled the drawings and
explained what the Board has chosen for the three and a half
block “U” included in the renovation. The Board
is still aiming for summer of 2004 to start and finish work
on the blocks that include: Chatsworth Avenue from Addison
to the Boston Post Road; Post Road from Chatsworth to Manor
Place; and Larchmont Avenue from the Post Road to Addison.
The hope is to get construction completed during the relatively
uncongested school vacation period.
Proposal for Renovating Larchmont Avenue from Addison to Post Road
The Board is also seeking to “establish a style palette
that can be carried all around the Larchmont business district
in the future,” explained Lopane. The palette includes
a list of elements, including light fixtures, light poles,
trashcans, tree wells, benches, sidewalks and curbing. If
the Board and the community approve of the selections, the
palette will be applied first to the pilot blocks and then
to other areas that come up for renovation.
The trees are the most important element of the design,
stressed Lopane. There will be more trees and more types
of trees planted to supplement the existing oaks. Lopane
is recommending the addition of flowering trees in specified
locations and larger trees for spots away from overhead wires.
Residents were not looking for major changes to the look
and feel of the Village, said Trustee Liz Feld. Trustee Anne
McAndrews would have liked to bury the wires. Maybe if
the Village wins the Lotto, she commented, acceding that
the costs were currently prohibitive.
Proposal for Style of Concrete Scoring
The small area selected for renovation actually includes
two separate projects supported by separate grants (federal
and county) with assistance from two different planners.
The Chatsworth Avenue project is being designed in conjunction
with the firm of Cherbuliez/Munz and with financial support
of a $100,000 federal grant. The Boston Post Road and Larchmont
Avenue portion will be subsidized by a $150,000 grant from
Westchester County’s Community Development Block Grant
(CDBG) program. Suzette Lopane’s services are part
of the program. The Village will have to contribute additional
funds, but the total costs have not yet been calculated.
A sample trashcan has been on display for months outside
of Villa Maria’s Pizza on Chatsworth Avenue; the finalist
light fixture has been hanging at the corner of Addison and
Gilder Street for public review (see: Street
Light). Since Monday, the
street sketches have been on display in the lobby of Village
and the Board is soliciting feedback at their public meetings.
Bonnett Avenue Concerned With Lights
At the January 5 meeting, there were residents from Bonnett
Avenue seeking information on the light poles planned for
Chatsworth Avenue. They were concerned because their homes
back on to the CVS parking lot where new lights have cropped
up in the last few weeks.
“Our interest is in having an opportunity to evaluate
and comment on what’s being proposed before any final
decisions are made,” said Bonnett Avenue resident Joe
Mayor Ken Bialo noted that CVS had not received approval
for the lights and that Suzette Lopane had been asked to
evaluate the fixtures that had been installed. The Board
would like the CVS lights to be in keeping with those selected
for the rest of the block. Village Attorney Jim Staudt would also be checking on the
The Chatsworth CVS store manager, Marvin Smith, was surprised
to hear of the Bonnett residents’ concerns. It was
his impression that Larchmont had approved the lights in
association with CVS, he told the Gazette later in the week.
Customers had been requesting lighting for the lots, particularly
since the end of daylight savings time, and the lights are
set to turn off thirty minutes after the store closes, at
the request of the neighbors. He has received no complaints.
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