presented by the City Council, February 7, 2010
On December 10th 2009 the City Council held a meeting with the Main Street Corridor Committee and Beacon Deserves Better Committee. Also in attendance were City Administrator Meredith Robson, the City Planner David Stolman and County Planner John Clarke. The following questions were asked by the participants at that meeting. The answers are intended to be objective and factual. While there are some values implied the answers do not represent a position or a final opinion. A meeting is proposed with representatives of the two groups.
The following is the Table of Contents from the attached Transit Oriented Development Question and Answer document.
The 20th question and answer is included in this email. The full document is available here.
1) What is the Beacon Transit Oriented Development
2) Why is the MTA requiring a zoning change before any other development process?
3) Proposed zoning law does not represent the Comprehensive Plan?
4) Did the MTA have anything to do with the change in density from the Comprehensive Plan to the current TOD zone?
5) The language of the TOD zone is not that of a real Transit Oriented Development and shouldn’t the zone include Main Street?
6) Will retail on Main Street benefit and are there ways to safeguard Main Street business?
7) Is there a timeline when the city council will vote on the TOD zone?
8) Is there a timetable from council zoning approval to the completion of the project?
9) When will the MTA meet with Beacon Community Organizations?
10) Is there an economic benefit from the TOD to Beacon?
11) Why was the term view shed replaced by views and view corridors?
12) Has the city held public meetings regarding the TOD ? Was an effort made to inform the pubic and has the pubic been given a chance to speak?
13) Did the city ask the MTA for approval before zoning changes were made? Isn’t it true that the MTA has been calling the shots to the city? Have we given up our bargaining position? Who is negotiating for the city? Is the MTA’s first priority their own interests or the interest of the city?
14) Should an independent entity evaluate the TOD zone and review its environmental requirements?
15) Why is the city so adamant about going forward with the TOD?
16) Why are there no residential units planned for the north parking lot?
17) Will climate change flooding present a problem in the future for the TOD?
18) Will the MTA pay for traffic mitigation measures caused by the TOD?
19) The TOD will cause traffic problems to an already bad situation
20) Why not do nothing at all?
20) Why not do nothing at all?
Answer: Basically it all will come down to this question. The MTA has the legal authority to build parking spaces without needing municipal approval. They have determined that 400 additional spaces are required at the Beacon Station and stated they will proceed to build them with or without the Beacon TOD. Would it be better to have a large parking structure at the station with 400 additional parking spaces which has no beneficial impact to the city, ….OR… permit the MTA to develop in full cooperation with the city a well designed $290 million dollar transit oriented development that will; be an environmentally positive green development; add to Beacon a new residential and commercial waterfront center, connect to Main Street, include approximately 20 retail shops and provide over 1,200 new residents (customers for TOD shops and Main Street); increase our city’s yearly net property tax revenue by a huge $780,000, significantly increase the Beacon School District’s net revenue by nearly $2,000,000 and raise county and city’s sales tax revenues; create approximately 1,500 construction jobs, 530 permanent jobs, and 600 indirect jobs; lure tourist to Beacon and connect them to Main Street via a developer sponsored shuttle bus; design a ½ mile pedestrian friendly walk between the TOD and Main Street, and lastly provide an interesting new place for Beacon residents to enjoy a new waterfront neighborhood and a quarter mile promenade overlooking the Hudson River? 
Steve Gold, firstname.lastname@example.org
 Based on the AKRF report: Costs were determined by interviews conducted with the city administrator, city department heads (police, fire, highway, water, sewer), the Superintendent of the Beacon Schools System and a thorough line-by-line examination of the city’s budget. Revenues determined through interviews with the MTA with the help of the city’s assessor. See cityofbeacon.orgas the “cost of services study” in the city reports and documents section.