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TOD Advisory Committee Requested...

The City of Beacon is forming a committee to advise us regarding the Transit Oriented Development and TOD related issues, including zoning. Members of the TOD committee will perform research, present ideas and attend public city meetings when the TOD or a TOD related issue are being discussed including; city council, planning board, zoning board, consultant led public meetings, developer led public meetings and public outreach sessions. The committee will function for as long as the TOD related developments require city approvals. If you are interested please call 838-5000 and ask for a “committee application form” or email mayor@cityofbeacon.org.

Beacon Citizen Network readers are well informed, but in case you need to know....The TOD is a 22 acre $290 million dollar MTA proposed project that will require the city’s approval to be build. It is located on property owned by the MTA, on the east side of the tracks, which is currently the station parking lot. If the TOD is built, it will become a new waterfront neighborhood that will include a grid work of streets, sidewalks, trees, green squares, shops, apartments, condominiums, offices and a promenade all built on the superstructure of a double deck parking garage. The current draft version of the TOD zone includes 600 residential units in a number of 2-6 story buildings. The first and second story can be commercial space totaling a maximum of 120,000 square feet. In addition to the TOD, the MTA has stated its intention to build 400 additional commuter parking spaces with or without the TOD. (The MTA has the legal authority to add these spaces with limited powers afforded to the city).

The city council is currently working on improvements to the TOD zone and a master plan which if adopted will give the MTA the guidelines it requires to receive proposals from developers in a wide search. After the developer is selected, there will be numerous opportunities for the plan to be shaped to suit the city’s favor before final approval is given. The estimated construction timetable is for 3 equal phases with the earliest to be completed in 2015 and the last after 2020.

This letter is one of several on the subject of the TOD. The next will include potential advantages and disadvantages of the TOD and highlight opportunities for public input.

Thank you, Steve Gold, Mayor

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Comment by Ben Royce on June 10, 2010 at 10:39am
Steve:

I would put a proposal together. I'll look into what it takes to get that going. If you have any pointers to get me started other than standard boilerplate format, just contact me at my email listed at http://beaconline.org

Thanks! ;-)
Comment by Steve Gold on June 10, 2010 at 9:32am
Mark, sounds like an interesting meeting. I am looking forward to going and learning more.
Ben, you are so right about the beacon line. I wish the TOD leverage was strong enough to make it happen. The question was asked (by me) and answered by the MTA but....we'll keep trying. Conditions change all the time, we may get everything to fit one day, like a key in a lock. Getting the help of elected officials like Hall, Hinchey, Saland, Skartados may help to get a grant or member item (earmark). If you would like to put a proposal together we can shop it around together.
Comment by Mark Roland on June 10, 2010 at 6:30am
Get the TOD facts tonight. Come to What is a TOD? It's a question and answer session. It's tonight at 7:00, 432 Main Street, across from Zuzu's coffee house. Includes a short film by Rob Featherstone!
Comment by Ben Royce on June 10, 2010 at 1:33am
i think the TOD is good for beacon, i think it should happen. its environmentally friendly (its replacing a parking lot and its right near a train station). and i think it will only help main street business (a thousand new residents can only be good for business, no matter how you slice it)

that the process is exhaustive is good, and i'm glad that you and the city council are taking it slow. i've heard the traffic concerns for 9D voiced by Beacon Deserves Better, and they are solid concerns

my crank concern is why can't we use the TOD as leverage to get the MTA/ CSX to grant us permission to use the Beacon Line to enhance transport and tourism even more. especially bike transport/ tourism to east main, tying into dia, dennings point, the klara sauer trail, madam brett park, long dock. the views of the highlands are gorgeous. you'd have a tourist shunt from dia to east main, it would be wonderful, and, without the legal issues, very cheap and easy in terms of the amount of work to do to get it moving

seems like a no brainer

but from talking to scenic hudson, tom church and others, i've found that getting the MTA/ CSX to do anything, no matter how slight, is impossible. i know the city and scenic hudson have tried to work with them, but nothing ever happens. i've heard all sorts of horror stories getting movement on rail and trail in the area from albany to putnam county

an example: they had to call in chuck shumer to get csx to grant small usage provisions on adjacent land to get the walkway over the hudson going. why?

why do you need to call in a us senator, a us senator, to get movement on small local land usage issues? does anyone else not think this status quo is absurd?

the legal status quo that allows an absentee landlord to effectively block the growth of beacon, without even using the property themselves, is simply insane, and i don't understand why it has to be this way

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