The Journal News from White Plains, New York on December 23, 2017 · A3
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The Journal News from White Plains, New York · A3

White Plains, New York
Issue Date:
Saturday, December 23, 2017
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WP LOHUD.COM ❚ SATURDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2017 ❚ 3A Local News OSSINING - A developer wants to build 198 residential units in four, five- story buildings on land near the Hudson River and also proposes constructing a new Northside Fire Station. The Snowden Woods proposal would go on what developer Ossining River As- sociates Inc. says is a more than 14-acre site between Snowden Avenue and Sandy Drive and be primarily aimed at young professionals and retirees who want to downsize. Two of the buildings would have 66 units each and the others would each hold 33 units. Units would be one- and two-bedroom. Fifteen percent of the units would be affordable housing, while the others would be market rate. Rental rates were not available. More than 60 percent of the property would be preserved as open space, ac- cording to the developer’s lawyer Jo- seph Eriole. The proposal also calls for making connections to a system of trails at the Old Croton Aqueduct and Craw- buckie Preserve. Village Manager Deborah McDonnell said the property with the current fire- house is some of the only public land in that area and the developer indicated it would like to build on that property. That would mean the firehouse would have to move, but would still be relocated close by. Details are still in the works. The all-volunteer fire department has about 470 active members with sev- en fire stations across the Town of Ossi- ning, which includes this one station in the village. Fire Chief Angelo Manicchio could not be reached for comment. The village Board of Trustees voted to have Snowden Woods undergo an envi- ronmental impacts review. The project would also need approval from the Plan- ning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. At a Board of Trustees hearing this month, Eriole said the developer want- ed to hear from the public and “it’s our intention to be responsive to the envi- ronmental concerns of the neighbors and public at large.” What they heard were several con- cerns raised by neighbors and the dis- trict’s top school official. Raymond Sanchez, superintendent of Ossining Union Free School District, wrote to village officials that develop- ments like the Snowden Woods propos- al means “any increase of school-aged children to our already crowded schools may require the immediate alteration and expansion of our facilities and in- creased staffing costs, which in turn, could result in the elimination of in- structional and educational programs.” A lawyer for the school district said the village Board of Trustees should ex- amine the number of students the pro- ject would bring. Jeff Smith, who with his wife has lived on Beach Road for some 30 years and is a neighbor to the proposed site, said in an interview he doubted the roads in the area could handle the added traffic from the development and he felt the project seems like it’s being rushed through. “We like living in the woods and we like looking at the wildlife,” Smith said. While documents filed by Ossining River Associates Inc. said the land-use change would “encourage responsible high density development” and create incentive for affordable housing, conser- vation and sustainability in areas of the village, some at the hearing expressed concerns it would open up several areas of the village to denser development. Other concerns were whether sewer and water facilities could handle the Snowden Woods development and that the proposed location is a bird habitat. The review process under way will lead to an environmental impact state- ment that includes the developer’s ef- forts to respond to concerns raised at the hearing and in additional written public comments the village will receive until Wednesday. A 198-unit development proposed in Ossining Michael P. McKinney Rockland/Westchester Journal News USA TODAY NETWORK A judge has classified former Horace Greeley High School teacher Christo- pher Schraufnagel as a Level 3 sex of- fender, finding there was a high risk that he would re-offend. New Castle Town Justice Douglas Kraus rejected defense arguments that Schraufnagel’s medical condition — he has cancer — and his success so far in sex-offender treatment means there’s little chance he would commit another sex offense. Schraufnagel was sen- tenced to three years’ probation in May after pleading guilty to sexual abuse and child endan- germent. He admitted abusing three 15-year- old students as a drama and speech teacher at the school between 2011 and 2015. Level 3 sex offenders must register with the state Division of Criminal Jus- tice Services each year for the rest of their lives. They also must confirm their address every 90 days with the police department where they live. Schraufnagel ran a successful thea- ter program at the school for years but was suspended in 2015 following allega- tions of improper contact with stu- dents. He later resigned and was arrest- ed that fall on a felony charge of third- degree criminal sex act and misde- meanor charges that included sexual abuse. He and the school district are facing lawsuits in state and federal court from seven students, who claim that the dra- ma program masked behind-the-scenes drinking, sex and sex-themed games encouraged by Schraufnagel. David Engelsher, a lawyer represent- ing the families of four of the students, praised Kraus’ ruling, which was issued Wednesday. “We have been saying all along that the Chappaqua Central School District never wanted to acknowledge that a dangerous sexual predator was in their midst,” Engelsher said in a statement. “The judge’s ruling confirms what we have known all along.” Lawyers for Schraufnagel and the school district could not be reached for comment. Twitter: @jonbandler Schraufnagel must register as Level 3 sex offender Jonathan Bandler Rockland/Westchester Journal News USA TODAY NETWORK Christopher Schraufnagel The legacy of Madame C.J. Walker endures. The National Trust for Historic Pres- ervation announced plans for a preser- vation easement on Walker’s Irvington estate called Villa Lewaro. The protection status means owners of the 1918 mansion cannot make changes to the property that destroys the historic and architectural features of the mansion. Madame Walker was America’s first female self-made millionaire, making her fortune from the creation of hair care products for African-American women. The majestic 34-room estate, con- structed along the Hudson River at the cusp of Walker’s success, was built for entertaining. Walker, an African-Amer- ican leader in business, politics, and philanthropy, used it as a meeting place for prominent members of the Harlem Renaissance including W. E. B. Du Bois and Langston Hughes. The elegant home was designed by Vertner Tandy, the first African-Ameri- can registered architect in the state of New York. He was an original founder of the oldest historically Black Greek or- ganization, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. The designation comes at the 100th year of the Westchester property. Since designating the site as a Na- tional Treasure in 2014, the National Trust has worked with Villa Lewaro’s current owners, Ambassador and Mrs. Harold E. Doley, Jr., to recognize its ar- chitectural and historical significance and secure long-term protections before the property changes hands. “On the 150th anniversary of her birth, we are delighted to have played a lead role in the lasting protection of Madam C.J. Walker’s tangible legacy,” said Brent Leggs, director of the Nation- al Trust’s African-American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. “The legal protection of irreplaceable historic sites like Villa Lewaro, one of the most significant places in women’s history, is essential in telling the full American story and inspiring future generations.” Madame Walker is the subject of an upcoming series about her life as an Af- rican-American entrepreneur and in- ventor starring actress Octavia Spencer and produced by NBA star LeBron James. Twitter:@krhudsonvalley Villa Lewaro and the staff of Madame C.J. Walker, early 1900s Irvington. JOURNAL NEWS FILE PHOTO Villa-Lewaro COURTESY OF NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION Historic Irvington estate gets protected status Karen Roberts Rockland/Westchester Journal News USA TODAY NETWORK Madame C.J. Walkerwas America’s first female self-made millionaire. SUBMITTED

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