Rivertowns Square Proposal – DEIS deemed ‘complete’ under SEQRA Review
By unanimous vote, the Board of Trustees on Thursday night voted to accept the Final Environmental Impact Statement (‘FEIS’) as ‘complete’ for the proposed mixed-use development project known as Rivertowns Square.
In terms of what this means, where are things in the process, and what comes next:
What does it mean? By determining the FEIS to be ‘complete’ it does not mean the board has approved the project. Instead, it means the board – with input from the village’s professional environmental consultants – has fully reviewed the document and determined that all substantive comments related to potential environmental impacts raised and presented in the previous Scoping and DEIS portions of the SEQRA review process, have been adequately responded to.
The FEIS is now available for review by the Public. This can be viewed on the Village Website www.dobbsferry.com
Hard copies will be available for viewing at Village Hall and the Dobbs Ferry Public Library; and DVD copies will also be available at Village Hall.
A special Public Hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, October 30 at 6:30PM at the Embassy Community Center in which residents and interested parties will have an opportunity to voice their opinions, concerns, ideas, and/or questions on the FEIS and the proposed project. Residents are also encouraged to submit written input to the Trustees regarding their questions or concerns or opinions on the document. Under SEQRA guidelines, written input will be accepted up to 10 days following the Public Hearing.
Where are things in the review process? The process is moving into an important phase of the SEQRA review. With the FEIS adopted by the board as ‘complete’ – and with considered input from the public to follow – the board will now commence more substantive review of the environmental impacts of the project which will culminate in the preparation of a “Findings Statement”. SERQA requires that the lead agency must prepare its own written “Findings Statement” before the agency makes a final decision. The findings certify that the requirements of Part 617 have been met. A positive findings statement means that the project or action is ‘approvable’ (not approved) after consideration of the FEIS, and demonstrates that the action chosen is the one that avoids or minimizes adverse environmental impacts presented in the EIS and weighs and balances them with the social, economic and other essential considerations. If the action is not approvable, a negative findings statement documenting the reasons for the denial must be prepared.
What comes next? Over the next 40 days and thereafter, the public, the Planning Board and neighboring municipalities, to name a few, will review the FEIS and provide comments to the Board of Trustees. These comments will be considered by the Board of Trustees in preparing the “Findings Statement”.
The Board of Trustees looks forward to hearing from the public and all involved and interested agencies. It is anticipated the Board of Trustees will engage the Planning Board in a public work session to discuss their view of the FEIS and currently proposed project. Of course, the village will communicate to the public all matters related to the review of this project going forward on a timely basis.
September 21, 2012