DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. -- There were several items covered on the agenda at the Dobbs Ferry Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, but none as controversial as potential developments by Mercy College.
"There's quite a bit of history here," said Dobbs Ferry Mayor Hartley Connett.
The board approved a motion to authorize the mayor to sign an agreement, which in essence would give the board lead agency in reviews of potential developments by Mercy College. Any developments the college plans to follow would be reviewed under the Environmental Conservation Law and the State Environmental Quality Review Act. This would review how new developments by the school would affect the fire and police department, lighting, noise, storm water runoff and traffic as well.
Mercy College wants to consolidate administrative buildings and convert some into various dormitories, including a 350 student dorm and a 40 student dorm. Dobbs Ferry determined that the 40 person dorm would require a special permit, which Mercy College eventually agreed with.
Dobbs Ferry now becomes an "involved agency" in the future developments by Mercy College "so we're a stronger player at the table," Connett said.
This was viewed as a victory to some residents who were anything but trusting of Mercy College.
"We've never really been able to count on Mercy College to follow through on their commitments," said Dobbs Ferry resident Sue Sussman.
Traffic figures and student numbers were disputed between some residents and Mercy College attorney representative William S. Null. "Mercy College has attempted to be candid [with this information]," Null said.
With the approval of the motion by the Board of Trustees Dobbs Ferry now becomes more involved in any potential developments by Mercy College.
"It's a good start, but the problem is Mercy College is the cause of 40 percent of traffic on Route nine and the number one user of the police and fire department," said Dobbs Ferry resident Carolyn Whittle.
Dobbs Ferry and Mercy College continue to have disagreements, but this motion will help keep everything more transparent throughout for both sides.