Build Up Activists Pack Port Chester Trustees Redevelopment Hearing

The Port Chester Village Board of Trustees held a special hearing Tuesday night to discuss the Final Environmental Impact Statement that Starwood Capital Group submitted for its $415 million plan to redevelop the United Hospital site.

As more than 60 Build Up New York activists—most of them residents of Port Chester and Westchester County—looked on, six trustees heard reports from staff and consultants discuss the traffic study component of the FEIS.

Carpenter Robert Monti, a member of Build Up New York—which represents hundreds of working families in tri-state area advocating for responsible development and good jobs—reminded the trustees that he had spoken about the development to them before. Monti recounted how his father, who was also a carpenter, worked on United Hospital when it was being built, how his mother gave birth to him at the hospital, and working at the hospital himself growing up.

“I come from three generation of carpenters,” Monti said. “I just want to tell you that right here in Port Chester, we have tradesmen and women, union workers, who have the skill, talent and expertise to build anything Starwood wants to build at that site safe and efficiently.”

Also speaking were City of Rye Mayor Joe Sack, who said his community is not sold on the current plan to solve the traffic issue that will be created by the redevelopment. Scott Nelson, headmaster of the Rye Country Day School, said he is concerned about how remediation of environmental hazards at the site would affect the 900 students at his school as well as all the children in the area.

Mayor Dennis G. Pilla and Trustee Gregory K. Adams were highly skeptical of the traffic plan, especially its omission of a bottleneck at South Regents Street. Trustee Gene Ceccarelli was disturbed by other aspects of the study, which he felt did not adequately account for the impacts of the proposed redevelopment increasing village population by more than a thousand residents. Trustees Frank Ferrara and Bart Didden supported the FEIS.

Build Up New York activist will attend the Village Board of Trustees’ next regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 19, when the board will next take up the full FEIS.

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