By Jon Craig
It was “game on” last Wednesday for the Town of Greenburgh and residents opposed to rezoning Dobbs Ferry Road so that an indoor sports bubble can be built there.
During a public hearing at the Town Board meeting, a half-dozen people from the Worthington and Tarrytown road neighborhoods spoke out against the project, saying it would bring their property values down while reducing green space.
Game On 365 has proposed construction of an indoor sports facility at 701 Dobbs Ferry Road.
Although a public referendum in November OK’d construction of the Game On sports bubble on Frank’s Nursery site at 715 Dobbs Ferry Road, developers continued to encounter opposition and litigation there.
The adjoining property at 701 Dobbs Ferry Road is owned by the Westchester Golf Range, also known as Family Golf.
An “overlay zone” would allow for new development as a Field House for year-round recreation including soccer, lacrosse, football, baseball and field hockey. The plan includes 80,000 square feet of turf and 14,000 square feet of hard court playing area for volleyball and basketball. A walking track would circle the entire field. Game On 365 LLC has said it could additionally utilize the Frank’s Nursery property for field sports.
In opposition, Town resident Tom Bock presented photos to the town showing how traffic regularly backs up on Tarrytown Road, also known as Route 119.
“You are on this tear to create this rezoning overlay … It’s going to be a nightmare,” Bock said, noting that many residents cannot easily drive out of the neighborhood due to increased traffic from commercial development.
Chet Watson of Westchester View Lane said, “I don’t see how rezoning benefits our community. This whole situation borders on being a nuisance for the community and a distraction for you guys. The town board should focus, instead, on selling the former Frank’s Nursery, which adjoins the proposed bubble.”
Town Councilman Ken Jones tried to reassure residents that it’s only the start of the review process. There will be many more opportunities to speak, he said. “This is the very, very beginning of the process.”
At the Jan. 28 Greenburgh Town Board work session, members of the Town Board heard from representatives of Game On 365 regarding a petition that seeks a zone change to create a recreation open space overlay district in the Town that would allow a sports facility to be built at the driving range. Game On 365 has an option to purchase the driving range property owned by Family Golf. The golf range would continue to stay in business.
The sports facility would be built on vacant land near the golf range. The proposed site development that would result from the rezoning petition is very similar to the proposal the company submitted for the Frank’s Nursery property.
Last year, three of the five members of the Greenburgh Town Board voted to ask the Commissioner of Planning to prepare a plan for the rezone of the Dobbs Ferry corridor for recreation uses.
Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner said any revisions to the Game On 365 plans would be posted on the town website at www.greenburghny.com
Feiner has said the Town continues to show the Frank’s Nursery property to potential purchasers.
Game On 365 started out as a group of soccer parents, mostly from Tarrytown, who wanted a place for their kids to play during the winter. Teaming up with a partner who runs two similar complexes in New Jersey, they initially sought to lease Frank’s Nursery property for 15 years.