Pound Ridge NY Has No Traffic Lights | Pound Ridge NY Homes – Robert Paul’s blog | Bedford NY Real Estate

03/03/2011

Pound Ridge NY Has No Traffic Lights | Pound Ridge NY Homes

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IT used to be that the only thing keeping Gary D. Warshauer up at night was the chatter of crickets and the howl of coyotes.

There was little about this 23-square-mile municipality in northeastern Westchester to trouble Mr. Warshauer, its town supervisor: the underground water supply, all 11 aquifers of it, was untainted; more than a third of town land had been set aside as open space; and the minimum residential lot size was an acre.

Indeed, the housing developments, highways and malls that mark the landscape of many surrounding towns had bypassed Pound Ridge, which does not have even a single traffic light.

Now, however, Mr. Warshauer sees a different kind threat to this town of picturesque hills and dales, where tumbledown stone walls line graceful, winding roads. The threat is coming from the sky, in the form of low-flying airplanes. These have caused the supervisor, among others, to toss and turn in bed.

The Federal Aviation Administration has begun working on a plan to shift air traffic patterns inland, and according to Mr. Warshauer, who has been supervisor since 2004, “It could impact in a very negative way what we’ve worked so hard to preserve here in Pound Ridge.”

The new routing, to begin sometime next year, could affect national routes, as well as those for LaGuardia, said James Peters, an agency spokesman in Jamaica, Queens. Mr. Warshauer sees the changes as potentially menacing not only the quality of human life but also the future of endangered species in ecologically sensitive conservation land. But according to Mr. Peters, agency studies indicated there would be no adverse ecological effects. In any event, the threat of increased noise and emissions is worrisome enough that residents have formed an Alliance for Sensible Airspace Planning, with complaint hotline numbers posted on the town’s Web site. Pound Ridge is one of several municipalities mustering opposition.

Another modern technology that generates ambivalence these days is cellular telephone service.

Until recently, Mr. Warshauer said, residents returning home to their rural retreats from high-pressure jobs in Manhattan, or Stamford and Greenwich in nearby Connecticut, might have grumbled about poor cellphone reception in low-lying areas, but they generally weren’t eager for anything beyond the town’s single cell tower.

Now the quest is on for a second tower, and while most residents agree on the need, few like the idea of the new equipment anywhere near their backyard, Mr. Warshauer added.

Vivian and Peter Falco, who bought their first house in Pound Ridge 25 years ago and reared two sons there, say they are grateful the town has remained essentially unspoiled.

In 1985, they paid $270,000 for a three-bedroom ranch on two acres with a pond. A decade later, Ms. Falco, a physical therapist, and her husband, a commercial real estate investor, spent $700,000 to build their next home, a four-bedroom colonial on three acres.

“During that time,” Ms. Falco said, “we’ve seen more and more land built on. And the street we live on, which lies in three watershed areas, has changed from a road half filled with houses to one that is now 90 percent built on.”

Still, she noted, over that period more land has been set aside as open space, to mitigate the impact of the growth.

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