Village Manager's Report 5/1/20

Village  Manager’s End-of-Week Report

Summary of Advisories and Updates

1 May 2020

First things first  

Briarcliff Manners.  Respect for private property is a big tradition in Briarcliff Manor. Unfortunately, this tradition took a big hit recently. You know that I am one of the bigger proponents of enabling people to get out of their homes to “take a hike” in our parks and trails. Notwithstanding CDC standards calling for “social distancing”, we have kept our parks and trails open for people specifically to use and enjoy. What we now have are reports of residents and/or non-residents cutting fences and gates and willfully entering (trespassing) known private property. This goes with taking family members with bikes onto private property and allowing dogs to “deposit” on sidewalks and lawns. Dog dirt occurs in the Village regardless of the location: pick it up. Maybe it is time to take a deep breath and take a step back. We are all going through the stress of the pandemic:  the opportunity to get out of the house is a given and actually a necessity. We only ask that you consider being real friends with your neighbors as you would expect the same from them. Respect private property. Understand that reported violations will be pursued by our Police Department (914-941-2130).

When will it be normal again?  Great Question ... here’s what we know to date:

  • Village Elections were 18 March, changed to 28 April and are now “sometime after 1 June”;   
  • Westchester/Local Courts (except for arraignment type of events) were closed to 4 May but now extended to 30 May. The new target of a partial opening rests somewhere between 10-24 June starting with a backlog of criminal proceedings and further phase ins court matters;
  • Village Facilities: Village Hall, The Youth Center, Library, Senior Programs, playgrounds/several facilities and WJV Community Center are closed ... restoration is largely a Governor or County Executive decision.
  • Summer Camp ... that’s a NYS/WCDOH issue. It will be a “nail biter” and probably not resolved before Memorial Day.     
  • Summer programs and events.  Handcuffed to the DOH and commonsense.
  • Memorial Day Ceremonies ... given the current pandemic and CDC restrictions, we are STILL going to plan for a ceremony.  Watch this space for details ... have suggestions ? ... let me know.
  • The VBM Pool ... we will be ready to open but final permission will be a DOH decision.

Regardless ... there will be restrictions and constrictions ... and everything in-between. Change to all this is a certainty. The new normal will not be the pre-pandemic we remember.

Upcoming M/BOT Sessions.  Talk about normalcy ... the next session of the M/BOT is Tuesday, 5 May. Given the Coronavirus pandemic, we will be holding our sessions via ZOOM. To participate, go to this link:  Note that our Meeting ID is: 821 8201 5700 and our Password is  006778. You can dial in by your location +1 929 205 6099 US (New York).

The following are a series of hearing topics adjourned to Tuesday, 5 May at 7:30 PM ... these are:

  • a Local Law to amend Chapter 220-2,     Zoning Definitions.
  • a Local Law to amend Chapter 220-3,     Zoning Maps.
  • a Local Law to amend Chapter 195,        Taxation. 

Census 2020.  Another big push is underway this weekend.  The overnight data has VBM at 69.8% tied with the top 4 communities.  Our 2010 final count was a 77.9% return rate. We really need your help for another 2020 Census response rate push. Questions ... just visit

Project Restarts.  We are attempting to get various agencies to re-start projects ... and especially to get them completed. These include but are not limited to milling and paving of Pleasantville Road from the “bump-out” to Ash Road. Starting the previously NYSDOT approved Route 100 bridge railings painted and a few other hot button items.

Tennis Courts Update.  Our Recreation Department provided an update on the status of the Village's Tennis Courts, Programs and Permit Policies.  To view this update please go to:    However, the short version is that the hard courts are open (see above link) but the clay courts are locked down.  They were just worked on and the current heavy rains have damaged them.  We are looking to at least Monday to rake and smooth them down

Weather Update.  There is a possibility of heavy rains and wind into this evening ... but hopefully, this week’s monsoon and windy conditions will leave us with a great weekend. Saturday and Sunday are at least to be partly cloudy with temperatures in the upper 60’s and low 70’s. 

VBM Water Department Hydrant Flushing. Last week and up to today, we were conducting an extended phase one of our 2020 water main and hydrant flushing program.  On Monday, 4 May 2020, phase two flushing of individual hydrant areas and neighborhoods will commence. This will run from Monday, 4, May 2020, to Friday, 8 May, 2020 starting at or about 9:00 AM and continuing to 4:00 PM and subject to weather and personnel needs.

Crews will flush individual hydrants during this phase in specific areas. Subject to daily events and conditions, the areas to be flushed are:

  • Scarborough Road from Ridgecrest Road north to Old Briarcliff Road including: Brookwood Drive, Becker and Shadowbrook Lanes;
  • Holbrook, Macy and Orchard Roads and all side streets including: Argyle Place, Holbrook and Apple Lanes, Magnolia, Meadow Road and Farm Roads.
  • North State, Schrade, Matthes, and Hungerford Roads, Hazelton Circle, Woodside Avenue, Winterberry and Deer Tree Lanes and Olde Willow Way.

Because of this work, residents can expect discolored water at any time (but particularly) during the day starting from 9:00 AM and to 5:00 PM. Please understand that you may wish to alter such activities such as your laundry routine: avoiding these time periods in particular.  However, even if discolored, continuing laboratory testing has indicated that in the past the water has contained no harmful bacteria.


In the meantime ...

Tree Plantings at Law Park Play Areas.  We are getting proposals for replacement and expansion of tree plantings along the buffer of Pleasantville Road and the downslope areas of the Law Park Tennis Courts and playground. This will be a vital enhancement to the entire Law Park facility.

Scarborough Park.  Scarborough Park is looking great: moist, cooler temperatures are enabling the new lawn to take hold. There are still more enhancements to be completed. The temptation is great to get into the park: we have posted signs for everyone to please keep out. Reports of violations should be forwarded to the BMPD at 914-941-2130.  It’s important to just let nature take its course: everyone benefits in the long run.

Getting out of the House.  Once again ... Some day we will have better weather ... so as a reminder for better outdoor times, get out of your house and “Take a Hike program” ... “but keep your distance”.

  1. Follow the CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to heading out to parks or trails — wash hands, carry hand sanitizer, do not go out if you have symptoms of illness, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, etc.
  2. Observe at all times the CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6 feet from other people. Practice it and know what it looks like. Maintain it as you walk, bike, hike or otherwise enjoy the outdoors.
  3. Make sure other park visitors and trail users are aware of your presence as you pass to provide for proper distancing.  Step off trails to allow others to pass while keeping minimum distances at all times.
  4. Not all parks have public restrooms and/or drinking fountains — be prepared before you leave and time your outings so that you are not dependent on public restrooms.  Bring water or drinks, as public drinking fountains may be disabled and should not be used, even if operable.
  5. Bring a suitable trash bag. Leave no trash, take everything out with you: protect other visitors and our park workforce.

Our Recreation Department continues to respond to all calls to their office number, 941-6560, during regular business hours. Following these rules and restrictions is to protect you and minimize contact with other people.

From the Briarcliff Manor Fire Department (BMFD).  The snow has melted, the rain and wind is beginning to subside, the plants are budding and the trees are blooming.  Spring is arriving and your thoughts may be turning to that dreaded ritual of Spring cleaning.  With it comes a timely reminder to keep your home safe from the threat of fire.  In an effort to make this "Spring Cleanup" a fire safe one, the Fire Chief provides the following safety tips:

  • Clean your garage of stored newspapers or other rubbish that can fuel a fire.
  • Test your smoke alarms monthly.
  • To help prevent nuisance alarms, gently vacuum your smoke alarm every six months or as needed.
  • Change batteries in smoke alarms, flashlights and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Never borrow smoke alarm batteries to use for toys or other equipment.
  • Replace all smoke alarms every 10 years or as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Remove outdoor debris or dead vegetation and keep it away from the house.
  • Properly dispose of oily or greasy rags.  If these items must be stored, they should be kept in labeled, sealed, metal containers.
  • If you store gasoline, keep it outside your home in a shed or detached garage.  Keep only small quantities in tightly sealed containers.  Use gasoline only as a motor fuel - never as a cleaning agent.
  • Use outdoor barbecue grills with caution.  Place in a safe area away from buildings, windows, heating, ventilation and air conditioning units or places with high/dead vegetation.
  • Never use gasoline to start the fire, and don't add charcoal lighter fluid once the fire has started.
  • Use barbecue grills outside only - not under overhangs or balconies, and away from combustibles.
  • Check your propane barbecue grill hose for leaks and cracks; never store propane indoors. 

The Chiefs and all the Members of the BMFD hope you are doing well and staying safe and healthy during this challenging time.  You can follow us on Facebook at and on Instagram at  Consider becoming a VOLUNTEER Firefighter or EMT.  Simply click the link

Library/Community Center:  Please visit for the Library's full menu of online programs and services. Share recommendations on our Facebook page.

For Kids, Families & Teens:

  • Chat online with Ms. Amy
  • Family activities to get kids off their screens  
  • Storytime videos
  • Book Clubs, Chess and TAB continue online

For Adults:

  • Informational programs and links
  • Sharing recommendations on our Facebook page.  
  • Online art exhibit: Oils by Ken Okin
  • For National Poetry Month: Poems, by Lorraine Joy McLeod
  • Remote book groups and favorite programs

For all ages:

  • Streaming services for Movies and TV shows
  • Booklists to use with our eBook and eAudiobook collections
  • Sign up for Library cards and get reference help by emailing or, call the Library at 914-941-7072.

Please do not return items at this time.  All Westchester Library System Library buildings are closed, holds are suspended and fines are being waived.

Briarcliff Cares: We are still extending ourselves ... VBM Senior Citizen Shopping Assistance.  The VBM normally provides a free, weekly grocery shopping trip for all interested resident Senior Citizens utilizing our 16 passenger Senior Bus.  In light of the current situation with the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, and with concern for the health and safety of our older residents, the Village's Senior Bus transportation program has now been postponed for the foreseeable future. In lieu of providing mass transportation type Senior Citizen bus service to the supermarket, we are now working to identify Senior residents who may need someone to do their essential weekly shopping for them.  As these Seniors are identified, we are pairing them up with volunteers who have already stepped forward to offer their assistance.  If you are a Senior, or you know of a Senior who could benefit from this service, please call the Recreation Department Office (914)-941-6560 between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM to request “Senior Shopping Assistance”.  You may also email Henry Jamin at to be included as a participant or to check if any more volunteers are needed.  Thank you in advance for your assistance with this endeavor, and please feel free to share this information with anyone who may benefit!  

Special Events.  Due to the inclement weather, the Class of 2020 BHS Senior Car Parade has been postponed to next Friday, 8 May at 5:00 PM.  Our PD and FD will be assisting.  This is a test of resiliency and lasting memories as we face down the coronavirus pandemic.  The flyer at the bottom of this letter gives you all the details you can possibly need from Jodie Smoler and her team.  Briarcliff spirit and tradition lives on.



The next M/BOT scheduled meeting is set for Tuesday, 5 May 2020, commencing with a W/S at 6:00 PM followed with our BOT Meeting at 7:30 PM.  Given the current CDC-related restrictions and NYS Executive Orders in effect, it is anticipated that all sessions will be via our ZOOM connection.


All changes to this notice are subject to change and will be duly noticed to the public.


Philip E. Zegarelli,
Village Manager

Report 433-B – 1 May 2020

BHS Parade Route