Supervisor's Update for the Town of Ossining

Ossining Supervisor Sue Donnelly has written an update brief for Town of Ossining/Briarcliff residents.

We want to THANK the residents of both the Village and Town of Ossining and the residents of the Village of Briarcliff for their warm welcome, as we all gave thanks for our veterans, both those who could join us as well as those who’ve made the supreme sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy.

The festivities of the summer have begun- with so many functions on the weekends, it is difficult to decide on which ones to attend! We hope to see you all at the many functions that are scheduled over the next few weeks: 

June 16th (Saturday) – Portuguese Festival – Main Street Ossining

Ossining Library at 7:30 PM

This Town Hall meeting will concentrate on issues and opportunities concerning the Unincorporated area.  This is a residents meeting, and we look forward to addressing the issues and opportunities that each of you want to discuss with us and with one another.
Some current topics we feel YOU may want to discuss:

  • What functions of the Town are for the Unincorporated area’s benefit?
  • The status of the current Intermunicipal Agreements with the Villages of Briarcliff and Ossining. 
  • Facts about the District 17/20 discussions.
  • Introduction to the engineer that will be assisting us with our infrastructure issues; explanation on how it benefits all the residents to have the Village of Ossining’s engineer work with the Town to accomplish the Town’s infrastructure goals.
  • A recap of our discussions on accessory apartments: review of the current law and options to modify the current law.
  • Status of the Police Station property on North State Road.
  • Open discussion on Police services, highway services, and sanitation services for the residents of the Unincorporated area of the Town.
  • Discussion on the elected position of Highway Superintendent.

We are open to all topics that the residents address regarding the Unincorporated area.

Current Town Updates and Information

The Town continues to make progress on quality of life issues, as well as a variety of infrastructure concerns- it is the goal of the Town Board to work for the residents of ALL of Ossining.  We are assembling the information we require to assess all of the outstanding projects, as well as to examine potential funding sources. More information will be available as the plans evolve.

On drainage issues:

Addressing storm water drainage is one of the most difficult and, potentially, expensive issues the Town faces at this time. This is particularly true given the recent history of severe weather events and the possibility that these events will only become more common.  The Town regularly receives requests from property owners that the Town undertake new drainage projects, or to maintain or repair existing drainage systems; often, these proposed or existing drainage systems are located on private property. Assessing the Town’s responsibility to maintain drainage systems on private property is complex and often difficult. The assessment requires an analysis of the source of the water, the existing legal documentation regarding the existing drainage system and, to a lesser extent, historical verifiable data regarding the past practices of the Town.

Most communications from property owners are initially directed to the Town Highway Department. If and when that department cannot render a determination based upon its records, the inquiry is then directed to the Supervisor’s Office and then referred to the Town Attorney and Town Engineer. First and foremost, it must be understood that the Town cannot, by law, spend taxpayer money to undertake improvements on private property which do not benefit the public. Generally, the Town has no obligation to provide drainage systems to address storm water generated on private property, impacting private property. In addition, the Town should only enter private property under limited circumstances, where the Town has a verifiable easement or where there is an immediate danger of harm to persons or property. In most cases, where the Town is requested to either repair or maintain a drainage system located on private property, the first question which must be whether there is a legal drainage easement on that property, in favor of the Town; property owners contacting the Town must first review their documents to ascertain whether they can provide evidence that this exists. If a property owner believes such an easement does exist but cannot prove its existence and the Town has no record of the easement, then it may be necessary for the property owner to undertake a review of documents on file with the County Clerk.  If it is then determined that a Town drainage easement exists, the Town may also be responsible to maintain the easement, depending on the actual wording of the easement document.  Only after it is determined that there is no evidence of a drainage easement of record, will the Town undertake further analysis as to its obligations with respect to a specific drainage issue.

Quality of Life Public Hearings:

We continue to move forward on issues concerning the Unincorporated area as well as the entire Town of Ossining.  We will be having public hearings on two subjects on June 12th and wanted to give you the details so that, if you have any comments or questions, you can be prepared.

On the issue of “No Smoking in Parks”:

RESOLVED, that the Town Of Ossining does hereby approve a “No Smoking” policy to cover all Town of Ossining Parks and facilities to prohibit smoking as follows:

  • Inside facilities and within fifty feet (50’) of any facility entrance point.
  • All playground areas.
  • All picnic areas/shelters.
  • All athletic fields, basketball courts, bleacher seating areas and tennis courts.
  • All fenced areas of the Dog Park at Cedar Lane Park and 50 ft from the entrance and areas immediately adjacent to the fenced area.

We are looking to protect OUR young people (as well as the rest of us)!

On the issue of changes to the overnight parking law for the Unincorporated area:

The current law reads:
“The parking of vehicles is hereby prohibited on all highways within this Town between 3:00 AM -6:00 AM from November 1 to and including March 31 of each year.”

The changed law will read:
“The parking of vehicles is hereby prohibited on all highways within this Town between 3:00 AM -6:00 AM from November 1 to and including March 31 of each year.  Parking of vehicles is further hereby prohibited, year-round, in any designated public area within a municipally owned property between the hours of 3:00 AM – 6:00 AM.”

This change will be for any municipal parking lots, the first being the six (6) spaces on the side of the Police Station that will be allowed to be used by the public at least until the building is sold.

As always, please feel very free to contact me with any questions at: SDonnelly@townofossining.com.

Hope to see you on the 19th!


Thank you.

Susanne Donnelly, Ossining Town Supervisor

16 Croton Ave, Ossining NY 10562


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