Mohegan Lake Legal Defense Fund

History of this site

This site was originally set up to fight 3 of 5 zoning variances proposed by the FBC development at Sagamore Trail and Mohegan Ave that eliminates two single family homes while nearly quadrupling the parking and occupancy loads of the old Lakeland Jewish Center. That effort failed and the application is currently before the Planning Board.

While Save Mohegan Lake will continue to update you on that issue, we are moving on to all issues affecting the lake, such as Mohegan Lake Improvement District (MLID) meetings, agenda and budget. This site is not an official mouthpiece for MLID, but some updates will be provided on this site; the official site is located here.

We do it all here, so long as it's Mohegan Lake related. Feel free to submit comments, content, garage sale notices, police blotters, PSA's, essays on the virtues of our 105 acre ice rink, rants, raves, etc... We love it all.


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Faith Bible Is Proposing A Church That Can Hold 730 People

But they are only designing parking for 252 people.  This is Yorktown, so it should sail through the approval process, right?

Please note that all images below--except the 1968 NYC Building Code--are taken from the signed and sealed architectural plans in the planning board file.  I've pored over the plans for 2 years now.  I can say that Larry Dalfino (the church's architect), who I see in the Manhattan DOB occasionally since he has an office on Park Ave South and seems to do most of his work there, needs a little refresher course on the pertinent codes for this project.

I think he forgot that he:

a) can't invoke the 1968 NYC building code to claim "non-simultaneous occupancy"; if Larry Dalfino can find any NY State code or Local Law in Yorktown that has any mention of "non-simultaneous occupancy," I will let him punch me in the mouth.  Parking is is regulated by zoning, not building code.  Come on Larry.

b) even if Mr. Dalfino was proposing this project in NYC, he couldn't claim non-simultaneous occupancy for the ENTIRE FLOOR.  I hate to publicly dope slap a licensed professional, but here it goes:

From the 1968 NYC Building Code (the only code in the nation that has any mention of this concept).

First Floor Plan of 378 people (the 6 classrooms of 19 each convert into an auditorium of 320 people).

Detail of the classrooms convertible to an auditorium of 325 people.  That's contradictory to the table, but no one really looks at these plans, they just listen to Al Capellini.
 2nd Floor occupancy of 344 (I'm not even going to include the AV mezzanine in the occupant load, since Mr. Dalfino doesn't either.

 It's amazing this application has made it this far, in this form.

Mohegan Lake Is Incredibly Beautiful

Just stumbled on this photo from the freak Halloween snow storm last year.  Can't not share.

White Red Green Lake

Something To Keep An Eye On

Details are very vague.  Is this a state agency or a private developer proposing this group home in Shrub Oak.  The town board seems to have decided that there's not much we can say or do about the proposal.  Need more details, but this is definitely an issue we should keep our eyes on.  See item #2 on the link below.

Recalling with he described as the “disgusting” display that took place at the library when an earlier group home was proposed, Supervisor Grace noted that the Town has very little to say when a group home wants to come into Yorktown. He was concerned that people who attend a meeting about the plan not get the impression that the Town can do anything about it. Councilman Bianco said the community meetings were a good idea that gave people the opportunity to vent. “That’s democracy,” he said.

Very little we can do people.  Very little. 

Reminder: MLID Meeting Tonight 2/28/13

animated siren gif animated siren gif animated siren gif drudge report A note from Ken Belfer: The Mohegan Lake Improvement District will be meeting at 7:30 Thursday February 28th in the kitchen of the Mohegan Colony schoolhouse at 99 Baron de Hirsch Road in Crompond. Among other things, we will be discussing whether to begin a program to control the overpopulation of geese, discussing the status of our application to DEC to apply Alum to reduce the available phosphorous in the lake (and therefore the blue-green algae blooms that closed our beaches last year), our summer schedule of lake improvement activities, and - last but not least - Lake Day 2013! Hope you can join us.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Last Weekend

I've just begun my ice fishing career and, to date, have not caught a fish.  Skating a lap around the lake at a 6 minute a mile clip while drinking my coffee (seriously), I ran into Tom and Frank.  They are seasoned anglers and were having great success.

From top left to bottom right: yellow perch, white perch, sunny

 There's a real chance the skating may be great again this weekend, but we may have trouble accessing the ice on the edges.  Let's wait and see.  In the meantime, here's some video of last weekend.  It's kind of nauseating, but you can appreciate Jones Hill/Mohegan Highlands to the right of the screen--especially at the end.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2/25/13 Memo to the Planning Board

I wanted to share this memo I wrote to the planning board over the weekend in my professional capacity regarding the Faith Bible Church application.  I firmly believe that the church does great works but believe the occupancy has been should not be expanded beyond what they've illegally expanded to already.  Demolish the two legal single family homes and build bigger, but let's be honest with ourselves about the parking limitations. They already park 92 cars but are only proposing 64 normal parking stalls (per Site Design engineers of Yorktown, their own engineer--in a study done about 2 years ago).  

Much more to come.  The approval of this application likely come quickly.  Now is the time to start paying attention.  I've included straight text of this images below in case you are having trouble reading the scans of the letter I delivered.

The way we're positioned, it's going to be a crazy finish to this application.  Click on the "read more" link below to "read more."

Sunday, February 24, 2013

MLID Meeting Noice

From Ken Belfer:

Our next meeting of the Mohegan Lake Improvement District is this Thursday February 28th at 7:30 P.M. in the kitchen of the Mohegan Colony Schoolhouse, 99 Baron de Hirsch Road in Crompond.  Hope to see you there!   Ken

Thursday, February 21, 2013


My cursive skills are extremely limited as I stopped writing in that style when I learned to letter (architecturally speaking) in 1993.  I tried to employ GPS to spell my name on Mohegan Lake tonight, but failed (tilt your head 90 degrees counter clockwise).  For the record, I think I burned a calorie or two.

Inspiring Ice Conditions

 The last couple days after that rain and deep freeze have created a veritable sheet of glass on Mohegan Lake.  I've been sneaking out of work early (though working remotely), just to catch a quick skate in the evening.  Even got to do some moonlight skating tonight.  Expecting the precipitation event set to occur this weekend mild enough to get a few miles in this weekend. 

Hope to see you out on the 105 acre ice rink that helps define our community.

2/21/12: the huge trees you see here are on the undevelopable land the developer "traded" to Yorktown to develop the parcel that extends to Route 6.  I was surprised to learn how recently much of this area was still woodland.  In summary, we have some really big trees around here. 

Left to right: the Ansonia Lodge, condos, daycare center. Foreground: the most amazing ice Mohegan Lake has seen since December 2010.

Video below of a little moonlight skating this evening; it's too dark to appreciate how fast the ice is. Trust me though.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Shrub Oak Athletic Club Soccer

SOAC for short.  Just got back from a meeting of the subject club and am excited to report that there are currently 528 kids in the program with 33 on a waiting list. 


The program has grown exponentially over the past few years.  Happy to report that we have a solid line up of volunteers to run it and we are working hard to expand and ameliorate SOAC soccer.

If you are interested getting your child into the SOAC program or have questions, feel free to email me at

Police Blotter

This story is chock full o' nuts juicy quotes.  From the Cortlandt section of Mohegan Lake (Seven Oaks), we have an exciting love triangle turned stabby. 

“Evidently, Al punctured Larry’s liver,” she said. “I don’t understand how that could happen because Larry is huge. He’s like 600 pounds.”

“Larry has a lot of nerve pressing charges,” she said. “The only reason Al had the knife and gun was because of Larry’s dog. And Larry picked up the speaker and hit Al. Al hit him back with the pellet gun.”

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Two Reader Photos

Don't forget, we want you to email us your Mohegan Lake related photos.  Thanks to Abby and Dawn for these two gems.  We have a beautiful early morning snowy lake and an elusive owl.  We are truly blessed with some amazing nature up here.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Little Zamboni Action And Then...Boom!

At least that's what I'm hoping for.  There's still 4 inches of ice under 3 inches of slush.  After this quick freeze is gonna give us another 6-7 inches of ice just in time for the Monday holiday.  The ice gods have been good to us this year (as opposed to last).  Get your blades sharpened and your wax worms ready.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Scary Incident On The Taconic

This touches on an important topic about age and driving privileges.  We have limited my grandmother, recently.  Courtesy of the Daily Voice:

Mohegan Lake Man, 87, Drives Wrong Way On The Taconic


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Birds Of Mohegan Lake

This photo comes courtesy of Abby Luby on the south side of Mohegan Lake.  Nice shot of one of our great blue heron.  Impressive bird, for sure.  Impressively shy too which makes this shot all the more...impressive!

Come on, I know you have a couple photos you want to share of a bird or two you've seen around the lake.  I know I do (and will share, soon enough).

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Pileated Woodpecker

I saw this fellow in my yard this morning. He or she makes quite a sound when striking the tree. The sound gets better toward the end of the video I took, below.  I was surprised by how large this bird is. Now it has me worried that may be a sign that tree is dead or ailing (hopefully that's a nesting hole and not a feeding hole--they feed on termites in dead wood). We sure are blessed here in Mohegan Lake with an abundance of birds like pileated woodpeckers and large blue heron.  A great resource to identify and learn more about birds is the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  They even have recorded  sounds of different calls the birds make.

If you have any good  pictures of birds you've seen around the lake, please push them to me and I'll put them up here.
Pileated Woodpecker Photo
Pileated Woodpecker: Image courtesy of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Funny Headline News

It's too bad the Yorktown Examiner has no comment system to speak of.  This is the funniest headline I've seen in a while  Peekskill is so much more laid back than Yorktown.  I kind of like it.

Yorktown Declares a Snow Emergency; Peekskill Urges Caution

Monday, February 4, 2013

History of Mohegan Lake

Local attorney and former Mohegan Lake resident David Wright's history of the Mohegan Lake area is worth a peek, if you haven't read it.  Next time you are driving up Red Mill Road or  up "Five Mile Turnpike" (AKA Route 6) to Mohegan Lake, you'll have a little more history on your route.


The 1800s saw urbanization proceeding apace in the Mohegan Crompond area. The trains now brought people to the Peekskill station and the Yorktown Heights station (built in 1881). In 1816, "Five Mile Turnpike" was built along what is now Route 6 from Peekskill to Shrub Oak. Prior to 1816, Red Mill Road was the primary route from Peekskill to Mohegan. In 1816, an entrepreneur built the turnpike, and a toll house on East Main Street in Peekskill to save hours off the journey. The turnpike operated for 50 years until 1869, when the route was purchased as a public road. 

Mohegan Lake: 2/3/13

I don't have much to add.  It was very pretty Sunday morning.  Top of the lake looking south (Stay away from the East side[left in this pic], it's thinnest).  The other photos are of Ansonia Lodge and the condos.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Good Questions

And now, back to the memo from Jacobs Engineering which is the engineer under contract by Yorktown to review the traffic study prepared by Faith Bible Church's traffic consultant, John Collins Engineering.  

The first question that the town's engineer asked tipped me off that he's on the ball.

Question #1

The project is not an expansion or renovation. It's a new development.  When you demolish all existing structures on a site, it's impossible to "grandfather" them.  Example: a two family home with a commercial use on a single zoning lot in Yorktown burns to the ground.  Can't be rebuilt and needs to be demolished.  When they go back to build what was there, they are kindly informed by the town that zoning doesn't allow for a 2 family house on the lot, single family only.  Tough luck.  That's a true story.  You cannot "grandfather" that which does not exist.  They are trying to pretend it's an expansion of existing facilities.  That's not true.  The existing facilities--including the 2 illegally converted homes--will be 100% demolished.  A new building of 5 newly combined lots (the lots are still separate) is more accurate.

Question #5 

Interesting.  A shuttle from a remote parking facility?  Where is that?  CVS and SOLE Beach?  Good question raised by the town's traffic consultant.  The planning board has actually raised the question before in a working session.  It's important to note that if this were to be an actual arrangement, the applicant, at a minimum, would require an easement with the owner of the remote parking facility.  Very interesting.

You can review the initial correspondence between the town's engineer and the applicant's here.


"Nature's Zamboni"

This photo was sent in by reader Abby from the south side of Mohegan Lake with the subject "Nature's Zamboni."  I love it cause's it's true.  That warm spell and heavy rain did us ice skaters a favor.  Sure looks choppy in spots, but I'm exited to explore this weekend and next--at least. 

Be careful on the edges.  Be very careful. Take some basic safety measures (life jacket and ice claws is a good start).  Be prepared for the worst. Never go near the Mohegan Ave culvert as that is moving water.  The east side edges of the lake are thinnest, in my opinion.  One more solid week of sub freezing temps and we should be at least 10 inches.

Keep thinking chilly thoughts.  It continues to work.