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Scarsdale Group's Cudner-Hyatt Appeal Delayed

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – A Scarsdale Historical Society bid to clear the way to divesting itself of the Cudner-Hyatt House is on hold.

The Scarsdale Zoning Board of Appeals was scheduled to discuss the society's application to remove the variance allowing it to operate the property as a museum at its Wednesday night meeting. The application was presented at the board's March 14 meeting, with several community members speaking against the proposal. The item is part of the board's published April 11 agenda. However, the society has asked the board to put the application on hold.

"The Scarsdale Historical Society has written to the board of appeals requesting the application be held over so” the historical society “can consult with the attorney general's office and the New York State Department of Education," said Scarsdale Village Planner Elizabeth Marrinan on Tuesday. "I've seen no such correspondence from either agency regarding this matter."

The Cudner-Hyatt House sits near the Eastchester–Scarsdale line next to the historical society office at Post Road and Boulevard.

The Scarsdale Arts Council contacted New York Attorney General and the museum supervisory group of the New York State Education Department in March, requesting them to review the historical society's request. Removal of the variance would allow the group to sell or lease the property for its previously intended use as a single-family residence.

"Filing of this package was felt necessary when efforts to establish an open and cooperative dialogue with the Scarsdale Historical Society initially proved inconclusive, although we continue to hope that an open and constructive community-wide dialogue” with the historical society as a participant will emerge, said Edward A. Morgan, president of the Scarsdale Arts Council. "We are informed that the attorney general's office is reviewing the matter and that both the attorney general's office and the museum supervisory office of the state education department will want additional time to respond to the board of appeals before it acts on the historical society's pending application."

The Scarsdale Forum issued a statement opposing any action in the matter by the zoning board of appeals until the state oversight agencies have down their work. The arts council then submitted a statement support the forum letter. Morgan is a member of both groups.

Members of the historical society did not respond to attempts to contact them for this story. Following the March appeals board meeting, society President Adam Krajchir said the museum is draining the group's finances and keeping it from seriously exploring alternative uses for the building, which dates back to between 1734 and 1754.

"There's a difference between something old and something historic," Krajchir said. "There is nothing historic about this building. It's not as if something took place there or someone lived there."

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