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Nordica Drive Residents Cite Swimming as 'Illegal' at Mayo's Landing

May 19, 2007

In a letter received by village clerk Peggy Keesler on April 29, 2007, three families on Nordica Drive write to inform the Board of Trustees that according to Westchester County law, it is illegal to swim in the waters adjacent to Mayo’s Landing.

The following letter has been included on the agenda for the May 21, 2007 Village Board meeting, beginning at 8:00 PM, making it a topic for discussion during citizen participation for agenda items.

April 25, 2007

Dear Mayor Schmidt, Supervisor Puglisi and Trustees Brennan, Gallelli, Kane and Konig,

We live on Nordica Drive near Mayo’s Landing, the property owned by the village of Croton along the Croton River. We are grateful to the village of Croton and the town of Cortlandt for taking the lead in trying to regulate disruptive behavior, noise, traffic congestion and litter during the summer months in our neighborhood through the police patrol boat and more presence in general.

The main problem which brings crowds of people to a quiet residential neighborhood in the summer is the attraction of the Croton River as unsupervised, unregulated swimming area where anything goes. There is rarely, if ever, a problem from people who use the area for boating, fishing, or dog walking.

The islands in the Croton River at Mayo’s landing belong to Westchester County and are part of the county park system. In that regard, we would like to bring to your attention two sections of Westchester County law regarding unsupervised swimming adjacent to county owned parkland. Sec. 712.81 says “no person shall bathe, wade or swim in any waters abutting county-owned lands, except as designated by the department affected.” Sec. 765.431 states “no person shall bathe, wade or swim in any park waters, except at such times and in such places as the commissioner may designate or maintain as bathing areas.”

The language of this section of the legal code is quite clear that swimming in the Croton River adjacent to Mayo’s Landing (which abuts the islands which are county owned park land) is illegal.

Gradually, the village of Croton has regulated swimming in all of its public property. Swimming is allowed when a lifeguard is present at Silver Lake, but it is no longer permitted in any of Croton’s public land with waterfront access—not at Black Rock, not at Senasqua, and not at the Duck Pond. This is a matter of safety and in the case of Mayo’s Landing at the Croton River, it is also a question of complying with Westchester County law. As a matter of fact, we are not aware of any other area in the county where swimming is tolerated by a municipality in unsupervised public areas with no lifeguard.

It would be easy for Croton police and the police patrol boat to inform swimmers that swimming in that area is not permitted, and that they would be welcome to swim at public areas with lifeguards—Silver Lake, Croton Point, Cook pool, FDR pool, as well as various other town and village swimming areas throughout the county. This would not interfere with fisherman, boater or dogwalkers.

We trust that you will take Westchester County law into consideration in formulating rules and regulations for Mayo’s Landing and the Croton River.

Thank you.


Paul Kleinman
Sonia Kleinman
71 Nordica Drive
Croton, N.Y. 10520

Elisa Berger
Dan Berger
65 Nordica Drive
Croton, N.Y. 10520

Jane McCLung
Jack McClung
50 Nordica Drive
Croton, N.Y. 10520

Cc: Richard Stout, Westchester County Commissioner of Parks

On May 29, 2007 11:54 AM, KWilly said:

Scott is on the ball, while littering and erosion should be considered, the concerns about youth behavior are silly. Our village is very safe thanks to good parenting, a large police force, and dismally low violent crime. Having young and old swim and play in areas where noone is bothered should be a higher priority. Since after the Skatepark has been built nothing has been added and things have been cut. The problem is in order to come up with good Recreation opportunities. Adults have to listen to kids, and kids have to listen to adults and have both parties play on an equal playing field. Kids for the most part have better ideas and adults for the most part have a more pragmatic approach. The minute that the concerns of the youth won’t be belittled is the minute where we see more progress.

Kevin W. Davis

On May 29, 2007 10:07 AM, sdavidson said:

Litter and erosion should be considered. Disruptive behavior, however, sounds like code for unsupervised young people. Typical nanny-state, ageist, bourgeois soccer moms horrified by the thought of teenagers having fun outside of a neatly regulated bubble. The Croton River is beautiful. Young people are going to swim there, and sometimes you might have to look at their ugly faces. This has been going on for a long time, maybe even longer than you’ve lived there. So long as the residents of Nordica Drive are not liable for injuries and steps are taken to protect the river, this tradition should continue.

On May 27, 2007 12:14 PM, KWilly said:

Supersilver has just hit a nail making me not the only young adult anymore calling for new teenage recreation establishments. I disagree on mayo’s landing because for the people who live there it has been hell. Topless girls jumping off someones roof, environmental damage and erosion. But the most important sentiment is that we need more things in Croton for teenagers to do besides drinking and smoking reefer which goes on more than adults think.

Supersilver is at the age where i started to get involved and i think that he/she should be signing their name and publicly stating her beliefs in her name. he/she should speak at village board meetings where the officials actually take you seriously if you provide input and are respectful. Village board meetings are not just for complaining if you want to make it for input. I most likely know you and i probably have also talked to you about these issues.

Kevin W. Davis

On May 27, 2007 12:52 AM, supersilver322 said:

I think the fact that anyone would try to restrict access to the beautiful river that we are lucky enough to have in our town is disgusting. I am a high school junior who has been swimming in the river for the past 3 years. Maybe if the nordica residents thought back to a time when they were young they would remember that they often times didn’t have a lot of money. I know that as a 17 year old, i don’t have $7 to throw around whenever i want to cool off. The croton skate park was a perfect example of how teens can’t afford the supervised entertainment that adults provide for us. Maybe if adults were actually serious about keeping teens away from drugs they’d give us places we could hang out for free without getting hassled or arrested by the police. Teens are now often times put in a situations where they cant afford to stay out of trouble. I would hope that our elected town officials will not give in to the whining and complaining of the nordica drive resident who cant stand to have youth near the houses they chose to buy next to the river.

On May 20, 2007 7:56 PM, ODB said:

Paul, Sonia, Elisa, Dan, Jane and Jack: OK, so what’s goin’ on? What are you afraid of? Just who is it that’s enjoying “Your River” so much that you want them (and apparently all) banned? If it’s the Spanish speaking family that love to gather to celebrate a week of hard work, let’s just say some would call you racist. Is it the High School seniors who’ve busted their chops trying to get the best grades possible the past 4 years? Is it the person who wants to unwind after the day by bringing their dog to the river for 20 minutes of “Fetch”? Or the parent who grew up in this town introducing their offspring to the magic and allure of the river? As a lifetime Crotonite, and lifelong river lover, I’ve seen all the above. Don’t be so afraid of people having a good time and blowing off a little steam by taking a swim. If and when bad behavior does take place at Mayo’s (and I know it sometimes does) try a different approach. Instead of calling the Police, walk down the path and honestly talk to the “Offenders”. Tell them it’s not cool to loudly swear, or litter, or spray paint their names on trees, or whatever. Chances are they just need a little guidance or wake up call that their behavior is unacceptable. Be a teacher, not a whiner. Chances are they’ll realize the error of their ways and perhaps in turn, teach someone else proper river etiquette.

On May 20, 2007 1:23 PM, LizaB said:

It’s offensive and disgusting to hear people trying to further restrict access to already resticted nature areas, that were there long before they (or their houses) were. I understand that overactive teens, inconsiderate litterers, and others who think that they can do anything anywhere can be irritating. However… That should not mean that the rest of us pay for the actions of a relative few. It’s not a place that is advertised or well-known. It’s difficult to find, and difficult to get to. This is not a village filled with wealthy people just looking for an opportunity to spend their money. Some of us swim there, because it’s the only free place in town. It’s also the only place where people can still take their dogs for a swim. If local legislation should pass making it a fineable offense to swim there, I recommend we put in surveillance cameras. I have the feeling that those residents complaining the loudest would be caught on tape the most - swimming where they say others aren’t allowed. Otherwise, I say to you who wrote the letter, “Suck it up. You bought your houses in an area that obviously invites water activity. You don’t own the river - just the view. Be happy you’ve got that.”

On May 20, 2007 10:02 AM, dors said:

Swimming in the Croton river is a time honored tradition and one that we should all be grateful for. To have a clean refreshing body of water left to swim in says something about why we live in Croton. To the three families that wrote to the Board of Trustees asking to restrict our rights to swim in our river I say the summer months are short, regular police patrols will keep the kids from getting too crazy, and try it you’ll like it. That is, assuming you partake in the river’s glory. I don’t know how long you have lived in Croton but I wonder if you knew about the swimming situation on the river before you bought your homes. To restrict its use would be a travesty. More police patrols and perhaps self-policing so we can all enjoy our river.


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