Site Walk is March 8 for Theodore Fremd Senior Housing Proposal

City Council members will be walking the county-owned land at the corner of Theodore Fremd Avenue and North Street.

A site walk of the proposed affordable senior housing project will take place at the Theodore Fremd site at 10 a.m. Saturday. The public is invited.

City and county officials started work in 2013 on the proposal for senior affordable housing at the Theodore Fremd property owned by Westchester County, Mayor Doug French explained in his Patch blog year-end roundup. 

Planned are two buildings at the comer of Theodore Fremd Avenue and North Street with 54 units of affordable housing restricted to those over age 55. The 44 one-bedroom units and 10 two-bedroom units would count towards Rye’s contribution to the 750 units of fair and affordable housing Westchester County is obligated to provide to settle the  U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's fair housing suit.

As the Planning Board pointed out when it recommended the needed zoning change to the City Council last month, "the City of Rye is not a partner in the construction, property ownership or administration of the affordable housing units. Westchester County is the property owner and [Lazz Development/Pawling Holdings] is the County’s preferred developer for the property."

Scott Peterson March 06, 2014 at 09:12 AM
It appears the County wants something, a change in the zoning, and the City wants something, a voice in Playland. Having something to trade is a good position to be in. How badly the County needs the rezoning could/should decide how much voice the City has in Playland, if not considerably more. Play to win or don't play at all. ***Power is derived from the consent of the governed. I mention it only because it seems necessary to remind folks of the fundamental principle of American democracy from time to time.
Deirdre Curran March 06, 2014 at 11:08 PM
You make a very good point Scott. Would love to see Mayor Sack pursue this very valid angle.
Scott Peterson March 07, 2014 at 12:17 AM
Well it will take more than politics, it will take guts. The affordable housing ruling is the County's problem, they are the ones under the gun as it were. The fact is that the County needs Rye while Rye has little use of the County. We are told that our city operates on 17% of the taxes raised with the remittance being sent to the County, the State and the Fed. Unless we receive fair value in goods or services equitable to the 83%, it is tantamount to theft. I personally cringe when our city planner or city manager speak of grant money or matching funds and the like. It isn't granted, it is our own money being returned to us, typically with conditions, only after we have begged with hat in hand; it's damned sure time folks realized. In this case, we appear to have the county by the short hairs, twist em and they'll squeal uncle. However, retaliation need be considered. There is none so petty a tyrant as small government when resisted. Ask the widow Shubert, Mr. Dapolite or perhaps Fort Lee if verification of how petty small government officials can be is needed. (Yes I consider the office of Governor of NJ small and certainly petty.) It would be wise to see how and where the county could retaliate and takes steps to mitigate if not negate any found. I live in Rye which just happens to be in Westchester County. My allegiance is to where I live. There is nothing the county has that I want or would die without. I can not say that for anyone but myself however. Some one needs to remind the increasingly pointless County Government of its place and Rye is one of a few communities with the wherewithal to do so. Nerve may be lacking but the means aren't. Mr. Mayor, I am aware that you read the Patch and I ask you, are you the man I surmised you to be when I endorsed you? Play to win and you will Mr. Mayor.
Deirdre Curran March 07, 2014 at 12:44 AM
Very very well said Scott Peterson. I truly hope Joe Sack and the other members of the Council who are socially and personally connected to the SPI/Playland Sports principles can put aside their personal allegiances and objectively fight for the City of Rye on this matter. They would never allow unknown outsiders to come into the town and do this without putting them through the ringer and making sure they follow all processes, they must hold their personal friends at SPI to the same standards. If the County won't do things the "right" way here, it's up to the leadership of Rye to force them to. And you're right, it's going to take a lot of guts.


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