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The official newspaper of the towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

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April 25, 2014

‘Pops, Patriots and Fireworks’

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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County faces loss of $5 million


By DON HEPPNER

Mark Johnston, deputy assistant secretary for special needs for HUD, sent a letter to Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino dated April 23, stating that the county could lose more than $5 million in 2012 grants, because, according to HUD, the county has failed to comply with the terms of the 2009 housing settlement.

HUD states that the municipalities in the county have exclusionary zoning and HUD requires the county to adopt a strategy to identify those with discriminatory and exclusionary zoning by July 31.

As a part of the strategy, the county is required to communicate in writing with the municipal decision-makers to identify restrictions and seek removal or reduction of unjustifiable restrictions with potentially discriminatory and exclusionary effects. 

After the county has exhausted its attempts to communicate and obtain the cooperation of a municipality found using discriminatory or exclusionary practices, and there is no legally sufficient justification for the restrictive practice, the county would be required to initiate litigation  against the municipality, or the county would be required to turn the enforcement procedures over to the U. S. Department of Justice.

The latest HUD threat comes after the county lost $7 million in grants allocated in 2011. The funds are largely used to subsidize improvements in low-income communities throughout Westchester.

“Because of the county’s failure to undertake remedial action to date, HUD hereby provides notice of its intent to proceed with the reallocation of the county’s funds,” the April 13 letter states. These funds could be redistributed to other counties in New York or to other states, at HUD’s discretion.

Attached to the letter is a list of “required special assurances for Westchester County” that Mr. Astorino must sign and submit to HUD by Wednesday, May 7. Those assurances include the acknowledgement that the county has an “ongoing duty to affirmatively further fair housing,” according to the 2009 settlement. The county is required to incorporate an analysis of municipal zoning. According to HUD, this analysis, formally known as the “Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice,” must comply with the monitor’s recommendations and information requests.

James Johnson, the housing monitor appointed by the court, is charged with the responsibility of ensuring the construction of 750 additional fair and affordable housing units in areas of the county with low minority populations, including Pound Ridge.

The special assurances required by HUD include the county submission of a final zoning description for all 31 municipalities by July 31. According to HUD, the analysis of impediments must be expanded to include barriers to fair and affordable housing. The last requirement is the assurance that the county will implement the strategy to overcome exclusionary zoning practices.

Ned McCormack, spokesperson for the Astorino administration, said on Wednesday that takes exception to the statements made in the letter and said that the county is in compliance with the settlement.

‘The monitor issued a report stating that there was no racial discrimination in the municipalities in the county,” said Mr. McCormack. “How could we be ahead of schedule if there was zoning discrimination in the municipalities in the county?”

The county is required by the settlement to have at least 350 affordable units with building permits and 450 units with financing in place by the end of 2014. “We have 385 units with building permits and 403 with financing in place,” Mr. McCormack said. “We are ahead in one category and have some work to do in the other.”

Mr. McCormack said that all 31 communities in the county have fair and affordable housing projects in the works. “If the municipalities had impediments to fair and affordable housing, how could projects exist in each municipality?”

The grants, which are set-aside for low-income communities, have been withheld as the county and HUD fight over the county's compliance with a 2009 settlement of fair housing complaints. “HUD considers itself the champion of the needy, and then they take money away from the needy,” said Mr. McCormack.

Mr. McCormack would not say whether or not Mr. Astorino would sign the list of assurances required by HUD. “This is essentially the same letter that they wrote last year,” Mr. McCormack said. “Westchester is in compliance with the settlement.”


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