The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

 

HOME     |     SUBSCRIBE     |     ADVERTISE     |     NEWSROOM     |     CONTACT

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

NEWSSTAND LOCATIONS

Single copies $1.00

ARCHIVES

JULY 12, 2013

‘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    

The Record-Review is available

at these locations:

Subscribe

The Record-Review is delivered to subscribers’ mailboxes every Friday
for only $40 per year.
Click here to subscribe
or to purchase a gift subscription.

Advertise

  1. View our Media Kit for deadlines, specs and circulation information.

  2. Special Sections

  3. Index to Advertisers

  4. Contact your Ad Representative.

Take part

Submit story ideas, announcements, press releases, letters to the editor, and photos.

The Record-Review  • 16 The Parkway, Katonah, NY 10536  • (914) 244-0533 • Fax (914) 244-0537 • www.record-review.com

©2013 THE RECORD, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART IS FORBIDDEN WITHOUT PUBLISHER’S WRITTEN PERMISSION.


Jump to: THE SCARSDALE INQUIRER or THE RIVERTOWNS ENTERPRISE

HOME     |     SUBSCRIBE     |     ADVERTISE     |     NEWSROOM     |     CONTACT

California’s affluent Marin County offers very different experience with HUD


By DON HEPPNER


Marin County, an affluent region in Northern California, is required by the federal government to build fair and affordable housing just as Westchester was ordered to do in its 2009 settlement with the federal government. But Marin County’s experience with HUD has been different than that of Westchester County, according to the director of community development in Marin County, Roy Bateman.

Unlike in Westchester County, HUD has not pressed Marin County for source-of-income legislation or asked municipalities to alter existing zoning laws as it did when it asked Bedford to review multiple-acre zoning in certain areas.

Legal fees associated with dealing with HUD were only about $1,000 for Marin County, as opposed to the hundreds of thousands that Westchester has already spent.

When told that HUD suggested zoning be about 7/100 of an acre for building lots in Bedford, Mr. Bateman said that HUD had not made similar suggestions to Marin County officials.

According to Mr. Bateman. Marin County had little trouble getting approval for its analysis of impediments document. Westchester is still waiting for approval of its analysis of impediments, which HUD rejected as inadequate in multiple submissions.

“We hired the local fair housing group to do the analysis of impediments, which had done fair housing testing and audits for many years,” said Mr. Bateman. “I told them they had the flexibility to write about whatever issues they found. I told them that I wouldn’t hide any issues that exist.”

Mr. Bateman acknowledged there were housing concerns in the Marin County community, which has a smaller minority population than neighboring counties. Housing costs are high, and residents have worked to preserve open space to protect the environmental and scenic beauty of the region. The median price of a single-family home in Marin was $850,000 in March, according to the Marin County assessor’s office, and some areas in the county’s agricultural district have as few as one unit for 60 acres.

But Marin County is on a different track than Westchester County, said Mr. Bateman.

“We have a voluntary compliance agreement with HUD,” he said. “HUD came into Marin with a team of people to monitor our compliance to fair housing opportunity issues.”

That process led to a report called the “letter of preliminary findings,” which listed HUD concerns. “One of the requirements of the agreement was that we complete a revised analysis of impediments,” said Mr. Bateman. “We had the local fair housing group write another one.”

HUD ran a workshop to help Marin County employees complete the second analysis of impediments. According to Mr. Bateman, HUD was happy with it. “Apparently we listened,” he said. “However, I should say that there were many guidelines for doing the analysis of impediments, but there isn’t a lot of experience to show what works and what has an impact.”

He said the biggest problem in Marin County is that when minority residents move in, they may be treated as outsiders.

“It is something that takes very subtle forms,” he said. “Many people don’t want to pay what it costs to live here and put up small-lot zoning, but we have not heard anything from HUD about changing our zoning.”

Mr. Bateman said that differences in affordable housing in Marin and Westchester counties take on a historical aspect. In Westchester in the 1970s, a group called the Suburban Action Institute presented proposals for lower-income housing in Westchester, plans that were rejected by local governments.

In Marin County, coalitions formed by churches and synagogues built a couple of hundred affordable housing projects in expensive towns.

There are a few communities in Marin County that don’t allow multifamily housing at all, Mr. Bateman said. But in California there has never been the use of single-family housing zones to outlaw apartments or multifamily dwellings, according to Mr. Bateman. Mr. Bateman said that every project must meet the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act. “We are pretty fussy in California about not allowing development that messes up hillsides or has any kind of negative environmental impact,” he said. “I think the law in California puts more limitations on building than SEQR in New York,” said Mr. Bateman.

HUD has accused Westchester of limiting fair and affordable housing to town centers rather than outlying areas and seeks zoning changes in those areas to accommodate new units.

In Marin County, however, there appears to be no such requirement. Mr. Bateman said the development of fair housing was done in the cities along the freeway, leaving the bulk of the county remaining in agricultural or open space use.

He said that zoning is an issue in Marin, “but our approach was not to be too defensive.”

There are many neighborhood groups opposed to increasing housing density. The pressure to increase housing density in Marin is not coming from HUD, at the moment, but from the state, which has a housing plan for every community with a designated number of units.

“The only way to achieve those numbers is to increase density in small areas,” said Mr. Bateman. “Marin County has been building fair and affordable homes in areas with superior schools since the 1960s. Our first two large projects — 100-family-unit projects — were developed in Tiburon and Mill Valley, which are very pricey communities.”

The units were not built in the fanciest parts of those communities, but they are close and they are in really good school districts.”

He said that he is not “thrilled” with the paperwork the voluntary agreement with HUD requires, but it seems better to have an agreement than ongoing litigation, which is what appears to him to be happening in Westchester.

“Our legal costs on the voluntary compliance agreement were so small that they were never billed interdepartmentally,” said Mr. Bateman. “We had the attorney look at it once. The actual cost was probably less than $1,000.”

Source-of-income legislation is not law in Marin, but one town does have the law on the books. “If they need tenants, landlords will take Section 8 funds,” Mr. Bateman said. “If they are not eager for tenants, they do not accept Section 8 funds.”

Right now there is no conversation between Marin and Westchester county officials, according to Ned McCormack of county executive Rob Astorino’s office.

Mr. Bateman said he has yet to be contacted by Westchester officials but would welcome any dialogue on fair and affordable housing and the experience of meeting federal housing requirements.


Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of the The Record-Review. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.