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September 13, 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    

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Pound Ridge: Will deal ‘herd’ minorities?


By DON HEPPNER

The Pound Ridge town board completed its final draft of the proposed amendments to the multifamily zone and sent it to housing monitor James Johnson last month. The new law would allow affordable housing in the Scotts Corner area, but residents of that area object to what they see as a concentration of additional homes within a quarter-mile of

‘My neighbors are asking me if the town board is kidding.’

— Tom Sangermano

Westchester Avenue.

“My neighbors are shocked,” Tom Sangermano, former town councilman and resident living in the Scotts Corners area, said on Monday. “My neighbors are asking me if the town board is kidding.”

Mr. 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.

Mr. Sangermano said that someone from Mr. Johnson’s office or HUD should review what the town board is doing. “Somebody from HUD will see through this and look at it the way that I and my neighbors look at,” said Mr. Sangermano.

In case HUD and the monitor don’t “see through” the new law, Mr. Sangermano sent his thoughts, along with those of his neighbors, to the monitor.

He wrote to Mr. Johnson that he and his neighbors would like to see the fair and affordable units spread throughout the town, and he said there were sites that could be available to construct multifamily units.

Mr. Sangermano said that he worked gathering data in Pound Ridge for the 2010 census. “I drove through the most remote areas in Pound Ridge, and I saw a lot of homes in very bad shape,” he said. “If we opened up the whole town to affordable housing, a developer could come here and tear down those old buildings and they could build a three-family affordable unit.”

Mr. Sangermano said the reason the draft version of the multifamily law requires a 30-acre minimum for the construction of multifamily units in the areas of town zoned for three acres is because that land doesn’t exist.

“I think the reason the town board is putting a 30-acre minimum for the rest of the town is because it is impossible to acquire 30 acres from a financial standpoint and every other standpoint,” said Mr. Sangermano. “And that requirement is not responding to the HUD requirement to achieve integration.”

The fear that apartment buildings could be constructed near Scotts Corners is a real one, he said. “What if we had a sewer system in Scotts Corners?” he asked. “You could knock down all those vacant stores in front of Scotts Corner Market and put up affordable housing there. I mean a lot of affordable housing, but that wouldn’t be Pound Ridge.”

Mr. Sangermano said that clustering affordable housing in one area of town has been tried in other places and that approach doesn’t work.

He said that some Pound Ridge residents have said that concentrating housing in the Scotts Corners area could turn Pound Ridge into another Yonkers.

“Yonkers previously had a policy of putting all their affordable housing in the southwest part of town,” Mr. Sangermano said in a Sept. 8 email addressed to Mr. Johnson. “This became an issue, and a HUD settlement now requires Yonkers to place its affordable housing in any area except the original herded area. This proposed Pound Ridge legislation emulates New Yorkers’ original policy of herding affordable housing residents, and the Pound Ridge law should not have a designated downtown area for affordable housing. Affordable housing should be placed throughout the town to achieve the HUD integration objectives.”

Pound Ridge would be better off learning from Yorktown and Somers, which have integrated affordable housing throughout their towns and have had no issues with HUD.

All of Pound Ridge's current affordable housing is already within a quarter-mile radius of the business district, including A-HOME units and apartments. Putting more affordable housing in this area only adds to the concentration and does not promote integration, said Mr. Sangermano.

Mr. Sangermano enumerated other reasons why the quarter-mile area around Scotts Corners should not be considered for additional affordable housing.

The proposed multifamily law would force multifamily housing into an area that is the least likely to support it because of environmental factors, he said. To say that septic and well issues could be fixed with a central sewer district is not a feasible argument since there are no viable plans to pay for a central sewer system.

“Even if federal funds were utilized for this purpose of building a sewage system, it would just divert funds from the original HUD settlement objective of integrating affordable housing throughout Pound Ridge instead of concentrating it in the downtown area of Scotts Corners with a central sewer system,” said Mr. Sangermano.

Mr. Sangermano said he likes the idea of a sewer district that encompasses business establishments, but does not think residential areas should be included in the district. “It could cost us $2,000 each,” he said. “The sewer district should be explored, but it should primarily apply to the business district, where the need is, and not to residences with perfectly functioning septic systems.”

He said that if residences adjacent to the business district wanted to connect to the sewer district they should be able to do so.

Mr. Sangermano added that Scotts Corners is not an appropriate location for affordable housing because wetlands are common in the area. The law, he said, would force affordable housing into the most environmentally stressed part of town.

He said that his name is attached to the correspondence that he sent to Mr. Johnson but the words are those of all of his neighbors.

“This is a consensus opinion,” Mr. Sangermano said. “I’m putting my name on the documents that I sent to the monitor, because I don’t have the time to sit down with all these busy people. This does reflect everybody’s thoughts. ”

The town board will schedule a public hearing on the multifamily draft law during its Oct. 10 meeting.


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