RYE BROOK, NY - The Village of Rye Brook's Board of Trustees held a public forum on legislation regarding fair and affordable housing at their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night at the Village Hall on King Street.
Fair and Affordable housing (FAAH) has recently become a major project for Rye Brook after a settlement between the county and the Department of Housing and Urban Development mandated that certain municipalities must increase the number of affordable housing units by 2017.
Rye Brook Mayor Joan Feinstein, who was extremely vocal about the village's efforts to increase fair and affordable housing in last Tuesday's FAAH forum, renewed that sentiment Tuesday evening.
"The Board just wants to clarify that the village of Rye Brook embraces affordable housing," Mayor Feinstein said to the audience, "We have participated in FAAH before the settlement, and will continue to do so after the settlement is complete".
The principal issue with the proposed legislation is the indirect effect it could potentially inflict on Port Chester schools. Since approximately 1/3 of Rye Brook residents are within the Port Chester School District, Port Chester Mayor Dennis Pilla and the Port Chester Board of Education fear that the addition of FAAH in Rye Brook may add to the already overcrowded Port Chester schools.
Mayor Pilla along with other Port Chester representatives were present voicing their opinions on the matter.
"I applaud the spirit of what you are trying to accomplish," Mayor Pilla said in his address to the board, "and am not here as an obstruction but as a friend and partner".
Along with the other Port Chester representatives, Mayor Pilla requested that the board conduct "a coordinated review of the plan" taking into effect the potential effects on the Port Chester schools before passing the legislation.
Since the legislation does not take into effect any specific site plans, the board stated that the environmental impact statement would have to yield "significant adverse impact" to the Port Chester schools in order for them to reconsider.
"We have to remember we are not talking about projects," Mayor Feinstein stated, "We are talking about proposed legislation that applies to the village as a whole."
Mayor Feinstein concluded the meeting by reiterating her support for the village board.
"No five people possess more fortitude than the members of this board when it comes to fair and affordable housing" Feinstein said.
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