RYE BROOK, N.Y. – The affordable-housing debate in the Village of Rye Brook returns Tuesday at a Board of Trustees public hearing on the creation of apartments at 525 Ellendale Ave. in Port Chester.
Fair and affordable housing (FAAH) has 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.
While Port Chester is not required to create more affordable housing under the settlement, Rye Brook is. The village passed legislation in December that approves the creation of a “floating zone” within Rye Brook, the application of which is subject to the board’s discretion. It allows for the village to waive dimensional zoning requirements of a particular village zone to comply with the requirements of fair and affordable housing applicants.
The village’s planning consultant prepared a paper to identify sites that are seen as affordable housing possibilities, said Rye Brook Village Administrator Christopher Bradbury after the settlement.
“Over 20 sites were listed in that report. Those had some potential to be a resource to the community, to developers and to the county,” said Bradbury, adding that the sites were not exclusive. “There could be others.”
Bradbury says the village currently has 48 units of affordable housing. There are 12 units of middle-income housing already in existence in BelleFair, which was created primarily for housing of full-time school district and municipal employees. An affordable housing unit for seniors exists on Grant Street and another between Westchester Avenue and Bowman Avenue.
Two applications are currently before the Village Board. The public hearing Tuesday will discuss the creation of four one-bedroom apartments on Ellendale Avenue in Port Chester, spearheaded by builder and developer Lou Larizza.
Developer Frank Madonna leads the second, called Bowman Ridge. Under that proposal, eight two-bedroom and eight one-bedroom apartments would be situated on Bowman Avenue and Barbara Place. The project is now before the village Planning Board.
Another potential project, at 259 North Ridge St., is still in the works, but would potentially comprise 13 units (two three-bedrooms, eight two-bedrooms, two one-bedrooms and one renovation of an existing house to create a three-bedroom).
There’s no indication when construction would begin if any of the projects is approved in the coming months.
However, the principal issue with the legislation approved in December is the indirect effect it could potentially inflict on Port Chester schools. Since approximately one-third of Rye Brook residents are within the Port Chester School District, Port Chester Mayor Dennis Pilla and the Port Chester Board of Education indicated their fears that the addition of FAAH in Rye Brook might add to the already overcrowded Port Chester schools.
Tuesday’s public hearing will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall, 938 King St., Rye Brook.