August 2008

Greetings from Councilmember Roberto Lopez

August 30, 2008 - 23:43

Dear Council District Four Resident:

It is with great pleasure and pride that I report on several successes and challenges in our neighborhood.

The first phase of the West End 2000 housing is complete. All 25 homes have been sold and the dream of owning a home has been realized for 25 first-time homeowners. The second phase of this project, containing 100 units of affordable senior assisted living housing, has broken ground and is moving along very well.

Downtown development is moving forward at an impressive pace, helping to strengthen our economy. And the City Council has taken steps to better protect our neighborhoods, environment, and quality of life. Throughout the past year, I have attended community and neighborhood association meetings to discuss these and other issues.

If you have questions or comments, or if you need help with municipal services, please feel free to contact me at (914) 469-3575.


Major Infrastructural Changes Slated for Lincoln Avenue

August 30, 2008 - 23:16

Funding from the Federal, State, and City of New Rochelle will provide the financial and engineering impetus to move forward with the much-needed infrastructure improvements along Lincoln Avenue. Initial construction is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2007 District #3 pending design approval by NYSDOT. The Lincoln Avenue Reconstruction project will renovate approximately 1 mile of roadway from the intersection of Lincoln Avenue with North Avenue to the Pelham/New Rochelle City Line. Improvements in the street surface, drainage conditions and major intersections along Lincoln Avenue will be addressed. Pedestrian traffic will be greatly enhanced through improved safety measures in new traffic signals, crosswalks, sidewalks, modified curbs and stripping. In addition, in October 2006 Con-Edison began the process of installing a feeder cable along the length of Lincoln Avenue and Manor Place.

North Avenue Study

August 30, 2008 - 23:16

The much anticipated North Avenue planning and revitalization study will be conducted by the consulting firm AKRF. It will cover the North Avenue corridor from Eastchester Road to Burling Lane. The scope of work will include cataloguing and an analysis of existing conditions along this segment. Special emphasis will be placed on the stressed areas within Council District 3 (Mayflower to Burling Lane). The end product will identify and provide the city with an agenda of development alternatives and recommended zoning changes along the corridor. AKRF expects the study to be completed within a six to nine month timeframe, during which time several public meetings will be held in an effort to acquire stakeholder and
resident input.

City Convenes Lincoln Neighborhood Revitalization” Summit

August 30, 2008 - 23:15

Council District Three has an extremely rare opportunity to rehabilitate and restore the vitality to one of our most cherished neighborhoods. As the inventory of upscale housing in the downtown vicinity continues to grow, the greater “Lincoln Avenue neighborhood” is in a most unique position to produce and accommodate diversified affordable housing within an area that has a compelling and observable need for socioeconomic revitalization. There are several independent housing development proposals that are concurrently being entertained, each of which is very important and has the potential to significantly contribute to this effort. Shiloh Baptist Church (SCDC) has been developing plans for a senior citizen housing facility located on Kress avenue; slightly northeast on Horton and Winthrop Avenues, the New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority has plans to massively renovate the Hartley Housing complex.

Creative Affordable Housing, the Practical Trend

August 30, 2008 - 23:15

The City Council approved a $450,000 CDBG/HOME grant to underwrite the affordability of two newly constructed homes on Lincoln and Heminway Avenues. This is a prime example of how the City can and intends to creatively collaborate with developers to produce affordable homes for purchase throughout the city. Jim Killoran’s Habitat for Humanity was selected as the agency to finish the remaining 15% of work to be completed on the homes because of its familiarity and history of small scale renovation capability throughout the county. Larger parcels of land suitable for affordable housing within the city of New Rochelle are rapidly disappearing. Fully recognizing this dilemma, joint efforts to generate affordable housing through renovations and infill development may become the standard model. While the ultimate sale price will be contingent upon the overall cost of completing the two duplex homes, the final price will be well within the affordable housing guidelines.

Gently Ushering in 2007

August 30, 2008 - 23:05

As we gently usher in 2007, I want to take this occasion to wish all a prosperous and healthy new year and thank you for your help, interest and engagement in moving Council District 3 and the entire City forward.

Commensurately, this is also an opportune time to provide you with an update on the current and overall strategic development planning within the district.


Councilman James C. Stowe
Council District 3

One City, One Book: A Community-Wide Read

August 30, 2008 - 20:15

New Rochelle will launch its own One City, One Book community reading project this year, with the official kick-off planned for June, 2007. Under the auspices of the New Rochelle Public Library, the NRPL Foundation and Friends of the New Rochelle Public Library, almost thirty community organizations have come together to organize the project. I’m excited to say that I am co-chair of this very worthwhile project and am working closely with Tom Geoffino, the Director of the Library and his staff.

The book chosen by the committee is Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years, which relates the remarkably full lives of Sadie and Bessie Delany, who experienced a segregated South, a migration to the North, the Harlem Renaissance and pioneering careers as African-American professional women.

After School Enrichment Program Available for Students Residing at Bracey

August 30, 2008 - 20:14

Through a grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services, New Rochelle’s children in grades 5 to 9 who reside in the City’s public housing have an opportunity to participate in RISE (Reach for Individual Success and Empowerment), an innovative afterschool and summer program. RISE will offer a wide range of youth development programs, services and activities tailored to meet the unique needs of the participating youth. Iona College is the lead agency, and will be partnering with other City institutions, including the School District, Sound Shore Medical Center and the Boys & Girls Clubs of New Rochelle, in this venture. There are still openings in the program, and I encourage all families who reside at Bracey, which is in District 2, to participate in this enrichment program. For information call Robyn Brown-Manning at Iona (914 633-2471).

Appointment to Westchester County Global Warming Task Force

August 30, 2008 - 20:13

In January, 2007, County Executive Andrew Spano appointed me to serve on his recently announced Global Warming Task Force. I am also serving as Chair of the Government Sector section of the Task Force. Mr. Spano charged the 34 members of the Task Force with the task of drawing up action plans that could be implemented by all segments of the Westchester community (municipal governments, residents, businesses and institutions), to assist us in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the County.

The Task Force is working with various environmental organizations, County and local administrators, and also a consultant who has been retained to assist us in meeting the County Executive’s goal. Someone I met recently said, “Just tell me what to do”, which is exactly what we hope to accomplish on this Task Force.

Getting Ready for Summer

August 30, 2008 - 20:12

Some of our City’s most beautiful parks are located in District 2; and while our Public Works Department was busy clearing the snow from our streets, the Parks and Recreation Department was busy gearing up for summer.

Plans for the Marina include the repair of a bulkhead, purchase of a workboat, and dock and electrical upgrades, all of which are paid for through the Marina Enterprise Fund.

At Hudson Park, new railings have been installed at the beaches to replace those damaged during recent storms; the gazebo overlooking the old beach was refurbished by Eagle Scout candidate Michael Laplace of Boy Scout Troop 11; several new benches were installed at the Park; and the playground’s safety surface and asphalt pathways will be refurbished in the spring.