Avalon's Tax Abatement Comes Under Scrutiny by Peggy Godfrey (In Westchester Herald, September 7, 2009)
New Rochelle Councilman Lou Trangucci is planning to ask the City Council members at their September 8 meeting to sign a letter requesting that the downtown Avalon apartment buildings voluntarily make tax contributions to the city. He is suggesting a contribution of one million dollars per year for the next four or five years to help the city through the present financial crisis.
Among the items Trangucci enumerated is the $12 million Avalon would pay if full taxes were required. Presently their payment to the city is $650,000, based on their "profit" as projected in the pilot agreement which lasts 30 years with the city.
Layoffs in city service personnel have been threatened for next year and Trangucci's proposed request to Avalon is a way of averting layoffs. Avalon, it should be remembered, will be adversely effected by any layoffs because presently 15-17% of the police, fire and emergency medical services are needed for downtown.
Councilman Lou Trangucci will ask the City Council members at their Committee of the Whole session on September 8 to sign a letter requesting that Avalon voluntarily give one million dollars a year for the next four or five years to help cover theRead more
High Density Buildings on North Avenue in New Rochelle Possible by Peggy Godfrey in Westchester Herald, August l0, 2009
Ten story buildings are still under consideration by the New Rochelle City Council for North Avenue under a rezoning proposal. In February 2008 a study by AKRF had originally proposed the need for building a deck on the City Hall parking lot and re-timing all the traffic lights on North Avenue to accommodate this rezoning At that time two twelve story towers were proposed with a middle section of eight stories
A revised new proposal on high density zoning will be presented to New Rochelle City Council on August 10. Because mixed use (e.g. business and residential combined) will be in the plan, a floating overlay zoning will be used to give "density bonuses." The proposed height of buildings is 4 floors and the maximum floor area ratio (FAR) is 3.0. But this FAR sharply contrasts to the neighborhood business zoning which allows a FAR of 0.5.
What does FAR mean? According to Wikipedia, FAR is the "ratio of the total floor area of building on a certain location to the size of that location, or the limit imposed on such a ratio." In other words it is the total square feet of the building divided by the area of the plot.
City Council's August Highlights; New Rochelle's North Avenue Rezoning Revisited by Peggy Godfrey Westchester Herald, August 17, 2009
The late Rabbi Jacob and Debbie Rubenstein who died tragically in a house fire were honored by naming the pathway at Carpenter's Pond for them. A hearing was set on the Hotel Occupancy tax for September 8 at 8 p.m. Governor Patterson signed this bill into law on July ll. This law, if approved, would tax any hotel with more than four rooms. Anyone who was not a permanent resident in a hotel would be taxed, but certain exemptions for religious, educational and charitable nonprofits would apply.
The surprise of the City Council special meeting on August l0 was that the proposed North Avenue rezoning was not discussed or scheduled for a public hearing. Rather it will be re-introduced in September. Two council members were not present and it was announced by Mayor Noam Bramson that both Councilman Albert Tarantino and Councilman Richard St. Paul had asked that this item be held over for September.
Davids Island in New Rochelle dates back to 1861 and the Civil War when it was used by the War Department as DeCamp General hospital. In the years that followed it was used by the Army. By l948 it was transferred to the Air Force for housing and logistical support. The deed was conveyed to the City of New Rochelle in l967.
In 2005 The Historical Architectural Survey and National Register Evaluation and further surveys and studies in 2006 had designated 19 buildings for "on-site preservation measures." Five meetings were held in 2007 with "interested parties" to discuss alternatives for preservation. But in the end of 2007 the New Rochelle City Council voted to demolish all the buildings. This was less than a month before three new council members were to be installed.
New Rochelle, unlike Yonkers, has no Landmarks Preservation Board. If any structure 75 years or older is slated for demolition, the Landmarks Board must review the building using mandated criteria. This Preservation Board (appointed by the Mayor of Yonkers with the approval of Council) was in the news lately because the Mayor favored a charter revision to give the Planning Board power to approve the Preservation Board's designations before they went to City Council. Presently their designations go directly to City Council for approval.
Staying ahead of the curve has been a challenge for Forest City Enterprises during these economic times . As if things weren't bad enough , the Cleveland based developer recently had it's wings clipped again by two leading credit rating firms . I won't bore you with the details , but a synopsis of the developers recent woes can be found at no land grab . What's interesting is that you won't necessarily see this info when you look up the stock trading info for the day . You'll see press releases and other analysis , but if it weren't for the folks at No Land Grab , I certainly wouldn't have known . Thanks guys!Read more
Today I was running in Neptune Park as I have done many many times and noticed something that I have never seen before - trolley tracks. A quick Internet search revealed an NY Times article from July 1912 describing the network of waterfront trolleys that closely followed the coast. The New Rochelle waterfront has some of the most underutilized park spaces in Westchester but it must have been quite a scene when trolleys were bringing the party.Read more
The information you are requesting leaves no room for redirection or obfuscation should that information be released to the public. Sad but true , I wouldn't hold your breath while waiting for those answers .
Regarding the statement about the 2 million dollar surplus . Just what are we to imply about that ? Are the residents of Avalon secretly paying the costs of their children's education out of pocket ? If we convert all of the housing in NR to senior housing wouldn't we eliminate all "costs associated with the children's education" ? Why , we could actually get rid of the whole school system and cut our taxes by 70 % (assuming seniors won't have any more school age kids). Every family in New Rochelle is providing a revenue surplus by not having another child . Such a deal !
Isn't it ridiculous ? Besides , the 2 mill dollar surplus fantasy is more than offset by the huge Tax abatement given to these sites , meaning we are actually getting nothing in revenue from the properties ? Approaching a BILLION dollars in development (Avalon 1&2 , Trump , New Roc) and the city is struggling . Revenues basically the same as pre development and this was true before the economic downturn .Read more