We all know that speeding on local streets adversely affects the quality of life in our neighborhoods. In 2007, the first year of the competition for the City’s new traffic-calming program, one of our District 6 neighborhoods was selected as the first of two neighborhoods in our City to participate. It is the area sometimes called Huguenot Lake, which is located “behind” New Rochelle High School, and includes Clove Road, Parcot, Otsego and Flandreau Avenues, and Argyll Avenue. The neighborhood’s application to participate ranked highest on the application criteria evaluated by our independent traffic consultants. By the time of this writing, the consultant has met with neighborhood representatives, designed proposed modifications to the streets, met with a large group of neighborhood residents to review the proposal, and prepared further proposed changes based on the neighbors’ responses.Read more
The owner of the Wykagyl Shopping Center has applied to the Planning Board for approval of an addition to the Center. The proposal would expand the building behind the Houlihan Lawrence office and Big Top and add a second story in that area. The Zoning Code permits an expansion to the size and height of the building, provided the property owner satisfies numerous requirements, including adequate parking, prescribed setbacks from adjacent properties and roads, emergency access, loading docks, mitigation for adverse traffic impacts, and architectural compatibility (based upon the analysis of the Professional Architectural Review Committee). The Planning Board has jurisdiction over the application to require modification to comply with requirements and/or approve subject to conditions necessary to reduce impacts, or reject the plan. While as a Council Member I have no role in the Planning Board’s determination, I am concerned about the impacts of the proposal.Read more
You may not have known it was there, but the heavy construction equipment at Pinebrook Boulevard just north of the Quaker Ridge Road overpass indicates the location of Dickerman’s Pond. (Dickerman was the owner of the farm later sold to theWard family who renamed it Hillanddale Farm.) The project now under way consists of removing invasive weeds and silt from the Sheldrake River and the pond area, planting grasses and other natural water-friendly plants, and improving water quality and flow. A forebay will be constructed to trap debris and to be accessible for regular cleaning. Funded by the County, the result will be an visually and environmentally improved natural-looking pond area.Read more
Rising tax bills are a major concern to all of us. Each of us as homeowners may take advantage of the Small Claims Assessment Review program to have our own property assessments reduced. Since our taxes are calculated based on the tax rate per $1,000 of our assessment, if your property is assessed at an amount which does not reflect its accurate current market value, the Board of Assessment Review can reduce your assessment. I urge all taxpayers in District 6 to consider whether they should apply for a reduction in assessment this year. Take a look at your most recent tax bill and note the full market value shown. This has been calculated based on the residential assessment ratio and your home’s assessment. If it seems too high, you may ask the City’s Assessor’s office at 654-2054 or www.orps.state.ny.us for the application forms, or contact a local real estate broker who will represent you at a fee which is usually a percentage of your first year’s tax savings.Read more
Dear Residents of District 6:
Thank you for re-electing me last year to serve as your representative on City Council by a vote of 65%. I appreciate the opportunity to continue to participate in the important decisions which are shaping the present and future of New Rochelle.
The rest of this newsletter relates to downtown, waterfront and citywide news, but here I take pleasure in addressing matters of special interest and concern to the residents of our Council District, the issues upon which I focus a large part of my day-to-day work. They range from emergency services to traffic safety to park development and protection, to new developments in our area and, above all, the protection of the beauty and quality of life of our neighborhoods.
Please let me know your thought on these, or any other, city issues by contacting me at MarianneSussman @optonline.net or at 740-7385.
City Council Member
While I am actively working as an advocate for my neighbors, many times I work behind the scenes to benefit our community. I recently met with representatives of the New York State Department of Transportation to expedite the reopening of the Division Street entrance to the train station, as part of my continuing effort to ease traffic congestion in the vicinity of the train station. I also communicated with residents near the McDonalds on North Avenue to quash an effort by the owner to convert that location to a 24 hour drive-thru. I have worked with many residents to arrange for street repairs, street light repairs, and the improvement of a host of municipal services. Working behind the scenes for residents of District 5 is as important as public advocacy for the needs of our residents.Read more
Many of you have experienced the unacceptably too often experience of the loss of electrical power. While Con Ed claims that many of these outages are unavoidable, such a response is unacceptable. With the monopoly granted to it, comes the responsibility of providing uninterrupted reliable service. I am working with Councilmember Marianne Sussman of District 6 to lobby the Public Service Commission to condition any further rate increases to Con Ed on the provision of adequate service and the investment in the infrastructure to assure that these outages are not repeated. It is no small challenge to pressure Con Ed to address these issues, but we will continue to press the utility until these concerns are adequately addressed.Read more
In my last newsletter, I reported that I was exploring ways of addressing the issue of overdevelopment in our residential neighborhoods in the form of what are commonly known as McMansions – the construction of gargantuan houses, which are out of character with the neighborhood. Through my efforts, I am pleased to report that the Department of Development has offered a proposal to limit such overdevelopment. Public hearings have been scheduled on this proposed legislation and I welcome your input on this important issue. While I respect a property owner’s right to improve his or her property, the preservation of the character and quality of our neighborhoods is of prime importance.Read more