The New Rochelle City Council will meet on Tuesday July 10, 2012 to discuss three major items as well as a host of minor items. The major items are a five year extension of the Occupancy Limits for Iona College dorms on North Avenue, a Special Cabaret License for Siete Ocho Siete on Pelham Road and a grant application to benefit two projects (Sound Shored Medical Center/Landmark Healthcare Facilities and Echo Bay Development/Forest City Ratner). The minor issues include alternate side of the street parking, a new union contract with the CSEA that includes a "no layoffs" provision, and a $6,000 consulting contract for North Avenue Research, the company that volunteered to do work for the Citizen's Advisory Committee on Sustainable Budgets on a pro bono basis.
Three three major items on the Agenda are as follows:
- Iona College Housing/Extension of Occupancy Limits
- Cabaret Application of Siete Ocho Siete
- Consolidated Funding Application for Sound Shored Medical Center/Landmark Healthcare Facilities and Echo Bay Development/Forest City Ratner
Iona College Housing/Extension of Occupancy Limit
The Community College Planning Committee (CCPC) is a 12 member ad-hoc committee appointed by the Mayor, loaded up with Iona College and City of New Rochelle employees, and a minority of neighborhood representatives. By a margin of 11-1, the CCPC is endorsing Iona's request that the City of New Rochelle act as lead agency, issuing a negative declaration of environmental significance and extend the sunset provision by 5 years in a September 21, 2011 resolution that increased the occupancy limits of the Iona dorms on North Avenue and Summit Avenue from 696 students to 850 students in the forms or 150 students about the zoning provision.
Recognizing that the various options considered by the CCPS will take several years to evolve, the Committee has unanimously elected to extend the planning process by six months to mid-November 2012 contingent upon the City Council temporarily extending the present occupancy limit on the College's student housing by an additional five years.
The CCPC is reaffirming its support for current Iona College plans to renovate Walsh Hall to include 3 stories of dormitory space that will accommodate approximately 115 students; to convert common space in Rice Hall, on the northeastern end of campus, to dormitory use, yielding approximately 37 beds; and to construct a three story residence hall on President or Hubert Street with entrance onto campus. Even with the current plans and a five year extension of the expanded occupancy limit, Iona College projects a remaining bed need of 170-200 beds in the initial years.
The proposed residence hall on President or Hubert Street is not supported by the Halcyon Park neighborhood where the new dorm is to be built. Nick Williams, the Halcyon Park representative on the CCPC dismisses the notion that Iona's dorm plans should be considered "building in other neighborhoods". Williams states that demolishing existing single family homes, currently being used by the college as office space will change the dynamic of the neighborhood, but the atmosphere by placing 120 college students directly in the Halcyon Park neighborhood. He fears that this will exacerbate the already congested street parking and add more flow to the already overburdened sewage and storm rain systems. Flooding in Halcyon Park is notorious.
Cabaret Application of Siete Ocho Siete
Siete Ocho Siete is requesting a Special Permit for a Cabaret License.
The owners state there should not be impact upon residential and business use within 500 feet of subject property during the daytime as applicants daytime business is limited and parking available. Impact in the evening, should be minimal as the applicant will retain a security company and maintain noise levels within the decibel limit set by the City. Security will include two personnel at the entrance, two personnel in the restaurant and one security member in parking lot. Saturday there will be an additional security person added to the detail.
The application for the Special Permit includes the entire business plan for Siete Ocho Siete which is far more expansive that simply operating a restaurant and includes creating a brand that can be franchised and posted on any line of products such as food and clothing. The intention is to make the brand available to major entities including supermarkets, delis, etc. for their distribution, creating a whole new source of revenue.
Consolidated Funding Application for Sound Shored Medical Center/Landmark Healthcare Facilities and Echo Bay Development/Forest City Ratner
The Mid-Hudson Regional Council is centered on projects that advance its goals and vision and support the targeted industries in the region, such as distribution, financial and professional services, food and beverage, and healthcare. The project must create or retain jobs, attract and sustain related businesses, leverage existing infrastructure, and maximize the attraction of private sector investment.
The Department of Development wants to apply for funding from the Mid-Hudson Regional Council by submitting a New York State Consolidated Funding Application on behalf of Sound Shore Medical Center which has partnered with Landmark Healthcare Facilities, LLC for the development of a new, on campus Class A Medical Office and Ambulatory Services Building and a campus parking structure and the Echo Bay Redevelopment project which entails relocating the Public Works Yard to a property on Beechwood Avenue
The Department of Development believes the grant could potentially assist in financing the infrastructure needs of the projects including financing a portion of the garage facility for Sound Shore and elements of the relocation of the City Yard.
Other items of interest in the Agenda Detail PDF.
- DPW will recommend alternate side of the street parking on most of Washington Avenue where parking would be prohibited for the north side of the street on Mondays from 7:00a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and allowed only during that time period for the south side of the street.
- DPW will recommend to prohibit parking in front of 128 Winthrop Avenue to allow access to the building's ramp. The Pastor of The Church of God of Prophecy/Grace New Life Center located at 128 Winthrop Avenue has asked that 2 "No Parking" signs be placed in front of the handicap ramp entering the church and a drop off are to the side.
- Agreement between the City of New Rochelle and Civil Service Employees Association, Inc. (CSEA) is provided in detail. The agreement includes 2% salary increases in last two years of the agreement. The agreement will entail the need to appropriate $43,000 in FY2012 from the General Fund. Of particular note is that agreement that during the period from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2013, "no person in the bargaining unit shall be terminated due to budgetary reasons or abolition of programs, but only for unsatisfactory job performance as provided for under the disciplinary procedure. In no event shall the presently agreed upon minimum staffing be readjusted downward."
- North Avenue Research, LLC which has been providing pro bono assistance to the Citizen's Advisory Committee on Sustainable Budgets to be paid $6,000 to evaluate shared fired services (involving Pelham and Pelham Manor).
- Creation of a trust account for the 325th anniversary celebration.
- A donation of $1,000 to New York State Crime Stoppers.
- Acceptance of Gifts