Why Read the New Rochelle Master Plan of 1966?

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Why Read the New Rochelle Master Plan of 1966?

July 07, 2012 - 15:37


Why Read the New Rochelle Master Plan of 1966? Well, heck, the same reason you would read the 1996 Comprehensive Plan!

The City recently put up an EnvisioNR web site which looks pretty cool, actually. Go check that out. But today I am going Old School.

I spent part of my afternoon today in the Development office reading through old traffic studies and looking through the 1966 Master Plan, or at least parts of it. That's not a typo. Lynn Brooks-Avni, Senior Planner was kind enough to dig through their files and provide various traffic studies related to the Weyman Avenue Large Scale Retail area. She also found an original version of the Master Plan from 1966. Unfortunately, all they could find was Part 2. So, if you have Part 1 laying around somewhere please let me know.

1966MasterPlan Cover

I took digital photos the every page of New Rochelle Master Plan of 1966 Part 2 and then cropped them and put them into PDF format. Maybe someday there will be a bette version but at least now there is a decent electronic version available. If Part I turns out I will do the same thing with that (I am thinking either Barbara Davis or Len Paduano or someone like that will come through).

By the way, I am interested in any old records like that so if they are cluttering up space at your house let me know what you have and I may come collect them.

The EnvisioNR planning process is intended to create a revised Comprehensive Plan for the City of New Rochelle, a successor to the Revised Comprehensive Plan which was adopted by New Rochelle City Council on July 30, 1996. That revised plan built upon the Master Plan for New Rochelle completed in 1965 which was updated in 1977. There is also a plan from the 1920's and if we are lucky Lynn Brooks-Avni may be able to get me a copy of that too. That would be about the first such document because there was no zoning in New Rochelle prior to that document's publication. Stay tuned for that.

I will have something about the traffic studies from Weyman Avenue once I wrap my head around that. I am learning all about Automated Traffic Recorders, Levels of Service counts and stopped delay per vehicle data. I want to get that together because the do the traffic study related to the proposed diner. From a preliminary look at the various traffic counts, I think the traffic is a lot higher than was forecast but we shall see once I can crunch some of the numbers.

While I am asking for documents, there is a Weyman Avenue Urban Renewal document from 1993 that was destroyed in the 2012 flood at City Hall (a pipe burst). This would have some additional traffic data in it, before all that stuff was built there and so a nice baseline set of data. If you have that please let me know.

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I wrote here, of the 1966 Master Plan, a month or two ago.

I wrote that in the late 1970's, I read a copy located in the NR City Hall Law Library. Perhaps they still have a copy.

I also wrote that in the early 1980's, in the NR Library, in the Local History section, I had seen a copy of the NR 1966 Master Plan. I believe this was in the old Library at Pintard Avenue. So it might still exist but have been misplaced after the nove to the 'new' library on Lawton.

It is possible City Hall filed a copy with the NY State Secretary of State or another NYS Department.

I think one of the most important plans, was to connect the Cross County Parkway to the Circle on Memorial Highway. The failure to do so, is the main reason that all downtown development plans have failed.

Another plan, whose failure to achieve was a good thing, was the idiotic plan to covert Centre Ave to another NR 'parkway' leading to a bridge to Davids Island. Such am idea always deserved a stake in the heart.

Robert Cox's picture

waiting for a reply.

Then I will try the state.

Let me see if I got this right. The 1966 plan states that traffic volumes are too high and that the City needs to focus on "non-residential" and "industrial" development in order to broaden the tax base and reduce blight. It also says that the land for these uses is at a "premium." So, the "new" plan, according to GreeNR and the Mayor, is to increase residential development and increase traffic. Is there a contradiction here?

John Imburgia is correct that there is contradiction between the 1966 Plan and later plans.

Downtown NR is already over-populated. The streets are too narrow. There is insufficient parking. Parking tickets are abusive, expensive, difficult to contest or pay. Each increase in population, such as with the Avalons or Trump, only compound New Rochelle's problems, while doing nothing to cure them.

The 1966 Plan, at least had it right in attempting to connect the Cross County Parkway to I-95 via Memorial Hwy. The only part of that actually accomplished was building the North Avenue overpass, something that was helpful, but still rather meaningless without the connection to the Cross County Pkwy.

The re-routing of Palmer Ave, was a disaster that still, illogically, impedes traffic and commerce.

New Rochelle shouldn't be trying to increase its population at all, let alone downtown. Rather it should try to increase commerce. And yet, City Hall does more to impede commerce, especially at night when most of New Rochelle's adult population is actually around to spend money.

New Rochelle also needs to increase government revenue, by developing commerce in new areas. The greatest undeveloped, privately owned, under-taxed property is Wykagyl Country Club. That where NR should create a series of malls, with access from North Avenue and Quaker Ridge Rd. I don't see how NR benefits at all from Wykagyl Country Club.

Any organization or governmental agency that knows how to plan, manage a plan, and control and monitor a plan recognizes that any plan; especially a long range plan is never treated as permanent.

Such plans are or should be situational. They have to respond to changing conditions of any number of variables.... economic, financial, etc.

One of the problems I have with this Administration is that this is not recognzed. For example, I can find no documented Council action handwritten in the 1996 Comprehensive Plan after the summer of 2005. In addition, I have real concerns and doubts that the City Council has been presented with a prior year Comprehensive and other off-shoot planning documents at the beginning of a new term and asked to authenticate, alter, or otherwise act of these. They need to be subject to periodic review, control, and monitoring then and during the year and they are not.

This is why I have concentrated on the 1996 Plan and find earlier versions interesting, perhaps even reflective of the administration of the times, but not situationally relevant to current state.

I have spent a lot of time critiquing the planning process at City Hall because it strikes me as not so much of a professional and transparent process,but a controlled exercise in sophistic or, simpler, politically correct form, not substance.

Were it substance, you should see evidence of the situational variants controlling the process and content. John, that might explain why the goals and objectives over the past few years have done little to build a proper commercial revenue base... meaning simply, the planning process is either amateurist, over controlled, non-substantial form... likely all of the above.

In sum, using brevity which is not my strong suit, it plainly sucks.