RYE BROOK, N.Y. – A 16-unit affordable housing project in Rye Brook received the green light Tuesday from the Village Board of Trustees, despite the misgivings of nearby Village of Port Chester.
The board unanimously voted to approve the site plan for the project after two public hearings and review by Westchester County housing officials.
An application was filed a year ago by Frank Madonna, owner of 80 Bowman Ave., to create 16 units of apartments on the lot, to be called Bowridge Commons. The proposal calls for eight one-bedroom rentals and eight two-bedroom units for ownership.
Fair and affordable housing has become a major project for Rye Brook after a 2009 settlement between Westchester County and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development mandated that certain municipalities must increase the number of affordable housing units by 2017.
Mayor Joan Feinstein said the board received a letter from Port Chester officials expressing concern that the project was not “necessarily in the spirit of the settlement agreement” between the county and the federal government because the housing lies within the boundaries of the already crowded Port Chester Public School system. Feinstein said the housing area was still within Rye Brook and the number of children that would be generated in the Port Chester Schools system would likely only amount to about eight.
The proposed housing site is located on the southwest corner of Bowman Avenue and Barbara Place. There are two existing residences on the parcel that would be removed as part of the project. The new buildings will be sold as condominiums, and include parking areas as well as an open space area to lessen the visual impact of the buildings, according to Anthony Federico, architect and planner for the project.
In the past Westchester County officials and the village board expressed shared concern about possible environmental impacts from previous development on the site. Since the board’s last hearing earlier in November, the body received an analysis of raw soil and water sampling data, which deemed the area environmentally safe.
In addition, members of the village’s Emergency Services Task Force suggested that, in order to feel comfortable in responding to a fire or other crisis at the site, they would like to see Barbara Place widened. Under the approved resolution for the project, the plans show the roadway will be expanded two feet, and any cost will be incurred at the applicant’s expense. To check out the full plans for the project, visit the Village of Rye Brook website.
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