Hearing in Larchmont Nov 22 on Affordable Housing

You may recall news of the 2009 auction of the industrial property at 2101-2105 Palmer Avenue in Larchmont, just east of the Acura dealer.

The County has informed the Village of its plan to build a 51 unit, 100% affordable housing project on the site (map below.)  The original plan, approved by the Village Zoning Board of Appeals, was for 5 of those 51 housing units to be "affordable housing."  Now it appears the other 46 may satisfy the obligation to build more.




Larchmont Mayor Josh Mandell has called a public hearing for Nov. 22, when the new prospective developer will present its plans.

Mandell tells theLoop, "I have no indication one way or the other as to how the public will react.  We will find out Monday night."

The county must develop affordable housing in predominantly white communities under the terms of a settlement with the federal government.

Mandell issued this statement this morning. TheLoop will be updating this story throughout the process.


From the Mayor:


The Village of Larchmont has been informed by Westchester County officials of their intention to develop a site located at 2101-2105 Palmer Avenue. 

  Applications for development on this property came before Larchmont’s land use boards, initially in 2005, and final site plan approval for a project comprised of fifty-one (51) units was granted by the Planning Board in 2008.  At the time of approval, the composition of units was understood to include five units of affordable housing.

  The County has now indicated that they intend to develop this site as a 100% affordable housing project, with the anticipation that forty-six (46) of the units would be eligible to satisfy the County’s obligation under their settlement with the Federal Government.  Our understanding is that officials of the County are working with Wilder Balter Partners of Elmsford, New York, as the prospective builder/developer.

  While the power to approve funding for this project rests with the County, the Larchmont Village Board has a responsibility to inform residents of such developments and provide them an opportunity to ask questions.  Therefore, in the interest of complete transparency, we have invited Wilder Balter Partners and representatives from the County to present their plans at a public information session to be held during the Larchmont Village Board’s monthly meeting on November 22, 2010.  The meeting will begin at 7:00 PM and will be held in the second floor Court Room, 120 Larchmont Avenue, Larchmont, New York.


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  1. Good for Larchmont!
    People, even the so-called Middle Class need something affordable in the neighborhood.
    The affordable apts by Hommocks are beautiful and house a lot of nice people and families, I’m so glad to hear that Larchmont’s Mayor is working for the people. (not the pocketbooks):)

  2. The original plan was approved by the Village’s Planning Board, and multiple variances to permit the 51 units to built on that site were approved by the Village’s Zoning Board of Appeals, but the statement that the original plan was approved by the Village Board is incorrect.

    Note that the site of the two buildings is along the railroad tracks and not on Palmer Avenue. It is behind the stores, gas station, vet’s office, nursery school and office building that are along Palmer Avenue.
    editor Yes, you are correct, thank you.

  3. Yes, hooray for Larchmont. This was a long time coming. I believe it was part of the deal to get funding for the Flint Park fake turf field, so I’m a little cynical about motive. The end result, though, is that our police officers, firefighters and kids’ teachers can live in the community where they work. It will make the village even more livable– shopping and eating in town. If we could just stop building banks….

  4. Catherine,

    You can believe what you want, but no one has said these units count against the Village’s Flint Park obligation. They should, but that needs to be clarified.

  5. Catherine,

    You can believe what you want, but where has the County said that these units count to offset the Village’s obligations from Flint Park. They should, but that needs to be clarified by the County.

  6. Dear Larchmonters,

    I have lived in Larchmont for 13 years. Even though I don’t own a house, I think that the government should stop wasting our money on such a socialist utopian project. Let people spend their money. Don’t tax-robb people to fund houses for others. What will be next, affordable yachting?

  7. Mandatory affordable housing is an issue nationwide, and has been for some time. I am (professionally) involved in large developments in New Jersey, where the rules on this are stronger than anywhere in the nation. In general, I support the notion that developers may be required to set aside a portion of a development project for affordable housing. Under appropriate conditions.
    However, that an entire “project” should be designated or built for affordable housing is an idea I that find troubling. Affordable housing should be mixed into the regular market rate housing, and not isolated in easily identifiable pockets. This will only stigmatize those who live there, and likely lead to more de facto discrimination and differential treatment. It should not be obvious from an address that one lives in “affordable housing.” That defeats half the purpose of the requirement.
    I am surprised at the narrowness and short-sightedness, even ignorance, of those who would propose (or allow) such a development in our community. It is ill-advised, socially damaging and politically offensive.

  8. One of the great oxymorons of this era is ‘affordable housing’; it’s right in there with military intelligence and uninvited guest. However, I tend to agree with the sentiments expressed in the first entry by JMark. Having a percentage of units dedicated to middle-income families is one thing, but devoting an entire development to the cause is another kettle of fish. And just who is the arbiter of who qualifies and who doesn’t? We wouldn’t want any uninvited guests around Larchmont, now would we?

  9. Growing up in Larchmont it’s sad to see some folks riding a very high horse pooh-poohing this development. I agree with Sophie, the Hommocks development has been a boon to the area. Where this proposal is situated will have no impact on the price of your home, trust me. It will only add to a town that sorely needs a shake-up.

  10. As someone who has lived in Larchmont for over 35 years I think that this project could be a great benefit to our community. Many young professionals and young families are priced out of Larchmont, and the percentage of people capable of living in Larchmont is only decreasing. Diversifying the housing alternatives in Larchmont will help local businesses, retail stores and restaurants. The recession has certainly affected our Village center and bringing 51 units a half mile away can only help. I also believe we should wait until the developer of this project speaks to the community on Monday night before we, as a group, define affordable housing.

  11. Not a bad idea to provide housing to teachers/police/fire…. better than the alternative of having our public sector ee’s commute from far upstate! Affordable housing still requires a lot of $!

  12. This is a chance to improve our neighborhood and help those who are beginning their careers. By giving firefighters, police personnel, and teachers an opportunity to start accruing equity, you are serving not just those who are starting out but the community they work for. We do not need employees who have to travel over an hour and a half to work and begin their day fatigued. It is good for the community, for the workers, and the environment.
    There was opposition to ripping down a hotel near Hommocks School and the proposed housing in the 70’s and look what a model example that turned out to be. Let us hear from the developer as to his plans.

  13. This is a great idea. Affordable housing in this area would give a lot of people the chance to live closer to work and would really help the local businesses. I can’t see any reason that this would not be approved.

  14. I’m all for more diversity in our town, but housing all over Westchester (and across the country) has been getting more affordable quite steadily for the past three years. The tax base is crumbling as residents contest assessments and businesses fail. Promoting low cost housing is fighting last decade’s battle, while what we really need is a plan that will promote diversity, enhance quality of life, and be self sustaining without adding to our tax burden.

    Does being a nice person entitle you to an apartment below market value? Where does it say that “affordable” housing = units held aside for teachers, police and firefighters? Is the developer supposed to discriminate among buyers of the units and give preference to these professions? This would be an outrageous entitlement for people already protected by very strong unions. Please tell me that is not part of this settlement.

  15. I can’t see the problem with this development especially in light of the business it would bring to local merchants. It’s not as though section 8 housing is considered here. I echo the person who stated affordable housing still costs a lot!

  16. FUX – that was not part of the “settlement” with the County Gov and the Feds. In fact that is illegal based on what was in there. We will see !

  17. The settlement between Westchester County and the feds calls for heavy outreach for these apts (NOT “houses”) to minorities, specifically Hispanics and African Americans who are vastly underrepresented in Lmt. The original plan set aside 5 units for local police, firefighters, teachers etc., but it remains to be seen whether they will still have priority. MARIUSZ, there is nothing “socialist” or “utopian” about this. Low/lower income people need places to live. Where would you have them live – on the street? Affordable housing is not “last decade’s battle”; local civil service workers still cannot afford to live anywhere near Lmt.
    I wish people would check on their facts before they start blasting off on issues that bother them.
    editor thanks, Mimi. We are going to post a copy of the site plan approval for Larchmont

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