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WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. February 21, 2024:

Dear Common Council and Planning Board members,

For the past 45 years we have enjoyed living and raising our family in White Plains.  And are delighted that our 3 daughters also currently live in different WP Residential Neighborhoods.  At one time White Plains was referred to as the “City of Neighborhoods” because of the success and strength of our Residential Neighborhoods. . .where few of our houses look the same and individual home owners beautifully maintain and invest in their own properties.

In our view the successes of the City’s Downtown area have been more spotty and less permanent.

And we always wondered with all the large building projects completed over the years and for those still in progress. . .  why more affordable housing near public transportation was never developed, particularly for City workers including police, fire and school employees?

With the proposed Comprehensive Plan changes, when you take away all the bells, whistles and wishful ideas, we hope there will be specific and long-lasting Affordable Housing for the Downtown area close to transportation and other appropriate services.

We have a couple of suggestions for the revised Comprehensive Plan that relate to Residential areas:

1.  Do review the proposed Comprehensive Plan with “each” Residential Neighborhood Association and incorporate their ideas and suggestions.

2.  Do include in the updated Comprehensive Plan the requirement that for all large developments in Residential areas that the impacted Neighborhood Associations must be included from day one on all discussions and plans.

We include this because NYS Land Use Regulations require all major projects to fit into the “Character of the Neighborhood” and no one knows the Character of their own neighborhood better than the people who reside there day in and day out.  And keep in mind that the main reason the prior FASNY Development failed was because the City excluded local Gedney Residents from all of the detailed plans and discussions.

 3.  Don’t make any zoning changes for the Residential areas unless it is requested by a specific Neighborhood Association for their own area.

  We believe Residential Zoning protects the value of individual properties.  And if the City weakens Zoning it will result in lower property valuations and tax revenues for the City, County and School District recipients as well as harm individual homeowners who spent years building valuable equity.

So, we ask our City Leaders to protect Residential Zoning and involve Residents early in large developments planned for their own Neighborhoods.  For the City it’s the right thing to do.

Thanks for your consideration,

Marie and Ron Rhodes

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