5 NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATIONS OPPOSE 701 WESTCHESTER OFFICE PARK CONVERSION TO APARTMENTS–up for HEARING JUNE 7

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WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. From the Gedney Association. April 30, 2021:

April 30, 2021

Members of the Common Council
City of White Plains
255 Main Street
White Plains, New York 10601

Re: 701 Westchester Avenue Rezoning

Dear Members of the Common Council,

At a meeting held in late March the Board of the Gedney Association unanimously voted to firmly oppose the proposed rezoning at 701 Westchester Avenue to permit a 360 unit apartment complex.  The Board of The Gedney Association believes that such apartment use should be restricted to the Downtown area, especially given its current weakened condition. 

We strongly agree with the Old Oaks Association, The North Street Civic Association, the Rosedale Residential Association and our neighbors in Havilands Manor in insisting that this rezoning be rejected.

When these office parks were proposed years ago the surrounding residential neighborhoods were promised that they would be low-rise and generally operate Monday through Friday between 9AM to 5PM and not operate on weekends.  Until the Common Council modified the Comprehensive Plan in recent years the Plan clearly stated that apartment buildings should not be permitted in the outlying parts of the City.  Unlike the office buildings whose tenants come from all over the New York metro area and thus primarily use Westchester Avenue to access I-287, I-684 and the Hutchinson River Parkway the residents of the proposed apartment complex will more frequently utilize local streets such as Bryant Avenue and North Street to access local stores and other services.

This proposal together with 1133 Westchester Avenue would result in approximately 700 new housing units with an estimated additional population of at least 1,200 to 1,400 people.  As you are aware, the south end of the City has one, small firehouse serving the entire area.  Has the City done even the most basic analysis of what these new units plus the thousands of proposed units Downtown would mean in terms of additional costs to City services?

Permitting a rezoning here would ignore the goals of the Comprehensive Plan, which consistently encourages that such development occur downtown. “Residential development in and adjacent to the downtown, unlike the lower density housing in the Close In and Outer Area neighborhoods, should be viewed as part of a coherent economic development strategy”.  This goal is consistent with a letter from the Westchester County Planning Department which also recommended that multi-family buildings be situated Downtown.  We urge the Common Council to adhere to the County recommendation and the residential neighborhoods in the south end of the City and reject this proposal.

Very Truly Yours,

Board of Directors
The Gedney Association

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