Alternate Site for Day-Labor
Facility? Residents, Businesses Opposed to Fayette Avenue
by Aine Santry
(July 1, 2004) There is no final decision on an official
day laborer site in the Village of Mamaroneck, Mayor Phil
at a meeting on Monday, June 28. A village-owned parcel of
land at Fayette Avenue is under consideration, and the board
is partnering with the Hispanic Resource Center to find the
best location, the mayor confirmed. Harold Lasso from the
Hispanic Resource Center was at the meeting to present
for a proposed
shelter. (See: Official
Day Labor Site in the Works)
Attending the meeting were a number of residents from nearby
Harmon Drive, Revere Road and the surrounding area, and business
owners from Fayette Avenue, who all voiced opposition to
the Fayette Avenue location.
Fayette Avenue is a short, one-way street that empties onto
the corner of Harmon Drive and Rockland Avenue. While it
is in an industrial zone, it is just a couple of blocks away
from residential areas.
Most speakers, including this reporter, were in support
of expanded facilities for the many laborers who congregate
in an unofficial
at Columbus Park across from the Mamaroneck train station
as they wait for potential employers to drive up with offers
of jobs for the day. But they were adamantly opposed to the
Fayette Avenue site because of traffic and safety concerns,
as well as concerns about overcrowding and lack of parking
for existing businesses.
The Harmon Drive neighbors objected to the proposed site
because it would attract truck traffic to their narrow street,
which is supposed to be off-limits to trucks. They noted
that trucks routinely
disregard the "no through-traffic" signs and the posted speed
They also described previous traffic incidents, including
a fatal car accident and other significant physical and property
Another concern was for the children who walk near the proposed
site on the way to school during hours when the facility
would be busiest (7 am to 10 am). Since Fayette Avenue is
approximately equidistant between Larchmont and Mamaroneck,
the residents expected an increase
in pedestrians making their way from the Larchmont train
station to the facility. Speakers indicated that the increased
vehicular and pedestrian traffic along Harmon Drive during
the hours children are walking to school and the residents
are going to work would be a "recipe for disaster."
Representatives from Westchester Squash, a sports facility
on Fayette Avenue across from the proposed day-worker site,
indicated that they needed the designated parcel for parking.
They said their business would likely go-under
if the Fayette Avenue site, which they now use for parking,
the day-workers. There were also objections to bringing portable
toilets for the workers to an area prone to flooding.
The residents offered alternative site suggestions, including:
- Keeping the facility in Columbus Park, the traditional
spot for generations;
- Using an existing Town or Village of Mamaroneck facility
that is not busy from 7 to 10 am, when most of the day
labor activity occurs. One possibility was the parking
the Emelin Theatre and across from the police station.
- Contacting New York State agencies to see if land
near I-95 or the Hutchinson River Parkway might be
available. These spots would be convenient for employers
the way of residences.
Separately, some of the board members voiced concern that
the new site (whether located at Fayette Avenue or elsewhere)
would be patronized by non-Village residents. They stressed
that the goal of the new site was to assist Village residents
Mayor Trifiletti noted that this is only the first meeting
on the topic. He also said the board will be reaching out
to the Town of Mamaroneck and the Village of Larchmont to
consider sites in their areas that may be appropriate for
The next board meeting is on July 20. For news of future
meetings, check the website or
the LMC-TV community bulletin board, or contact one of
the residents who agreed
to serve as liaisons to the board.
Aine Santry lives on Harmon Drive and has agreed to be a
liaison between her neighborhood and the Village of Mamaroneck
Board of Trustees.