The Town of Mamaroneck Board agenda for June 17 called for public hearings to repeal one law, adopt another and amend a special permit. While there was almost no” public” present – other than two residents, their children and two reporters – the hearings went forward. Two of the hearings were later delayed, as was the opening of the new parking deck on Myrtle Boulevard.
The Not-So Public Hearings
Repeal of Off-Street Parking in Residential Districts:
The current law requires that cars parked off-street (usually on the driveway) be no less than 25 feet from a home’s front lot line. This is considered anachronistic, given the small size of most Larchmont garages and the large quantity and size of cars owned by a typical family today. The Planning Board has reviewed the law and has advised that various unintended consequences and ambiguities may result from a repeal. In view of this advice, the Town Board opted to discuss the repeal again at its next meeting, Tuesday, July 7, and to adjourn the public hearing until August 12.
Amended Permit for Forest City Daly Mamaroneck LLC (now known as Byron Place Associates):
The original permit to build a parking deck provided for 118 spaces: 63 at grade level and 55 on the deck. Ultimately, only 116 spaces were built, in order to accommodate five handicapped spaces that were not originally contemplated.
The opening of the deck has been delayed from its June 1 date due to rainy weather, reported Town Administrator Steve Altieri. He was hopeful the deck would open within two weeks. Supervisor Valerie O’Keeffe noted that many residents have commented favorably on the deck’s architecture and its tie-in with the surrounding apartment buildings.
Towing of Illegally Parked Motor Vehicles: the board is continuing to research a law that would allow towing, impounding and storage of illegally parked cars. During earlier discussions about the parking deck, some residents raised concerns that spots would be taken by vehicles without proper permits. The public hearing was put off until July 7.
Mr. Altieri sought board approval of a joint project with the Village of Scardale for resurfacing of Griffen Avenue and other roads, including Crescent and Briarcliff, that are near the border of the two municipalities.
Numerous complaints about Griffen Avenue began appearing on the Larchmont Gazette’s interactive map immediately after it was posted in May to allow readers to report quality of life issues, sucha s potholes. (See: Got a problem?) Some temporary patches have been applied to some of the worst potholes, but the complete resurfacing is scheduled for later this summer.
The board approved the low bid for resurfacing, $418,253 by ELQ Industries of New Rochelle, and also voted to enter an intermunicipal agreement with the Village of Scarsdale for the performance of this work. Scarsdale will contribute $211,416 towards the work; Mamaroneck Town,$206,837.
Mr. Altieri said this was a “positive and productive intermunicipal agreement.” He and the board indicated they would favor cooperating on future paving projects with Scarsdale and also with the City of New Rochelle and the Village of Larchmont.
Certs & Reval
Town Attorney William Maker reported on a reduction in assessment for a light industrial property in the Town, based on the amount of revenue the business earns. This will require a refund to the property owner of $6300 by the Town and $14,500 by the Mamaroneck School District. The discussion prompted comment from board members on the need for a town-wide revaluation of properties so as to apportion taxes fairly.
Reached for further detail, Mr. Altieri and Supervisor O’Keeffe said the Town would be working with a consultant to prepare a request for proposals from firms who would conduct a reassessment of each property. The aim is to go out to bid in early fall. The evaluations are expected to cost around $1 million and to take three years to complete, after which the board would vote on whether to accept the new assessment rolls. (See: Town Board to Start Hearings on Property Revaluation.)
Supervisor Responds to Questions on Bills, TV, and Web
Supervisor O’Keeffe responded to a letter from a resident, Brian Loebel, questioning why only some bills (those from the fire district) were read aloud and why only some board meetings (not work sessions) were televised. She said the past custom of reading individual items in fire department bills will be discontinued as the law only requires board approval of the total amount. She said Mr. Loebel’s assumption that work sessions entail topics covered later in the public meeting is incorrect. While some issues may overlap, the agendas indicate distinctions between what is covered at each meeting. She added that the board is not obligated to televise any of its public meetings: it does allow airing of the board meeting; the work sessions are open to the public.
On a further question from Mr. Loebel about the town’s new website, Ms. O’Keeffe said the revisions are being made based on recommendations from the board and staff. The revised site should launch in July.