Your editor's response to Bob Geller's recent letter.
GAZETTE 3/1/12 - To the editor:
It is unfortunate that Mr. Bob Geller chose to react as he did to the questions posed in my recent letter on the Harmon re-zoning, the Spano-brokered anti-discrimination settlement, and the village manager’s own admission that Croton will have to adopt the model zoning affordable housing ordinance in order to be eligible for CDBG grant money. The questions were legitimate and are in part, the direct result of comments repeatedly expressed by the former chair of the Economic Development Committee himself, Kieran Murray. Here are just a few examples with more to come if necessary. (Please note as well that numerous county and other documents relative to the affordable housing settlement tout the benefits of locating this type of housing in mixed use developments, especially those near train stations; I will address Mr. Geller’s additional claims about mixed use in a future letter):
9/15/09 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEETING, HARMON RE-ZONING: Chair Murray stated with concern that 'this is a good environment for low-income housing' and that it's possible for someone to come in with 100% financing to build 100% LOW-INCOME HOUSING. Committee member Biber also stated that 'there is no market for market-rate housing'. Chair Murray said that affordable housing is a far greater likelihood than when the committee started looking at Harmon and the likelihood of low income housing is high”.
8/26/10: Kieran Murray: "I recognize that the Anti-Discrimination Settlement, coupled with the Affordable Housing Property Tax Assessment Law discussed above has exponentially increased the chances of mixed use development that will not cover its own municipal and school costs. Any new development that does not cover its own costs increases the tax burden for everyone else and runs counter to the intentions of the Harmon zoning change recommendations."
And again one month later on September 9th: "I believe the political and economic environment that has developed since the Anti-Discrimination settlement has made it far more likely that subsidized mixed use development that does not cover its own expenses could occur in Harmon as a result."
Opponents of the Harmon re-zoning have raised many substantive concerns about density, school impacts, erosion of individual property rights, legality of process, and more. Apparently Mr. Murray also has additional concerns.
I urge you all to become informed in the months ahead.