Transparency on Land Use Decisions
Transparency on Land Use — As most surrounding communities are doing, we should be televising land use board and committee hearings. The public deserves to know about the what, when, why and who on decisions that impact development in our neighborhoods and Rye’s multi-billion dollar real estate market. Low cost technology is available to televise these meetings and would make land use information fully transparent and accessible.
Crown Castle / Verizon
Crown Castle/Verizon – Over a thousand residents have expressed great concern about the reduction in property values, aesthetics, noise, and other detrimental effects of Crown Castle’s proposal. The City should be responding to residents’ concerns by aggressively combatting Crown and Verizon in court and pursuing a thorough and thoughtful SEQRA review.
Transparent, Responsive and Respectful Governance – Our City government must be transparent and thorough in its workings, actively listen to citizens’ concerns, be respectful of residents, fellow council members and staff, and leverage the expertise and experience of Rye residents. It must not hide from FOIL requests, misuse executive sessions, berate minority view Council members, be discourteous to citizens, block public access with excessive claims of attorney-client privilege and pre-determine Council decisions off the dais. Our City government must not shrink from citizen expressions of need/concern and must involve citizens with appropriate interest and expertise in assessing problems and solutions.
The City has just raised taxes by more than 6%, expects costs to increase at an annual rate of 4% and anticipates elastic revenues to be decreasing in coming years. We must find greater efficiencies in governmental operations, such as energy efficiencies, without diminishing City services. We must also pursue more grant funding for City projects, and make better use of the funding we receive.
Sidewalks and Safety
Sidewalks or other safety remedies – As automotive traffic increases, we must make sure Rye’s neighborhoods remain – or in places become – safe for pedestrians.
Responsible Development – The time has come for the City to establish guidelines that promote responsible development in order to preserve Rye’s historic charm and character, retain our community’s sense of space, and ensure adequate permeable surfaces for drainage, while at the same time respecting the rights of property owners and encouraging a thriving real estate market.
Parking – Downtown parking has been an issue for years and is only getting worse. Residents have had enough talk and are ready for a serious effort to find and implement solutions. We will join Councilmember Hurd’s and Tagger-Epstein’s search for innovative solutions to Rye’s parking challenges.
Flooding – The City must push through the programmed sluice gate portion of the New York Rising grant and must attempt to realize on the full grant before expiration.
Starwood – The City must make every effort to make the Rye Park community feel protected from the enormous Starwood project. Measures should include anticipatory adjustment of street access/direction. Consideration should be given to the most advantageous posture of the City in view of the “too little, too late” character of the City’s involvement.
Deer – Many residents wish for a substantial reduction in the deer population. Concerns include the risk of Lyme and other, serious emerging tick-borne diseases; damage to shrubs and gardens; and the starvation and suffering of deer in an overpopulation situation. We support working with the County to implement solutions.
Street Repairs – The City’s system for road maintenance needs revision so that roads are repaired before they are in dire condition, on a schedule that residents may access.
Disbrow / Thruway
Disbrow – The proposal to move DPW from Disbrow Park to the Thruway Authority site, with a $50M+ price tag, is far too expensive and must be abandoned. If analysis shows that Disbrow renewal is high priority for many Rye residents the City should survey the park, recreational and playing field needs of the City as a whole, define its recreational objectives and search for the most cost-effective solutions.
July 27, 2017 Rye City Review, Opinion: The Real Timeline