The Village of Larchmont Board has issued a resolution opposing Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed New York Housing Compact., saying it is “adamantly opposed.”
The long range plan is intended as “a multifaceted approach to address New York’s historic housing shortage and build 800,000 new homes over the next decade.” The law would, in part, amend Village Law to adopt land use regulations within three years, for higher density development for areas located within one half mile of any publicly accessible areas of an MTA transit station.
The Village Board unanimously passed the resolution, below, which says “the one size fits all approach does not allow for the consideration of significant, legitimate concerns of local governments and that the proposal would undermine the power of Village’s residents, elected officials and land use boards by usurping the Home Rule authority.”
RESOLUTION regarding Governor Kathy Hochul’s “New York Housing Compact” which consists of the “New Homes Targets and Fast-Track Approval Act” and the “Transit-Oriented Development Act of 2023”
WHEREAS, Governor Kathy Hochul’s Executive Budget for the year ending in 2024 includes a “New York Housing Compact”; which consists of the “New Homes Targets and Fast-Track Approval Act” and the “Transit-Oriented Development Act of 2023”; and
WHEREAS, the Governor claims that the “New Homes Targets and Fast-Track Approval Act” (Act) is necessary in order to forestall restrictive land use practices that inhibit and limit housing development; and
WHEREAS, the Act does not consider, let alone provide solutions for, its tremendous impact on the cost of expanded municipal services, such as (1) education, (2) police, fire, ambulance, and household garbage and trash removal and recycling services and (3) upgraded or new infrastructure to prevent flooding caused by stormwater and to treat and dispose of wastewater, all of which will be required in order to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the residents of, persons employed by business in, and visitors to the Village; and
WHEREAS, the Act would allow the Village to appeal determinations of non-compliance with the Act to a new State Housing Review Board that is unfamiliar with local issues and conditions, thereby usurping the Home Rule authority of local land use boards who understand the local community; and
WHEREAS, the “Transit-Oriented Development Act of 2023” would amend Village Law to adopt land use regulations within three years, for higher density development for areas located within one half mile of any publicly accessible areas of an MTA transit station; and
WHEREAS, a large portion of the Village is within a ½ mile of Metro-North’s Larchmont train station and would fall into Tier 1 of transit-oriented development, requiring aggregate development of 50 residential dwelling units per acre within a ½ mile of that train station; and
WHEREAS, the property in the Village that is closest to Metro-North’s Larchmont train station already is improved with, and zoned for multi-family housing, fifty percent of which is affordable housing; and
WHEREAS, the Housing Compact would create exemptions from environmental review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act which would prevent the Village and its land use boards from taking responsible study and evaluation of proposed development on the existing and proposed road network, on volunteer emergency services, on police and fire department staffing, on the numbers of employees and volunteers needed for the ambulance corps, on the number of employees needed to provide household garbage and trash removal and recycling services, on the ability of the school district to absorb new students, on the need for new school buildings to be constructed, on traffic and on street parking and other matters that are evaluated for their potential impact on the environment;
WHEREAS, the Housing Compact would prohibit the Village from adopting reasonable and appropriate development regulations to ensure that development is compatible with the surrounding uses, such as lot coverage, open space, building height, setbacks, floor area ratios or parking restrictions; and
WHEREAS, the Village shares many of the same goals as the Governor but considers the adoption of one set of rules for each of the 40 cities and 1,481 towns and villages of the State of New York as completely ignoring the unique characteristics of each community; and
WHEREAS, the residents of the Village will be disenfranchised since the Act in many ways will circumscribe the power of their local elected officials and local land use boards; and
WHEREAS, the Village Board is concerned that the Housing Compact can have the unintended consequence of providing a mechanism for developers to earn huge profits without providing lower cost housing; and
WHEREAS, the Village Board finds that as a whole, the Housing Compact does not consider significant, legitimate concerns of local governments; and
WHEREAS, the Village continues to work to increase multifamily housing in our business district through a special zone that permits additional density. The Village recently approved a new mixed-use building which has both a commercial tenant and 14 residential units. The Village wants to continue to responsibly manage the increase to its housing stock and the “Transit Oriented Development Act of 2023” would usurp the Village’s ability to self-determine how density is added.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Village of Larchmont is adamantly opposed to the “New Homes Targets and Fast-Track Approval Act” and the “Transit-Oriented Development Act of 2023”; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Village Clerk distribute copies of this resolution to the Governor, to the Village’s representatives in the State Assembly and the State Senate, to the State Senators and the Members of the State Assembly who sponsored these Acts.