To My Rye Brook Friends and Neighbors:
Is it just me, or does it seem that summers are getting shorter? The other day was the Fourth of July and now we have passed Labor Day. I am sure that for school children and for people of a certain age, the summer whizzed by. For your Board of Trustees and the Village staff, this was a very active period, both in terms of getting things done and in terms of making physical changes throughout Rye Brook. These two items are not mutually exclusive; on the contrary, they are often intimately linked.
As for the former, let me highlight some physical changes that will impact most, if not all, Rye Brook residents and property owners:
- In keeping with your Board’s ongoing efforts to regulate teardowns and the construction of “McMansions,” we established the Byram Ridge Task Force, chaired by Trustee Pat Sanders Romano, and charged that group to study the issue of land use as well as overbuilding, set back and height ratios and subdivisions in part of the R-20 zone. We also implemented a moratorium on site plan and subdivision applications in that section of the Village, with a 180-day “sunset” provision. I am pleased to report that the Task Force met its deadline, and the Board of Trustees will consider those and other recommendations prior to the moratorium’s expiration at the end of this month. If you are uncertain about the recommendations or proposed legislation, please visit the website at www.ryebrook.org.
- Another critical piece of legislation was the enactment of an “Amnesty” program to enable property owners to apply for any work done on residences without permits being issued. The amnesty, which is detailed in the accompanying communication, is important for both safety reasons and the very practical reason that a number of properties do not have a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) for building improvements. Remember, you cannot transfer or sell a property without a CO, and a CO will be issued only if you are in full compliance with all present Village codes and regulations.
- The “physical” look of the Village is also undergoing a makeover. From the refurbishing of the Rye Ridge Shopping Center, to the restoration of Rich Manor Park, to the planned construction and new park to be built at the “Keyhole” on Bowman Avenue, to a residential development on Anderson Hill Road (the site of the where an applicant had originally planned to build a Garden Inn Hotel), Rye Brook’s look is different….and getting greener as developers are working closely with the Village to meet our dual objective of more residences and more open space as well.
- Perhaps the most obvious change that has taken place over the recent past is the construction of the Rye Brook Athletic Fields complex on King Street. This facility is nearing completion with an official dedication planned for 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 17. The Recreation Department, along with input from the Parks and Recreation Advisory Council, has already finished its usage schedule for the fall (again, please visit the Village website for the policy for field use and the schedule thus far). So, in more than one sense, we are up and running!
Unfortunately, some of the look of the Village showed deterioration over the past two months. Mother Nature was especially cruel; we lost many old and stately trees due, in no small part, to heavy rains and violent winds. Our Highway Department did an outstanding job in keeping our streets passable and collecting limbs and trunks. The summer’s heat and storms also challenged Con Edison’s personnel. Too frequently, the utility came in second best on that front.
Last month, the Rye Brook Village Board notified the Village of Port Chester and the Port Chester Library that we believe it is in the best interest of our communities to have a “cooling off ” period from further discussions on capital projects and a name change for the library. In the meantime, the Village will seek a proposal from an outside consultant to provide us with the various options and alternatives for library services that would best meet the needs of our residents.
In recent weeks, you may have received an “Oops” sticker from our sanitation contractor for problems in your recycling bin ranging from items that are not recyclable, to not separating newspapers from other recyclable items. Westchester County has informed Rye Brook that they will begin issuing fines and refusing deliveries from our contractor if recyclables are not delivered correctly to their facility. As a result, this letter includes additional information on the proper method of recycling so that these items can be collected and delivered to the county facility without any additional problems.
Finally, we had some changes at Village Hall as well. After serving with great distinction and humanity for over thirty-three years, including the last two years as our Chief of Police, Teddy Sabato will retire this month. We thank Teddy for all of his time and effort he has expended on behalf of the community. We wish him and his wife Sue a happy and healthy retirement. At the same time, we welcome Greg Austin as our next Chief of Police. Greg is no stranger to the department or the community, and we wish him a long and mutually beneficial career in Rye Brook.
Signs are currently posted throughout the Village, reminding us that with the re-opening of schools in the Port Chester and Blind Brook school districts, and with the (hopefully) pleasant fall weather, our children will be walking to schools and to after-school activities. So, please be extra vigilant when driving and stay within the posted speed limits. Thank you.Sincerely,
Lawrence A. Rand
RECYCLING NOT COLLECTED?
DO YOU HAVE AN “OOPS” STICKER ON YOUR BIN?
Westchester County has advised the Village of Rye Brook that improperly sorted recyclables are being received at their facility from the Village. They will refuse future loads from CRP Sanitation, our sanitation contractor, if additional improperly sorted loads are delivered.
The CRP sanitation employees have been asked to leave “Oops” stickers on any container that they cannot collect because the recyclables are not properly sorted.
Please note the following correct method of sorting your recyclables:
Paper and cardboard cannot be mixed in the same bin as the glass, metals, and plastics.
GLASS, METAL, and PLASTIC: Co-Mingled (placed in same container). NO PLASTIC BAGS.
PAPER: (Newspaper, magazines) Placed in brown paper shopping bags or loose in a separate container (not with other recyclables) Paper recyclables shall NOT be bundled or tied in any manner (NEW PROCEDURE). NO PLASTIC BAGS.
CARDBOARD: Boxes must be broken apart and flattened out. NO PLASTIC BAGS.
Many residents use the “Blue Bin” for the glass, metals, and plastics, and a separate “Basket” or brown paper bag for paper.
Extra Bins are also available at Village Hall for $8.75 per bin (at Village cost) - or create your own recycle bin with free stickers available at Village Hall.
Any questions or concerns, please call the public works department at 939-0753.
NEW BUILDING PERMIT AMNESTY PROGRAM IN EFFECT
FOR WORK COMPLETED WITHOUT A PERMIT
Apply Now to Avoid a Penalty Later
The Village Board of Trustees is pleased to provide our residents a Building Permit Amnesty Program that will remain in effect until May 31, 2007. This Amnesty Program waives the administrative fine for work completed without the proper permits. The administrative fine that is being waived is $500, plus 12% of the current day construction costs.
The primary goal of this Amnesty Program is to ensure the safety of all citizens through inspections, while allowing homeowners to receive all proper permits. This is especially important when a resident needs to sell or refinance a home and discover, there is an open building permit or no certificate of occupancy on their home.The following are a few examples of projects that likely required permits and certificates of occupancies:
• Interior or Exterior Alterations
• Kitchen or Bathroom Remodeling
• Decks or Patios
• Any Electrical or Plumbing Work
• Fence Additions, Repairs and Replacements
• Furnace / Hot Water Heater Replacement
• Older homes that have never done any work but do not have a Certificate of Occupancy
• Driveway expansions
These examples represent only a few of the many projects that need permits.
Please contact the Building Department at (914) 939-0668 and inquire as to which permits may have been required for possible Amnesty Program projects completed, or may be required for any future home or office improvement project.
The primary goal of the Building Department is to help protect the citizens, homes, neighborhoods and infrastructure of the Village from the hazards associated with fire, overcrowding, improper construction techniques or structural collapse. Through the permit and inspection process, our staff of New York State Certified Inspectors will make certain you receive a high standard of workmanship; a qualified, licensed and insured contractor; proper material and construction techniques; proper electrical and plumbing installations; adequate light and ventilation; and a properly updated fire protection and smoke/carbon monoxide detection systems.
In order to qualify for the Amnesty Program, the Building Department will be considering building and other permits for all past work and work in progress at the time the Amnesty Program was enacted. Applicants have until May 31, 2007 to submit applications under Amnesty Program Local Law. Please note that all other fees, permits, and costs associated with the issuance of a building or other permits shall remain in effect during the Amnesty Period. The Amnesty Program is an excellent opportunity to save you money, make your home safer, and receive all of the proper approvals now rather than when time may be of the essence.