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Last updateFri, 22 Jan 2021 3pm

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Scarsdale residents: do you think you are paying your fair share of real estate taxes? Property values in Scarsdale have not been reassessed since 1969. As a result, there are wide disparities in the tax assessments of homes of similar market value. Due to these disparities, the Village has received a record number of tax grievances this year from homeowners who believe they are unfairly assessed.

Village Management and the Village Trustees are currently considering a Village-wide reassessment that would bring assessments in line with current home market values. Advocates for the revaluation contend that it would result in a fairer, more transparent system.  The projected cost of the revaluation is estimated to be $1,750,000 and though the Village would not accrue additional revenues from the reassessment, they could save money in the future if the number of tax grievances falls. Historically, after a reassessment, taxes on one third of properties increase, one third stas the same and one third are reduced.

Do you think it’s time for a revaluation? Please take this short confidential survey and let us know. We'll publish the results when they are in.

Click here to take the survey: or copy this URL into your browser to begin:

Federal Monitor James Johnson has reviewed Westchester County’s revised affordable housing implementation plan and found it lacking. Westchester County has been ordered to spend $51.6 million to build 750 units of affordable housing over the next seven years as a result of the settlement of a 2009 lawsuit filed by the Anti-Discrimination Center of New York. The County’s first plan was submitted on January 29, 2010 and the Monitor found it to be unacceptable as it “lacked specificity with respect to accountability, timeframes and process.”

The County submitted a revised plan on March 12, 2010 and in his most recent report the Monitor says, “Though the County has made progress …..the revised submission still falls short of a true plan to comply with either the Stipulation’s specific terms or its overarching goal of building a more integrated Westchester.”

Specifically, the monitor says the plan lacks:

  • Long-range timetables
  • Medium and long-term strategies for land acquisition, infrastructure improvement, construction, acquisition and other development costs.
  • Allocation plan of the types of units including foreclosed properties, and new construction
  • A system for tracking the number of units in progress
  • Strategy for how units will be allocated throughout eligible municipalities and how it will maximize units in cities and census block with the lowest concentrations of African Americans and Hispanic residents.
  • Remedies for overcoming resistance from municipalities
  • Details on leveraging the $51.6 million and planned usage of financing

In addition, the monitor has asked that the County market expand their marketing plans to promote these homes to residents of New York City boroughs where there are higher percentages of minorities, and that the county and the developers share responsibility for outreach. Furthermore, the next plan should include plans for “housing counseling” for those making the move to “high opportunity” areas.

The Monitor urged the County to consult out experts regarding housing finance, zoning and marketing and to create an independent advisory panel including community, religious, and labor and employment leaders.

The report also discusses the stipulation’s requirement that Westchester County ban “source of include” discrimination in housing.” A bill to this end passed the Westchester County Board of Legislators in June, but County Executive Rob Astorino vetoed it. Consequently, the Monitor report that “Mr. Astorino’s message is troubling, to say the least.”

In response. Rob Astorino’s office provided the following statement:

““The monitor’s thoughtful comments are welcome. This is an evolving process and we are committed to developing an implementation plan that will deliver on the goal of bringing 750 units of fair and affordable housing to the market within the next seven years.”

In the past three months, the county has held 14 meetings with municipal officials and 31 meetings with private landowners to discuss possible developments in Larchmont, Yorktown, Dobbs Ferry, Eastchester, Lewisboro, Cortlandt, Irvington, North Salem, Bedford, New Castle, North Castle, Rye Brook, City of Rye, Briarcliff and Pleasantville.

On July 13, the county Planning Board asked the county Board of Legislators for funding approval for 18 fair and affordable housing units in the City of Rye. The project was originally proposed as exclusively for seniors. However, at the request of the county, the age restriction was removed by the City of Rye so that the project could comply with the settlement.

The Rye project, made up of homeowner-occupied townhouse units, is being called Rye Cottage Town Homes. The town homes will be marketed at a price between $150,000 and $165,000. The county’s proposed contribution totals $2.4 million, two thirds of which comes from the $51.6 million settlement fund and one third from federal funds. This project is an example of how municipalities are working with the county to meet the obligations of the settlement.

We are making progress – more than 40 meetings in 90 days is a clear demonstration of how we are moving forward. People should not lose sight of the fact that the implementation plan is simply a tool to help guide the process. Critical to our success will be building relationships with the municipal officials, developers and the communities involved, and that’s where we have been spending the bulk of our time to date.”

The settlement could not have come at a harder time for Westchester County. Budgets are strapped and huge deficits are projected. The cost to build the homes, compounded by the administrative costs to draft plans, produce quarterly reports, liaise with communities, oversee the process, and market and promote the properties will far exceed the allotted $51.6 million. County Executive Astorino inherited the settlement from Spano and clearly has a challenging task ahead.

Scarsdale was apparently not on the short list for the first fourteen community meetings, but we’ll continue to monitor the Monitor and the process and keep you informed.

Broadmoor Road residents have lost their puppy and are asking for your help to find him. Riley is black labrador retriever, 8 months old and approximately 70 pounds. Riley was last seen on Friday night July 2nd at the corner of Broadmoor and Griffen Roads in Quaker Ridge. If you see him, please call Ethan at 914-860-4467.

Greenacres residents celebrated Independence Day with the traditional celebration at the field on Sunday morning July fourth. The fun included a candy hunt for the youngest participants as well as a spoon race, sack race, three-legged race, balloon toss, foul shooting contest, and the famous Greenacres Gallop. There were awards and ribbons for all of the winners. The event ended with a patriotic presentation and the Star Spangled Banner. Thanks to all the volunteers from the Greenacres Association who put this event together and to all the residents who participated.

In response to two recent coyote attacks on young girls in Rye, Greenburgh Town Supervisor, Paul Feiner reports that the Greenburgh Police Department has been receiving many calls reporting the sighting of coyotes in Greenburgh. The New York Post reported an additional attack on a 3 year-old girl today.

Feiner has sent out an email with the following information about coyotes gleaned from the N.Y.S. Department of Environmental Conservation website.

Here are some steps you can take to safeguard against coyotes:

  • Do not feed coyotes
  • If you see a coyote, make loud noises, wave your arms, throw sticks and stones and be aggressive.
  • Do not allow your pets to run free.
  • Do not feed pets outside.
  • Make any garbage inaccessible to animals. Eliminate the availability of birdseed. Coyotes are attracted to the concentration of birds and rodents that come to feeders. If you do feed birds, clean up waste seed and spillage.
  • Fence your yard to deter coyotes. The fence should be tight to the ground, preferably extending six inches below ground level.
  • Remove brush and tall grass from around your property to reduce protective cover for coyotes
  • Teach children to appreciate coyotes from a distance.

Here are some more facts about coyotes:

Wild animals such as coyotes are protected by laws established by the N.Y.S. Department of Environmental Conservation. The Eastern coyote is firmly established in New York and they live here as an integral part of our ecosystem. People and coyotes can usually coexist if coyotes maintain their natural fear of humans. If you observe a coyote acting aggressively or lingering in an area you should report it to the police. In addition, if a coyote is acting aggressively call the police department. However in most cases there is little a police officer or animal control officer will be able to do other than chase it away from a populated area.

Some coyotes in suburbia have lost their fear of people, which can result in a dangerous situation. Coyotes in residential areas quickly learn to associate food with people. Suburban coyote food such as garbage and pet food is saturated with human odor. If people intentionally feed coyotes their potential for a coyote attack becomes very real.

Potential does exist for coyote attacks however they are extremely rare. On average 650 people are hospitalized and one person killed by dogs each year in New York State. Nationwide, only a handful of coyote attacks occur yearly.

Coyotes and Pets

Of greater concern is the interaction of coyotes with cats or dogs. Do coyotes kill cats? Absolutely, but so do foxes, dogs, bobcats, vehicles, and even great horned owls. Cat owners need to be aware that cats allowed to roam free are at risk. To protect your cat, keep it indoors, or allow it outside only under supervision. Coyotes in some areas appear to become "specialists" at catching and killing cats.

Owners of large and medium sized dogs have little to worry about. Coyotes, with an average weight of 35 pounds know they are overmatched by large dogs and will yield part of their territory (your yard) to the dog. A confrontation may occur between a midsized dog and a coyote. Such confrontations, however, usually do not involve physical contact between the two animals. The dog and coyote usually come to an understanding on whose territory is whose.

Owners of small dogs have cause for concern. The outcome of a confrontation between a small dog and a coyote will depend a lot upon the behavior of the dog. A coyote knows it is physically superior to a small dog and expects the dog to be submissive. Trouble occurs when a small dog does not submit to a coyote. The coyote will discipline the dog to correct its inappropriate behavior. This discipline will continue until the dog submits or is eventually killed. Coyotes view very small as easy prey and they are at risk to be killed.

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