Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 349

Decoding Village Agendas –   February 26, 2018

Work Session of the Village Board

7: 30 p.m.

 (Open to Public and Televised)

 

  • Financial Sustainability Committee – Update to the Board.   Members of the Financial Sustainability Committee will update the Board on what they are working on.  No advance documents have been provided.

 

 

 

  • Discussion about proposed local law regulating solar canopies within the Village.  This proposed law would provide language for amending the Village’s Zoning code to permit and regulate both ground-mounted solar installations and large scale solar installations.
  • Discussion of proposed local law regarding potential regulation of vape shops.

 

This proposed language would add the definition of a Vape Shop to the Zoning code and provide that no vape shop be located within 500 feet of any park, school or playground.

 

  • Review of proposed local law on affordable housing.  This proposed law would add a new section to the Village’s Zoning Law for supplementary standards for the provision of affordable housing. It would provide that for proposed housing developments of ten units or greater, 10% of the units be for affordable housing.  This means housing for households whose income does not exceed 80% of the area median income for Westchester.  This would require that for 10 to 14 units of proposed new housing units, one (1) be an affordable unit; for proposals of 15- 24, two (2) such units be provided.  The proposed law generally follows the County’s proposed Model Ordinance.  Similar laws existing in North Salem, Hastings, Irvington, Pound Ridge, New Castle and Rye Brook are included in the back up materials for reference.
  • Discussion on proposed renovations to Gouveia House and short-term rental possibilities.  While the Village looks at planning for future uses of the house on the Gouveia property, it is considering a short-term rental option that would provide income during the interim.  For that purpose, and general upkeep, some maintenance work on the house needs to be done.  This includes railing on the outside decks and interior stairwell as well as some gating and fencing.  The estimated cost of these repairs is $44,000.
  • Village Board discussion on priorities for 2018.  The Board members will have a general discussion of their priorities and goals for the future.

 

 

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Brian Pugh: Moving Forward With Croton Point Avenue

To the Editor: brian-pugh-group-cropped
 
Earlier this month, the Board of Trustees for the Village of Croton took another step forward in the Croton Point Avenue improvement project.  The Village   approved a proposal for engineering design services for the next phase of the Croton Point Avenue Improvement project including permitting, right-of- way acquisition, detailed engineering plans and specifications, and bidding assistance.
 
This brings our Village closer to  completing the Croton Point Avenue Improvement project, which originated in 2008 and received a $1.2 million federal grant..  The planned improvements of the CPA project include:
 
  • 5 ft. wide designated bike lanes between the travel lane and the sidewalk. 
  • 4 ft. and 5 ft. wide concrete sidewalks on both sides of Croton Point Avenue.
  • realigning of the US Route 9 northbound on-ramp to eliminate the eastbound channelized free-flow right turn movement from Croton Point Avenue, 
  • widening the US Route 9 southbound off-ramp to provide an exclusive right turn lane,
  • traffic signal installations at Veterans Plaza, the US Route 9 southbound on/off ramps and the US Route 9 northbound on/off ramps, 
  • widening of approximately 100 ft. of Veterans Plaza to accommodate four-lanes for reversible traffic flow operations, pavement and drainage improvements. 
  • roadway resurfacing is proposed on Croton Point Avenue and S. Riverside Avenue within the project limits. 
The design described above, which would better regulate and rationalize one of our busiest roadways, has been approved by the NYS Department of Transportation and would be a vast improvement over the chaotic status quo. There have been various suggestions for and objections to this proposed design.  
 
However, many options were reviewed as part of the additional design process. Changes at this stage would be counterproductive. As, the NYS Department of Transportation warned the Village: “The administering agency [Croton] should endeavor to avoid changing the project after design approval is granted…Changes to the project after design approval will require recycling the project through the preliminary design phase …Changes that occur after design approval has been granted can cause significant delays in project development.”
 
I am grateful for the public’s patience as we work to implement this long-anticipated project.  I look forward to when we can all share the benefits of the hard work of successive Village administrations and boards, our Village’s professional staff and our citizen Bicycle-Pedestrian Committee.
Brian Pugh

Brian Pugh: Empowering Our Community With Community Choice Aggregation

Dear Neighbors:brian-pugh-group-cropped

The Croton Library hosted two information sessions over the past month on Sustainable Westchester’s Westchester Power Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program, featuring presentations from Dan Welsh of Sustainable Westchester and Lindsay Audin, Chair of the Village’s Sustainability Committee. The two sessions were filled to capacity, but for those still wishing to learn more, they can watch the presentations in full and review additional backup material by clicking the “Community Choice Aggregation” link on our Village homepage: http://www.crotononhudson-ny.gov

The Village of Croton on Hudson Board of Trustees is considering Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) for our Village. The Westchester Power CCA is a program initiated and implemented by Sustainable Westchester Inc., a nonprofit, on behalf of member municipalities in Westchester County with the approval and oversight of the NYS Public Service Commission, the state’s utility regulator. CCA would enable us to buy electricity in bulk and choose renewable sources to reduce our community’s carbon footprint. 20 Westchester County municipalities are currently participating in CCA, which has saved residents and small businesses money on their electric bills while cutting power plant emissions that contribute to climate change.

Participation in CCA empowers consumers by leveraging the power of bulk purchasing, the competitive bidding process and a level of expertise not available to the typical consumer (the energy service agreement is vetted by attorney and experienced energy brokers). Residents participating in CCA or an ESCo (energy service company) also avoid NY’s 3% sales tax on Con Ed’s delivery bill. The Westchester Power CCA program has secured a low fixed rate for electricity lower that the 2015 Con Edison average price. To date, Westchester Power CCA has saved the average consumer in CCA communities, depending on their electricity usage, $50-$100 per year.

CCA customers also have the right to “opt-out” of the program at any time without penalty and those wishing to preemptively excluded themselves from the program can contact Con Edison at 1-800-752-6633 and request that their account be “blocked” (residents that are currently customers of an ESCo will remain with their current ESCo). CCA only determines the source of the “supply” of our energy. Distribution, including maintenance and management of the electric grid and emergency response, would still remain in the hands of Con Edison.

In addition to protecting consumers CCA protects our environment. As explained by the NYS League of Conservation Voters: “By bringing environmental groups, homeowners, and municipal officials together to make bulk purchases of renewable energy resources, the CCA keeps New York on track to becoming a more environmentally friendly state. The program helps to switch New York State’s energy system from one of burning fossil fuels to one of utilizing cleaner, more renewable, energy.” Similarly, the Sierra Club counseled: “There are also several towns that have not partnered with Sustainable Westchester to permit bulk sale purchases. If you’re in one of these Westchester County communities, you may wish to contact your local legislators about signing onto Community Choice Aggregation and having your communities purchase 100% of your power from renewables.”

Sustainable Westchester’s Westchester Power CCA, through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates, supports energy from renewable sources (wind, solar, etc.). Each REC ensures that 1 megawatt hour (MWhr) of green power displaces 1 nonrenewable MWhr on the grid. For its work on the Westchester Power CCA, Sustainable Westchester was honored as a New York Environmental Champion by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2016.

Under CCA, Croton could choose 100% renewable power. If all 2,000 eligible Croton customers were enrolled in the green option, that would avoid 5,000 tons of greenhouse gas each year.

All this information and more (such as a factsheet from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)) is available at crotononhudson-ny.gov. Specific questions may also be sent to info@westchesterpower.org.