Highlights from the New Rochelle City Council Committee of the Whole and Regular Legislative meetings
Greenhouse Gas Inventory Presentation
A comprehensive analysis of greenhouse gas emissions from 2019 and 2020 show reductions in three important sectors: residential/commercial, transportation, and wastewater Results demonstrate that the City is achieving its goal to reduce GHG emissions by 20% , with reductions of over 50% in the residential/commercial/municipal sector from fewer fossil fuels to generate electricity. The City’s electric ride share programs have reduced vehicle trips by about 20K per year.
New Positions at City Hall
To help the City of New Rochelle meet the growing demands of communication, outreach, project management and outside funding to support the City’s initiatives, residents and businesses, the City Council approved a number of new City staff positions, including:
-Executive Director Community Affairs, to serve as the community resource for community partnerships and lead a team tasked with developing and executing marketing and public affairs strategies to facilitate civic engagement across the diverse communities of New Rochelle.
-Housing Coordinator, to oversee and support all housing functions across the Department of Development, and a Grants Specialist to research, develop, and coordinate efforts to procure funds from Federal, State, County and private agencies to support current and future projects
-In the Department of Public Works, a Deputy Commissioner/City Engineer, to assist in planning capital improvement projects; a Traffic Engineer to work with the City’s upgraded and expanded central signal system which will allow for remote monitoring and adjustment of traffic signals for the City’s main thoroughfares of Main Street, Huguenot Street, Pelham Road, and portions of North Avenue; and a Senior Clerk & Principal Clerk to oversee the day-to-day operations for the newly constructed organic transfer site at Beechwood
-Sustainability Coordinators in the Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments will assist with ongoing projects and future initiatives, advancing the City’s GreeNR efforts.
Spring, summer and fall Concerts coming to Ruby Dee Park
As part of the City Manager’s plan to expand cultural experiences in the City’s downtown, the Departments of Development and Parks and Recreation will be working with a new consultant PMG 97 LLC to plan and produce a series of weekly afternoon and evening concerts on Saturdays from late May through early October. This will be accompanied by a “mobile City Hall” where residents can learn more about City programs and services and take advantage of on the spot registration.
DOZ Amendments Pave the Way for Veteran Housing, Condominiums
The Downtown Overlay Zone (DOZ) continues to invite investment to New Rochelle; and as the City grows, ongoing review of the code is necessary to ensure it properly addresses the needs of the City and takes advantage of new opportunities.
Earlier this year, City staff recommended a number of amendments including higher maximum building heights and increasing density per acre in specific areas provided certain conditions are met. In the case of DO-7, along the City’s waterfront, an increase in density from 45 to 50 units per acre would be allowed if restricted to veteran’s housing, an initiative spearheaded by Councilmember Tarantino; as well as an additional payment of $10,000 per unit to a Waterfront Access Fund. After meeting with local residents, these changes were unanimously adopted by City Council, along with an amendment that would add 400 floating condominium units to be developed within any of the Downtown Overlay Zones.
To foster a healthy economic relationship between brick-and-mortar businesses and food trucks (fixed location vendors), the Department of Development recommended a 200 ft. buffer between fixed vendor locations and established property lines for restaurants. The locations will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.