State Roads, Housing & Sustainability
Thank you to Assemblywoman Sandy Galef for facilitating last week's visit from the NYS DOT. After a productive meeting in the Assemblywoman's Church Street office, several of us took a walk to the Route 9 & 133 intersection--the epicenter of our traffic flow challenges. Reengaging with the DOT about how to improve NYS roads for pedestrian safety, traffic flow, and economic development, was identified by the Downtown Redevelopment Working Committee as a high priority. This Village Board and administration is committed to working with the DOT to find short and long term solutions.
Last week included two Work Sessions. The first was a joint meeting of the Board of Trustees, Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Board. The agenda was focused on proposed Local Law 3-2018, an update to the Affordable Housing Policy. It was a constructive conversation. A few key takeaways I heard were the need to update our Comprehensive Plan, and a shared belief that construction of mixed income housing can be positive for Ossining. Included in the discussion was a review of some of the vacant parcels eligible for new construction. It is notable that the Village owns the lion's share of these parcels, and there was a recognition that the Village could partner with private sector developers to create thoughtful mixed use and mixed income projects beyond any terms in the Affordable Housing Policy. Click here to view video of that meeting.
Wednesday's Work Session took place at the Ossining Public Library and the focus of the agenda was on environmental initiatives. Thank you to the members of the Village Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) and Green Ossining for your excellent work on a wide range of initiatives already underway, and more in the works. Click here to view the presentation and discussion with EAC Chair Jeff Smith, and click here to view the presentation and discussion with Green Ossining Chair Suzie Ross.
The final agenda item was a discussion of a proposed local law to restrict the use of gas powered leaf blowers. This forum provided an opportunity for the Trustees and me to hear from both Green Ossining who has advocated for this policy, as well as a landscaper and the owner of Ossining Lawn Mower. Our intention is to call for a public hearing in September, allowing advance notice to encourage all concerned parties to attend the public hearing. Click here to view the presentation and discussion related to leaf blowers.
Wednesday was also the first public meeting where we acknowledged that Tracey Corbett will soon be joining the Village to lead our Planning Department. She participated in the Work Session wearing her County Planner hat, during her last week in that position, to update us on the MOGO trail project. The Village is a partner in this initiative, with the Town of Ossining as the lead agency. Click here to learn more about this trail designed to connect cyclists from the Ossining train station to the North County Trail. We look forward to Tracey joining the Village team in early August.
Connecting This Week
Join me for Open Office Hours tomorrow, Tuesday from 10am-12noon in the Board of Trustees office at Village Hall. No appointment is necessary, and all are welcome to discuss any topic, concern or idea of interest to you.
This Sunday, July 22 I will also be holding Open Office Hours on the Road from 12noon-1:30pm at Brothers Fish n Chips at 172 N Highland Avenue. Brunch-goers or anyone is encouraged to stop by my table. Just like regular Office Hours, feel free to share any topic, concern or idea, and no appointment is necessary.
Have a burning question or idea, at any hour of the day or night?... Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Board of Trustees (email@example.com) or Village Manager Debbie McDonnell (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This Week's Legislative Session
Wednesday's Legislative Session will begin with a Public Hearing on proposed Local Law 3-2018 regarding an update to our Affordable Housing policy. All are welcome to attend and comment. Comments may also be shared in writing and by email. The Village Board will be further discussing the proposed legislation during Continuing Business.
The Village Board will be voting on a resolution to adopt a new policy to provide gender-neutral signage for single person bathrooms in Village facilities. This is a simple policy that sends a strong message to the LGBTQ community—all people are welcome in Ossining.
Because this week is a Legislative Session, following the Public Hearing are a number of invitations for community members to publicly comment. If you would like to spread the word about an upcoming event, please take up to two minutes during Organizational Announcements. Folks who would like to comment on the resolutions included on that night's agenda may do so for up to four minutes at the start of the Village Board Resolutions portion of the meeting. The meeting closes with an invitation for community members to comment for up to three minutes during Visitor Recognition about any topic of relevance to the common good of the Village. We invite community members to reach out to us by email (email@example.com) anytime.
Victoria Gearity, Ossining Mayor