By JACKSON CHEN
The senior citizen affordable housing project on 150 North St. was finally approved by the Rye City Planning Commission during its last meeting on June 9.
The project, proposed for the corner of North Street and Theodore Fremd Avenue, has been in front of the city’s Planning Commission for more than four months after being granted a rezoning approval from the Rye City Council in November 2014. The project includes 41 units of housing for senior citizens that would be split into 28 one-bedroom units, 12 two-bedroom units, and a single unit for the building’s super. Twenty-seven of the 41 units would count towards Rye’s contribution to Westchester’s 2009 affordable housing settlement with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. As part of that settlement, the county was required to build 750 units of affordable housing within a seven-year period.
The rezoning change allowed the developer, Lou Larizza of Lazz Development, to move forward on the affordable housing complex.
“When we went in front of the Planning [Commission], we worked on the height of the building, the location, making sure there was adequate parking…making sure that the landscape was designed to their specifications,” Larizza said.
According to Deputy Mayor Laura Brett, a Republican who also serves as the council’s liaison to the Planning Commission, one of the last things the commission worked on was adjusting the lighting of the building. Brett said that the lighting review was a standard step in making sure the lights were adequate for safety and not too overwhelming in brightness. She added that some of the items the commission asked Larizza to come back with were more information on parking, drainage and nearby tree removal.
“It took a lot of hard work from the applicant and the Planning Commission, but in the end, I think the process was very thorough in evaluating the issues on the site,” Brett said.
Larizza said the project will now go before the city’s Board of Architectural Review, BAR. The developer said in working with the structural engineer and architect on the project, it’ll be approximately another month before they’re ready to appear before the board.
After the project gets approval from the BAR, Brett said the City Council would rely on advice from City Attorney Kristen Wilson and City Planner Christian Miller as to how to move forward with the project, before Larizza actually begins the construction process.
“At the end of the day, both boards will be proud of the project that they approve,”