BRONXVILLE, NY — June 12, 2019 — The Village is in the final months of our Comprehensive Plan process. To recap, the plan is a strategic review of our community’s values, aspirations and shared vision for the future as well as a Village-wide framework to define how Bronxville’s plans, initiatives and investments fit together. The hope is that it will serve as a consensus document, a blueprint to guide the Village as people in leadership change.
Our Board of Trustees expects it will also serve as a guide for the zoning regulations, planning process and capital budget – in essence a “to do” list for Village government.
The process started with a work session attended by the Planning and Zoning Boards members. In many ways, these volunteers are our front line viewing what we do well or not so well as to land use. The work session was followed by stakeholder meetings with many groups including the Historical Conservancy, Chamber of Commerce, Concordia College and NYP-Lawrence Hospital.
A public survey was formulated and disseminated during the April to May window which was recently followed up with a Public Hearing and Workshop on June 4, 2019.
For those unable to attend the recent public session, I thought it instructive to share some of the major takeaways from the survey.
This information is also available on the Village’s website under the heading Comprehensive Plan.
As to survey response, it was truly unprecedented. We received 705 responses, representing nearly 30% of the total households in the Village, with 41% of the respondents having been village residents for over 20 years. Of those that participated, 74% were in the 46 to 75 age cohort. Most respondents (52%) worked full time, while 23% were retirees.
The following is a synopsis of key takeaways from the survey by category:
Population and Housing
• At the last count in 2016, our population was 6,395 residents.
• Our population peak was in 1940 at 6,888.
• Like the rest of our County, the population is aging.
• As to housing, 84% of our homes are owner occupied, with single family homes accounting for 41% of the inventory, single family attached 12% and multi family structures compromising 48% of our housing stock.
• Approximately 75% of our land area is single family home property.
• Residents favored better control of teardowns and major renovations and tightening of controls of home sizes vis a vis lot size.
• Residents own, on average, 1.8 cars per household.
Central Business District
• There was significant support for upgrades on Metro North/Village owned underpass property.
• Desire for installing new and more LED light fixtures to improve pedestrian safety on the densely traveled streets, in particular near the train station.
• Support for a small boutique hotel in the downtown.
• Respondents voiced concern for the future and quality in our retail market.
• Top priorities for the Business District include improved sidewalks and more downtown parking for residents.
• Meter times were deemed sufficient and there was minimal desire for Sunday meter hours.
• 58% of respondents felt Central Business District traffic is an ever increasing issue.
• A parking structure was favored by 55% of the survey takers while 25% did not support a structure. The most favored location was in the Kraft Avenue lot on the undulated land near Saint Joseph’s Church.
• Occasional closing of Park Place was endorsed by 90% of the respondents, but over 60% said no to a permanent closure.
• 54% use the taxi service in the Village.
• 51% didn’t favor golf cars, scooters or bikes in the business district as alternatives to cars.
Municipal and Institutional Assets and Uses
• Bronxville School enrollment has declined since its peak in 2013-14, with the projected decline to continue through 2028, reflective of the demographic trends nationwide.
• Over 82% of respondents support Concordia College’s current development and uses.
• Survey takers were evenly split at 34%/34% on the question of increased growth and services at New York Presbyterian-Lawrence Hospital with the other 32% non-committal.
• 17% of respondents use the paddle and/or tennis courts while 86% support all of our parks and recreational facilities becoming smoke free.
• The Village library and its programs were viewed favorably by 86% of the survey takers.
• 85% of the respondents supported the not-for-profit institutions paying a user fee for services such as police, fire and infrastructure repairs.
• 50% supported more police walking patrols in the downtown.
- 63% want the use of LED fixtures expanded beyond the Central Business District.
As to big picture vision and goals, in essence, most respondents wanted the character of the Village to remain the same, with some improvements/tweaks, around the edges. Respondents were particularly proud of the village’s historical nature and are dedicated to its preservation.
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Mary C. Marvin is the mayor of the Village of Bronxville, New York. Share your thoughts by directing email to firstname.lastname@example.org