Port Chester’s village board had a busy agenda last night starting with a discussion about how land would be rezoned under the proposed master plan. Some updates:
• The board approved $23,000 in funding for the Port Chester – Rye Brook Public Library, on the condition that the library restore the Saturday afternoon and Tuesday evening hours that were cut this month. Trustee Sam Terenzi characterized the library’s cutback in hours – which put the library under the minimum required by New York state – as a political stunt.
• Residents spoke up at a public hearing about various changes in zoning proposed as part of the long-in-the-making master plan. Concerns came from owners of land that would be “nonconforming” to the new designation, such as two-family homes that would now be part of a one-family district, or an industrial site that would face new limits on expansion. Representatives of Starwood Capital raised concerns over the development limits placed on its property, the former United Hospital site.
• The board set a hearing Aug. 20 to consider how to regulate nightclubs and enforce the noise restrictions. Trustee Bart Didden is advocating a policy that would require fingerprinting of all nightclub employees, a rule that was once adopted in Port Chester and then repealed. Mayor Dennis Pilla called for a more comprehensive review of the policy, as officials look at New Rochelle’s policy as a possible model.
• The village is still developing the billing procedure for its new sewer fee. Sewer costs used to be paid through the property tax. A new system will separate those expenses out of the village budget and property tax, and be paid through a new fee on residents’ water bills. The idea is to charge each landowner based on their water usage – and to start charging property owners that are exempt from property tax. It’s not yet determined whether billing this year will be based on actual water usage or an estimate based on the type of property.