Wednesday, October 24, 2007

TOWN TO TURN FORECLOSED PROPERTY INTO AFFORDABLE HOUSING

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING SALE OF TOWN-OWNED
PROPERTY AT 770 SAW MILL RIVER ROAD
TO SHELTERING THE HOMELESS IS OUR
RESPONSIBILITY (SHORE)

WHEREAS, the Town Board recognizes the importance of providing adequate and affordable housing for residents and employees of the Town; and
WHEREAS, the Town Board finds that Sheltering the Homeless is Our Responsibility (SHORE), an all-volunteer, interfaith organization, helps increase housing opportunities for families and individuals in need; and
WHEREAS, SHORE has created the Ardsley Housing Development Fund Company, a not-for-profit corporation pursuant to Article 11 of the Private Housing Finance Law and Section 402 of the Not-For-Profit-Corporation Law and presented a proposal to develop Town-owned property located at 770 Saw Mill River Road by demolishing an existing derelict structure and erecting two affordable residential units thereon; and
WHEREAS, the Town Board has previously authorized SHORE to make application to the Village of Ardsley for any land use approvals it may require in connection with the proposed development; and
WHEREAS, SHORE has received the necessary approvals from the Village of Ardsley to erect such units; and
WHEREAS, SHORE has now made an offer to purchase the property for the sum of $39,331.85, payable to the Town of Greenburgh, and $14,155.51, payable to the Village of Ardsley, said sums representing the amount of outstanding taxes owed to said municipalities, less penalties and interest thereon; and
WHEREAS, the Town Board seeks to ensure that the subject property is always used to provide affordable housing by filing a Declaration of Restrictive Covenants with the Westchester County Division of Land Records; permitting the Town to terminate the conveyance and to re-enter and re-take possession and title of the property should the Town determine, after a public hearing, that the property is being occupied by households in violation of the affordable housing guidelines of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development;
WHEREAS, in view of the salutary purpose of the project and in consideration of the amounts already advanced by SHORE to obtain the necessary land use approvals for this project, the Town Board has decided, after conducting a public hearing, to accept said offer;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Board of the Town of Greenburgh hereby authorizes the Town Supervisor to execute a Contract of Sale of 770 Saw Mill River Road to SHORE for the sum of $53,487.36, and to execute any documents necessary to effectuate such transfer.
Draft Submitted: October 23, 2007 (1:28 p.m.)

19 comments:

Publicus said...

Permanently removing property from the Town, Village and School District tax rolls is a step which should not be taken lightly.
Using the Supervisor's blogged comment that to reduce taxes by 1% we need to save $340,000 in expenses, the conversion of this property will cost the taxpayers of the Town (ignoring the Village and School District, which are separate taxing authorities) approximately 20 basis points each and every year FOREVER!
Want to know why taxes keep going up? They go up, at least in part, because liberal politicians keep giving away the Town's irreplacable assets and shrinking the tax base.
Mark Twain said to "invest in land because they're not making any more of it". What say you Hal?
At the very least the Town should be as conscious of conserving its tax base as it is about conserving its open space.

Anonymous said...

Why can't the town sell this land to a developer ,why must we the tax payers always pick up the slack on the tax roles.
This property could be sold for much more money ,bring in some revenue and above all bring in some tax revenue.
Why must the working class be burdend with more taxes when the town has the opportunity to make money .
This is digusting that someone came up with this idea to give up choice land without the residents input.
We the taxpayers should start a war on taxes .The town has the possibilities to earn money to keep our taxes low and they are trying to screw all of us in giving away this forclosed property for back taxes. Come on ,yes there are poor people but how much can we support them.
At this stage of the game we all need help in one way or another,do you see anyone listening to us.
You have listened for too many years to the civic assoc. concerning the school systems.
What happened to their concerns now .Have you already turned a deaf ear.
.

John Malone said...

I voted against the Library addition and tried to get other people to vote no also, for the same reason. I was not agasinst a renavation, which was needed, but the size of the new building and not putting the property up for sale and on the tax rolls. In my oppinion The old Town hall should have been placed on the tax rolls.
We need new tax revenues! When the Town purchased the new Town Hall, the Greenburgh Central School district and Fairview Fire District took a big tax hit again!
Over 45% of the Fairview Fire District is tax free.Maybe more. But people who don't live in this
part of Town don't care!

john malone said...

oops! renovation

Anonymous said...

Is 770 Saw Mill River Road the Water Wheel Inn?

Anonymous said...

First, this property is NOT the Water Wheel property.

Second, publicus states that this arrangement will cost the "Town" 20 basis points foreever. I'd love to see your calculations.

This property would be at best assessed at $15,000, which at the 2007 tax rate of $6.23 per thousand generates the magnificent sum of $93.45 in Town taxes paid into the "A" budget. Under this deal, the "Town" will only receive about $40, so the tax break is hardly going to break the bank. The "A" fund is in very healthy shape. It's the "B" fund that the Town Council raided to keep taxes low in an election year. Didn't help two incumbents though.

As to selling the property at fair market value - valid question. This is not "choice" real estate. The property is not greater than 10,000 sq ft if that. It sits on a major road that has traffic 24/7 365. Across the street is a shopping center. There is no front yard. No place for kids to play out front. To it's rear about 100 yards away is I-87 or the New York State Thruway. Want to hear trucks, etc. 24/7 365? This property has very little appeal. The structure as described is a tear down. Take a drive and see for yourself. If the land sold for $100,000, I'd be very surprised. So the Town is going to receive about $40,000. It isn't zoned for the structure that SHORE wants to erect.

The bigest "contributors" to this project will be the taxpayers of the Ardsley School District. If each unit sends two children into the school system, at an annual "cost" of between $15,000 and $20,000 per student, that's $60,000 to $80,000 annually in today's dollars in return for about $2,800 in PILOT payments. Inflation to follow. Graet deal for the families that move in.

Publicus said...

One Anonymous wanted to know how the 20 basis points I arrived at an ongoing 20 basis points cost - an absolutely fair question. So here it is:

1. According the the Town the property was in arrears on its taxes.
2. The amount of taxes owed to the Town according the resolution is the selling price - around $59,000.
3. The taxes cited were for 10 years of arrearages. (If the taxes were in arrears for a longer period then one really needs to ask the Town why it took so long to resolve the issue. I am given to understand a 5-6 year figure is common in Westchester.)
4. Seat of the pants calculation - divide $59,000 by 10, the result is $5,900 - a reasonable annual Town tax bill for the neighborhood.
5. Mr Feiner blogged that $340,000 represents 1% - who am I to challenge him? So I used that figure.
5. Divide $5,900 by $340,000 and the result is .43% or 43 basis points.
6. I assumed, absent any information or understanding of the A v. B budget split that it was a 50-50 deal, so dividing the 43 basis points by 2 yields 21.5 which I rounded down to 20.
IF all the money is actually Town revenue as I am now told, then I was wrong, it costs the taxpayers 43 basis points forever.

Anonymous said...

A three family dwelling for affordable housing .
Why is it that I cannot change my home into two family dwelling but anything affiliated with welfare the laws change.
There is something wrong with this system and we are letting people get away with taking every hard earned penny that we make.
We pay thousands of dollars to live here and this property will be paying five thousand dollars a year for forty years.
If someone cannot afford to live in Greenbugh they should move out.
The screening process that is in place for housing is for the birds.
Many people say that they do not work or cannot work but they have jobs off the books.
There's something wrong with this system that should be checked not by Greenburgh alone but also the state and county.
.

tax volunteers should be compensated said...

now that ardsley village and school district residents are the big losers, why wont the town allow village residents into veteran park pool as it does for all other volunteers?

Anonymous said...

Ardsley wants to use the pool, right?
Why don't we just merge Ardsley school district and Greenburgh #7
district, then you can use the pool.
It would save money. Woodlands graduates 110 students a year and Ardsley about 140 for a total of 250, about the average size of the schools back in the 70's
What do you think ?

tax volunteers should be rewarded said...

you are confused. parts of the ardsley school district already have use of the pool as they live in unincorporated greenburgh. the new shore project is located in the village of ardsley and will be serviced by ardsley's police and fire departments, and its recreation facilities among others. it is not 100% clear, but to the extent the shore properties are exempt from village taxes (as well as school taxes), ardsley residents are paying for this - call them tax volunteers - ambulance and fire volunteers from the villages can use veteran park pool - why not tax volunteers? ardsley residents would pay for the privilege in the same manner as everyone else or even at a slight markup. with veteran park pool running a $250,000 deficit, it could use the additional income. the cost of more users would be incidental as use of the pool has been declining.

the central 7 issue is a red herring.

Anonymous said...

Dear Publicus,

Thanks for your calculation. The only resaon that the "Town" is receiving the $40,000 or so is because under state law a Town is the guarantor of school taxes. What happened in this case is that the Town had to make "good" on the school district taxes that were levied on this property and that it had to pay to the school district. Once the Town recovers it's past "loan" or tax advance, there is no other impact on the Town budget other than the $93 that I cited in my earlier posting.

Thus in the long term there is virtually no Town tax revenues from this property.

Every day is a learning day.

questions without answers said...

is this affordable housing or a homeless shelter? the idea that has been floated about for years is providing workforce housing for teachers, firefighters or other municipal workers. are they being given a priority? we have more questions than answers so far. and by the way, how much is this property worth on the open market?

Anonymous said...

Why must taxpayers pay for people living rent free in todays world.
This property should be sold to someone who could pay their fair share as each and everyone of us has done for years.
If the house is sold instead of a high mortgage one could get a lower mortgage for more years.
Why must they only pay five thousand dollars of taxes for forty years.
We need help also.
This home should be sold to someone within a certain income bracket and full taxes collected .
Since when did Greenburgh become Santa Clause in giving away this property and a Scrooge when it comes to the residents throughout all of Greenburgh.
This property is not affordable housing this is going to be a welfare residence.
We do not want this and our neighbors in Ardsley should fight back at this plan.
Why was this property not advertised as a foreclosure .
How many more properties are in foreclosure?
What else should we expect in the next few months after this one is finished,How many more will be going up ?The tax burden on the residents is going thru the roof now.
Put the foreclosures on the market.
I do not think this property was listed anywhere as a foreclosure I could be wrong but is it legal.

Anonymous said...

There is a need for affordable housing. How come this is taking so long?

Anonymous said...

Because Barnes was in charge.

Anonymous said...

If this property is not the old Water Wheel, then the introduction from the Superfvisor should have clearly explained that this was a SECOND property - and he ought to have gone on and explained that this wasn't "affordable" housing as proposed for the Water Wheel property. This is WELFARE housing.
Politicians wonder why ordinary people don't trust them - here's a prime example of politically directed bullshit designed to obscure the facts, and make it impossible for an individual citizen to make a rational choice about supporting or opposing the idea.
Reeking Carbuncle will bitch about the "cabalistas" trying to make Fall Guy Piner responsible - sorry, in this instance, HE IS. And electing the yes folk of the Paulitburo is immaterial.
Try telling the truth - it might just make you free....

tax stupidity said...

on close analysis, this looks like a huge blunder. ardsley's village taxpyers and school district are getting no guaranties that the occupants will serve in either of its workforce. town taxpayers are not being shown an appraisal of the property to determine what they are also giving up.

lets hope the stupidty ends here with this small project.

Anonymous said...

You're not being shown an appraisal because it would highlight that once again Fall Guy Whiner is selling an asset for far less than market value.
Rather than responsibly dispose of the property by SEALED BID AUCTION, his Supervisorship has determined to pursue a social good rather than obey the law. Sweetheart deals will be the law of Greenburgh under the new Paulitburo - and honest taxpayers will have to make up the difference.
Idea: Next Tuesday just vote "NO!"