The Westchester Board of Legislators voted down a package of financing for affordable housing at a site on Hunts Place in Chappaqua that opponents have argued is unsuitable for housing because it is squeezed between a highway off ramp, railroad tracks and a bridge.
The 28 apartments proposed by Conifer Realty of Rochester are intended to contribute to the 750 affordable units the county is required to build under a 2009 fair housing settlement with the federal government. The no vote does not kill the $2.8 million in financing permanently but pushes its consideration into next year, according to Legislator Michael Kaplowitz, who represents the area.
Kaplowitz, D-Somers, argued for the no vote, saying there are too many questions about fire and building safety that need to be answered first. He also said a new Town Board majority is expected to take another look at the project and possibly suggest other sites when it comes into office in January.
“I’m not saying no to affordable housing,” he said. “I’m saying no based on the information we have thus far on this site.”
A state board, the Division of Building Standards and Codes, is considering the building’s fire and building issues and will make a ruling early in the new year, he said.
Other legislators argued the role of the Board of Legislators is to consider the financing and that putting it off or finding another site could mean the units won’t count toward the 750.
Legislator Catherine Borgia, D-Ossining, said these projects take years.
“It is not something that you can pull up this project and plunk it down in another area,” she said.
Kaplowitz was backed in the vote by the board’s seven Republicans and Democratic Legislator Virginia Perez of Yonkers.