Story by Katie Bisaro
As the Village of Warwick prepares to review its Comprehensive Master Plan, a resolution creating a special board to facilitate this task was adopted by the Board of Trustees at their regular meeting on Tues., Feb. 18.
The new 10-member “Village of Warwick Comprehensive Plan Committee” (CPC) will be appointed by the Village Board and will serve at its pleasure. A chairman will be appointed out of the 10 CPC members. The members will serve without compensation and will attend regular meetings.
Notices will be posted at Village Hall and on the Village’s website, www.villageofwarwick.org, soliciting Village residents to volunteer as candidates for the Comprehensive Plan Committee. For more information, call the Village Clerk at 986-2031.
Local Residency Cards Available
The Village’s new Local Residency Cards are now available. Applications will be accepted on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 2 to 4 p.m. There are also evening hours from 4 to 6 p.m. on the following Wednesdays: Feb. 26, Mar. 4, and Mar. 11.
Applicants should bring a completed local residency card application and proper proof of residency to Village Hall, located at 77 Main St. in Warwick, during the stated days and times. The fee per application is $10, payable by cash or check.
The application form as well as a list of approved proof of residency can be found on the Village’s website, www.villageofwarwick.org. Applications are also available at Village Hall during regular business hours. Information will be posted at Village Hall in both English and Spanish.
Mayor Michael Newhard reported that the hours during which applications will be accepted may be adjusted based on the demand and time it takes to process each application. He also thanked those who have said they would like to volunteer to help with the residency card application process and asked that they call Village Clerk, Raina Abramson, at 986-2031 for more information.
Board Discusses Senior Housing Options
Lou Marquet of Leyland Alliance Communities, the developer of the Warwick Grove over-55 community in the Village, spoke to the Village Board of Trustees about the possibility of building senior citizen housing for those seniors who would like to remain in Warwick but are “over-qualified” for subsidized senior housing already in existence.
According to Marquet, there are senior citizens who would like to stay in Warwick but no longer want the responsibility and upkeep of larger homes and whose income is such that they do not qualify for subsidized senior housing. They are willing to spend market-rate prices for apartments, however oftentimes the non-subsidized apartments that are available in Warwick present accessibility issues such as entranceway steps.
Gap in Senior Housing Options
In a letter to the Board prior to the meeting, Marquet pointed out that zoning district options for senior citizen housing include “higher value planned adult communities” (such as Warwick Grove) or “affordable, subsidized senior housing” (such as Liberty Green) but nothing that permits a “smaller, market-rate senior citizen housing development.” It is the gap in between that Marquet would like to explore for a future development.
Mayor Newhard expressed concern that if there is an influx of senior housing that receives market-rate rents then there will be no incentive to build subsidized senior housing to continue to fill that need.
Marquet countered that seniors who do not qualify for subsidized housing will end up moving away as there will be no other options for smaller, accessible, market-rate apartments. Furthermore, Marquet added, available land for a senior development is limited and as a result the marketplace would not be overwhelmed.
“We have successful people, involved in many ways in our community, that would rather live in a rental than a home and we do not provide the opportunity for those people to stay as citizens,” Marquet stated.
Trustee Barry Cheney agreed that it was an issue that needed consideration. He pointed out that the Village of Warwick has the infrastructure, such as water and sewer, to sustain subsidized senior housing developments that are not available in areas such as Pine Island and Greenwood Lake. He also noted that the market-rate apartments planned for Forester Ave. are already garnering a lot of interest.
As the Comprehensive Master Plan is slated to be reviewed and updated, Cheney was not in favor of making any changes in the zoning until that is done. Newhard concurred and said the matter warranted further discussion by the full board (two Trustees were absent at this meeting) and asked Marquet to research examples of what he is trying to achieve with his proposed development.
Community Development Programs: Public Hearing Scheduled
A public hearing has been scheduled to consider projects for funding under the Orange County Community Development Block Grant for fiscal year 2021. Several past projects have been accomplished through this funding including sidewalk rehabilitation throughout the Village.
The public hearing will be held on Mon., Mar. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall to discuss projects for this funding.
The next meeting of the Village of Warwick Board of Trustees will take place on Mon., Mar. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall, located at 77 Main St. in Warwick.