GEIS ImageReaching another milestone in New Rochelle’s downtown revitalization efforts, this week our development team presented a Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement (FGEIS) that evaluates and addresses the effects of a proposed downtown overlay zone.  This new document adds considerable specificity and detail to the Draft GEIS released in September, while also addressing public comments posed in response to the Draft.

The FGEIS is particularly strong in its analysis of fiscal costs and benefits, making clear that various revenue streams associated with the plan will far exceed anticipated capital and service needs.  In addition to traditional revenue sources such as property taxes, PILOTS, sales taxes, and permit fees, new downtown development will also have to contribute to a “Fair Share” mitigation fund that will cover infrastructure expenses for both the City and School District.  The bottom line: taxpayers will come out ahead – a standard we have insisted upon from the very beginning of this entire venture.

The FGEIS also outlines a community benefit framework that will link development height bonuses to public goods such as open space, preservation of historic buildings, or affordable housing beyond the 10% baseline requirement.

Although the word “Final” implies a conclusive action, the acceptance of the FGEIS is, in fact, not the last step in the environmental review process.  Still to come: a “findings” statement that will contain the City Council’s conclusions and spell out in even greater detail the requirements and expectations associated with new development.

You can read the full FGEIS here.  Here is the proposed overlay zone itself, with much more information about design standards.   Finally, here is a powerpoint summarizing fiscal impacts.  A public hearing on the FGEIS is scheduled for 7:30pm on November 24th.