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White Plains Sets Hearing On Redeveloping Office Parks

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The White Plains Common Council has scheduled a public hearing for Sept. 4 on the environmental impact of allowing retail and residential redevelopment of struggling office parks along the southern side of Mamaroneck Avenue and the western side of Westchester Avenue.

“What we’re trying to do is offer some flexibility to the property owners and potential purchasers. We don’t want to wind up with a string of mausoleums, which is what the possibility is,” Mayor Thomas Roach said. “This is a major concern countywide. That’s why we’re trying to take the first step here.”

New zoning, creating an Open Space Recreation District, would maintain the same ratio of developed and undeveloped space on properties while encouraging developers to preserve open space and integrate biking and walking trails that connect to the outside city. The current zoning of the area, called the C-O Zoning District, allows office space only.

Planning Commissioner Susan Habel has said office spaces along Main Street, Mamaroneck Avenue and in the urban renewal zone have fared far better than the office parks on the far southern end of Mamaroneck Avenue and the western side of Westchester Avenue. A goal of the new zoning would be to fill the 18.31 percent of White Plains’ downtown office space that is vacant.

At its last meeting, the Common Council found a draft environmental impact statement of the new zoning to be complete, allowing it to schedule a public hearing. It also will accept written comments on the impact statement through 5 p.m. Oct. 11. Comments should be mailed to the city clerk at City Hall, 255 Main St., White Plains, NY 10601.

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