News and Events for Larchmont Residents
From the Mayor

Dear Fellow Larchmonters,

Happy New Year! Here’s wishing 2020 will bring peace and love to our Village, our Country and our World!

At our recent Board meeting on January 13 th , Mr. Georges Jacquemart of BFJ Planning presented his findings and recommendations resulting from the Village’s Comprehensive Parking Study , followed by a thorough Q&A session. Additionally, I offered some prepared remarks including laying out the next steps for implementing his professional recommendations. See my article below to read about this topic in greater detail and CLICK HERE  to watch the presentation and read the parking study report.

Our initial roll-out of online water bill payments has been very successful, with over 20% of accounts signing up for this option. We anticipate use of the CivicPay portal will increase with each billing cycle, saving many hours of staff time to be used in more beneficial ways. It’s easy, fast, and secure – so please consider creating an online account and, while you’re at it, sign up for paperless billing and save some trees.

Constitution Park Update
The incredible, unseasonably warm weather of the past two weeks (certainly gone now) has been very helpful in moving the Constitution Park renovation along. Most of the stonework has been completed, electrical conduits for lighting have been laid, the trees are placed for the allees, and grading and path beds are almost finished. While there’s still much to be done, you can really see the structure of the park design coming to life – so exciting! This phase of the project (anticipated completion spring 2020) will include all of the hardscape, lighting, paths, new gazebo, and children’s play area. We will soon begin developing the planting plan for the next phase of the project, for which we intend to prioritize the use of native plants.

The New Budget
This week the Board, along with the Village Administrator, Treasurer and Finance and Budget Committee, begins the months-long process of creating the 2020/21 Village Budget . Budget sessions, listed on the calendar below, are open to the public. Please join us to see what goes into making the budgetary decisions that affect our Village tax levy. This year our tax cap is set at 1.78% and it is our intention to remain within the cap while still providing a level of service that is expected by our residents.

To accomplish this goal we are always looking for ways to lower costs and increase non-tax-levy revenue. This spring we will be embarking on a capital project to replace all of the Village’s streetlight fixtures with LED lamps . Not only will this provide improved and consistent lighting throughout our residential streets, it will also save approximately $60,000/year in electricity costs. We are also analyzing the impact of the 1% increase in Westchester County Sales Tax since it became effective on August 1st, to project what we may expect for this coming budget.

Delicious News
The Village recently welcomed two great new restaurants to our downtown, Bellasera (on Palmer) and Bonasera’s (on Chatsworth). Que sera sera! Also, have you seen Vision of Tomorrow ’s new digs on Boston Post Road? They were so happy in Larchmont, they bought their own building! And Pop In! Play Space & Café is opening in the former Voracious Reader space. Congratulations to all! Watch for notices of upcoming ribbon cuttings – join us if you can!

Mayor Lorraine Walsh

Committee and Department Updates
Larchmont Environmental Committee
Are you concerned about the state of our environment and interested in mitigating climate change? Come learn about the Larchmont Environmental Committee! Next meeting is February 9 am in the Larchmont library. Contact [email protected]
Larchmont Volunteer Fire Department
The Larchmont Volunteer Fire Department is in need of fire fighters! If you are interested in working with a great group of gu ys and gals then the LFD is for you. You will receive first-rate training and become a part of the Larchmont Fire Department Volunteers and also get to enjoy some of our great social events! For more information go to , stop by the firehouse and talk with the Fire Chief, or call Bubba Fanelli 914-403-2387

The Annual Larchmont Fire Department Volunteer Bonfire will be on March 21, 2020 from 5pm - 8pm. The traditio n continues! Put it in your calendar today.
From The Larchmont Fire Department
A reminder about disaster preparedness: Practice evacuating your home twice a year. Grab your emergency kit, just like you would in a real emergency, then drive your planned evacuation route. Plot alternative routes on your map in case roads are impassable. And plan ahead for your pets. Keep a phone list of pet-friendly hotels, motels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes. Remember, if it is not safe for you to stay home, it is not safe for your pets either.
From The Larchmont Police Departme nt

Please join the Larchmont PBA for its For The Babies event on March 6 at 6pm at Hampshire Country Club. This is an annual Charity Poker Tournament to benefit the March of Dimes . Last year the PBA raised over $20,000! To buy your tickets today click here .

Scam Alert
The Police Department has received complaints about scammers calling and pretending to be representatives from ConEd and the calls may even show up as ConEd on caller ID. Typically callers will inform you that your power or natural gas will be turned off within the hour if you do not pay, and the request is often for payment by pre-paid debit cards. If you receive a call that you think is suspicous hang up and call the LPD at 914-834-1000 or ConEd at 1-800-75-CONED (26633).
Larchmont Library
The Friends of the Library will be hosting their 3rd Annual Mini Golf Fundraiser at the Library on 2/8 and 2/9. Tickets are available now online for the Saturday evening cocktail party and mini golf event $45 (grown ups only) an d for the family mini golf on Sunday $5 per person. Visit the Friends website here for more info and to purchase tickets.
Parking in Larchmont

One of the most enduring complaints in Larchmont is the difficulty of parking in the shopping districts, which has been made worse over the years by the lack of remedial action, the increase in vehicle ownership and the popularity of Larchmont’s train station.
Inaction Is Not a Solution
As a matter of fact, parking has been looked at by professionals and community task-force groups at least 5 times since the mid-60’s. Each time the study recommendations have largely been disregarded and the problem persisted. To quote the 2007 Village Parking Study done by external experts, “thus far no action has been taken … the problem continues to grow”.
The Village Board, and particularly myself and Trustee Carol Herman, were determined to change that narrative. We felt it was necessary to get a fresh look at parking habits and issues in the Village today and thoroughly immerse ourselves in the study of municipal parking and its impact on the community. We approached this project as part of our effort to revitalize the downtown, since availability and ease of parking for shoppers is essential to the health of our local businesses. We also came to understand parking as a Village asset which provides benefits to residents and visitors alike, but which also requires careful management and adequate funding for upkeep and renovation. After putting out an RFP and receiving several qualified submittals, we engaged BFJ Planning to do a comprehensive parking study for the Village’s two commercial districts.
Mr. Georges Jacquemart, a founding principal of BFJ Planning and director of the firm's transportation practice, performed the study and submitted a report of his findings and recommendations. Mr. Jacquemart presented an overview of the report and answered questions at the recent Village Board meeting held on January 13 th . Click here to watch the video and read the report.
The Solution Must Address Multiple Needs
We never expected it would take this long to fully digest the study and come to the point of implementing change. However, the deeper Trustee Herman and I dug into the topic the more we appreciated the complexity of the situation. Because in addition to considering the needs of shoppers, we also must account for parking usage by business owners and their employees, commuters, apartment residents, and some large employers such as Chatsworth Elementary School and the Post Office. The needs of each type of user often overlap, sometimes clash, and are of primary importance to each individual.
Engaging All the Constituents
As part of the study we’ve gathered representative feedback from all interested parties:
·  we’ve sent out surveys to apartment residents holding general permits and employees of Chatsworth Elementary School
·  we've met with the Larchmont Post Office Postmaster
·  we’ve done sidewalk surveys in the business districts
·  we’ve run focus group interviews with business owners and the Chamber of Commerce
In addition to the data collection and meetings done as part of the study, over this past year we have been:
·  meeting with the Village’s Traffic Commission and Police Department
·  engaging with parking equipment vendors
·  holding discussions with and receiving data from employees of neighboring municipalities about the ins-and-outs of their parking systems
·  continuing to speak with business owners at meetings of the Larchmont Chamber of Commerce
We Have Been Making Changes Incrementally to Minimize Impact
In 2019, we made the following changes:
·  we created two General Parking Permit Districts – Palmer and Boston Post
·  at the train station lots:
> we merged Lot 2 into Lot 1 by removing the gray meters and having one consistent permit for all spaces
> installed m ore clearly-worded changes to the signage in Lots 1, former Lot 2 and Lot 3. New signage is more clearly worded and is posted in additional locations near entrances to lots
> changed the hour at which free parking starts in Lots 1 and 3, to encourage greater off-hour use of these lots by residents and business employees
> we made a limited number of newly-created business permits for Lot 3 available
·  we restricted Lot 8 to business permits only
·  we instituted a 25% senior-citizen discount for all resident permits
This spring, we will roll out online permit sales, and will introduce a Mobile Pay App for parking lots with existing Pay Stations.
The next steps are to implement most of the remaining study recommendations, which would include:
·  improved signage
·  designating school zone parking
·  increasing street parking opportunities
·  creating additional off-street parking
·   expanding the Village’s existing paid parking to most streets in the commercial zones and the municipal lots
In addition to the current parking study report, studies done in 2007, 2009 and 2012 all recommended paid parking as a way to increase parking space turnover and handle the enforcement of time-limited parking. We are executing the recommended solutions after extensive consideration of the impact and in a deliberate manner.
Much Planning Work Has Already Been Done - Here Are a Few Guiding Principles for Next Steps
Being mindful of the look of the Village, we have decided not to use stand-alone meters. Instead, paid parking will be handled by using Multi-Space Pay Stations and a Parking App. To the extent possible, we plan to minimize the number of Pay Stations, using the same Mobile Pay App already introduced to fill in gaps and make the process as efficient and user-friendly as possible.
While we approached this project as part of our effort to revitalize the downtown through more effective management of the Village’s parking assets, we also believe that it will have the benefit of providing a significant non-property tax revenue stream. Our plan is to dedicate a percentage of this additional annual revenue to be reinvested in the downtown through a business district improvement capital fund account. This fund would be used for projects such as parking lot redesign and maintenance and streetscape enhancements, among other things. Our most conservative estimate still indicated that in the first year this would yield funds for infrastructure even after all costs are considered.
But There Is Still More Work to Do
We need to develop solid revenue and expense projections and an analysis of debt service. These items are driven by infrastructure (e.g., Pay Stations, signage) and operational (e.g., increased enforcement resources) costs which we are now in a better position to understand and estimate. Consequently, at our March 18 Board meeting, our intention is to pick up where we left off on January 13th. Administrator Datino will present the parking zones and how paid parking will look and Treasurer Gutwein will present a first take balance sheet for Larchmont’s expanded parking franchise.
Our Next Public Discussion
Even though these changes can be made by Board resolution without the need for a formal public hearing, we will invite public comment on this project at the Board’s April 6, 2020 meeting. In the meantime, all stakeholders are welcome to share their thoughts on the project via email. We have learned much in our conversations with the community throughout this project and we look forward to hearing additional public comment between now and April 6 th .
Village Calendar
2/3 Board of Trustees Budget Work Session
2/4 Traffic Commission Meeting
2/5 Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting
2/10 Board of Trustees Budget Work Session
2/13 Parks and Trees Committee Meeting and Larchmont Environmental Committee Meeting
2/17 Village Hall Closed - President's Day
2/24 Board of Trustee Budget Work Session
2/25 Board of Trustee Meeting
2/26 Architectural Review Board Meeting and Planning Board Meeting (rescheduled from 2/25, tentative date so please check the Village Calendar)
For times and locations of meetings, please visit the Village Website: