We, the undersigned, implore the Mayor and Trustees of the Village of Scarsdale to NOT ADOPT the resolution under public consideration which would impose a six-month moratorium effective November 14th that would STOP ALL construction. This would mean:
o no additions or changes to existing homes (including grading changes, patios, decks, variances and more)
o no permits to construct swimming pools
o no demolition of non-historic homes
o no new construction
If a moratorium is imposed, virtually any work that would require Board of Architectural Review, Planning Board , Zoning Board or CHP approval would come to a standstill.
We believe that any evaluation and updating to applicable Village code can take place without shutting down all construction. This approach has precedent in our town and has worked before!
HOW WILL THIS IMPACT SCARSDALE RESIDENTS?
If this moratorium is passed, it would have a MAJOR NEGATIVE ECONOMIC IMPACT ON OUR COMMUNITY for the following reasons:
1) Real Estate Prices in Scarsdale will decrease: A moratorium will negatively impact the village real estate market and ultimately the value of all of our homes, which is, for many of us, our most significant asset. Inventory is already down 30% and the majority of homes that are listed for sale require renovations and expansions. Buyers are not going to take the chance and buy these homes while a moratorium is in place. This will force buyers to look at other surrounding towns, decreasing overall demand. In other words, all of our property values will decline.
2) Long time residents will get hit with an increase in taxes: New homes and home improvements increase valuations and thereby increase the share of the real estate tax burden that the buyers of new and renovated homes bare, which in turn lightens the burden for long-time residents. The moratorium will halt this process indefinitely and could potentially trigger another re-valuation. In the fiscal year '22/'23, building department fees accounted for $2.35m in operating revenue. Who is going to make up for that loss?
3) New buyers and new residents will be unfairly penalized: Families who have recently purchased or are in contract on homes or land who were expecting to do work or build new homes will experience financial hardship by being forced to wait at least 6 months, and probably much longer. These families have children who need to enter the school system by certain dates and have gone into contract assuming there would be no issue with submitting building applications.
4) Residents in the local construction industry will lose significant business: Many contractors and vendors who are current residents of Scarsdale and whose livelihood relies on income from the Scarsdale construction market will be severely impacted and potentially be out of work during the moratorium.
5) Not allowing us to attempt to make any changes to our own properties for an indefinite amount of time is taking away our rights as property owners.
We propose that the Mayor and Trustees drop the suggested moratorium while they carefully evaluate any potential changes or modifications to current codes and procedures. This may require more than 6 months and should be done with an appropriate amount of time, care, and without negatively impacting our community.
Our Village has periodically updated our Village code and procedures for evaluating historic preservation, criteria for the architectural review board, policies that impact land use, etc. and this has been successfully done without calling for a moratorium.
Please sign our petition and show support to eliminate the consideration of a building moratorium, protect our property values and protect our rights to submit applications to improve our own homes and community.