It’s All in the Balance

In the page one article about rock chipping in the June 26 issue, a partial reference was made to a comment I made at the last City Council meeting. I’d like to expand on what I said.

I did suggest that perhaps the City might consider “balancing all the construction over the last decade with ten years of silence.” That indeed would be a blessing. But my comment was tongue-in-cheek, prompted by some of the developers at the meeting claiming that the proposed 30-day limitations represented excessive change from having nothing in the code previously. They asked for a “more balanced” plan.

City codes are always a work-in-progress. When codes are first written, municipalities can’t possibly anticipate all future needs. Until developers started tearing down old houses and replacing them for quick turnover sales with often double or larger units (not even counting the large cellars), there wasn’t any problem with excessive rock chipping. So it’s understandable there hadn’t been previous restrictions; hence my question on the use of the term “balance.” Since we didn’t have noise from rock chipping before, a truly fair balance would be an equal amount of time going forward with no chipping.

A second point of semantics: I noted at the meeting that each developer who spoke carefully avoided the term “developer.” Instead, they tended to talk about “homeowners’ rights.” I don’t believe these developers are “homeowners,” they are “property owners” and for a very short period of time. To me “homeowner” means a house owned and lived in by a family.

Finally, if we are to talk about homeowners’ rights, certainly the right to a peaceful, healthy residency must be high on the list. Such rights in my mind take precedence over the right of developers to rebuild Rye into a string of mega-mansions for corporate profit. For a hundred years, the homeowners in Rye were able to raise their families without the luxury of huge basements. Limited rock chipping will not stop what’s happening in Rye, but it will provide better balance for the good of the community overall.


 — Allen Clark


Building Better Quality of Life

At the July 8 City Council meeting there was a public hearing on the proposed Rock Chipping legislation. Voting will not take place until after at least one more public hearing. Build a Better Rye hopes that the Council will vote for a law that is respectful of Rye residents’ quality of life vs. the business interest of builders.  

Of the 26 people who addressed the City Council to express their views on the first draft of the Rock Chipping legislation, 13 were builders, architects, or lawyers. They were very organized, very much against the proposed draft and very strongly against restricting rock chipping at a building project to 30 calendar days.

We urge residents to watch the portion of the Council meeting pertaining to the rock chipping law online at www.RyeNY.gov. One can also read the proposed legislation on the July 8 agenda (page 167).

All Rye residents who feel strongly about this issue need to voice their opinions to the City Council either by attending the August 5 City Council meeting or by writing a letter to the Council’s attention.
If residents would like more information or would like to join Build a Better Rye, they can email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


— Louise Sullivan and Maggie Jahn


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