Rarely does a year go by in which we aren’t told — by dedicated officials and volunteers — that they are working to ‘Keep Rye Rye.’
By Robin Jovanovich
Rarely does a year go by in which we aren’t told — by dedicated officials and volunteers — that they are working to ‘Keep Rye Rye.’ It’s a goal we all want to believe in, even as we accept that change happens.
But do the changes have to be so blaring (the construction of one new home inflicted seven months of rock chipping on an otherwise quiet and beloved neighborhood, Indian Village), and glaring (shouldn’t there be a ban on new home construction that results in one new homeowner looking directly out of his front window into his neighbor’s backyard and vice versa)? Isn’t all the cookie-cutter building going on in town quickly decimating the diverse landscape of homes we love?
While we are proud to have saved the Knapp House, the oldest residence in Westchester, what will we think when three brand-new large homes are built adjacent to it in the coming year?
Last month, the City Council, thanks to the input of the Landmarks Advisory Committee, voted to landmark the Bird Homestead and Rye Meeting House on Milton Road. Perhaps it’s time we put our collective thinking caps on and came up with ways to encourage preservation of residential homes of a certain age and character. (My new neighbors, Gayle and John Regan, did just that at 653 Milton Road, a 19th-century home, and it’s a beautiful sight.)
Many of the new homes going up at a dizzying pace in town do not fit in with their neighborhood, and, frankly, look like builder’s specials on stilts. They may have his-and-her laundries and two family rooms, but they have little green space to enjoy and are often taking away the enjoyment of their neighbors’ privacy.
Can there be good development? Absolutely, but not enough of it is occurring in our town, and we need our leaders to speak up and take the action needed to stop the teardown culture before it consumes the landscape.