Since its founding in 1908, The Osborn has been an integral part of the City of Rye community. If you have lived here for a few years, you will know how much The Osborn is part of Rye’s past and future. As a 30-year Rye resident and immediate-past chair of the board of trustees, I can testify firsthand that The Osborn, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, has been a fiscal, economic, and healthcare partner contributing to the quality of life that benefits the citizens of Rye.
It should be noted that the senior facility is Rye’s second largest property taxpayer, investing over $46 million in local property taxes over time, benefitting the Rye City School District, the City of Rye, as well as Westchester County. The Osborn currently pays over $2.2 million in annual property taxes. It is also the top healthcare employer in Rye, with more than 750 employees comprised of nurses, therapists, dieticians, engineers, home care staff, food service workers, and social workers.
Most importantly, The Osborn is home to over 400 Rye residents who are active in the community. Every year, it provides tens of thousands of dollars in support of local charities and nonprofit organizations doing vital work in our community.
I am sharing this information because The Osborn has reached a pivotal stage where we need the support of the City. In 2018, we began the process to seek a “senior living” zoning text amendment to establish land use and dimensional requirements for “Senior Living Facilities” within the R-2 Zoning District.
In working with Planning Commission over the course of 2019, The Osborn revised and refined its zoning text amendment proposal to address recommendations suggested by the Commission.
We also went to great lengths to collaborate with our neighbors. In doing so, we incorporated several limitations based on their feedback and the City Council’s. As a result, the proposal now includes enhanced landscaping and screening requirements intended to prioritize open space elements and ensure The Osborn maintains its beautiful green campus; increased setbacks beyond what is currently required; and greater limitations on building height than what is currently permitted.
Along with a positive recommendation from the Planning Commission, The Osborn submitted an updated proposal to the City Council in March 2021.
It has been nearly 25 years since The Osborn has expanded its facilities to provide the highest quality care to our residents and the best work environment for our employees. The proposed zoning would allow The Osborn to develop a site plan with more certainty and established parameters. Once the site plan is created, we will submit it for City review, public input, and hearings, updating, and eventual vote. Throughout the site planning process, we will collaborate with interested stakeholders to address construction-related questions, such as vehicle parking, noise control, stormwater management, and tree preservation.
Should the zoning not be approved, The Osborn will be at risk of significantly falling behind industry trends offering residents newer, integrated, and more modern senior-friendly facilities and services.
Speaking on behalf of my fellow board members, donors, staff, and the over 400 residents who call The Osborn home, we hope the City Council will vote in favor of our pending “senior living” zoning text amendment proposal.
- Bill Pearson
Chair, Envision Committee
Member, The Osborn Board of Trustees
<If you want to learn more about our proposal and show your support of our Envision initiative, visit www.TheOsborn.org/Envision.>