Larchmont’s ‘Limousine Liberalism’?

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Wow. Check out the front page of  Salon, (thanks for correction, see below) calling Larchmont the “premier civil rights battleground of 2011.”

Blueprint exterior of one of the proposed coop buildings

This is because of the County agreement to build affordable housing, describing the units to be built in Larchmont as  “behind a strip mall, pinned against railroad tracks and I-95. The heart of Larchmont, where the suburban dream of spacious single-family homes on ample green lawns thrives, is up a hill and around the bend, where the highway recedes and an upscale commercial strip emerges, including one store that bills itself as an “eco-forward lifestyle boutique.”

What do you think?

5 thoughts on “Larchmont’s ‘Limousine Liberalism’?

  1. Maybe it’s because I’m an immigrant to the USA and a relative newcomer to Mamaroneck, but what the heck, exactly, is ‘fair housing’? I really don’t understand this concept.

    If you’re wealthy you can probably a afford a big house with a pool somewhere up the top of Fenimore.

    If you’re poor you might struggle to afford a small apartment at the bottom of Fenimore.

    How is this UNfair, exactly?

    Is it unfair to be poor? Is it unfair to the poor for the rich to be rich? Where I come from that’s called ‘socialism’.

    I was raised in public housing in Scotland. As an undergraduate I lived for several years in one of the worst public housing projects in Glasgow. It was all I could afford.

    Now I live in a rather nice house in Mamaroneck. No pool, but nice.

    How did I end up here, after starting from there? The usual mixture of good luck, some degree of intelligence, a can-do attitude, and hard bloody work. So I would describe myself as living in ‘fair housing’; it’s my house and I earned it, fair and square.

    Anyone who thinks anything radically different is a ‘fair housing’ policy is living in cloud cuckoo land (as we say in Glasgow).

    Mike

  2. If whoever wrote the article for Slate did his/her homework he/she would have noticed that the proposed new apartments are next to and overlook I-95 and the railroad tracks, but that most of the other, older, existing apartments in Larchmont do so too, including those priced far closer to $1,000,000 than to $200,000.

    He/she, if he/she had done his/her homework, would also have noticed that these brand new apartments, with two on-site parking spaces each, and soundproofing to protect the occupants from the noise of I-95 and the railroad, will be priced at the same level as many older, existing Larchmont apartments are, and most of the existing ones have no such soundproofing, nor do they have on-site parking or, if they have it, it costs extra. I again note that many of the existing apartments also overlook the railroad and I-95.

    Not everyone in Larchmont has a six or seven-figure income–in fact, if the author of the article did his or her homework he/she would have discovered that, for years, 10-15% of Larchmont’s population has been below the poverty line–the people for whom the new apartments are intended are thus appreciably better off financially that quite a few present Larchmonters are.

    Larchmont just presents a tempting target for those who can write the article but cannot, or do not care enough to, research the facts.

  3. Did the writer drive around Larchmont? Not much land to be had around these parts. I am glad for the affordable housing, but I think Slate was just trying to stir the pot without much thought to land values. There are plenty of high-priced apartments and homes in Larchmont that overlook the highway and railroad tracks.

    I believe the cutoff for income is $80,000 for a family. Not exactly giving these units away to the homeless. Just enabling the people who service all the rich folk a chance for their children to get a great education, and not commute 2 or 3 hours a day.

    A community needs people of all income levels. People who will add youth and community service. They are potential volunteers for the ambulance corps and the fire dept. They could be our crossing guards and teachers. They will bring new business to Main Street. A bustling shopping district raises home prices. A win for all.

  4. Yep. That’s the idea. Freeriders are not welcome anywhere, so all those, and they are welcome, who wish to live the good life will have to pay the right price for it. And what is wront with that ? Keep your tempers and compare with cars and vacations.

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