By Mary Marvin, Mayor, Village of Bronxville
Jan. 8, 2020: The Village Board of Trustees is set to finalize our most recent comprehensive plan, a very prudent documentation of the Village, which started with our visionary forbearers in the early 1950s.
In essence, a comprehensive plan states where the community has been, where it is now and where it wants to go by setting goals and recommending actions to ensure orderly growth in line with the preservation of historic and natural resources. Not revised in over ten years, the Board of Trustees chose to undertake the study now in order to reflect the regional, demographic, and economic changes which have evolved over the last decade.
The 2019 Bronxville Comprehensive Plan is a reflection of the importance of the Village’s intent to conserve natural areas, promote connectivity, downtown commercial vitality, preserve neighborhoods, and protect the Village’s attractive historical setting.
In the process, we all learned some interesting facts about the Village, some known and some quite surprising. I share the following as we all get to know our Village a little better.
The Village encompasses just over one square mile at 666 acres. It is approximately 16 miles from Midtown Manhattan and 2 1/2 miles from the Bronx border.
The first European settlers can be traced to the early 1700s with the construction of a sawmill on the Bronx River by John Underhill and the subsequent development of a village around 1850 so named Underhill‘s Crossing. With the coming of the railroad in the 1840s, the rural character of the Village was radically changed.
In 1852, the Village was awarded its own post office, and the Reformed Church constructed its first building in 1850. However, it took until 1898 for the Village to become incorporated as a village in the Town of Eastchester. From this date forward, activity and development accelerated.
The Hotel Gramatan was erected in 1905, Lawrence Hospital in 1909 and Concordia College in 1910. The railroad underpass was completed in 1916, and a building boom soon followed, which quickly transformed the rest of the Village into a bona fide suburban community.
The opening of the Bronx River Parkway in 1925 made automobile traffic more accessible, resulting in the Village being almost truly built out by the end of the 1920s.
With building growth came population growth, and by 1930 the Village’s population had more than doubled to 6387 residents. It actually peaked in 1940 at 6888 and currently we have a population of 6395 residents which represents an increase of 72 persons since the 2010 census.
The median age in the Village is 41.5 years old, a bit higher than the number registered in 2000 and 2010. Since 1990, the age cohorts of 35 to 44 years old and 45 to 50 have consistently been the largest. The portion of residents under five years old has actually decreased from 6.3% in 2000 to 4.6% currently.
While Bronxville’s population remains predominately white, the Asian and Pacific Islander proportion has grown from 4.9% in 2002 to 8.3% as of 2016.
With a total of 2193 households, nearly 3/4 are categorized as family households with the average household size of 2.8 persons, very much the norm for Westchester County, though our average family size of 3.45 is higher than the county average.
Also on the high-end, vis-à-vis the county average, is the number of Village households of residents living alone and over 65, which constitutes 26.4% of our citizens.
The overwhelming majority of the Village’s housing units (72%) were built before 1939. The only new construction has been the Avalon (110 units in 2000) and Villa BXV in 2017 (53 units). 83.9% of our housing units are owner-occupied. Rental housing units have decreased from 23.3% in 2000 to 16.1% in 2016.
No surprises — we are an extremely busy and dense municipality.
The Datapoint call the Annual Average Daily Traffic number gives us a measurement of traffic for a 24 hour period. As an example, White Plains Road, the Village’s only State Road, has an AADT of 10,950 cars or trucks per period.
Even our so-called collector roads have high traffic volumes. As an example, Kraft Avenue has an AADT of 7901. As per the business district, we have 2400 parking spaces, including the on-street meters as well as the off-street public parking lots.
Rents in our central business district are rated comparable to like structures in White Plains, Scarsdale, and the City of Rye.
Due to our proximity to New York City, nearly half of the Villagers employed commute to work via public transportation versus the Westchester County average of 22.4%.
After much research, study and a resident/merchant/visitor poll with responses that were truly record breaking for this kind of endeavor, the net result was an overwhelming – keep Bronxville the way it is.
Responders want open space preserved, infrastructure kept at a high quality, a downtown vibrant and supported and development at a minimum all against the background of preserving the beauty and historic nature of the Village.
Photo by A. Warner
Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.