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Home Schools Link Between Rye Residential Expansion & School Enrollment Explained by Resident

Link Between Rye Residential Expansion & School Enrollment Explained by Resident

On the heals of the defeat of a $20 million bond for Rye school expansion, a Rye resident has assembled a web site that establishes a correlation (and possibly causation) between zoning, school enrollment and taxes.

Zoning expansion and enrollment
(CHART: shows the correlation between residential expansion and school enrollment in Rye. Courtesy zoningplan.org)

In short, the research of Rye resident John Mayo-Smith on his site zoningplan.org shows a link between a massive expansion in Rye housing stock and a similar enrollment expansion in Rye City schools. Mayo-Smith reviewed data from the Rye Board of Architectural Review, the Rye Board of Education and the Rye City final assessment roll to compile his research.

Tell Mayo-Smith what you think by taking his survey.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

  1. The data are intersting and clearly Mr. Mayo-Smith has put in a bunch of time assembling the stuff on-line. Thanks for the effort.

    I’d be interested in understanding if the data are just for the RCSD or if they also cover the Greenhaven part of Rye.

  2. The data cover RCSD. I set aside Greenhaven on a best efforts basis but these projects are not always clearly labeled in the BAR minutes; it would take another pass to determine how many (if any) Greenhaven expansions are included in a given year. Therefore, while it’s true, some Greenhaven residential expansions may be included in the data, as I understand it, Greenhaven accounts for roughly 5% of the Rye housing stock so the impact would be less than five expansions per year.

    Hope this helps.



  3. EXTREMELY interesting piece on the surface but an utter failure from a ” new tax dollars per expansion ” perspective .

    In short , when a 3br ranch house on Forest Avenue is mowed down and a 6BR 6,000 sq ft McMansion replaces it , ITS STILL JUST ONE FAMILY ! That perhaps a family with 3-4 kids replaces family with 1-2 kids is NOT A PROBLEM when you consider the $50-60,000 a year in new property taxes this house brings in vs the $8-12k on the old property .

    In addition , the folks buying the new 6BR house for $3-4-5mm might very well be sending their kids to private school !

    We should be so lucky if our issues in Rye were just small houses replaced by bigger houses in that the family in the new bigger houses gets hit with the full tax increase and the school system gets a healthy bump in revenue at all times ( even if no kids are added to the system ) .

    The far bigger problem is MULTIFAMILY unit . they are all
    immediately filled with new families who see a cheap way to get into town to get their kids in the school system .

    These multi-families are just about all full of families . The buildings generate a fraction of the tax dollars a McMansion generates . They are a DISASTER for Rye taxpayers because they generate little new tax revenue but flood the town with new families and the existing tax payers have to see their taxes increased to cover the multi-family children .

    Those 40 new multi-families ( and i think the number is poised to jump with what i hear is going on ….. 6 new ones to get jammed into wildly overcrowded Cedar Street assuring Rye Country Day School drop off crowd colliding with train station crowd colliding with 6 more families on same street can create utter fiasco )probably injected 60-80 new students into the Rye public school system and created tax revenue to cover maybe 10 children .

    I know the guys who were putting up McMansions back 5-10yrs ago . They all busy building multi-family rentasl in all the towns with good schools . They simply arbitraging the local taxpayers by creatrively finding ways for large numbers of middle to lower mniddle class renters to get into a town they are otherwise unable to afford .

    This packs the schools and causes the need for expansion and higher taxes but they are asking an unchanged number of existing tax payers to foot the bill . These taxpayers have had enough and now you have school bonds voted down ( along with city budgets that cancel capex on roads and sidewalks to fund employee benefits plans )

    Its all completely non-sustainable .

    The values of the big houses in Rye are falling like rocks . This expands the problems of the town and schools to cover their shortfalls . They stupidly try to keep increasing tax rates despite fact we have highest property taxes in the nation and home values fall even more as desperate sellers cut prices .

    This is where we are now in Rye . The few fools in big houses / McMansions see their already absurdly high taxes might be forced higher making their unsellable houses even less sellable and they are cutting prices to escape .

    The builder community sees this and has rapidly shifted from building spec homes to sepc multi-family houses that immediately fill up with children .

    Look at Midland Avenue . Its all but getting erased as we knew it and getting filled with large multi-family residences immediately filled by family renters who are happy to gain access to Rye Schools . Problem is the schools are badly overcrowded and this additional influx is ‘ breaking the camel’s back ‘ .

    10-20yrs from now , the highly rated Rye School system will be completely gone . Class sizes will be forced to expand and you will have many more portable trailors crammed aroudn town and the existing schools will be crumbling relics of Rye past .

    Builders will continue to jam more multi-families in Rye being its the only game to keep their business’s alive .

  4. Jim, when you say that there are 40 new multi-family houses, are these 40 new houses, or are these replacing existing houses? And if so, are they replacing single-family houses or multi-family houses?

  5. Average Citizen,

    Just to be clear, I am assuming when you address “Jim” that you are in reality referring to me because “divman” repeatedly refers to ” Midland Ave.” on this topic….I can assure you I am not “divman”…I DO NOT post under any alias ever!!!

    Now to answer your concern…these homes and properties that “divman” is referring to are all bought by one person, he uses the same builders for every job. These builders are the same ones I consistenly complain to the City about as they ALWAYS DISREGARD the SAFETY of our CHILDREN!!! As for the ones on Midland & Theodore Fremd, all except two so far are either vacant lots or existing MULTI FAMILIES!

    This “property pac man” has been gobbling up property all over Rye, he even did a job off of Forest recently (single family)!

    Scott Pickup allows this company to run around Rye like wild cowboys…these workers get the key to the City with ZERO OVERSIGHT!

    These are the facts as I know them, not looking to disagree w/divman, he is partially correct.

    This buyer has some kind of connection in corporate america and in most cases all these properties are rented before they are even built!!!

  6. No worries “divman”, as long as we keep forming “committees” and have our “leaf blower ban” and “plastic bag ban” we will be forever “sustainable”…LOL!

    Has anyone thought to check with our neighboring towns to see who is the leader in total sub-committees…I bet we are the clear winner!

    Maybe if we hire a “City Manager” that actually has a clue and a HEART he wouldn’t need all these committees to assist him in his $170,000 job!!!

    Hey Scott, have you answered Mr. Schubert’s dying plea yet to drop those ridiculous charges, or do you keep ignoring his wife’s calls & emails?

    I have never in my entire life witnessed a lower act of human indecency…you and the DA will have to answer to your maker one day!!!

  7. John – a question and a thought.

    Question first – how would reducing the building space of homes by 100 square feet reduce costs to the RCSD? I know that reducing size would reduce property “value” and thereby tax revenue, but don’t get the relationship you’ve identified.

    Observation – have you thought about an implicit conflict between the zoning changes you suggest and the affordable housing settlement which tends to drive up housing density? I imagine that lower housing density (and size of construction) would constrain growth in possible school enrollment.

  8. Great points Bob. The zoningplan.org post has been updated with a bit more detail to answer your questions. As I understand it, there are three key takeaways: 1) there’s lots of evidence RCSD enrollment and residential expansion are linked, 2) since 2006, most residential expansion occurred in the high-income owner-occupied segment, 3) the cost to the RCSD far outweighs the extra City revenue stemming from increased assessment.




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