White Plains, NY — On Monday night, the Board of Legislators voted unanimously to approve a lease for a new site for the County's Family Court in New Rochelle.

The new location will be a 35,000-square-foot space on two floors of a yet-to-be-constructed building at 26 Garden Street, a short distance from a major transit hub, the New Rochelle Transit Center.

The Board spent much of June and July examining the 30-year lease for part of the property to make sure the deal serves the best interests of taxpayers, the needs of the court and the interests of the surrounding community. The court is expected to move into the new facility in 2021.

The court can no longer remain at its current North Avenue location and the county has been working for some time to find a suitable new location.

Legislator Damon Maher (D - Eastchester, Tuckahoe, New Rochelle), said, "I am glad that we have a plan to keep a branch of the Westchester Family Court in New Rochelle for the next 30 years. Not only that, we are having a new state-of-the-art facility built to accommodate an extra judge and ancillary legal and social services. There will also be plenty of parking and access to nearby mass transit for visitation and employees.”

Legislator Terry Clements (D - New Rochelle, Pelham, Pelham Manor), said, "I'm thankful for the hard work of my colleagues on behalf New Rochelle residents and the Pelham and Mount Vernon residents who will be using the court. I'm so pleased that we arrived at a site right by the transit hub that is convenient and accessible. This has been a long process, but the outcome is an example of how county and local government and community members, working together, can achieve solutions that benefit everyone."

Board Chair Ben Boykin (D - White Plains, Scarsdale, Harrison), said, "Family Court serves people at vulnerable times in their lives. Having the court in a convenient location in a new, modern building will be a great benefit to the residents of New Rochelle, Pelham, Mount Vernon and the surrounding community.”

Majority Whip MaryJane Shimsky (D - Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Edgemont, Hartsdale, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington), chair of the Board's Public Works Committee, said, "For many years the New Rochelle Family Court has been operating in a building that has been inadequate for its needs. I'm proud that finally we're on the path toward getting a desperately needed new facility, with safe and convenient access for people from all over southeast Westchester.”

Legislator Catherine Borgia (D - Briarcliff Manor, Cortlandt, Croton-on-Hudson, Ossining, Peekskill), chair of the Board's Budget and Appropriations Committee, said, "I’m glad we’re going to be able to create the kind of facility we need to properly serve the families and the children of New Rochelle and the surrounding parts of the county.”

Legislator Lyndon Williams (D- Mount Vernon), chair of the Board's Law and Major Contracts Committee, said, “We spent several hours reviewing this arrangement to ensure that the taxpayers of Westchester County are getting the best deal possible, and that the residents who rely on the court have access to the space and services they need.”

New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said, "With easy access to mass transit and close proximity to population centers, the new Family Court will be in the best position to serve the residents of our region effectively. I congratulate the county’s leadership and look forward to further collaboration between the county and city in addressing our community’s needs."

County Executive George Latimer said, “I applaud the Board of Legislators’ approval of the new Westchester County Family Court in New Rochelle. The approval of this lease is a long time coming, and I’m happy to finally have a new location for the people of this county. My administration and the Board extensively examined this 30-year lease and know that this is the best option for the taxpayers, the courts and the community. While the space at 26 Garden Street has to be constructed, it is the best location with easy access to mass transit, close to the center of New Rochelle and the ability to create a state-of-the-art facility. I look forward to cutting the ribbon on this facility in 2021.”

The Family Court handles matters such as adoption, child custody, guardianship and paternity, as well as cases of child abuse and neglect and cases of domestic violence. It's a court that does important work to protect vulnerable children and families, and having local courthouses is a major help to families who might otherwise have to travel great distances to make court appearances.

There are three family court locations in Westchester -- one in Yonkers, one in White Plains, and one in New Rochelle -- each handling caseloads from different regions.

A copy of the legislation voted on Monday night is available for download at http://bit.ly/2LlIqXl