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Old 05-26-2007, 10:38 AM
 
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What is the commute like from Katonah> What is the community like. We have to young girls. We would like them to go to catholic grammer school and high school.
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Old 05-26-2007, 02:37 PM
 
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Commute to where? NYC? A little over an hour to Grand Central on the train.
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Old 05-26-2007, 02:49 PM
 
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LOL I was going to ask the same thing... commute to where and by what?

Katonah is a nice town. JFK is not too far away, in Somers, for HS. Closest Catholic elementary school would be Bedford, I think. Another one is in Yorktown.
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Old 05-27-2007, 07:33 AM
 
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Default Katonah

Thanks! I am sorry I meant to say commute by train to midtown. How is the parking for the train. How bad are the winters up there and is there any problem with crime. any answers would be appreciated.
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Old 05-28-2007, 07:27 AM
 
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I have lived in Bedford Village for 22 years, next to Katonah. Technically, both places are "hamlets" which, together with Bedford Hills, comprise the "town" of Bedford. (I note that Martha Stewart always says she lives in Bedford, but actually her house is located in Katonah.) But back to your question...
Katonah is an exceptionally nice town, with parking facilities at their train station which have been expanded in the last few years. As to whether you could immediately get a parking pass, you should call the Town of Bedford. (I believe that the phone number for the office that gives parking permits is 914-666-8097.) The commute, which as others here have told you is about an hour, is not bad at all. You can always get a seat, and it is a comfortable ride. Weather-wise, our summers out here are cooler and far more pleasant than being in the city. It's woodsy, and the gently hilly lay of the land make for a very lovely environment. Just as the summers are a little cooler than NYC, we get a touch cooler than the city in the winter, but not dramatically different.
St. Patrick's School in Bedford Village would be your local Catholic elementary school, and JFK (not sure exactly where it is) would be the high school. The public school system however is excellent if you decide to opt for it. This is a region where we pay our teachers extraordinarily well (compared to teacher salaries elsewhere in the country), and schools around here are tops. FYI: Katonah is part of the Lewisboro School District, which is different that the one my children went to (the Bedford School District), so this is said based on what I know of it by reputation.
The shopping area of Katonah is quaint while still being "authentic". (This is not a Disneyland reproduction of a small New-England style town. This is the real deal.) There is a great sense of neighborliness in Katonah, and it is not as stuffy or snooty as I feel my own town of Bedford Village is. (Just a subjective, personal opinion, as I guess all of this is.) The friends of mine who live in Katonah all love it too, which I think is the best recommendation of all.
Good luck!
Alex
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Old 07-05-2007, 08:44 AM
 
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MsAlex,
You provide a lot of good information.
What is your take on Bedford Hills specifically? There are some houses near the train station and elementary school that are reasonably priced. Is this a good area?
You seem like you were happy with the Bedford schools?
Thanks!
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Old 07-05-2007, 08:51 AM
 
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Our country home is in Bedford Hills - about an hour on the train from Grand Central. Very nice. Very expensive....
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Old 07-11-2007, 06:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sofosogood View Post
MsAlex,
You provide a lot of good information.
What is your take on Bedford Hills specifically? There are some houses near the train station and elementary school that are reasonably priced. Is this a good area?
You seem like you were happy with the Bedford schools?
Thanks!
As regards the Bedford Schools: I think that they are just about as good as you're going to get in a school system. Bedford Village Elementary has been frequently described as a "private" public school. (It's like a private school in many ways, but lo and behold, it is public.) Even celebrities like Glenn Close preferred to send their child there, because it had such an excellent reputation. The high school is also excellent. There are some mixed reviews about the Middle School. As I said before, we pay our teachers very well in this region as a whole (the MEDIAN salary for a teacher has been said to be over $80,000 -- and this is something we've been repeating for about a decade, so I'm sure that it is higher today. Just not sure exactly what it is.) Because the Bedford School system includes the town of Mount Kisco (which has a Hispanic population, and is statistically less wealthy), there is a mix of kids in the middle and high school. I believe that this has the effect of not making the school as much of a competitive pressure cooker, as I perceive the schools in Chappaqua being, for example. The mix of kids also leads the statistics on the school system to be not as stellar as they are in more lily-white communities (again, I'll compare it to Chappaqua). In our schools however, there are literally more than a hundred teachers who are WAY better than the best teacher I ever had in my day. I've been very impressed with a great many of them. On balance, I should also mention that there are issues that deserve attention concerning how the school system is run, the School Board, the budget, etc.
To respond to your question about Bedford Hills: I think it's is nice, but (and this is just my opinion) I don't think it has the sense of community that either Bedford Village or Katonah have. Bedford Hills is perfectly nice as a whole, but it has some pockets that are very different from what it is like as a whole. I know the area that you describe, and I can't comment as to whether it is a "good area". In general we don't have many robberies or that sort of problem around here. (Our "police blotter" section of the local paper usually has items in it about police being called due to a disturbance, and it turned out to be raccoons who got into garbage pails. The "police blotter" is usually good for a laugh.) The plots of land around the region you describe are very small, and hence the houses are fairly close together (and hence more affordable). I also think that there are some parts of it (e.g. off McClain Rd., or off of Bedford Center Rd) that are nicer than other parts of it (like houses just north of the BH station, following the east side of the railroad).
In contrast, most of Bedford and Bedford Hills is zoned for a minimum of 2 to 4 acres, which is what gives us such a nice, scenic feel -- and is a factor in making that housing so expensive. Like the part of Bedford Hills you are talking about, where I live in Bedford Village is zoned allowing houses to be a little closer together. My neighborhood has a minimum of 1/2 acre zoning and my house is on a pond. (It's great to have "wide open spaces" to look out at that are not necessarily your property!) Here's the self-serving part of this... My house is for sale (3300 sq. ft., for just under $1.1 mil). Let me know if this might be of interest to you, and good luck with your search! Alex
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:46 AM
 
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I am very interested in Katonah. But have a few other questions -- perhaps someone out there knows some answers. I've heard about the excellent school system. I've heard it has good special education but don't know the specifics. I'm looking for a system that works well at including high functioning special education students into the classrooms and the extra-curriculars, etc. Is Katonah that kind of place -- does anyone have experience with this?
Second question -- one of the other places I've been looking is Scarsdale, but it appears I can get more house for my money in Katonah (and my husband likes the more country environment), but I know what Scarsdale has to offer -- the library, the public pool, the recreation -- sports, arts, after school activities -- all of these are truly excellent and inexpensive (part of what you get for those taxes). How does Katonah measure up in these areas? What does the town offer? I'm a little afraid of being out in he middle of no where with nothing to do (for my kids and family)?
Third question -- what is the commute like -- driving? My husband drives into the city because he is a consultant and doesn't work on a regular commute schedule. I'm afraid if you don't live right next to say -- 684 -- you are driving for 30 minutes on windy back roads before you get on the highway. Is this correct? And some of the appealing houses I see online are in South Salem and still part of the Katonah-Lewisboro school system. Those appear to be taking me another 30 minutes off the beaten path when I look on a map, but am I correct in thinking this or does it add only 10 minutes more onto the drive to live in one of these towns -- what is realistic?

As you can tell I've been thinking abut Katonah for a while (but have not actively started lookingat houses yet -- I'm in the City) and it's really these questions that stand in my way of seriously starting to look there. So I welcome anyone's thoughts or experinece on any of this.

Thanks.
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Old 05-05-2008, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Northern Westchester/Putnam
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Hi - I personally don't have experience with special education in Katonah-Lewisboro, however, here is a link to the parents' handbook that talks specifically about special ed in this school district. http://www.klschools.org/www/klsd/si...ntHandbook.pdf.
I would also call/visit the schools and talk to administration and teachers about your particular situation if you are seriously thinking about moving here.

As to your second question - you will definitely get more house for your money in Katonah. There is also enough culture and recreation to keep you engaged. There is a very nice village right by the train station with restaurants, shops and small businesses. There is also a great library right in the village. Very close by is the Katonah Art Museum - great place to take the kids to. The schools and town offer ton of recreational and after-school activities for all ages, and yes, there is a town pool for residents.
Check out this website for more information:
Katonah Chamber of Commerce:Culture & Recreation (http://katonahchamber.org/html/new/culture_recreation.php - broken link)

Commute-wise - it really depends where you are in relation to I-684.
Katonah-Lewisboro school district is large and includes parts of South Salem as well as Pound Ridge. Those areas are more remote. So when you are looking at houses online, you might want to mapquest them to see how far are they from the highway. If your husband doesn't need to travel during rush hour, he is not going to have major problems getting into the city either by car or on MetroNorth train.

Feel free to ask more questions, we are here to help!

Natasha
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