Mr. King, who described himself as a black Puerto Rican and his wife as a white Puerto Rican, said Washingtonville is “very diverse,” a place where “for the most part everybody gets along.” (According to 2010-15 census data, the population is 18 percent Hispanic or Latino and 8 percent black.) He and Ms. Cruz-King, former law enforcement officers working in security, live among Civil Service workers, nurses, teachers and business owners.
Joseph Bucco, a high school art and photography teacher who has been Washingtonville’s mayor since April, characterized the village as a “bedroom community,” from which 60 to 70 percent of the residents commute to work.
Four months into his administration, Mr. Bucco has approval for a $13.2 million bond to upgrade the sewage treatment plant and is working to revise the village’s comprehensive plan for land use and zoning regulations. His goals include rezoning agricultural land for commercial use and increasing the minimum size of residential lots.
Until a new comprehensive plan is put forward, the village has called for a moratorium on residential development. Similar moratoriums enacted in southeastern Orange County have been seen as efforts to block the incursion of the growing Hasidic community of Kiryas Joel to the south. But Mr. Bucco said there was no discriminatory intent in the measure. “We needed to look at our zoning, see where we are and how do we want our village to look in the future,” he said, adding that he expected the plan to be completed within the year.
What You’ll Find
Washingtonville is 46 miles northwest of Manhattan as the crow flies. Originally known as Matthews Field and then Little York, it was renamed in 1818 for George Washington, who was believed to have watered his horse under an elm tree at the center of town. Ms. Standish, the village historian, said the tree, which succumbed to disease in the 1930s, stood near where a stoplight now marks the intersection of Routes 94 and 208, in an area filled with shops, banks and restaurants.
Frank Efrain Rivera, an associate broker with Better Homes and Gardens/Rand Realty in New Windsor, N.Y., said the village’s vintage homes are concentrated near that intersection and extend along North Street, a block east. But far more plentiful are the houses built in a score of subdivisions since the late 1980s, including at Moffat Ridge, Woodfield Drive and New Castle Drive.
“Older houses are not even selling,” Mr. Rivera said, noting that buyers coming from New York, New Jersey and Rockland County look for fuss-free construction and modern amenities to justify their long commutes.
He described the two dominant housing types as single-family bi-levels and colonials. The bi-levels group most of their rooms on the entry floor and have a lower level; the colonials tend to have a more traditional configuration, common rooms downstairs and bedrooms upstairs.
What You’ll Pay
According to Mr. Rivera, as of Aug. 1, the median sales price of a single-family home was about $250,000, a year-on-year increase of 2 percent, based on 121 deals.
“The market seems to be changing very slowly,” he said, with properties averaging 193 days from list to close. They may be languishing, he speculated, because sellers who are financially “under water” are pricing homes too high.
As of Aug. 12, Zillow’s website featured 27 homes for sale in Washingtonville drawn from multiple listings. They ranged from a one-bedroom unit in the Weathervane condominium complex, priced at $95,000, to a five-bedroom Cape Cod-style house with a mother-in-law apartment, priced at $450,000.
Prospective homes include those rising at the Highgrove development, off Bull Road, with views of the Ramapo Mountains. A two-story, four-bedroom house with hardwood floors, a kitchen with stainless-steel appliances and a two-car garage, on half an acre, was listed at about $415,000.
A recent visit to Washingtonville was a study in turnaround. Moffat Library, an 1887 madcap brick building with Tiffany windows and a copper cupola, swarmed with workers making final repairs six years after the flooding during Hurricane Irene. It reopens on Sept. 16. Down the road, across from the middle school, another piece of storm-ravaged property was awaiting its new life as a public park. And where a fire had destroyed a building next to Amada’s Kitchen, a Mexican restaurant on East Main Street, people sat at shaded tables surrounded by plants, enjoying lunch in a plaza known as the Lot.
Of the five schools in the Washingtonville Central School District, four are in the village.
Taft Elementary School enrolls about 750 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. On 2016 state tests, 29 percent of students met standards in English versus 39 percent statewide; 42 percent met standards in math versus 43 percent statewide.
Round Hill School, which traces its lineage back to 1786, enrolls about 420 students in prekindergarten through fifth grade. On state tests, 23 percent of students met standards in English versus 39 percent statewide, and 35 percent in math versus 43 percent statewide.
Washingtonville Middle School enrolls about 1,040 students in sixth through eighth grades. On state tests, 33 percent of students met standards in English versus 37 percent statewide; 29 percent met standards in math versus 33 statewide.
Washingtonville High School enrolls about 1,380 students in ninth through 12th grades. Average 2016 SAT scores were 499 in reading and 510 in math versus 483 and 501 statewide. The school graduated 98 percent of its class of 2017.
Driving time to Manhattan in light traffic via Interstate 87 takes slightly more than an hour.
Train transportation is available several times a day from the Salisbury Mills-Cornwall Station, about 3.5 miles from Washingtonville. Operated by New Jersey Transit along the Port Jervis line, the train to Penn Station takes about an hour and a half with a transfer in Secaucus, N.J., and is $17 each way.
Coach USA’s Short Line bus offers service from Washingtonville to Manhattan on weekday mornings. The trip to the George Washington Bridge bus station, the nearest point on the route, takes about an hour and a half and is $8.55 one way.
John Greene, a Civil War veteran who served in the 155th New York Volunteer Infantry regiment and died in 1913, bequeathed $2,500 to build a monument to the memory of the soldiers of the Civil War. The statue of a Union soldier was erected in the Washingtonville Cemetery, where it has become a symbol for all veterans.