Kensington was ranked New York’s best suburb to live in, stirring pride among village officials.
“There were a lot of high fives all around,” Village Mayor Susan Lopatkin recalled of Wednesday’s board meeting.
That ranking comes from Niche.com, a website that takes public records and reviews to rate the country’s villages, towns and schools. Cost of living, school quality, safety, economic health and diversity are key factors.
Nightlife, weather, overall health and reviews are also important.
The median house value in Kensington is $1,147,200, compared to $178,600 nationwide. The median household income, $176,667, is meanwhile more than three times the national average.
Kensington overall earned an A+. Mayor Lopatkin attributed that grade to a variety of factors like a robust housing market, easy commute, the public school system and controlling taxes.
“You have the ability of small town life, but you’re right on the outskirts of New York City,” Lopatkin said. “So you have a little bit of everything and great schools and great housing.”
Lopatkin also emphasized the efforts of Kensington’s police department for preventing crime.
“They are just a really fantastic police force and they really care about what’s going on here,” Lopatkin said.
There were zero violent or property crimes per 100,000 residents, according to Niche.
“All of our officers are familiar with the residents, who they are, where they live, and can spot things that are out of the ordinary,” Sergeant Charles Costello said. “In addition, we’re just an active presence in the community.”
Kensington, which was compared with 4,874 other suburbs in the United States, did not place in the top 100 nationwide. But, Lopatkin said, the state’s higher cost of living would make that difficult to change.
“As a whole, Long Island is at a disadvantage in that respect. Kensington would be hard-pressed to buck the trend,” she said.
As for maintaining the top spot in the state, Lopatkin said, “We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing.”
Other Great Neck villages to top New York state’s top suburbs included University Gardens at 11, Lake Success, rank 20, Great Neck Gardens, 35, Thomaston, 40, Great Neck Plaza, 42 and Kings Point at 57.