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The Cortlandt Town Board voted unanimously last week to create a Medical Oriented District (MOD), paving the way for two pending projects in the area of New York Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital on Route 202 to move forward.
“This is not the end of the discussion nor the end of public input on the MOD,” Supervisor Dr. Richard Becker said at the March 20 meeting. “We’re very early in the process. Most likely several years will go by before a shovel is in the ground.”
Each Town Board member explained their reasoning for supporting the MOD, which was first proposed in 2015 during the town’s review of a new Comprehensive Plan.
The MOD has been reduced over the years from approximately 105 acres and 34 parcels to 69 acres and 13 parcels.
“If we’re going to put medical space anywhere in town, the natural place is near the hospital,” said Councilman Robert Mayes. “I do believe this will benefit the town.”
“There aren’t many places where it can go,” said Councilman James Creighton. “This is an area that has sewers and is on a state highway. We’re trying to do the right thing for Cortlandt.”
One development looking to be part of the MOD is known as Gyrodyne, which is looking at a 154,000-square-foot building, built in two phases, across from the hospital.
The other development, known as Evergreen Manor, is headed by local developer Val Santucci.
Having gone through several changes, Santucci and his team are now proposing to build 120 assisted living units, up to 99 townhouses and up to 10,000 square feet of commercial space.
Councilwoman Cristin Jacoby said she wrestled with whether or not to support the MOD, but concluded both projects had their merits.
“We discussed the needs of the neighborhood with the seriousness it deserves,” she said. “I made the decision solely for what I think is best for the town.”
However, the board’s rational for backing the MOD did not sit well with several residents who live in the area.
“Calling this a compromise is flat out insulting,” remarked David Weinberger of Birch Lane. “The finding statement does not reflect what citizens are saying. Clearly you feel New York Presbyterian needs your help. This is not assistance that they stepped forward to ask for. Know your constituents are not okay with this.”
“I continued to believe in the end our neighborhood would not be sacrificed. I was naïve,” Miriam Weinberger said. “The MOD is not for the greater good of Cortlandt residents. It’s nothing to be proud of.”
Gyrodyne and Evergreen Manor will now be in the hands of the Cortlandt Planning Board.
This article was updated on Mar. 29. An earlier version incorrectly stated the address of the hospital. We regret the error.
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