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Four Homes Planned for Girl Scouts Property in Pleasantville

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Plans to subdivide the former Girl Scouts property on Great Oak Lane and build four new houses were presented last week to the Pleasantville Planning Commission meeting.

The preliminary proposal was detailed by Michael Guillaro, vice president of acquisition and development director of Unicorn Contracting of Cold Spring, the company that purchased the property in December.

“We wanted to get your initial comments before moving ahead and make sure we are heading in the right direction,” Guillaro said to the commission at its Feb. 15 meeting.

Unicorn made an initial offer of $2.3 million in July 2022 for the 1.26-acre property, but according to Berkshire Hathaway Home Services’ website, the company bought it for $1.4 million. The property is not impacted by the current village moratorium since it falls outside the downtown district.

The plan includes the demolition of the 17,000-square-foot Girl Scouts building and the subsequent subdivision of the property into four lots. Proposed construction on those four lots are two new two-family dwellings with frontage on Bedford Road and two single-family dwellings on Great Oak Lane.

An initial plan presented to the commission in July was to subdivide the lot into six parcels but it was later revised, having been scaled down to four lots and thereby creating more space between the houses.

“This is a great solution to the property and the impacts on the neighborhood,” said Commission Chairman Russell Klein. “You could have put six homes but you are proposing four homes and that’s really positive in my mind. It seems a great start.”

The two-family houses would be between 2,400 and 2,500 square feet and the single-family homes are each proposed to be from 2,400 to 3,100 square feet. All four houses would be two-story structures.

“The architecture will be a traditional home design that relates to the surrounding architecture,” Guillaro said. “But each home will have a unique composition, they will each have their own character and not be homogeneous.”

Plans show that one house on Bedford Road would have garage doors facing the road as did both houses on Great Oak Lane.

However, the design raised some concerns.

“The garages are right on the street front and there are no other homes with a garage in the front,” said Planning Commissioner Phil Myrick. “That presents challenges.”

Myrick suggested reconfiguring the lots to an L-shape to accommodate a detached garage in the back.

Commissioner David Keller noted that driveways on Bedford Road could pose safety issues.

“If you’re backing out of the driveway it could be dangerous especially when kids are walking to school,” Keller said.

In his overview letter, Guillaro said that the number of new trees that would be planted will easily exceed the amount trees that would need to be removed.

According to Pleasantville Building Inspector Robert Hughes, Unicorn will submit a more detailed subdivision and site plan.

“The applicants will take in the board’s comments, which are not marching orders, but if they’re seeking approval, they might want to address the comments,” he said.

Hughes added that it was likely an updated plan would next be reviewed by the Planning Commission in early April.

“Right now, they are taking baby steps to make sure to engage the village,” he said.

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