AREA NEWSThe Examiner

Lower Rec Fee Rejected for Armonk Assisted Living Plan

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Robert Greene
North Castle Planning Board Chairman Robert Greene

The North Castle Planning Board unanimously approved an amended site plan for the Business Park Drive assisted living project, but declined a request from the developer’s attorney to reduce the recreation fee to the town.

Last week the board okayed the proposal to increase the number of units from the originally agreed upon 136 to 138 and to increase the floor area from 119,785 square feet to 123,277 square feet.

Mark Miller, an attorney representing the operator of the facility, Bristal Assisted Living, which has six similar facilities on Long Island, said the two extra units were being sought “to increase the efficiency of the building.” To free up space for the two additional units, the boiler room will be located on the third floor rather than the second floor as originally proposed, he said.

During the May 14 public hearing, Miller and the planning board debated the amount of recreation fees that Bristal Assisted Living should be required to pay the town. The assisted living facility will have several recreational facilities that would be used by both its residents and town residents, Miller said. Since the assisted living residents would not be using town recreation facilities because the average entry age would be about 85, Miller proposed a fee reduction from $1,000 to $300 per unit.

However, board chairman Robert Greene maintained that the fee should remain at $1,000.

“I don’t see any information that is different now,” Greene said.

Though the board disagreed with the developer regarding the recreation fee, Greene suggested the board wait until a certificate of occupancy has been issued by the town before it requires payment of the $138,000.

Another point of contention between the two sides revolved around the sign that would be placed outside the facility. Miller said the sign, which would be placed at the entrance and cost about $30,000, should not be required to include all 90 Business Park Drive tenants. Greene responded that the tenants should be allowed to be listed on the sign if they chose to do so.

Steven Krieger, a principal with The Engel Burman Group, said the assisted living facility needed to have a sign because it is new to town. The other tenants of the building are already established, he said.

However, Greene said new tenants will eventually move into the building and should be identified on the sign.

The sign issue will be discussed with the Architectural Review Board.

The planning board voted unanimously to close the public hearing and approve the site plan amendment, pending ARB approval of the entrance sign.

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