By Sean Browne
The Mount Kisco Village Board approved an amendment to the zoning code last week to include family recreation facilities at the Diamond Properties complex on North Bedford Road and on Radio Circle.
In a 4-1 decision, the board included the controversial amendment for The Park at 333 N. Bedford Rd., which is zoned as the village’s only Light Manufacturing district. It is currently home to Grand Prix New York, which includes go-kart racing and bowling, and Saw Mill Club East, among other operations. Radio Circle is zoned Research and Development.
The board also approved a text change to allow a 70,000-square-foot ShopRite to open and operate at the Diamond Properties site. Diamond Properties has signed a lease that would bring a 70,000-square-foot ShopRite supermarket to the complex.
The action comes after the Planning Board last month spelled out its support for the proposed zoning text changes for additional family entertainment facilities. However, neighbors of The Park opposed the amendment because of concern over traffic congestion, light pollution, noise and other potential drawbacks. No one from the public spoke on the matter at the July 16 meeting.
Most of the board was satisfied that any issues at the site would be addressed.
“I was also concerned about the traffic at 333 N. Bedford Rd. but the proposals that we have in front of us suggest a substantial realigning of a number of roads,” said Trustee Peter Grunthal. “That has convinced me that traffic will be a lot better when we have handled those intersections. We have looked at this very carefully and I am very happy to go along with this.”
Deputy Mayor Jean Farber assured residents that the village’s Planning Board will be deliberate in its review of any family recreation facility, eliminating fears that it would be a rushed process.
“We are only allowing for the possibility of a stronger and more vibrant Mount Kisco,” Farber said.
The board’s dissenting vote, Trustee Karen Schleimer, outlined a litany of drawbacks to allowing the change regarding family recreation facilities. She had wanted to approve the change for the supermarket to move forward but had hoped the village’s Comprehensive Plan Committee could complete its review and weigh in on the family recreational facilities proposal.
She also expressed uneasiness about the wide range of potential uses that could come into the site. Schleimer pointed to the legislation that provides examples of uses but are not limited to amusement devices, miniature golf, sports/batting cages, climbing walls, trampolines, ropes courses, arts and crafts activities and other activities designed for the whole family.
“My position is and has been since the introduction of this proposal that including a new use, that is unlike anything currently available in our community…without time to examine and look at what the effect of this use would be in this area would be premature,” Schleimer said. “It may turn out that the proposed uses are something that our residents would be delighted to have and it may turn out to be the best thing that could happen to Mount Kisco. My concern is only that we do the proper evaluation and study and do it right.”
However, other board members said the new Comprehensive Plan, including proposed realignment of intersections along North Bedford Road to improve traffic flow.
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