The Examiner

Mt. Kisco Planners Stunned By Senior Developer’s PILOT Plan Bid

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Mount Kisco Planning Board members expressed concerns about a potential PILOT arrangement for The Hearth at Mount Kisco project on Aug. 27.
Mount Kisco Planning Board members expressed concerns about a potential PILOT arrangement for The Hearth at Mount Kisco project on Aug. 27.

Mount Kisco Planning Board members were outraged last week when they learned that the developer of a proposed 129-unit senior housing facility is seeking a Payment in Lieu of Taxes initiative.

Village Attorney Whitney Singleton announced at the board’s Aug. 27 meeting that Hearth Management, the applicant for The Hearth at Mount Kisco, was working with the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency for a tax exemption rather than paying annual property taxes to the municipality, county and Bedford Central School District.

Hearth Management has proposed the facility to be built on 17.7 acres off Kisco Avenue opposite Holiday Inn. More than five years ago Westchester Residence had first submitted plans for an upscale senior development but environmental obstacles and the downturn of the real estate market helped to scuttle that proposal.

Last week, board members said they were taken by surprise by the announcement of the PILOT request and harshly criticized the move. Board Chairman Joseph Cosentino said he was unaware the developer had been seeking the PILOT until Singleton revealed that information at last week’s meeting.

Consentino blasted the proposal because fresh property tax revenues for the village were sold as a positive aspect of the development, Cosentino said.

“This is very important to the village, people living in the village and the board,” he said.

“It’s more than a concern,” board member Ralph Vigliotti added of the potential PILOT arrangement.

Mark Miller, an attorney representing Hearth Management, confirmed that he hadn’t told the planning board about the PILOT plan, which would have to be negotiated with the village. It had been estimated the project would generate close to a combined $500,000 a year for the village, school district and county.

“I am upset,” Cosentino said.

Christopher Sexton, a principal with the Fortus Group, which is partnering with Hearth Management in a joint venture to construct the facility, described the PILOT and the potential of sales and mortgage tax credits that could be provided by the IDA as “a financing opportunity,” which has been under discussion for months.

However, board member Stanley Bernstein seethed about the potential loss of tax revenue. Bernstein said he is concerned about the environmental impacts of the senior housing project, including the clearing of trees.

“It’s an abomination and now it’s worse,” Bernstein said. “The village is not going to make any revenue on it.”

The board agreed to keep the public hearing open, although no residents spoke during last week’s session. The hearing is tentatively scheduled to reconvene on Sept. 10.



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