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No. Castle Approves Site Plan for More Parking at Verizon Property

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The access point to the Verizon parking lot off of Kent Place in Armonk. Plans were approved by the North Castle Planning Board last week to use a portion of the Verizon property for more parking that will see a 43-space net gain.

The Town of North Castle received site plan approval from its Planning Board last week to construct a 49-space lot using a portion of Verizon’s property and municipal land to add parking to downtown Armonk.

Planning Board members also approved the subdivision as well as wetlands and tree removal permits on Mar. 25 for the roughly two acres at 23 Whippoorwill Rd. East. The board also granted a negative declaration, meaning there will should be no significant adverse environmental impacts from the project under the state law.

Access to the lot will be on Kent Place near the North Castle Public Library.

Joseph Cermele, the consulting engineer for the town, said there will be 49 spaces on the property, but due to needed site improvements there will be about six existing spaces lost on Kent Place.

“Some of the spaces on the back row of Kent Place need to be reworked or removed to allow entry into the proposed lot as well as access, adequate access to the relocated refuse area,” Cermele said.

Verizon, which also has a structure that serves as a central office on the property, will have room for 10 spaces for that facility, he said.

During last week’s public hearing, a couple of neighboring property owners expressed concern to the board about the impacts of the project, including the potential for increased runoff and the possibility of noise disturbance caused by garbage trucks making pickups at the site in the pre-dawn hours.

Curtis Spacavento, who lives closest the property at 25 Whippoorwill Rd. East, said he was uneasy about whether the plan to manage stormwater will be effective when there is heavy rain. There’s a nearby stream that is prone to overflowing its banks, and a dumpster that has attracted vermin.

“Listen, I want the parking and I want everybody in this town to be happy, and I want the merchants to get what they want, and I want the garbage, which the rats live in now, to be moved and to be put in a better location,” Spacavento said. “I’m all for this, everything, but I would like to know that it’s going to work.”

Cermele explained that the floodplain elevation is 379 feet, and because everything at the site is at or above that elevation, the parking lot should not flood in most heavy rains. It is expected to accommodate up to a nine-inch rainfall, he said.

The project will cause about 3,700 square feet of town-regulated wetlands disturbance and about 40,000 square feet of wetlands buffer disturbance. Plans call for a little more than 4,000 square feet for wetlands mitigation and about 15,400 square feet of buffer mitigation.

Another Whippoorwill Road East resident, Stephen McLaughlin, said he hopes the town makes sure that refuse from the site isn’t picked up at 4 or 5 a.m. Director of Planning Adam Kaufman responded that the hours are regulated in the town code, and will not be that early.

The town also obtained a variance for excessive building lot coverage for the Verizon building after the subdivision. Since the lot was reconfigured, and Verizon was left with a smaller parcel, there’s a little over 23 percent building coverage, where 15 percent is permitted. About 20 town-regulated trees will also have to be removed.

A positive recommendation from the Conservation Board failed to receive unanimous support, said its Co-chair Jane Black, because there isn’t going to be two-to-one mitigation.

Despite the mitigation shortcomings, Planning Board member Larry Ruisi said it appears to be a sound plan.

“It seems like a good plan with respect to not having the appropriate ratio of the wetlands mitigation,” said Ruisi. “In my opinion, I do believe that the increase in parking, cleaning up the stream, really needs to be taken into consideration.”

Acquisition of property and development of more parking in Armonk has been a key issue in town in recent years. The last major infusion of new parking was at the Hergenhan Recreation Center.


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