The Examiner

North Castle Schedules Hearings for Eagle Ridge Project Rezone

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By Joan Gaylord

The North Castle Town Board has scheduled a public hearing for Wednesday, June 26 to address the zoning petition for the proposed residential and hotel plan on a portion of the former IBM property.

At that same meeting, the board will convene the state Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) hearing for the application known as Eagle Ridge on North Castle Drive in Armonk.

Last week, the board also approved a 90-day public comment period for the proposal, which started May 22.

“That should be more than enough time,” said Supervisor Michael Schiliro.

Councilwoman Barbara DiGiacinto said the applicant, MADD Madonna Armonk LLC, would provide a public presentation of the project before the hearing.

The scheduled date would mark the start of the hearing process but board members did not expect it to conclude the same night. DiGiacinto said the proposal is such an important project for the town, and with summer approaching, the board will be justified in keeping the hearing open as long as possible.

The developer has proposed a 91-room boutique hotel on a six-acre portion of the 32-acre site. On the building’s third, fourth and fifth floors, there would be 70 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, including seven affordable units.

On the adjacent 26-acre parcel, the applicant intends to build 94 three-bedroom townhouses, which would include nine affordable units.

A rezone of the property 26-acre parcel from Office Business Hotel (OBH) to the town’s residential multifamily district (R-MR-A) has been requested.  Modifications have been proposed to the OBH district to accommodate the project.

The only board member with reservations about proceeding with the hearings was Councilman Jose Berra. Although he supports the idea of a hotel at the site, Berra said he hoped that the board would have forced the applicant to rework the proposal because of density.

“I think it’s a very good location in some ways, I’m really, really concerned about the density and the impact it’s going to have on the Community Park and a lot of other aspects of it,” Berra said.

However, the rest of the board agreed to schedule the opening of the hearings. Even though the hearings would commence, it doesn’t mean what has been proposed will be approved,

“I’m okay with what’s been studied so far and what’s been presented,” Schiliro said. “It doesn’t mean we approve that but I would be willing to schedule the hearing so we can start the process.”

DiGiacinto said she shared some of Berra’s concerns. The proposal isn’t perfect, she said, but it is the forum for the board to discuss the application’s important issues.

MADD Madonna Armonk LLC bought the property from IBM in 2017. IBM had subdivided the six-acre parcel and obtained a zoning change to allow for development of a hotel nearly a decade ago.

Martin Wilbur contributed to this article.


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