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Representatives for Armonk’s Eagle Ridge proposal submitted a revised townhome layout last week but there were concerns raised about the safety of having three cul-de-sacs while the developer appeared indifferent to his own plan.
At the request of the North Castle Planning Board last month, applicant Maddd Madonna LLC was asked to return with an improved layout for the 72 townhomes on the 21.8-acre residential portion of the site on North Castle Road. Town officials wanted to see an upgrade to the layout, which until now had featured rows of townhomes that rise with the topography, prompting Board Chairman Christopher Carthy to describe it as “stadium seating.”
The front of the residences would face the proposed 115-room hotel that would be located on the adjacent 10-plus acres of the subdivided site.
The tweaked plans feature some of the structures slightly angled so it no longer gives the appearance of straight rows of townhomes, plus there’s a curvature in the main road.
Director of Planning Adam Kaufman said it looked to be an improvement, but questioned why the head of the development team, Frank Madonna. was so unenthusiastic about the revisions.
“I just thought it was a bit odd that you submitted a plan that you don’t want to build or you have significant issues with,” Kaufman said. “I don’t know how productive we can be.”
Madonna explained that some of the units’ views will be compromised if the residential structures are reoriented. The views were to be a major selling point for the townhomes, which are all age-restricted units.
“Once you start curving this out, this guy’s front area where his dining room is and his upstairs office is now looking into the woods instead of looking into this valley,” Madonna said. “It depreciates the product. This is a key factor.”
He also didn’t care for the three cul-de-sacs, not necessarily for safety issues but that people who go out for a walk or who walk their dogs would have to go past the same area twice instead of there being a road that loops around the entire parcel.
The applicant’s representatives did raise the safety issue since there would only be one main road with most of the structures set back into the three cul-de-sacs. Attorney Kory Salomone said he wondered if it would receive the blessings of the emergency responders in town. Project engineer Ralph Alfonzetti echoed the same sentiment.
“This is a senior development and we’re a little concerned about safety and emergency vehicles,” Alfonzetti said. “You can essentially cut off an entire development.”
It would also push the development closer to the steep slopes, he added.
The town’s engineering consultant, John Kellard, said the cul-de-sacs would not be that long if the applicant could relocate the entrance to the development, shortening the length of the dead-end streets. However, he acknowledged that the applicant might not be able to obtain the necessary easement from IBM to move the entrance to a more advantageous spot.
Alfonzetti said the length of the three cul-de-sacs would range from 540 feet to the longest at nearly 1,500 feet.
Carthy said although he understands that Madonna would like to sell the views as a key point, that might not be entirely realistic.
“You may be putting too much emphasis on the vista concept because, in reality, you’re not going to be able to deliver that,” Carthy said.
Madonna said his team would return with another rendition that revises the latest plan.
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/