The Examiner

Second Assisted Living Facility Proposal Discussed for P’ville

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The entrance to the Jewish Child Care Association property on Broadway in Pleasantville.
The entrance to the Jewish Child Care Association property on Broadway in Pleasantville.

Just as discussion surrounding one assisted living facility proposal is heating up, the Village of Pleasantville could have another proposal to consider.

The Jewish Child Care Association (JCCA), which owns a 23-acre property on Broadway, last week introduced to the village board the possibility of selling seven acres of its land to a developer to construct an assisted living proposal on that property.

The plan, presented in front of the board during the May 6 work session, would be for a 35,000-square-foot building with two or three stories containing between 75 and 100 units. It is currently zoned residential but a change would be required to accommodate the project.

Village Administrator Patricia Dwyer stressed that the idea at this point is “very preliminary and conceptual.”

If the JCCA takes the next step and sells the land to an outfit that would build assisted living it would be the second time this year such a project would be proposed in Pleasantville. Benchmark Assisted Living formally submitted an application in February with plans to build on the 3.5-acre parcel behind the United Methodist Church on Bedford Road. That proposal is for a four-story building containing 87 units.

Benchmark has proposed an elder district “floating zone” that would require at least three acres and located on a state or county road to obtain the as of right use to build assisted living.

Andrew Tung of Divney, Tung and Schwalbe Intelligent Land Use, which is representing the JCCA, said it was determined that a senior living facility would be the best use for the Broadway parcel because it wouldn’t generate additional schoolchildren and would require less parking than other types of developments.

Mayor Peter Scherer said while the village board would closely scrutinize any proposal for a zoning change, the trustees would be open-minded about having an assisted living facility on the JCCA parcel.

“There’s respectful interest in anybody that wants to invest in the Village of Pleasantville,” Scherer said. “That doesn’t mean we look favorably on it but the idea of assisted living in a appropriate way, in an appropriate place is a good thing.”

One condition Scherer and village trustees would require of the JCCA is that the entity that buys the land be a for-profit company, which would generate tax revenue for the village.

“One of our central goals is to support the tax base and a profit-making entity would do that,” Scherer said. “So that would be an important piece of the discussion.”

While it isn’t clear if the JCCA has been in contact with Benchmark as a potential alternative site for that project, whatever the Massachusetts-based company decides could affect the JCCA. Dwyer said it appears the floating zone proposed by Benchmark could also be applied to the JCCA parcel. The seven acres is more than double what Benchmark’s proposed floating zone requires and Broadway is a state road.

Even if the village board denies Benchmark’s floating zone, Dwyer said the JCCA could propose its own zoning change. If the board accepts Benchmark’s floating zone, it would then pave the way for a company to submit an application to build assisted living units on the JCCA parcel. Any assisted living application would require site plan approval even if the necessary zoning change is granted.

“That’s the balance a floating zone brings,” Dwyer said. “It doesn’t prohibit the uses, it just allows them in areas where they’re more appropriate than others.”

Intense opposition has surfaced against the Benchmark proposal. The United Homeowners of Pleasantville has raised multiple concerns regarding the application. An online petition has attracted 149 signatures as of Sunday night. Residents along Maple Hill Road, who are in close proximity to the proposed project, have led the opposition effort.




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