News Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.
The developer of the 71-unit multifamily residential building on Depew Street in Pleasantville obtained a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy earlier this month after a village commission and residents had objected to the exterior appearance of the structure.
The project, known as The Atwood, came under scrutiny at the Planning Commission/Architectural Review Board meeting on Nov. 8 and again a week later during a Town Hall forum on development.
Building Inspector Robert Hughes said it’s not unusual for larger projects to be granted a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy while final details are being settled.
“Usually, the developer doesn’t have everything completed on the first go-round,” Hughes said. “Folks can occupy the building, but it doesn’t mean the issues are resolved.”
Issuance of a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) allows people to move into the building at 52 Depew St., according to Hughes.
Before the temporary certificate was granted, Hughes said that renters were permitted to move their furniture in but could not occupy their units.
“It has to do with fire safety. Furniture doesn’t cause fire, people do,” he said.
The Planning Commission had criticized the developer for making unauthorized changes to the building and not adhering to the approved renderings by omitting certain architectural features. Of note was the absence of proposed recessed sections of the structure, intended to break up the mass of the building to make it appear smaller. One of the complaints from residents was the building appeared too large, making it out of character with surrounding homes.
Other requests by the board were to increase the number of 12- to 14-foot pine trees, darken the trim and frame around the windows and add windows and plant ivy up the garage wall.
There had recently been unsubstantiated rumors that tenants had moved in at the beginning of March despite the lack of at least a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy. Atwood developer David Mann of Lighthouse Living didn’t respond to calls to verify the status of those tenants, but Hughes said there was no evidence that residents had stayed in the building before the Temporary Certificate of Occupancy was issued on Mar. 9.
Once the Planning Commission/Architectural Review Board is satisfied that the project meets the approved plans, the Building Department can issue a permanent Certificate of Occupancy.
Hughes said the Planning Commission/Architectural Review Board is expected to resolve the outstanding issues in the near future. The matter was initially scheduled to be discussed by the board on Mar. 8 but was taken off the agenda before the meeting.
Mann originally proposed the three-story residential apartment building in 2018. It took two years for the applicant to receive the required approvals from the Planning Commission, Architectural Review Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals. Because the property had a large amount of soil contamination due to oil tanks stored underground since the 1960s, Mann spent $1.5 million for remediation as part of a reimbursable Brownfield Cleanup Program.
The property had been the site of an automotive shop for decades.
Abby is a local journalist who has reported on breaking news for more than 20 years. She currently covers community issues in The Examiner as a full-time reporter and has written for the paper since its inception in 2007. Read more from Abby’s editor-author bio here. Read Abbys’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/ab-lub2019/