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Toll Brothers Makes First Planning Board Showing for Mt. Pleasant Proposal

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National homebuilder Toll Brothers appeared before the Mount Pleasant Planning Board last week for the first time in preparation for review of its 162-unit age-restricted housing plan for the Legionaries property off Columbus Avenue.

Last week’s appearance by representatives for the applicant’s project called Kensico Preserve was actually a referral to the Planning Board from the Town Board regarding the requested rezoning from an Office Business zone to a residential multifamily designation. The R3-A zoning that is being sought also needs an amendment to allow two-car garages instead of one and to reduce the minimum space between structures from 75 to 25 feet.

The meeting allowed the Planning Board, which announced its intention to be lead agency unless the Town Board wants to take that responsibility, to become better acquainted with some of the details of the proposal.

The 96-acre parcel that would be retained by the developer is the same land that Baker Residential received approvals for its 73 single-family homes about five years ago, but the project was never developed. Toll Brothers will be donating 18 acres to the town for recreation purposed while the remainder of the 165 acres will be under the control of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

Patrick Cleary, the town’s planning consultant, said aside from the type of units, the main difference related to the town’s review of the plan is the need for Town Board involvement.

“The thing that has changed from the previous application to this application is they’ve asked for legislative action from the Town Board,” Cleary said.

In explaining to the Planning Board why Toll Brothers believes the project would be successful, attorney David Steinmetz, representing the applicant, said the volume of housing for active older adults in Westchester is inadequate. He said that there is a dearth of housing choices for the crowd that’s between about 50 and 80 years old.

“We do not have enough 55-and-over housing in Westchester County,” Steinmetz said. “When you compare us to Long Island, when you compare us to northern New Jersey, developers are generating product there for that age group. I’ve done a fair amount of assisted living in this town and elsewhere, (but) assisted living is a completely different age group.”

Planning Board member John Piazza said his concern is that the value of the units might be too much for many Mount Pleasant residents who want to sell their single-family home, stay in town and move to Kensico Preserve without carrying a mortgage.

During their last appearance before the Town Board, Toll Brothers representatives said they would be offering a certain number of less expensive units that would measure about 1,800 to 2,000 square feet. During a recent work session, Toll Brothers revealed that their current estimate for the larger units would be a sale price of about $700,000.

Anyone under the age of 19 would be prohibited from living in the development full-time in order to relieve enrollment pressure for the Mount Pleasant School District.

Steinmetz indicated that Toll Brothers would likely submit the formal site plan application sometime over the summer.


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