GovernmentThe Examiner

Toll Brothers Ready to Move Forward With Mt. Pleasant Development

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Brothers is prepared to start the rezoning process and then site plan review for its 162-unit age-restricted townhouse proposal for a portion of the Legion of Christ property in Thornwood.

Representatives for the applicant were scheduled to give a formal presentation to the Mount Pleasant Town Board Tuesday evening to gauge community sentiment for the project called Kensico Preserve. They hope to Toll start the referral process next month to the town’s Planning Board.

The project would be built on the same 96 acres as the Baker Residential subdivision that consisted of 73 single-family homes and approved five years ago but never built.

Attorney David Steinmetz, representing Toll Brothers for the application, said his client amended its zoning application to residential multifamily to allow for two-car garages instead of one and moving the multiunit structures as close as 25 feet apart to limit site disturbance.

The units are now age-restricted as opposed to age-targeted in the original Toll Brothers conceptual proposal last October. As a result, at least one member of the household must be at least 55 years old. Youngsters 18 and under will be prohibited from living at the development full-time to guard against generating any children for the Mount Pleasant School District.

“As a result of passage of time, as a result of the evolution of this project and as a result of your Town Board compelling Toll Brothers to do an age-restricted project, there are a tremendous (number) of benefits,” Steinmetz said.

Total projected net annual tax revenue generated would be $2,288,740, three to more than four times the net revenue for the Baker subdivision because no school-age children would live there, he said. There will also be on-site recreation and amenities that will place less demand on town services.

Total disturbance, tree removal and preservation of open space will all be equal or more positive for the environment in the current plan than the approved Baker project. The only drawbacks would be greater demand on sewer and water, Steinmetz said.

Mount Pleasant officials have tried to convince developers to build age-restricted housing for years, a virtually non-existent product in the town.

Councilwoman Laurie Rogers Smalley said while feedback from the community has been generally positive, there is concern that a Toll Brothers project would be too expensive for most homeowners in town to sell their homes and use the proceeds from the sale to move into Kensico Preserve.

“What we hear in the community, what we see on social media is this is wonderful, the Town Board is supporting this, but who can afford a million-dollar Toll Brothers (residence)?” Smalley commented.

Jack Lannamann, Toll Brothers’ senior vice president for the New York Metro Division, said that at least 15 percent and up to 25 percent of the units will be smaller and have a lower price point than the majority of the units.

He estimated that the price for the larger units, at between 2,400 and 2,800 square feet each, would go for over $700,000. Lannamann did not provide an estimate for the smaller units, which would likely be a little less than 2,000 square feet. All units will have three bedrooms.

Lannamann said current laws allow for a prohibition on children as long as the community is age-restricted. However, a college student could return to their parents’ home for the summer or grown children or grandchildren can visit regularly and stay over.

Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi said he was upbeat about the proposal, not only for the age-targeted aspect, but Toll Brothers would donate 18.2 acres of land to the town for recreational purposes.

“The Town Board is comfortable with everything because we’ve been looking at this for a while,” he said. “None of it is new to any of us.”

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