The Somers Town Board last week started the process of potentially changing the town zoning code and the Comprehensive Plan to allow the approval process for a 53 three-bedroom town house proposal to proceed.
The Kearney Realty & Development Group and the Housing Action Council are proposing the homes on a16.7-acre site on the southern portion of Route 6. The complex would include eight affordable homes and eight affordable apartments. The affordable units would be included in Westchester County’s agreement with the federal Housing and Urban Development to build affordable housing.
The developers are asking the town board to approve a multi-family housing zone for the parcel, which would be located in the Baldwin Place section of Somers. The property is currently zoned R-80, which only allows single-family homes.
At last week’s meeting, the town board voted unanimously to declare itself as lead agency for the review of the proposed new zone and the change in the Comprehensive Plan and submitted the proposed changes to the town planning board and the Westchester County Planning Department for their comments. The planning board is in the process of doing an environmental review of the proposal.
Director of Planning Syrette Dym said she reviewed the town’s Comprehensive Plan, which was established in 1994, and learned for the zoning change sought by the developers to go forward the town board would need to change the Comprehensive Plan in regards to the Baldwin Place portion of town.
Barry Singer, chairman of the Somers Affordable Housing Board, urged town officials to approve the housing proposal because it would provide new affordable units in town, which could keep young residents in Somers.
“We don’t need more people like me,” Singer said. “We don’t need more seniors.’
Councilman Richard Clinchy asked Dym that since the project would be located off Route 6, which is a state road, if the Department of Transportation would conduct a traffic study of not only the townhouse project, but other new developments in the area in Somers and in Putnam County.
“The traffic there is great,” Clinchy said. Dym said the DOT is working on a “long range plan for improvements along Route 6.”
The townhouses would be between 16,000 and 17,000 square feet. If the project is approved, the Housing Action Council would have an agreement to keep the eight affordable homes affordable for 50 years. The Council would be responsible for the process to recruit families to live in the affordable homes.