GovernmentThe Northern Westchester Examiner

Yorktown Board Votes to Protect Historic Elements of Underhill Farm

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The Yorktown Town Board voted to adopt an agreement last week that protects historic elements of the Underhill Farm property.

The board’s Feb. 20 resolution came two weeks after it rejected a proposal to landmark the historic structures and surroundings on the 13.8-acre site.

Deputy Supervisor Ed Lachterman said the restrictive covenant that prevents Unicorn Contracting from demolishing the historic mansion or altering other features without the Town Board’s consent accomplishes the same goals as the landmarking efforts.

“This decision was well-reasoned and protects the key features that most people know and want preserved. The covenant gives the Town Board definitive oversight over any deviation from the approved plan,” Lachterman said. “This agreement is a product of an extensive and inclusive public debate that carefully weighed the input from all parties in our community.”

Two weeks ago, Lachterman said provisions were already in place as part of the Planning Board’s July 17, 2023 approval of a mixed-use project on the property to protect the historic mansion that has been the main thrust of the Heritage Preservation Commission and others who urged the board to take the landmarking action during a more than four-hour Jan. 30 hearing.

The Planning Board’s approval of the site plan and special permit gave Unicorn Contracting the go-ahead to construct 148 residential units – 68 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, 48 three- and four-bedroom townhouses and 32 one- and two-bedroom condominiums –and 15,600 square feet of commercial space, along with the restoration of the historic mansion that has become the central part of the site on Underhill Ave.

The property has historical significance because it was the property of Abraham and Edward B. Underhill, who contributed to the agricultural and economic development of Yorktown in the 19th Century. The property was last occupied by the Soundview Preparatory School, which operated from 1989 until 2020. Prior to that, it was owned by Beaver Conference Farm.

The project is located within the overlay zone in the Yorktown Heights business hamlet.

Unicorn representatives said the $60 million project, which was the subject of more than 20 meetings, will generate $13 million in property taxes over 10 years and offer much-needed housing for individuals 55 and older.








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