The Planning Board is serving as lead agency for the project's environmental review. The purpose of a scoping session, according to state law, is to gather public input on what to include in a project's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), which will be a lengthy document for the review.
The state law is officially called the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).
Developer Wilder Balter Partners is proposing the project, which has a working title called "Bedford Farm," on the northern portion of a 113-site bounded by Old Post Road (Route 22), Crusher Road, Vinton Avenue and the Mianus River.
The proposal includes setting aside the southern portion of the main site, which is owned by Marvin Schwartz of the financial firm Neuberger Berman, for use as open space. The site was once considered for a high school for Rippowam Cisqua, according to records.
Bedford Farm includes 70 market-rate units and nine affordable units. It also includes space for growing produce and calls for having a full-time farmer.
The project requires a special permit from the Town Board because it involves creating what is called a conservation development.
Under SEQRA, once a DEIS is submitted to the town, it will be subject to review before it is deemed to be ready for a public hearing. After public input is gathered, the applicant is then supposed to prepare and submit a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), which is subject to town review and an optional public hearing.
After oversight of an FEIS is finished, the environmental review concludes with the adoption of what is called a findings statement, which includes conclusions from the lead agency. Once the review is done, the underlying legislation for a development would be voted on.
A draft scoping document has been released by the town. It outlines several topics to include in the DEIS, including impact on traffic for the area, an overview of existing site conditions and alternatives for the property.
William Balter, a Mount Kisco resident and principal with the company, has development experience in Northern Westchester. This includes Glassbury Court in Mount Kisco and the Bridleside apartment complex in North Salem.
The Planning Board's meeting is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. and will be at the town's annex building, 425 Cherry St., Bedford Hills.
A copy of the town's draft scoping document can be read here.
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