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Edgemont Housing Developers Return to Greenburgh

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – Developers of a controversial housing project are back in Greenburgh and hoping they will get a fair shake despite community resistance to the plan. 

R&S Development presented the Greenburgh Planning Board Wednesday with its site plan for a 41-unit affordable housing complex for the first time since a state Supreme Court judge ruled the 1 Dromore Road plan did not violate town code.

The developers have expressed concern, however, that the project may be hindered by a lack of community support for the proposed complex.

In their Feb. 15 site plan submission letter, read during Wednesday's meeting, developers asked board members not to be influenced by the mounting negativity surrounding the project as the proposal is reviewed.

“Members of the Edgemont community may continue to oppose the project but you need not succumb to the pressure,” wrote Richard Troy, managing member of the company.

The proposed three-story building has created a stir in the community as it would be built in an area that, according to the town’s zoning code, is meant for single family residences.

In 2007, the town’s zoning board of appeals denied the developer’s application because of that code.

But in January, a state Supreme Court Judge overruled that decision because of a 1998 mistake on a town zoning map that designated the area as a multi-family dwelling zone.

While the town has said it may appeal that ruling, the decision paved the way for the complex’s plan to be resubmitted to the planning board. 

Community members are concerned the housing unit, proposed to be built on a 2.6 acre lot between the Greenburgh Nature Center and recreational fields at Edgemont Junior Senior High School, could increase enrollment in the district and affect the ecosystem of the nature center. 

Prior to the hearing, however, planning board chairperson Frances McLaughlin assured S&R the board will base its decisions in town code and state policy, not public pressure.

“Our board has never felt pressures even on the most controversial of projects, of which there have been many,” she said. 

Meanwhile, community resistance continues to mount as the Edgemont Community Council has asked the board not to consider the application until the zoning spat can be finalized.

Council representative Robert Bernstein said the judge's ruling is not legally enforceable and warned the board it may be wasting its time reviewing the application.

The planning board “will see clearly that it can’t entertain the application until zoning is certain,” Bernstein said. “And the zoning is far from certain at this point.”

For now, the site plan review process has been put on hold until S&R addresses the board’s Wednesday night suggestions, which included the addition of sidewalks and a recreation area at the complex.

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