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Developer Proposes 49 Affordable Townhouses For Goldens Bridge Site

Lewisboro Planning Board member John O'Donnell gestures towards a layout sketch of a 49-unit affordable housing proposal for a site in Goldens Bridge Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
A photo of a layout drawing that depicts a 49-townhouse proposal for a site in Goldens Bridge. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
A photo of a layout image of the proposed 49-unit townhouse development. The layout is overlaid with parcel maps. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
Left to right: Jeffrey Contelmo, a senior principal engineer with Insite Engineering, and John Bainlardi, a vice president with Wilder Balter Partners. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
The Lewisboro Planning Board. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

CROSS RIVER, N.Y. -- A prominent developer is seeking to build 49 affordable-housing units on a site in Goldens Bridge.

The developer, Wilder Balter Partners, proposes to build the units, which would be in the form of townhouses, in what is currently a wooded area off of Route 22 and near the northbound exit from Interstate 684.

The site, which is about 35 acres, is comprised of two tax parcels. John Bainlardi, a vice president for Wilder Balter, told Daily Voice that his firm is in contract to purchase the site, which is currently owned by Property Group Partners.

Bainlardi said that the townhouses, which will be rentals, will include 30 2-bedroom units, 15 1-bedroom units and five 3-bedroom units. The square footage of the units has not been determined, Bainlardi added.

The proposal calls for developing on the northern parcel, while preserving the southern parcel as open space (except for drink-water and septic uses).

Jeffrey Contelmo, who is an engineer working for the developer on the proposal, told the Lewisboro Planning Board at a meeting last Tuesday that the property currently has two wells. He added that the number will be increased to account for the project.

The site is on a plateau that is separated from Route 22 and Interstate 684 by an elevation increase, Contelmo explained to the Planning Board.

If built, the townhouses would count towards Westchester County's 2009 federal affordable-housing settlement. The settlement calls for adding 750 affordable-housing units in predominently white municipalities over a 7-year period. The units, which will receive county and state subsidization, must also be proactively marketed across the region.

Earlier this year, the Lewisboro Town Board amended its zoning code to allow multifamily housing to be constructed on properties that have commercial zoning. The parcel that will include the townhouses conforms to the change, while the other parcel that will be left as open space has residential zoning.

Bainlardi told the board that the project would be like one that his company built in North Salem. That complex, which is called Bridleside Apartments , is made up of 65 affordable townhouses.

Wilder Balter's other developments, Bainlardi noted, range from a 92-unit complex in Montrose to a 50-unit complex in Larchmont.

The company is also poised to work on a renovation of the historic cupola building at the former Readers Digest campus in Chappaqua, which is now called Chappaqua Crossing. That project would entail renovating the building's upper-two floors to add 28 affordable rental apartments under the county settlement.

Initial Planning Board feedback included calls for more information about visual impact of the complex.

Planning Board member John O'Donnell asked Bainlardi about whether he received community feedback on the proposal, calling it “somewhat different than what we usually see.”

Bainlardi, who reached out to a Goldens Bridge hamlet group to discuss the proposal, called the initial reaction "positive feedback."

The Planning Board is could potentially revisit the proposal at its December meeting. The next steps include launching an environmental review.

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