Halstead project gets variances

A proposed development project for 550 Halstead Ave. calls for a sleek, five-story, 36-unit apartment building targeted at young commuters. Rendering courtesy Town of Harrison

A proposed development project for 550 Halstead Ave. calls for a sleek, five-story, 36-unit apartment building targeted at young commuters. Rendering courtesy Town of Harrison

By PHIL NOBILE
Continuing to make its way through the Harrison building process, a proposed project that would construct an apartment complex on Halstead Avenue received its variances from the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals at it last meeting.

Sitting in a residential neighborhood, the project calls for a five-story, 36-unit apartment building at 550 Halstead Ave., where Port Chester Lumber Co. used to operate. The new building would
accompany two existing apartment complexes directly to the north and south of the half-acre lumber yard, a seven-story and four-story complex, respectively.

The proposal has gone before the zoning board multiple times since March. After receiving a recommendation from the town’s Planning Board in December 2013, the project has seen mostly positive feedback from the zoning board, which said it was being thorough for the sake of the town.

“I happen to like this project a lot, but you have to indemnify the town,” zoning board chairman Mark Fisher said.

The project requested six variances from the town including an additional height variance of 15 feet due to the 45-foot limit of all buildings in that zoning district; an additional story due to a four-story limit on the property; 36 total units rather than the allotted 29; a variance of nine parking spaces because the zoning code requires 54 parking spots and the project will have 45 spots.

Before granting the variances, zoning board members questioned a potential safety hazard behind the building if fire trucks and emergency services needed access. After debating the matter, the board decided to add a condition to the variances that the project must seek approval from the Harrison Fire Department confirming the amount of space will be acceptable for emergency personnel fire access.

With all of its variances granted, Kurt Wittek, project leader for 550 Halstead, will take the proposal back to the town’s Planning Board to seek site plan approval.

David Steinmetz, an attorney from the White Plains-based law firm Zarin & Steinmetz, who is representing Wittek, assured the zoning board and community the project would suit the area well.

“Our client believes there is strong demand for this type of product with a short walk to the Metro-North station, shopping, parks and the Harrison community, “Steinmetz, who described the variances as modest, said.

The next Planning Board meeting will be on June 24. Specific stipulations and terms of the variances will be available when the zoning board adopts its findings in July, according to secretary for the planning, zoning and  architectural review boards  Rosemarie Cusumano.

The proposal received all six of its needed variances from the town’s zoning board, and will go where the Port Chester Lumber Co. used to sit. Photo/Phil Nobile

The proposal received all six of its needed variances from the town’s zoning board, and will go where the Port Chester Lumber Co. used to sit. Photo/Phil Nobile

CONTACT: phil@hometwn.com