Letter: Housing proposal goes too far

 

To the Editor,
A senior housing rental development for the Town of Eastchester is being proposed for a commercial parcel of property on Summerfield, Dunwoodie and Montgomery streets.

The North Eastchester Civic Association, the local homeowners association, has been involved over the past several years, since 2008, in the formation of the senior housing law for the Town of Eastchester. The law was passed by the town board in 2009.

The law is approximately 25 pages of specific detail on who, what and where senior housing is permitted. For the past year or so, the Summerfield Gardens proposal has been before the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals seeking approvals on numerous variances and design concerns. Some of the variances are in excess of 100 percent or greater than what the code allows.

For example, the density code allows 46 units and the requested variance is 92 units. The allowed building coverage of the lot code is 35 percent the variance requested is 84 percent. The height code is four stories and the variance is five stories. The maximum building height is 45 feet, the requested variance is 64.9 feet. The lot size requires a minimum of 40,000 square feet, this parcel has only 32,500 square feet and is 18 percent deficient.

But more important is the “projection beyond the building line,” which is prohibited by the zoning laws of our town. Further detail states the foundation wall or any other portion of a building above or below ground shall not project beyond the building line. The developer needs this change in order to build an underground parking complex to satisfy the parking requirement within the senior housing law.

The real question is why the town has permitted this application to proceed. NECA has brought these concerns forward to the planning department and the town board members.

NECA is in favor of this development providing more reasonable variances are in compliance with the details of the senior housing law.

 

John J. Bassano,
Past president,
North Eastchester Civic Association