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Assisted Living Facility Proposed in Pleasantville

Tonight: a community meeting about the proposal to develop the lot behind the United Methodist Church.

Neighbors of the United Methodist Church on Bedford Road in Pleasantville are invited to a meeting Wednesday regarding a proposal to turn the 3.5 acres of vacant property behind the church into an assisted living facility.

The proposal comes from Benchmark Senior Living and BSL Development.

"Benchmark believes that there is a strong demand in the community and vicinity for assisted living, and such a use of the property carries with it certain benefits and advantages for Pleasantville and its residents," David S. Steinmetz, an attorney with the White Plains-based Zarin & Steinmetz wrote in a letter about the proposal.

The public meeting will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the church.

According to Pleasantville Village Administrator Patricia Dwyer, the village was made aware of the proposal a few weeks back.

"They came to visit us to tell us they were in contract with the Methodist Church to acquire an unapproved portion of their property and that they were in the process of doing due diligence," she said. 

Dwyer said she and principals from the firm also met with board members Jonathan Cunningham and Colleen Griffin Wagner to discuss the proposal, which calls for between 70 and 80 assisted living units on the property.

Trustee Cunningham, Dwyer said, inquired about the economic, social and civic benefits the facility would bring to the village.

"It is going to require a whole host of actions from the village board if it moves forward because of zoning requirements, environmental reviews and the like," Dwyer said. "But, it's a very reputable company. We are comfortable with their model and we understand what they do; and we don't find the use offensive. But we have to see whether or not it's a good fit."

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Representatives from Benchmark will also be stopping by the village board meeting on Monday, Dec. 3, to share their proposed plans.

If the board gives the developer an informal preliminary approval, a zoning petition would have to filter through the village board and planning commission.

According to Steinmetz's letter, "The present proposal is to place the property in the Village's R-PO zone so that a senior assisted living facility can be constructed and operated at the premises."

Benchmark Senior's Living website says it specializes in "independent living, traditional assisted living, assisted living for the memory impaired (including Alzheimer's and Dementia Care) and respite stay programs."

Currently, the site in question is undeveloped and "in a natural state," Dwyer described.

"The environmental issues are certainly going to be of importance to understand and mitigate," she added.

Dwyer said she has not yet received any feedback about the proposal from residents.

"The goal for everybody is to make sure the neighborhood does have something harmonious and compatible on that site once it is developed, so it isn't disruptive or detrimental to the quality of life in that neighborhood," she said.

Harry One December 11, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Stand buy the Spano plan

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