By Tom Bartley
Only a Google-map glitch kept Benchmark Senior Living from renewing its quest this week for permission to build 87 units of eldercare housing in Pleasantville.
David Steinmetz, a lawyer representing Benchmark, had been expected to show the village board of trustees a revised Google Earth representation of how the three-story, assisted-living facility would fit into the Bedford Road neighborhood.
But a problem with Google’s mapping software forced postponement of Steinmetz’s appearance, Mayor Peter Sheerer said before Monday’s meeting.
The controversial Benchmark housing would rise on 3½ wooded acres owned by the United Methodist Church, across the street from Foxwood’s condominiums. The church land, zoned now for residential and professional-office uses, would have to be reclassified by the village board to accommodate an assisted-living complex.
Some area residents, including Foxwood Condominium dwellers closest to the property, have expressed opposition to the plan.
A United Homeowners of Pleasantville online petition has garnered 166 signatures to date, according to www.uhpville.com.
Benchmark has asked the board to create a new Eldercare Community District in the village zoning code. Envisioned as a “floating zone,” it would be a kind of portable zoning classification, capable of being overlaid on the zoning of qualifying sites in other parts of Pleasantville. To qualify, as an Eldercare Community District, a site would need to have at least three acres of land (United Methodist is selling 3½ acres) and adjoin a state or county road (Bedford Road is Route 117, a county thoroughfare).
At the village board’s Sept. 16 meeting, Steinmetz offered to try again with the Google-backed presentation, which had earlier suffered a technical setback.
“I was disappointed,” Steinmetz said, that Google Street View was unable to be shown at that earlier meeting. In the demonstration, Sketch-up, a 3-D modeling software, and Google Street View run simultaneously. “You see Bedford Road come to life, and the accuracy of what’s depicted in the model vs. what’s depicted in Google Street View,” Steinmetz said.
Scherer embraced the offer to re-run the demo, the mayor
saying, “The closer we can get to a realistic rendering of what this would look
like the better off everybody is.”
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