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New Castle Neighbors Concerned About Rosehill Plan

Attendees at the May 27 Rosehill scoping session.
Attendees at the May 27 Rosehill scoping session. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- Several residents who live near the Legionaries of Christ site in eastern New Castle expressed concerned about the Rosehill condo redevelopment at a recent Town Board meeting.

The residents, who live near the roughly 96-acre property that is at 773 Armonk Road, gave were concerned about traffic, local character, impact to property values, septic and water.

Rosehill involves the creation of 60 condominium units of two to three bedrooms each. They would be spread out among the core of an existing mansion of the property, new wings and new outbuildings.

The proposal is from developer Stephen Oder’s Soder Real Estate Equities. The site, which only allows for 2-acre single-family homes, would be rezoned to allow for the development.

The meeting was a scoping session to allow the public to give input for the proposal’s scoping document. That document serves as an outline for what to analyze for the proposal’s environmental review.

David Steinmetz, the applicant’s attorney, spoke at the meeting about how the project changed. The project, previously called The Spa at New Castle, had a spa, 50 condos, 34 hotel units and a public restaurant. However, Steinmetz attributed public feedback to the plan being changed.

Jodi Buren, one of the neighbors, noted that they want 2-acre zoning for the site and denied that, referring to feedback as a reason for the plan change, that there was support for the current version.

“They don’t believe there should be condos in their back yard and it was not based on what the neighbors said."

Some neighbors expressed dismay at changing the zoning, which would involve a switch to a proposed Unique Property Preservation (UPP) Floating District, along with concern about compatibility with the town’s master plan.

Sharon Greene, noted what the town’s code already has in terms of dealing with proposed multifamily housing and felt that what is being called for is spot zoning.

Bonnie Haymson asked Town Board members, by a show of hands, whether they had been to Tripp Street. Of the five members, three – Supervisor Rob Greenstein, Deputy Supervisor Lisa Katz and Councilman Adam Brodsky – had not.

Although a visit to the area was planned in April, Greenstein attributed the lack of one to snow being on the ground and to the change in project. Board members intend to make a site visit in the future.

The project’s relationship to the Bedford Central School District, which the site is located in, was also raised.

Mark Betz, the school district’s assistant superintendent for business and administrative services, wanted to find out the methodology that would be used to determine the number of students from the housing units.

Speaking after the meeting, Steinmetz brought up the fact that school impact would be included in the project’s environmental impact statement. He also felt that the project would not generate many students and that it will give the district more tax revenue.

The Town Board voted to close the scoping session and to accept written comments until June 16.

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