Rosehill Developer Presents To New Castle Town Board

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Stephen Oder presents his revised plan for the Legionaries of Christ site in New Castle.
Stephen Oder presents his revised plan for the Legionaries of Christ site in New Castle. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
A screenshot of the Rosehill site plan.
A screenshot of the Rosehill site plan. Photo Credit: Screenshot

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- Presenting a revised proposal for the Legionaries of Christ site for the first time to the New Castle Town Board, developer Stephen Oder and his attorney discussed the changes that have taken place.

The development, which was formerly called The Spa at New Castle and has been renamed Rosehill, is purely residential. The old version, in addition to 50 condos, included 34 hotel units, a spa and a restaurant, which would have been open to the public. The latest iteration, however, has 60 condos but nothing that would be publicly accessible.

“It would simply be a multi-family residential project with virtually the same building footprint,” said David Steinmetz, who is Oder's land-use lawyer, at the board's Tuesday work session.

The property is located at 773 Armonk Road and is about 96 acres. 

Oder's company, Soder Real Estate Equities, LLC, is contract vendee for the property, which will allow him to acquire the property in the future. Oder disclosed to the town board that the contract expires on Jan. 15, 2015, although he is interested in buying the place regardless.

Rosehill involves the demolition to two existing wings of the property's estate building and replacing them with new ones. Fifty one of the condos would be housed in the new wings, some would be in the estate structure while others would be located in two new buildings to the south. Most of the condos would be 2-bedroom units while some would have three. Oder brought up 40 units having two bedrooms and 20 3-bedroom units as a possible mix.

Overall, there would be 228,000 square feet of development and around 150,000 worth of what Oder described as net salable area.

The project would require a rezoning for the site, which is currently zoned for single-family homes.

The new version, which came following public input and a scoping session for the environmental review, is intended to have less intense septic use due to the removal of the non-residential aspects. Oder noted it is being “dramatically reduced” and testing will be done.

Traffic would also be lower than under the previous plan with lack of employees and food delivery cited as reasons. While there is no data yet, Oder suggested a reduction range of 50 to 60 percent.

Steinmetz made a request for reopening the public scoping session, with a May 27 date a possibility. The board is slated to make a decision on that date at its Monday, May 12 meeting.

Under the environmental review for the proposal, the Town Board is lead agency. However, some board members raised the possibility of allowing for the Planning Board to take over. In response to a question from Deputy Supervisor Lisa Katz relating to the scenario, Steinmetz gave his preference for the Town Board keeping the role. However, Councilman Adam Brodsky expressed openness to the possibility of a Planning Board takeover, citing expertise.

Sharon Greene, a resident of nearby Tripp Street, expressed concern with the new plan and questioned whether the multifamily project is permissible. Steinmetz countered by noting the proposal of a new zoning district.

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