IRVINGTON, N.Y. – Zoning issues have developers and planning officials at an impasse in a proposal to build a 120-bed assisted living facility in Irvington.
Developers said officials should examine the project as if the zoning changes were approved. Village officials said they don't see any justification for building something that tries to adhere to existing codes.
“I am all for you doing a first-class project,” said George Boyle, planning board member. “It's a great idea. But you have to fit it in the confines of what's already basically established.”
Boyle added he wanted developers to explain why they had not tried to stay within existing zoning regulations for the proposed site.
Planning Board officials discussed the project and its draft final environmental impact statement at a work session Tuesday night. Officials will continue to discuss the project at a meeting Wednesday night and at another work session, Irvington Village Attorney Marianne Stecich said. Officials postponed a discussion on the project's emergency services impacts until the other work session.
The Continuum company wants to build an assisted-living facility at the Foundation for Economic Education site on Route 9 in Irvington just south of Main Street. The facility would include a special dementia-care unit and offer residents several amenities on-site.
Developers amended and scaled-back their original plan in July after residents turned up in droves to protest the project. Tuesday's Planning Board work session also saw changes in the program as developers said they now would like to tear down the existing building on the site instead of renovating it.
The proposal to tear down the existing building would decrease the building's height by 14 feet and allow some beds to be moved, thus allowing more open space near the Old Croton Aqueduct, developers said. The existing building does not meet historic standards and would be replaced with a building similar in historic character, developers said.
Planning Board Chair William Hoffman said he felt Continuum had been given a catch-22 because some people would object to the project's scale while others would prefer to keep the historical building. Hoffman said he felt the new building would be a major improvement.
Board Member Hilary Chenel agreed, saying the existing building was a safety hazard.
“The building should come down,” she said.