Yorktown Senior Living
East Main Street, Mohegan Lake
Town Board, 3-22-2016
(Note: the discussion began 15 minutes before the 7:30pm time shown on the agenda.)
In response to the board’s earlier concerns about traffic, the applicant, Tim Cassidy, presented a revised plan that calls for fewer housing units and a scaled back senior learning center. The plan includes 96 assisted living units and 124 independent living units and eliminates the condos. Space for on-site senior learning classes would be limited with most of the classes being shifted to the YCCC.
From the board’s perspective, the major problem with the plan continues to be the access to Route 6; two access points would only be for right turns. Cars wishing to make a left (going east) exiting the site would have to turn right, then turn left onto East Main Street (just before the Winery) and then turn right at the light at Strawberry onto Route 6 to proceed eastbound.
While the left turn issue could be resolved by allowing right turn exits onto Strawberry Road, Supervisor Grace made it clear that he did not want any additional traffic on Strawberry, even if the exit was limited to emergency vehicles and even if the road was channelized to only allow right turns. While the applicant downplayed the potential number of emergency calls to the site that might use Strawberry, the supervisor said he anticipated more calls given the older population. Councilmen Bernard and Diana, both noting existing trafficbottlenecks at the corner of Route 6 and East Main Street, also expressed concern about the proposed “jug handle” solution for eastbound traffic.
An alternate road plan that would have crossed a state wetland was, for the most part, ruled out by DE.
While acknowledging that the site had “challenges,” Mr. Cassidy stressed the lower traffic impact the age oriented development would generate compared to the site being developed for single family homes according to its current zoning. However, both Councilman Bernard and Supervisor Grace indicated that a single family development would give the developer more access options.
Although Supervisor Grace indicated his general support for the plan’s concept, he indicated that he did not see how the access issues could be overcome. In response, Mr. Cassidy said he would like to pursue the application to the public hearing stage as he needs an official decision, one way or the other.
To that end, it was agreed that the board would refer out the rezoning application once the applicant submitted all the necessary papers and that a public hearing would be scheduled, most likely in May.
Town Board, 3-24-2015
The development team presented a revised site plan that incorporated the board’s earlier concerns about access into and from the site. The new plan calls for two access points on Route 6 for cars traveling west. Cars proceeding east would not be able to make a left turn either into the site or leaving the site and would have to either make a U-turn on Route 6 or travel down East Main Street to Strawberry Road and then turn right onto Route 6 at the light. Access to Strawberry Road would be limited to an emergency exit. And, although the developer said that allowing access on Strawberry would solve some of the left turn issues, there was no sentiment on the board to go along with this idea.
The consensus on the board from Supervisor Grace, Councilman Bernard and myself, as well as from Planning Director Tegeder, was that the traffic plan did not work because of the eastbound Route 6 problem. The only solution, Mr. Tegeder suggested was a new traffic light on Route 6, but the applicant didn’t seem to see that as a possibility. The applicant will meet with the DOT to see what, if any, modifications to Route 6, would be permitted.
Following up on an earlier suggestion of the supervisor, the applicant reported that the group home located on Strawberry Road was not interested in allowing a road to be built through its property.
Dan Ciarcia, the applicant’s engineer, suggested a possible option that would allow traffic from the site to exit to an extension of Lakeland Street where cars could proceed to the light on Route 6. The applicant will review the land use maps to see if this option might work.
Town Board, 8-12-2014
The applicant returned to the board with a map showing the proposed bypass road that had been discussed at the previous meeting and identified several issues with this possible plan that still needed to be worked out:
a. a grading analysis and the need for retaining walls
b. crossing a state wetlands (the site planner ruled out a bridge as not being cost effective)
c. how the development would work with the abutting Catucci single family home development.
In addition to working out the above issues, which the applicant said would be costly and would benefit the town, not his specific project, the question remained whether doing the bypass in Yorktown made any sense if it ended at Lexington Ave. Mr. Tegeder noted that the 14 lot subdivision in Cortlandt on the other side of Lexington Avenue did not set aside land for the bypass and that while Cortlandt said it wanted a bypass, it did so only on its terms. The board seemed in agreement that while the bypass could take traffic off Strawberry Rd, it might not make sense if the bypass didn’t continue into Cortlandt.
Although the board appeared to support the general plan concept, the fundamental issue that needed to be resolved was the access points and the ability to make right and left turns from and onto Route 6. Supervisor Grace added that even though the actual traffic generation from the site would be limited, area residents were still likely to be concerned about the mass of the proposed buildings.
Two suggestions from board members for getting better accessto Route 6 involved the applicant acquiring additional properties in the area, one of which was identified as a group home at Strawberry Road.
Given the board’s generally positive feelings about the project concept, the applicant said he felt comfortable investing in the additional studies that would be needed to prepare three possible options to bring back to the board for additional discussion at a subsequent meeting.
Mr. Cassidy also advised the board that he would be working with Mercy College which was proceeding with its plan to create a Senior Living Center on campus but that when this proposed project went through, the onsite senior living center would include both shared rooms and rooms rented by the college.
Mr. Cassidy also gave the board additional information it had requested about his background.
Town Board, 7-8-2014
Tim Cassidy, CEO of Senior Consulting, LLC, made a pre-submission presentation to rezone 21 acres between Route 6 and Strawberry Road for a 3-part senior complex of 250 units comprised of:
a. 60 units of age restricted market rate condos
b. 96 units of rental independent living
c. 56 units of memory assisted living
d. a senior learning center/resource center that would be open to the general public that would possibly involve a partnership with Mercy College. (Note: this last part about the partnership was not clear.)
The site is currently zoned R1-40, for one acre development. Mr. Cassidy is currently under contract to purchase the parcel.
While the preliminary plan calls for access to both Route 6 and Strawberry Road, Supervisor Grace made it clear to the applicant that putting additional traffic on to Strawberry Rd, even one with limited use, would be a problem, and he urged the applicant to consider an alternate plan. One possibility would be to factor in the long planned Mohegan by-pass route into the site plan, even if the Yorktown part of the by-pass ended at Lexington Ave, the Yorktown/Cortlandt border. This would give the development access to Lexington Ave and seemed to have the support of the board as of the Planning Department. Another possibility involved cooperating with the abutting Catucci property that has received preliminary subdivision approval for 26 units. (The observer was not able to view the proposed site plan to better describe the access issues. As the Catucci property also involves the proposed by pass route, it was not clear how this plan would affect the Catucci plan.)
Councilman Bianco noted he had heard that Fieldhome was having problems selling its proposed units (see Fieldhome). Citing the original Cappelli plan to have an assisted living development on Route 6 at Barger Street, which he said had a “shorter life plan than a loaf of bread” and had been proposed by someone without any experience in the field, he wanted assurances from Mr. Cassidy that there was a demand for what Mr. Cassidy was proposing. He also wanted information about what other projects Senior Consultants had done.
In response, Mr. Cassidy explained that his plan is based on extensive market studies that showed a need for these types of units in northern Westchester. He said his plan differed substantially from the independent living proposed by the Fieldhome, noting that the latter was part of a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Center) that involved residents making an upfront payment in addition to paying a monthly fee whereas he was proposing that all units be on a month-to-month, pay as you go rental basis. He also distinguished his plan from the senior fee-simple units being proposed in the Bear Mountain Triangle.
David Steinmetz, attorney for the project, explained that the proposed rezoning could either fit into the RSP-2 or RSP-3 zones, although both would need some tweaking to accommodate the current plan. He said he would contact Al Capellini, the attorney for the Catucci subdivision, to see if the two plans would work together on access issues.