FROM: Barry Graubart
The Village of Irvington government faces a critical decision in the weeks and months to come, regarding the proposed development of a massive assisted living facility on South Broadway, just south of Main Street.
The proposed project would require significant changes to the Village zoning laws – as the proposal would not comply with present code for size, height, coverage, setbacks, floor area ratio, density, parking and more.
What is proposed is a four-story, 105,000 square foot, 120-unit facility, which will tower nearly 100 feet above Broadway. That’s the size of a Marriott Courtyard hotel or Home Depot store. This will irreversibly change the character of our Village.
More importantly, the impact on the local community will be severe. The location will affect school transportation for all four Irvington schools and commuter patterns to both the Irvington and Ardsley train stations. Coupled with ongoing development in Dobbs Ferry and the proposed expansion at Mercy College, the traffic impact will be felt by all residents. Beyond traffic, the proposed facility will place undue stress on Village services, in particular, emergency services provided by the Irvington Volunteer Ambulance Corps. IVAC spoke against the project at a recent Planning Board meeting , noting that the added activity from the assisted living center (conservatively estimated by the builder at fifteen 911 calls per month) will have a deleterious impact on their ability to serve the rest of the community and will negatively impact their ability to recruit and retain volunteers.
Village officials tout the potential upside of the facility, focusing largely on increased tax revenue (since the present owner of the property, a nonprofit, pays no taxes), but there are many ways to generate revenue from that property, most obvious, through multifamily housing for which the property today is zoned. What officials don’t mention is that other than taxes, this facility will contribute nothing to our community. A self-contained center, with food service, hair and nail salon, the residents and employees will not be shopping in our Main Street restaurants and shops which so badly need a boost.
We have formed a group of concerned citizens and are voicing our opinions through the website www.ProtectIrvingtonNY.org.
I urge our village trustees and planners to give this project the thorough analysis that it deserves and to ensure that the review is an open, transparent process where all members of the community have the opportunity to share their opinions.