The Hastings-on-Hudson Planning Board will discuss a revised concept plan for the previously dormant Saw Mill River Lofts housing project at its meeting Thursday.
The planning board will meet at 8:15 p.m. at village hall, 7 Maple Ave., click here for the agenda. If you can’t make it tonight’s meeting you can catch it later in the week on the Village’s public access channel or website.
Ginsburg Development Companies (GDC), based in Valhalla and owned by Dobbs Ferry resident Martin Ginsburg, originally proposed the project in 2005 and placed the project on hold for several years during the national economic crisis and housing market crash.
“GDC has made every effort to modify the project with the greatest sensitivity to the site and to the larger community," according to a Feb. 28 letter to the Village from the applicant. "The project as modified will of course incorporate the measures that the Village previously identified as necessary to avoid or mitigate adverse effects upon the environment and maximize community benefits.”
Developers decided to resurrect the project after an upturn in the housing market and need for affordable housing, as mandated by the County’s affordable housing settlement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) over a fair housing lawsuit.
GDC’s previously proposal for the 7.45-acre lot off of route 9A (Saw Mill River Road) included 60 units in two buildings—54 market rate live/work units and six affordable residential units—and 1.75 acres of open space.
Six more affordable and/or workforce housing units were added to the project for a total of 66 residential and market rate units and 12 affordable units. The Hastings-on-Hudson Affordable Housing Development Fund Company has been working with GDC over the last few months to co-sponsor applications for government funding.
The currently proposed building would house the affordable units in a separate building “to obtain state funding and address other project needs and to achieve a number of community benefits.”
Other project modifications include:
- The units will be put into three smaller buildings instead of two, which will reduce building lengths and allow for more view in the corridors
- Enhanced buffers and reduced curb cuts
- Increased open space from 1.75 acres to 2.9 acres, some of which will be dedicated to the Village or an entity of the Village’s choosing. About 1.3 acres of this space will be dedicated as the “Saw Mill River Greenway” and another 1.6 acres will be dedicated as open space that connects to the South County Trailway.
- Energy Star and other green building design features will be used. GDC is currently reviewing the Village’s proposed “green building” code to make sure their plan complies
The original project had received environmental, concept plan, site plan and steep slopes approvals. The developer says the original state environmental quality review (SEQR) should still stand for the modified version of the project, as the environmental assessment form (EAF) by Tim Miller Associates deemed that the new plan does not create any additional negative impacts above the original plan.
The public will have the chance to speak about the projects in future public hearings. In the meantime tell us what you think in the comments.