An 87-unit senior housing project is being proposed in Pleasantville by Benchmark Senior Living, a Wellesley, Mass.-based provider of senior care.
Benchmark has proposed to develop a 3.5-acre parcel behind the United Methodist Church at the intersection of Bedford and Maple Hill Roads as a 24,000-square-foot assisted living facility.
Benchmark is in contract with the church to buy the property, contingent on receiving approvals from the village of Pleasantville. Benchmark filed an application with the village to create a floating zone that would allow assisted living on parcels larger than three acres. The Pleasantville Board of Trustees voted to make itself lead agency at its Feb. 11 meeting.
“This is a wonderful opportunity,” said David Steinmetz of Zarin and Steinmetz, the White Plains law firm representing Benchmark. “It would create great jobs and wonderful ratables for the village.”
Steinmetz said that Benchmark will spend this year doing a state environmental quality review assessment (SEQRA) for the village, and expects to begin construction in 2014. Benchmark did a demographic analysis of the area and found that there is a strong demand for senior housing in Pleasantville and in northern Westchester.
“There is an aging population here,” Steinmetz said. “I’ve personally seen a large demand for senior housing. This has proximity to the train station and shopping, with ready access to the highways. There are not a lot of assisted living beds in northern Westchester.”
In response to complaints from residents and the New York state Department of Transportation, Benchmark changed the entrance point, using Bedford Road instead of Maple Hill Road. The Maple Hill Road entrance involved vehicles cutting through the church lot and was met with criticism from neighbors.
Other residents have expressed concern about noise and other environmental impacts the project could have. Steinmetz said they met with 40 residents in the neighborhood before they submitted their application and plan to address environmental concerns in the SEQRA.
“We certainly will review issues like noise,” Steinmetz said. “But I think it will have a low-impact use. The site will have to comply with all regulations, which it will.”
Benchmark will meet with the planning commission Feb. 27 and expects to be back in front of the village board in April.