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Armonk Citizens Appeal CVS Building Permit

ARMONK, N.Y. - The Concerned Citizens of Armonk filed an appeal challenging the town of North Castle's  decision to issue a building permit to Eden Enterprises to put a CVS store at the A&P site at 450 Main St.

The appeal charges that the building permit, which was issued Nov. 22, 2011, violated the law because the applicant didn't obtain a special-use permit from the North Castle Town Board, a site-development plan from the Town Planning Board and approval from the Architectural Review Board.

It states the applicant must receive at least one of these approvals if the project is to proceed.

The appeal was filed late last week and received by North Castle building inspector William Richardson.

Richardson said the town has determined that a special-use permit and site-plan approval aren't needed because the CVS store will retain the same design as the A&P.

"They're not putting a different face on it and the brick will match. They're going back to the original plan," he said. He also said a few changes in the design have been made in accordance with the ARB.

"We think there are enough changes that trigger a public review," said Jeff Baker, the attorney at Young, Sommer in Albany who handled the appeal for the CCA. "The CVS is a retail establishment like the A&P, but it's sufficiently different to require a special-use permit. And a site-plan approval would take in issues like adequate parking."

The CCA didn't express specific disapproval of CVS, but Greg Lane, a CCA member, said, "The large chain store impacts the character of the community and the downtown hamlet."

Charlene Jacobi, the president of the CCA, who owns the Town Center Pharmacy in the Armonk Town Center, a short distance from the CVS site, said it's about more than competition.

"I live in town and love the town which has been full of mom and pop stores," she said. "When one chain comes in, more will follow and it impacts the charm of the town."

The appeal is the first step in the process that leads to a Zoning Board of Appeals hearing, which is scheduled for March 1.

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