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Armonk's Mariani Gardens Expansion Plan Challenged

ARMONK, N.Y. - Mariani Gardens, a nursery business on Bedford Road in Armonk, is seeking to get town zoning regulations changed so it can lease out space to another retailer, but a petition opposing it has been circulated among Armonk businesses.

Barbara DiGiacinto, an Armonk property owner, supervised the petition drive but was unavailable to comment on it. A retailer who signed it and requested anonymity said, "There is no need for 14,000 more square feet of retail space in Armonk with the Armonk Square project in the works. Possibly after that is settled, we can consider their propisition."

The petition has not been delivered to the town yet.

Adam Kaufman, the North Castle director of planning, said Mariani Gardens is seeking to change its Nursery Business zone status. "A nursery business zone allows certain uses and they're requesting to change the language and expand the uses. They're requesting the Town Board to allow certain uses so long as they are compatible with a nursery business."

Kaufman said Mariani Gardens has indicated they may want to bring in a wine store, an art store, a grocery store or a restaurant, but they weren't specific.

"When you have a specific use, you bring it to the Town Board and they'll decide if it's compatible with a nursery business. We don't want a pizzeria or a nail salon," Kaufman said.

North Castle Town Supervisor William Weaver and Town Board member Michael Schiliro were hesitant about the plan because Mariani Gardens hasn't specified what it intends to do. "If they wnat a zoniing change for a certian purpose we have to see what they really want to develop," Weaver said.

"There's no specificity to what they requested," Schiliro said.

The North Castle Planning Board issued a 3-2 decision in favor of Mariani's plan in December but Schiliro said, "We haven't heard back from the Planning Board."

It will be up to the Town Board to issue final approval after a public hearing.

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