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Banksville Avenue Rezoning Plan Presented

ARMONK, N.Y. -- The North Castle Town Board held a special meeting Wednesday to discuss amending the town code to rezone an area of Banksville Avenue from a General Business District into a One-Family Residence District.

The meeting was attended by a number of area residents and merchants, including Bob Farquhar, who lives and operates Banksville Lawn Equipment on Banksville Avenue on property his family has owned for more than 100 years.

“We have to support businesses on Banksville Avenue,” Farquhar said. “We want mom and pop businesses and don’t want to take them away for what they call appropriate development.”

Peter Miller, who owns North Castle Automotive on Banksville Avenue, said the proposed rezoning is “a draconian leap.” “Residents want prohibitions against the quasi-industrial, we’re fine with that. Remedial things can be done but we don’t want extreme measures taken,” Miller said.

In Director of Planning Adam Kaufman’s words, the redistricting won’t be extreme, because it would allow existing businesses to stay and new businesses to open at the same sites if they are sold.

“The use can be continued even in the case of change of ownership. However, the use can’t be enlarged or extended to occupy a greater area of land,” Kaufman said.

The rezoning is based on a Comprehensive Town Plan that was issued in 1996 that recommends the area currently zoned for general business be rezoned for residential use.

“We’re not taking businesses away, but we’re looking towards the overall improvement of the town,” Town Supervisor Howard Arden said. “This is the way to do it that’s the most fair and may improve property values.”

Arden said Wednesday’s meeting was a “public information session.” A public hearing will be scheduled to allow further public comments before the town board votes on whether to approve the measure.

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