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North Castle Hamlet Design Guidelines Presented

NORTH CASTLE, N.Y. – Prior to the North Castle Town Board meeting Wednesday night, a work session was held to discuss the hamlet design guidelines prepared for the town by Sullivan Architecture, a White Plains firm.

John Sullivan, president of the firm, said it has been working on the guidelines for the past six months and prepared a booklet that details the guidelines, which was passed out to board members.

The booklet describes the goal of the project, which is “to create design standards that will foster a vibrant downtown environment for each of the three hamlets with harmonious buildings, signage, streetscapes, walkways and plantings."

The booklet includes maps of Armonk, Banksville and North White Plains and sections that deal with design elements, from general design standards to site planning, streetscape design, building façade design, building materials and site furnishing and signage.

For each section, the booklet suggests dos and don’ts, such as do utilize a 10’ to 12’ minimum store front height and don’t have a large area of storefront with singular design.

After Sullivan made his presentation, Supervisor William Weaver said, “The ideas and designs are good and will help the town going forward in the future. The design standards can be used for new buildings and renovations.”

Board member Joseph Cronin criticized the booklet for not providing enough new design ideas. “It should take a stronger position,” he said.

There was also discussion of adding floors to existing buildings for residential space and creating three story buildings with a retail store on the ground floor and two floors for residences. "It's a great idea if it fits in with the scale," Council member Rebecca Kittredge said.

Sullivan said the company will prepare a final version of the booklet after it is reviewed by the board.

Charlene Jacobi, owner of the Town Center Pharmacy, said, “As a resident, rules and regulations for architectural structures are very important for the integrity of our town. That’s what makes Armonk special and the board should approve this.”

Jacobi is a member of Armonk Concerned Citizens, a group that petitioned the town early this year to put a moratorium on new building until design regulations like these could be implemented. “The town declined to establish the moratorium but agreed to look into the issue and come up with ordinances. The new administration can work to make it happen,” she said.

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