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North Castle Officials Cool To Revised Housing Plan

Frank Madonna
Frank Madonna Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

ARMONK, N.Y. -- A revised housing proposal from developer Frank Madonna for a site near downtown Armonk was met with an unenthusiastic reception from North Castle Town Board officials during a recent meeting.

Madonna presented a new proposal for the property, which is between Old Mount Kisco Road and Route 128. Instead of his previous plan, which includes six buildings with 14 townhouse units, the new proposal calls for constructing a single, multistory apartment structure with 22 units.

The new proposal's units, like the old one's, would be age-restricted. However, square footage would shrink, dropping from 2,500 to 1,600. Additionally, the units could be taxed as condominiums instead of the "fee-simple" status given to the townhouses. The latter status ensures that multifamily units are taxed the same as single-family homes. Condos are assessed with rental income potential factored in, which can lead to lower tax burdens than single-family structures. This matter was a point of concern particularly for North Castle Supevisor Michael Schiliro, who also expressed concern about the building's density.

“That’s a concern for me," he said.

Madonna, who received rezoning approval from the Town Board in 2013 for his last project, according to records, and would still need site plan approval for it from the Planning Board if he were to pursue it. He said that if does not get town support for the 22-unit iteration, then he will go with the older plan.

Madonna, who is seeking another zoning change to accommodate the new version, urged the Town Board to refer the matter to the Planning Board. Town Board members opted not to, with some saying they were uncomfortable doing so.

Councilwoman Barbara DiGiacinto, for example, said she was uncomfortable in referring a “very large building to the Planning Board.”

Schiliro noted the limits of the Planning Board's jurisdiction over the project's merits.

Madonna's new project would have a setback of about 50 feet, more than the current version. This aspect was touted on his behalf. He is also proposing to extend a sewer system to several neighboring parcels as part of the project.

The Town Board chose not to make a project referral but opted to keep their options open.

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