ARMONK, N.Y. – The North Castle Town Board approved a special-use permit for the St. Nerses Armenian Seminary on Wednesday night, despite adamant disapproval from one board member.
“I really think it would be difficult to find a worse location in this town to put a building with this kind of density,” said Town Board member John Cronin.
The board voted 4-1 to approve the special use permit at its regular meeting in Armonk, with Cronin being the lone "no" vote. The approval will allow the seminary to move into its desired location at 486 Bedford Road in Armonk.
The St. Nerses Armenian Seminary will prepare priests for the Armenian Orthodox church, housing the students while they study there. The current plans for the facility include 17 bedrooms, and representatives from the seminary previously stated that no more than 20 people will live on the campus at once. Town Supervisor Howard Arden also stated that the tax-exempt group has agreed to pay an undisclosed recreation fee in order to offset the use of North Castle’s facilities.
However, it was a traffic concern on Route 22 near Byram Hills High School that concerned Cronin.
“This facility is located at one of the most heavily trafficked areas in the town,” Cronin said. “Opening this facility is equivalent to opening a small apartment complex in the same location.”
Arden said the seminary group has made efforts to ensure that the new facility on Bedford Road will not be an issue for other local residents.
“I think this project has become a better project because of the analysis such as the one given by John [Cronin],” Arden said.
The board said the seminary group has planned to maintain many of the current aesthetic features of the building already located at the address. The Armenian Seminary group plans to move to Armonk from its current location in New Rochelle.