https://www.greenburgh-zoning.org/#greenburgh-is-spot-zoningEdgemont resident Jeff Sherwin, who has been leading the Greenburgh-wide campaign against an assisted living facility proposed for the corner of Underhill and Sprain Roads in Edgemont, this week launched a new website to generate opposition to the proposal.
Formation Shelbourne, a private equity fund that is seeking to build a 94-bed facility on the site of the Sprainbook Nursery, cannot build at all unless the Town’s Zoning Board of Appeals grants it a variance from the Greenburgh zoning code requirement that assisted living facilities be located no more than 200 feet from a state or county right-of-way. The nearest such right-of-way here is Central Avenue, which is more than a mile away.
Mr. Sherwin, who lives along the Underhill Road corridor, has collected signatures on a petition from more than 200 residents opposed to the variance being granted. Residents believe town officials have thus far turned a blind eye to neighborhood concerns about noise and safety.
Attention has been focused on the hairpin curves along the narrow two-lane Underhill Road that emergency medical vehicles — in this case, Greenville’s fire apparatus — would have to travel on at high rates of speed with lights and sirens to reach the proposed facility.
Town officials have thus far refused to study these impacts. Earlier this year, the Town Board led by Town Supervisor Paul Feiner issued a “negative declaration” — in an effort to persuade the Zoning Board to issue the variance — concluding no such study was warranted. The Town Board later rescinded its negative declaration on the ground that it wanted the Zoning Board to assume responsibility for analyzing environmental impacts independently.
Formation Shelbourne filed suit against the Town Board in August for having rescinded its negative declaration. That suit is still pending.
The Zoning Board meanwhile stated at its November meeting that it does not plan to resume a public hearing on the variance until January 25, 2017, at which time the board plans to release a proposed “conditional negative declaration” — in which the board will conclude the project will have no material environmental impact for purposes of state environmental laws provided the applicant agrees to make certain modifications to its plans.
On his new website, Mr. Sherman analyzed the number of expected medical emergency calls per year at the facility with the number of such calls experienced in the neighborhood today. He also questioned whether the Greenville Fire District received any definitive answers to the many questions it raised about the facility’s anticipated impacts on the fire district and its operations.
Mr.Sherwin argues that assisted living facilities like the one being proposed by Formation Shebourne purposely do not employ on site medical personnel and rely instead as part of their business model on host municipalities providing all the emergency medical personnel that may be needed at taxpayer expense. Mr. Sherwin said that town officials need to understand what those costs actually may be.