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Rosner’s Community Group Fights for Bronxville Manor Preservation

EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – For a self-described “hearth and home” woman, Anita Rosner of Bronxville Manor has found herself in the public limelight several times since her family relocated to the neighborhood 14 years ago, sometimes by choice and often by happenstance.

Her current role as the co-founder of the Bronxville Manor Preservationists (BMP) occurred when neighbors were notified, as policy requires, that an application was submitted to the town for a subdivision of a property a few blocks down the street from her home.

Immediately after receiving notification of the subdivision, Rosner rounded up neighbors who had expressed concerns over similar applications and the changing look of the historic neighborhood from what they consider unique homes to similar-looking new construction and additions on limited lots. The first BMP meeting was held at Rosner’s home on March 19.

At the April 3 town board meeting, the BMP requested that Eastchester issue a moratorium on further subdivisions to prevent overdevelopment in Bronxville Manor. Following a more thorough discussion with group members at a forum Monday, Supervisor Anthony Colavita and two council members said they would take the request under advisement.

“Moving to Bronxville Manor was moving into our first home, living for the first time in a truly defined community and I immediately immersed myself in the neighborhood,” Rosner, 51, said.  “I could not have imagined then that I would be part of a grassroots movement to preserve the character of the neighborhood that I and others love so much.”

She said the character of the area was the attraction for her husband, Ben, 49, and herself, to raise their son, Simon, 17, and daughter, Juliet, 14.  The Rosners moved seven years ago to their current home at 41 Deerfield Ave. – a Victorian farmhouse built in 1896 that boasts local legends William E. Cottle, after whom the elementary school is named, and Augustus Rose, who has a local street named for him, as former residents.

Only five houses from the 1800s remain in the historic 118-acre neighborhood, Rosner said, but the 410-home community is interspersed with traditional Tudor, Colonial and Cape Cod-style homes, many of which date to the turn of the 20th Century.

“That’s what makes Bronxville Manor unique and that’s why we have almost 100 signatures on our petition,” Rosner said. An online petition supporting the consideration of a moratorium is available online.

Her contributions to the community include serving as the newsletter editor and treasurer of the Bronxville Manor Association and running as a Democrat for a seat on the Eastchester Town Board, which she lost to Republican candidates Joe Dooley and Glenn Bellitto in November.

Along with her focus on her family and community, Rosner has juggled a photography business and she is currently spearheading the town’s Green Day Celebration efforts scheduled for June. But her immediate priority will remain spearheading the neighborhood preservation efforts, she said, adding that the group’s next meeting is set for 8 p.m. Monday, April 16 at her home.

“To the credit of the preservationists, we are always prepared, have cogent ideas and are here to work with town officials,” she said. “We are not unreasonable and we are here to stay to achieve our goal.”

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