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Bronxville Manor Subdivision Moratorium Possible

EASTCHESTER, N.Y.  – Eastchester town officials will consider a moratorium on subdivisions in Bronxville Manor that could lead to a public referendum on the issue following a forum Monday evening with neighborhood activists, which both sides hailed as positive.

“It was a very productive meeting,” Robert Tudisco, deputy town attorney, said. “The issue is crystallizing and we now have to do our due diligence to determine the best course of action for the town.”

Sandra Tocco, a co-founder of and spokesperson for the Bronxville Manor Preservationists (BMP), echoed the sentiment adding, “At the end of the meeting, there was definitely a meeting of the minds. The BMP is grateful for that.  But there is still a lot to be done.”

The BMP organized following a recent application to the town’s planning department to allow the construction of two new homes on a parcel lot at 32 Deerfield Ave that holds one preexisting home.  Group members had requested last Tuesday that town officials issue a moratorium on new subdivisions in their neighborhood to study the impact of new home additions on the socio-environmental infrastructure and maintain the architectural integrity of the historic 118-acre neighborhood.

At the time, officials had said any moratorium would have to apply to the entire town and not just one designated area.  Still, they agreed to facilitate a workshop to address the BMP’s concerns that they were not sufficiently allowed to address to the town board last week.

Supervisor Anthony Colavita said Monday that some of his remarks last week “may not have been on point as I was shooting from the hip.”  Colavita repeatedly said during the two-hour forum that he was concerned about the goal of the moratorium.

“I am struggling with what is the end result of this moratorium?” he said. “Do we up-zone the entire neighborhood, a portion of it, thus creating non-conforming lots, or create a sewer district and charge just that neighborhood, or draft a totally different zoning level there? It’s a very dramatic change you are asking us to consider.”

Following input from several Bronxville Manor residents, including Joe Pregiato of Siwanoy Boulevard, Harry Hall of Middle Road and Richard Pink of Deerfield Avenue, Colavita said the suggestions of a public referendum on halting subdivisions or changing the zoning code had merit as it would allow for town-wide input and additional public comment.

“A moratorium with that goal in mind is not a bad idea,” he said. “We have to discuss internally to decide the best solution.”

BMP members were also bolstered by Colavita’s request to retain the detailed and color-coded maps Pink used for his presentation last week and on Monday that showed that up to 110 lots could face future subdivision and add two to three homes each to the neighborhood.  Margaret Uhle, town director of planning and head of the building and planning department, took charge of the boards following the meeting to reference and enhance them for further study.

“I think we did a good job of getting the message across to him,” Hall said. “Definitely, the tone changed and I felt they were listening to us.”

Council members Luigi Marcoccia and Joe Dooley said they were pleased with Monday’s dialogue with the BMP and would determine recommendations for the board following on-going discussions with Colavita and town staff.

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