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Tuckahoe Planning Board to Hold Summer Meeting

TUCKAHOE, N.Y. --The Tuckahoe Planning Board voted 4 to 3 in favor of having a second special meeting during the month of August to accommodate developers of a new apartment complex.

Glen Vetromile and Phil Raffiani are waiting for site plan approval and acceptance of their envirnomental impact statement in order to go ahead with construction of 121 rental apartments and 1,800 square feet of commercial space to be built on three vacant and overgrown lots located on the corner of Main Street and Midland Place.

"In my 25 years as a member of the board, we have only had meetings during the month of August two or three times," said chairperson Anne Marie Ciaramella who voted against holding another meeting in August.

Ciarmella was joined by Sandy Reyes-Guera and Melba Caliano in a vote against the meeting.

"We are a board made up of volunteers, and we give a lot of our time," said Caliano. "No one has the right to ask seven volunteers to come and give more of their time."

But trustees Anthony Leo, Tim Miller, Eric Feng and Claire Gorman cast their votes in favor of another meeting, after the developer's attorney, William Null, of Cuddy and Feder in White Plains cited financial issues regarding the project.

"If a decision is put off for another one and one-half months there may be a significant impact on our ability to secure financing," Null told the board.

Null also said it has not been easy for the developers to raise money for the project in the current economic climate.

"There has been tremendous pressure over securing financing," he said .

About three years ago, Raffiani was granted a mixed use variance for the property that was zoned for commercial use. At that time, approval was granted for construction of a three building project that would house 88 residential condominium units, comprised of studio, one bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom units and 18,000 square feet of commercial space.

After the economy took a downturn, Raffiani teamed up with Vetromile of Glenmark Properties and reconfigured the project several times but settled on 121 one and two bedroom units and 1,800 square feet of commercial space.

Eastchester resident Joe Pregiato, who lives in the Tuckahoe School District is one of many residents who opposed to the project. Pregiato has gathered letters from residents against the project including one from Dr. Julio Urbina, President of the Tuckahoe Board of Education.

At Tuesday night's meeting Eastchester Fire Chief Michael Grogan said that the new units would make it tougher for his department to do its job, but stopped short of saying the project would have any significant negative impact on his department's ability to do its job.

The Planning Board agreed to meet again on August 29.

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