PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- Pleasantville officials are in the process of deciding on a new zoning regulation that would allow Benchmark to build an assisted living facility in the village.
The proposed development would be located at 70 Bedford Road, on the property right next to the United Methodist Church. It would be a three-story building consisting of 87 units of assisted living housing, with memory care facilities, a dining room, a beauty salon and other amenities.
Though the village has already determined that the project would not create a significant environmental impact, it still needs to change the zoning for the property. This would be achieved by creating an Elder Care floating zone, which would be applied to this property as well as potentially other properties where similar facilities could be placed. The Board of Trustees is currently deciding on whether or not to approve the creation of the Elder Care floating zone.
Many residents have argued against the proposed Benchmark facility, saying that it will destroy the nature of the neighborhood. Some have also said that the creation of the Elder Care zone could open up the gates to other similar facilities looking to move into the village.
"By having this facility put in place in one part of the village, it's going to affect the rest of the village," said Jurij Paraszczak, a resident of Maple Hill Road and member of the United Homeowners of Pleasantville. The United Homeowners group has opposed the Bechmark development, and has created a petition with more than 200 signatures against the project.
"We're concerned that the village is destroying the nature of the village. We're not against development that follows the zoning plan," Paraszczak said. "It doesn't seem the homeowners are going to benefit from this."
Lois Sommer, a resident of Pleasantville Road, said that a facility like Benchmark is needed in the village. She said that many seniors have been forced to leave the village as they get older, and this would allow them to stay.
"Many, if not most, would have used a senior assisted facility to be able to maintain their health and stay in town," she said."This is an opportunity for us to solve a serious problem."
The Village Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing on the creation of the Elder Care zone at its March 24 meeting.
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