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North Salem Planning Board Questions Proposal

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – The North Salem Planning Board Wednesday had some questions for the developers who have proposed an affordable housing project off Route 22.

The project, proposed by Kearney Realty and called Seven Spring Farms, is adjacent to the Salem Hills Health Care Center. It includes 84 one-bedroom senior apartments and 18 townhomes. A preliminary design was presented to the North Salem Town Board last year .

The Planning Board had specific questions about the concept and the layout.

“Access to the development would be from an easement off the existing driveway to the nursing home,” said  Jeff Contelmo, project engineer. “The senior units would be at the top, the family units below that, and also a senior center for use by the town.”

According to the developer’s current site plan, a smaller piece of property, approximately 10  acres, is not included in the site plan and will remain in the hands of the current owner.

“You want to cut it off and make it an island with no frontage to speak of and no access. For what?” said Cynthia Curtis, the chair of the board. “We have to look at the potential development of that space and how you would get there. I don’t know how we can let you draw that line unless we have a full understanding of how that piece might be used and whether it could even be serviced with a driveway.”

The board also wondered about traffic circulation.

“I am a little concerned about people driving down and people coming out of there,” said Curtis. “There’s a bend. And there’ll be a lot of activity. And what about transportation?”

Ken Kearney of Kearney Realty said the developers are planning to use the transportation services the town offers.

Resident Jack Gress, who attended the meeting, called the Seven Springs Farm project “very important to North Salem.”

“It will allow those who built this community to live here,” he said. “Too many people are leaving the state. If there is no burden placed on the environment or North Salem taxpayers, then I would consider it a good project. I look forward to the Planning Board review.”

Curtis suggested the board walk the site and inspect the property before making a decision. The board will do its site visit Saturday at 9 a.m.

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