NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – Residents used to seeing only three or four new houses in North Salem in any given year can expect to see a new wave of building in the Peach Lake area, according to building inspector Bruce Thompson.
“The numbers have been pretty standard for a long time,” said Thompson, a 12-year veteran of the job, “but we do process a lot of permits for additions and alterations every year.”
The number of new houses around town may not fluctuate much, but what Thompson does expect to see in the future is a change in the “dynamic” at Peach Lake.
“Even though a lot of the houses there have been converted from modest summer homes to year-round houses, you couldn’t start from scratch because you couldn’t get a permit from the Board of Health,” he explained.
Connection to the new sewer system is limited to the 470 residences already in place, but it will now be possible to replace those houses with new construction.
“With lake rights at a premium, the new ones will be nice homes,” said Thompson. “But because of the zoning, they won’t be multi-million dollar homes.”
Peach Lake’s three cooperative developments, Bloomerside, Pietsch Lake and Vail’s Grove, are zoned R-1, indicating one dwelling on one acre. With setbacks, floor-to-area ratios, height restrictions and other considerations, the size of a house is limited.
Thompson said that he expects there will be a lot of requests for variances because people will want to build bigger houses.
One far-sighted property owner went ahead and built a modular home in anticipation of the new sewers going in, Thompson added. “The house was all ready and just waiting to be connected to the sewer. Now they can move in.”