Plus, Memorial Park now top choice for new fire station
By Jeff Simms
The Beacon Planning Board will hold a public hearing during its May meeting as part of its environmental review of the proposed Edgewater development, a 307-unit apartment complex planned for a 12-acre site near the Metro-North train station.
Public hearings are not usually held this early in the review process, but Planning Board Chairman Jay Sheers suggested at the April 11 meeting that it would be better for the applicant, Scenic Beacon Developments, to get public feedback sooner than later.
“I’m thinking this is going to generate a lot of input, and before this applicant puts even more work into this project we ought to hear from the public,” Sheers said.
The developer’s plans call for seven buildings with a total of 307 apartments ranging in size from studios to three bedrooms. A one-acre-plus park would be created in the center of the development.
Scenic Beacon has asked the Planning Board for variances to city restrictions on units allowed per building, stories allowed per building and space between buildings.
In addition to the public hearing, the board is reviewing traffic studies, architectural plans and whether the project meets waterfront environmental standards.
Several board members on April 11 expressed reservations with the proposal. Patrick Lambert called the plans “way too big, way too much,” saying “to push that envelope is going to be a recipe that probably will not have a positive outcome.”
“It looks like a New York City project to me,” added Gary Barrack.
Although the Beacon City Council has not approved a site for a centralized fire station, fire department officials are focused on a 2.4-acre parcel at Memorial Park after council members seemed to agree it was the leading candidate.
A relocation committee in March presented its three top sites — expansion of the 106-year-old Mase Hook and Ladder station at 425 Main St., the dog-run area at Memorial Park, or a portion of the Elks Lodge property on Route 9D — based on ease of acquisition and expected response times. On April 24, the committee recommended the Mase station, but cost estimates — $2.3 million to build (not including acquisition or demolition costs) at Mase versus just under $1 million at Memorial Park — seemed to sway the mayor and council.
The Mase option “could never be affordable as far as I’m concerned,” said Mayor Randy Casale.
Fire Chief Gary Van Voorhis said later in the week that the relocation committee would be at the City Council workshop on Monday, May 8, to discuss the Memorial Park site.