Edgewater Gets Approvals, Again

Beacon council to hold another hearing July 16

By Jeff Simms

The Beacon Planning Board on July 10 affirmed its two-step environmental approval for the downsized Edgewater proposal near the Metro-North station.

The first approval means the board concluded the project is not expected to have a “significant adverse” effect on the environment or municipal resources such as the school system and nearby roads.

The second approval confirmed that the project meets the standards of the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, a set of guidelines adopted in 1991 and revised in 2011.

The Edgewater plans. Click to enlarge.

The board originally granted both approvals in December after months of debate, particularly over the project’s impact on the Beacon City School District. But a recent zoning change by the City Council required the developer to downsize the development by about 20 percent and prompted the return to the Planning Board.

The board’s verdict was largely a formality, as little had changed with Edgewater’s plans other than a reduction in the number of units, from 307 to 246.

Board member Jill Reynolds, however, asked why the project still has seven buildings of the same size despite losing 61 units. The developers responded that they had made each apartment larger, maintaining the buildings’ square footage and the potential for tax revenue for the city.

The next step is a public hearing during Monday’s (July 16) council meeting on Edgewater’s request for a special-use permit, which is required because the development will include multifamily housing. If the permit is granted, the developers would return to the Planning Board for final approvals.

In other business …

  • The Planning Board approved the addition of two stories to the building at 208 Main St. for eight new apartments. It also approved a 13-lot subdivision on Townsend Street.
  • The board continued its review of 21 South Ave., a building near St. Andrew’s Church that is owned by the Episcopal Diocese of New York and would be converted into three apartments. The board said it would recommend that the City Council grant a special-use permit, which is necessary because it will create multifamily housing in Beacon’s historic district.
  • A public hearing on the proposal to build townhouses at the “Welcome to Beacon” site near the train station was postponed until August.
  • The board will hold public hearings next month on the proposed expansion of the Hudson Hills Montessori school onto the grounds of St. Luke’s Church. The City Council will hold its own hearing on the plan, which also requires a special-use permit, on Monday night.

5 thoughts on “Edgewater Gets Approvals, Again

  1. Sigh, stuffing more people on less land. Not good for the town, the environment, the current residents, nor will it be good for those who move into their little cubbyholes. If you need cheaper housing, God invented Newburgh.

  2. I have said it before and will restate it now: Edgewater is out of scale and out of touch with the fabric of the community that is Beacon.

    The board had a chance to lessen the blow and stem the tide of the onslaught of development that now threatens both the environment and the quality of life in Beacon. By allowing Rodney Weber to keep all seven units at the same exact size as the original proposal, it has accomplished nothing but sugarcoating this bitter pill.

    To sign and attest to a SEQRA document that states that this development will have no adverse impacts on the environment or municipal resources is a falsehood. How does this huge, precedent-setting strain on the city add to the quality of life in Beacon and who is benefiting? When considering a proposed development, a municipality needs to negotiate on behalf of its residents to achieve a balance between what is good for the community while still tolerable for the developer.

    This was possible. I am truly saddened to say that this did not happen. Long after Mr. Weber and his partners have moved on with their profits Beacon will be dealing with the impact of Edgewater.

    Shea is the Philipstown supervisor.