Both of Pelham's Village Planning Board and Architecural Review Board have approved proposed rental apartment projects at 139 Fifth Avenue and 163 Wolfs Lane, sending them back to the Village board of Trustees for site plan approval.

No date has yet been set for the Village Board to discuss site plan approval. The next public meeting of the Village Board is Tuesday, June 25.

A 5 story rental luxury apartment proposal at 139 Fifth Avenue, instead of the developer's previously proposed 6-tory building with 80% of the units restricted to senior citizens, was approved by the Village of Pelham Planning Board Tuesday, June 18 with certain stipulations. The proposal was approved by the the Architectural Review Board on Wednesday, June 19 along with the 163 Wolfs lane proposal. The Planning Boad had approved the Wolfs lane proposal earlier.

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The 139 Fifth Avenue Proposal:

Developer Ruben Guerrero told the Planning Board Tuesday night he decided to propose the alternative 5 story project with luxury rental apartment units at 139 Fifth Avenue because he needed Village Board support for a PILOT to build the senior citizen building even with the bonus sixth floor that would be allowed under zoning in order "to soften the impact" of lower rents he would have charged. He had received signals that there was not Village Board support for a PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes), a negotiated agreement  to limit or defer the property taxes on the development.

Other factors leading him to propose the 5 sory building instead of a 6 story building were objections from residents on Sixth Avenue who said the building was too tall and had 3 bedroom units that would attract families with school children even if one of the residents in a unit was a senior citizen.

The 5 story building has no 3 bedroom units but does have 3 units that are 2 bedroom with a den. Mr. Guerrero said the 5 story building will have more expensive interior material to command luxury rents.

Asked whether he preferred building the age restricted 6 story building or the 5 story building, he said: "I will take the project that will be approved."

John Cassone spoke at the meeting expressing disappointment that a building for senior citizens could not be proposed. "Do we need another luxurious apartment house?" he said. "We should think about senior housing."

Three residents of Sixth Avenue who opposed the 6 story building said they supported the 5 story building although one said she still though it was too tall.

The stipulations the Planning Board attached to its approval of the 5 story proposal included:adjustments to the back of the building parking area concerning the garbage area, the roof solar panels location and fencing around them to block their visibilitym lighting on the top of the building and in a walkway from Fifth avenue to the back of the building, half walls in the den area to ensure they cannot be used as a third bedroom and a sewer capacity study to be done in the fall. Planning Board Chairman joe marty said he would also recommend that the Village Board look at a fair share agreement with the developer on any need for sewer improvements.

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