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May 17, 2013

‘Pops, Patriots and Fireworks’

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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After 18 years, Trump gets final approval for Seven Springs


By ANTHONY R. MANCINI
ANTHONY R. MANCINI

Charles Martabano presents plans for luxury homes at Donald Trump’s Seven Springs on Tuesday night at the meeting of the Bedford Planning Board.

 

Business magnate Donald Trump’s plan to build luxury homes on the Seven Springs estate near the Byram Lake Reservoir received its final approval from Bedford’s planning board on May 14, allowing development to begin on the site after 18 years of hurdles.

“It’s really kind of an oasis in Westchester: incredibly private, incredibly exclusive. It’s just really an amazing piece of land,” said Mr. Trump’s son Eric Trump, who is overseeing the project, on May 15. “Bedford’s an amazing area, and that area’s second to none.”

Eric Trump said 12 new houses would be built on the property, which is situated between Bedford, New Castle and North Castle. He said eight residences would be put up in Bedford, while two existing mansions on the property would be renovated. The existing buildings include the Meyer mansion, the Georgian-style 38,000-square-foot former home of Agnes and Eugene Meyer, the late publisher of the Washington Post.

“They were the probably the wealthiest family in the county at the time the house was built,” Eric Trump said on Wednesday. “The house is just an incredible architectural masterpiece. There’s nothing like it. I’ve seen many of the great houses in the country and there’s nothing like this place.”

There is also a Tudor-style mansion called Nonesuch on the site, formerly the home of the H.J. Heinz family, which made its fortune from its iconic ketchup and other foods. Both mansions were built in 1919.

“Here you have arguably two of the most powerful families in the country who lived on this estate. It was their summer home. They spent a tremendous amount of time there,” Eric Trump said. “It’s a really incredible piece of property.”

Eric Trump said that while the plans for the architecture of the new houses have not been finalized, they would be built to match the lavish buildings that already exist on-site.

“We’ve got some of the best, most beautiful slate roofs and incredible stonework.

If you look at the stone walls that run throughout the property, they’re true masterpieces,” he said. “They’ll very much be contextually to the style of architecture that’s on the property.”

The project has transformed greatly since its initial stages when it was first purchased. Donald Trump purchased Seven Springs in 1995 for $7.5 million. For nine years he pursued developing a world-class, 18-hole golf course, which was met with resistance by residents and leaders of Bedford, North Castle and New Castle. Critics of the golf course proposal claimed that it would draw too much vehicular traffic and that pesticides used to maintain the greens could contaminate adjacent Byram Lake, which also serves as Mount Kisco’s primary source of drinking water.

After pulling the plug on the golf course proposal in 2004, Donald Trump announced plans to develop a number of multimillion-dollar homes at Seven Springs. Eric Trump said one reason his family’s company abandoned pursuing a golf course at Seven Springs was the purchase of the Trump National Golf Club property in Briarcliff Manor.

“Obviously after we bought that it just didn’t make sense to have two golf courses that were five minutes away from each other,” he said.

After the golf course plan was scrapped, individual residents, the Nature Conservancy and other groups, including the Citizens Campaign to Save Seven Springs, voiced concerns about the potential environmental impacts of the new plan to build homes on the site, especially given its proximity to Byram Lake and its location in the middle of a 1,500-acre corridor of primarily protected nature preserves.

In addition to facing opposition from residents in New Castle and North Castle, as well as from those towns themselves, the housing development plans hit a major roadblock regarding Bedford’s requirement that a second access road providing a connection between Bedford and North Castle for emergency vehicles and other uses be incorporated into the plans. Donald Trump and his attorneys claimed they could pave a portion of Oregon Road, which is currently a 12-foot-wide dirt path. Mr. Trump’s claim of rights to the road, closed to vehicular traffic since 1990, led to a lawsuit by the developer against neighboring residents and the Nature Conservancy, which claimed ownership of part of the road.

Eventually, a panel of state appellate judges ruled that Mr. Trump did not have the right to use Oregon Road as an access point for the development. Attorney Charles Martabano, who represented Mr. Trump at Tuesday night’s meeting, agreed to restrict construction near the end of the road serving Seven Springs to two houses to help resolve the dispute over the need for an access road.

To allow the project to move forward, its plans were subject to scrutiny over the years by Bedford’s planning and zoning boards and state environmental regulations to ensure the preservation of the area’s steep slopes and the retention of the water quality in Byram Lake. As a condition of construction, developers agreed that no blasting would take place on-site, that no more than 5 acres of land would be disturbed at one time and that there would be no substantial change to the water levels in Byram Lake. Planning officials removed a stipulation from the development agreement to ban helicopter landings at Seven Springs because landing aircraft in Bedford is already forbidden in the town’s code.

Planning board chairwoman Deidre Courtney-Batson said the board has done its due diligence before approving Mr. Trump’s plan.

“This has been a long process, but I do think that we’ve abided by the environmental studies we’ve done,” she said at the May 14 public hearing. “We protected Byram Lake. We protected the slopes going down to Byram Lake and the wooded areas. We’re limiting disturbance as much as is feasible.”

Eric Trump said the length of the Seven Springs approval process was due to the area’s thorough planning policies.

“In Westchester they do an incredible job,” he said. “They care that they are going to have a great end result.”


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