The Heathcote Corners project just overcame another hurdle – the Building Inspector's declaration was upheld on March 10 by the Board of Appeals, officially nullifying a 1954 zoning variance that might prevent parts of construction around Balducci's.
Neighboring resident Joseph Menton brought the issue to the board at the Wednesday meeting, explaining that when his grocery store was built in 1954, it had been split-zoned by the city, divided into a business zone and a residential zone.
As part of this arrangement, the Village attached a variance to the zoning agreement, stating that Secor Road could not be used as an entrance or exit to the parking lot.
Nothing new happened until 1997, when the Village re-zoned several properties – properties that had also been zoned residence and were also developed with parking – in order to re-buffer parking lots around that area. This didn't affect Menton – at least until the Heathcote Corners project came along.
Architects of the Heathcote Corners had gone to the Planning Board on February 24 with their latest construction proposal, part of which involves sealing off many of the curbs around the property. Traffic would then be directed into Balducci's via Secor, seemingly violating the 1954 variance.
"I just don't think it's fair," said Menton, who lives right across the street from Balducci's. "Now all of their cars and trucks will be right in my front yard."
Menton wrote to the Scarsdale Building Inspector, Nunzio Pietrosanti, to bring up the issue of the original variance, stating that it should prevent the Heathcote Corners plan. However, Pietrosanti determined that after the 1997 re-zoning, the variance from 1954 was now moot, and could no longer apply to this situation.
On Wednesday night, the Board of Appeals upheld the building inspector's decision.
Menton says he's "entertaining the notion" of going further with legal proceedings. He can file what's known as an Article 78 Petition, and bring this case to the County or State Supreme Courts for further deliberation. Calls to the developers, Doug Brout and Brad Perkins, were not returned by press time.
On March 8, the home-grown Web site Scarsdale10583.com posted the copy of the site plan and a statement reflecting the views of the Heathcote Five Corners Coalition.
The site reported that "that trucks in the loading zone could block the sight line for cars on Heathcote Road" and that coalition members are "asking for clarification on how many trucks will be permitted to park there at one time and what the permitted hours for deliveries will be." The coalition stated it is not against progress, but does "feel strongly that the character of the neighborhood should be preserved and safety should be ensured for the residents of Scarsdale."
Nevertheless, it seems evident that a new retail building will be appearing at Heathcote Corners soon.