By Stephen E. Lipken
A capacity crowd of nearly 100 Larchmont residents overflowed the Village Hall Courtroom on Monday, September 16 mostly to protest erection of a 5-story building by Elk Homes, Centro Larchmont Condominiums on 108-114 Chatsworth and 65 Wendt Avenues.
Outside Village Hall, residents wielded placards saying, “Safety First, Ban the Bulk;” “Two Floors Too Many, This Project Needs ARB;” “The Only Person Benefiting from This Project The Developers” and “Too Big, Too Tall, That’s Not What We Need at All.”
The Public Hearing concerned Chapter 381 of the Village Code, creating a new Public Amenity, Supplemented Mixed Use Special Permit, applicable to properties with frontage on Chatsworth Avenue between Palmer and Vanderburgh Avenues.
“We will not render any decisions but may ask the applicant for further information,” Mayor Lorraine Walsh noted. Proposed is underground parking for the residents and a public parking garage. Perkins Eastman Architect Andrew Ostrander stated that Centro encompasses 26 condominiums, three below market rate with 5000 square feet of ground floor retail space.
Noting the impervious condition of the lot, Attorney Jonathan Kraut; Harfenist, Kraut and Perlstein said that stormwater would be treated and released from the garage, reducing flow by increasing the size of the green roof by 5%.
The first speaker, Kate Bialo presented a 250-signature petition saying that the majority of the signatories did not know anything about the proposal “and were shocked and appalled when they were told about the proposed height and bulk of the project.” She requested that a clear schedule be set for a series of future public meetings in a larger venue.
Kelly Brock presented a letter written by members of Preserve Larchmont and expressed concern that Chatsworth School is near capacity.
“The Board has agreed to sell the soul of the Village for the price of 25 parking spaces,” Syrette Dym opined. “That is not why we elected you.”
Next, Police Chief John Poleway called attention to a new Safe Time Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence/Human Trafficking Law, permitting 40 hours paid leave for victims to testify or relocate to a safe location.