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Development Debate Returns To Abandoned West Harrison Quarry Site

The Harrison Town Board is expected to hear an update Wednesday night on a proposal to convert an abandoned quarry at 600 Lake St. in West Harrison into an assisted living facility for up to 170 senior citizens. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m.
The Harrison Town Board is expected to hear an update Wednesday night on a proposal to convert an abandoned quarry at 600 Lake St. in West Harrison into an assisted living facility for up to 170 senior citizens. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. Photo Credit: File photo

HARRISON, N.Y, -- Fireworks are expected to return to Harrison on Wednesday night, but it's no cause for celebration.

That's because neighbors of an idle quarry at 600 Lake St. in West Harrison are wary of new development plans that could replace the seven-acre site with an assisted living facility called Brightview.

The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at Harrison Town Hall.

According to one of Daily Voice's community advisors, Harrison Town Council members may discuss rezoning certain areas to include multi-level housing. This would enable developers of a proposed senior citizen living facility proceed with their plans to convert the abandoned rock quarry into senior housing.

Joan Walsh, former mayor of Harrison before Ron Belmont, reportedly is offering advice to some on how to proceed.

In April 2015, the Harrison Town Council gave the OK for developers to proceed with their plans before various land use and zoning boards.

The town board unanimously passed the matter off to the Planning Board for its consideration of a special exception to the zoning ordinance that’s in place. The applicant, Shelter Development, LLC, wants an amendment from R-1, or residential district 1, to a “senior living facilities” designation for the property. The new designation would allow for the senior housing to legally be constructed near existing residential homes.

Six years of litigation, two Town of Harrison stop work orders and 37 town code violations forced quarry owner Lawrence Barrego to cease quarry operations at the Lake Street site. The town reached an out-of-court settlement with Barrego in December 2014. Under the settlement agreement, if Barrego ceased quarry activity, then the proposed senior living facility could be considered by various town boards.

David Steinmetz, an attorney representing Barrego’s application, said in a letter to the town board that the 7.3-acre site, located at 600 Lake St., will be transformed into a four-story, 160- to 170-unit independent and assisted living facility, known as Brightview Senior Living of Harrison.

Parking would be in the front of the building, above ground, with approximately five designated handicap spaces, according to the original site plan.

Steinmetz has said the proposed facility would adhere to a new national model for senior care nationwide and will include a dining area, theater, a library and a range of health and well-being amenities for residents.

Steinmetz has said the proposal complies what Harrison’s 2013 Comprehensive Plan, which proposed replacing existing quarry operations with a more "compatible and viable use."

The proposal also takes into account traffic leading into downtown West Harrison from North Castle. Steinmetz said existing rock walls nearing 90 feet in some spots would prevent the facility from being seen by residents behind the new housing.

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