Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Residents to Planning Commissioners: Retain the rural character of our neighborhood

Members of the Frost Lane neighborhood at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting. (Photo by Jeff Merchan)

It was a familiar scene at Peekskill’s Planning Commission meeting Tuesday when dozens of residents showed up to speak at the public hearing about a proposed 31-unit “cluster” development in their neighborhood. 

Commissioners assured residents of Frost Lane and Pataki Farms that no decision had been made regarding Peekskill Views, a development of townhomes clustered around 5.5 acres of a 13.7 acre parcel that was once farmland.

View of project along Frost Lane from planning documents.

The Peekskill Views development, which began the process of gaining approvals in spring of 2021, features 11 separate buildings – two semi-detached with two units each, and nine attached with three units each – resulting in 79 bedrooms. The property is bounded by Frost Lane, Pataki Farm Drive, Vail Avenue, and the city’s Lindbergh Place water treatment plant.  

The August meeting was the second time representatives from Peekskill Views, a company owned by an LLC with the same name in Spring Valley, presented to the Planning Commission. During a March 14th meeting, residents raised concerns about traffic, construction, water, impact on schools and conservation of the land. 

Aerial view of the project on Frost Lane, off the Bear Mountain Parkway.

On Tuesday, Senior Project Manager Joseph Modafferi and Attorney Jody Cross responded to those concerns and presented a revised proposal with a decreased number of units (down from 33 to 31). Peekskill Views also changed the roadway through the development from a hammerhead turnaround to a cul-de-sac. The representatives of the owners said there would be a homeowners association for the condominiums and hiking trails on the property for residents of Peekskill Views. According to planning officials, the maximum permitted density of the site under the current zoning is 45 total housing units.  

In the plan presented Tuesday night, 14 of the dwellings have two bedrooms, while 17 would have three bedrooms. There would be construction of a new roadway looping through the southern portion of the property, as well as new utility infrastructure, installation of landscaping and certain amenities including a playground, a dog park, and an onsite walking trail network. The developer does not plan to deed the one roadway in the development to the city. 

Back view of the proposed homes from planning documents.

A 16-page report produced by the city’s planning consultant noted support for the cluster development, because it approves the preservation of wooded areas on the site, concentrates proposed activities and new construction and infrastructure on the areas nearer to Frost Lane, and includes replacement of the City’s existing water main. 

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Planning Commissioners told the developer that Westchester Land Trust or some other land preservation non-profit needs to create a conservation easement to prevent additional future development on the parcel. The Planning Commission also voted themselves as the lead agency for the development, and designated Peekskill’s Conservation Advisory Commission and Westchester Land Trust as ‘interested parties’.   

View of what the front of the uphill units would look like.


The city’s planning document states “We believe the development as proposed advances many conservation objectives. The proposed Peekskill Views development is proposed within a city on an existing vacant property. The proposed development would preserve the majority of the property, and would be clustered near Frost Lane along a new access roadway.” 

The recommendation continues, “Northern portions of the Property would be conserved which are the areas of the site that connect to off-site wooded areas. The development is proposed at a pedestrian scale within a quick walk to Frost Lane. Because of the clustering, proposed disturbance and impervious surfaces would be minimized.”

The view of the rear yard of the project on the uphill side from planning documents.

The city’s planning document notes that Peekskill Views has “responded to most comments raised except for some of those from the Planning Commission. Comments such as the placement of a berm along Frost Lane have not been addressed, although the applicant has responded to the substance of the concern through changes to the proposal.”

All of the residents who spoke on Tuesday were opposed to the proposal, saying a ‘cluster’ development was not in keeping with the rural, single-family nature of their neighborhood. 

“This is the worst idea I’ve ever seen. This is destroying our quality of life. I bought my house over 20 years ago for the quiet. I think there should be a moratorium on building in Peekskill,” said Nancy Pagano Brovarski. She showed pictures to Planning Commissioner members of what Frost Lane looked like after spring rains in April – “not the downpours we’ve had recently,” to impress on them that the area can’t handle the development. 

Nancy Brovarski brought photos to show the commissioners what the emergency drainage at Frost Lane does not do during rain storm.


Frost Lane resident Karen Cortese spoke to the Planning Commission about her desire to see single family homes on the property. She referenced the development in 2002 on another piece of open space in the Frost Lane neighborhood that went from a proposal of cluster homes to 20 single family houses.

“Single family homes are open space,” she said and reminded the Planning Commissioners that there is no open parkland on the north end of the city where Frost Lane is located. She referenced the rental properties that are in that end of the city such as Stuhr Gardens further down on Frost Lane, Dunbar Heights, Hampton Oaks, the commercial properties such as the Hat Factory, a shopping center and a gas station. 

“We did have open space at one time; it was the Borbely Farm – but now it will be a conservation area and we won’t be allowed access,” she said. She referenced the back and forth of heavy equipment to the city’s water treatment plant on Lindbergh Place that causes Frost Lane to be “wavy”. She also reminded commissioners that Frost Lane is an egress for the Hampton Oaks development and when work was done on Oakwood Drive for six to eight months last year, there was increased traffic on Frost Lane as it was the only way in and out of Hampton Oaks. 

“We have adapted, but single family homes are better for our neighborhood and will add to our quality of life in the neighborhood and our property values,” said Cortese. 

“Putting a 31 unit development in the middle of single family homes doesn’t fit the character of the road and what makes it worse, is they turn their backs on us,” said Jonathan Waiko, of Frost Lane. He was referring to the design of the homes that will have all of the downhill units with backyards facing Frost Lane. 

Jonathan Waiko speaking about the character of the neighborhood.

It will take some time for the Peekskill Views representatives to respond to the questions and comments from the public hearing, which will remain open for residents to submit written comments until the next Planning Commission meeting.  Peekskill Views is expected to return to a subsequent Planning Commission meeting. Chairperson Jeff Stern told residents to check on the city’s website for calendar dates and agendas. 


About the Contributor
Regina Clarkin
Regina Clarkin, Editor and Publisher
When the Peekskill Herald weekly newspaper ceased publishing in August 2000 it was the first time in the history of the city that there wasn’t a local newspaper.  The award-winning weekly was often referred to as the ‘glue’ of the community. Founded on January 9, 1986 by Regina Clarkin, Kathy Daley and Rich Zahradnik with a $7,000 credit card line, the paper filled the void created when the daily Evening Star was sold to Gannett and moved out of town. Founding publisher Regina Clarkin continued to live in the Peekskill Cortlandt area and turned her attention to other life endeavors.  Through the ensuing 19 years, Clarkin was frequently stopped in town and asked when she would start up the Herald again. In January 2019, Clarkin decided it was less labor intensive to deliver a weekly blog than a print newspaper so she began posting one story a week about life in Peekskill. After a successful crowd funding campaign in 2020, the Herald was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in July of 2021. Peekskill Herald is a digital relative of the former print edition, featuring many of the favorite aspects of the beloved Peekskill Herald such as old pictures, personality profiles and well written stories about newsworthy events. Regina Clarkin is the editor and publisher of the site. Photo by Joe Squillante