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Mt. Kisco Planning Board, Daycare Center Tangle

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y.— The owners of the Little Garden Childcare Center and the Mount Kisco Planning Board tussled this week over the center's plans to open an expanded childcare facility at 27 Radio Circle.

After arguing with applicants Beatrice and Mark Santora and their architect Bill Spade for more than an hour, the planning board ultimately set a July 10 public hearing date.

Aside from assorted parking changes presented in the revised site plan, the make-or-break issue was the daycare center’s playground. The Santoras, who recently closed the South Bedford Road location they had operated for seven years, said they could not, in good conscience as daycare providers, build the facility’s playground in the rear of the property.

Beatrice Santora said the children would have to cross the parking lot and play in front other businesses and would encounter fumes from garbage trucks coming in and out of the area. Santora said she has also spoken to the fire inspector, who told her that the front was a safer choice.

Although four board members expressed their preference for the front for the playground location during the meeting, the board’s three opposing members said they did not yet feel comfortable making a decision until they could be sure it was an educated one.

The applicants said they had hoped for a September opening - in time for the new school year - but the board quashed that idea.

“It sounds to me that you’re asking the planning board, forcing the planning board, to adapt to your schedule because of your financial needs,” said the board’s Vice Chair Anthony Sturniolo.

Sturniolo said the applicants also did not comply with the board’s request from its last meeting to supply a sufficiently detailed traffic report.

Planning board member Doug Hertz also said the plan increases the site’s coverage area and the applicants may have to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals to ask for a variance.

The Santoras said that if they have to put the playground in the back, they would rather walk away from the Radio Circle location.

“We will have our daycare,” Mark Santora said, even if it has to be somewhere else.

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