Town settles its suit for fees from Summit Greenfield, SG’s lawsuits are suspended

With 33 comments since publication
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
by Christine Yeres

Unexpectedly, the Town Board voted toward the end of its Tuesday night meeting to enter into a settlement with Summit Greenfield by which the developer would 1) pay the town $905,000 to resolve a continuing dispute over $1.5 million in consultants’ fees and other expenses it owed as a result of Summit Greenfield’s prior application ending in approval for 111 residential units, and 2) suspend its lawsuits against the town pending conclusion of the Town Board’s review of its application for a zoning change to permit grocery and retail at Chappaqua Crossing.

The town has not yet released the text of the legal settlement by which it will recover $905,000 of the $1.5 million.

Perhaps recognizing that its suits claiming that the town essentially deprived Summit Greenfield of the economic use of its property may become moot if the town approves zoning for a grocery and retail on the site, Summit Greenfield has said it will, for now, suspend action on its suits against the town—both state (dismissed, then appealed) and federal (pending)—while the town continues its review of the grocery-retail application.

A stand-still agreement

According to the settlement, with the suspension of legal proceedings in effect, the town will continue with its review of the application to rezone a third of the property for a grocery store and additional retail totaling 120,000 square feet. If the town and planning boards approve the zoning change in a form that meets certain characteristics specified in the agreement—chiefly “economic feasibility”—as well as site plan approvals, the developer is obligated to drop the lawsuit.

While the town is under no obligation to approve the application in its present form, the developer reserves the right to take up the suit again if, in the end, the the town does not approve it or if the town approves another plan that is determined to be not economically feasible.  The “economic feasibility” of what the Town Board could decide to approve may be a matter to be determined by the courts. In that case, Supervisor Susan Carpenter explained, “we’ll just be back exactly where we left off,” back in a lawsuit.  In the meantime, both sides are spared attorneys’ fees.

Residents ponder, “Why enter into an agreement?”

According to Board member Robin Stout, it is a relief to go into the review of the application for grocery and retail without “the old litigation hanging over our heads.”

To Summit Greenfield’s way of thinking, posited one resident who watched the meeting live on TV, depending on the outcome of the town’s review the developer may have no need to continue the lawsuit.  The developer seems willing to wait and see, and the town gets close to a million dollars.  While another resident interpreted the settlement as “blackmail” by Summit Greenfield and the Town Board as “selling out the town,” yet another resident saw it differently. “It makes Summit Greenfield look like a good guy to pay its bills, and the town’s happy, I’m sure, to have the money back.  And notice the town board hasn’t committed to grant the zoning for a shopping center.”

Certioraris continue on their separate track

Unaffected by either the $905,000 settlement of fees or by the agreement to suspend action on the two lawsuits, Summit Greenfield’s certiorari claims seeking a reduction in its property’s assessed value for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010—from $11.1 million to around $5 million in each case, or, in terms of market value, from between $66 and $68 million to $30 million —are wending their way through the legal system.

If the court were to grant a reduction in assessment by half, so would half the taxes paid over the three years be returned. Rarely, however, does the court grant the full amount requested; instead, the parties (lawyers for applicant, town board and school board) negotiate an amount.  [In assembling its next three-year set of certiorari claims, so far Summit Greenfield has filed claims for the years 2011 and 2012 that ask for reductions in assessed value to “zero dollars.”]


Comments(51):
We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

Has the town given away our ability to do a master plan?  If so, $900K doesn’t begin to make up for it.

By What does this do to master plan review? on 12/12/2012 at 2:33 pm

Town board, think what you’re doing.  It’s a strip mall.  and it will fail because it doesn’t show from the road in a conventional way.  Once they build it, they’ll come back to you and say “we’re failing because we don’t show in a conventional way” and you’ll have to let them look the part.  very slippery slope

you’re giving the developer a humongo gift - and it will cost us all.

By Town board want money on 12/12/2012 at 2:51 pm

Thankfully our Town Board has seen the light. The lawsuits are not good for the town or the developer. The lawsuits paralyze progress. At least now everyone can move ahead and figure out how best to utilize Chapp Crossing thereby maximizing tax revenues while also bringing to the town much needed and wanted supermarket and ancillary retail. Hopefully people will realize that rejecting everything and saying no to any plan is not going to work. Hoping another Readers Digest or like tenant will miraculously appear is foolish. Hope is not a strategy.

Thank you Town Board for having the fortitude and courage to move ahead in spite of the upcoming onslaught of Not In My Backyard hysterics and the accompanying exaggerations of what a possible retail development will bring. Keep it reasonable, keep it in good taste, not too big and work with all of us to find solutions. Many thanks to Ms Carpenter and the rest of the Board.

By Finally on 12/12/2012 at 3:01 pm

Summit Greenfield’s property is worth zero?!?!?!  Is that what they tell their shareholders? 

I bet it’s another number they come up with for internal purposes.

By Zero? Really? on 12/12/2012 at 4:51 pm

This was the deal that was baked into the process. Remember that resident that asked the town board if they had already made a deal? Remember how the town board responded to him? Folks, a deal was made, The Town of New Castle is in financial crisis, they need money and Summit Greenfield is holding what they need. Say goodbye to downtown Chappaqua, and say hello to store front signs that say available on a routine basis for decades to come. Downtown Chappaqua property owners should start right now to have your property taxes reduced, you will need to pass the savings onto your tenants in order to survive as the owner of your asset. Town Hall just does not get it! Just give Summit Greenfield their residential units and remove the commercial aspect of it. Get both Greenstein and Napoli on the phone, they get it, they see it, they both know how to make downtown merchants survive and make a living, they know what to do. Time to get the current community watch dogs out of town hall because they now eat steak instead of purina dog chow.

By New kind of dog food! on 12/12/2012 at 6:34 pm

This is great news. Call a cease fire , halt lawsuits and stop the sabatoge.. Together we can find a solution and usage for Chapp Crosing that brings needed retail (i.e.supermarket) and accompanying taxes. Enough of the roadblocks and progress prevented by those who will block and object to anything no matter how reasonable or practicle. The voices of reason have been drowned out by a handful of activists that circulate lies and half truths trying to stir support for their movement that has opposed all development at Chapp Crossing. Our Town Board should be commended for recognizing that we can obstruct no longer and we must allow this developer owner to utilize their property. Best to work with them and find a plan that fulfills the towns and the owners needs.It can be done - they are not mutually exclusive.
For the record - I am not in anyway affiliated with Summit Greenfield. I am a resident and have lived here for 20 years. I feel the need to say the because anyone supporting the Town Board and suggesting retail at Chapp Crossingnisa good idea is automatically accused of being an employee or plant for SG. Not me. Thank you Town Board and School Board. thank you Ms. Yeres for giving us a platform to be heard.

By Congratulations on 12/12/2012 at 9:32 pm

This was a terrrible settlement.  Gave up all the leverage the Town had in truly dealing with this.  I guess the TB wanted the $900K so that they could keep spending and not deal with the true budget problems of the Town.  This just seems to get worse and worse every day. I guess it is just one of the vagrancies of the limousine democratic philosophy.Defer, deny and spend!!!

By Bad Settlement on 12/13/2012 at 10:06 am

Why not throw the certiorari claims into the pot as well as withdrawal of the malicious lawsuits? That is where the big money is. We’re talking about many millions of dollars for all those years they are seeking drastic reductions, which will hurt not only the town but will cause severe cuts in school funding for teachers and programs because of the 2% cap. Settling their debt of $1.5 million for $905,000 is paltry in comparison, and not a great deal for the town either.  Who the heck is negotiating?

Why didn’t you include the withdrawal of the ceriorari claims in addition to dropping their malicious lawsuits?  The action against the town board members has been decided against SG, and they are appealing it. The strong court opinion does not augur well for SG’s success in their appeal.

They have been nothing but trouble since they have arrived.

Many of us are may have to regretfully proceed with our own action, and then how willing will prospective retail tenants be to buy into this controversy when it gets into the media, which it inevitably will? We are not necessarily against the retail, we are against this bad deal.  Town board you sold us out.

By Town board blindsides us. on 12/13/2012 at 11:42 am

Thank you Town Board and Supervisor Carpenter - finally some positive movement.  Time consuming and counter-productive litigation serves no one except for perhaps the NIMBY’s.  CC retail if done properly (including a “ho-hum” supermarket) will certainly serve the needs and interests of the community at large in many respects. The time to find a solution is now and not wait for the white unicorn hotel/spa to magically appear . . .

By Chapp rt.133 resident on 12/13/2012 at 3:10 pm

If the Town Board pursued this settlement to get the $905k, then the residents should insist that this money goes specifically to reduce our taxes.  My fear is that that will use this money to offset unnecessary growth in the budget for personnel costs (i.e. raises in salaries and benefits).  Unfortunately, it has come to the point where municipal governments are looking to take as much as they can from their taxpayers to keep the expense beast growing.  Certainly true of our town over the last 10 years…

By Cash to Taxpayers on 12/13/2012 at 6:27 pm

To Town board blindsided us:

Agree totally.  To extend your question: Is it Clinton Smith, our town attorney, who mostly negotiates for the town?

If it is, we have a problem. He seems not always to serve our interests.

By Would like to know on 12/13/2012 at 8:29 pm

I was shocked to hear that the Town Board voted to enter into a settlement with Summit Greenfield.  I was disgusted by the terms of the settlement.  The Town Board just let down our residents, and our merchants, down. 

Let’s first review the benefit to the town:

Summit Greenfield agrees to pay the town $905,000 to resolve a continuing dispute over $1.5 million in consultants’ fees and other expenses it owed as a result of Summit Greenfield’s prior application ending in approval for 111 residential units.

Summit Greenfield agrees to suspend its lawsuit. 

Let’s review the benefit to Summit Greenfield: 

Summit Greenfield pays the town $905,000, instead of the $1.5 million in consultants’ fees and other expenses it owed.  A $600K savings.  A gift from our Town Board to Summit Greenfield. 

Summit Greenfield merely suspends its lawsuit.  Typically, when a case is settled, the parties sign a Stipulation of Discontinuance.  The settlement brings closure.  Here the lawsuit is merely suspended.  Suspended over the Town Board’s head.  A gift from our Town Board to Summit Greenfield. 

By Rob Greenstein on 12/14/2012 at 9:25 am

I was shocked to hear that the Town Board voted to enter into a settlement with Summit Greenfield.  I was disgusted by the terms of the settlement.  The Town Board just let down our residents, and our merchants, down. 

Let’s first review the benefit to the town:

Summit Greenfield agrees to pay the town $905,000 to resolve a continuing dispute over $1.5 million in consultants’ fees and other expenses it owed as a result of Summit Greenfield’s prior application ending in approval for 111 residential units.

Summit Greenfield agrees to suspend its lawsuit. 

Let’s review the benefit to Summit Greenfield: 

Summit Greenfield pays the town $905,000, instead of the $1.5 million in consultants’ fees and other expenses it owed.  A $600K savings.  A gift from our Town Board to Summit Greenfield. 

Summit Greenfield merely suspends its lawsuit.  Typically, when a case is settled, the parties sign a Stipulation of Discontinuance.  The settlement brings closure.  Here the lawsuit is merely suspended.  Suspended over the Town Board’s head.  A gift from our Town Board to Summit Greenfield.

By Rob Greenstein on 12/14/2012 at 9:26 am

CONTINUED

Why not let the lawsuit run it’s course through the Court system. Summit Greenfield’s state lawsuit was already dismissed (that dismissal is now being appealed).  While the Federal lawsuit is still pending, the burden is higher in Federal Court.  Plus, since the Town Board was already steam rolling towards approving the retail rezoning, that rezoning would’ve made Summit Greenfield’s argument that the town essentially deprived Summit Greenfield of the economic use of its property completely moot. A gift from our Town Board to Summit Greenfield. 

Summit Greenfield was incurring legal fees.  Our legal costs were paid for by insurance. A gift from our Town Board to Summit Greenfield. 

Summit Greenfield continues with their certiorari claims seeking a reduction in its property’s assessed value for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010—from $11.1 million to around $5 million in each case.  A gift from our Town Board to Summit Greenfield. 

The concerns of the residents, merchants & the Planning Board were ignored.  The fate of our historic downtown is in jeopardy.  And traffic on 117 will be a nightmare.  We were in a position of strength, now we are in a position of weakness.  Summit Greenfield is now in a position of strength.  A gift from our Town Board to Summit Greenfield. 

CONTINUED

By Rob Greenstein on 12/14/2012 at 9:28 am

CONTINUED
We no longer have control to decide what’s best for our community.  We are now guided by an agreed upon economically feasible development standard that will be interpreted & defined a third party - such as a Court or an Arbitrator.  A gift from our Town Board to Summit Greenfield. 

We lost control of guiding the process.  We will now be guided by milestones, that have yet to be disclosed.  Will the “milestones” mean that the Town Board will rush their decision so the developer can revise their site plan to add the retail component before the 6 month extension expires in April.  A gift from our Town Board to Summit Greenfield. 

Do the “milestones” mean town board won’t listen to the recommendation of the planning board & commission a market study to assess the effects of the grocery/shopping center at Chappaqua Crossing on the existing commercial centers before changing the zoning?

Do the “milestones” mean that the Town Board can’t follow the Planning Board’s suggestion that adding 120K new retail space should only be done in conjunction with updating our master plan? 

I think that the retail rezoning at Chappaqua Crossing is now virtually a foregone conclusion.  A gift from our Town Board to Summit Greenfield. 

Unless we are ready to accept box stores at Chappaqua Crossing, constant traffic and our downtown hamlets filled with empty stores, The Town Board has left us with no other option but to purchase the property from Summit Greenfield. 

Summit Greenfield is claiming that the property has a market value of $30 million.  Summit Greenfield has filed claims for the years 2011 and 2012 that ask for reductions in assessed value to “zero dollars.”

Let’s offer Summit Greenfield $1,000 for the property.  A final gift from our Town Board to Summit Greenfield.

 

By Rob Greenstein on 12/14/2012 at 9:29 am

This is great news for homeowners and for the school board. We need a grocery store and we need the tax revenue. I understand the Chamber of Commerce not wanting competing stores,  but we have got to stop letting them dictate to us what we taxpayers need. Great work, town board! This really is in the best interest of the town.

By Jane B on 12/14/2012 at 10:21 am

I agree with the positive commenters - the town needs commercial revenue.  I think a grocery store would be great!  It would greatly surprise me if the retail development takes the form of a “strip mall” as has been claimed by the nay-sayers.  I would also welcome an Independent/Assisted Living Facility.  Or Google.  Businesses in need of real estate must be enticed to our little spot of heaven and, who knows, maybe something unexpected could still happen?  Nothing is decided yet - the developer is simply asking to be zoned to allow various opportunities.

I don’t understand why the most vocal opposition thinks they can determine what is going to go on the site when it is totally out of their control unless they want to purchase the land or become a tenant. 

Our town board members devote a tremendous amount of their time, energy and contribute a great deal of professional knowledge and expertise from their “real” jobs.  They carefully consider every decision and what the impact will be on the town.  It’s a thankless job and I for one appreciate their hard work.

By Support Town Board on 12/14/2012 at 11:00 am

Rob,

Brilliant!  You put it in a nutshell.  Do not understand why the TB is selling out the town.  What is going on?  Who are they working for? Is there a mechanism for recall of the entire board?  Certainly, get Carpenter off that board and soon.

We need to do soomething serious here.

By They sold us down the river on 12/14/2012 at 11:04 am

Everyone’s panicking, including my neighbors.  But all the town board has said here is that they will continue with their review of the shopping center at Chappaqua Crossing.  The town board hasn’t committed to approve it.  THey’ve just accepted the breather from the lawsuits.
And Summit Greenfield is trying to focus the board on an efficient review of the proposal.  Their last review (for the residential) was really really long.  No wonder they want to be assured that the town will move it along the best they can.

I also don’t agree with posters who are calling those who oppose what the developer proposes “obstructionists.”  Our town would be idiotic to swallow whatever a developer proposes.  A proposal is the beginning of a negotiation.  The State Environmental Quality Review process will take care of this.

Everyone cool down and have a great holiday.

By No one has sold anyone out on 12/14/2012 at 2:37 pm

Town Hall failed SG first as an interested buyer of the former Reader’s Digest property by giving them false hope and aspirations of developing the site in the manner that they most likely pitched to then Gerry Fiaella, Town Administrator, and then second, when they actually became the owner of the property. Town Hall failed giving any interested buyer for the former Reader’s Digest property good and clear guidance as to how best to proceed. Town Hall failed providing guidance as to what should be built, what is needed to be built, what can be built, and how the process to communicate with the community should be handled. Town Hall failed to put in place a structure, or guidance of structure, that would be helpful to both the (now) owner of the property and Town Hall. Town Hall failed to safeguard the future of New Castle by first stress testing “what if” scenarios many years ago. Private sector Napoli has been privately working on dreams, aspirations, and ideas, for New Castle all his life. Town Hall gets a paycheck every Friday and only thinks about the future of New Castle on Monday or when asked. Now the planning board has to be used as an obstructing force against SG until we find out and recognize what our own plans for the CC site should come to be. A real terrible way of doing business and treating a developer who at the end of the day wants to accomplish doing something good, wants to make money, and will provide revenue to the town. Town Hall has failed him, us, and the future that impacts many parts of New Castle. Get Napoli and Greenstein on the phone!

By Town Hall failed not SG ! on 12/14/2012 at 3:11 pm

No one has sold anyone out, 

We realize Summit Greenfield wants an efficient review of the proposal.  But New York State requires completion of an arduous environmental review process before municipalities may approve substantive development projects that may have significant impacts on the local environment. 

I agree that our town would be idiotic to swallow whatever a developer proposes.  But, I would add that our town board would be idiotic to rush the process.  Unfortunately, they agreed to do just that.

By Rob Greenstein on 12/14/2012 at 3:16 pm

We are not fools.  This “agreement” was reached in a clandestine way, under cover.  That in itself is a red flag.  It is the oldest political ploy in history. 

We want, at the very least, transparency in government.

Have you read the “agreement.”  Fellow residents, we are buying a bridge!

And who are you really, “No one has sold anyone out”?

By Anyone got a bridge for "No one has sold. . ."? on 12/14/2012 at 3:42 pm

Who pays the other $595,000 in consulting fees? Did the consultant waive them or is the town picking up the tab?

Editor’s Note:  The $1.5 M was the tail end of all the fees CC incurred during the review of the last application.  The town was reimbursed regularly until the end of the review, when the last $1.5 M remained unpaid (and the town brought a countersuit to recover it)—until this recent settlement.

By Ivan Alter on 12/14/2012 at 4:26 pm

So we are paying the $595,000. Why didn’t the TB, at least, get that in the agreement?  They didn’t get anything else.

By Nice, very nice!!! on 12/14/2012 at 9:03 pm

. . . “rush the process”? This has been going on for years with a political activist group blocking all proposals who appear to be waiting for “their” ideal solution, now joined by the town merchants blocking anything that is retail oriented. What I do understand is we need tax revenue, and it would not be the worst thing if it is derived from retail that serves the basic needs of an ordinary resident (e.g., not just the high-end). We need to find a solution that objectively meets the needs for NC residents and not just the subjective desire of a small but vocal group.  Please TB use this as an opportunity to make this happen . . .

By Jon M on 12/15/2012 at 12:09 pm

Jon M. (nice use of a common name - still fake though)

Show us the support for this projecrt.  Don’t just say it.  Show it.

By Rob Greenstein on 12/16/2012 at 8:21 am

Whats wrong with this hypothetical? Chappaqua Crossing will be comprised of some cemmercial tenants (office buildings as they currently exist). In addition CC will house a Whole Food-Trader Joes type supermarket. Ancillary retail will include a GNC Nutrition/Jamba Juice, and ATT/Verizon wireless(or Radio Shack), a TD Bank, a Coach/Tano leather store, and a Soul Cycle or CrossFit center. Should food be served a Cosi or Panera Bread. None of these type of businesses should threaten our downtown merchants. Also lets understand that proper hours of operation will be instituted and traffic requirements met. This can work! Lets stop the trash talking.

By This can work on 12/16/2012 at 11:20 am

So you’re deciding who Summit Greenfield will rent to?  That’s great.  Only I don’t think you or the town has that power. 

I don’t think the town’s zoning can order up Jamba Juice, Soul Cycle or anything else, for that matter.  You can imagine a swell set of stores?  I can imagine a race to the bottom when this hidden site proves impervious to marketing. Then Summit Greenfield will present the town board with a choice: still-no-taxes because it’s not renting up OR give Summit Greenfield signage (size and brightness) befitting a shopping mall, whatever size tenants it can persuade to rent space, and whatever else it wants. It might not be a sewage treatment center Ms. Katz imagined in her petition, but it IS a big-box strip mall or will become one.

I think it’s pretty funny that you can paint a cute picture of a harmless shopping center that will convenience YOU.  But Summit Greenfield isn’t going to ask either you or us what we want.

The zoning will be crafted to make sure the town gets the nice one you describe?  Yeah, right.  And then, when that doesn’t work, what do you think we’ll have to give them? Whatever they want.

By Your harmless version -- did they ask you to decid on 12/16/2012 at 1:43 pm

I have not yet formed an opinion as to the rezoning, BUT it is not kosher for the board to slip through an agreement that clearly has been under consideration for a very long time. I have to ask, and I think the TB should provide an answer to constituents, why was this handled in this way? It really is not right.

By wondering wondering on 12/16/2012 at 1:45 pm

Where’d you get this idea?  What kind of contest is this:  You imagine a nice version, another guy imagines a bad version.  I’d say that the more likely result is that the developer will imagine he’s making a nice version, but if it doesn’t work it will be a really bad version.  A version we’ll be stuck with.  What happens then, “This can work”?

By What's wrong is that it's hypothetical, dude. on 12/16/2012 at 1:46 pm

@ This can work

The Town Board wrote this legislation to the specifications of Summit Greenfield.  It was written in secret behind closed doors with no public discussion in order to meet Summit Greenfield’s demands and to settle the law suit.  It was written by lawyers with no vision and no studies as to what would be best for the town. 
While your ideas may have merit , the Town Board has already up its mind.

By Edward Galant on 12/16/2012 at 2:20 pm

@ “This can work” or whomever you really are:

If you are Summit Greenfield, it works. 

“Proper hours of operation will be instituted”?  They have already been “instituted.”  5AM in the morning for deliveries and at best 11-11.30PM for restaurant and bar patrons leaving. Let’s not overlook a 24 hour pharmacy (ala CVS, Rite-Aid, Walgreens?), lit signs announcing a strip mall?

This is the quiet before the storm. 

By This is a disaster! on 12/16/2012 at 3:49 pm

This Can Work- bravo. You have great ideas. I agree this might work. I love Soul Cycle and have gone to the one in Scarsdale. It would be perfect in Chappaqua and they areooking to expand. All we need is open minds.

By Nancy on 12/16/2012 at 5:28 pm

New Castle Citizen Action Plan:         

1.  Demand full disclosure of all settlement negotiations between New Castle Town Board and Summit Greenfield including all relevant dates. 

2.  Cross-reference settlement negotiations with New Castle Town Board public and private hearings and work sessions.                               

3.  Examine timeline and public statements by board members to determine whether any material misrepresentations were made to the public.                                       

4.  If yes, sue New Castle Town Board to negate their Settlement with Summit Greenfield.                                5. 
5.  Vote against current New Castle Board members and replace them with responsible individuals who will do what is best for New Castle.                     
6.  Pray for the future of New Castle as we know it.                                 

The lawsuit referenced above may not succeed in Court but it will most likely prevent the Town Board from implementing the timeline - and that will kill the proposed Settlement since milestones will not be reached.

By BB on 12/17/2012 at 9:28 am

This can work on, what’s wrong with your hypothetcial is that it’s a HYPOTHETICAL!!  You don’t - or shouldn’t - make zoning decisions based on HYPOTHETICALS.  You make them based on sound market research, long-term planning, among other things.

To Nancy, really?!?!?  Are you serious?!?!?  You are willing to approve this 120K retail development with the hope that the latest fad in Scarsdale will come to Chappaqua.  Your short term view makes you a perfect candidate for our town board.

By Rob Greenstein on 12/17/2012 at 9:43 am

@Rob Greenstein - you ask for “show support for this project”. It was you sir that circulated a petition supporting a super market in Chapp. Many signed- thats support. we have heard from many that are frustrated and disappointed with the quality of stores in Chapp with our too many nail salons, banks, real estate brokers and the like. They support more new different retail. The layout and configuration of downtown is very limiting especially with top of the hill vs down hill and parking constraints. There is support sir. Just because you yell loader doesnt make your argument more valid than others. You regularly put down the Town Board and the developer for their ideas. Your idea was to move the train station to Chapp Crossing. Lets hear more about your plans. Where are the cars going to park, what about the traffic associated with commuters driving in and out of the Metro North Station at CC? Do the residents near CC support a train station in their backyard? Please sir - I anxiously await your response. I cant wait for you to demonstrate support for your plan. Its easy to throw stones and offer nothing in return.

By Jon M on 12/17/2012 at 10:48 am

So if someone is open minded enough to listen to potential possibilities at Chapp Crossing they must be working for Summit Greenfield? Dont those opposed to everything and anything at CC realize how transparent their position is? Cant they see there are people in our town who do believe that controlled retail at CC is possible and that we can have retail and mixed usage at CC without destroying downtown, by bringing a much needed and wanted supermarket, and accumulating much needed commercial taxes. Our Town Board and we the tax paying residents have our backs to the wall precisely because everything proposed for 4 years has been delayed, rejected, and obstructed. The courts will rule the owner has been denied right of usage. Our Town Board surely understands this (with aid of lawyers). This is NOT legislation as Edward Galant suggests, its a draft. This is not a final settlement but simply a suspension of litigation which is supposed to facilitate productive dialogue and solutions.
In the meantime we should listen to some of the positive suggestions and possible positive outcomes like a few have suggested above. We have been bombarded by the naysayers and NIMBY’s with all the terrible and bad outcomes that retail at CC will bring. Maybe its time to also ponder the positive and beneficial results.
A workout at Cross Fit followed by an energy drink at Jamba Juice - that would be great!

By Possibilities exist when open minded on 12/17/2012 at 11:09 am

Jon M (or whoever you are),

You’re kidding, right?!?!  You think those who signed a petition wanting a supermarket at the Dags spot shows support for this 120K retain development.  Please show me support for this 120K retail development.  Show me real names.

And please don’t waste my time with a mere suggestion to move the train station to Chappaqau Crossing suggestion.  That suggestion, among many others, was meant to encourage creative solutions that community could discuss.  That was before the Town Board, unexpectedly, voted on Tuesday night to end all meaningful community discussion.   

Lets talk about REAL proposals that will boost retail & residential space in downtown Chappaqua - like Chuck Napoli’s proposal.  Come to the planning board meeting tomorrow night.  Introduce yourself, prove you’re a real person.  What do you think about Chuck’s proposal? 

http://www.newcastlenow.org/index.php/article/new_town_board_hears_proposal_for_super_boost_in_retail_and_residential_spa

By Rob Greenstein on 12/17/2012 at 11:50 am

BB - please contact me - .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).  I’m ready to start working on your action plan.  Many others are ready as well.

By Rob Greenstein on 12/17/2012 at 11:52 am

@ “Possibilities” -

You and others can keep saying “Jamba Juice” and “Cross Fit” would be great - but you, me, town board, none of us can say what will go there.  Summit Greenfield or the next owner will say.  And, in the end they’ll take what they can get - we’ll get what they give us.

Your faith in Summit Greenfield is touching.

By Town board makes the zoning, doesn't choose the sh on 12/17/2012 at 11:59 am

Mr Greenstein- zoning laws are flexible in that they are often changed and modified. It’s a straw man argument to use zoning laws as the reason CC shouldn’t be developed. Ask any builder. Ask any homeowner that has renovated or expanded their homes. Often zoning laws present a small obstacle and a simple hearing followed by a variance or zoning modification follows. I do not mean to compare a home addition with this developers plans. I am simply pointing out that zoning laws are easily changed when the owner presents a strong and cogent case.
You take issue with the above HYPOTHETICAL but didn’t you do the same thing? Wasn’t a sewage treatment facility at CC outlined in your campaign opposed to SG a hypothetical? Is your plan for a hotel spa at CC a hypothetical? And what of your grand plan to move our town hall and Metro North RR station to CC? Hypothetical as well right.

By Resident on 12/17/2012 at 12:00 pm

Possibilities exist when open minded, 

Please tell me what protections the community has to ensure “that controlled retail at CC”  is possible without destroying downtown.

And please tell me how we had “our backs to the wall” before the Town Board foolishly agreed to this one-sided agreement.  If you recall, the state lawsuit was already dismissed, and the Federal lawsuit, which has a HIGHER standard, was heading to the same fate.

By Rob Greenstein on 12/17/2012 at 12:40 pm

“BB”:

Great idea!  Let’s do it.  Need lawyer(s) to insitute the suit.
We and our neighbors (we’ve been discussing the situation) will contribute.

By @ BB LET'S DO IT! on 12/17/2012 at 12:42 pm

we can go at this all day (which is perhaps what some strive for), for example: 1)move the train station and town hall to CC, or 2) perhaps wait for a five star hotel/spa by the railroad tracks in a depressed economy, or 3) wait for a “Whole Foods” bid (to then perhaps change our mind once again) - really?!?!?  Are you serious?!?!? 

Let’s please do away with the derogatory comments, it’s degrading (least not immature) not only to fellow citizens making such assertions, but thwarts a logical discussion on this board.  The mere fact we do not wish to have our actual name demonized and bullied by a political activist group should in no way mitigate it’s assertion, much less bring ridicule . . . And I promise you, I’m not affiliated with SG in any way

Providing hateful and belittling comments to elected TB officials cause we do not support their decision making process is counter-intuitive to the entire process - especially from those who previously sought and desire such an elected position.

By Jon M II on 12/17/2012 at 1:11 pm

Greenstein- I made a simple comment on a friendly community blog or so I thought. What are you such a bully? You say my short term view makes me a perfect candidate for the Town Board. When last I checked you ran for election and LOST!!! and lost by a big margin! What does that say about your and your support?
In your condescending and insulting response that zoning decisions are made not on hypotheticals but on “sound market research, long term planning, among other things”. What market research and long term planning went into your insane plans for moving our train station to Chappaqua crossing?
To The EDITOR- why do you allow this man to bully? you require civil and civic discourse so why isnt he held to that standard? His comments to others, his treatment of me, the Town Board and anyone who disagrees with him violates the standard you require. Yet you publish his comments. Please publish this so he understands.

By Nancy - myname for real on 12/17/2012 at 1:35 pm

Jon M II,

You still haven’t shown any support for this project with real names. You also didn’t answer my questions how the community has to ensure “that controlled retail at CC” is possible without destroying downtown” and how we had “our backs to the wall” before the Town Board foolishly agreed to this one-sided agreement. 

And you didn’t tell us what you think about Chuck’s proposal?

http://www.newcastlenow.org/index.php/article/new_town_board_hears_proposal_for_super_boost_in_retail_and_residential_spa

 

By Rob Greenstein on 12/17/2012 at 2:23 pm

Greenstein doesn’t seem to care when someone is anonymous as long as they agree with him like BB.  But if you disagree and don’t post your name your a coward. If that isn’t clear proof of this mans character I don’t know what is. Yeah that’s the spirit- hire lawyers and keep the lawsuits coming. Should be pro bono case for him.

By Not BB on 12/17/2012 at 2:27 pm

Nancy,

Don’t think you meant to do this.  But your characterization of Rob Greenstein as a “bully” is no way to address this issue.  It smacks of a smear campaign.  We are surprised, knowing you, because it is uncharacteristic of your reptutation.

Whether you agree with him or not, he is is ardently involved in what is an important issue concerning the governing of this town and its future.

Because of his focus and generous donation of time, we have been made aware that the integrity of board members is in question regarding this matter.  We started out believing that a few stores at CC would not be a bad thing.  But because of the chicanery of the town board, we have become alerted to a grave situation.  You must admit, the action of the board is less than savory.  In fact, it smells to high heaven.

RG is an asset to this community. He is well-informed and brings his considerable professional skills as a lawyer to the service of residents of this town.  We are grateful for his generosity.
We are sure you were hasty and acted in the heat of the moment and did not mean to malign him.

 

By Regretfully, Nancy, we are surprised. on 12/17/2012 at 6:13 pm

@Regretfully,

So Nancy is out of line calling Rob a “bully”, but it’s perfectly OK for you to question the “integrity” of town board members and accuse them of “chicanery” and actions that are “less than savory”? My quick translation of your verbiage has you calling out our town board members as “crooks and liars”. Is that not a smear campaign?

For quite a few of us, the world does not revolve around the Chappaqua hamlet and the CCSD. We’ve let you folks rant on and on about how residential development at Chappaqua Crossing will destroy the CCSD and how the town should have saved your underused overpriced supermarket. Now it’s strip mall this and strip mall that. Before you start in with the whole “you West End folks don’t live here and only care about yourselves” nonsense, please tell me where all of you were when the town changed their plans for the Amsterdam property to add more fields (and more traffic) over by where we live (and our kids don’t even use the fields). What support did the West End get from CCSD residents during our decade-plus fight for equity in property tax equalization? What are your thoughts on the proposed UWMS construction? How about sewers for the Millwood hamlet (wait, I remember, you whined that if you can’t get sewers, then neither should Millwood)?

I hear that the folks in the Ossining town districts that border Briarcliff Manor have enough signatures to start their petition to be annexed by Briacliff. If that goes through, the entire West End could be next to join up with Briarcliff. Think about how wonderful that would be for all of you. You could finally be rid of those troublesome folks from the Ossining and Yorktown schools who don’t understand how special Chappaqua is. Too bad we’ll take 20% of the tax basis of the town with us.

By West Ender on 12/19/2012 at 3:48 pm

@ West Ender,

I do not accept your misinterpretation of my words about our town board members, since it is absolutely a wrong construal of what I said and is not what I meant at all.  Please do not put words in my mouth. 

What many of us wanted was to be informed of the negotiation and the development of this document so that there could be some public input and commentary.  We have always enjoyed a high level of public participation in this town in line with the tradition of town hall democracy possible only in a municipality of this size. My criticism was of the process NOT of their character.  We are vociferous in this town in the spirit of public debate that occurs in a healthy democratic atmosphere. I do agree that sometimes our commentary gets too spirited because we care so avidly about the wellbeing of our town. We wanted to be informed and to be allowed to follow our customary practice of open debate and allowed to participate in the process.  (The TB probably believed they were doing the best for the town by acting expeditiously.)  In no way would I characterize any of our government officials in the way you describe.

What has the CCSD got to do with retail at CC? 

I live in the west end of town, not far from Millwood.  I have no animus towards any of my fellow town residents. 

I do not have sewers and have no expectation of them.

By Regretfully, Nancy, we are surprised on 12/20/2012 at 1:03 pm

@ Regretfully Nancy, we are surprised,

Thank you for both of you comments.  In my opinion, they both needed to be said.

As far as West Ender, he / she just took this opportunity to continue his/her ongoing vent.

By Bob on 12/20/2012 at 6:26 pm


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