A Master Plan “Community Conversations” conversation-starter

Monday, January 27, 2014
by Rob Greenstein

“What type of services, events, shopping, etc. would you like to see in downtown Chappaqua or Millwood in the evenings/night-time?”

Feel free to comment here (we encourage you to give your name). We will also be posting the same question on our Town of New Castle Facebook page.

Residents are also encouraged to attend our town board meetings and give their ideas, or to watch our regular meeting on your TV or computer and email or “Livechat” comments and questions during the meeting.  We intend to reach out also through mailings, for residents who do not use internet.

Watch meetings live on TV or from a computer or smart phone

Before any meeting, you can email your questions to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)During the meeting, you can ask questions via a chat function on the live stream on New Castle Community Media Center (NCCMC)’s site—http://new.livestream.com/nccmc.  Residents can just click on the Town Board meeting pane to view and chat. (Don’t frustrate yourself by trying to sign up too early: the meeting has to begin before you can register. Once you register, however, you won’t have to do it ever again.) 

This will help the town board gather information from residents who can’t attend the meetings in person. The extra convenience of participating through Livestream will provide residents with an opportunity to share opinions and engage directly with the Town Board.

The sign up page will look like this: 

Click the green “FOLLOW” button, which will open a small window with options to join through Livestream

When will questions be answered?

During my Supervisor’s Report, we’ll answer some questions that have been emailed in advance to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).  Toward the end of the meeting we’ll answer some of the questions sent through NCCMC’s Livestream.

Community segment at the start of each meeting

We will also be introducing a a segment of around five minutes brief five to ten minute community segment at the beginning of the meeting, at 7:45 p.m. In the community segment, we will recognize a business that has opened up or is celebrating a milestone.  Some weeks we might have a town staff department head briefly explain the services they provide to the public. Other weeks we might recognize the work of a particular community group.
Coming soon

In the future, we plan to enable residents to sign up to receive emailed meeting agendas, as well as minutes following the meetings.

Immediate replay—and immediate rewind ability

Note: Meetings will still be replayed both on NCCMC’s TV channels and on its website in “Video on Demand,” but you can view the Livestreamed video right away at Livestream.com.  Not only that—you can tune in to the Livestreamed meeting late and have the ability to rewind right away.  Likewise, during replay you can scroll backward or forward at will.

There are free apps for the iPhone and Android at their respective stores—and the apps are very easy to use!

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

Coffeehouse similar to Jean Jacques (P’ville) with WIFI and late night hours

By cas on 01/27/2014 at 4:56 pm

Nothing.  I like my quiet town the way it is.  If I wanted nightlife, I would have stayed in Manhattan.

By leave it alone on 01/27/2014 at 5:08 pm

Need more restaurants. 

Yogurt bar for everyone especially teens.

By Needed in downtown Chappaqua on 01/27/2014 at 5:49 pm

A movie theater, a bookstore, theatrical productions like the ones Chappaqua Drama Group used to do,  an ice cream store (but to be honest, I’d only patronize it in warm weather), and a cafe/bakery with lots of seating like Le Pain Quotidien (New Canaan)

By Olga Seham on 01/27/2014 at 6:37 pm

More sidewalks so people can walk into town.

By Heather Lafortezza on 01/27/2014 at 10:43 pm

Clean up the stream near the gazebo and make it nice?

By Yucky stream on 01/28/2014 at 8:49 am

Widen the sidewalk in front of the shops along South Greeley across from the triangle so that it’s big enough to take trees - that stretch is bare-naked and ugly. Steal space from the triangle side to do it. Move everything over by three ft.

By widen S greeley on 01/28/2014 at 8:51 am

And the rec field stretch of S greeley is too wide and doesn’t allow parking. If people could park along there it would seem less barren a segment. I’d like to have a row of shops along there too, personally.

By Then how about widen S Greeley at rec field? on 01/28/2014 at 8:56 am

Whether Napoli plan or town hall redeveloped, more stores and residential are needed in the downtown. People who say they like it just as it is maybe don’t realize that it’s touch-and-go for the majority of those merchants. Touch-and-go doesn’t make for a healthy downtown. Make that market rated residential, by the way, with the 10% affordable that’s required.

By More stores and residential on 01/28/2014 at 9:24 am

Another good restaurant option or two. A great independent coffeehouse (so I can stay in town instead of driving 20 minutes away). An upscale winebar and/or cocktail bar. Perhaps some sort of intimate cabaret, jazz or piano club.

To ‘leave it alone’, adding some amenities to serve our community in our limited downtown area would not diminish the ‘quite, small town feel’ of the Chappaqua overall.

By some ideas on 01/28/2014 at 10:20 am

THIS is what you all call a master plan process? Team Greenstein, you don’t have much more time to show that you mean to do this right. You’re telling us zero about your private talks with Summit Greenfield. There has been no public outreach that I can see—and no, I don’t count these “Hey tell us what you think about this topic this week!” This is not master planning. This is random shooting in the dark. Where is the team of resident experts who will advise you all? Please don’t let them be all commercial developers. Where’s FP Clark when we need them?

By Where's the beef? This is no Master Plan on 01/28/2014 at 5:51 pm

I agree. Call us when you’ve organized yourselves and the master plan. And if we miss the Whole Foods boat, so be it. Don’t ask us to approve anything that momentous in a hurry. That’s what the last town board did. I want you to gather information and input from the residents you say you want to hear from. So far I’m not feeling it.

By Not feeling it on 01/28/2014 at 7:17 pm

I am troubled by the fact that at every meeting thus far, Greenstein talks about moving town hall to Chappaqua Crossing.  Whose idea was this?  Where is the community input and planning?  Where is the transparency about the discussions with SG?  It is clearly the “master plan” of this board to move this forward.

By watch out on 01/29/2014 at 9:04 am

Only a small percentage of the Town reads NCN and even less comment so using this as a forum for Master Planning is foolish.  If Team Greenstein is interested in doing this right, then hire a consultant (nobody is doing this for free) and give them the authority to follow through as they see fit.  This is embarrassing.

By NCN ain't everyone on 01/29/2014 at 9:07 am

It is clear that this leading “question” was written by a lawyer who has his own agenda.

By c'mon man! on 01/29/2014 at 11:34 am

Will kicking off the master plan review take as long for this administration as filling the planning board seat did for the previous administration?

By Chris Roberta on 01/29/2014 at 1:22 pm

Agendas? Well, well. Look who has them.

By bob on 01/29/2014 at 9:26 pm

Upgrade the Bell auditorium and rent it for professional performances.  The school would benefit from a better auditorium, and there would be plentiful parking available at night.

By Marian Williams on 01/30/2014 at 6:30 pm

For anyone who thinks a theater downtown is a panacea, go to Mt. Kisco and count the empty stores next to and across from their theater.

By let's get real on 01/31/2014 at 11:38 am

I’m not sure what purpose a survey of this sort serves, except maybe giving the illusion of community involvement. The desires of the community have zero impact on which retailers decide to rent space in town. But I’ll play - this town needs shops that sell things besides overpriced knick-knacks and artsy earrings. If merchants want town residents to shop local they need to do their part and offer merchandise people want and need at reasonable prices. A bookstore and a couple of decent restaurants would be a good start.

By resident on 02/01/2014 at 12:23 pm

Not sure new bookstores are in the cards these days.

By bookworm on 02/01/2014 at 2:51 pm

Nobody gets it. No business will open downtown with the rents as high as they are. It doesn’t matter what touchy, feely, fuzzy veneer is put in place. Chappaqua crossing is a different matter. It fills the retail holes in one fell swoop. Then, downtown rents will be subject to competition to lower rents and the wishes of the posters on this site have a chance to be realized.

Publishing a list of the rents charged for all downtown stores and comparing those rents to the rents charged in Pleasantville will shed light on the essence of our downtown problem. If the rents are comparable, that’s one thing. If they are much higher, that is a different story. That information will help the master plan evalutation.

My biggest fear is that Mr. Greenstein does not want to make enemies or offend people, which is an impossibility. And with that fear, nothing will be done.

By sheesh on 02/03/2014 at 8:15 am

You and those of your like minded neighbors ARE the problem. You shop in Manhattan, so you don’t need the stores that the rest of us could use. We are not Manhattan and must develop accordingly.

But you make the point that we could use a Grand Central-esque attitude towards Chappaqua crossing, since you, and anyone else who passes through it, how wonderful that type of development and upscale store mix can be.

By Dear leave it alone on 02/03/2014 at 8:21 am

Remove: existing businesses that do not sell products/services that locals would use on a daily/weekly basis.

Add: businesses that DO sell products/services that locals would use on a daily/weekly basis.

Disallow additional businesses based on the following: nail/hair salons, pet grooming or any other pet “this or that,” realtors and insurance agent offices.

By Simple on 02/18/2014 at 7:17 pm

an architectural rendering of a downtown with reasonable parking and traffic flow for cars, trucks and people. More buildings for shops, restaurants, supermarket and the like. A town center where people young and old can come and the physicality is welcoming.I have no problem with three or four storied buildings with residential apartments that are real, even senior housing.
I think the layout of the town leaves something to be desired. A downtown architectural rendering first then what can go into the spaces created can follow.

By tony sanfilippo on 02/18/2014 at 8:37 pm

a book store please.  i go to pleasantville, but since I go there for books I go there for lunch and head down to Bergers if I need a hardware store. Chappaqua will never be as good as Pleasantville, but it could have some variety. And somewhere to go for lunch and a place to get a reasonably priced dinner.

By book lover on 02/27/2014 at 1:20 pm

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