Contrary to Planning Board advice,Town Board undertakes Rosehill environmental review

Friday, July 11, 2014
by Christine Yeres

Ignoring its Planning Board’s advice that “the much awaited Master Plan Update should be completed prior to any further consideration to rezoning the subject property,” last Tuesday the Town Board gave the go-ahead for the environmental review of the Rosehill proposal for 60 condos, clubhouse, tennis courts and pool at the 773 Armonk Road Legionaries property.  Lisa Katz pointed out that since the Rosehill environmental review may take up to 18 months, the Board is, in fact, “planning before developing,” because the Master Plan review is already underway.

See Planning Bd to Town Bd: Master Plan update should come before rezoning for Rosehill, NCNOW.org, 7/1/14.

Town Board members were pressed by neighbors surrounding the property to express their reasons for permitting the review.  “Three of you ran for office on a platform of “planning before development,” said Jeff Goldstein of Tripp Street. “You’re not in office seven months and you’re doing the opposite.  Your own Planning Board is saying, ‘Complete the Master Plan update before reviewing the rezoning of this property,’ and you’re still moving forward to accommodate a developer.”  Goldstein called the proposal “a crystal-clear example of spot zoning” with “no discernable benefit to the town.”

“When I make a decision, especially with a land use issue,” said Town Board member Jason Chapin, “it’s based on public comment and on recommendations we get from interested or involved [such as the Planning Board] parties.  I’m saying this process has many steps, I’m OK with the process going forward but that doesn’t mean I’m for or against it.”

Goldstein turned to Town Board member Lisa Katz.  “Put yourself in our position,” he said.  “The Planning Board tells the Town Board ‘Do not move forward.’”

“I would say that any decision that I make is not a political decision,” said Katz.  “I’m going to make every single decision with integrity, considering what makes the most sense for the town as a whole.  That being said, we are nowhere near a stage where we’re approving or denying this project.  And I stand by what I said, I do believe in planning and our voting tonight on the scoping document does not necessarily fly in the face of what the Planning Board has said because the Master Plan is still ongoing and the vote on this application won’t be for 18 months. [This is the time frame the Town Board’s counsel outlined for TB members in a work session the week before.]  So we will have time to do planning before making any decision.”

Katz explained that according to the State Environmental Quality Review Act, once the Town Board has declared itself lead agency and has permitted the SEQR process to begin with a draft scoping—a list of potential impacts—from the developer, the Town Board has only 60 days in which to make its own alterations to the draft. If the Town Board misses that deadline, it is the developer’s own draft version that goes forward as the “study guide” of issues to be researched.

“I will tell you that once that analysis is done,” said Katz, “if it doesn’t make sense, I wouldn’t vote for it. I’ve stood on that side of the dais and I can assure you I’ll listen residents.  There will be many, many more times when we’ll receive public comment.”

Sharon Greene, another resident of Tripp Street, asked the Town Board’s counsel, Nick Ward-Willis, “to please make it clear to the Town Board that the Town Board can completely deny to entertain a zoning change?” 

“Yes, the board can do that,” said Ward-Willis.

Greene said, “So when you say they’re obliged within 60 days [to approve a draft scoping document], they can stand up today—if you continue the SEQR process—we are not going to entertain a zoning change, as recommended by our Planning Board, our advisory board whom we rely upon, we are not going to recommend a zoning change at this time, I guarantee you that Mr. Oder will go back to the drawing board and perhaps come up with some plan within the zoning, that protects the uniqueness of this property.  You’re not at the mercy of the SEQR process.  It’s in your hands.”

“I didn’t say we’re at the mercy of the SEQR process,” said Katz, “but it will revert to the developer’s version of the scoping.  And in the scoping we’ve asked the developer to show us a plan that would stay within the current zoning.  We’ve asked them to give us drawings to show us what that would look like.”

Greene pointed out that the “alternatives” the SEQR process requires the developer to show is not the focus of a developer’s application.

The Planning Board’s advice, said Greene, “couldn’t be clearer.  What do you people think a Planning Board is for?  Ms. Mottel, at the work session you said you would pay attention to what the Planning Board said.”  Greene read from the Planning Board’s letter to the Town Board, “The most appropriate avenue to answer these questions is not within a Planning Board/Town Board response to a developer’s initiative, but rather through a thoughtful master plan update process, or strongly encouraging the developer to propose a project that adheres to existing zoning.”

Greene objected to the amount of time the scoping document had been available to the public to review.  Board members received it the Thursday before, but it was not posted to the town’s website until July 8, the day the Board was due to vote to approve it.

Another resident told Town Board members that she had attended “meeting after meeting where Planning Board members spent hours meticulously going over this 45-page scoping document.” Residents had not had time enough to go over it thoroughly, she said.

“There is no legal requirement,” said Ward-Willis, “to hear from the public with respect to the scoping document.”

“I don’t understand why we’re all rushing to do this,” said the resident.  “And I don’t understand what is so valuable about this project when you would go against your own Planning Board?”

“I’m not disregarding anything the Planning Board has recommended to us,” said Chapin. “This is an ongoing process.  It doesn’t end now.  There are other opportunities, much like for Chappaqua Crossing, when the Town Board approved the final environmental impact statement, which meant that everything is in order to this point and now the preliminary development concept plan goes to the Planning Board to do its part.  We have a relationship with the Planning Board, but they are not us and we are not them.  The Town Planner acts as an intermediary to make sure we’re informed about what each is doing.”

“I think we’re equally frustrated,” said Supervisor Rob Greenstein to the resident.  “What I’ve been hearing from you is that every step in the process you’re interpreting as an approval of the project.  Just because we close a public hearing or vote to approve a scoping document doesn’t mean this project is approved.  Some people want to put the brakes on it for two years, but just because we’re going through the process doesn’t mean we’re approving the project.  The developer is on notice that we’re updating our master plan and that’s the risk the developer is taking.”

“I’d like to hear the particular issues neighbors have,” said Town Board member Adam Brodsky.  “This developer is asking us to consider a very dramatic project in your neighborhood. I heard ‘sewers,’ ‘sight lines’—I’d like to see it from your perspective.  “

“I feel we’ve been telling you,” said the resident.  “I can’t flush my toilet and take a shower at the same time.  There are water issues.  When it rains my car goes into a ditch.  All these environmental issues could ruin our homes and our property values.  I can’t begin to imagine the lights, the noise, the tennis courts and theatre.  They’re incongruous to a residential neighborhood.”

“The SEQR process we’re going through now,” said Brodsky, ” those hundred or thousand issues—those will be addressed and we’ll take into account whether those have been addressed or not.  Mr. Oder [the developer] will have his day to make his case and we’ll see how it plays out.”

Another resident came to the microphone to say, “I find it alarming that you said that you’re concerned about our concerns because for months residents have been expressing very clearly their concerns.”

“Just because we’re not doing exactly what you want us to do doesn’t mean we’re not listening to you,” said Greenstein.  “It just means we have a lot of interests to balance.  The developer has shown a willingness to listen to resident.  For some of us it’s refreshing compared to some of the other projects we’ve dealt with over the years.”

The Board voted unanimously to approve the scoping document.

The discussion on the Rosehill scoping document runs from the 52-minute mark until the 1-hour and 46-minute mark

Town of New Castle Board Meeting 7/8/14 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.


Comments(46):
We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

People must get over this “Master Plan” preoccupation. The master plan is a guide. It is a document that states goals and visions. It is not a legally binding document - it is not a law. According to our consultant on this , PACE, it will take a year or more to complete. Some have said it could take 2 years to complete. People opposed to Rosehill and retail at CC continue their stalling and obstruction by insisting this master plan process must be completed. If we listen to them we ought to give the town board and planning board a year off.
Besides- what value is a master plan that is created and written by committees and sub committees compromised of participants with their own agendas and self serving interests? What good is a master plan written by neighbors of Rosehill and CC NIMBYs? We will wait a year to get a MP that is compromised and corrupted by those that overwhelm the process. I have watched the meetings whereby committees and subcommittees were chosen and met. It is very clear many participants are involved in order to influence the outcome. The resulting MP will not reflect the values and will of the people it will reflect the NIMBYs. Why in heavens name should we stop progress and positive developments , wait at least a year, and then get a master plan that does not represent the people and does not serve the greater good.
This town needs more and diversified housing stock like Rosehill. This town needs Whole Foods and must utilize the 110 acres at CC. This town needs the associated tax revenue with all these projects. The master plan will not and should not be an obstacle to accomplishing these things. The obstructionists must not be allowed to hide behind the MP.

By Resident on 07/12/2014 at 7:55 am

OK, resident, quick - what are the “associated tax revnues with all these project”?

By Money where your mouth is on 07/12/2014 at 8:55 am

Resident,
What master plan workgroup are you on?

By Join the process on 07/12/2014 at 9:13 am

I’ll tell you why we’re upset about this application by Oder. Because we’ve seen the town board say the very same words about that mother of all applications, Chappaqua Crossing.

“We’re only gathering information”

“We’ll make sure it’s a benefit to the community”

“We’ll make sure it won’t harm the neighbors”

“This environmental review isn’t any kind of approval”

And then you let the thing inch closer and closer to your “hands being tied” because you’ll say the guy will feel you’ve led him on.

Not one of you board members has answered our question: Why sell out the neighbors by changing the zoning on this property? Because Oder wants to buy it and turn a profit? As of right Oder can buy and make what profit he can within the zoning. By changing the zoning for him the town board sells out residents.

By We've seen this sell out before on 07/12/2014 at 9:15 am

The “preoccupation” with the master plan was initiated by none other than Team New Castle.  They waved the master plan in our faces during the election over and over again when it suited their needs and practically had people believing that we’d all end up in jail if it was not followed.  But of course, now that the election has passed, they manage to find loopholes to do the end run around the master plan when it’s convenient to accomplish their own goals.

By not surprising on 07/12/2014 at 11:01 am

The town board is simply recognizing the flawed state of the master plan process as it is currently constituted.

See also the comment by “Resident” above.

By bob on 07/12/2014 at 11:31 am

Greenstein has still not answered the question as to why HE AND ODER want this zoning change.

By answers please on 07/12/2014 at 12:01 pm

To Money where your mouth is- one does not need an accounting or finance degree from Harvard to understand that taxes generated to the town of new castle from 30 -60 condos far exceeds the tax revenue from a few houses ( or no houses) on the same site. I can’t quantify it but surely common sense and logic indicates needed tax revenue will far exceed the current.
One does not need the accounting- finance degree from Wharton to understand that taxes generated today at CC are on a downward trajectory compared to Readers Digest days. The longer that property sits practically empty and underutilized the town suffers decreasing tax revenue. Should CC be developed into a multi use facility to include commercial residential and retail tax revenue will certainly increase. Also consider that retail at CC including Whole Foods will make our community more desirable thus attracting more buyers thus elevating values. So by elmanating the downward slide in CC tax revenues - stabilizing it and then increasing its value - tax revenue that benefits us all will surely follow. I don’t have a dollar amount to give you but I do have a brain. Lost tax revenue is a negative. Increased tax revenue a positive. More and diversified housing like condos and a Whole Foods at CC is a positive for all of New Castle in many levels. We don’t need a master plan that is rigged to tell us that.

By RayJ on 07/12/2014 at 2:10 pm

I have been told and I have read that 50% of homeowners in our town are empty nesters like me. I have lived here 27 years and would love to stay near my friends family and house of worship. Like many empty nesters, I do not need and want 5 bedrooms, 1.3 acres , $40k in taxes, and upkeep like landscaping, snow plowing, heating oil associated with a large home. I want to downsize. There are few if any small homes and they still have significant taxes and upkeep. The perfect solution and way to keep us here is to offer condo - townhouse type housing. Many of my piers are leaving going to Katonah, Pleasantville, White Plains etc. they have stated they would love to stay in Chapp but they have no options. Condo- town houses are more affordable for young families as well.
Our town board- planning board must consider this problem especially when we represent half the tax paying home owners. Elected and appointed officials have an obligation to serve all of us and oversee a process that improves the entire community.
We shop downtown but I can’t buy all food and household items at Village Market and I refuse to shop at Wallgreen- RiteAid. So we make extra trips and go to A&P in Mt Kisco. Once there I go to the wine store and Target. Our town has an opportunity to improve with Whole Foods at CC. We can and should improve housing options like townhouses. Those opposed only care about their own selfish needs and the town board has a fiduciary responsibility to serve all of us. We don’t need a master plan to tell us that.

By Empty nester on 07/12/2014 at 3:01 pm

To Not Surprising - I disagree. The preoccupation with the master plan was from the NIMBYs including Katz from a Team New Castle. Rob Greenstein on many occasions supported Whole Foods at CC. He frequently suggested moving town hall to CC. He did not make these ideas conditional on a new master plan. He knew that would take too long and opportunity would pass us by - not to mention ensuing law suits.
Brodsky spoke about relaxing and changing downtown codes and regulations in order to improve commercial activity. He did not make these ideas conditional on a new master plan. That leaves Katz. She ran for town board for one dimple reason - to stop retail at CC and all development in her backyard. She supported a new master plan because she knows it means another year or more of delay and obstruction.

By Resident on 07/12/2014 at 3:09 pm

From watching various town board meetings- work sessions- and the PACE meeting I conclude the master plan process is a sham. The usual suspects scream the loudest and dominate the discussion. They have their own agenda primarily to stop development at CC and now Legionarires. At the meetings with PACE, Weitz Tobin Katz and the gang had already corrupted the proceedings.
And someone please explain how a developer with very explicit detailed plans with applications submitted can participate in this process. If Chuck Napoli has a say then why don’t we give Summit Greenfield and Oder seats at the table. Holding things up pending The master plan update is pointless.
We elected these people to use best judgement and serve all the people. Just because a few scream the loudest are most disruptive and dominate every meeting does not mean they are correct. In fact they should be ignored. We are all tired of them. Let them bring out their own lawyers as they have threatened. Let’s see how that goes.

By The fix is in on 07/12/2014 at 3:32 pm

The comments of Team New Castle are embarrassing.  Katz clearly has no clue.  Greenstein has a clue but doesn’t know what do with it.  Brodsky has no clue and if he did , he would not know what to do with it.  Sad state of affairs for New Castle.

By Just watch on 07/12/2014 at 9:43 pm

How interesting that team broken promises and lies ran on the conviction of NO NEW ANYTHING UNTIL MASTER PLAN IS COMPLETE.  I missed the asterisk which said unless we want to do it our way

By Team broken promises on 07/13/2014 at 12:28 am

So now we have a new group of NIMBYs. They are mobilizing organizing and coordinating. Let’s call them the Rosehill-Legionaires NIMBYs. They have been showing up at board meetings and voicing objections to all the plans submitted. The current Rosehill project is much smaller and significantly smaller than the original plan that was more a convention - meeting complex. The developer heard their objections, scaled this plan down and still they object.
They join the long standing retail at CC NIMBYs. This groups long campaign to stop development at CC is well documented. They wrote circulated and signed petitions full of lies and distortions. Who will forget the Katz written survey that warned a sewage treatment facility was part if CC. They barn stormed and do innate every town board meeting with exaggerated and distorted claims. They insisted “nobody wants retail at CC” .  When an online survey was conducted these nimbys stuffed the ballot box voting multiple times to make sure they could prove their point. Even with their dishonesty the survey showed at least half wanted retail at CC.
So I ask all you - what good, what value to a Master Plan that is formulated by committees and sub committees comprised of these groups of NIMBYs?

By Chappster on 07/13/2014 at 7:31 am

This group made so many promises.  I have not seen a one fulfilled yet.  They are in office over six months.  When should we expect to see the changes they promised?

By Disappointed on 07/13/2014 at 11:52 am

bob, then I imagine that you would be for hiring an experienced, reputable firm to do the master plan review ?  You know, like all serious towns do.  Sabrina Charney is NOT the person for this.

By master planning done reputably please on 07/13/2014 at 12:05 pm

Greenstein, NCN, 4/19/13:

“The retail rezoning at Chappaqua Crossing is clearly not consistent with the current town Master Plan.  The 1989 Master Plan, which reaffirmed the 1968 Master Plan, set forth the position that all future local business development be confined to the Town’s existing two hamlet centers.  New York State law requires that zoning be adopted in accordance with a well-considered or comprehensive Master Plan.  The Town Board cannot create this third business district unless the Master Plan is amended.”

By says it all on 07/13/2014 at 12:59 pm

To Team Broken Promises - you should read ” resident” comment above. It is spot on. You are fooling yourself or you weren’t paying attention if you believe Team New Castle promised No New Anything Until Master Plan Is Complete.
I followed closely and heard/ read Greenstein say we should do a land swap with Summit Greenfield and move town hall to CC. He did NOT say let’s move town hall after a new master plan. He knew we didn’t have the luxury of time. Greenstein also advocated for a Whole Foods at CC. He said it was a great idea and even took credit for it. He did NOT say let’s get Whole Foods after a new master plan.
Adam Brodsky was always about improving downtown Chapp. That is what he ran on. Some dismiss his sincerity because of family real estate holdings but that is besides the point. He NEVER said let’s improve downtown commerce and relax building codes after a new master plan.
Those still focusing on a new master plan have a very transparent selfish agenda. They want all development and progress to stop pending an 18 month master plan review administered by PACE. They expect to infiltrate and participate in the process and shape the master plan to serve their wants and needs. In effect, their goal is to write a MP that protects their backyard at the expense of the rest of us.

By Another resident on 07/13/2014 at 1:10 pm

@master planning done reputably please,

Yes, I agree.

By bob on 07/13/2014 at 8:27 pm

I agree too with ” master planning done reputably please”. It is unreasonable and irresponsible of the town board to rely on our own town planner and random residents who happen to volunteer to “help out” accomplish a genuine master plan review. Doing so has wreaked havoc on the process and has caused a crisis of confidence in our representatives. Where’s the master plan steering committee in all this mess?

By Steering committee where are you? on 07/13/2014 at 8:42 pm

@ says it all- the Greenstein quote is from 4/19/2013. That was 6 months before the election and it was resident/ citizen Greenstein speaking.
Several months later Candidate Greenstein spoke and wrote that if he was elected Supervisor he would be a tough negotiator and demand concessions from Summit Greenfield. Candidate Greenstein suggested moving Town Hall to CC. He spoke about repurposing the current town hall site. Greenstein supported a Whole Foods at CC and suggested getting the developer to include town/ recreational space and facilities.
At no time did candidate Greenstein say these things were dondotional on a new master plan.
I do not have the time and energy to search NCN to find each one of his quotes in letters comments and candidates night. But he absolutely did campaign on these things and he did not say ” but first let’s stop everything and wait a year until we update the master plan “

By You were not paying attention. ... on 07/13/2014 at 9:08 pm

Adam Brodsky is looking to help downtown. How can you say that with a straight face when he owns a delapdated building which has been sitting for over 10 years. Practice what you preach

By Another resident really on 07/13/2014 at 10:13 pm

Says it all, Thank you for sharing that quote.  It is apparent that the supporters of the Supervisor’s position are not familiar with his flip flop modus operandi!  He has been inconsistent since the beginning.

By It has all been said on 07/13/2014 at 10:53 pm

Unfortunately, it appears that the master plan steering committee is dysfunctional. Not surprising given its make-up.

By bob on 07/14/2014 at 8:18 am

To It Has all Been Said- Supervisor Greenstein has not flip flopped. Candidate Greenstein -Supervisor Greenstein have been very consistent in his positions. Resident Greenstein ( prior to throwing his hat in the ring) and Chamber of Commerce Head Greenstein spoke often and regularly contradicted himself. But once committing to run for Supervisor his platform was very clear. He promised to be a tough negotiator against SG and not roll over as he claimed Carpenter did. He suggested moving town hall to CC. He suggested building housing/ retail at current town hall location once it moved. He promoted the idea of Whole Foods at CC. He objected to a strip mall design and was instrumental in getting SG to make changes. These positions were repeated over and over during Team New Castle Campaign. I attended candidates night. At no time was his position that we must halt all progress, suspend all plans and applications pending a new Master Plan. Only Katz was adamantly opposed and she has proven herself a one trick pony.
For all of you NIMBYs disappointed and feeling betrayed by a Greenstein ” flip flip” - you weren’t paying attention. You heard what you wanted to hear. You elected 3 people with a sum total of ZERO government experience.
Put another way - if you had just moved to New Castle around the time of the election and followed closely the campaign platform you would not think a New Master Plan was the mandate.

By Resident on 07/14/2014 at 8:52 am

Greenstein can be accused of flip flopping and being inconsistent but he won the election. His positions, inconsistent they may have been, were open to scrutiny yet he won the election anyway.
Now he is supervisor and he must govern with the responsibility to serve all of us, not a few loud mouths that have obstructed and objected everything. He has been elected to use his best judgement and we do not need to conduct a town survey or conduct a referendum every time we have push back from special interest groups ( CC & Rosehill NIMBYs). Oh yeah - he did fight Conifer and won.
As we have seen on the national level, politicians positions “evolve”. Hope and change is replaced by pragmatism and reality.  Closing GITMO seemed like the right thing to do until you peel back the onion and get a real hard look at reality. No lobbyists and no special interest groups is replaced with politics as usual.
The wide eyed fresh candidate changes once in office when confronted with reality.
The reality in New Castle is we need to increase commercial/ retail tax base. We need a supermarket and there is none better than Whole Foods.  We need to diversify our housing stock and offer more options. Our town board and planning board must serve the people - all the people- and not be distracted and intimidated by NIMBYs.

By Robert on 07/14/2014 at 9:06 am

If Greenstein has been inconsistent throughout then you should not have voted for him. But you did. Now he is Supervisor. Let him do his job.

By Karen on 07/14/2014 at 9:21 am

Comment from Robert is worth repeating -
The reality in New Castle is we need to increase commercial/ retail tax base. We need a supermarket and there is none better than Whole Foods.  We need to diversify our housing stock and offer more options. Our town board and planning board must serve the people - all the people- and not be distracted and intimidated by NIMBYs.

By I agree! on 07/14/2014 at 10:26 am

The comment by Robert is worth repeating-
The reality in New Castle is we need to increase commercial/ retail tax base. We need a supermarket and there is none better than Whole Foods.  We need to diversify our housing stock and offer more options. Our town board and planning board must serve the people - all the people- and not be distracted and intimidated by NIMBYs.

By I agree !!!!!!! on 07/14/2014 at 10:28 am

Just to be clear, the neighbors of the Rosehill development do not oppose development in this area.  This is a 96 acre parcel of land that can be subdivided in accordance with current two acre zoning.  How does the Town of New Castle benefit from a condo development over single homes on 2 acre plots?  The answer is that there is no discernible benefit to the Town.  The biggest clue to this is the text of the tortured rationale for the proposed floating zone authored by the developer’s counsel:  “to preserve properties whose unique architectural, environmental and/or open space character help to define the attractive residential quality of New Castle.”  Is this a need for the Town of New Castle?  And if it is, how is this development preserving the character of the Legionaries property by, in essence, gutting the building?  The short answer is that there is no Town need/benefit here and that this “floating zone” was manufactured in some sort of legal laboratory to the exclusive benefit of the developer.  If this isn’t the definition of spot zoning, which is illegal by the way, then what is?

Mr. Oder can earn a suitable return on his investment if he develops this property in accordance with 2 acre zoning.  If the Town does not permit the development of condos, I’m sure Mr. Oder is sophisticated enough to have planned for that contingency and to be in a position to renegotiate the purchase price with the Legionaries.  It should not be this Town Board’s priority to have Mr. Oder earn the greatest possible return on his investment.  Greenstein, Chapin, Katz, Mottel, and Brodsky should be representing their constituents, who are ill-served by developer manufactured floating zones that can float to your neighborhood.

By Jeff Goldstein on 07/14/2014 at 11:17 am

bob,

What do you mean about about the master plan steering committee’s members ?  Why do you call them into question ?

Rob is no longer on it.  Rob tried to politicize the committee from the get go, but fortunately for the town and the process he stepped down.  Is he still trying to demonize its members ?
Now he should fund it as he promised that he would.  He wold be undercutting the process if he insists on having Sabrina Charney run it.  That is his game, control, control, control.

I hope the other members of the town board will do their job and invest in the future of this town and fund the master plan. 

By resident on 07/14/2014 at 11:43 am

The master plan steering committee’s members each have their own personal agendas. That is not a good thing for the master plan or for the town.

By bob on 07/14/2014 at 1:12 pm

Zoning, like other laws change.  Years ago women and African Americans could not vote - that was the law then, but the law changed. 

The key is to change the laws for the better, but the NIMBY’s dont even want to go through the process to determine if it is better. 

Stop the obstructions & let the process proceed!

By Laws change with the times on 07/14/2014 at 3:25 pm

bob,

There is absolutely no evidence to even suggest that the members of the steering committee
have their own personal agenda. The one member, Rob Greenstein did have a personal agenda, but he was challenged on this this and he stepped down.  Once again, you lie.

By bob lies on 07/14/2014 at 4:07 pm

Mr Goldstein- with 2 acre zoning one house sits on 2 acres. Change the zoning to accommodate condo- town houses and we improve the town. And instead of one house/ one taxpayer on 2 acres we now have multiple taxpayers in condos. It’s called density. My neighbor put on an addition to his house. The plans violated the towns “set back” rules. He requested a variance and it was granted. In effect the zoning was changed. Things change, times change , zoning changes all of the time all over the county and country. Get over it.

By Resident on 07/14/2014 at 5:09 pm

To Jeff Goldstein - we have heard it before and we are not buying it. Your NIMBY position has been heard before and it is not sincere. You say you do not oppose development in the area provided the 2 acre zoning is upheld. Basically that means you oppose development because you can’t build condo/ town houses on 2 acre zoning. The zoning must change.
Just as the NIMBYs at CC say ” we are not opposed to development at CC as long as zoning is not changed”.
Just be honest. You oppose the proposed condo development at Rosehill- period Stop pretending you are open to progress and development. You are opposed.
96 acres are begging to be developed and it will be a huge benefit to the community. You are entitled to oppose but be honest. The ” neighbors of Rosehill development do not oppose development in the area” is a crock and we all know it.

By Same old story on 07/14/2014 at 8:51 pm

I agree with bob - the master plan steering committee ( and other master plan sub committees) are already compromised with people advocating for their personal agendas.
Greenstein was forced off the committee because people felt he was pro CC. But the many still on the committees are anti- CC. So now the balance shifts to the NIMBYs who have an agenda. How is that fair?
Weitz, Tobin, Katz etc influence and participate and they are clearly NIMBYs. What good comes from a committee that includes developer Napoli who has been opposed to retail at CC since day one. He has his own plan for downtown which includes chain stores and a ” European style food market”  Whole Foods at CC would kill his as aspirations so of course he will try to influence a master plan that rejects retail at CC.
bob is correct. That is not good for the master plan or the town.
We do not need to spend money we do not have to fund a master plan. Common sense and logic indicate we need increased commercial & retail tax revenue. We need a super market like Whole Foods. We need condos and town houses.
Regardless of the master plan process, how much it costs it will take at least a year. We can not and should not put on the brakes to positive developments and opportunities we have. Those that say otherwise are interested in only their own agendas and have no interest in the greater good of new castle. The NIMBYs are ruining this town.

By Another resident on 07/14/2014 at 9:03 pm

Here is a perfect example of self serving agendas and a colossal waste of town board time. It further proves the point that the master plan process is corrupt.
In tonight’s town board work session, Chuck Napoli will present an update and rental revenue projections for his downtown development plan now known as The Bell Area Plan ( aka Napoliville). I won’t go into the ABSURDITY of this plan complete with its traffic! parking! raised turf field now with an ugly bubble and the danger to Bell Middle School students. Nor will I detail the chain stores, theater and 400 car garage.
The point is that developer Napoli sits on the commerce committee for the master plan process.  He has a clear agenda for his own for profit development and he can not be objective in judging other developments. His contribution and partipation compromise the entire process.
Here is a guy always critical of retail at CC. He warns of traffic and master plan protocol.
Where is his studies on traffic for his plan? If he is honest about the need for a master plan FIRST then why is he wasting the TB time tonight with his plan. Shouldn’t he wait until the MP is complete a year or two from now?

By Insanity and waste of time on 07/15/2014 at 9:56 am

To Jeff Greenstein- you conveniently omitted the fact that within your neighborhood , your 2 acre residentially zoned community, Alfredo’s Nursery operates a commercial business and has a special permit. So clearly zoning can and does change.

By Another resident on 07/15/2014 at 5:08 pm

The master plan not worth the paper it is written on. That plan is very specific on all of these issues, and Team Greenstein has simply chosen to ignore it all. The planning board has called out the conflicts with the master plan, but that does not seem to matter to Team Greenstein.

If the master plan is really that meaningless, then i just don’t give a damn what gets written in the new one. Why bother updating a planning roadmap for our town that Team Greenstein and our town board refuses to respect or use for guidance in planning matters? Unless the master plan is respected and followed, then the master plan is a worthless piece of garbage. To hell with it all!

By the master plan is worthless on 07/15/2014 at 10:49 pm

Here is a classic example of Rob Greenstein flip-flopping on core issues. This article was written in this publication by Rob Greenstein while campaigning just last year:

Issue a moratorium on new zoning ordinances until the Master Plan is updated, by Robert Greenstein
http://www.newcastlenow.org/index.php/article/index/new_issue_a_moratorium_on_new_zoning_ordinances_until_the_master_plan_is_up

By fed-up resdient on 07/15/2014 at 11:10 pm

A variance to put in a pool or a extension to your house are not exactly the same thing as this project?  Did your neighbor put In a 250,000 sq ft 60 family condo….since we are being so honest here why not admit that you are pro multi family development in a residential single family neighborhood.  Your comments are as transparent as what you accuse neighbors of this development.  The purpose of the town board and planning board is to approve responsible development that benefit the town.  What are the benefits to the town? Taxes?  Where do the school taxes go? Not New Castle? What is the difference in property taxes between condos and single family homes?  Guess again….the town will make more in property tax revenue from single family homes.  Empty nester housing? This is not age restricted in any way, shape or form.  In fact it is proposed as 2500sq ft multiple bedroom units.  Although it may be the same as your neighbors variance to his zoning where he “changed” the zoning.  A responsible development can work within current zoning.  If it can’t it doesn’t mean we should change it.

By Another resident on 07/16/2014 at 1:49 pm

Agree “Another resident” what is the need fulfilled?  We don’t need another place to get our nails done, there are plenty of those in Chappaqua.  I believe the pool and health club are closed to residents only.  The only thing it is fulfilling is the developers pockets.  Lets allow him to build whatever he wants, regardless of the needs/benefits to the town, so he can make the largest profit.  Sounds like a great policy.  GO TEAM GREEN.

By Team Green on 07/18/2014 at 10:30 am

The town should consider allowing this property to be used for the mosque. There would be adequate parking and no need for busing.

By bob on 07/18/2014 at 4:23 pm

To “same old story” and “another resident”:  I don’t think I can be any more honest - I am, after all, using my own name.  I am most certainly against this current proposal.  I think this proposed development is a huge negative for my neighborhood and the entire Town.  If that makes me a NIMBY, great.  The reality is that you too are NIMBYs—since this is “not in your backyard,” you don’t care about the property rights of your fellow New Castle residents.  That’s perfectly fine and your prerogative—just don’t pretend that you’re not self interested.  You are.

With the childish name calling out of the way, please explain why the only type of legitimate development is to build condos.  Have you never heard of subdividing land into smaller plots for individual homes?  Chances are this is how your own property was “developed.”  Please also enlighten us on how the Town benefits from the building of condos as opposed to single homes.  What data do you have to support your bald claim that condos are a demonstrable need for this Town?  Please also explain how unlawful spot zoning benefits this Town and why potential homebuyers will want to buy into a Town where developers can come in and undo decades of zoning laws promulgated to protect environmentally fragile land?  Finally, floating zones can “float” to any neighborhood in New Castle.  If this proposal is approved, why should any citizen in this Town feel secure that their neighborhood won’t be next?

By Jeff Goldstein on 07/19/2014 at 8:09 pm

To “laws change with the times”:  I find it sad that anyone would equate this proposal to permitting African Americans and women to vote but I’ll take your bait.  While the 14th and 19th amendments were noble laws, any history student can point to numerous idiotic/shortsighted legislative acts that were ridiculously harmful to this country—anyone hear of Prohibition or the internment of the Japanese during WWII?  Laws can “change with the times” but our elected representatives owe it to us not to sell out the long-term future of our Town for perceived short term muted benefits.  And I use the word “perceived” because there are NO benefits to this proposal.  All school taxes go to Bedford and we have yet to see any evidence that Rosehill will provide more to the Town in taxes than if this site was developed for single homes.

By Jeff Goldstein on 07/19/2014 at 8:11 pm


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