In Spa scoping hearing, neighbors ask TB to stop the application, TB says process will continue

spa back view
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
by Christine Yeres

In last Tuesday’s public hearing on the draft scoping for an application to create a new “floating zone” that could permit a “Resort Lifestyle Complex” on the Legionaries property and others as described in the draft zoning text released last week, residents elaborated on the scope’s list of environmental impacts that must, by law, be thoroughly examined by the developer and town before any rezoning is approved. The hearing was punctuated several times by entreaties from residents to stop consideration of the application altogether.  The Town Board declined the requests, closed the public hearing, and extended the period for written comment to close-of-business this Friday, February 21.  [Video of the meeting is embedded below.]

_________________________

The public scoping hearing (the scope is the list of environmental concerns the applicant must respond to) has closed, but written comments may be submitted until Friday, February 21, 2014—either by email, to a special address for the purpose:

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Or by snail-mail, to:

Town Administrator Jill Shapiro
200 South Greeley Avenue
Chappaqua, NY 10514

To see the February 10, 2014 letter in which the Westchester County Planning Board weighed in on the Spa application click HERE

You can find all documents pertaining to The Spa at New Castle application (including the County letter of 2-10-14) on THIS PAGE of the town’s website.

To view the entire Draft Scope click HERE.
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First to speak, Jeff Kay, who lives directly across the street from the Legionaries property, expressed alarm that neighbors had received no notification of the proposed rezoning.  Town Board member Adam Brodsky assured him that the SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review) process had only just begun, that it would be marked by many more opportunities for public hearing, and that the Town Board naturally wished to hear from neighbors who are most affected.

The legal trigger for notification, explained the Town Board’s counsel, Nick Ward-Willis, comes later in the environmental review process.  When, for example, the time comes for a public hearing on the Draft EIS or on the site plan, there would be notification in the newspaper-of-record [the Journal News] and letters sent to homeowners within a certain radius of the Legionaries property.

“But after all of this, after all these answers [to questions in the scoping document] are provided,” said Kay, “what will you use as the basis to make your decision?” People are confused, said Kay, about the “floating zone” the developer is proposing for the site.

“Every property owner has the right to petition the legislative body—the Town Board—to revise the town zoning ordinance,” said Ward-Willis. In this case, he explained, the developer has cast the zoning change in terms of a “floating zone” that might fit “a few unique properties” in the town with similar characteristics—and might, the developer is contending—be a “better use” of those properties.  “At the end of all this the Town Board could vote it down or they could approve it.”

In the meantime, Ward-Willis explained, “the Town Board is entertaining that petition and has legislative discretion to find out ‘What would the impacts of this floating zone be?’”

“But when you vote on it, on what criteria do you base your decision?,” Kay asked. “How does this apply to the Master Plan?  Do we not need to know that?”

SEQR steps reviewed

“First there is the SEQR process—this step,” said Ward-Willis.  “So first [the Town Board] needs to make a finding that the proposed project does not have any potential adverse environmental impacts, or—if it does—that those impacts can be mitigated.  [This includes] both the zoning aspect and the project impacts.”

“The SEQR process will identify and analyze,” Ward-Willis continued, “any adverse environmental impacts, then produce ‘Findings’—conclusions, based on the environmental impact statement—that the proposal either does not have adverse impacts, or that it does, and will specify how those impacts might be mitigated.” 

“In terms of the zoning, it’s a legislative decision,” said Ward-Willis, and, therefore, “needs to be consistent with the comprehensive [master] plan, and [the Town Board] would need to make a finding that it’s an appropriate use of the property in this area—and those concerns are studied through the SEQR process—and in keeping with the character of the neighborhood, traffic impacts, storm water impacts.  Those are all factors the Town Board should be considering in deciding whether this is an appropriate use of the property.”

Kay: “So it’s measured against the comprehensive [master] plan?  You’re calling it recreational development; I call it commercial development. Have we given thought to the other alternatives?  Will the residential option be fully studied as well?”

Ward-Willis: “The applicant will compare them all, then the Town Board will also weigh the alternatives.”

Kay: “Regardless of the profit to the developer?”

“The applicant has put forth an application,” said Town Board member Jason Chapin, “and has asked us to consider it.  If you have other ideas for the use of this property, you can suggest them, but I don’t believe the applicant is obligated to look into all the alternative uses that might be suggested.”

Where will a “floating zone” float next?

“Who’s going to monitor this project?” asked Jeff Goldstein.  “I really hope the board is taking a macro-view of this project.  Put aside the legal and environmental issues and assume this is a great facility.  By entertaining a proposal for large-scale commercial development—a hotel and spa, restaurant, mass parking—in an exclusively residential neighborhood, why should anyone in New Castle feel safe that their own neighborhood is safe from commercial development? What are the downstream implications of this project—and what message that’s going to send?”  [The draft zoning amendment had not yet been released by the town.  See its details HERE.]

Another resident suggested that the scoping document “specify all the possible usage of this project rather than leave them open-ended.  Hours of usage, maximum population.  The numbers really have to be looked at carefully.  What are these walking trails that are mentioned in the scoping document?”

Unprecedented density, with little future control

“With this kind of density,” said Sharon Greene, a Tripp Street resident, “things are going to happen, whether you let them or not in this document.  When the Legionaries of Christ first came before the town, they said they were not going to have any retreats, just 100 seminarians [residing there].  [From my house] I can see all the lights and traffic that goes in and out and it became obvious to me that they were having retreats. I reported this to the Zoning Board, and the Legionaries admitted they were having retreats and applied for an extension on their special permit to allow retreats.  So there’s this fear that if you approve this monstrous commercial operation there with an absurd density for this site, you may put restrictions on it now, but you have no way of guaranteeing that there won’t be ‘scope creep’—or whatever you want to call it—and this is a very real concern.  And I’m not sure there can be anything [in writing] that says something can’t happen.”

“They say they’re targeting seniors [for the condos],” said Greene.  “I don’t think they believe that.  I don’t think any of us believe that.  And 2,500 square feet is bigger than a lot of our houses.  And nothing will say you can’t have a kid.”

“I didn’t find anything in here about the location of the septic tank and distribution boxes and specific location of the septic fields,” Greene noted, continuing to peruse her notes.

“What is meant by the ‘no-build’ situation in the document?” Greene asked Ward-Willis. 

Ward-Willis: “The current permitted use of the property.”

Greene:  ”—which is two-acre residential?”

Ward-Willis:  “No, the property in its current condition.”

“They haven’t used this site for the special permit in years,” said Greene. “So the current usage is no-usage.  I called the DEC and checked on their [State Pollution Discharge Elimination] permit, a condition for having the special use permit. They let it expire in 2005, saying they didn’t need it anymore.  Now six or eight years after they have admittedly not needed the property for a seminary, the special use permit for our town code should not exist at this point for that property.  So the ‘no-build’ for that property should be as it exists now: no-usage. There has never been any environmental impact study of the property for use even by 100 people.”

Tree removal on the property

Greene reported that the developer had violated town’s noise ordinance last two Saturdays by cutting and chipping trees before 10:00 a.m.  She played a video on her iPad of the wood chipping operation, as heard from her home, windows closed.  Town Board members viewed the video.

“Nice view,” said Greenstein

“It is a nice view—now,” said Greene.

A 96-acre property, with development concentrated at the top

“They talk about the property, sort of disguising it as a 96-acre property,” said Greene.  “Yes, it’s a 96-acre property, however, everything is going on in a five- to eight-acre spot, and the effect of density of this proposal is enormous.  The impact concentrated in that one place, on top of a ridge among residential homes is where it’s all located.”

Will the project benefit the community?

“I think this project has to be shown [according to SEQR] to benefit the general welfare of the community,” said Greene.  “I personally fail to see how it does that. It looks to me like a commercial New Jersey commercial developer is coming in trying to make our New Castle a commercial development in New Jersey.”

“We’ve given you so many strong, clear, legitimate reasons why this proposal should be nipped in the bud,” said Greene to Board members.  “It’s not appropriate for onsite septic for this amount of usage. Past analyses of the property indicate that there is no good solution to the septic issues.  The proposed usage is so much more intense and damaging ... the environmental and quality of life issues are untenable.  Do you think the type of soil has changed or the depth of bedrock? There is no existing zoning in New Castle like the floating one proposed here.”

“This is a developer,” said Greene, “trying to create a new zone simply to profit off of taxpayers. The town development plan explicitly says ‘this area should remain low density.’ And add to that that this density is not distributed over the 96 acres but is essentially on ten acres of the site—nowhere in New Castle is there that kind of density, especially in a two-acre residential district.”

Greene reminded Town Board members that after running on a platform “that ‘planning should proceed development,’ now that you’re in office, we voters feel betrayed if you continue to allow this application—which so blatantly flies in the face of the town’s master plan—is allowed to proceed at all before any progress at all has been made on the master plan.  On the flip side, when review of the master plan does begin, it should not be revised in a fashion just to accommodate this application.  That’s certainly more of a danger if you allow this application to proceed.”

“What example are you providing residents,” Greene asked, “if you: one, don’t protect their neighborhoods as zoned; two, don’t follow the prescriptions of the master plan; and three, don’t stand by your promises to the residents of New Castle?” 

Town Board has authority to “Stop this now”

“Finally, as your legal counsel will tell you, it’s well within the legal rights of the Town Board to refuse to entertain an application to petition for a zoning change,” said Greene, turning to Ward-Willis to ask, “Am I right?”

“Yes,” confirmed Ward-Willis, “that’s been mentioned a couple of times.”

“Again, we entreat you,” said Greene. “It’s not too late.  Stop this now.”

No chance to view the draft zoning amendment proposed by the developer

Theoretically, said Chris Roberta, nother Tripp Street resident, “this zone could ‘float’ anywhere in town.  It has the ability to affect the town, limited only by the text petition.”

“The document doesn’t go into the floating zone very much,” continued Roberta. “Seems like the spa is just related to this and the real meat-and-potatoes is the floating zone.  [In the scoping document] there’s only slight mention of the zoning amendment and 20 pages on the spa proposal.  We need a draft of that zoning amendment included in here.” 

“The applicant did propose the draft amendment text,” said Ward-Willis. “That text is what started this process.  It’s part of the record and it’s part of what the scope is examining.  It is available for you to examine at town hall.” [Days later the town did provide the text online.  To see it, click HERE.]

Roberta: “Once the scoping document is accepted as complete, will there be changes to that text?”

Ward-Willis:  “Yes. It is at this point a draft. It’s in town hall.”

Master Plan timeline v. Spa timeline

Roberta:  “[When it says in the scoping document,] ‘Analyze relevant recommendations describe project compatibility with the town development plan’— Is that the current master plan?  Or the revised plan? You need to clarify that.”

“The master plan review,” said Roberta, “has been indefinitely delayed according to the planning department. I know you’re looking to hire a consultant.  What’s the timeline? He was curious, said Roberta, whether the town intended to adopt a new master plan or use the current plan as guidance for the spa application, “because as soon as we close the comment period, this ship sails onward.”

“So if we close comment on this [spa scoping] before the ball gets rolling on the master plan,” said Roberta, “are we getting one ball ahead of the other?”

“All we’re doing now,” Ward-Willis assured Roberta, is the scoping document. “There will be more opportunity for public comment.”

“Stop the process now,” Greene asks

“Presumably your decision—yea or nay—will be based on the impacts,” said Greene. “And if the negative impacts cannot be mitigated and they are so severe that this should not proceed… My question is we have presented you with 15 years of documentation, studies that have already shown these negative impacts.  So can you tell us why this is proceeding in the face of obvious impacts that have been shown to be not able to be mitigated and will have these kinds of damaging effects on the neighborhood and the town?”

Greenstein: “Dr. Greene, as compelling as your arguments are, the applicant has a right ...”

Greene:  “No. No, the applicant does not have the right ...”

Greenstein:  “... doesn’t have the right to try to change the zoning?”

Ward-Willis:  “The applicant has submitted a petition and the town board is entertaining that petition and the applicant has the right—now that it’s being entertained—to go through the SEQR process and present its point of view.”

Greene: “Back up a sentence.  You’re saying that the applicant has the right to come before the Board and have a zoning change application pursued.  That is not the case.  Once the board has decided to entertain the application—and the board had the right to not entertain it—then the applicant has the right to pursue the investigation of their application. But it is within the Board’s right to not entertain the application for a zoning change.”

Greenstein:  “Well, we’re going to entertain it.”

Greene:  “OK, then I’m asking why.”

Ward-Willis:  “Because there’s a process in place which allows the applicant to address all the concerns that you have articulated during this scoping session. The applicant has the right to submit its own studies and say that it can respond to those studies and you’ll have a chance along with the public to say they have not responded—and the town’s consultants will be reviewing it. There is a process that the applicant is also entitled to due process.” 

Greene:  “The process is there because you are permitting them to proceed with this. You, as intelligent board members, which we all believe you are, have the capability to say ‘Look we have the answers to these questions already. Therefore there’s no point in wasting the applicant’s money, the time and energy of the board, the anxiety it’s causing the whole neighborhood, the potential impact on housing values during this whole process.’ Go and look at some of the documents from the [environmental impact statements] and see that these impacts are not mitigatable—and those kinds of things are not going to change, they’re only getting worse. You say it’s being entertained, but it is not their legal right to have the request for a change in zoning to be entertained.”

Town Board’s process will be open and transparent

“This Board has made no promises to the developer,” said Town Board member Lisa Katz.  “You know about this process what we know about this process.  It’s very transparent. We’re going to look at every comment and every issue that comes before us and make a decision.”

“Just like we’re giving the community the chance to voice your concerns,” said Brodsky, “we want to give the developer the same right because they’re a potential member of the community.  We should have an open mind and listen to their concerns and make a decision.  I think they’re entitled just like you are to do the studies and have their concerns heard.”

“I’ve been through many SEQR processes,” said Town Board member Elise Mottel. “We’ll look at the material and study it.  That’s what we’re doing now.  We’re trying to examine everything to hear both sides and make a decision.”

“I’ve been in your seat too, opposing the Town Board,” said Greenstein.  “Better for you to focus on the septic, which is a real problem.  For you to say we shouldn’t consider it is crazy.  We should consider it.  Pick your battles.  As someone who’s been fighting the town for years, I’m passing on my wisdom.”

“Nothing has happened, nothing will happen without the residents being involved and open and informed,” said Brodsky. “We’re going to do everything in our power to hear every opinion.” 

Who’s zoning amendment is it?

“The applicant has prepared a text amendment submitted along with their petition,” said Ward-Willis.

“If [the developer is] going to be offered the opportunity to help bias the town in how that’s written,” said Kay, “I’m asking that you also allow all of us.  I feel they’re kind of feeding you what to write and it will perfectly match what they want.”

“The town has a zoning ordinance,” explained Ward-Willis.  “The town could propose a change itself to that ordinance, or the zoning can be changed a second way: the zoning ordinance can be modified by a property owner requesting that the town board amend the zoning ordinance.  For the town to entertain that petition, the applicant has to show what it is he wants the town to consider.  So the drafting the applicant has done has to be done by the applicant.  There’s been no examination of it yet.  Setbacks, height—they all have to be considered.  And the public is involved in that.”

Town of New Castle Board Meeting 2/11/14 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.


Comments(29):
We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

Mr. Greenstein should answer the question as to WHY , in light of all of the existing studies,
this application should go forward.
What in the world does “pick your battles” mean ?  Mr. Greenstein is lacking in credibility.

By WHY ? on 02/18/2014 at 4:33 pm

Agree with Why. Does anyone know what the protocol is for removing a Supervisor or board members from office?

By Need to act on 02/18/2014 at 8:25 pm

I think he just meant that they are considering the proposal and the SEQR should deal with the environmental impacts, which are many and really in some cases impossible to solve.

By LD on 02/18/2014 at 8:28 pm

Greenstein’s advice was quite sage.

By duh on 02/18/2014 at 8:35 pm

@duh,

Sage ?  Really, what are you cooking ?

By really ? on 02/19/2014 at 10:24 am

Greenstein said his team would plan first before developing, and that EVERY neighborhood would be important.  But now that he is elected- all that is out the window.  Its not in his neighborhood or in Lisa Katz’s neighborhood so now its clear there was no promise to respect other people’s neighborhoods. I just wonder how many developers Mr Ward Willis’s law firm represents.  The Town Board has no obligation to consider a change in the zoning, so if the Town Board has no obligation to consider it, how does the applicant get a right to pursue it? The only “right” comes from the town board deciding to do it, not from the developer having any right to expect it. And they should be ashamed of being such hypocrites.

By Really? on 02/19/2014 at 12:51 pm

@Really,

Watch last night’s planning board meeting. The board is laying the groundwork for (master) planning to come before this development. It will play out that way. The rest is a charade. And as for hypocrites, the spa area is full of NIMBYs who only want development somewhere else. They are your hypocrites.

By duh on 02/19/2014 at 3:33 pm

It is a good project because most of New Castle does not have access to this wonderful property. It is a property whose beauty is and has been hidden from all to see. Placing a SPA on this property makes 100% sense. I hope it truly becomes a place to go to that can provide a day or a weekend of elegant pampering and relaxation. Lets show the world that New Castle is capabable of moving forward with a project like this, and in return for a quick approval, lets offer it into the record that this developer must provide community gifts before starting construction on his project. We need an Olympic size swimming pool, official hockey rink, five (5) new basket ball courts, four new soccer fields, tennis courts, and an additional base ball field with stands. Lets ask this developer for $5.0m in community gifts in exchange for giving him his approvals before August 2014 - Do you think he would go for it? String this developer out like CC and you waste away the ability for New Castle to get and receive community gifts that can serve the children of New Castle for the next 100 years. Team Green do you know how to horse trade? Do you know the importance of time vs. money? Do you understand that you can’t convert lead into gold? Do you know that you can convert saved time and speedy approvals into gold? If the residents around this project want to stop it, put the burden on them to stop it, but as a Town Hall you should move forward to approve. I would get Kirkwood and Curley to head a special task force to get this project approved ASAP - they can get it done, and before August 2014! We need this project, it is good for the area, it is good for the prestige of the area, it is good to further attract high dollar home buyers. This project is just a good project at the right time, and in the right place, needing the Town to just do it!Bring this property back on to the tax rolls.

By Go forward! on 02/19/2014 at 6:28 pm

I’m glad you want a spa, let’s put it in YOUR backyard!!!!!!!

 

By outraged neighbor on 02/19/2014 at 7:44 pm

Not everyone has backyards the size of yours.

By duh on 02/19/2014 at 8:34 pm

Homeowners have a right to keep their residential areas safe from commercial projects like this. You just don’t go around rezoning residential areas “just because” some developer from NJ feels a hotel and spa should go up there. This is not against commercial development… it’s all about building commercial developments on land zoned for residential use in residential areas. NIMBY? You betcha! That’s why towns have master plans, and zoning. Otherwise, why would anyone buy a home in this town when they can take away all that you love about it with a single arbitrary decision? 

As for the town planning board, they do seem to “get it” and really should be leading this whole thing, but sadly they are not. The town board nominated themselves as lead agency, and have already told residents in the last hearing that they will not be waiting for the master plan to be completed first. I hope you are correct, but the town board recently said otherwise.

As for hypocrites, look no further than the town board. They ran on a campaign of putting planning before development, and now there is NO planning at all. Just commercialization in a residential zone to the benefit of a developer from NJ - at the expense of town residents and the town overall.

By residents have rights too on 02/19/2014 at 11:28 pm

I am convinced that there is something political at play here. That is the only reason I can come up with why the town board is even considering this project. There does not seem to be any other explanation because this is bad for the residents, environment, traffic, it would damage the character of the town and the tax benefit sucks. Nobody wins here except the developer.

By politics over people on 02/19/2014 at 11:36 pm

At duh,

Fool!  It is YOUR backyard!  Àll of New Castle IS your backyard.  Wait til the house prices start dropping because of all this bad development by greedy developers!

By Wake up! on 02/20/2014 at 9:46 am

@Wake up!,

Fool???? Nice talk my friend.

Proper development will raise all property values. Even property owned by the ignorant.

By duh on 02/20/2014 at 12:46 pm

“I am convinced that there is something political at play here.”

You mean Conifer?

By bob on 02/20/2014 at 12:48 pm

Where else in New Castle could you locate a SPA in such a beautiful and private setting? This property is the very right property to pursue.

By We need this project on 02/20/2014 at 7:21 pm

Who, exactly “needs” this project? The neighbors don’t. The residents of New CAstle don’t (we have “personal services” all around us and make good use of them. 

The only person I can think of who NEEDS this is the developer. It it the developer you’re thinking of? What a fabulous gift to him this would be!

By Who needs what? on 02/20/2014 at 8:01 pm

We need this project,

No, no, no !  We do NOT need this project.  Why in the world would you want to invade a lovely residential neighborhood with this ridiculous commercial project ?  BTW, it is not only a “spa”, it is a hotel and condo development.  Who are you thinking to please, save your own selfish wants ?

By we do not need this ! on 02/21/2014 at 10:53 am

@Who needs what?,

“Who, exactly “needs” this project?”

We the tax payers do. This land should not be given to its neighbors as a private preserve.

By tax relief on 02/21/2014 at 11:29 am

tax relief,

That property should be developed according to the existing zoning and master plan, which calls for 2 acre residential homes.  Period.

Are you at all familiar with the studies describing the unusually wet grounds ?  Or are you shooting from your uninformed hip ?

By respect zoning and master plan on 02/21/2014 at 1:21 pm

On the one hand our new town government wants to promote new business and development. The complaint has been that our town government slows things down and makes it difficult for renovation, expansion,  and development. We heard about Vinnie and his generator and Mr Brodksy/Greenstien campaign to change the status quo. We also know about Ms Katz vehement objections to CC. Lack of a master plan has been the excuse. Now we have a new development - The Spa. There is no way it can be fast tracked or approved without a master plan revision because that is what was used as an excuse (one of the many excuses) to prevent CC. If The SPa is fast tracked or even given strong consideration before the master plan revision than Summit Greenfield has more ammunition to sue New Castle.  I fine mess we are in because of the fervent anti retail at CC. It grinds to a halt all other progress. Curious as to why Ms Katz has not come out strongly opposed to this hotel/spa big parking lot, residential Spa project? Oh yeah - its not in her backyard! Katz and a Greenstein opposed all progress and all discussions that moved retail at CC forward. Now as town board members they are enabling this developer.

By What a joke on 02/21/2014 at 3:21 pm

The town board has boxed themselves into a corner. They ran a campaign primarily to block and oppose the developer at Chappaqua Crossing. They also ran a campaign to build out downtown (Napoli plan and Brodsky real estate holdings). They can not possibly approve of the Spa because it brings the same elements that they opposed in their neighborhood. Itr will change the character of the community, bring traffic bright lights, and present traffic/safety issues. The hypocrisy of Katz and Greenstein is INCREDIBLE. They stood opposed to all progress, all plans, any compromise with Summit Greenfield and here they are paving the way for The Spa. Didnt take them long to show their true colors and learn how to be sleazy politicians.

By Told you so on 02/21/2014 at 3:45 pm

This is not just a luxury spa….it’s is a 250,000 sq ft development with a restaurant, movie theater, 50 condos, 30 hotel rooms, gym, juice bars…do you get the picture?  I think some people picture a luxury spa but that’s not the case this is as big a commercial development as it gets and it does open the door for development in your backyard….whether you want to believe it or not.  I live next door to this and I know it won’t be vacant forever…that’s not the neighborhoods goals.  It is zoned for 2 acre residential homes…build those please.

By Tax relief?? on 02/21/2014 at 4:13 pm

For YEARS EVERYTIME Summit Greenfield came to our town with a plan, a revision , a request -Greenstein and Katz objected. We all recall vividly the claim that SG bought commercially zoned property and no zoning change should be entertained. Greenstein often said - too bad for the, ” they made a bad investment and we should not bail them out”. Katz evoked every fear mongering ploy under the stars. She cited noise, neon lights, traffic, school safety, mass shootings and property values.  Both of them obstructed all progress.  They regularly derided our town officials for cooperating and trying to compromise and find solutions. They also EVERYTIME admonished town officials for pushing forward with a master plan update.
Fast forward - they are on the town board now. The subject is the hotel/ spa

By They have no shame on 02/21/2014 at 4:17 pm

The hotel spa residential complex needs zoning changes. There is no master plan revision. There exists the possibility that traffic, noise, character of the community and property values in the area could be negatively impacted. Sound familiar????
A fair and reasonable person would expect Greenstein and Katz to be adamantly opposed to this development. Right? Wrong!,, we hear none of those same arguments none of those same objections now.  Of course not - for Katz this Spa project is not in her backyard. For Greenstein this Spa project does not impact his alliance and interest in the downtown Napoli plan.
They should be ashamed and embarrassed.. I recall Katz yelling at the town board for not listening to the people. What are the people telling you now Lisa?

By Continued.... on 02/21/2014 at 4:22 pm

Greenstein, when responding to the issue of entertaining the applicants request for a zoning change he says “Well, we’re going to entertain it.”. What a difference a few months make. Greenstein jumped up and down over and over year after year whenever Summit Greenfield requested a zoning change at Chapp Crossing. He criticized , admonished, and insulted the then sitting town board for entertaining such a request at CC. Now Greenstein is Town Supervisor and another developer proposes a plan to build a hotel, restaurant , spa, and condos in our neighborhood that will also require zoning changes. Now he says we will entertain the zoning request. I guess the plan a Legionnaires is not in his backyard nor does it interfere with his downtown aspirations and investment with Napoli.  And where is Lisa Katz in all this?.- she remains silent and on the sidelines. When a developer proposed zoning changes to build retail in her community she circulated petitions and cited safety, traffic, negative impact on property values, etc   She ran for town board to stop the developer at CC. But when it happens to us in our community she stays silent. I agree with another comment. They are all sleazy dishonest politicians only looking out for themselves.

By What a disgrace!,, on 02/21/2014 at 10:49 pm

It is sad that the town board would put their residents through this. And all for a “spa” that sounds more like a massive hotel and commercial district once you read the fine print. Ugh! I live across town from there, but i can only imagine how threatened these people feel.  Our home is our center. Our peace. If the town were to wave their magic wand and suddenly disturb that it would be devastating. I hope this board will get vocal on this soon, and in a way that demonstrate they have a plan, and that plan includes protecting their residents homes, neighborhoods, quality of life and the character of our town. Downtown Chappaqua, which is a joke, could use some help and that would also benefit our entire town. But if you start messing with our residential areas, then you are messing with our homes, families and lives. Don’t go there!!

By Sad on 02/24/2014 at 1:03 am

You could not even find where this property is. It is a parcel of property that presently does not pay any property taxes. There are no develppers that would want to chop this property up into being 10 building lots due to a Planning Board Chairman and his side kick that would keep an applicant frozen in an approval process for the next 3 to 19 years. We have no developers standing in line asking New Castle if they can have the opportunity to be abused and financially ruined by seeking to receive building lot approvals. So when faced with an issue like this religious property that pays no taxes, it’s either approve some kind of SPA project that makes all the sense in the world, or have the Town on their own dime carve this property up into buildable shovel ready building lots that can be auctioned off this year for $1.5m a piece. Each lot would have to accept an 8,000 sgft home or above and be equipped with five or above bedrooms with a swimming pool out back. Then we can have 10 house paying New Castle $900,000 in property taxes on an annual basis rather then collecting ZERO at the moment. Who’s for this unique Public Private solution - ANYONE, hi, anyone, anyone, hello??????? This is how you tell the SPA to get lost!

By Re: Sad on 02/24/2014 at 10:38 am

@ By Sad

I couldn’t agree with you more!!! Build up Downtown Chappaqua and leave our residential neighborhoods alone!!! How about a grocery store? More restaurants? These are things that are needed downtown.  What many of us love about this area is the peaceful/bucolic setting surrounding our homes, and close proximity to the business district. The last thing we need is to destroy our beautiful neighborhoods and open up a can of worms with the “floating zone” proposal.

On a separate note, I find it extremely frustrating that certain people think “the spa” benefits the community because we will be granted access to the 96 acre property, which has never been the case…OBVIOUSLY…that’s the definition of private property. There are plenty of beautiful places in New Castle, no need to create a massive complex on this property, located in residential zoning!

By Extremely frustrated on 02/25/2014 at 3:35 pm


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