L to E:  The “Main Street” design for Chappaqua Crossing has become a truck route

Tuesday, June 24, 2014
by Chuck Napoli

How a “Main Street,” the grand formal approach to the cupola building—the inspiration of the “neighborhood design” theme—was never a fit with the retail overlay zoning intention and wound up a truck route instead.

You​ might imagine that the redesigned “Main Street” at Chappaqua Crossing will be a place to find window-shoppers, strollers, merchants, and a healthy mix of public, cultural and private endeavors, right?

Not so. ​The zoning change that​ has been suggested for our town board to approve varies widely from​​ the Planning Board’s ​”​Traditional Neighborhood ​D​esign​”​ intentions, which were to form a civic way, a street as a place-in-itself, lined on either side by the components—the stores—of a Retail Overlay District​.  But here’s what happened:


•  First, the 80,000 sq.ft. of retail space accompanying the 40,000 sq. ft. grocery anchor was re-arranged with the same big boxes of retail—“junior anchors”—we saw in the strip retail center.  The placement of the buildings raised concerns from the Westchester County Planning Commission, which questioned why “...no pedestrian access to the buildings from Main Street has been provided.”

•  Second, Summit Greenfield then told us that these “junior anchor” big boxes weren’t so interested in being lined up along a “Main Street” instead of being visible across a big parking lot, so the concept moved toward allowing many smaller stores to line the “Main Street.”

•  And third, once the Town Board heard the “smaller stores” plan, right away Supervisor Greenstein called it a “non-starter”—and we’re back to unacceptable (according to the County’s ideas of “mixed use”) bigger stores for the “junior anchors” along a “Main Street.”

But neither plan for the “Main Street” layout —big stores or small ones—offers a match that reflects the formal and impressive Reader’s Digest main approach from Rt. 117 or the village-style activity of our existing hamlets.

The “Main Street”-type neighborhood design for the latest concept plan before our ​town and planning ​boards no longer functions as a neighborhood street; instead, it has become more of a service road for trucks to and from the uncontrolled (​= ​no traffic lights) intersection at Rt 117, ​a truck route through the heart of the wished-for Traditional Neighborhood—while the primary entry to the shopping center is navigated via ​the six-lane, signal-controlled intersection shared with the Horace Greeley High School main entrance at Roaring Brook Road.

Clearly the proposed concept plan will not function as intended.  It’s not a mixed-use neighborhood and there is no longer a village-type “Main Street.” The original Traditional Neighborhood Design idea has further degraded, in response to Summit Greenfield’s market pressures and tenant interests.  On “Main Street” you will now see what the County noticed: a total of only two doors for the “junior anchor” retail stores with parking behind them, and a vast parking lot with Whole Foods sitting at the back of it.

It’s time for those in the driver’s seat to stop and ask for directions, time to ask the locals how to get to “Main Street.”  They would direct you to the main streets of the Chappaqua town center and the Millwood hamlet – both places where we want the lights to stay on longer.


Comments(11):
We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

Who died and left you boss?  Let the people vote with their dollars and feet which is the only sure way to determine success. Petitions an do called experts have too much baggage and bias.  Armonk square village approach is successful beyond expectation. The other merchants have had boosts beyond their belief.

In the 1400’s conventional wisdom was that the world was flat.  But, natural order was otherwise. Natural order supports a supermarket, biased “experts” , who put their pants on the way we all do, also opine otherwise , outside natural order and expectations .

By Says you on 06/24/2014 at 2:29 pm

Here’s the disclaimer that everyone will soon be asking for:

Chuck Napoli is a developer who has spent considerable time and money over many years preparing a plan for redeveloping the Chappaqua hamlet. Supervisor Greenstein was a huge supporter of “Napoliville” until he wasn’t (or he still is). Anything Napoli says about Chaapaqua Crossing should be viewed through the lens of a high powered telescope perched on top of a massive concrete parking garage with a toxic turf replacement of Bell School’s natural grass field on top and the foul emissions from hundreds of cars below. The telescope will need to be aimed properly, since an oversized 5 story theater, which will most likely be vacant almost all of the time, will surely block any possible view looking north from South Greeley Avenue. His plan will require multiple variances, granting of easements from the property owners and will only be successful if he is able to rent out the stores he is building to the same despicable chains that would otherwise be defiling Chappaqua Crossing. It would destroy the rural feel of our lovely downtown, displace perhaps dozens of sorely needed banks, real estate offices and nail salons and turn Chappaqua into White Plains or Mount Kisco (because saying that Chappaqua would become more like Armonk, Katonah or Greenwich is not nearly as scary).

By West Ender on 06/24/2014 at 2:30 pm

Not including the one 18 wheeler per week for WF that arrives 6am, what trucks, which, of course will only be permitted to enter from the saw mill entrance, are your talking about?

UPS, Fed ex, delivery vans.  What about the trucks that will be delivering to the 111 homes?  Are you complaining about those trucks.

Pretext, pretext, pretext, NIMBY NIMBY NUMBY, agenda, agenda, agenda

By truck route really? on 06/24/2014 at 5:22 pm

Not sure where you are getting your info, but those of us who live in Chappaqua (or anywhere near by for that matter) know that commercial vehicles, including trucks are not permitted on the Saw Mill.  Also we know that trucks cannot make it under the underpasses on the Saw Mill. 

I would also love to know how you are able to say with such certainty that a Whole Foods store only receives one semi trailer per week.  Spend a morning in the parking lot outside any supermarket or grocer and watch all of the suppliers who make their own deliveries to the store each day.  Soda, water, snack foods, baked goods - the list goes on.  Also count the number of trucks that pick up refuse, recycling of various types. 

let’s have our discussions based on the real facts.  It was ridiculous to hear the SG traffic consultant tell the town last night that most shoppers would access the complex from the Saw Mill and/or the entrance on Roaring Brook facing Greeley.  He has no idea.  He also would not share the basis for his presumptions as to how much of the traffic (office, residential and retail) would use which entrance to enter and leave the Crossing.

By To Truck Route Really? on 06/25/2014 at 8:12 am

truck route really ?

Yes, really.  Whole Foods gets truck deliveries daily.  Trucks are not permitted on the
Saw Mill Pky.  Your post is rife with misonformation, but you believe what you want to believe.

It is you and your ilk who have the agenda, agenda, agenda.

By yes, really on 06/25/2014 at 3:02 pm

Like other grocery stores, including the former grand union and dagostino,  rte 117 truck route was used for that store.  Whole foods is two miles away on that same exact road using it the same way.  No net increase in 18 wheeler traffic. Regular, smaller trucks at 6 am really don’t count towards traffic , except for nimbys who insisted at the meeting that 5to 7 am and 9 to 10 pm “traffic” counts just as much as rush hour traffic.(a ridiculous , sand throwing point).To make anothet point,Nimbys “forget ” that the same 117 will be used if a grocery is built downtown (which it won’t be).

By 18 wheeler's once a week on 06/26/2014 at 8:44 am

My ‘agenda ’ can be summed up as follows: 1+1=2.  Meaning I deal only with truth, logic and calmness without sand throwing, silliness and threats. So yes, I indeed have an agenda, it is an insistence upon reality and what is best for the town as a whole.

You clearly believe that 1+1=3, which is your prerogative, but that does not make it so.

By Dear yes on 06/27/2014 at 8:06 am

The stream of deliveries to which you refer are ups sized trucks. The biggest are soda and beer delivery trucks.  Tell me another lie

By Dear truck route really on 06/27/2014 at 9:15 am

Dear Truck Route Really?

I’d like to invite you to come and sit on Lower King street during the day and count just how many trucks (much larger than a UPS truck) come barreling down Lower King to make deliveries DAILY and ALL DAY LONG to the village market.

I don’t know the first thing about grocery stores but I’m pretty sure that the requirements of a Whole Foods is tremendously greater.  Then to add on the deliveries to all the other facilities/stores that will be at CC how could one possibly make a statement like yours?

Maybe you should take a math lesson from Dear Yes above.

And one more point…..to all of you that love to tear down Chuck Napoli’s plan…..at least his plan was devoted to keeping our downtown intact as opposed to putting it out of business like CC will do.

By People are so ridiculous on 07/04/2014 at 2:01 am

18 wheelers navigate the hill on 120 to get to the chappaqua hamlet on a regular basis as well.  Anywhere there is commerce there will be trucks- and they ALL come down 117. If there are more stores there will be more trucks, whether the stores are in the existing hamlet or at Chappaqua Crossing.  But if New Castle wants a better hamlet- maybe Chappaqua Crossing is the best place for it.  And if not, then stop fretting about the “merchants” and stop with the shop local refrain.

By have you seen Greeley? on 07/04/2014 at 10:41 am

Ok, Just how many 18 wheeler trucks per day stop in front of or deliver to Village Market? I am calling your bluff.

By Dear People are ridiculous on 07/07/2014 at 8:00 am


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