Near to public hearing, Boards’ thinking on Chappaqua Crossing is all over the map

The public hearing on zoning to permit grocery and retail opens Tuesday, June 22 at 7:45 p.m.
June 20, 2014
by Christine Yeres

The public hearing on the proposed rezoning of Chappaqua Crossing to permit a grocery and retail opens officially on Tuesday, June 24 at town hall, 7:45 p.m.  Incorporated at the beginning of the draft zoning text is the change proposed to the Town Development Plan to make it match the change in zoning.  It reads:

Section 1. The Town Development Plan of the Town of New Castle dated November 1989 is amended to recognize, as originally anticipated in 1989, that the commercial real estate market is not supporting large scale office and research facilities and that to retain those existing facilities as part of a viable community and real estate tax base, those existing facilities may need to be adaptively reused and/or augmented by retail uses which support the continuing office and research uses and/or meet community needs.

The existing TDP didn’t exactly “originally anticipate” that retail might be needed.  But that’s the change proposed, since the Town Development Plan cannot disagree with town zoning code.

In the June 10 rehearsal for the public hearing (since it was not properly noticed in time, it was rescheduled for June 24) residents pointedly brought up to Town Board members broken campaign promises, the intent to file a lawsuit, unresolved traffic issues, the growth of the proposal since originally proposed, disbelief in the Board’s belief that its “hands are tied,” and questioned whether there should be retail at Chappaqua Crossing at all.  And although Supervisor Greenstein seems determined to approve the project as proposed, most of these questions are exactly the questions that Town Board and Planning Board members are asking themselves as well.

On May 20, when the Town and Planning Boards met for a Chappaqua Crossing traffic tutorial from the town’s traffic consultant Michael Galante [his May 2013 report begins on p. 13 of this pdf], members from each board were left with unanswered questions and resolved to have Summit Greenfield’s traffic consultant, John Collins, appear before them for the June 10 hearing.  Collins did appear and defended his traffic findings that had been based on 2008 studies: the grocery-retail plan most recently proposed will draw slightly less traffic than the one studied in 2013.  He did not, however, bring the developer’s computer program showing animated traffic flow on the roadways he studied.  He is expected to bring it on June 24.

[See Boards + residents struggle to understand Chappaqua Crossing traffic problems + mitigations, NCNOW.org, 5/30/14.]

Since Summit Greenfield submitted its new Preliminary Development Concept Plan showing all 120,000 square feet of retail in new construction rather than as reuse of existing office space and asking that the town’s limit of small stores to a total of four be eliminated, the members of the Town Board, Planning Board and residents have been scratching their heads trying to decide whether the new plan is, indeed, what the previous Town Board studied in its environmental review that ended in “Findings” last fall.

In November 2013, the outgoing Town Board considered Summit Greenfield’s changes significant enough to put the brakes on the legislative changes to the zoning and Town Master Plan.  Then three new Town Board members were elected, and new Supervisor Greenstein began talking with Summit Greenfield to find a “win-win” for the town and the developer.  (Greenstein’s idea to move town hall to the cupola building—whether in a trade, purchase or lease—is not part of the application the Town Board is considering for the grocery-retail rezoning and it has not been studied in connection with it.)

At this point in the environmental review process, the town’s Boards are permitted to question only the incremental difference in environmental impacts between the previous and latest plans, not reach back in time and open up issues dealt with in the previous completed environmental review.

On June 10 Summit Greenfield’s attorney, John Marwell, reminded the Town Board as much.  Addressing what seems to be the biggest source of questions from Board members and the public—traffic—Marwell referred to a letter he had sent Board members the day before in which he quoted from the “Findings” that wrapped up the previous Board’s environmental review in 2013:

“The Town Board believes that the economic benefits to the Town of allowing increased commercial use at the Project site—the only remaining major commercial site in the Town outside the hamlet areas—outweighs the negative impacts caused by increased traffic.”

Supervisor Greenstein has been describing the current Town Board as having had its “hands tied” by the previous Board’s Findings. “Findings,” however, speak only to environmental impacts of the proposal as measured during the review process. The proposal for 120,000 square feet of retail was described by the previous Town Board as “an outer envelope” or limit.  The review has examined the environmental impacts of retail space at Chappaqua Crossing up-to-as-much-as 120,000 square feet. The information—those measurements—are in; it’s up to the Town Board to decide whether to approve the project that’s proposed, some version of it, or none at all.

The Town Board has the authority to approve, alter or decline the project

Residents in the surrounding neighborhoods have pressed Town Board members and its lawyers to admit—or realize—that the Town Board has the authority to deny the zoning change.  They say that a review of the grocery idea floated two years ago is all Summit Greenfield is entitled to according to the settlement between the town and developer that pushed the “pause” button on Summit Green’s suits against the town.  No approval was promised.

In the June 10 meeting, Rita Tobin tried to drive home this point to Board members.  “The Board has tremendous discretion when making decisions that are going to have such a huge impact on the town as this one will.  I’m not anti-development—just anti-bad-development. This is not the project [to approve].” Summit Greenield’s lawyers “are telling you your discretion at this point is very limited.  It is not limited; it’s extremely broad.”

“Proposal creep”

Members of each board are still asking, “How did we go from ‘local grocery with some ancillary retail’ to ‘an anchor grocery of 40,000 square feet with twice as much—80,000 square feet—additional retail’?”  And in fact, although percentages of floor coverage and minimum and maximum stores sizes are mentioned in the zoning legislation, the “120,000 square feet” is not.

This is what developers do

Planning Board member Tom Curley, an architect, answered the question for Planning Board members in a Planning Board meeting of June 3, when he described how such things work in the world of developers: “an investor-developer looks at a piece of property and figures out what he can get on the property. There’s a ‘carrying capacity’ of the land, and the number that bubbled up from that was, apparently, 120,000 square feet.”

[See PB examines issues of traffic, big-store v. small-store, and questions retail use at CC, NCNOW.org, 6/7/14]

So what are the differences in the new plan, and are they of significant environmental impact to warrant more study?

The original plan had the grocery occupying existing buildings 100 and 200, “adaptive reuse” of some of the 662,000 square feet of office space that Summit Greenfield has maintained is difficult to rent.  In the new plan, all 120,000 square feet of retail is in new building, with, according to reported offers from the developer, a “trade out” of the same amount of existing office space.  Both Boards were skeptical that the value of this trade out deal was fair from the town’s perspective.

The disappearance of Building 100 would account for 40,000 square feet eliminated; the remaining 80,000 would possibly be eliminated by closing off basement/ground floor space (which Town Board member Adam Brodsky has called “unleasable” space) in the buildings north of the cupola Building 200.

The economic effects examined?  Kind of.

On June 16, in his first meeting as a Planning Board member, Michael Allen said, “I still have a lot of big-picture questions.  Has the Town Board—or this Board—considered whether New Castle or Chappaqua can in fact support a third town center?”

“The applicant has,” said Richard Brownell, acting Chair.

“I’m sure he has,” said Allen.

“The Town Board did as well,” said Town Planner Sabrina Charney.

“And they thought that was reasonable?” asked Allen.

“Yes, at the time,” said Brownell.

“It’s called the ‘Competitive Effects Analysis,’ available on line, if you’re interested,” said Charney.

“And in that Competitive Effects Analysis,” said Allen, “I’ll find what the economic or the . . . “

“You’ll find the need,” said Charney

“You’ll find what you find,” said Curley.

“They’ve analyzed the economic impacts to the existing two town centers?” asked Allen.

“I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say they’ve examined the economic impacts,” said Charney.  “They’ve determined that a third hamlet center would not, depending on what it was, would not impact the existing town hamlet centers.”

“... in any significant way,” added Brownell.

“Yes,” said Charney.

Traffic, the biggest issue

The trouble is that multiple, contradictory discussions are going on all at once.  Supervisor Rob Greenstein has toned down his vocal advocacy of the grocery-retail plan which included, for him, a swap or purchase in downtown Chappaqua, but still describes his hands as tied.  Lisa Katz seems to have taken the position that, as a new member of a board that has ultimate authority over approval or denial of Summit Greenfield’s application, she needs to be able to understand the environmental impacts of the project—especially the traffic studies—before the Town Board makes a decision.  There’s some question also of whether the new plan warrants more environmental analysis.

Meanwhile, Planning Board members are still looking over newest proposal for the site and the zoning legislation that the developer and the Town Board have proposed—the subject of a public hearing on Tuesday, June 24.  Critical of the grocery-retail proposal from the start, Planning Board members say they are still waiting for responses to questions they raised more than a year ago during the environmental review that’s now technically closed.

Redesign rollercoaster

Since to the Planning Board it looked as though both the previous and present Town Boards fully intended to approve retail at Chappaqua Crossing despite Planning Board reservations, the Planning Board sent its architect member, Tom Curley, to work to redesign Summit Greenfield’s original plan for a strip center along a single parking lot into a less objectionable, more neighborhood-y design oriented along a “main street.”  The Planning Board has said that Curley’s efforts should not be taken as an endorsement of the project.  In fact, Planning Board members are still questioning whether there should be retail development at Chappaqua Crossing at all.

But now a complication has developed from the redesign of the site along a main street.  According to Summit Greenfield, Curley’s re-working of the “strip center” plan into more of a village main street has had the effect of alienating the interest of “junior anchor” stores which are accustomed to standing shoulder-to-shoulder with other stores, all facing a parking lot.

Consequently, the newest version of the grocery-retail plan shows the larger spaces divided into spaces for smaller stores. While Planning Board members were conflicted over whether large stores or small stores at Chappaqua Crossing will harm the hamlets more—Curley calls the large ones “category killers,” stores that overlap with, and overtake, multiple smaller single businesses—Greenstein, seeking perhaps to approve the retail at Chappaqua Crossing yet show that he also intends to protect the downtown merchants, has called the unlimited-number-of-smaller-stores idea a “non-starter.”

So back to the bigger-box stores, which, according to a June 16 letter from the County Planning Department, is a less desirable layout, and contrary to “a more pedestrian-friendly, village-type street with buildings close to the street and parking in the rear.” The County is critical also of the strip-center-style parking lot for the grocery, noting “the placement of the Whole Foods building behind its own large parking lot would further erode the functionality of a ‘main street’ environment and significantly discourage walking between uses on the site.”

Planning Board members are trying to produce their comments for the Town Board on the proposed zoning change before the official opening of the zoning hearing on June 24, but may have more to add subsequently, they said.  And the content of the proposed zoning changes may change further depending on what the Planning Board has to say and as a result of the public hearings.  For the full text of the zoning amendment, click HERE.

Planning Board Monday June 16, 2014 to discuss comments to Town Board on Chappaqua Crossing zoning legislation:

Town of New Castle Planning Board Meeting 6/16/14 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.

Town Board meeting (failed public hearing due to notice, but conducted as a hearing) Tuesday June 10, 2014 with Summit Greenfield traffic consultant John Collins:

 

Town of New Castle Board Meeting 6/10/14 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.

Joint Meeting Town Board and Planning Board with traffic consultant Michael Galante Tuesday May 20, 2014:

 

Town of New Castle Joint Town & Planning Board Meeting 5/20/14 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.


Comments(98):
We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

I watched the painfully long town board last week. It was the same parade of NIMBYs with same old arguments. But the more they talk the mote they twist themselves in knots Example-
Upon hearing from the developer that they were asking for a change – they want us to lift the small store restriction- Lisa Katz responded by asking for more data and more studies on how this small store change would impact downtown. Rob Greenstein then turned to Katz and said “the town is not inclined to grant the change so why do we need to study something we are not going to do?” Katz response “because I want to know”.
This a perfect example of stall and obstruct. It is waste of tax payer money and time. Katz intends to continue the delay and stall tactics by requesting to study the outcome of something that the town board has no intention of allowing! Lisa Katz and the NIMBYs continue to throw obstacles in the way of progress. This is a perfect example of the ammunition that Summit Greenfield has against the town of new castle should they reinstate a lawsuit.
In earlier presentations by the developer, a 60,00 sq ft supermarket was proposed. The NIMBY/Katz objection then was that this size building would invite a Stop & Shop or Shop Rite type supermarket. They objected to this type market because it was too biig and low quality. These type markets, they claimed were too pedestrian -not for our community. Now the developer has landed Whole Foods and the building is smaller to 40,000sq ft. NOW the NIMBYs complain that Whole Foods is so good, so popular that it will attract people from other towns. Duuh! They worry that if the wrong stores come in and fail we will be left with an empty development. When presented with a great tenant they complain it will be too popular! NOTHING will please them. Ignore them and lets build this.

By Fed up on 06/20/2014 at 2:15 pm

To Jessica Reinmann, Rita Tobin, Fleischer, Gladstone Bros. and other NIMBYs that wasted everyone’s time at the town board meeting, repeated the same and said nothing new – I am still amazed that you continue to bash Greenstein as if he personally betrayed you. Like you, I voted for Greenstein. I voted for him because he promised to be a tough negotiator and bring residents an acceptable outcome. I was fed up with Carpenter and believed she was played by Summit Greenfield. I felt she caved. Rob promised to be tougher and based on his aggressive demeanor (sometimes too aggressive) I believed him. On multiple occasions he said (letters, comments, in person) that he believed Whole Foods would be great at CC. He took credit for the idea. I voted for him because I agree that Whole Foods would be great at CC.
You folks only seemed to hear the Rob Greenstein of 2 years ago when he took the position that SG bought commercially zoned property and we should not change zoning. That was NOT his position in the months preceding the election and not the platform he ran on. He spoke of land swaps with SG- moving Town hall to CC. He spoke of getting SG to provide a gym, pool, and recreational facilities. He did not run to stop retail / Whole Foods at CC. Then you all come to the Town Board meeting and lambaste the guy. I am not RG- just a resident who has watched you all monopolize and dominate every town board meeting I watch. And you have hijacked our government with your selfish agenda.

By Resident on 06/20/2014 at 2:21 pm

Here are some examples of the selfish and embarrassing NIMBY behavior from last TB meeting. Besides wasting everyones time, they unknowingly are providing Summit Greenfield with additional fodder should they reinstate legal action against the Town of New Castle-
One NIMBY repeated the fear mongering that if retail gets built at CC and fails we will be left with a ghost town. Then other NIMBYs complain that Whole Foods is too popular and will attract regional shoppers. So which is it – it will fail or be too successful?
An early retail plan included 60,000 sq ft supermarket and they complained that it would be the home to a Stop&Shop; type market. That was too big they complained and the market not upscale enough. Now we have Whole Foods at 40,000 ft and they complain its too popular.
Upon hearing the developers request for a change to small store restrictions , Lisa Katz suggested more studies were needed. Greenstein responded that the TB was not inclined to grant this request so there is no need for studies. Katz insists studies be done because she “wants to know”. Think about this absurdity. She wants the developer to provide additional studies (time consuming and expensive) for something the town has no intention of allowing them to do. She wants to study the effects of a change we will not grant. This is our deputy supervisor- heaven help us.
Jessica Reinmann brings blown up photos of whole Foods in White Plains, Portchester, and Yonkers as if to demonstrate that is what WF at CC will look like. Really Jessica – says who. Why not bring a photo of a sewage treatment plant and say it will be at CC too?
cont….........

By long time Chapp on 06/20/2014 at 3:26 pm

continued…......

One more-
Whole Foods has been highly innovative and community friendly in many areas in which they conduct business. WF plans for CC include a small adjacent farming area to grow fruits and vegetables to be sold in WF Chapp. In other communities where they grow on site they work with local students teaching them to farm organically. I expect they would do that for Greeley kids too. And what was the NIMBY response when this idea was floated last week. Katz suggested that since the produce was being sold the farming area should count towards the 120,000 sq ft of retail. No Ms Katz, the food is grown on that land but it is sold in the store. And that means fewer delivery trucks because what is grown next store can be picked , washed, and sold at WF. Other NIMBYs want “environmental studies” as if this is going to be some big working farm with tractors and pesticides- its not. It will be great for our community. Here they are turning something wonderful and trying to find and invent problems.
It is clear from these few examples that there is nothing that will make these people happy. All they are doing is preventing the rest of us from getting something that can be great. 

By long time Chapp on 06/20/2014 at 3:28 pm

Oh great! Another public hearing on retail at CC. It seems like every town board meeting is a public hearing on this subject including last weeks meeting. It was 3 hours of the same people grabbing the microphone and repeating the same false claims and the same emotional arguments. We heard about ambulances getting stuck on 117, truck traffic, decline of property values, blah blah…why should we expect next weeks hearing to be any different. This small selfish group is trying to prevent progress and prevent this improvement to our community. They berate current elected officials as they berated the last town board.
I have every expectation they will be at it again. The silent majority will not attend and be subject to their disrespectful behavior. So expect the usual suspects whining and complaining insulting and exaggerating. I’d rather do the laundry.
I hope and trust that our town Boards understand and recognize that many people are excited for Whole Foods and this town square designed facility. Please to not get bullied. The cost and consequences of not proceeding far out weigh the threats from these people. Let them bring their lawyers. We stand more to lose if the developer sues us.

By Chappmom on 06/20/2014 at 3:53 pm

To the town board- I will not be attending the public hearing next week. I can not for the life of me think of a reason to endure what will surely be another display by the NIMBYs. There is nothing left to say. They have thrown out every possible obstacle and come up with every reason , most not based in fact and reality, to block stop and obstruct this development. Now one of them sits on the board- good luck with that.
I saw last week where a nimby threatened ethics charges against one TB member. It was shameful.
I speak for the many when I say we want a well designed multi purpose facility that includes Whole Foods and ancillary retail.  We expect that hours of operation and traffic concerns be mitigated.
We will not be present and subject ourselves to the cat calls and bullying that this group has been doing for years. Just know that the community at large supports this development and the big mouths a few dozen residents should not and can not stop this. The town board was elected to use best judgement and serve all of the community.
Thank you for your service. And thank you Christine and New Castle media.

By RayJ on 06/20/2014 at 4:40 pm

I am waiting to read the expected rants

By Nimbyfest on 06/20/2014 at 5:23 pm

@ RayJ,

And how do we know that the community at large supports this development ?

By ?????? on 06/20/2014 at 5:40 pm

I hope the new guy can read the Chappaqua Crossing “map” and notice the proposed retail plan is a retail power center looking for a neighborhood; designed as a main street with no doors for people to use and any further embellishment, other than a complete make-over, to make it function as a Traditional Neighborhood will harm our existing town centers.

What the actual AKRF Chappaqua Crossing Competitive Analysis concludes:

Shopping Center versus Town Center (main street or TND) Layout.

In terms of retail layout, both layouts would introduce a grocery store use Anchor tenant and several larger-format retail stores, the uses within those stores would be similar, and as described above there would be some retail overlap with either layout. However, from a competitive standpoint the “town center” layout (Curley’s) would have greater overlap in the manner in which it functions in the community.

The town center layout would compete for residents’ leisure time, as it would provide open space and other amenities that would draw users to the space and promote lingering. While this “place making” has its advantages from urban design and neighborhood character perspectives, it would more directly compete with the function of the hamlet centers, rather than providing a complement to Chappaqua’s walkable downtown and neighborhood-scale retailing through its larger space and more auto-oriented shopping. Consumers use both “types” of retail experiences but presently the Town is limited to only its hamlets.

AKRF - Larger-format stores.

From a retail market/competitive perspective, larger-format stores would notoverlap as directly with retail pro ducts and offerings within the Town’s existing retail inventory,which could minimize potential competitive effects. Rather, such stores would compete for sales with similar larger-format stores outside of Town that are currently meeting a segment of local consumers’ demands

By Part 1 on 06/20/2014 at 6:21 pm

AKRF - Smaller-format stores (four stores between 1,500 and 5,000 square feet in size).

Based on AKRF’s assessment of local retail conditions and national trends, the limitation on smaller-format stores would reduce the potential for retail overlap within neighborhood retail and service categories, which have a strong presence in the hamlets.

AKRF also agrees with allowing a small subset of retailers to operate in a smaller format(according to draft legislation, four stores between 1,500 and 5,000 square feet in size). This allows for minimal, but essential provision of basic neighborhood goods and services to help meet the day-to-day needs of Chappaqua Crossing residents and workers

The Whole Food’s Anchor is the “category killer” for the hamlet’s and a magnet for the vehicle movements to and from the region; the traffic problem is the result of a mad idea to propose a grocer ( a misnomer) and 120,000 sq.ft of retail (where did that number come from anyway?) at the digest site.

By Part 2 on 06/20/2014 at 6:22 pm

AKRF- However, given the numbers of major grocery stores in the

surrounding area, including the 10-minute drive-time of Chappaqua Crossing, a smaller-scale

grocery store would also be a viable use that would meet the needs of the local (underserved)

market area. Locating the market downtown is the better choice along with the smaller-format retail that’s trending to 3000 sq.ft. brick and mortar spaces.

By Part 3 on 06/20/2014 at 6:23 pm

This is better than a soap opera.  Every week a new exciting episode that involves the new town board.  If it is not CC, it is the town administrator controversy or the latest news about the train station. In this week’s episode we hear about the possibility of moving Town Hall. If the town board is really interested in helping local business, stop making negative headlines.  It is not helping New Castle’s image.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Concerned Citizen on 06/20/2014 at 7:01 pm

Dear Jessica Reinmann - your threat to bring your lawyers only further sets you and your neighbors from the rest of the community. So what is your threat? You going to sue our town board, block retail at CC , which triggers a lawsuit by Summit Greenfield making claims against all tax payers. Great ! We all thank you very much.
You spoke 3 times at this TB meeting. First you told us the touching story of how you and your husband were prepared to move if Team New Castle lost. But they won so you decided to stay put. Your rant included your disappointment at some board members for betraying you. The third time you spoke , you grabbed the microphone out of turn and challenged Greenstein when he said he had for months supported Whole a Foods at CC. You claimed he for not say that. You said it was his wife he quoted. So here you go Jessica,
On June 24, 2013 Greenstein wrote this. “One year later, on March 16, 2012, I wrote a letter stating that we should foster a working relationship with Summit Greenfield as we take each other’s interests into consideration.  I suggested a high-end specialty grocery store – like Whole Foods - at Chappaqua Crossing.”  He wrote “I believe Whole Foods will be coming to Chappaqua Crossing.  I also believe most residents – including my wife - would be excited about a Whole Foods at Chappaqua Crossing.” http://www.newcastlenow.org/index.php/article/index/new_letter_to_the_editor_move_town_hall_and_police_to_chappaqua_crossing

By Resident too on 06/20/2014 at 8:20 pm

I applaud Katz for wanting to study the small store issue. Summit Greenfield is changing what they are asking for AGAIN.  The delay is theirs, not hers. She seems to understand what the planning board is asking too. Will small stores help or hurt downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods? I for one think the Board should know the answer to that question before making a quick judgment.

By Katz is doing her job on 06/20/2014 at 9:20 pm

Hey “Long time Chap”-congratulations to you for demonstrating your ignorance without any help from your audience. You said it perfectly…..it’s a lose/lose proposition. If the retail stores should fail, we’re left with a ghost town and a hefty bill. If it’s wildly successful, well then welcome to downtown White Plains. I don’t know you but am willing to bet that you don’t live too close to proposed space. Another selfish player….

By I'll say it again on 06/20/2014 at 10:01 pm

To Katz is Doing Her Job- clearly you miss the point. Katz wants to study the effects of something that is not going to happen. Why not study the impact of an airport or sports stadium at CC? If the request by SG is going to be denied that means it is not going to happen. If it is not going to happen why waste the time and spend the money?
For you NIMBY Katz is delaying and obstructing so of course you think that is her job.
I thought the deputy supervisor of New Castle job is to serve all New Castle residents.

By Resident on 06/21/2014 at 6:15 am

Jessica- you can still move. Nobody is forcing you to stay. We are all very tired of hearing from you and your neighbors repeating over and over unfounded and unsubstantiated claims. 2 studies have been conducted. Environmental studies done and traffic experts consulted.
I look forward to Whole Foods. They are an environmentally friendly company. They are innovative bringing fresh organic foods to the communities they serve.  They employ many included teenagers. The food is healthy Prepared foods terrific and a great salad bar!!!

By Try the WF salad bar on 06/21/2014 at 6:42 am

Four boards over ten years have botched the handling of this property. And now they’re telling us the review has taken too long they’re out of time. Our town is out of time.  This is what developers count on - boards that think they can handle this kind of deal, lead agency boards like our town board who want the promised, supposed revenues so much that they ignore the advice of their planning boards.

By Town board sells our town on 06/21/2014 at 7:36 am

To I’ll Say It Again - There you go again with the NIMBY lie and distortion. You only see 2 extremes- a ghost town or “downtown White Plains”. NOTHING suggests that Whole Foods at CC will have anything like downtown White Plains! NOTHING! I wont waste my time trying to explain the difference between the CITY of White Plains and CC.
You folks monopolize every town board meeting, you circulated a petition full of lies, you poisened the survey by stuffing the ballot box, you fear mongor and make up outcomes that will not happen. Then you call those of us in favor of retail at CC selfish- hah!
There was no guarentee Readers Digest would live forever. The property is 110 acres NOT zoned for residential. Readers Digest built there precisely because of access to a parkway, public transportation (railroad) and truck RT 117. You prefer an empty parcel at the expense of everyone else. You expect that the rest of us turn this into your own private sanctuary and nature park. The community at large is firmly behind a Whole Foods at CC. Give us credit that we are sensitive to traffic and hours of operation and that town officials will make sure those elements are properly addressed. But then again nothing will satisfy you as the lies, exagerations, fear mongoring, whining, emotional outburts and disrespect will continue at the next public hearing.

By so who's selfish? on 06/21/2014 at 7:38 am

What bill are we left with? A developed ghost town pays more taxes than the current undeveloped ghost town. The 111 new homes insulate it against failure.

Also, what area of white plains are you referring to? That is not the good comparison because you need a car to get to CC which lacks the public transportation which white plains has. The apt comparison is Greenwich.

You flatter yourself. CC and chappaqua are nice but just not THAT nice to bring droves here. Cripes it’s only a supermarket etc. it’s not Woodbury commons

Yes you are right, the white plains crowd will stop shopping at their whole foods and drive 25 minutes to shop at ours. Sheesh.

By Dear I'll say it again on 06/21/2014 at 7:52 am

The neigjborhood destroyer is the 111 homes. Those kids will be ‘exploring ’ their new back yard and neighborhood ending up in Jessica’s back yard.  She should save her blow up photos and use them to scare away her new neighborly intruders

By Wrong focus on 06/21/2014 at 7:57 am

Our Downtown is not walkable. Armonk square is the walkable model. The “1,2,3” nimby commenter who argues that CC “kills” “walkable” downtown is just making this stuff as he goes along. Pure sand throwing

By We are a driving town on 06/21/2014 at 8:04 am

Speaking about maps, one might think the “Main Street” of Chappaqua Crossing is a place for shop keepers windows, shoppers and the civic way, right?

Well, from what has been presented, “Main Street”, the main idea and main entry to the retail project is no longer the formal stately gate house approach off Rt 117 but instead through the 5 or 6 lane signaled intersection shared with Greeley High School traffic at Roaring Brook Road.

The “Main Street” approach off 117 which the County Planning Commission noticed “....no pedestrian access to the buildings from Main Street has been provided”, and can no longer serve as the “main” concept.

The plan for a “Main Street” neighborhood of the Preliminary Design Concept Plan before our boards is not functioning as intended; instead, the “Main Street” has become a service road off an uncontrolled (no traffic lights) intersection at Rt 117, a truck route through the hoped for Traditional Neighborhood.

Clearly the Preliminary Design Concept Plan is not functioning as intended; it’s not a neighborhood, there is no “village-type”“Main Street”; the original idea got lost along the way and it’s time to ask for directions; time to ask the people how to get to “Main Street”.  And I think the answer you’ll hear is that they want their “Main Streets” in Chappaqua and Millwood.

By Mr. Rogers on 06/21/2014 at 9:27 am

Heaven help us - another public hearing on Chapp Crossing. The NIMBYs will be out in full force as they were to stop block obstruct all plans for the past 8 years. Houses and condos were opposed- after 6 years a watered down 100 condos approved leaving the developer no choice but to seek other uses for the property. Subdivisions for homes rejected. Age restricted townhouse type community for empty nesters shot down. Now retail at CC is proposed. Studies have been done and applications approved. NIMBYs complain about a strip mall so the developer changes the layout to a more pleasing town square. They still whine. A 60,000 sq ft super market was too big because it could become an A&P or Shop Rite. They don’t like that either. So the developer signs up Whole Foods which will occupy a smaller space - only40000 sq ft. Still the NIMBYs complain.
It is clear nothing will satisfy them but an empty or almost empty CC. The community loses tax revenue and misses a surely needed supermarket. I laugh when they call others selfish. Even a small tax gain is far better than the tax loss now and the guarenteed damages we will have to pay when SG sues.
I implore our town board to do the right thing by everybody in the community. This small loud rude disresptfutl and selfish group will most certainly be out in full force next week. Please know that most favor a Well planned and designed multi use facility. We are sensitive to the CC community and expect elected officials to adequatly mitigate traffic.  The majority will not be present next week and subject ourselves to the nimby harassment and emotional exaggerated claims. What is left to be said?threats of legal action by NIMBYs. That certainly will not go well with the rest of town. Talk about selfish!!

By Colossal waste of time on 06/21/2014 at 11:29 am

Has anybody come up with a parking solution for picking up students after school, because when there is a NO PARKING zone on Roaring Brook Rd I’m not sure what to do, same goes for graduation and sporting events. I don’t think CC will be willing to let us use the merchant parlking

By HGHS parking concern on 06/21/2014 at 3:28 pm

Agreed that downtown main st and millwood main street are desired. But also the CC main street. None of them are mutually exclusive.
Your ‘chicken little’ lack of pedestrian crossing over 117 theme, is a false one. The CC main street is an interior, developmental design to serve the 111 new homes (400 residents) and the shoppers walking from their cars. NO ONE will be crossing 117 to get there, except in your ‘assert-any-pretext-to-stop-the-development’ mind

By Dear Mr Rogers on 06/21/2014 at 4:25 pm

Mr Rogers raises an interesting, show stopping point: Doesn’t it matter that down town and Millwood are public streets and CC is a private street? Main Street USA (Chappaqua) is for the public at large and all that goes with it. The ‘main street’ (not capitalized, it is not a proper noun) in CC is only that, the main street.  So lets end the confusion and call it: “Cuppola Drive”

By a loaded questioner on 06/21/2014 at 4:41 pm

So who’s selfish: “town officials will make sure those elements are properly addressed”. Thanks for the vote of confidence but, given the constant reversals from the esteemed town board (vote for us=no retail at cc, ban on small store/boutique at cc, removal of ban on small store/boutique), I’m going to play it safe and not rely on them to protect me or my neighbors.  At least admit to drinking their kool-aid.

By I'll say it again on 06/21/2014 at 5:17 pm

The former Town Administrator of New Castle has been hired by Mt. Kisco. One of the ideas being floated about is the possible merging of services that are duplicates between Mt. Kisco and New Castle. My question is what services are they considering to be duplicates, and what services would they merge. Why would New Castle want to foster any association with Mt. Kisco. Why is it that everyone is trying to change what we have in New Castle or don’t have i.e. conifer, cc, the spa at New Castle. Is it true that their exist very high level talks about these two government bodies wanting to merge in an effort to reduce municipal cost and line item budget mandates. I for one like New Castle the way it is and would like it not to be entangled with such ideas. What say the rest of New Castle.

By Did you hear on 06/21/2014 at 5:42 pm

This matter has Critical Impact on all the members of the Chappaqua Community At-Large.
Has anybody thought to put this to a town vote?  Democracy in action.

By Jay Grossman on 06/21/2014 at 6:40 pm

Democracy in action is when our elected officials act in their elected capacities.  To have a town wide election-type vote upon actions of the elected officials would grind democracy to a halt.

By Dear mr grossman on 06/21/2014 at 9:57 pm

Merger of any duplicate services to save tax money is a fabulous idea.

By Dear did you hear on 06/21/2014 at 9:59 pm

The kids will be waiting for you outside of whole foods with the little bit of shopping they did for the household

By Highs parking is no problem on 06/21/2014 at 10:06 pm

This is an incredibly biased article.  Its clear the author has a very definite position in the this dispute.  Perhaps she owes to all of us to state clearly that she lives 500 feet from CC and is express a clear point of view when she writes.  Thus is an advocacy piece not journalism.  I am embarrassed for the author.

Editor’s Note:  Where’s the bias, Get Real?  Show me.

By Get Real on 06/21/2014 at 10:10 pm

The editor’s obvious bias is evident in the comments she chooses to censor. We are all watching.

Editor’s Note:  What comments, bob?  You know the routine: If you want to know why any comment of yours has been censored you need to contact me.  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

By bob on 06/21/2014 at 10:57 pm

Lisa Katz should sit in the audience for this public hearing. She is already committed to voting against retail at CC and all her questions and comments as deputy supervisor are meant to disparage the advancement of this project. She is not objective and offers nothing to the dialogue. As she did last board meeting she embarrasses herself.
I recall a few town board meetings last Fall when resident Katz yelled at and insulted the then sitting town board. She scolded them for not hearing residents. She repeadtly said she had ” not met a single person in favor of retail at CC”. That proves she is either dishonest or very out of touch with our community.  Now she sits on the board.  I hope she knows that many residents, most residents I know, favor retail and Whole Foods at CC. Following her assertion that nobody wants this, an informal survey was conducted online. It showed at least half wanted it and that includes the many Katz NIMBYs that voted multiple times. So if you allow that many surveys were bogus and opposed then the real number as a percentage goes up in favor of retail at CC.
Now that she is on the board I wonder how willing she is to listen to all residents not just her neighbors. After all she was the one doing the yelling about what residents want.

By Ronnie on 06/22/2014 at 6:34 am

To Jay Grossman and others who call for a vote, referendum, or town survey on retail at CC. Town officials are elected to serve the community. They are elected with the expectation that they use best judgement in making decisions.
We should not and can not take a vote on such matters that you deem a critical matter because there are many such matters and then we debate which ones are worthy of a vote town survey.
Some think the role of Town Administrator is ” critical” to our town. It’s a vital full time job. Should we vote for that person - conduct a survey? Those that live near Legionaries property think development there is a critical issue- wanna vote on that one too?
A few years ago we should have voted on the best size and design for the bridge at 120 - many think it was critical as gateway to downtown. Should we have voted to allow Wallgreens downtown. That’s critical too in the eyes of some.
Democracy doesn’t work that way.
I voted for Greenstein because he is a tough hard nosed negotiator who promised he would try to get a WholevFoods while pushing the developer to make concessions and provide community benefits and services. So far it appears Whole Foods and. Gym are coming to CC. Democracy in action.

By Resident on 06/22/2014 at 6:46 am

I just re-read the article. Where’s the bias? I am not surprised that YOUR posts are censored, given your history of illogic, blatant falsehoods and out and out silliness. Nevertheless, just as a stopped clock is right twice a day, every so often you do have something of value to contribute.

By dear bob on 06/22/2014 at 7:25 am

Greenstein’s friends are trying to bash Christine Yeres because he cannot get her to provide a positive spin for him and his team.  Keep up your efforts CY to provide us with your excellent reporting.  Rob and his crew cannot control you.

By article ok with me on 06/22/2014 at 9:05 am

Who is Bob?  By the way, I also like the downtown the way it is.  That’s why I moved here.  If I wanted a downtown like Mt. Kisco or Armonk, I would have moved there.

By Concerned on 06/22/2014 at 9:16 am

This past week you challenged me regarding one point stated in one of my posts, namely that SG stated, and it was reported, that SG was unable to lease much of its space due to obsolescence. You asked that I provide proof to back up that statement. I replied stating that I was repeating comments in prior articles and comments in NCN. THIS article contains another “inability to lease” report/comment. I write this comment to defend my posting and to show that, unlike many others, I do not make this stuff up as I go along.

Otherwise, you are impartial and fair, even if you do live close to the development. Truly, you are a “better man (woman) than I am Gunga Din”.

Editor’s Note: You wrote:  “Years of reports showed that the space is obsolete in terms of configuration and electronic capability. There were no takers at any price.” 

When I ask you “What reports?” you respond, basically, that the “reports” are in the articles and comments you have read here on NCNOW.  The reference to leasing difficulty that you mention appears in this article (above) reads—

“...office space that Summit Greenfield has maintained is difficult to rent.”

I put it that way—“Summit Greenfield has maintained”—because there is, I believe, no report that the public has seen—either from Summit Greenfield or the Town Board—that demonstrates the leasability of the existing buildings.  There is one instance of an eyewitness—Supervisor Greenstein speaking to the League of Women Voters with an update—reporting (but hardly “a report”):

“I was led to believe that the building is outdated and unrentable,” said Greenstein.  “But if you take a walk through it you’ll find it’s in great shape.  It’s a lot different than what I heard.  In fact, when they did an estimate for an overhaul, they came back with what we considered the Taj Mahal.  We said we don’t need a Taj Mahal.  The place is fine the way it is.  It’s beautiful.  Maybe [Summit Greenfield] just hasn’t made the effort to rent it.  Maybe they wanted to put pressure on us to rezone for them and they wanted to keep their commercial tax revenues down so they can keep their tax liability down, which puts pressure on the town.  I don’t know.  We have a really good working relationship with them now so I don’t want to make any accusations. 

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

By dear editor on 06/22/2014 at 10:04 am

Get Real:  Hmm, let’s see.  How about we start with the title of the article “all over the place”. 

Editor’s Note:  Yes, let’s start there.  I wrote “all over the map” (—not “place”—and it was supposed to be a kind of light note, because of the coming zoning—maps and such are involved—hearing).

Get Real:  You don’t think that title conveys an impression of disorganization, lack of focus and a incompetence?

Editor’s Note:  I’ll take your word for it that it gives you that impression.  I reported what the two Boards (and the County) are saying right now, a few days before the start of the public hearing.  It is accurate reporting.  And if you can’t tell that it’s accurate, you haven’t been watching the meetings.  But if you need so much to believe that your boards are functioning well (as your criticism of my headline implies), you’d better not watch the meetings. It will be a big shock to you.

Get Real: This article is unbelievable biased and if you can’t see it you really have no place holding your self out as a journalist.  Let’s face it, you live 500 feet from CC, you have been a vocal opponent of development (middle school at Greeley included) and your articles have increasingly become more and ore biased. 

Editor’s Note:  Let this serve, then, to remind people that I live between the high school field and the houses along Roaring Brook Road. 

Get Real:  I am fine with editorials expressing your viewpoint when they are labeled as such.

Editor’s Note:  I haven’t written one yet, but I may.  This comment has helped me to form my thinking.

Get Real:  However, i and I know many others are offended by a NMBY posing as an unbiased journalist. 

Editor’s Note:  Again, cite what you find inaccurate. 

Get Real:  The simple fact that you do not begin each article with your obvious conflict of interest resulting from your proximity to the CC site and the obvious negative impact of a strip mall in your property value completely undermines any effort you might make at being impartial. 

Editor’s Note:  Oh, so you believe that there will be an “obvious negative impact of a strip mall in your [my] property value?  I guess you weren’t impressed by the redesign from “strip mall” to “town center”?

Get Real:  This particular article is beyond the pale. 

Editor’s Note:  “Beyond the pale” how?  In the way you described above, that you get the impression from my headline that the Town and Planning boards are disorganized, lack focus and are incompetent?  Those are your words and your impression, not mine.  I reported that they are doing and saying.  And I stand by “all over the map” in my headline.  And again, “beyond the pale” how and where? Cite what you find inaccurate.

Shame shame Christne.

Editor’s Note.  None at all.

By Get Real on 06/22/2014 at 1:36 pm

Summit Greenfield NEVER tried to rent the space because they NEVER wanted to rent that space.  Historical and beautiful buildings across the country are repurposed to very good advantage. That was never what Summit Greenfield ever wanted to do.  Summit Greenfield is proceeding exactly as they planned with the aid of at least 3 inept administrations, including Rob Greenstein’s. He, as Susan Carpenter before him was never and is not up to the job.  He is an empty and noisy suit.

By resident on 06/22/2014 at 2:09 pm

I did not write that “this is an incredibly biased article.” It was “Get Real” who wrote that.

Please read more carefully.

By bob on 06/22/2014 at 2:26 pm

I also said that the media should examine the SG tax certiorari petitions as regard its attempts to lease the space.  That demonstration is an integral part of any request for commercial real estate tax relief . If it is silent with respect to unsuccessful attempts, that’s one thing( the petitions should not be granted). It attempts were made, investigative journalism should vet those sworn statements under oath.

By Dear editor on 06/22/2014 at 2:30 pm

Rob gushed over the space from a ‘move-town-hall-into-it’ perspective. To his ‘law office/town office’ limited viewpoint, it was perfect for that use. Dealing with SG for town use would not be at market value or at full arms length given the fact that they are or would be forced to deal with each other, more or less.

Leasing it out at market rate to the market is an entirely different story. The obsolescence and possible lack of state of the art electronic/electric capability is not acceptable to a potential tenant who can get it everywhere else. In other words, what would be acceptable for a town to move in to a signature, one of a kind iconic building (central to the town as a whole) is irrelevant to a market rate tenant.

At least, this is my uninformed take on the situation by simply reading the NCN postings and articles.

By Rob G and leasing problem reconciled on 06/22/2014 at 4:47 pm

First off, all those throwing the word NIMBY around, just replace it with another N word and maybe then you’ll understand how ugly you sound.  Is it really necessary to make your point?  Or perhaps your point is to display excessive anger and resentment.  These people have every right to protect their interests.  Those like Resident are wise to retain their anonymity as the window to their soul is not something that should be on public display.

Now in terms of bias, are you serious Christine?  My impression while reading this was that any attempt for this to sound like an actual article was completely dismissed.  While not quite an editorial, the way the information is presented, it is pretty darn close.

Editor’s Note:  Tell me what you find inaccurate.

By The N Word and Bias on 06/22/2014 at 9:45 pm

If the shoe fits, wear it, like it or not. They are NIMBYS, “not in my back yard” or would you rather, NOMDB “not over my dead body”. Yes it may be an ugly word to those whom it fits. Yes they have the absolute right to voice their opinions, protect their property and to be heard. But they are NIMBYS, like it or not. They are purely selfish, as is their right to be so. But don’t white wash what they are: people who don’t want a supermarket etc that the silent majority wants. People who don’t want the adjustment of development of a commercial piece of land that they moved next to with their eyes open and head buried in the sand.

The only anger comes from the NIMBYS. Yes, the silent majority has come to resent their childishness, falsehoods and pretextual claptrap.
That is as natural as the NIMBY selfishness (which they are entitled to feel). So stuff it!

You and they miss the larger point, that the 111 units including 20 affordable ones=350 standard residents and 80 “affordable” ones.
200 cars in and out every day and nite are the real threat to their lives (as it may be perceived that way)

Retail can be directed in and out of the Saw Mill entrance. The Stores cannot be seen from their homes.

Why don’t you repeat the big NIMBY lie in your post: “CC is smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood!” when in truth it is smack dab in the middle of train tracks, saw mill parkway, huge high school campus with administration building and on a truck route. Oh yes, next to one street. Sigh

 

By Dear N word on 06/22/2014 at 10:54 pm

Information can be conveyed accurately and yet the manner in which it is presented may lead different readers to come away with different opinions about any bias involved.

By bob on 06/23/2014 at 7:29 am

http://chappaqua.dailyvoice.com/news/foreclosure-auction-set-former-mount-kisco-borders

Retail is dead and dying. Building massive retail in this location is a huge mistake. The “developer” will sell this losing proposition as soon as he is able, just to cut his losses.

Take a long look at every town in Westchester, vacant storefronts are everywhere. Adding more to the mix will be a monumental mistake.

By Economics on 06/23/2014 at 8:39 am

I tried to look at the plans on line both at the town website and SG website. Interestingly, these plans are intentionally “user Unfriendly.” One example, it took me way too long to even determine which entryway went out to 117, which is my “NOT IN MY BACKYARD” area. Do those in favor of this development even know where the entryways into this development will be? That’s where the traffic will accumulate. I saw three with my untrained eye. One will open up across from our High School entrance, which is laughable if you ever dropped off a high schooler at 7:25 a.m. The second is on 117, directly across from a lovely and long standing Chappaqua neighborhood (Lawrence Farms East).  The third is on the Saw Mill, another joke if you have ever taken the parkway to work in the morning as I do. SOOOOO before you hop on the bandwagon of this massive retail development, PLEASE

By "East Entryway" Resident on 06/23/2014 at 8:45 am

Rob G. leasing,

Iconic buildings are repurposed across the nation to wonderful advantage.

By anonymous on 06/23/2014 at 9:34 am

Bias,

You are confusing complete and accurate reporting with bias.  Sometimes the facts speak for themselves.  There is no bias.

By no bias on 06/23/2014 at 9:38 am

NIGF how’s that? “NON Negotiators in good faith”

Or NWRTAA “Neighbors who refuse to allow anything”

Or NWHLASOPs “Newcomers who have lost all sense of proportion”

or NPBs “non-progress believers

Those are the only n acronyms that possible come to mind. NIMBY is not a word, it is an acronym. Soooo, what is the word you are talking about? Political correctness regarding CC is out the window. Come on, SAY IT!

By another N word on 06/23/2014 at 9:48 am

Retail dies not open until 9 or 10 am.  Whole foods opens at 8.
Another “chicken little ” hysterical falsehood.  Therefore there wil NEVER be retail traffic to the Greeley rush . 

The question I have is: Is the 725 poster deliberately lieing, a confused “chicken little” or just plain NIMBY (oops the n word )

By 725 am works on 06/23/2014 at 10:18 am

Alright Christine, you asked for examples.  To be honest, I actually think this goes well beyond the standard of bias, which in my opinion implies selective use of facts related to the event.  The below are examples of what appears to be an attempt to use facts (and some from past events) to sculpt an arguement, which I consider to be editorializing.  And for all you Einsteins out there that seem to think being factual somehow invalidates bias, think again.

“And although Supervisor Greenstein seems determined to approve the project as proposed”

“In November 2013, the outgoing Town Board considered Summit Greenfield’s changes significant enough to put the brakes on the legislative changes to the zoning and Town Master Plan.”

“The Town Board has the authority to approve, alter or decline the project

Residents in the surrounding neighborhoods have pressed Town Board members and its lawyers to admit—or realize—that the Town Board has the authority to deny the zoning change.  They say that a review of the grocery idea floated two years ago is all Summit Greenfield is entitled to according to the settlement between the town and developer that pushed the “pause” button on Summit Green’s suits against the town.  No approval was promised.”

“The economic effects examined?  Kind of.”

“The trouble is that multiple, contradictory discussions are going on all at once.  Supervisor Rob Greenstein has toned down his vocal advocacy of the grocery-retail plan which included, for him, a swap or purchase in downtown Chappaqua, but still describes his hands as tied.”

Editor’s Notes:  Sorry, but you’ll have to specify what is inaccurate in each of these.

By Examples of Bias on 06/23/2014 at 10:43 am

Editor Yeres- I am a big fan-grateful for your hard work and dedication on NCN. You have regularly reminding us that you live in the CC community. I have lived here long enough to remember your activism-objecting to a middle school at Greeley, turf/lights on Greeley and your opposition to retail at CC. It is difficult to be the editor and also subjugate your personal feelings. I commend your efforts.
This article does raise some eyebrows regarding objectivity as a reporter. I believe you were trying to construct a recap of events going into the next public hearing.
Your article is void of any supporting events and data in favor of the developer. There are 2 sides to a story. Left out are the studies completed and the multiple times the developer went back to the drawing board in order to accommodate residents and TB. You refer to changes the developer made as if they are trying to pull a fast one when in fact the changes were in response to suggestions made by us. Strip Mall was changed to town square.. 60,0-00 sq ft supermarket was downsized to 40,000. You took a virtue and turned it into a sin. You mention the SG traffic consultant but nowhere do you inform readers that he is a 30+ year veteran PHD who has worked on hundreds of such projects including retail with Whole Foods. He worked on DeCicios in Armonk and when asked about his accuracy he confirmed his projections were “right on target”. He is very credible. His credibility has already been dismissed by the NIMBYs- Katz because SG paid him but all consultants are paid by one party or the other. That does not mean their recommendations and data are invalid.
Continued…....

By Roger on 06/23/2014 at 10:57 am

Continued….
You omit the stall tactics and delays that our TB was responsible for. at last TB meeting Katz was asking SG for another study regarding small store impact. In an exchange with Greenstein she exposed herself as not at all objective. She wants a study evaluating effects on downtown commerce if we lift the small store restrictions. The TB /Greenstein is not going to allow this change so a study is irrelevant and moot. But she persists and you didn’t report it.
After reading your article twice, the reader is left with the impression that the developer has been unreasonable, making arbitrary changes, and being uncooperative and deceptive. There are 2 sides to this story and I only see the NIMBY side here.

By Roger on 06/23/2014 at 10:58 am

If retail is “dead”. Then downtown’s death is a given and no longer forms any part if the debate .

If it is dead , the SG will sell the project at a loss. That loss is no one’s concern.

We are left with: “to have and to have not”  whole foods or not.

By Where did you get your crystal ball? on 06/23/2014 at 10:59 am

I live on North Way in the heart of NIMBY country. We moved here 4 years ago and I guess we didn’t do our homework about Chapp. Only after we moved in did I realize I had to do grocery shopping in Mt Kisco. It has been a huge pain trying to juggle a baby , and elementary and middles school children with part time work, after school activities and shopping.
Most of my neighbors are terrific people but I silently disagree with them on retail at CC. I am not alone. There are others in our community who also favor Whole Foods at CC but are too timid to speak up. I have read the anti retail CC literature and attended meetings and I am not buying what they are selling.
Most infuriating are the people that worry about traffic but drive their kids to school everyday. I grew up taking a bus. Before we moved here my oldest was taking the bus. We are walking distance to Greeley and these kids are driven or take cars. They worry about traffic safety and environmental concerns but they are already creating the situation they fear.
Many of my neighbors portray themselves as sympathetic to the downtown Chapp merchants as part of their CC opposition. But they never shop downtown now! The women I know here shop at the WP mall, Greenwich, and Mt Kisco. A few get their nails done in Chapp but that’s it.
So forgive me if I don’t agree with these false concerns. The people in opposition to the traffic are creating the traffic now. The people worried about downtown Chapp are not shopping there now. I shop in Mt Kisco. If Whole Foods came to CC I would shop in my community. I am not alone- there are several in the NIMBY community that are not NIMBYs like me.

By I'm a mom not a NIMBY on 06/23/2014 at 11:24 am

Well thank you for providing the words to prove my point.

But you got my attention when you wrote the following:

“But don’t white wash what they are: people who don’t want a supermarket etc that the silent majority wants.”

Oh my God, I never realized they had sunk to these depths!  No wonder they only speak in verbose code, it’s actually an aversion to a supermarket in their neighborhood!  Never would I have guessed this.  You’re right, their selfishness knows no bounds.  I’m sure that once this supermarket opens, it will be a proverbial new dawn for those that have been so burdened by the “great inconvenience”, as it sure will come to be known by future generations of well fed Chappaqua residents.

By Dear "Dear N Word" on 06/23/2014 at 12:01 pm

Yes 21st century convenience .  No to nimby complete and utter bias selfish refusals

By Bias = nimby on 06/23/2014 at 12:28 pm

Wow, Christine, your response really surprises me.  You want me to point out where there is something inaccurate?  Well, I can’t.  But then again I’m sure I can’t on any of today’s editorial pages in the Wall Street Journal or The New York Times.  I’m surprised that I have to explain this, but bias is not a question of whether something written is factually correct.  At the end of the day, you are either reporting events or you are doing soemthing else.  In all cases you need to be factually correct.  But only when reporting a story is it necessary to be balanced and not selective in the reporting of the facts.  Omission of facts is as relevant as not being factual in the first place.  The words used in combination with those facts also matter.  In this case you are using words that imply trying to put forth some arguement.  This is all completely clear to any reader of this (as evidenced by the numerous comments), and you so much as admit that by your only reply being some reference to factualness.

So either this is a news article or an editorial.  It matters.  If presented as a news article, the expectation of the reader is that it is a comprehensive and balanced presentation of the facts.  This is not that and it is important for any reader to know that going in.  The more you debate this, the bigger will be the hole you will continue to dig for yourself in terms of credibility on this topic.

Editor’s Note: Show me how it is unbalanced.

By Examples of Bias on 06/23/2014 at 2:54 pm

IMHO, no one should confuse being accurate with being unbiased.

By bob on 06/23/2014 at 2:55 pm

Ok. So let’s assume there will be no traffic at the entryways until 10 a.m. (as if there will be no workers or delivery trucks there before a major retail store opens for business). If you go shopping in Mt. Kisco “Fresh Market” have you noticed the wildlife-killing bags strewn all over the parking lot, the junk that falls out of shopping carts, the homeless woman living in the white car in the lot near AppleBees? This is what we want? Do you think Whole Foods is any different; do you think the people at Whole Foods are going to be any more respectful and not litter in the parking lot; do you think the workers will be out in the parking lot cleaning up (the workers who probably don’t get any health or other decent benefits and are not going to give a crap)? I have made a complaint at least once a month at A&P regarding their disgusting parking lot. It has NEVER been addressed. It has NEVER improved in all the 10 plus years I have been in this area. RETAIL is a disaster for CC. Nothing can dispute that. What are we doing to increase our commercial tax base? We are selling our souls.

By "East Entryway" Resident on 06/23/2014 at 3:21 pm

The new n word is “normalcy”.  Every community has a grocery store except us.  Does that mean that the 2 grocery store pleasantville is within your silly, derisive term ” well fed”

Keep up the childishness.  It shows the ‘silent’ adults just what nimby ism really is

By New n word on 06/23/2014 at 3:25 pm

Balanced? Well, Fox News is fair and balanced, right?

By bob on 06/23/2014 at 3:53 pm

Show me how it is unbalanced?

How about all the items above that you originally asked me to show how they were inaccurate?  If you don’t see how that writing is unbalanced, then there is no need for further discussion on this.  ... hard to define but you know it when you see it.

Editor’s Note:

By Examples of Bias on 06/23/2014 at 4:27 pm

Well as those on the west side of town will rightly point out, the A&P counts as at least 1 supermarket here in town.  Granted perhaps, that might not be for everyone.  My personal preference for a quick stop is one of those Pleasantville establishments you mention, which is actually closer for me than the A&P.  According to Google maps, the Key Food is all of a 6 minute drive from Walgreens (the location of our former downtown market).  Yes indeed, this is the “great inconvenience” that dwarfs the concerns of those selfish homeowners.

By Normalcy? on 06/23/2014 at 5:21 pm

Dear Rob Greenstein,
I am so looking forward to retail development at Chappaqua Crossing. I’m praying, as are so many people I know in town, that Whole Foods comes through.
Thank you!

By Anonymous on 06/23/2014 at 5:42 pm

To “East Entryway” Resident,

ENOUGH with the ridiculous scare tactics, please.  Perhaps you should stick with the sewage plant, neon lights and drive by shootings tactics for consitiency purposes . . .

Do you really think the town residents and our board (but for Lisa Katz) are a bunch of imbeciles who will buy into that nonsense?

By Rt .120 Resident on 06/23/2014 at 6:19 pm

Dear partisan “east entryway resident”

Lets go to the video tape: No messes in Millwood, currently
No messes at Key food in Pleasantville
No messes at the former Gristedes (30 years ago, nowRite Aide)
No messes at Grand Union/D’agostino/ Walgreen.


Since I am “wildlife”, being a “wolf”,  the clean up by the merchants and the strip mall owner does not “kill” me

CC is an entirely different animal (pardon the pun). It is a private community that has common charges that will pay for its own area constant clean up.

Your valid point is that an absentee landlord may not be able to monitor, minute to minute cleanliness, but the 111 CC homeowners have over 800 eyes watching the situation, not to mention all resident shoppers

Your post is a bit hysterical. Sorry. But you will shop there and learn to love it.

By Warner Wolf on 06/23/2014 at 6:58 pm

I confess. I am a selfish un-nimby. I would like a supermarket that everyone else in the world has, except us.

By The height of selfishness on 06/23/2014 at 9:15 pm

The town board and planning board have the opportunity to deliver something to our community that we need and want.  A supermarket. And it can be a sought after highly regarded environmently friendly socially conscious and upscale WHOLE FOODS. 
He NIMBYs talk about their property values which is a bunch of BS but not having a basic need hurts all our property values.
Ask any real estate broker in Chapp. They will tell you , they will whisper the not so little secret that home buyers are looking elsewhere. They are choosing communities with equally good school systems that have lower taxes, community facilities like a pool, and basic staples like sewers and a supermarket.
Retail at CC helps our taxes, it brings us a much needed supermarket ( Whole Foods to boot) and we might even get some town recreational facilities as well.
We are all sick and tired of the same people dominating and monopolizing this discussion with their over the top assertions and accusations. Retail at CC will not hurt property values ( may actual improve them), it will not cause massive traffic jams, it will not prevent ambulance from getting to the hospital, and it won’t put Greeley students in harms way. My daughter attends Bell School and there is far more car traffic due to retail downtown around Bell than Greeley and students aren’t getting run over.
Their fear mongoring has been going on for years. Studies and experts have concluded this will work. They have no data, no studies, only their own emotional nonsense.
I still can not get over that we have a TB member that exploited school shootings as a way to protest retail at CC and she got elected. I hope the other 4 board members remember their fiducuary responsibility to the entire community and are not influenced by the nimby hysterics and exaggerations.

By Resident on 06/24/2014 at 6:55 am

I agree with resident. I have 2 children attending Bell MS. The downtown traffic due to retail shoppers and commerce combined with train station inflow and outflow create far more hazards than the projected and exaggerated dangers to Greeley HS students.
Greeley campus is set back far off of Roaring Brook Rd.  There is aong entranceway protecting and cushioning students. Compare that to our younger middle school children who play on bell fields and walk into downtown.
Bell kids are not getting hit by cars and trucks. It’s ridiculous to claim retail and Whole Foods at CC would be dangerous for Greeley students. Most of the nimby claims can easily be refuted just like this one.
I shop in Mt Kisco and sometimes Pleasantvile - it’s easier and closer than Millwood. Town officials should understand that my dollars like many other residents are leaving the community. If Whole Foods comes to CC my dollars will stay here.

By Bell parent on 06/24/2014 at 12:56 pm

Armonk has become such a great place to be since they opened Armonk Square.  My money is going there.  They have done everything right (except not enough parking) the supermarket, the tables and chairs, the restaurants, the stores, the ambiance.  This is what I would like in Chappaqua - yes in CC.  a good supermarket, Whole Foods would be my choice, lots of nice stores and restaurants, a neighborhood pool, some housing maybe, but let’s be realistic and go into the new century we are presently in.

By change is good on 06/24/2014 at 5:42 pm

Resident,

I too hope that the town board remembers their fiduciary duty to the entire community.
If they do then they will reject this proposal because it does not make good financial sense for the community.  The numbers do not work to the town’s benefit.

By listen up Resident on 06/24/2014 at 6:08 pm

SG to Greenstein : “time for some traffic problems in Chappaqua.”

Greenstein to SG: “Got it.”

By Chris Christie on 06/24/2014 at 7:33 pm

The town is made up of 15 election districts, the NIMBY contiguous district and 14 others. Last night’s meeting only had representation from the NIMBYS. The Traffic mitigation plans, as far as they went, showed that mitigation is there.

It was quite a joke, however, that one speaker criticized the fact that there was no traffic study for the periods 5-7 am and 9-10 pm. Does anyone maturely think that there is any significant traffic, both for CC and non-CC, on the roads in that area at those times? CC users: 10 members of the health club?

The town as a whole involves more than this one group.

Editor’s Note: And, as I pointed out last night, no one knows the sizes of any of these groups, or what votes meant in each district or overall.  Only a Master Plan review can answer questions about the use of the Chappaqua Crossing property. It could have been done three times over by now, if the Town Boards—past and present—had not kept ITS hands tied.

By 1 out of 15 on 06/25/2014 at 6:56 am

The master plan deals with a town’s overall future plan. CC is a known quantity in all directions. The point many make is “who wants what and where it goes”. Well, the same people deciding on cc also are regarding the master plan (town board). The master plan as to CC, in this blogger’s humble opinion, is ‘masterb——-’. There are no secret about it and the impacts have been fully vetted. The same selfish NIMBY interests are at work in that review and their vetting renders the master plan as to CC, immaterial at this point in time. In the past, yes; now, no…...except in the minds of those who want to delay it forever and ever and ever and ever and ever

Editor’s Note: The effect of a zoning change from office to retail at CC has a great deal to do with “the town’s overall future plan.”

By Master plan is Euphemism for delay on 06/25/2014 at 7:50 am

Town wide surveys have been proven to be tainted. By the way, even an election is not a survey of the opinions of everyone. It is problematic.

Editor’s Note: There has not been a professional survey. Any survey should be done by professionals and be by random sample.  I agree: elections are not a survey.  And the town outreach sessions are not surveys either (but will be interesting reading I suspect).

By NIMBYS have poisoned the well on 06/25/2014 at 8:16 am

There is no secret what CC will or will not do. Master plan review involves planning for all other areas of town. In fact, the master plan review should consider CC as a given and plan around it.

Sigh, now you have revealed that you are a full fledged NIMBY which, unfortunately, compromises your objectivity and editorial impartiality.  But I still am a fan

Editor’s Note: The commercial development area of the Master Plan can be treated before the others (like environment, public facilities etc.).  Not to consider CC as part of the whole is to compromise the value of the whole M.P. process.  This is the only way to find out whether it’s a good idea, a viable one, and whether residents want it.

By Dear Nimby editor on 06/25/2014 at 10:38 am

IMHO, the excessive clamoring for the updating of the master plan is being used as a delaying tactic for a decision on retail at CC. For some, this tactic seems to be part of a subconscious process. For others, it is blatant stalling. Holding things up for a revised master plan now will be construed as a moratorium solely to stop development at CC, and a court will not validate it. While a grocery and revitalized retail in the Chappaqua hamlet make the most sense, it is clear that development at CC will happen.

Editor’s Note:  Wrong about a court not validating it.  And the only delay has been on the Town Board’s part (previous board and current board).  They’ve known for years that the Master Plan was necessary.

By bob on 06/25/2014 at 10:43 am

The 7 year plus evaluation of CC is exactly what happened In my movie “The air up there”. The Native chief (another N word), who, in our context, was the archetypical NIMBY, had agreed to consider my obviously understood story line proposal, “for eternity.” I guess y’all are waiting for the Bar Mitzah year of consideration of the master plan effect of CC .

By Kevin Bacon on 06/25/2014 at 12:32 pm

“to see if all the residents want it”...NIMBY style…is to conduct yet another survey that will be packed, adulterated, skewed and compromised by the NIMBY faction. The only survey that counts is of the 5 town board members. The town board, in its own fashion,feels the pulse of the town. It was elected to exercise its judgment,  not to be a NIMBY puppet.

Editor’s Note:  Then you don’t know what an actual survey is.

By Dear :Nimby editor on 06/26/2014 at 2:45 am

People (and lawyers) will differ about what a court may or may not uphold. But what is now obvious to me (and some others) is that the excessive and constant clamor for an immediate updating of the master plan (or relevant parts of it) is a ruse by some to defeat the approval of retail at CC and by others to stifle any and all retail anywhere in town.

By bob on 06/26/2014 at 8:54 am

You are in your heart a NIMBY. You live very close to the development. You can’t help yourself(but you are not a ‘crazy’).
Yes, you take pains to be absolutely fair…...on the surface. Yes, I understand surveys and how they are absolutely and positively subject to manipulation both by the questions and responders. Not to be disrespectful, but one must have x ray vision to evaluate any survey made in this town. The NIMBYS have compromised any attempt at making one.

A survey is first and last only a guide for the decision makes. period.

By Dear NIMBY editor on 06/26/2014 at 9:04 am

Eric Cantor’s polling showed him a winner. ‘nuff said

By another point on 06/26/2014 at 11:14 am

What a relief, you get it!(about the pretext for delay)

By Dear Bob on 06/27/2014 at 8:25 am

I have no stake in this matter (although my wife wants Whole Foods therefore so do I).  But I thought I’d tell those who did not grow up in Chappaqua that there is a long and cherished tradition of traffic at Reader’s Digest.  During the ‘50s, 60’s and 70’s, the Digest day shift let out at 4:00, and cars backed up all the way from the Saw Mill to 117.  Woe to anyone caught in “Digest traffic”, and savvy Chappaqua drivers knew to keep away.  (Yogi was right.  No one went there.  Much too crowded.) So, those who may have moved nearby in recent years have, in fact, come to the nuisance, whether they realized it or not.  And they may have less moral (and legal) justification for their grievance than they thought.  (I’m sure their predecessors would be amused!)

By Peter Cousins on 06/27/2014 at 11:36 am

Of course you are correct. But factual correctness is irrelevant to the Nimbys.  Using the height of readers digest traffic as a point of comparison is nonsense to the nimby mindset .  That use is the use they moved next to or bought into. The lull of the past few years is irrelevant to them.  Of course,  they are hypocrites.

On the one hand , the Nimbys rail for no change (which necessarily includes the readers digest historical traffic congestion as a given). On the other hand ,the Nimbys embrace the temporary change/traffic reduction that the artificial under utilized property generated.

At a minimum, no change =. Readers digest traffic as a starting point for analysis.

So my question to the nimby jihadists: do you accept change (lowered recent traffic as a base line) as a precedent for accepting other changes?  Or do you want no change which by definition applies the readers digest traffic as a traffic base line?

By Dear mr cousins on 06/27/2014 at 12:13 pm

Either

1. Recently reduced traffic patterns, due to under utilization of a property, is the base line traffic standard; which sets a precedent for using a moving target for analyzing uses. Changing, non property specific, overall economic climate changes should not be reasons to deprive an owner of the exploitation of his property. They are too speculative and unconstitutionally vague.

Or 2. There is a set baseline measurement, namely the actual highest historical use of the property which is an objective standard. This historical use vested before NIMBYS moved next door. They must suck it up.

NIMBYS argue:
No zoning change to keep the existing use, which also means that the historical, high trafficked use is part of the calculus or

No Change due to fluctuations in the economy with recently artificially lowered traffic patterns. This is moving target standard is an untenable standard because it depends on which arbitrary point in time is used for comparison.


We cannot concern ourselves with what someone may or may not like. The legal standard is tangible affect, like traffic, which is being worked on. Not matters of taste.

By stop hypocrisy on 06/27/2014 at 1:15 pm

I nominate you to be the referrer:arbitrator of the issues

By Dear mr cousins on 06/27/2014 at 5:11 pm

Peter,

The roads around CC are overburdened NOW.  In fact as a 40 year resident living on the other side of town who travels 117 regularly I find it strange that you think that these roads are less crowded now than they were then.  They are not.  Your surmises based on your memories are not supported. 

By dear peter on 06/27/2014 at 7:40 pm

CC deliveries can be restricted to certain non rush hour times. What is the definition of “Impossible traffic” vs “regular traffic” vs temporary slow downs” ?

By Does history matter at all? on 06/29/2014 at 5:07 pm

Dear Dear Peter,

Memories may differ. My 35 year (not 40) recollection is that the Readers Digest rush hour traffic is down (you believe that the traffic is worse now than when RD was at its height, really?). Truck traffic lessened when the Grand Union truck distribution center in MT Kisco closed. It may have edged back as a function of commerce, generally.

The real problem is Greeley release time. The morning too, to an extent.

By Memories on 07/08/2014 at 8:38 am

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/10/whole-foods-inequality_n_5515432.html

By So much for Whole Foods on 07/10/2014 at 1:56 pm


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