Op-Ed: Pace runs one Master Plan process while Greenstein runs another


With 95 comments since publication
April 4, 2014
by Christine Yeres

Just as Pace consultants and Master Plan Steering Committee members have been unfurling the sails of The Good Ship Master Plan to learn where to take the ship by catching the winds of public opinion, Supervisor Rob Greenstein has been unapologetically drilling holes in its hull.  Fellow Town Board member Lisa Katz, who also attended the April 1 meeting, noted with alarm that the words “Chappaqua Crossing” were conspicuous by their absence.  A video of the session is embedded below.

Who’s not saying “Chappaqua Crossing” and why

Pace doesn’t speak the words “Chappaqua Crossing” in the interest of conducting a Master Plan process that has yet to elicit “people’s visions and thoughts for New Castle” in a community outreach effort that will take place from April through June.  “Our mission in this process,” said Zezula, reached today by phone, “—regardless of what a subcommittee might be saying or how they’re framing their issues—is to have a complete document on what the community wants to accomplish for all of New Castle.”

For Greenstein, a “complete document”—minus Chappaqua Crossing

Unfortunately, while Pace may not yet be in a place to specifically discuss Chappaqua Crossing, Greenstein has sailed beyond discussing it—to approval.  In emails to his subcommittee members, member Betty Weitz revealed to Zezula, Greenstein has repeatedly informed them of what, in his mind, is already settled:

“As I previously mentioned, we are heading towards retail @ Chappaqua
Crossing. And this is happening despite the work of this committee.”

and

“This group’s job is to help shape Chappaqua Crossing—to make it a win for the community. . . . So, let’s not waste our time debating whether we think there should be retail @ Chappaqua Crossing.”

Earlier and elsewhere, Greenstein has publicly stated that by issuing its Findings at the close of the environmental review, the previous Town Board tied the current Board’s hands, forcing him, he contends, to grant the application for 120,000 square feet of grocery and retail.

Findings, however, are only the outer limits of what the lead agency (the Town Board, in this case) determines to be not-insurmountable environmental impacts.  The previous Town Board, for example, after completing its environmental Findings under SEQR, decided to pare down the number of residential units f to 111, from 199.

At the moment, very few details are known about the deal Greenstein is intent on striking—or has struck—with Felix Charney, Summit Greenfield and Whole Foods, except that he intends to approve it.  And how it fits as half-a-plan now—along with what Greenstein is billing as a “game-changing” opportunity to “revitalize” downtown Chappaqua by moving town hall to Chappaqua Crossing’s cupola building and developing town hall with residential units—is also unknown.  The “Downtown Business Development Advisory Committee” put together by Town Board member Adam Brodsky won’t meet to advise on anything until April 23, according to Brodsky.

Even the Planning Board, whose architect-member Tom Curley has been working with Summit Greenfield to make a better site plan for the grocery-retail zoning that the Planning Board considered from the beginning to be a bad idea, has not endorsed approval of the project—and neither has Curley.  But the Town Board doesn’t strictly need Planning Board approval except for tree, steep slope and wetlands permits, and site plan.  However, even when it comes to site plan, the Town Board has the ability to leave precious little for the Planning Board to decide.

And it didn’t help that the week before Pace consultant John Nolon, while full of information about the Master Plan process, said nothing to reconcile the inconsistency between, on one hand, the mission of Pace and the Steering Committee to gather broad public opinion, and, on the other, a Town Board that has, as Nolan said, “fiscal and market realities” to deal with and ultimate control over adoption of a final Master Plan.  Only the part about “ultimate control” seems to have registered with Greenstein, despite his campaign rhetoric in support of undertaking a genuine Master Plan review before moving to rezone Chappaqua Crossing. 

In fact, over Greenstein’s three months in office—speaking, as he has said, twice weekly with Summit Greenfield principal Felix Charney—Chappaqua Crossing’s status in the Master Plan process has gone from “moratorium until a full review is completed,” to “treating Chappaqua Crossing up front in the Master Plan process, leaving other topics for later,” to “discussing the type of retail residents might like,” to, most recently, his email stating that “retail is happening despite the work of this committee.” 

Katz presses for “elephant in the room” to be acknowledged in the process

“I do think you have to put ‘development’ [on the flyer advertising the outreach],” said Lisa Katz, “because that’s the giant elephant in the room that everybody wants to talk about.  And I know Rob says it’s part of the hamlet committee—but it is not a hamlet right now.  If you say ‘hamlet’ nobody will associate that with Chappaqua Crossing or the Spa.  They’ll think about Millwood and Chappaqua.  So if you don’t put ‘development’ in the [flyer’s list] you’ll be ignoring the main thing people are concerned about.”

“I agree with you about that,” said Maud Bailey, “but not in this specific list.  For this list ‘development’ [as a subject] is too big—which ‘development’ are you speaking of?”

“I just said ‘the Spa’ and ‘Chappaqua Crossing’ and I got shut down,” said Katz. 

“It’s not a spa anymore, by the way,” said Greenstein (who says the developer interested in the Legionaries property is turning back to an all-residential proposal).

“Whenever you talk about a comprehensive plan it’s about where you’re preserving, where you’re developing,” said Zezula.  “That language, that you’re talking about, is when you get to specifics where we can add that.  I’ll add that [in the flyer].”

“I just think that to be unbiased,” said Katz, “you can’t ignore the elephant in the room.”

“I think it’s such a large . . .  development is about all the things that are bulleted here,” said Bailey. 

“Yeah, but I don’t see it on any of the bullets,” said Katz.

Pace is staying with public outreach and public “vision”

Asked about the pressure from Tuesday’s meeting participants to include the words “Chappaqua Crossing” in flyers for the public outreach—not to mention inclusion of the issue of Chappaqua Crossing development in the Master Plan process—Zezula said, “I hate to go to solutions. Everyone likes to push me towards them. But I say, ‘No—stop.  We’re not even there yet.’” 

“Everyone has to take a breath,” continued Zezula.  “We know you all have your thoughts and solutions, but our plan is to step everybody back from that and say ‘Hold on’ and then start with a vision, these public outreach sessions, and build going forward. If we’re moving forward, I’m hoping some of those meetings can bring ideas forward from the public and that Town Board members will be listening.”

New Castle Master Plan Steering Committee 4/1/14 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.

__________________________

Related: Pace’s Master Plan outreach proceeds apace with homework for committee and working groups, NCNOW.org, 4/4/14

And visit NCNOW’s page of archived Master Plan articles and NCNOW’s page on archived Chappaqua Crossing articles.


Comments(96):
We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

I want whole foods and chipotle ... So long as nothing can be seen from outside the development.  SG hands off the town hall.

By I want CC on 04/05/2014 at 4:56 am

Endlessly debating items already discussed ad nauseum plays squarely into the hands of opposers who want to stop the development at all costs. The final cost to SG is to “give” the cupola to the town.  THAT is a win win. SG rids itself of a dog . We get a signature property that will cost quite a bit to renovate.  Town hall proceeds pays for the remodeling.  How about moving one or two downtown stores into CC?
Lets face it, our downtown is less than a nothing when compared to Greenwich , mt kisco and pleasantville. Even nothing briarcliff has more charm.

By He has a point on 04/05/2014 at 5:08 am

I didn’t know that selling the town down the river was part of the new approach.

By sad on 04/05/2014 at 6:18 am

I will have more to say about Chappaqua Crossing in the upcoming weeks. I certainty can appreciate that there are significant differences of opinion on the subject. For now, I can tell you that the SEQRA reviews that were conducted by the prior town board were more than just theoretical exercises. The prior town board made specific findings as to traffic and other impacts that would be associated with retail zoning, and I do not believe the current town board is at liberty to disregard those findings as it considers whether retail zoning is appropriate for the property.

So, yes, my hands are tied.  We are bound by the prior board’s Finding Statement.  That’s the reality that I now face. 

I’d rather shape the inevitable (retail) outcome now then have less leverage and a diminished ability to do so in the wake of an unsuccessful court challenge.

The public outreach process will discuss whether we want a transit oriented development in downtown Chappaqua - with the opportunity for more residential, retail &/or recreation.  The master plan process will discuss whether we want to move town hall to the cupola building.  And, yes, the master plan public outreach will discuss the type of retail residents would like to see at Chappaqua Crossing.

By Rob Greenstein on 04/05/2014 at 7:31 am

What happened to plan first develop latter? What is the point of updated the master plan while pushing forward with development? Greenstein and Katz were elected because they insisted Chapp Crossing was proceeding too quickly, was being done with secret negotiations , would create safety issues, would create a third hamlet thus destroying downtown, would hurt property values, etc etc.
Now in office and Greenstein is negotiating with Summit Greenfield in secret and he is boldy announcing that retail at C C is moving ahead, all 120000 ft of it.
Ms Katz is complicit in all this. I see no objections or attempts by her to keep her campaign promises. Greenstein steamrolls ahead. Brodksy is in his pocket.
A real fraud and possibly a crime had been perpetrated on the good folks of New Castle.
We should just send these Pace consultants packing and not waste the time and money. Greenstein is not going to listen and Pace conclusions and recommendations will be moot because Greenstein is developing first and the master plan comes later. This is the exact opposite of what Team New Castle promised. Shame on all 3 of them.

By Resident on 04/05/2014 at 7:54 am

So in the past few months, you went from not “agreeing to anything” to a “very good chance”, to “this is happening” - see below.  What, you had some epiphany all of a sudden that retail is a done deal?  And weren’t you the one who was saying during the election that you wouldn’t let fear of lawsuits preclude you from doing the right thing?

1/10/14
“We have been talking with Summit Greenfield, and I think it’s important to say that just because we’re talking with them doesn’t mean we’re agreeing to anything or doing any kind of deal with them…..”

3/21/14
“….What we’re trying to do at Chappaqua Crossing—with the knowledge that there’s a very, very good chance there may be retail there, is that we’re trying to make it so that it’s not ‘big box’ stores. Because it’s certainly not going to be a strip mall, as was previously proposed.”

4/5/14
“As I previously mentioned, we are heading towards retail @ Chappaqua Crossing. And this is happening despite the work of this committee.”

 

By smoke and mirrors on 04/05/2014 at 8:02 am

Rob, you are clearly trying to mislead us by using your version of the facts to enhance your agenda. The Town Board still has the ability to approve limited or NO retail at Chappaqua Crossing. What happened to planning Rob? What happened to seeking community input?  We voted for you and TNC because you were against retail at CC and wanted to plan first. From all I read, the only one of your TNC buddies who still has integrity is Katz. She should be Supervisor. Do what is right, Rob. Stop spinning half truths and support our community, not Summit Greenfield and your overinflated ego!

By Rob, you are full of s*#t!! on 04/05/2014 at 8:17 am

I have not always been a fan of Greenstein but right now there is no one else I would rather see dealing with this issue.  The prior town board handed them retail on a silver platter.  Greenstein will do everything in his power to protect the residents near Chappauqa Crossing.  He will also protect downtown Chappaqua.

By Resident on 04/05/2014 at 8:23 am

Mr Greenstein. You are a liar and a charlatan of the highest order. Everything the previous town board did was known before and during the election. Their studies and the outcomes were a matter of public record. You and Team New Castle ran a campaign to change the trajectory of retail at CC. You insisted “plan before developing”. You insisted that Summit Greenfield was not being an honorable partner in this process. You insisted that retail at CC would create a third hamlet and destroy downtown. Katz ran on a platform to protect her neighborhood from the safety issues , traffic, and negative character of neighborhood issues retail at CC would bring. Team New Castle,with you as their ring leader, NEVER said ” my hands are tied” and I inherited this situation. On the contrary, you knew exactly what the previous town board had done and you promised us you would change it and you would be a different kind of Supervisor. You accused Carpenter of behind closed doors negotiations with SG and now you are doing every bit the same and more.
We don’t buy your BS that your hands ar tied. If they are then you either didn’t do your homework and ran a poorly researched campaign or you lied. You were either ignorant of he facts regarding the last town board or you knew and were dishonest. Ignorant or dishonest Rob? Maybe both.

By Resident on 04/05/2014 at 8:29 am

Lisa Katz is MIA…Very disappointed with Lisa Katz. What happened to the feisty lawyer and mother that was going to fight for our neighborhood ? Yes I am a proud NIMBY. I voted for Katz and Team NC because they promised to halt, stop, greatly diminish the full steam ahead previous town board.

Now it appears that 120k sq ft of retail is coming to CC and on top of that we can expect the traffic from town hall and police station as that seems to be the new plan. So we are not seeing a halt to retail at CC, not seeing a smaller more managable retail at CC, but we are getting the full blown version PLUS town hall.

I will give Lisa the benefit of doubt and assume Greenstein is bullying her aggressively dismissing her concerns. But I can not and will not forgive her for not publicly taking a stand and pushing back. She should come out now and tell us what is going on and how she went from being an advocate and ally of NIMBYs to now part of the team pushing thru thus newer and bigger plan. Lisa- what happened to you? What about Greeley student safety? Traffic? Our property values? Noise and bright lights?

By RayJ on 04/05/2014 at 8:38 am

Who would you rather have dealing with Summit Greenfield right now? 

Greenstein who has always been committed to downtown Chappaqua, Brodsky who is a developer himself, and Katz who lives near Chappaqua Crossing, or Penny, Buckley & Wolfensohn? 

I have no regrets.  We need strong leaders right now.

By No regrets on 04/05/2014 at 8:43 am

Rob
Stop blaming other boards. You promised me if I voted for you you would take care of this issue. So do it and sto complaining about past boards.  Or have the courage to say I was wrong I didn’t do my homework about the issues and we are screwed. Also I read you are having more back door meetings with the mosque any reason why we haven’t heard about those talks yet? 
I guess campaign Rob is different than Supervisor Rob.
WHAT A LET DOWN

By Rob take responsibility on 04/05/2014 at 8:47 am

As if Robs the only politician to campaign on the unrealistic only to be elected into reality. We need an informed electorate not a bitter one.

By Chris Roberta on 04/05/2014 at 9:01 am

Greenstein - your hands are not tied. That is a cop out and a lie.
What commitment did Carpenter and the last town board make to move town hall to CC? None. That is all your idea and Brodskys vision for downtown. Who committed and decided town hall woul be relocated to CC and replaced with residential? You did not inherit that- you created it. You did so without resident input, no studies and no surveys- no referendum. All of which you insisted the last town board should have done. You are moving forward with your agenda admittingly meeting with Summit Greenfield twice a week. The same type of secret closed door negotiations you accused the previous town board of doing.
We all remember the many TB meetings you attended where you yelled and screamed about lack of transparency and not listening to residents. We remember all your letters and comments chastizing and condemning the last town board for doing exactly what you yourself are now doing. I don’t know how you can look yourself in the mirror. I don’t know how you walk around town and look people in the eye.  Shame on you.

By RG is a liar on 04/05/2014 at 9:05 am

Resident,

Before calling Greenstein a liar and accusing him of not doing his homework, maybe you should do your homework.  The prior town board adopted the Findings the week before election.  This is what tied his hands.
http://www.newcastlenow.org/index.php/article/index/new_town_board_adopted_findings_the_week_before_elections_cc_is_not_on_toni

Editor’s Note:  Read the article you cite again.  Adopting environmental “Findings” is far from approving the application.  In the article you cite, did you read this?—see the “draw back” part:

“Stout emphasized that the Findings were the result of an analysis of “the envelope,” the 120,000 square foot outer limit of the amount of retail permitted—some in existing buildings and some in new footprint.  [As to the types of retail to permit, Clinton Smith, counsel to the Board, explained later in the meeting that the town “can draw back from uses that have been studied” in the environmental review process, “but not add ones whose impacts have not been studied.”] “

The “outer limit” of what was considered in the environmental review does not equal approval of that outer limit.  Its significance is that, as Smith said, no applicant can go beyond the limits of what the environmental review has analyzed.  A lead agency—the Town Board—can decide to “draw back” from that outer limit that has been used for env. study purposes. 

By Finding were adopted 1 week before the election on 04/05/2014 at 9:06 am

Christine, thank goodness you are continuing to stay right on top of the nuances of what has gone before as well as what is happening now in this pivotal time for our town.  On behalf of those of us who don’t make it to these meetings, I was comforted to see these smart and diligent women in the audience—Sheila, Roberta, Jennifer and Betty—  who I believe will not be fooled by smoke and mirrors.  I couldn’t help but note the April 1 date on the video.

By Dawn Greenberg on 04/05/2014 at 9:13 am

I see Rob and his aliases and supporters are all banking on people swallowing the idea that Carpenter’s evil board tied his hands with its findings. 

If the board’s new lawyers Keane/Beane are telling them that, then they know nothing about land use and SEQR. 

And if Rob is just SAYING that Keane/Beane are telling him that - well, Keane/Beane? 

Re-teach your town board members.  Either they have it wrong or you’ve given it wrong.  Is that a problem for you “officers of the court”, K & B?

By An answer from Keane&Beane please? on 04/05/2014 at 10:34 am

Half of the residents said that they want retail at CC. I’m happy this is moving forward. I did not vote for RG and do not agree with most of what he is doing but I’m ok with this one

By What's the problem? on 04/05/2014 at 10:52 am

This other posting helped me to understand findings:

I do understand that conducting a DEIS Statement of Findings is required.  But I do not believe that the conclusions this DEIS reached were balanced or reasonable or required.  Do you?

They included:

“The Town Board finds that:...
• Maintaining a threshold of no greater than 120,000 square feet of retail and 542,000 square feet of office use for a total of 662,000 square feet of commercial use will maintain consistency with the findings of the CR&EV; Project and will mitigate any significant environmental impact from the addition of retail use as a type of commercial use at the project site.”

See:  http://mynewcastle.org/index.php/chappaqua-news/currentprojects/chappaqua-crossing/646-2013-findings-statement

If you take the time to read the findings, you will see the language Carpenter crafted with the developer to amend the 1989 Development Plan (Master Plan) and to create the amended zone supporting retail.  The other board members declined Carpenter’s advice to adopt the amendments to the development plan and zoning code before the election, but they did adopt the findings.

If the findings had been more balanced, the current town board could use them to require a reduced amount of retail, no retail or more mitigation for the negative effects of the development.  Perhaps the findings can be amended to reduce the amount of retail.

What was not ‘nailed down’ by the prior board was the site plan review of the project, which can have a tremendous impact on the site itself and its effects on the neighborhood.

I hope reasonable people can downsize this project below the thresholds set by the prior town board in their approved findings.

By the way, your insults and use of ALL CAPS do not strengthen your argument.

By Findings says... on 04/05/2014 at 10:54 am

Mr Greenstein - read “resident” comment above. Resident correctly and accurately caled you a CHARLATAN. Let me help you out and refer to Merriam-Webster dictionary for defiition of charlatan - “a person who falsely pretends to know or be something in order to deceive people”- a “QUACK’ and one making usually showy pretenses to knowledge or ability. IMPOSTER. The only thing missing from Websters dictionary is a picture of you.

By Ronnie on 04/05/2014 at 10:59 am

How sad - look at the picture above of Greenstein and Katz. Lisa Katz is disengaged, off in space and wandering off as Greenstein takes center stage. That says it all doesnt it folks.

By RC on 04/05/2014 at 11:01 am

Yeah, I’m looking at it.  I see distress at being hoodwinked too by Greenstein.

By Hoodwinked too on 04/05/2014 at 11:13 am

Greenstein has plain and simple sold out Katz. He must certainly be counting on Brodsky to put this over on the public.  BUt they have to have Chapin too.  Or Mottel.  Or both.  Is Mottel still recused?

I like the ship metaphor.  But I’d have put it differently: Rob is a Somali pirate, had hijacked the master plan process and has Lisa tied up.

By Rob's a pirate on 04/05/2014 at 11:17 am

His name will go down in infamy in New Castle History. Just another lying politician. He will ruin the town if we let him.

By Long Time Resident on 04/05/2014 at 11:28 am

Greenstein- your comment above AGAIN illuminates your dishonesty. I was one of many that supported keeping open minds and working with the developer to bring well planned multi usage to Chapp Crossing. I maintained that after years of stalling and sending Summit Greenfield back to the drawing board over and over that the delay tactics would fail and SG would have the upper hand should they take us to court. You adamantly disagreed. You responded to me -others by saying SG bought commercially zoned property and we were under no obligation to bail them out. The previous town board only advanced studies and applications- they did NOT commit to anything. You said that SG could take us to court but would lose. You repeated that the courts had already sided with New Castle and had already thrown out one case and would side with us again if SG sued. You unequivocally said that the developer had no case. You are a lawyer right? In your comment above you NOW write - “I’d rather shape the inevitable (retail) outcome now then have less leverage and a diminished ability to do so in the wake of an unsuccessful court challenge”. So NOW we have an unsuccessful court challenge? You said over and over we would be successful in court. 3 months in office and you have reversed yourself on every issue.
Many times I wrote that Whole Foods with ancillary retail like a Soul Cycle, Jamba Juice, and other stores would get a great fit for our town. You responded and said I ” was dreaming if I thought residents could pick and choose the type of retail at CC”. You said once approved, SG would do anything and we could not control it.  NOW you say we will have public outreach to discuss the type of retail we want. When I suggested appropriate retail you insulted me and others. Now you are supervisor and my ideas are starting to look good.
I have always supported retail at CC and have always recognized you for a deceitful bully with your own agenda. Now everybody sees it too.

By Chapp mom on 04/05/2014 at 11:28 am

Keane & Beane—are you guys seriously telling Rob this stuff?

By Rob has Findings all wrong on 04/05/2014 at 11:30 am

If Mottel was recused than Brodsky most certainly has a clear conflict of interest and also must be recused.

Keep your eye on Chuck Napoli folks. He has been uncharacteristically silent. He too was yelling and screaming at previous town board meetings that we needed to plan first and develop later. He admonished Carpenter and her town board to update the master plan before moving ahead with retail at CC. He and Greenstein are tied at the hip. Now Greenstein is pushing ahead with retail at CC before the master plan has been revised. If Napoli is to be consistent and trusted he should write the same letters and speak at the next town board meeting demanding the same conditions he required of the last town board. But I bet he won’t and I bet he doesn’t.

Greenstein and Brodsky have probably made some under the table deal with Chuck that will allow him and his development a prime seat at the table once they move town hall and start downtown development.

If I am incorrect then I expect Chuck Napoli to tell us his vision and recommendations as he has always done in the past.

By Let's hear from Chuck Napoli on 04/05/2014 at 11:37 am

To ” Findings were adopted…” -and to Greenstein-  you are incorrect. The application was never approved. Our hands are not tied and nothing has been committed to. As Editor Yeres points out, adopting environmental studies is not the same thing as approving the application and giving the green light. It is but one of many steps required.

Once again Editor- thank you for your tireless work on behalf of our community. And please keep anonymous comments. With Greenstein as supervisor with certain powers people will be fearful of reprisal should they speak out publicly. I do not trust him and think he would easily send town hall after his enemies. Building department inspections, property appraisals, DPW scrutiny. Who knows what he might do if he knew the names of those of us that reject his tactics.

By It's in black and white on 04/05/2014 at 11:57 am

Keane and Beane are you telling Rob to say he wd “rather shape the inevitable (retail) outcome now then (than) have less leverage and a diminished ability to do so in the wake of an unsuccessful court challenge”?????  Even tho you say it in exec session and residents can’t hear I still considered it lying.  Either you are lying to Rob or Rob is lying when he tells us that’s the advice he’s getting.

By Who's the liar? on 04/05/2014 at 12:02 pm

Just like the board before them and the board before that board, nothing affects them but a full town hall on a town board meeting night.  Nothing else. THey find every excuse to discount everything else.

By Only one thing counts on 04/05/2014 at 12:07 pm

Great comment by Chapp Mom!I clearly remember the suggestions for the type of retail that we might find a positive for the community. I also thought that Soul Cycle, GNC Nutrituion, TD Bank, Radio Shack might be good fit for CC and likely less threateing to downtown merchants. Greenstein pushed back over and over stating that once the developer was approved for retail we would have no control and resident participation in the process was unrealistic. He said that once approved, we would have no say in what type stores would be at CC.

Now he supports public outreach to shape and influence retail at CC. When residents said this he dismissed them. Now he says it and we are supposed to believe he is sincere? This man is an outright liar- a fraud. Nothing he says is to be believed.

As the saying goes - a picture is worth a thousand words. I agree with RC. Look at the picture attached to this article. Greenstein is front and center and Katz is in the background. She is not focused and seems to be day dreaming - totally removed and disengaged. That is how she is governing.

By Ken on 04/05/2014 at 12:12 pm

Once again Chris Roberta writes something but really commits to nothing and says nothing. To Chris Roberto-we know about your feelings on anonymous comments and now you make some benign non comment. We are all talking about retail at CC and the process that the new town board is embarking on. Printing your name and saying nothing is not helpful. I would rather read anonymous comments that are thought provoking, critical, supportive, and informative than a comment that says nothing by somone printing their name.

Do you support Greenstein and Katz and the way in which they are operating? Do you approve of retail at CC? Do you think Team New Castle has been honest and are fulfilling campaign promises. Do you think Brodsky is conflicted? Say something - your pablum is not helpful.

By KB on 04/05/2014 at 12:18 pm

This is outrageous on so many levels.  How is it that Betty Weitz is the one to break this news to us instead of our “transparent” supervisor?  Thank you Betty for helping to expose Greenstein as being nothing but a snake oil salesman.  Keep up the good work.

I was particularly appalled when at the LWV discussion, our esteemed supervisor was boasting about how he is now practically best buddies with the developer.  Now we know why. Because he gave them what they want behind closed doors and broke every promise he made in the process.

I encourage all readers to share this article with your friends and neighbors in town.

By enough is enough on 04/05/2014 at 12:42 pm

Like some other posters here, I’ve been open to hearing from the community what people in general would find acceptable or even beneficial to allow at Chappaqua Crossing.  Unfortunately, you’ve just shut down what had become a pretty mellow stage for the community - old board’s ramming it through was averted, new board with new authority to be Summit Greenfield’s “worst nightmare,” and yet extending an invitation to Summit Greenfield to “come to the table.”  The possibility of driving a better deal than the old board.

But instead, you’ve been going to Summit Greenfield’s table without all of us.  All by yourself to laugh and curse with your new friend who trusts you so much that maybe he’ll give us stuff free.  That’s no basis for a decision of this magnitude.  Of even greater magnitude now that you’ve tied it to a big development deal at town hall.  No one has shown the public how this works in any way.  You went out on your own and now it’s clear that your own ego as a trusted buddy of Felix Charney is the most important thing to you.  You have no real plan.  You’re acting on a hunch.  You’re a very dangerous character.  And plain wrong on the law.

I wanted some development, a grocery and some retail at Chappaqua Crossing, but seeing how you’re operating has disgusted me.

By Was mellow, now disgusted on 04/05/2014 at 1:07 pm

So now no fast-track for Chappaqua Crossing in the master plan.  Just no-track.  Count me out on the remainder of your master plan efforts.  Who cares - now that you’ve ripped out the issue that has most concerned this town for the last ten years?

Let Pace Law center do it alone.  That’s all the master plan Penny and now you ever wanted anyway - a fake one.

By Good luck Pace on 04/05/2014 at 1:15 pm

Really? You are going to chastise Katz for the bad picture?  Did you bother to attend the meeting?  Katz is not even on the Master Plan Steering Committee and she attended the meeting because she is concerned about the process.  No other Board member attended, other than Rob, who is on the Committee.  I was at the meeting too.  Watch the video.  Katz blasted Rob, and I know continues to do so.  What you are seeing is frustration and anger.  Or maybe just a bad picture. Don’t malign people without facts. Or maybe actually get involved?

By A picture is NOT worth a thousand words on 04/05/2014 at 1:45 pm

To Rob Greenstein - I speak for many fellow merchants when I say we are fed up with your dishonest rhetoric and deceit. Where once many of us defended you and were appreciative of your efforts, we are all now disgusted by you. Your efforts to mobilize and organize a bonafide Chamber of Commerce were helpful.

At numerous meetings and multiple communications you assured us that you would fight the fight to halt retail at Chappaqua Crossing. You told us as you told residents that retail at CC would create a third hamlet and imperil our livelihoods.We agreed . We stood with you. You repeatedly stated that a third hamlet would destroy downtown and also negatively impact Millwood. Right up into the election you never wavered. You never indicated that Ms Carpenter and her board had set in motion a plan or approved a plan that would be irreversible. In fact, they only adopted some finding - never approved the application. That is what you told merchants and it is what you ran your campaign on.

None of us are naive enough to believe you now when you say “our hands are tied” and the previous town board set the table and you can not reverse it. We do not believe you are trying to make the best of an inherited situation. That is something never uttered by you these last years.

Now I read that you plan on pushing through all 120,000 sq ft of retail at CC. Making matters worse you plan on moving town hall/Police to CC. Town Hall provides traffic and commerce to downtown merchants. Town Hall has workers and attracts an endless stream of visitors (residents, builders, architects, lawyers). Once in town they often eat and shop. Our police dept and staff also patronize downtown merchants. Now you want to move all this to CC. That is where they will eat and shop.

You sold us out. You threw us under the bus. You lied. You are despicable. I am sorry I ever met or spoke to you. We all feel this way.

By disgusted and fed up merchant on 04/05/2014 at 1:49 pm

Are there any lawyers out there that can answer these questions? Can Greenstein be stopped thru some legal action undertaken by residents? Is his piracy and hijacking of the process legal? What rights do we as residents have when a supervisor takes office and breaks all promises? Can we legally block Brodsky from voting on these issues as he has a clear conflict of interest as owner of commercial property and stated goal of relaxing regulations intended to allow expansion and growth (that lines his pockets)? Can Greenstein unilaterally negotiate a land swap or relocation of town property?

This man needs to be stopped. All 3 of them are lawyers. Perhaps publicly exposing their behavior and dishonesty will embarrass them enough to stop. Can they be disbarred for this dishonest and underhanded behavior. I am sure if this got wider attention (NY Times, FOX news) it would halt them in their tracks. Would make an interesting story ...huh. Sec of St and Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton swears them into office and no sooner do they take office but they show themselves to be just another bunch of Democrats (posing on the Rep ticket) with selfish agendas influenced by special interests and developers. Bill O Reilly would love this!!!

By lets call Bill OReilly on 04/05/2014 at 1:59 pm

Rob, I have called you every name in the book.  I called you a 1 trick pony.  I was sure we would be embroiled in endless litigation to satisy the Chappaqua Crossing neighbors.  I was sure you would forget that your job is to protect all of New Castle.  Thank you for proving me wrong.

By Not a 1 trick pony on 04/05/2014 at 3:08 pm

For me, this isn’t about CC and grocery retail.  It’s about Rob Greenstein derailing, ruining the master plan review that Democratic boards didn’t do for ten years.  I don’t mind the idea of grocery and retail at CC, but I really truly want to know whether the rest of residents want it.  After all Greenstein has done I believe he’s deciding on this randomly, on (as someone else said) a hunch that it fixes things with the merchants he promised to “save” and that he can get enough people to be flattered by the idea of a Whole Foods so taht they will overcome the people who have real reasons to oppose it. 

He has lied about all that campaign stuff and lies now telling us he his hands are tied. That matter should be easy to settle.  We’ll ask the town’s lawyers whether they actually told him that.  And we can ask to see the LAW.

By "Protect all of New Castle"? on 04/05/2014 at 3:13 pm

@to apicture is Not worth a thousand words- Lisa Katz deserves to be chastised.  She ran -was elected to stop retail at Chapp Crossing. As resident and as candidate she relentlessly and disrespectfully insulted the previous town board. She accused them of developing before planning, of not listening to residents, secretly negotiating with Summit Greenfield.  She warned of the dangers retail at CC She spoke of Safety/traffic issues for Greeley students, noise/ truck deliveries, decreased property values,emergency responders on 117, character of the neighborhood etc. now she sits on the Board and things are worse. There is no promised transparency and retail in all it’s grandeur is coming to CC. So, is town hall. I see absolutely nothing that she is doing o keep her promises.

You excuse her and give her credit because she attended the master plan steering committee meeting. whoopie! She is not on the committee because Greenstein hand picked all committees. The question is what is Katz doing to stop this hijacking. She wanted this job. Don’t make excuses for her. It’s Greensteins fault and Katz is just a victim?  Oh Please. This woman ran a highly charged campaign. She was very aggressive in going after Carpenter. Now she is just a poor victim being manipulated by Greenstein? I’m not buying that. I watched the video and see nothing in Katz that is going to stop this process. I don’t see her blasting Rob -Just some questions and a challenge. That’s it.

Her only community outreach has been a letter to bail out Greenstein -Brodsky on the train station lease. Greenstein writes in every issue of New CastleNow. Chapin recently wrote. Katz has written absolutely nothing on retail at CC, this hijacked process ,and her pledge to stop it. She wrote more as a resident and as candidate. Now she remains silent. If Greenstein has taken over -she must communicate this to residents and to the people that voted for her. She has let us down.

By Oh please on 04/05/2014 at 3:16 pm

Greenstein fought Summit Greenfield when they wanted to build 349 condos.  He fought Summit Greenfield when they wanted to build a strip mall.  He has always fought the good fight. 

The strip mall was heading to a certain approval.  We cannot rewrite the environmental review.  We cannot just deny retail zoning at this point. 

This does not make Greenstein a liar.  It simply means he is making the best of a crappy situation. 


 

 

Now he is being accused of being a liar, dishonest and ignorant.

By It doesn't add up on 04/05/2014 at 3:36 pm

Oh sweet revenge and justice. You NIMBY folks blindly supported Team New Castle. You voted them in on the belief they would halt retail at CC or at least downsize it to acceptable proportions. Now you see them for what they were all along. You ignored Greensteins tactics , his dishonesty, and his taking both sides of the same argument. You all ignored the fact that between them they had absolutely no experience in government. They had neither elected or appointed government experience. You ignored Brodskys very real conflict of interest and his self serving agenda.

Retail at CC is and always was a good thing for our community. There is overwhelming support for a Whole Foods or upscale type supermarket at CC. We need the tax revenue and ancillary retail will be a big plus. That retail is certainly going to be a reality except thanks to you NIMBY folks we are stuck with this dishonest underhanded board. There is no transparency and who knows what else is in store for us. As a bonus you folks also get Town Hall and the Police Station in your backyard. This is what happens she you vote your self interests and ignore the greater good.  We would have been infinitely better off with Penny as a Supervisor. Either way retail would be at CC but with Penny we would have had an honest.  Dedicated , experienced hard working Supervisor to deal with all the other issues confronting our town.

By Kinda funny on 04/05/2014 at 3:42 pm

If the findings were adopted the week before the elections, aren’t all the accusations about what Rob said during the election before the elections just another example of people looking for any reason to beat up this board?  I guess those accusations weren’t accurate, were they?  Too bad the previous board ruled that the super-majority arguments hold no weight.  That might come in handy right now but the legacy of Carpenter & Co. will haunt for years.

By What happened to the campaign accusations on 04/05/2014 at 4:09 pm

More troubling to me is how was Keene & Beane chosen?  I’m guessing probably like the RFP process for the train station where there was a window to submit proposals that was the size of a postage stamp and one firm coincidentally applied within that window?

By a bigger question on 04/05/2014 at 4:40 pm

To it doesn’t add up - the 120000 sq ft retail proposal then and now never was a strip mall. That was all bluster and scare tactics in an attempt to stop retail. It was also used as part of team new castle fear mongoring. Greenstein is not stopping a strip mall because the plans were never for a strip mall. You are giving him credit for something he did not do. The environmental findings were adopted a week before the election but that is a long way from actually approving the plan to build 120000 sq ft of retail at CC. Adopting a finding is one of many steps before the final development plan approval. The plan was not approved by Carpenter and her TB. She certainly advanced it but Greenstein is running into the end zone. Greenstein is not honest when he says his hands are tied. If so , why didn’t he acknowledge this during the election?

The way I see it is Greensteins slimy tactics will unfold as follows. Retail will come to CC ( town hall and police too). If it is successful and I hope it is Greenstein will take the credit. If it fails he will blame Carpenter. What is undeniable is that Greenstein fought this development for years. His protests obstructionist behavior combined with the NIMBYs delayed this so long that eventually Summit Greenfield had the upper hand and Carpenter had no choice but to advance the project. Now Greenstein says we would lose a lawsuit if it continued. So Carpenter has set the table for what lies ahead but she was aided by RG. Whatever your opinion , the dishonesty and lack of transparency by this board is deplorable. Criminal in that they promised a new approach and transparency.

By Resident too on 04/05/2014 at 5:11 pm

I just watched the entire video. Unfortunately,this well intended exersice is all a charade and total waste of time. The idea is to get community feedback and facilitate community dialogue. The Pace takes the data and works with various committees to transform the plan and deliver a new master plan that reflects our interests and needs. The result will guide future development. That is a good goal and worthwhile exersice. BUT Greenstein very clearly stated at thus meeting which I just watched that a third hamlet (retail at CC) is probably happening. He has recently stated that we are heading towards retail at CC regardless of the work of these committees. If this is his intent then why are we wasting everybody’s time and hiring Pace to do studies and surveys if our Supervisor has already determined for us. I saw Mr Napoli at this meeting. He regularly admonished the last town hiatus for developing before planning. Now there is a planning process in place and our new Supervisor wants to develop before Pace completes the master plan. Why doesn’t Mr Napoli , at thus or other meetings, say what he said before? I guess it is ok for his buddy Greenstein to move forward with out a master plan but it was wrong when Carpenter did it. He just sat there after Greenstein acknowledged retail development was inevitable. I didn’t hear Ms Katz object or stop Greenstein or correct him. She merely suggested that CC was the big elephant in the room. It’s all so stupid. So dishonest and discouraging that fellow residents and neighbors can be so disingenuous and deceitful.

By Rob M on 04/05/2014 at 5:45 pm

The flavor of the Town is disgust.  Why not have an open meeting at HGHS, just like Rob did before, and find out where everyone really stands?  The auditorium should house many residents; it should be carried live, with the entire Board present.  Pace is retained to capture the pulse of the community… it wouldn’t take long!  Make sure the NCPD are present, for tempers are sure to fly.

FACE REALITY, ROB:  YOU ARE A BONAFIDE LIAR!  AN ENTIRE INVESTIGATION SHOULD BE CONDUCTED ABOUT YOU AND YOUR WAYS OF CONDUCTING BUSINESS… YES, YOU AND YOUR SECRET DEALS BEHIND CLOSED DOORS TO BENEFIT YOU AND BRODSKY.  Save yourself, Lisa!  Think twice before you vote with these two deceptive creatures.  Remember your motto, “I’m smart; I’m very smart”.  Well, now is your time to shine and prove it!

By Town Suggestion on 04/05/2014 at 6:10 pm

Retail at Chapp Crossing is a major positive for this town. Whole Foids will be great. We need the commercial tax revenue. It should be approved.
Greenstein knows this but he would never have been elected if he admitted it. There were very clear signs throughout that he would support this development. Why are you all so surprised?
I think the master plan revision with all these committees is a waste of time. Residential development will replace The Spa at Legionares , retail is coming to CC and town hall is moving to be replaced by more development. Thus is already in progress without the master plan. Why bother?  Armonk did a beautiful job without multiple committees and sub commitees , without Pace and without endless debate. Retail at CC is already 5 years in the making.
I do not approve of Greensteins tactics but I approve of the end result. Build it - we will come.

By Taxpayer on 04/05/2014 at 6:56 pm

Let’s not forget that the Settlement Agreement states “not less than 120 square feet”. Are you gonna blame Greenstein for that also?

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

Editor’s Note:  No, I don’t blame him for that—I blame him for thinking it’s true. (And I think you mean 120,000 square feet, by the way.)

By What about the settlement agreement? on 04/05/2014 at 8:24 pm

Lisa Katz,

You were the candidate elected with the most votes, by far.  The residents and the merchants need your leadership. Rob Greenstein thinks that he has your vote but those who know you, know you will do the right thing.

By Come on, Lisa! on 04/05/2014 at 10:25 pm

Bigger question, you are asking the right question.  How did the Town get Keane and Beane?  Clinton Smith was fired and K&B showed up!  I would wager that no RFP was put out.  How was this firm chosen?  Where is the transparency here? Perhaps the Editor can tell us if the new attorneys were chosen as the result of an RFP process.  Thank you.

By no RFP as far as I can tell on 04/05/2014 at 11:22 pm

Rob Greenstein should push thru retail at Chapp Crossing. Most people want Whole Foods. Reasonable and logical people will accept a well planned multi purpose facility at CC. With appropriate design and layout and the proper mix of stores, residential, and commercial, Chapp. Crossing will be a major positive for our community. It is better to sit down and directly negotiate with the developer to ensure the town gets what it needs. I believe Greenstein understands this and he has cultivated a good working relationship with Summit Greenfield. That will bode well for all of us.. My taxes are insanely high, I drive to Mt Kisco to shop, and I am tired of watching towns like Armonk get it right. The NIMBYs may have won the battle years ago to keep the new middle school out of their backyard but they won’t and shouldn’t win this battle. The community needs retail at CC.
In a few years people will be thanking Rob Greenstein. I just wish he wasn’t so gruff and abrasive.

By Long time resident on 04/06/2014 at 6:37 am

Anybody that has been following retail at CC issue closely knows that this outcome was all but inevitable. Team New Castle ran for office to stop it but that never seemed possible. They were either terribly naive and uniformed or they did understand and deceived the community. I think Katz was so consumed with her personal NIMBY issue that she couldn’t see the forest from the tress.

I believe Greenatein and Katz knew exactly what the outcome would Summit Greenfield has spent over 6 years submitting plans, resubmitted plans, paying for studies, modifying proposals and generally going back to the drawing board over and over again.  The previous town hoard combined with push back from the community, basically made it impossible for SG to utilize their property. In the meantime valuable tax dollars were lost as the developer successfully fought to reduce taxes paid to New Castle. After many years of delays and obstruction SG put forth a plan that was impossible to stop and the courts would certainly rule against New Castle. Add Whole Foods commitment and that locked it.

Greenstein understands this dynamic and he is now working with the developer to negotiate a mutually beneficial development. The NIMBY contingency can not stop this. They blindly followed without really understanding the facts.
In the end, we all will benefit.

By Stuart G on 04/06/2014 at 7:01 am

Lisa Katz is in a no win situation. If she votes against Greenstein to stop retail at CC she will viewed as the deciding vote that will trigger a long drawn out expensive lawsuit by Summit Greenfield against The Town Of New Castle.  Now in office, Greenstein recognizes what many have said. That should we get taken to court we will be “unsuccessful in a court challenge”. Katz is a lawyer. She is now getting an up close look at the predicament we are in. Pace characterized our challenge as “fiscal and market realities”. That means the NIMBY argument is weak and indefensible. Will Katz vote the right thing for our town, bringing Whole Foods and preventing a certain lawsuit? Or will she stand with her NIMBY neighbors and avoid their wrath?
This is a classic case of a politician doing the right thing for the community, for the greater good vs serving a personal agenda.

By Resident on 04/06/2014 at 7:36 am

I agree with Taxpayer. Why are you all so surprised Mr Greenstein is backing and supporting retail at Chapp Crsing? He gave many indications before and during his election. He took credit and repeated that Whole Foods at CC was his idea. He regularly suggested that we need to sit down and work with the developer to get the best outcome for our community. He suggested many times that a land swap to move town hall to CC would be a big plus. So now that is what he is doing and you are outraged? I don’t get it.

By Taxpayer also on 04/06/2014 at 7:49 am

Did someone actually ask if there was an RFP for our town counsel? 

We should be choosing our town attorneys based on their legal expertise and experience and not the cheapest rate. Keane & Beane represents many towns throughout Westchester County. They have a tremendous reputation.

I would, however, like to see how Keane & Beane’s rate compares to Clinton Smith’s firm.

By Are you serious? on 04/06/2014 at 8:37 am

Lisa Katz may be the best at fooling us all.  I feel fooled by her. I bought into her sweet presentation.  I bought into her promises.  Now we are asking her to step up and stand up against her team mates.  I now believe I have been had.  I am very disappointed in Lisa.

By I am smart, not on 04/06/2014 at 8:53 am

Mr. Greenstein, perhaps you do not understand the desires of the community. We are notlooking for you to avoid Town Hall from entering into the Courtroom with SG. In fact, your administration would be looked upon as fulfilling its obligation to the voters who voted you and your team into office, if you actually take this matter into the Courtroom.

Please do not say that your hands are tied.  We all know that the Courts favor the leadership of a Municipality and any lawyer that has his practice in the field of Real Estate will tell you this. So why don’t you ask the Community if they support you risking their tax dollars by meeting SG in a Courtroom, and stop telling us that your hands are tied. I think it is more about team Green not wanting to have so much of their personal time absorbed by this matter, and to that end, our community is going to be changed forever.

Mr. Greenstein go ask the Public if they favor you holding the zoning in place, not changing it, and if need be, meeting SG in Court. Go ahead ask the community.

By Lost it! on 04/06/2014 at 10:17 am

What, Stuart G?!?!??!

Stuart G - The previous town hoard combined with push back from the community, basically made it impossible for SG to utilize their property.

wrong: the court said that was a specious argument and SG knew it. SG has always been able to utilize their property by staying with the zoning. Court said SG could have built 20-some single fam homes and used the office space.

Stuart G: In the meantime valuable tax dollars were lost as the developer successfully fought to reduce taxes paid to New Castle.

Right: SG gets its assessment reduced from time to time, based on what revenues are coming out of the property. It will be nice to have something that produces revenue.  But maybe not what Greenstein and Sg are proposing.

Stuart G: After many years of delays and obstruction SG put forth a plan that was impossible to stop and the courts would certainly rule against New Castle.

Wrong: “impossible to stop” how?  “courts wd certainly rule against NC” why? How could you possibly know that?  court case wise it’s looking pretty good for NC. You’re out of your depth here.

Stuart G: Add Whole Foods commitment and that locked it.

Right/Wrong:  “Locked it” for who? You?  Why? Because you and people you talk to want Whole Fds?  You know what you think.  And you know what people who tell you they agree with you think. But you don’t know what the town wants. Nobody does. The master plan people are supposed to find that out.

By you got some right and some wrong on 04/06/2014 at 10:33 am

ATTENTION NIMBYs!! ATTENTION WHOLE FOOD SHOPPERS!!
I agree with a few of the comments above as I too am surprised at all the outrage and anger direceted at Greenstein and Team New Castle.You voted for him/them - you got what you paid for.

On many occassions in this blog and at public forums Greenstein took credit for the idea of bringing Whole Foods to CC. He also publicly stated that we need to negotiate with Summit Greenfield and work out the best deal for our community. Many times through the election campaign he floated the idea of moving Town Hall/Police to CC. He suggested some sort of trade or “land swap” with the developer.

NOW he is following through on all of these things and you all seem so shocked and outraged!He is negotiating with SG, trying to secure Whole Foods, trying to move Town Hall so why are you all so upset? This is what he told you he would do - and you voted for him/them.

You voted for Lisa Katz as member of Team New Castle. She promised to stop retail at CC. Didnt you find it odd that she was running to stop retail at CC while her running mate Supervisor Greenstein was running to work with the developer to bring retail(Whole Foods) to CC?

You were just so blinded by your own NIMBY ambitions to stop retail that you ignored all the signs. What does it say about Ms Katz that she didnt work this out with Greenstein in advance. They are on the same “Team” and he ran to bring retail to CC and she ran to stop it.

Greenstein is on the right track. This will be good for New Castle. Further delay and obstruction will result in paralysis and lawsuits.

By west side guy on 04/06/2014 at 10:54 am

To You got some right and some wrong - I think you miss the bigger picture here. There are 110 UNDERUTILIZED acres at CC. The community wants and needs an upscale Grocer like Whole Foods. We have almost no housing stock of condos and townhosues that say Empty Nesters might downsize to, We are in desperate need of commercial/retail tax dollars to stabilize our escalating taxes. We are losing homebuyers to neighboring communities as buyers can get better deals in great school districts and pay much lower taxes. They also can live in a town that has the basic needs met like a super market. Ask any real estate broker in our town and they will tell you that Chapp no longer has the edge it used to. There are many other great school systems in towns that have town pools, community centers, supermarkets and lower taxes. There is only one viable parcel of land that can satisfy some of these needs and that is Chapp Crossing.
You can continue the same 8 year old argument that it is zoned commercial and that we shouldnt change zoning but that is cutting off your nose to spite your face thinking. It is selfish NIMBY talk.
Regardless of your opinion about what the courts will or wont do, a lengthy costly lawsuit is in nobodys best interests. And then we could lose. Of course the NIMBY folk dont care about any of this. Delay and obstruction is their tactic. I never thought I would say this but ROB GREENSTEIN is doing the best thing for our community!
I am not RG- I do not work for SG.

By resident on 04/06/2014 at 11:04 am

To Lost it- I am an empty nester. I am a member of the community. Statistically empty nesters make up a substantial percentage of homeowners/ tax payers in this community. I have heard as much as 50%.

I speak for many of us when I say I do not think it productive to go to court to fight this developer. It is a waste of time and money. Our taxes are sky high with no end in sight to continued escalations. EVERYBODY including Greenstein understands that the only way to keep our taxes in check is to expand the commercial tax base and build additional residential to generate more taxes. There are only a few viable properties where this can be accomplished - CC and Legionaries to name 2.

You asked for community feed back and that is my feedback. Many others share this view. Recall the informal survey to gauge residents interest in Whole Foods. Over fifty percent were in favor. That was a complete repudiation from those who insisted the community opposed it. This is the same thing. We don’t want long drawn out litigation that may result in an expensive loss of revenue and penalties. It’s time to grow up and deal with reality.

By Empty nester on 04/06/2014 at 11:24 am

These are the very same arguments made years ago and thru the election. We have squandered time, opportunity and money. Team New Castle won the election. Let them govern and stop rehashing years old arguments!

By Waste Of time on 04/06/2014 at 11:41 am

West Side Guy- best comment on the Board! I agree 100%. Provocative and thoughtful.
To Editor Yeres- outstanding commentary. Thank you for your efforts in providing this valuable service to our community. You must keep anonymous comments. They are invaluable.

By Bravo on 04/06/2014 at 12:21 pm

I agree with west side guy but he forgot to mention one more issue. Let’s not be surprised and angry when Mr Greenstein introduces the Napoli plan after he moves town hall to CC. Expect that town hall will move, residential replaces town hall, and he rolls out the Napoli plan to bring larger stores , more parking, and a big oversized theater to downtown. At every opportunity RG has voiced support for the Napoli plan to “revitalize downtown”. Brodsky has already weighed in as a supporter of relaxed regulation allowing landlord to expand and build bigger buildings. This is their vision and goal. This is what they ran on. They won the election. Dont be surprised and angry when they roll it out. It is a mystery to me how you people voted them in.

By One more thing on 04/06/2014 at 2:23 pm

I will avoid that area at Greeley dismissal time . Big deal. The development is largely hidden. You would think that the arms of some people are being sawed off instead of them getting a grocery store .

The home owners on the Greeley side of the street will have to suck it up.they bought their homes on an active through street next to the train.  The cowdin people have a point to the extent that no one should see anything from their hoses. That they “know ” it’s there and they are unhappy about something they don’t see or hear, well. It’s summed up in one word…..nimby

By Not a pontificator on 04/06/2014 at 5:40 pm

An RFP for legal services is essential since Rob Greenstein is so concerned about his new Ethics law.  He has told many of us that he “gave” the counsel job to his very good friend (Ed Phillips) who is a partner of Keane and Beane.  That is why RFPs are important.  It may be a great firm but what about the disclosure here???  Greenstein what say you?

By very serious on 04/06/2014 at 7:15 pm

Why be afraid of protecting the Municipality? Are you telling me that the Golden Key to Town Hall is to file an application for development, and as soon as the town delays or does not want what is being proposed i.e Spa of New Castle, that the developer should file a lawsuit? Are you telling me that the absolute fear of a long and drawn out lawsuit is how you set your compass in matters like we have before us? I think you are wrong, I think that Greenstein needs to show that his hands are not tied. I think he needs to take this matter to Court. Greenstein was voted into office to stop CC. If he feels that he now has to approve it, then he should resign. Not because he is failing the desires of the Municipality, but because he can’t handle the damage that the previous Administration inflicted on to all of us. We really voted Greenstein into office not to make the ‘best of a situation’, but to not take or approve any measures that would destroy downtown Chappaqua. Can you imagine Greenstein resigning from being the Supervisor, and appointing himself to the Planning Board, while proclaiming that his hands are tied. Then while sitting on the PB he upholds his promise to the community by simply always voting against CC. I don’t believe it is in his nature to do this, but it would mix things up a little bit.

By Re: Empty nester on 04/06/2014 at 9:07 pm

How do you support people in office who lie to you? How can we trust what they are going to do with our money? If they lied about what they were going to do when they got into office, aren’t people worried what else they may lie to us about? I am very concerned!

By I just don't get it on 04/06/2014 at 11:24 pm

I understand some people are very upset that:

A. Rob Greenstein is our supervisor
B. Some kind of retail development is coming to Chappaqua Crossing

However, calling Mr. Greenstein a liar, charlatan and the like is not only distasteful, but inaccurate. As others have pointed out, Mr. Greenstein took a very nuanced (and responsible) stance on Chappaqua Crossing during the election. He now continues to take a responsible approach. Yes, many people are opposed to ANY development at Chappaqua Crossing. But those people are not realistic.

As for the master plan, it is not a moratorium. As Pace explained, it is normal for development to proceed during the 18-month process. Furthermore, no new views could possibly be surfaced regarding development at Chappaqua Crossing. It has been an 8-year discussion. It is reasonable that Chappaqua Crossing move forward based on that 8-year discussion. While many are not happy where it’s heading, others are quite pleased with the outcome.

I personally do not see a need for retail at that location. I’d much rather see a large corporate client come in as our white knight. That said, the proposed development is modest, and Whole Foods will benefit the community as a whole. Many of us will shop there. A modern gym would also be an asset to the community. We could use this kind of community center.

Finally, while downtown merchants are understandably upset, I don’t believe Chappaqua Crossing will be a death knell for the hamlet. we can also plan smart development in the hamlet that will increase overall appeal of our town. Also, lowered rents wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing downtown. It might spur some creative retail ideas.

 

By Chappaquaperson on 04/07/2014 at 12:47 am

@ disgusted and fed up merchant,

It is obvious that you are not a merchant.  Any merchant who would oppose replacing a nine acre parking lot with an efficient parking garage, more housing and recreation activities would never stay in business long.

By A Real Business Owner on 04/07/2014 at 5:39 am

Keane & Beane is one of the largest law firms based in Westchester County. They represent Bedford, Rye Brook, Beacon and Pleasantville.  They have the same yearly retainer as Clinton Smith’s firm but charge 1/2 the hourly rate ($240 vs. $450) for work outside the retainer for both the Town of New Castle and applicants. 

By A step in the right direction on 04/07/2014 at 6:42 am

@ AReal Business Owner
Maybe you know something we don’t but we have seen no plan or heard of one that calls for “replacing a nine acre parking lot with an effecient parking garage…”  We have been told that the goal of thus new adminstration is to move town hall and replace it with residential. The only description of any new downtown parking I have heard mentioned is embodied in the Napoli plan. His garage is 400 car underground garage next to Bell School. As a merchant I would oppose that. I am also a resident - as a resident and parent of school age children I oppose that.

By Another business owner on 04/07/2014 at 7:28 am

To Re: Empty Nester ( not empty nester)- Summit Greenfield did not file a lawsuit ” as soon as the town delays” . That is a complete and total distortion of the facts.
Lawsuits were filled in the matter of zoning changes at CC only after multiple applications, revisions, and rejections. Lawsuits were filed many years after the original applications were submitted. Only after years ( 6 years!) of being obstructed and stalled did the developer take this to the courts to claim denial of usage.
I agree with you that a municipality can not operate in fear but this is no normal time line. Our 3 new town board members are lawyers. Give them some credit for reviewing the cases, understanding the obstacles and likely outcome, and choosing a path best for all. I have to believe after speaking with our new attorneys and after negotiating with SG that we were extremely vulnerable to a judgement against us. Mr Greenstein comment above would support that view- he characterizes it as an ” unsuccessful court challenge”. He has obviously been advised by our town lawyers that we have a weakened position.
I also disagree with you when you say Greenstein was voted into office to stop CC development. Maybe you weren’t paying attention when he suggested Whole Foods be a good fit at CC. He repeated that several times before and during his campaign. Maybe you missed the many times he suggested we need to sit down and negotiate with SG. What do you think he was referring when he spoke of negotiations? I heard him reject a ” strip mall”. I did not hear him reject or proclaim to stop a well planned multi-usage development at CC.
Many people, perhaps you are one, opposes anything at CC. They heard what they want thinking that any replacement for Carpenter would be better for them. I think Greenstein is being pragmatic and yes, in some ways his hands are tied.

By Resident on 04/07/2014 at 8:41 am

There are other law firms that work for municipalities and they are not personal friends of Greenstein.  They were not given the opportunity to respond to an RFP.  How does this apply to the new Ethics law proposed by the Supervisor?  He brought in his friend! Perhaps K&B would have prevailed in that process, which would have been fine, but how this was done was just not transparent or basically, right.

By you don't get it on 04/07/2014 at 9:00 am

Let’s bring big box stores to CC because they serve more people in Westchester and charge less! Great logic.

By A merchant on 04/07/2014 at 9:13 am

Chappaquaperson,

You sound exactly like our Supervisor, word for word. Who do you think you are kidding, Rob?  Another give-away, you often post early in the morning.

By Try another one on 04/07/2014 at 9:44 am

Keane & Beane is an excellent firm. New Castle would be wise to get rid of all existing counsel and bring in fresh people with fresh ideas, thinking about a fresh approach, as to how we can refresh various matters and bring about a fresh solution.

By Jelly beans for all on 04/07/2014 at 10:35 am

Rob Greenstein has said everything there is to say on every side of every issue.  That is why you all can point to, well, he did say this etc.  That is the mark of a charlatan, huckster, liar.  Take your pick, they all fit.

By Take your pick on 04/07/2014 at 12:34 pm

I am really disgusted by all the NIMBY commentary here. You folks voted Mr Greenstein and Team New Castle into office. As Take Your Pick (above comment) correctly states, Greenstein took every side on every issue. The NIMBY of CC ignored all this and only heard what they wanted to hear. Now everybody in town pays for your selfishness.

I strongly support Whole Foods and ancillary retail at CC – I always have. You folks bought your houses in close proximity to a high school and a large tract of land that is not/was not zoned for residential. Things change – they don’t always stay the same.

The same NIMBY folk years ago rejected and protested the new middle school at Greeley. Many objected to any new middle school, but once it was a certainty the CCSD School Board had chosen the Greeley campus to be the home of the middle school. Like Pleasantville, Bedford and many other communities a middle school shares or is in close proximity to the high school. But the same NIMBY folks mobilized to push the middle school to the other side of town. Their children did not have to redistrict and their children stayed at Bell.

Retail and Whole Foods should come to CC. It benefits us all. It generates taxes – it benefits us all. This small and vocal group should not be able to continually influence town and school policy for their own selfishness.

By It's your own fault- on 04/07/2014 at 1:46 pm

Keane and Beane may be the best thing since sliced bread but how they were chosen is wrong.  The partner is Rob’s friend.  There was no RFP.  If this firm came out as a result of a RFP process, that is fine.  But it didn’t.  Rob just brought them in.  Jelly Beans indeed.

By you still don't get it on 04/07/2014 at 1:51 pm

West Side Guy and Take Your Pick are absolutely spot on correct. Nothing that is happening right now with respect to CC , Spa, or Town Hall should be a surprise to anyone. What surprises me is that so many people feel duped and betrayed. What were you people thinking when you voted for Team Green?
Greenstein certainly said and wrote enough things to indicate he would negotiate with SG and bring Whole Foods to CC. He spoke often of moving town hall through some barter or Iand swap arrangement. It is also true that he often represented that he was opposed to retail at CC trying to protect the merchants in his chamber of commerce.

When someone takes all sides of an argument and flip flops based on who is being spoken to, it is generally a good indication of that persons lack integrity and honesty.

The writing was on the wall. The tea leaves were there to be read-but you voted for them and he won the election. Brodsky with all his baggage and his agenda as a downtown property owner ( his in-laws that employ him) was elected too. From what I can tell, Katz was so committed to her NIMBY position she ignored all signals sent by RG that he could easily come down on the side of development. Although when The Spa was discussed at a board meeting last month she certainly did not protest and object as loudly as when CC in her backyard came up. In fact she said little.

I predict vindication when Whole Foods and CC is fully functional. It will be a big plus.

By RayJ on 04/07/2014 at 2:18 pm

We fought large scale residential development at CC for years and won a reduction.  Ultimately and smartly we determined that commercial helped the community’s tax base without placing pressure on our services ( schools particularly)  Now under consideration is allowing the same developer the ability to increase residential downtown. So many plans, ideas, meetings, committees have worked on how to make the downtown more of a destination - revitalize downtown.

I may have missed a vote where the plan is to make Chappaqua crossing the new center of town. Where the Halloween parade will be a march around the Whole Foods parking lot. And townhouses will cover the rec field so we can replace softball with old school stick ball games in the street.

We haven’t even built the CC residential ( or commercial) yet or the SPA residential ( or commercial) - why is it that the town board thinks we need more residential before we have even completed the hundreds of units planned. And the board is willing to give away town property to help the developer. We have no idea the impact all of this development will have on the community. And now we are planning to let it all happen at once making it that much harder for the community to digest. Work with the developer in developing the property they bought. Let’s not try to cut new deals behind closed doors that expand the scope of the CC project to downtown or complicate the basic issue of development at the CC site.

 


 

By pmg on 04/07/2014 at 2:20 pm

I don’t give a hoot about what I should or should not be hearing. I give a hoot about our downtown Chappaqua merchants and the charm that it takes decades to create to somehow get to the right mix of tenants and businesses that provide the downtown with its charm that we all like and like to live with. Talk about this tenant or that tenant as possible suitors for CC, and I don’t give a hoot! We voted Greenstein into office to make decisions that protect the interest of downtown Chappaqua - PERIOD! It now seems that your hands are tied - WONDERFUL! Then resign Mr. Greenstein, and give your job to a person that will follow through on the promises that you made to us ALL which was that you would help protect the interest of the merchants and eliminate some of our aggravation when we need to get something done like placing an EMERGENCY ROOF TOP GENERATOR on a Roof that serves the public during storms like hurricane Sandy. Our community does not have to do anything for CC except keep the zoning “as is.” John Buckley where are YOU? Can’t we get you onto the Planning Board? Michael Wolfenson where are you? Can’t we get you onto the Plannng Board?

By Re: Resident on 04/07/2014 at 3:02 pm

Let’s see- The 3 lawyers who make up Green Team New Castle have hit a bump in the road. Their separate and individual agendas have caught up with them and have exposed them. They are not a team after all. How could it be that Katz ran to stop retail at CC and within a month or 2 in office Capt Greenstein is moving full steam ahead with retail at CC.

Not only does Ms Katz and her neighbors get Whole Foods and retail but now they also get town hall and the police. Brodsky is just playing it cool and staying out of the fray because his agenda ( downtown real estate) will emerge when the downtown revitalization package is announced. Capt G brought in his friend as the new New Castle attorneys. He is secretly negotiating with Summit Greenfield. Chuck Napoli remains uncharacteristically silent. He was very vocal with Carpenter admonishing to plan before develop- not now. He will resurface again when Greenstein punches his ticket. 
 
Most ridiculous and laugh out loud funny is that this Team promised us transparency. How can they be transparent with us if they aren’t even transparent with each other.

There was no doubt retail and Whole Foods were coming. Greenstein tipped his hand often when he took credit for Whole Foods at CC. He is a lawyer. He had to have known our town was vulnerable to litigation which must have been confirmed by Keane&Beane;. How could Katz have not figured this out?
We have 3 town board members with no practical governing experience. 3 lawyers and none with municipal law experience. But they got elected thanks to those that voted their agendas before the greater good of New Castle. Now they look like the Keystone Cops and people are outraged. Really? What did you expect?

By Shock and awe on 04/07/2014 at 4:01 pm

If you all go back to the meeting where the prior town board passed on the findings, you will see that the findings only determined the environmental impacts of replacing up to 120,000 square feet of office with retail.  The findings do not change the zoning or require a change in the zoning.  they are just one step in the process that would ALLOW the board to change the zoning.  Plus I thought this was supposed to be a change in office to retail- not a proposal to build 120,000 square feet on retail on top of the exisitng office.  Even if some of the office is being removed- like the new site plan shows, this is not an exchange of office for retail- its significantly MORE retail than the amount of office being removed.  If the new board has decided that retail is OK, then do it responsibly (not by making the whole office/retail bigger than what exists)and acknowledge what you have decided- don’t make up excuses. Getting rid of some of the excess retail in this plan would also allow for better residential on the site. The new site plan looks awfully crowded.

By go back to the video tape on 04/07/2014 at 5:11 pm

In some other article it was stated by someone (not anonymously) that anonymity doesn’t necessarily have to imply rude and ugly.  I know in a past post I have been accused of being Greenstein and then I see the same accusation toward Chappaquaperson above.  What was it, the coherent and well written sentences?  Or perhaps it was the lack of multiple exclamation points or extended sections in all caps?  I guess it’s also hard to accuse someone of being a liar when they are anonymous.  So you actually have something written like something from a normal, intelligent human being.  Of course that must be Greenstein!  But what in the world are the rest of you?

By Anonymous Comments on 04/07/2014 at 6:22 pm

I don’t see any big box store in the new CC plan, other than Whole foods, which must be the size that it is.

If that is your only contra argument, its over. Lets build

By dear "a merchant" on 04/07/2014 at 8:37 pm

As a business owner in downtown Chappaqua, I feel we have lost the ability to keep that certain something intact for everyone that lives in New Castle. As the song goes ‘change is in the air,’ will it be good or bad? I never felt that New Castle had to be exposed to such a risk. It appears that both the effort and fight to stop CC is over, and it is now going to happen. The majority of people working at town hall will approve the CC project, Spa project, and most likely settle to resolve the Conifer project. What else is new!

By Our loss on 04/07/2014 at 10:03 pm

Dear “a merchant” my comment was in reference to the hos the attorneys the the Town were chosen.  Please go back and re-read posts!

By Re-read please on 04/08/2014 at 9:36 am

Merchants downtown – we can not change the trajectory of retail and commerce. It has forever changed and will continue to evolve. On-line E Commerce has made it difficult for merchants everywhere to survive. Mom n Pop stores are hurting and even chain stores are being cannibalized by their own on-line shopping. Foot traffic is down dramatically everywhere. GAP, Victoria Secret, J Crew are seeing growth in their online business while their brick and mortar sales suffer. Mt Kisco and Pleasantville have high turnover and vacancy rates. Even with Jacob Burn Theater, Pleasantville merchants are hurting. Hellers Shoes, a decades old family biz closed its Pleasantville store. Zapped by Zappos-(hear that Chuck Napoli?) Gone forever are book stores, music-record stores, photo store, Hallmark cards, etc. What remains are stores that sell/provide goods and services not obtained on-line or not comfortably bought on line. Hence, supermarkets, nail salons, day spas, gyms, gas stations, restaurants/delis, and some financial/real estate type establishments. Look at downtown Chapp. – 7 nail/spas, 4 banks, 5 real estate brokers, and 5 stores to get coffee and a bite (Starbucks, Dunkn D, Sherry B, Susan Lawrnce,etc) and 3 Pizzerias. These are all great places owned /operated by wonderful people but these merchants will not attract enough shoppers. The mix is poor.
Whole Foods at CC will attract shoppers from many towns. It will serve as anchor for other ancillary retail. There will be plenty of parking. Lets face reality and stop trying to preserve or change a downtown with poor topography and too great a challenge. We have 100 acres at CC with a developer that can deliver Whole Foods and now we have a Supervisor that is working with them to make sure New Castle is best served. His tactics and persona aside, Greenstein is doing the right thing. To continue the years of obstruction would land us in court. Change the zoning and lets get on with it.

By Build it and they will come on 04/08/2014 at 10:47 am

Wow- great comment by Build it and they will come. I agree.

By Count me in on 04/08/2014 at 3:06 pm

Not until you protect the interest of downtown Chappaqua. You have to first and before any approvals are given to CC, change both the Planning and Zoning laws that restrict downtown Chappaqua. The overlay District should be from the train tracks to Rt.117, from the NCPD to Walgreens. Within this area Town Hall needs to erase all Planning and Zoning laws and create NEW P & Z Law manual that will allow any existing or future landlord / property owner the Municipal GIVEN RIGHT to attract anykind of use possible that will allow the owner to pay his property taxes, pay his mortgage, pay his property Insurance and upkeep the exterior of their properties. If Town Hall does not weigh in on this topic and moves forward with the CC project, you are subjecting all downtown landlords to be jerked with by town hall when they are trying to adopt to a new THIRD HAMLET for the benefit of the community and themselves. Can we change Bank of America into a SPORTS BAR and GRILL? Can we change the DANCE STUDIO into non-affordable apartments? Can we build another Gas Station where Citi Bank is located? How about a 10 bay Oil and Tire Center located at the top of King Street where the Pizza Shop is? A THIRD HAMLET is great, but how do you allow the rest of the commercial base to survive in combination with the Board of Health mandates? Town Hall you are playing Russian roulette with the future of New Castle by not considering the overall impact and change that needs to happen before we grant approvals on a THIRD HAMLET. Do we all want to drive through a downtown Chappaqua that will be economically decaying once CC gets approved? Maybe it’s time to move do to poor planning and complicated Politics that causes all our hands to be tied communit wide. Katz do you understand this, or do you now regret being on the Town Board? Brodsky, where the heck have you been?

By Re: Build it and they will come on 04/08/2014 at 6:37 pm

The last Board was moving forward with development at CC.  It was this new group that didn’t want it.  Now they joined what the former TB had in mind.  Let’s give credit where it is due.

By for the record on 04/08/2014 at 6:42 pm

Re: Re: Build it and they will come - This is a very important point of view that needs to be addressed. Perhaps town hall can provide this area of New Castle with a new set of planning and zoning laws that would actually turn them all into supporters of CC. What can town hall offer to the downtown property owners that would either reduce or eliminate their fears of a third hamlet. Has anyone ask this question? Is there time to address this, or have we gone past a tipping point into possible litigation.

By Point of view on 04/09/2014 at 9:37 am


Post a comment:

Display Name*:

Your Display Name will be associated with this comment on NewCastleNOW.org. We encourage commentators to use their real name or initials.

We encourage civil, civic discourse. In other words, be pithy and polite. All comments will be reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.