Town Board is at work revising Chappaqua Crossing draft zoning . . .

. . . and remains non-committal on Planning Board request to share PDCP approval authority

Saturday, November 8, 2014
by Christine Yeres

Last Wednesday Town Board members ran through the draft retail zoning from May of this year.  Early on they discussed whether to agree to the Planning Board’s request that its members be included in the approval process for the preliminary development concept plan, “so that the Planning Board’s concerns and comments could be folded into the Town Board’s actions.”

The Town Board’s counsel, Nick Ward-Willis, outlined the approval process:

The Town Development Plan amendment would say, “Yes, we agree that there should be retail at Chappaqua Crossing.”

The zoning amendment would say, “Yes, retail is allowed in the property.”

First the Town Board would adopt the zoning change, then advance to Preliminary Concept Design Plan (PDCP) stage.

During PDCP stage “is the Board’s chance to say how much retail, to add conditions, and “put your fingerprints” on the project, he told Board members, “tailoring it to how, specifically, you believe the site should be developed.”

At this point the Town Board would refer the PDCP to the Planning Board and have a public hearing—“so there would be that opportunity for comment by the Planning Board,” explained Ward-Willis.

Last comes “site plan approval” by the Planning Board—site layout: where parking, streets and drainage go, lighting, garbage pickup, times for deliveries, storm water issues, sidewalks, architectural details, as well as environmental permits.

Planning Board request to share PDCP approval authority with Town Board

The Planning Board has proposed that its members be included in approval of the PDCP rather than be called upon officially only at site plan approval stage.

Ward-Willis cautioned Town Board members that sharing PDCP approval authority, in his experience, could result in an applicant feeling he or she is “serving two masters,” and that the applicant “ping-pongs” from one board to another.

Town Planner Sabrina Charney agreed with Ward-Willis.  “Serving two masters,” she said—present by speaker phone at the meeting—“is very convoluted.”

“The Planning Board expressed its desire to incorporate Traditional Neighborhood Development principles and standards,” observed Town Board member Jason Chapin.  “Overall here is the Planning Board saying they’re in favor of TND—and since they are the experts, I agree with that.  I think it’s appropriate to share the changes we want to make with them and get their feedback.  It’s important to continue to work with them on this process.”

“We definitely want their input,” said Supervisor Rob Greenstein, “but acknowledge that this has bee a long, drawn-out process.  We don’t want to complicate it any more than we have to.”

Town Board members made no commitment to formally share approval authority with the Planning Board when it comes to the PDCP.

County and Department of Transportation approvals

“And approval from the County?” asked Town Board member Lisa Katz.

“The County wants more TND design,” said Ward-Willis, in the form, for example, of “more pedestrian and bike linkage between the three uses [retail, office, and residential].”

“And can we get the Department of Transportation to opine on the [proposed changes to Route 117]—or they won’t do it till after [the project] is approved?” asked Katz.

“DOT is not going to expend their resources [thinking about] it until Summit Greenfield applies for a work permit,” said Ward-Willis.  [The cost of the changes themselves would be borne entirely by Summit Greenfield.]

Size of the retail

The draft zoning the Town Board was reviewing in the work session still reads, “maximum square footage shall not exceed 120,000 square feet.”  Ward-Willis explained, “That is something that we have to discuss.  Right now that number is a place-holder.”

Chapin reminded colleagues that, in concept, according to the draft zoning, if the Town Board were to approve 120,000 square feet of retail, that same amount of existing office space would be decommissioned.

Town Board member Adam Brodsky noted that “some space [proposed for decomissioning] is basement space, “not really a fair exchange for the retail. We should consider that in the analysis.  It’s not really apples-to-apples.”

“The basement,” explained Greenstein, “is space on a level with the Saw Mill side of the building—it’s not so dark and dingy.  The first floor is level with Route 117.”

“It’s pretty dark and dingy,” said Katz, who used to work at Reader’s Digest.

No other large anchors

The Planning Board, said Ward-Willis, believed the town should not permit anchors-size stores other than the 40,000-square-foot Whole Foods grocery.  No additional big-box.

“That’s consistent with TND,” said Greenstein.

But the Town Board might want to exempt the 25,000-square-foot gym space, suggested Charney.

“I agree,” said Katz, “but only if there’s a gym there.  No gym, then no exemption.”

Is there parking enough?

“How was it determined that there is enough parking?” asked Brodsky.

“It was grandfathered in,” said Charney, by the Town Inspector. ”—which is why the Planning Board wants the site to have integrated parking, to operate as one continuous site for parking.” [The ratio of office square footage to parking spaces for the Reader’s Digest operation were lower than Town Code currently requires.]

“People want to build a little business in town,” said Brodsky, “and we drive them crazy [over whether they have enough parking spaces]—and here we’re glossing over it and saying the Building Inspector took his best guess.  Parking drives everything.”

“Whole Foods certainly didn’t gloss over parking,” said Greenstein.

“And they’re asking for more [parking spaces] than our code requires,” added Charney.

Charney agreed that she would look at the history of the grandfathered parking requirements with Ward-Willis and report back to the Town Board.

Screening

The draft zoning specifies that “[T]he shape, dimension, topography, and location of any Office Park Retail Overlay District must allow for an appropriate and attractive development with proper building separation and screening and a harmonious relationship with adjoining land uses and the natural physical terrain.”

“There should be aggressive screening between anything approved [at Chappaqua Crossing] and outside uses,” said Katz.

Fitting into the neighborhood

Bob Lewis, who lives at the corner of 117 and Roaring Brook Road, addressed Town Board members.  “The main thing tonight is that the design of this site have not been explored from the standpoint of what’s good for the area—only for the applicant, and never in terms of the neighbors and what’s good for the neighbors.”

An architect himself, Lewis had some sketches, he told Board members, showing how retail traffic might be directed mainly to enter on the Saw Mill Parkway side of the Chappaqua Crossing site to reach the retail zone.  Mere signage—pointing traffic to “go left” into Chappaqua Crossing instead of right, onto Roaring Brook Road—wasn’t enough, he suggested.

“Why not just build a nice entrance facing the parkway?” asked Lewis.  “And why put the ass-end of the supermarket smack-dab on a residential street when you could instead consolidate the [Chappaqua Crossing residential units] along Roaring Brook Road to make a traditional neighborhood [with the residences on the opposite side of the street]?  This is the preliminary development concept stage of the process.  This is where you make these big decisions.  You don’t wait for the design development phase or the construction documents phase.”

Ward-Willis suggested that Lewis make such comments at the next public hearing, or that he set up an appointment to discuss his ideas with Town Planner Sabrina Charney.

“It sounds like some of the ideas you have are things we should consider putting into the zoning law,” said Katz, ”—and some of them, such as the placement of Whole Foods, has to be part of the preliminary concept development plan.”

“Some of your recommendations have been made at the public hearings—and there are going to be more public hearings,” Greenstein assured Lewis.

Lewis responded that in the ten years that Summit Greenfield’s proposals have been considered “we haven’t really thought about these things.”  And as to the “harmonious relationship” the zoning describes, said Lewis, “when you have two incompatible uses in direct proximity, the more extensive the buffer should be.”

“The way you make a design decision,” said Lewis, “is that you lay out half a dozen design ideas and let the best ones float to the top.”  Lewis pointed out that the County, too, was not happy with Summit Greenfield’s latest concept plan.

“If you were the applicant,” Greenstein asked Lewis, “who has been at this eight to ten years, and someone comes in at the eleventh hour and asks to redesign the project, what would you say?”

“If I were the applicant I’d say it’s been going on too long,” said Lewis.  “But I’m a neighbor and I also say it’s been going on too long.  I want resolution too.  I’m not proposing to abandon everything but have it pass the test of ‘Have we really looked at this thing?’”

Asked after the meeting Lewis told NCNOW, “The answer is that the developer seems more interested in retail than anything else, and if he gets it he probably doesn’t care exactly what it all looks like,” said Lewis, “and I hope the Board can influence him to make site work for everybody—including the neighborhood around it.”

Katz sets the record straight on sewage treatment at Chappaqua Crossing

Katz pointed out that the draft zoning the Town Board had before it listed “Utility structures for the transmission, storage and/or treatment of water and sewage.”  Since she has felt “pushback” over her statement that “sewage treatment” was a permitted use, she said, she wanted to note, for the record, that “sewage treatment” was then—and was still—a use permitted in the draft zoning document. 

Ward-Willis posited that the use may no longer be necessary.  Asked later in the work session whether it would be removed, Town Planner Sabrina Charney guessed that it had been included in the zoning originally when it was not clear that Summit Greenfield would obtain County permission to extend the sewer district.  It now has that permission.  “If we don’t need it,” said Katz, “I would definitely take that out.”

“Personal services” defined

It was a request of the Planning Board that the proposed zoning amendment include a definition of the “personal services” that the zoning states are the domain of the existing hamlets and will not be repeated at Chappaqua Crossing.  Ward-Willis said that these include repair, care of, cleaning, and maintenance businesses such as barber shops, beauty shops, nail salons and pet-grooming establishments, and have been specified in the revisions.

Alteration of the proposed 120,000 square feet upper of retail

When it comes to the amount of retail space Summit Greenfield could be allowed to create, Ward-Willis characterized the 120,000-square-feet figure as “a placeholder.”  When NCNOW asked at what stage of the review or approval process it might be reduced, by whom, and by what mechanism, Ward-Willis responded that the Town Board had the authority—any time between now and the time they take a vote on it, and it’s a discussion the Town Board needs to have.”  A public discussion? asked NCNOW.  “Yes,” said Ward-Willis.

“Just to summarize,” said Chapin, “we have all the reports, we’re going to have more public hearings and will get more feedback, but I think we also need to agree that we need to move forward as expeditiously as possible.  We don’t want to take too much time, but we want to take enough time to thoroughly review everything.  I’ve heard other Board members say they’d like to make a decision by the end of the year.  I would agree with that.”

“And a lot of this will be decided in the PDCP phase,” said Greenstein, “which we’re not approving now.”

Brodsky, too, agreed it was time to resolve the Chappaqua Crossing application.

The Board continues its discussion of the Chappaqua Crossing amendments in its regular meeting on Monday, November 10, around 8:15 p.m. The public hearing resumes on Tuesday, November 18.

Latest documents mounted on the Town website:

Town Planner’s Summary of the Chappaqua Crossing Revised Retail PDCP


Draft zoning amendment for retail


Comments(37):
We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

Ms Katz obfuscation regarding the “sewage treatment” at CC continues. She is missing the point. The reason this topic continues to come up and the reason she now wants to set the record straight is because several people bring it up as an example of dishonest tactics and fear mongering used. It is true that sewage treatment in the literal sense is listed as “uses” at CC. However, there is not now nor was there ever a plan presented to our community that CC would include a sewage treatment facility. When Katz and her neighbors circulated a petition years ago opposing CC development, included on the petition of what SG was including was big box stores, bright neon lights, fast food restaurants and a sewage treatment plant. This was meant to scare and alarm residents. People signed this petition, including me, thinking that these things were actually on the drawing board. They were NOT! Then for months/years she/they bragged how they had received 800 signatures and NOBODY wanted this at CC.
She can backpedal now but that petition was not honest. It continues to come up because it is indicative of the lengths she and her neighbors will go to obstruct.

By digger a deeper hole on 11/08/2014 at 12:00 pm

To Our Town Board - Now is the time for action- approve retail at CC.
For too long there has been an unhealthy attitude towards Summit Greenfield. They have been vilified and criticized by the residents near CC. SG is a large land owner perhaps our biggest, and potentially our largest taxpayer. When they struggle it impacts us all. The prevailing NIMBY sentiment and the key behind an almost empty CC is the attitude that “too bad for them they made a bad investment” or “its zoned commercial therefore it must remain commercial” has been extremely damaging. We should be working with them not against them as the NIMBYs have. We must work with them to maximize usage, bring services and amenities to residents and increase the tax base.
Reasonable people are sympathetic to those living near CC. Unfortunately because of their numerous outrageous claims and their bad behavior they have hurt their own cause. Traffic remains the only issue that must be dealt with and that can be done. The rest of their claims are without facts and have been proven wrong by several studios, surveys and experts (paid for by both SG and Chapp).
You have heard from residents in favor (including some near CC). Real estate pros have told us we are no longer competitive with other communities. Our own residents no longer shop in our own town. we drive to Armonk and Mt Kisco. The Town Board has a fiduciary responsibility to serve all and a vibrant CC with a Whole Foods, Gym, ancillary retail, some condos and some office space will be great. Don’t let the NIMBYs make a virtue a sin.

By J K on 11/08/2014 at 1:27 pm

I agree with digger a deeper hole- I regrettably signed that petition because it was presented to me by someone who told me that the developer planned on building a strip mall with fast food, big box stores and a sewage treatment facility.
I am now fully informed. I understand what is planned and proposed for CC. I fully support the project and love the idea of a Whole Foods and gym in my community (I live very close to CC.
Truth be told I am upset and disappointed at my fellow residents that have deceived us and tried to scare us with false assertions. My husband is in commercial real estate and he is convinced that this developer has been treated unfairly and will certainly win if they sue our town. We strongly urge Supervisor Greenstein and the Town Board to approve.

By resident 10514 on 11/08/2014 at 1:35 pm

The Planning Board in no way shape or form should be allowed to participate in the approval process for the PDCP. They are appointed NOT elected. Once this precedent is set the Town Board will need to include the Planning Board on all such matters. This is a fundamental change to how our local government operates and must must NOT be allowed. The cynic in me suggests this is anther ploy, and end around to scuttle development at CC. 
If the Planning Board is given such power and authority than simple appointments will be manipulated to load the planning board with “volunteers” that will vote the way those that appoint them wish. To repeat - that is not how our local government is supposed to operate.

By voter and taxpayer on 11/08/2014 at 2:14 pm

no way the planning board should be part of the approval process. We just had an election. We voted for our town board. The planning board is an appointed body and has no authority in this matter. Their opinion is to be considered but they should not have authority.
We are trying to work with the developer and work towards mutually beneficial solutions. If you give the planning board authority the developer will now have to dance with 2 partners. It’s contentious enough and we seem to be making progress. This is a silly idea and will certainly throw a wrench in the works. Besides , what next? Planning board had authority at Rosehill? The mosque?  No - I don’t think so.

By Voter on 11/08/2014 at 2:48 pm

Once again Rob Greenstein shows he has matured and is looking for a solution. He is absolutely correct in his assessment regarding Plannimg Board participation. He says “this gas been a long drawn out process. We don’t want to complicate it any more than we gave to”. He is correct. Introduce another authority and we are bound to disturb the progress being made.
It’s time to approve this.

By Rayj on 11/08/2014 at 3:52 pm

digger a deeper hole,

It is you who is deliberately missing the point.  People were frightened, and rightly so, because of how this retail proposal was devised in the first place.

It is you who is now twisting and obfuscating because you have decided that you want shopping at CC and others be damned.  Shame on you.

By R.G. on 11/08/2014 at 4:11 pm

I am Lisa’s neighbor and think Lisa Katz is looking out for all of New Castle and not just her neighbors. I am a true NIMBY living here over 20 years but she has disagreed with me over some objections and sees CC from all angles. She will do what is best for the town and will not approve CC to stroke her ego (like Greenie), or follow others blindly (Brodsky), or act because she is not smart enough to see all the issues (Chapin).  I am relieved she stepped up for New Castle. Finally something with brains and integrity on the town board. It has been too long.

By Thank you Lisa on 11/08/2014 at 11:34 pm

Really Rayj ?

Mature is hardly a word that describes Rob, but keep trying. 
It is true that once elected he decided to represent the developer.  That can easily be seen by any fair minded person watching.  That would not be you.
Sure,  why involve the planning board.  Too inconvenient for Rob who with Sabrina must retain control for his agenda.  An agenda based on spin.
If the planning board had been the lead agency from the start we would not be in this mess.

By really Rayj ? on 11/09/2014 at 5:34 pm

Of course Bob Lewis is correct.  Where are the models from the developers.  That is common practice for these sorts iof ventures and has been completely ignored by this and the previous TB. Another giant fail on their part.  Why has Sabrina not made that a definite requisite as the town planner.  Big fail on her part.

Of course Bob Lewis is correct that there should not be an entrance to the site from Roaring Brook Rd across from the high school. This should never gave even been condsidered.  I know that Susan Carpenter is responsible for this negligence, but others need not have concurred with her inadequate assessment.  Another fail.

It is obvious that Greenstein only wants to get this done and once again demonstrates that he is representing the developer,  Actually Rob, it is YOU who at the eleventh hour changed your position to the side of the developer. You are a huckster and have shown yourself to be inadequate to this task.

By Bob Lewis is correct on 11/10/2014 at 1:15 am

Katz’s performance at this meeting was embarrassing. I live in Lawrence Farms East and favor the plans for CC. I have endured the short sightedness, selfishness, and Bad behavior of many of my neighbors. I have attended meetings and been on the receiving end of calls and emails trying to rally the residents against development at CC.
NONE of the attempts by Katz and my neighbors has had anything to do with compromise and negotiation. It was always about stopping and obstructing the developer not just these 2 years regarding retail but almost 10 years that every plan was discussed. Katz ran for office to carry out her promise to stop retail at CC. As far as I can tell she has little to do or say on any other town issues. But when retail at CC is on the agenda she lights up like a Christmas Tree. Her belligerent rude behavior last week was reminiscent of her exchanges with the previous town board. It is mind boggling that she is pressing SG to negotiate and compromise now. We are in this uncomfortable position with a tight timeline precisely because she (and most neighbors) wantd only to block development. In the 2 years we have been discussing retail never did she make an overture to the developer to negotiate and work out a solution. To Greenstein’s credit, he ran for Supervisor promising to negotiate. SG has made multiple revisions-changes these 2 years. Whole Foods was enticed by SG after our community&town; board felt the original 60k sq ft supermarket was too big inviting a lower end market. SG downsized and landed Whole Foods. WF will not commit forever. Understandably They need to see certain timetable and parameters met. Now Katz asks SG to negotiate which in effect stalls the process and WF walks. She has had 2 years to negotiate retail and chose not to. She has had 10 years to cultivate a relationship with our neighbor and large property owner SG. Instead all they did was antagonize and vilify SG. If I were SG I would tell Katz to go pound sand too.

By Embarrassed on 11/10/2014 at 9:16 am

Really Rayj
Obviously you are a NIMBY that voted for Team New Castle / Team Greenie and really never paid any attention to the campaign message. You figured with Lisa Katz on the team that the whole ticket was locked up and against development at CC. For you to say that ” once elected” Greenstein decided to represent the developer shows complete ignorance. First of all working with one of our largest landowners and with potentially our largest taxpayer is in everybody’s best interests. Therefore he is representing our interests.
Second, obviously you only heard Ms Katz and her pledge to stop SG and didn’t take the time to hear and understand the rest of the ticket. Greenstein on many occasions prior to being elected, stated we need to negotiate and work with the developer.  He frequently suggested land swap and other uses. Furthermore long before he was elected he was on the record both written and spoken, that he supported Whole Foods at CC. Had you been paying attention and took seriously your right to vote than you would have understood Mr Greensteins positions. 
You NIMBYs see any and all attempts to work out a solution as a betrayal and sellout. The rest of us see a remedy for a stalemate that has been ongoing for 10 years costing us millions and squandering opportunities.
We should be grateful for the progress and collaboration that will bring a mutually beneficial result to all.
Next time understand who and what you are voting for. Voting is a precious right and obligation.

By Yes really on 11/10/2014 at 10:12 am

You are, for lack of a better term, a moron.  Katz is the only one asking the real questions and who is protecting New Castle while trying to negotiate something that works for everyone, neighbors and developer.  Chapin and Mottel sit there mute. Greenstein is so pro-developer to the detriment of New Castle that questions have been asked whether he is receiving kickbacks from SG. Brodsky pretends to ask some questions but he is in Greenstein’s back pocket. You should get your facts straight and actually look at the entire record before you vilify the only person with integrity on the Town Board.

By Dear Embarrassed on 11/10/2014 at 12:01 pm

Embarrassed,

Too bad.  You do not seem to realize that there are many residents who care not at all if Whole Foods leaves. Not al all.

Strange that now going on a year after taking office they are finally getting to work. 

Your rendition is quite a story, but not accurate.

At the moment Lisa Katz is the only board member with integrity intact.

By too bad on 11/10/2014 at 1:07 pm

Whole Foods is going nowhere. This is an ideal spot for them.  SG and Whole Foods have bamboozled one TB after the other.  There was no need for the grocery to be a free standing building.  That was because it is cheaper for SG.  The TB should never have agreed to that and should have insisted that they remain inside as was originally agreed upon. 

Call their bluff and see for yourselves. Grow a pair.

By going nowhere on 11/10/2014 at 1:46 pm

THANK YOU LISA for being consistent in carrying out your campaign promises and maintaining transparency as well.  Your honesty is much appreciated. How can Embarrasses blame her for that?

You did a masterful job in your exchange with their lawyer.  He not only insulted the town but made the case that CC is against our interests since it will draw commerce away from the Village when we are trying to revitalize it.

By Kudos to Lisa on 11/10/2014 at 2:36 pm

The hypocrisy of madame deputy was perfectly illustrated by resident Jeff Goldstein when addressing the board regarding the Rosehill development; Jeff nailed it, go back and watch the video. 

Also, the CRZ threatned to sue the town if: 1. A supplemental EIS was not completed, 2. If the master plan wasnt completed first, and 3. If the project was approved - NO problems for Madame Deputy with the triple threat to sue by CRZ…BUT when SG threatens suit if a vote is not taken soon - she then has a problem and is up in arms about the threat. 

And don’t forget the petition of lies, again by Madame deputy. 

Madame deputy has shown she cannot review this proposal without being arbitrary and bias - she should recuse herself.

By Madame Deputy should recuse herself on 11/10/2014 at 3:13 pm

Ms Katz isn’t asking any questions so that she might better understand and work together. There are no new issues here. Everything being discussed and the questions asked are about making things most difficult and to continue to stall and prolong.
I wholeheartedly agree with the comments above that suggest we should be working with and not against the developer. SG has the potential to bring great benefits (and taxes) to our community. Katz continues to antagonize them and paint them as villains. Her questions are not intended to extract information and promote dialogue . They are meant to bait and antagonize. For 10 years Katz and her neighbors have been pushing back and for the last 2 they have done everything to obstruct retail- NOW she asks questions about compromise- what a JOKE!
To Kudos- 2 studies have been done and BOTH indicate retail at CC will help downtown not draw commerce away. One of those studies was paid for by the Town of New Castle. You NIMBYs continue to repeat the same nonsense even after you have been proven wrong. I do agree with you on Ms katz keeping her campaign pledge. She will do anything and say anything to prevent retail at CC. She is certainly transparent. The problem is that in protecting her few dozen neighbors she imperils the entire community. And many of her neighbors apparently are not on board with her and have come out condemning her behavior and her tactics.

By lets get on with already on 11/10/2014 at 3:46 pm

Nice to see the NIMBY’s come out on this message board and praise Katz.  To her credit she has been consistent…stop anything at CC regardless of the proposal.  The “compromise” guise is just that, a guise to further delay anything that would be built there.  Hopefully the rest of the Board sees that many in NC support retail at CC and hope that they move forward with the project.

By One trick pony on 11/10/2014 at 3:51 pm

going nowhere-
This isn’t a poker game where we call their bluff. Whole Foods has made a commitment and we should not play games and possibly lose them. You are correct - CC is an ideal spot for them. But they have corporate governance and a strategy for expansion. If Chapp doesn’t work other towns would bend over to get them to build. We shouldn’t be willing to risk them walking away all so we can appease and mollify a few folks who are just pretending to seek compromise and conciliation. They just want to stalk and run out the clock. It’s kinda funny hearing TB member Katz trying to negotiate now.
A great comment on this subject was written by ” Rodney Dangerfield ” below last weeks article. He said something like
Lisa Katz asking SG to negotiate is like the kid that murders his parents and then asks the judge for mercy because he is an orphan. That sums it up perfectly.

By Residebt on 11/10/2014 at 4:20 pm

@Dear Embarrassed - the hard working Editor of NCN requires that we “encourage civil, civic discourse. In other words, be pithy and polite”.I usually follow her directive but in this case let me respond to your comment directed at Embarrassed - the one in which you call him/her a Moron.
You write -“Katz is the only one asking the real questions and who is protecting New Castle while trying to negotiate something that works for everyone, neighbors and developer”. You then go on to insult Board members Motel, Chapin, Supervisor Greenstein and Brodsky. In your eyes everybody has it wrong but katz- now that’s funny. Clearly you are a NIMBY neighbor.
How can you possibly say Katz is trying to negotiate. She has done NOTHING but obstruct, name call, and vilify all that disagree with her. Not once before during or after her election did she ever indicate a willingness to work with this developer. She was only about stopping them. Including making up a lie filled petition, exploiting a school shooting and insulting people. I don’t know which town board meetings and which election campaign you heard but the ones I heard had no invite to negotiate by Katz. to the contrary - she was all about preventing SG from anything but commercial uses.
On the other hand Greenstein / Brodsky did invite negotiation and compromise and Chapin /Motel have been sitting on this board for years and know all about the trial and tribulations of SG. They remain silent (mute as you say to insult them) because they have been thru all this. Unlike Katz-they get it. So to return the insult - You are, for lack of a better term, the moron.

By 10514 for retail # CC on 11/10/2014 at 4:20 pm

The planning board has authority to act with legal effect. The U S Supreme Court is appointed, not elected and it has legal ultate legal effect also.

The words used here are important for the nimby spin doctors.  Yes, “many people” may oppose the project.  How many is many!  The point is “many more” support it.  That is the only point.  That overwhelming support justifies the town board’s approval decision, if made. But nimby opposition is not the standard. Following rules and procedure is

By Stew in your own juices on 11/10/2014 at 4:21 pm

well said by Embarrassed.  I agree 100%.

By Bravo Embarrassed on 11/10/2014 at 4:30 pm

Honesty is not the issue. Following the law is.  Honoring the developers rights is the legal standard. Neighboring Nimbys have rights too, but the developers rights to a variance , if supported by the studies and procedures, trump the objectors especially where, as here, property values have been shown not to suffer. 

Only a philosophy academic in our town Has publicly opined , as THE expert on the subject, that property values have suffered. Recent sales have shown otherwise . Real estate experts are unanimous that we need CC to increase our values.

By Honest lisa? on 11/10/2014 at 4:32 pm

Dear Rayj, /yes really/ Rob,

Nope.  I live no where near the site.  Wrong again.

By really Rayj ? on 11/10/2014 at 5:31 pm

Katz did nothing to clarify her position regarding sewage treatment at CC.It is included in the original documentation but it was NEVER proposed/planned by the developer. And that is what her petition tried to get us to believe. Katz performance thus far as town board member is consistent with her positions taken for years. She is against any and all development. In this work session and in last town board meeting, she ask questions intended to disrupt and stall. I know she is a hero to some of her neighbors but interestingly several have come out in support of CC.
Last week she asked the lawyer for SG what they would be willing to negotiate. It would appear Katz is in denial -doesn’t she recognize that retail at CC has been ongoing for 2 years? In 2 years there have been multiple changes and revisions by SG attempting to accommodate requests and suggestions made by the board and community. SG wanted the small store regulation relaxed -We said no. They changed the layout from strip mall to town square. They downsized the supermarket after complaints it was too big. They got Whole Foods and a gym and together these 2 will take up over half the square footage-cutting down the number of stores and associated traffic , patrons and deliveries. SG has negotiated and compromised. Finally, Katz pushed back at the threat of a lawsuit by SG and said she would not be intimidated. But she was ok when a small group of her neighbors led by Jessica Reinmann waved a document at the town board proclaiming they had hired a lawyer too.  And what of the very real conflict that Katz sits on the board and also supports a group that has hired a lawyer that is threatening to sue the very board on which she sits. I’d like to know how much $$ she contributed -in fact I’d like to know who is involved in CRZ. After all , if residents could get sued by other residents the least they can do is identify themselves.

By I was born at night but not last night on 11/11/2014 at 1:09 pm

this is worth repeating!
I do think that a lot of these comments and these people who’ve gone just crazy over Chappaqua crossing need to realize that there are much worse things going on in the world then having whole foods in your local neighborhood & a little more traffic. And I think if everyone took a minute to take a look at that, then maybe you wouldn’t be wasting all your time on this. Put your time to a better use. If you feel the need to stand up for something, make it something worth standing up for. We’ve got Ebola, wars, cancer and your in an uproar over a food market? Things could be so much worse and I think those who are overly involved in this obviously havent experienced much negativity in their life
AMEN!

By Chill - on 11/11/2014 at 6:56 pm

I think the ethics board should investigate deputy supervisor Katz. She sits on the Town Board and she is supposed to serve us all. While she sits on the board she also supports the Citizens for Responsible Zoning -CRZ. The CRZ is a small organization of a few dozen NIMBYs who have contributed money to hire a lawyer to sue the town board and residents in order to prevent development at CC. They have already sent a formal letter from their lawyer.
It seems highly inappropriate that our deputy supervisor contributes money and supports CRZ that will the. Turn and sue the same town board she sits on. In addition, as a town board member she is no doubt privy to confidential information regarding CC and SG. I don’t trust her. There is no doubt she will use whatever means including the use of confidential information shared with her neighbors and CRZ lawyers to undermine development at CC.
Who exactly is involved in this silly CRZ ? I’d like to know which of our neighbors is suing the rest of us. And how much has Katz ( or Mr Katz) contributed?

By Peel back the onion on 11/13/2014 at 2:53 pm

Chill,

Save your judgments for you family.  This is a small town and people care about the character, tone and quality of their town.  That is a good thing.  I wish that more people would be informed and get involved AND voice their thoughts.

You clearly are not one of them.  Fine, your choice. No judgment here.

You might give some thought to the fact that caring about one’s hometown does not exclude other interests.  Somehow I do not think that we need your guidance in these matters, nor your belittling of our concerns.

My you are sanctimonious.

By get involved on 11/13/2014 at 4:03 pm

Peel,

Your asinine comments suggest that you may be worried.  Somehow I think Lisa Katz will not be intimidated.

By Ha ha peel on 11/13/2014 at 11:08 pm

To Get Involved - I agree with your assessment that this is a small town and people care about the charecter, tone, and quality of their town. I too wish more people would be informed and get involved and voice their thoughts.
Put me in the camp with the MANY that believe Whole Foods, a gym, ancillary retail with a mix of residential/ commercial at CC would GREATLY IMPROVE the charecter, tone and quality of this town.
When you say people should be informed and get involved you mean you want them to get the bad information you are feeding them and then stand opposed as you do. But what of the fact that the information you would have the community believe has been exaggerated and patently false? Traffic is an issue and will be mitigated. In the end it may take us a few minutes more to get onto or off of Rt 117. That’s it. Shoppers will not be driving on Cowdin , or Kittle Rd or thru Lawrence Farms East.
All the other claims about emergency vehicles, destruction of downtown, property values, etc have no basis in fact or proof. None!
When people do get involved like participating in the survey circulated by Whitehouse/ Greenburg people like you manipulated the results. When a professionaly done survey was conducted and residents participated all the NIMBYs picked apart the results and disparaged the company conducting the survey.
CC should be developed. It will greatly improve the town. We may have a few minutes more of traffic- big deal. Interestingly I’ve lived here almost 20 years and when Readers Digest thousands of workers were arriving each morning and Greeley students were being dropped off there was considerable congestion. And we all dealt with it. At least with Whole Foods the traffic will be dispersed throughout the day and not be concentrated like Readers Digest days.

By CC resident but not a NIMBY on 11/14/2014 at 8:46 am

Here is an example of Greenstein’s latest dissembling from the newsletter… as was stated at the last TB meeting this new plan is not all a walkable neighborhood design.

“Chappaqua Crossing
The Town Board is continuing its work on a draft local law and preliminary development concept plan that could allow a Whole Foods supermarket, a gym, restaurants and retail stores to be built at Chappaqua Crossing. With input from our Planning Board, we’ve persuaded Summit Greenfield to move away from its original proposal to build large format retail stores, and instead to design a more community-oriented, walkable retail development. Each side has compromised and the current proposal, while not perfect, has been significantly improved.”

FAIL and more lies.

By Resident on 11/14/2014 at 10:21 am

It seems like most people are either completely in favor of retail at CC or completely against it. I definitely lean way against it but I admit that it might not be as bad as I think it will be and might even be good in some ways. That being said, I am sure that the vast majority of those in favor of retail there do NOT live in the area around CC so they really can’t fully understand what they wrongfully call the NIMBY position. Afterall, “be careful what you wish for” will never apply to them. If there is more traffic or decreased property values for the people around CC, who cares? those people who don’t live on this side of town will not be impacted - but at least they wont have to go to White Plains to shop at their beloved Whole Foods. I believe, therefore, that their position is selfish, plain and simple.

I would rather more residential at CC. I don’t think that our town needs or will benefit from retail there. Will I shop there? I would like to say that I wont but, of course, if something I want or like is located there, I’m sure I will end up going there - and that’s part of the problem. I live in Lawrence Farms though not in the front. I am convinced that the added traffic will be a problem - traffic near the entrance to CC is often a problem already. 

I’m also not convinced that a gym in CC will be successful. With very good existing options for Chappaqua residents nearby at Club Fit, Saw Mill Club (including Saw Mill East) and Equinox (formerly The Gym) in Armonk, a gym at CC will likely only draw potential members from a very limited geographic area and that might not be enough to support it long term. If a large space at CC is dedicated initially to a gym but that gym ultimately fails and goes out, what will replace it? I highly doubt that we’ll get another gym so, instead, its likely to be replaced by more retail, which counters the current position that would limit retail there - and that could make even things worse.

By This wont turn out as expected... on 11/14/2014 at 11:54 am

Town Board- please make sure that its not just a gym- but a gym with a pool that will make a deal with the high school for the swim team to use it for practice after school. It is a great spot to pull in some high school kids for the gym after school, but the public private partnership for the swim team should really be part of the deal

By don't forget the pool on 11/14/2014 at 3:12 pm

The last town board election was a town wide referendum on SG and their proposals. The victorious Republican slate ran on a platform to protect CC neighbors, the downtown hamlet, and the town in general from harmful SG proposals whereas the Democratic slate was ready to acquiese to SG bullies like the discourteous SG attorney who waved a lawsuit in the faces of the town board. In view of the fact that the town is overwhelming Democratic, that speaks volumes about the overwhelming town wide disapproval with SG. SG got taken by Readers Digest who obviously knew they would be filing for bankruptcy. RD took the money and ran and SG comes crying to the town for a bailout. These are indisputable facts.

By The last town board election on 11/14/2014 at 4:24 pm

To The last town board election - The Republican slate that ran and won did not run on a platform to protect CC neighbors. Maybe Katz did and I did not vote for her. I did vote for Greenstein and Brodsky and they ran to change the way we dealt with the developer, to be a better and tough negotiator and to bring improvements to all. In fact Greenstein is on the record multiple times as promoting Whole Foods at CC and moving town hall. Brodsky was also in favor of major changes to town hall. If we move town hall to CC we free up valuable downtown space that can be used to revitalize downtown Chapp. Retail at CC and an improved downtown are not mutually exclusive. As pointed out in 2 studies retail at CC will improve downtown not harm it. Besides it couldn’t get any worse.
The indisputable facts are that you weren’t paying attention to Greenstein when he ran for Supervisor. He ran to bring Whole Foods to CC , to better negotiate and to improve downtown. He did not run - neither did Brodsky - to stop retail at CC - indisputable facts!

By 10514 too on 11/15/2014 at 12:01 pm

Funny to see requests from some posters to the TB, we want this, we want that.  Ha !!! You will get what Summitt Greenfield says that you will get.
     
You can give a great big thank you to SUSAN CARPENTER and Rob Greenstein for that !!!!

By ha ha!! on 11/16/2014 at 9:05 am


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