Town Board gets all its document-ducks in order for public hearing on Chappaqua Crossing
DOT and Collins traffic correspondence recently added
October 24, 2014
by Christine Yeres
In last Tuesday’s work session, in preparation for the public hearing on Chappaqua Crossing at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 28, Town Board counsel Nick Ward-Willis took Town Board members through not only the amendments that are the subjects of the hearing, but also the many documents that have been submitted by the applicant’s consultants, the town’s consultants, the County Planning Board and NYS Department of Transportation. Below are links to many of them, some with summaries.
Proposed Rezoning Amendment to permit retail
Local law to Amend the Town Development Plan Map and Proposed Legislation to Allow Retail Uses in a Research and Office Business District
Most recently, correspondence between NYS Department of Transportation and Summit Greenfield’s traffic consultant, John Collins, have been added to the town’s website. At issue are the traffic mitigations Summit Greenfield has proposed.
DOT asks for traffic forecast and analysis contemplating “estimated time of completion” plus ten years. DOT questions the absence of “Synchro” information for Route 117 and Roaring Brook Road intersection; Synchro shows the intersection level-of-service as D and a level-of-service of F for the left-turn movement. And DOT notes that further review of Synchro shows a level of service of F for “all 3 PROPOSED weekday scenarios provided” but are reported in the TIS [Traffic Impact Study] as level-of-service B and says, “Please clarify.”
• The State is reviewing the SDEIS and the 2013 Retail PDCP and is unaware of the recent data shared with the Town. That data established that the 2008 traffic volumes are representative of 2013 Existing Conditions. As a result the traffic projections in the SDEIS reflect a Future Forecast Year of 2020. Based on NYSDOT long term growth data which are lower that what was used in the SDEIS, the traffic projections would reflect a Future Forecast Year of 2025 and would satisfy the requested Estimated Time of Completion + 10 Year analysis (ETC + 10).
• As noted in the NYSDOT letter, the SDEIS Traffic Impact Study and SYNCHRO analysis indicates that the NYS Route 117/Roaring Brook Road intersection is
currently operating at or above capacity during peak periods with poor Levels of Service (LOS F) and high volume-to-capacity (v/c) ratios. With the roadway improvements noted in the SDEIS and identified in the Findings, an overall Level of Service “B” with improved volume-to-capacity (v/c) ratios will be experienced under the future Build Conditions. No further improvements would be needed at this intersection. The NYSDOT may have design details that could further improve operating conditions. These details are normal and associated with any Highway Work Permit.
• Also as part of the Highway Work Permit process, the NYSDOT requires a Priority Intersection Location Study (accident study) within the proposed improvement area to determine the effect of any improvements on operating and safety conditions. It should be noted that the type of improvements proposed will improve operating and safety conditions in the area.
Based on the above, no new information is needed to be submitted at this time to NYSDOT since the NYSDOT will not complete its review of a Highway Work Permit application prior to preliminary Site Plan Approval. After preliminary Site Plan Approval, the Estimated Time of Completion + 10 Year analysis and PIL Study will be submitted.
Elise Mottel no longer recused
Ms. Mottel announced at last week’s Town Board meeting that the Ethics Committee had cleared her to participate in the Chappaqua Crossing deliberations. She is no longer recused.
AKRF’s report on competitive effects of Chappaqua Crossing on Chappaqua Hamlet
See “Long-awaited comments on Chappaqua Crossing traffic, store-size, competitive effects, revenue,” NCNOW.org, 10/21/14.
County wants more genuine mixed use
“As per our previous comments, we would prefer that the Office Park Retail Overlay zone be revised to permit both residential and retail uses so as to allow for a site plan that would create a true mixed-use development where residences are placed closer to (or above) stores and workplaces to create the efficiencies and synergies that occur in a mixed-use environment.”
Board of Architectural Review OKs
July 22, 2014 Board of Architectural Review of 2014 Amended PDCP
“The Board generally approved of the design of the buildings as submitted with the exception
of the rear (loading area) and left side of Whole Foods. The Board recommends that a review
of these areas and suggests that they have the same detailing and breaking down of mass that
the front of the building has.
Page A2 (Entry Elevation) that is tied to the rear service area in which the board is dissatisfied
with both elevations. The Boards suggestion is to add more articulation on the façade since
the entry way is facing the street for both the “Rear Elevation” and the “Left Elevation”,
breakdown the massing to accommodate the street front to make more attractive to the
Faux Village– The Board is satisfied
Retail– The Board is satisfied with the elevations
Fitness Building– The Board is satisfied
Editor’s Note:Unless there are newer drawings, Summit Greenfield’s renderings have so far shown elevations for proposed new buildings that are not recognizably Georgian. The November 2013 Findings state, “Any new buildings shall be Georgian-style architecture compatible with the architecture of the Rotunda Building. The Town Architectural Review Board shall review and approve this aspect of any proposal in cooperation with the Town Planning Board.
Counsel for Summit Greenfield presses for zoning approvals
SG’s attorney asks the TB to close the public hearings on October 28 and “the zoning approvals [...] must be approved immediately for Whole Foods to maintain its interest in the Site.” The letter details the history of SG’s applications to the town and, beginning on p. 10, responds to a letter (below) from the attorney representing residents—neighboring Chappaqua Crossing—who make up the “Coalition for Reasonable Zoning.”
“Coalition for Reasonable Zoning” letter
CRZ argues that in considering the rezoning for retail the Town Board is not constrained by the previous Town Board’s “Findings” of November 2013.
Town Planner proposes changes to parts of Town Development Plan inconsistent with retail use
TDP Amendments, Town Planner’s April 2, 2013 Memorandum and May 17, 2013 Planning Board Referral Memorandum—
Town Planner supports Planning Board’s “Traditional Neighborhood Design” standards
Town Planner’s rationale for amendments to the Town Development Plan
What wording changes should be made to the Town Development Plan to make it consistent with permitting retail development at Chappaqua Crossing
Michael Galante recommends no changes to the traffic mitigation plan “based on moving the commercial buildings within the site itself.” The 25,000 square foot gym, he says, will draw less traffic than the same amount of retail.
Planning Board Comments
“Planning Board recommends an approval process whereby both the Planning Board and Town Board approve the preliminary development concept plan”—rather than the Town Board alone approving it and leaving the Planning Board to handle “final site development plan.” In addition to wetlands, steep slope and tree removal permits, the Planning Board “recommends that its report to the Town Board should include the relationship of the project to the community character of New Castle. The last sentence of this section refers to residents in the community. This should be further defined as the existing neighborhoods.”
Planning Board asks also for an analysis of the economic effects of retail at Chappaqua Crossing on the existing hamlets. The AKRF report was generated in response to this request.
Planning Board recommends that the “site plan shall incorporate Traditional Neighborhood Design (TND) principles and standards intended to diversify and integrate land uses within close proximity to each other, and provide for recreational and shopping needs of the community” and spells out those principles.
Planning Board recommends that the Town Board leave approval processes for signage and lighting to the appropriate advisory boards, rather than take the responsibility to themselves, as the legislation proposes.
The Planning Board recommends that “The Town Board and Planning Board should require that the owners’ agreement for integrated operation of the site shall be confirmed by written agreement, in a recordable form satisfactory to the Town Attorney. This should apply not only at the time when application for rezoning is made, but also to future applications, e.g., if additional parking is needed. [...]”
Additional requests by the Planning Board:
Clarify number of restaurants permitted, with a view to noise, odor and vermin control.
Define the “personal services”—that are not permitted—more specifically.
Planning Board asks for detail on costs to the town associated with keeping the auditorium within the residential area.
Planning Board “recommends that a new parking accumulation study be undertaken for the entire site that takes into account the new and expanded uses proposed for the site including, but not limited to, the gym, several restaurants, and the 5,000-square-foot mezzanine area of Whole Foods, as well as the auditorium.”
Planning Board Referral Response re Modify the Boundaries of the Mapped MFPD
Planning Board approves a “de minimis modification of the northern boundary of the [multifamily planned development, 111 residential units].”
“Adaptive reuse of existing buildings at Chappaqua Crossing has been a primary planning objective from the inception of the proposal for retail development on the property. As an alternative to adaptive reuse of the existing buildings, a proposal advancing Traditional Neighborhood Design (TND) principles and standards was explored. The Planning Board reiterates its recommendation that TND principles and standards be incorporated into any preliminary development concept plan for Chappaqua Crossing. To date the Applicant has not presented a true TND proposal. In the absence of a true TND proposal, the Planning Board recommends that adaptive reuse of the existing buildings remain a primary feature of any preliminary development concept plan for retail development at Chappaqua Crossing.”