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.

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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
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Traffic

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.

Department of Transportation’s preliminary review of traffic analysis September 25, 2014

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.”

Collins response to DOT comments October 16, 2014

• 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.
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Elise Mottel no longer recused

Ethics Advisory Opinion In the Matter of Councilwoman Elise K. Motel

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.
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AKRF’s report on competitive effects of Chappaqua Crossing on Chappaqua Hamlet

AKRF 2014 Amended PDCP Competitive Effects Analysis

See “Long-awaited comments on Chappaqua Crossing traffic, store-size, competitive effects, revenue,” NCNOW.org, 10/21/14.
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County wants more genuine mixed use

Westchester County Planning Board Letter of August 5, 2014

“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.”
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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
passing.

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.
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Counsel for Summit Greenfield presses for zoning approvals

September 10, 2014 Letter from Applicant’s Attorney Shamberg, Marwell, Hollis, Andreycak, Ladilaw P.C.

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.”
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“Coalition for Reasonable Zoning” letter

June 23, 2014 Letter from Attorney for the Coalition for Reasonable Zoning

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.
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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

2013_Planning_Board_TDP_Amendments.pdf

Town Planner supports Planning Board’s “Traditional Neighborhood Design” standards

2013_Town_Planner_Proposed_Amendments.pdf

Town Planner’s rationale for amendments to the Town Development Plan

Amended_Town_Development_Plan_Policies_.pdf

What wording changes should be made to the Town Development Plan to make it consistent with permitting retail development at Chappaqua Crossing

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Traffic

New Castle Traffic Consultant’s Review of 2014 Amended PDCP

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.
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Planning Board Comments

Planning Board Referral Response re CC Legislation

“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 Referral Response re CC Residential

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].”

Planning Board Referral Response re Retail PDCP

“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.”

Town Board of New Castle Work Session 10/21/14 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.


Comments(57):
We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

can someone please explain to us why there is yet ANOTHER public hearing on Chapp Crossing. How many must we have? It seems whenever there is a town board meeting this is the topic that takes up most of the time. What is left to say? We now have another professionally done study by a highly reputable consulting firm paid for by tax payer money - not the developer. It like other studies and experts confirms that this multi use development can and should proceed. We have heard all the NIMBY objections , most have no basis in fact. Certainly there are no studies to support their claims like property devaluation, dangerous traffic and destruction of downtown hamlet.
There is nothing left to say. The town board must approve this as it is in the best interests of our entire community. This small vocal militant group should not be allowed to block this. If they do let them pay for the damages that will result when the developer sues the town.

By Tired and bored on 10/24/2014 at 7:09 pm

I’ve gotten a bit lost in all this back and forth. Does this mean the vote will take place at this October 28th meeting?

Editor’s Note:  Here is what Supervisor Greenstein predicts:

Chappaqua Crossing Update from Supervisor Greenstein:

I’d like to provide residents with a brief update on the Chappaqua Crossing project.  On September 8, the Town Board received several comment memos from our Planning Board that have been posted on the Town’s website.  On September 23, the Town Board adjourned the public hearing on Chappaqua Crossing while we awaited receipt of further information and comments from our professional consultants and Town Planner.  Specifically, the Town Board expects to receive an updated Competitive Effects Analysis from its outside planning consultant, AKRF, and review memos from its traffic consultant and Town Planner.  Tonight, the Town Board intends to adjourn the public hearing to October 28.  By then, I expect the Board will have received all outstanding materials on Chappaqua Crossing, which will be posted on the Town’s website.  I encourage all residents to review the information that is available on the Town’s website and to attend our next public meeting on October 28, when I expect that our public hearing on Chappaqua Crossing will resume.  Once the public has had an opportunity to review and comment on this final round of materials, I expect that the Town Board will entertain a motion to close the public hearing.

By anonymous on 10/24/2014 at 7:43 pm

to our a Town Board - now is the time for action. After years of applications, plans, changed and amended plans , and multiple studies and expert participation the time has come to approve this development. Have the courage fortitude and vision to understand that in a few years after it is built and our community benefits from having Whole Foods a gym condo / townhouses that residents will applaud your decision. Instead of driving to Mt Kisco , Pleasantville and Armonk we can stay in our own community to shop eat workout. Tax revenue will flow and our town will be competitive with other communities.
The people who live near CC have hurt their own cause with exaggerated claims and bad behavior. But they do deserve that all efforts be made to mitigate traffic. This has been contentious at times. Do the right thing and your legacy will be one of vision and bringing our community what is needed. I suspect that procedure and protocol require another public hearing but enough is enough. Build it and we will come. Build it and the community benefits.

By Longtime resident on 10/25/2014 at 8:38 am

The editor has included a letter submitted by a law firm representing the Coalition for Reasonable Zoning (“CRZ”)> For those of you not familiar this is a group of NIMBYs intent and committed to obstructing all progress at CC. They have hired a lawyer to sue the town ( and residents). The joke is that CRZ is described as an association of New Castle residents concerned for the conservation of the natural resources and preservation of
community character in and around the Town of New Castle. What a JOKE! All they care about is themselves. They don’t give a rats behind about New Castle - only their few blocks around CC. They dont even have the courage to publicly identify themselves. Who and how many are part of CRZ? Come out - dont hide.

Betty Weitz as often stated that those of us in favor of retail at CC and use the term NIMBY “seek to divide this town”. She has said that at Board meetings and written it in letters. So tell us Betty, who divides the town now? Hiring a law firm with a threat of lawsuit doesn’t seem to neighborly to me. these nimbys (now called CRZ) also continue to disparage Elise Motel- calling for her recusal even though the ethics board has already cleared her. Elise is a hard working and loyal resident elected several times. She is level headed and fair. Assume the NIMBYs feel she will support CC so they want to muzzle her. They loved Rob Greenstein when they thought he was in their pocket but have turned on him when he showed the guts and fortitude to stand up to them. Rob understands his job is to work for all of our community.
They continue to threaten to sue and derail the process. I hope they put their names on this so if/when we should lose Whole Foods and SG sues us we will know who to blame. Their deplorable and horrible behavior continues in spite of the fact that we have another study supporting the project.

By so who is dividing the town?? on 10/25/2014 at 4:48 pm

Thanks for answering. I’m hoping we can wrap it up soon and get to the vote! It seems like it’s the same people speaking at every meeting (and they all live right in that neighborhood) and this is dragging on and on in an effort to come up with another way to halt the project. Personally, I’m all for retail at Chappaqua Crossing and I can’t wait to shop in a Whole Foods in MY tax district for a change. There are lots of smart people in this town and I am confident that we will be able to deal with the challenges that this change brings.

By anonymous on 10/26/2014 at 5:16 pm

days with no comments????

By What's going on on 10/27/2014 at 9:24 am

Rob and company have cut a deal with the developer.  We know that.  Tonight’s hearing is a mere formality, although we should all get up and speak.

The project will need state approvals and financing, due to the requirement that additional roads be built to abate traffic.  It may also require the taking of private property via eminent domain for private development; namely, the road construction.

Forget about bashing Rob and the others. At this point, he’s in SG’s camp:  hopelessly conflicted—and will bashing him will not help.  Instead, you should call your state assemblyman and senator NOW, to protest the taking of private property for private use and the abuse of public funds.  We also need someone who is knowledgeable about DOT, because regardless of what Collins is claiming, the report that SG conducted would not appear to satisfy DOT’s concerns.

I’m totally uninterested in the NIMBY smears, so vent, haters (and paid SG posters), vent.  Those who are support the project can call their representatives too—it’s a phone call, and a free country last I checked.

IF, however, you want to stop this atrocity:  we do not have to give up.  SG will use all its political leverage to obtain DOT approvals and we, the community, can fight back.

Call the Governor’s office, too.  Taking private property to make a developer richer is not PC, and the developer and Board will have a tough row to hoe in making the case that Chappaqua “needs” a 120,000 square foot retail development.

“First they ignore you,
then they laugh at you,
then they fight you,
then you win.”

 

 

By Lawrence Farms East Resident on 10/28/2014 at 12:54 pm

I’m hoping the editor will post the comment that I made a few days ago, supporting the rezoning at Chappaqua Crossing.

By anonymous on 10/28/2014 at 1:50 pm

Noted the “F” from the DOT on left turn movement. Is there enough room on 117 northbound to insert a left turn lane? Will they take land from the southwest corner (and move the telephone pole) or build over the 10 foot ditch on the right side of 117 northbound? I am not an engineer but I dont see where it can fit.

 

By Northbound left turn lane on 117 at Roaring Brook on 10/28/2014 at 2:24 pm

Traffic goes from F to B: “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.”  Since its a “will”, what are the contingencies if it doesn’t. They should be documented and agreed to by both parties.  What happens if the site approval is passed and the highway work permit doesn’t come out as expected. F to B seems a very big leap of faith.

Still not sufficeint transparency on tax analysis.  What if the taxes don’t add up.  Is applicant willing to agree not to ask for lower taxes for a set and extended period of time.

Local control of what goes in.  Zoning control should allow for the types and number of businesses that go in to be closely regulated by the town in partnership with the developer This is done by other towns.

Agreed upon build out of the affordable housing units should a pre-requisite for further development. 

Increased efforts to market the office space should be required.  I do not believe that whatever is being done to date has been successful to the level necessary to generate the expected tax revenue. 

I greatly respect the amount of work that the TB and other boards are putting into this process. A key reason this takes so long is the amount of information that has been provided on the subject, much of which is counter-intuitive and all of which is very, very dense.

Its not a matter of if, its a matter of how. 

Robert Fleisher

By Some thoughts on 10/28/2014 at 4:05 pm

Every time I return to Chappaqua I realize how charming and low key it is! That comes with a price tag,If you can’t afford it,you have to move,retired, widows or orphans.There are many who can and let’s hope will pay the freight to keep it the way we all loved it,a little fey!

By Long time resident,moved on 10/28/2014 at 7:58 pm

If SG so confident that traffic will be fine and taxes will be increased, build it into the approval. How hard is that to agree to? Their “experts” say we are overreacting. Let them take risk their “experts” are wrong, not the residents of this town, many who could care less if this thing gets built. Enough lawyers on the board should be able to craft that.

By Let SG put there money where their mouth is on 10/29/2014 at 3:03 am

@Let SG put there money where their mouth is- your comment is unrealistic and not based on any facts or knowledge. You ask ” how hard is that to agree to” in regards to SG , traffic and taxes. No property owner, no developer and no retailer would ever agree to build into an approval a guarentee of traffic flow and tax revenue. That is simply a ridiculous request without precedent. You prove that those opposed to retail at CC will throw everything you can against the wall in hopes Something will stick. In the meantime you fail to realize that such crazy demands damage your own credibility and hurt the NIMBY cause.

By Resident on 10/29/2014 at 9:58 am

No one has shown that this project will benefit the town financially.  No one,

All the idiots who must have their shopping will wind up bankrupting this town.

By R.G. on 10/29/2014 at 1:39 pm

To Lawrence Farms East Resident and all NIMBY neighbors- Its laughable that you have take issue with Supervisor Greenstein and accuse him of “cutting a deal with the developer”. Excuse me! DUH!
You voted for Team Green and Rob made it very clear that a change was needed and we needed to sit down and talk intelligently with the developer. He repeatedly campaigned on his pledge to be a tough negotiator and get our community the best deal possible. That included his reminder that Whole Foods at CC was his idea (not sure that is true but he certainly told us that it would be great at CC).
We should be grateful that he is keeping his promise. Whole Foods is close to reality, a gym (not a BEST BUY) is in the works, and the dreaded strip mall has been replaced with a town sq concept…thanks to Rob. You comment supports what we already know- you will accept nothing at CC. Maybe you should have paid attention to who you voted for.

By Chappster on 10/29/2014 at 3:23 pm

Anyone who still holds a vestige of hope that Rob Greenstein will do the right thing for New Castle will have that hope dispelled after watching his disgusting behavior and comments at last evening’s TB meeting.
This man is a complete and utter disaster for this town and we have Susan Carpenter to blame.  She set the stage.
God help us.  It sure will not be that huckster Greenie.

By god help us on 10/29/2014 at 4:06 pm

There are positives and.negatives to the CC proposal. What I find disrespectful and in bad taste is watching SG’s bully lawyer speaking and waving a lawsuit from another town and threatening New Castle with a lawsuit if SG does not receive approval for their application by the end of this year. This lawyer needs to learn good manners and needs to learn how to respectfully answer civil questions. Ms. Katz is to be congratulated for standing up to the bully and telling him that her decision will not be based upon threats. If this is the SG culture, I would be inclined to deny the application and let the chips fall where they may. Once a victim is bullied and does nothing about it, the bullying will continue in perpetuity.

By SG Proposal on 10/29/2014 at 4:24 pm

I am no lawyer but that case Summit Greenfield’s lawyer got so hot and bothered about last night isn"t our situation. I read it and can see the differences even if he can’t or won"t. I want CC done with but he twisted the facts to make his point which was really a threat.

By AML on 10/29/2014 at 7:32 pm

Summitt Greebfield’s lawyer threatens us, trashes our town and Greenstein APPLAUDS
him.  Just when we think Greenstein can sink no lower he shows how wrong we are.

Was very good to see Lisa Katz show us her professionalism and her mettle.  Good job and thank you Lisa.

By resident on 10/29/2014 at 9:55 pm

Thank you Betty for once again showing us all how dishonest Supervisor Greenstein is and has always been.

By Thank you Betty on 10/29/2014 at 9:59 pm

Rob Greenstein is following thru on his campaign promise to negotiate and work out best outcome for our town. His demeanor and style on display on Tuesday night was no different than the many times he has participated in the past before he was Supervisor. Those now upset with his behavior are the same people who were his cheerleaders when they thought he was with them. His behavior and brash style didn’t bother them back then. Now only after Supervisor Greenstein is indicating a collaborative approach do they find fault with him.
As far as Lisa Katz is concerned she brings nothing to the table. Her pronouncement that her decision would not be based upon threats is a joke. She made her decision years ago. She ran for town board to block and stop CC. She has never had an open mind and she has never been willing to compromise. Whenever she speaks or asks questions at TB meetings it is just a waste of time.
To SG interpreted “threat” of legal action- let’s not forget that a few months ago the NiMbys announced that they hired a lawyer. Their lawyers filed a letter to the TB proclaiming their ” coalition for reasonable zoning (CRZ). In effect they are threatening to sue New Castle to block CC. That legal threat got no reaction and no response from Katz and others. I guess threats are ok if it comes fom NIMBYs but not from others.

By In favor of CC on 10/30/2014 at 8:28 am

this is not about lawsuits it’s about an opportunity to bring a quality multi purpose facility to a community that NEEDS it. Based on public sentiment and opinion, it is WANTED.
This issue remains contentious because a handful of residents are opposed - one who now sits on the Town Board.
We have before us empirical evidence data and studies done by the developer and by the town ( paid for with tax payer money - our money). All conclude that this is a worthwhile viable and beneficial development. It brings sorely needed quality supermarket and ancillary retail / gym. It adds to and diversifies our housing stock and importantly generates commercial/ retail tax revenues thus relieving residents. After 8 years it is no wonder SG speaks of legal action. With the addition of the new AKRF study SG has an even stronger case.
I implore the town board to approve this project. CC resident concerns about traffic should be taken seriously but all their other claims are emotional and fabricated.

By Rob M on 10/30/2014 at 8:39 am

The display by SG’s attorney was sad.

What is sadder is that Greenstein will do exactly as SG’s attorney wants.

By too bad on 10/30/2014 at 8:54 am

Thank you Lisa as well as Adam for speaking to the very heavy handed threat of SG’s lawyer. You cannot make this decision based on a concern about a lawsuit We are all in this together.  We are a small town with a low key vibe and we naturally have a variety of views   Deciding this because SG sends in an expensive legal hit man to say they will revive a lawsuit they were losing will only lead to a decision that is not in the best interests of the community.  I happen to support retail at CC but not at the size of the current proposal.  Remember SG’s goal is to build as much retail as possible so that it can sell the property. They have unhappy shareholders about a bad investment. The bigger the better for SG. But that is not right for the town.  Thank you again.

By Townee on 10/30/2014 at 9:37 am

Lisa Katz stated she would not make her decision based on threat of legal action by Summit Greenfield. Some have commented on the aggressive nature of SG lawyer. Isn’t it interesting that last Spring the nimbys , lead by Jessica Reismann , announced that they had hired lawyers to assist them in blocking retail at CC. Make no mistake, the intent was a threat to sue the town board if they approve. The lawsuit will hit all New Castle residents in our pockets.
Why then didn’t Ms Katz state that she would not be moved by threats?  Is legal action against the TB and residents by nimbys ok but lawyers hired by SG are a threat? 
This is all a waste of time and money. Legal action aside, this development must be built.

By Insult to residents on 10/30/2014 at 9:56 am

i was more offended in June when the NIMBYs announced they had hired a lawyer and were prepared to commence legal action against town officials - in effect suing fellow residents than I was by SG lawyer on Tuesday.
I don’t expect sympathy but any reasonable person who has been following this nearly decade old Odyssey must understand the run around we have given the developer. They have been stalled and obstructed. They were asked to change and alter plans many times and they did. At town officials request they were encouraged to ” come back with plans that includes a supermarket” and they did. They paid for studies and experts - and so have we. Now we must act.
How can people be surprised and shocked that their lawyer was aggressive.

By I agree on 10/30/2014 at 12:51 pm

Same old same old. Same NIMBYs with nothing new to say.
I have great respect for Betty Weitz but enough already. She comes out in full force time and time against CC remains silent on Napoli. She claims there ts a divisive element in town when those in support of CC comment. After watching the last TB meeting and seeing most others I am convinced that the NIMBYs are dividing us. Their past and present behavior is deplorable. They exaggerate lie and threaten legal action. Their concern is only for themselves. Betty does not live near CC but she has been a poster girl for them. If preservation of town character is what she endorsed than why silent on other issues?

By Blah blah blah on 10/30/2014 at 1:01 pm

Rob Greenstein- keep up the good fight. Your style can use some improvement but stay on message. This town will benefit greatly from this development.
The lawsuits are a smokescreen. Besides as a lawyer yourself and with the advice of New Castle hired attorneys present and past, you know that SG has a slam dunk case against us. Best to negotiate and work out a best deal like you promised. Katz and her neighbors would rather deny us and put us all jeopardy rather than see reality.
Keep up the good work.

By Build it - we will come on 10/30/2014 at 1:12 pm

Curious as to why Chapin and Mottel have been so silent.  Is it because Greenstien has essentially muzzled them?  Or is it that by their silence they look like the smartest people on the board?

By which is it? on 10/30/2014 at 1:27 pm

All I remember is Greenstein about a year ago publicly ridiculing a man at a town board meeting, asking if he was “drunk” and “out of his mind” because he had the audacity to openly state that he was in favor of grocery/retail at CC.

By well well well on 10/30/2014 at 1:33 pm

Jessica R is no where to be seen at this point. That group seems to have faded away. However those who point out that threats to sue exist from both sides (those with SG and those opposed to retail) prove the point that a decision cannot be made based on possible litigation. No matter which formula (mixed use, all residential or nothing) might be approved (and how big would it be) you please one side, you leave another unhappy or at least somewhat unhappy Unhappy enough to sue?  That is what Lisa and Adam were getting at with the SG lawyer and he stated there would be no reduction in size by SG.  That is what SG wants. As big as possible. Even those residents who want retail should comsider if a reduction in size is a fair compromise. We are all in this together. Unfortunately some among appear to be shouldering the biggest burden because there is no reasonable dispute that they will lose a lot in quality of life. I refer to the homeowners along roaring brook road. A number are losing chunks of their yards to turning lanes.  There seems to be no avoiding it at this point.

By Townee on 10/30/2014 at 1:47 pm

Rob M,

Do u have info that the rest of us don’t?  How r u solving the traffic concerns? Are you sold on those magic turning lanes and timing changes?

By According to who on 10/30/2014 at 3:31 pm

To blah blah etc: Yeah, the nerve of those Roaring Brook Rd jerks not getting with the program so that we can have a shopping center! They’re selfish bastards not to want to contribute their property value to The Common Good. The smelly noisy vermin-infested backside of Whole Foods will be no picnic, but hey there aren’t that many of them that have to put up with it. Just a few houses and the high school. They should man up and take what we dish out for The Common Good.

By The Common Good on 10/30/2014 at 4:11 pm

The current town board, Greenstein included have inherited a huge mess. This has been an 8+ year ordeal. The last few years, post the demise of Dagostino’s (our only true supermarket albeit a poor one)the then sitting town board encouraged the developer to plan a multi-use development with the already approved 110 condos AND a supermarket. The suggestion came after years of delays rejections and continued underutilization resulting in lost tax revenue. Legal action was suspended pending new plans.
The inherited mess is a trail of well documented plans, revised plans, applications, and studies. The inherited mess the board must contend with is an iron clad legal action by the developer against the town of New Castle denying usage of their property given the many attempts and expensive actions it has taken to please and work with town officials. They now have the New castle funded AKRF study supporting their project. We can no longer simply turn them away and say “sorry not zoned for retail” or “sorry go back to the drawing board”.
They have already redesigned and eliminated the “strip mall” concept something Mr Greenstein railed against. They heard the protests of bringing a big 60k sq ft Shop Rite and are delivering a smaller upscale Whole Foods. They do not plan for Best Buy or Target but include a gym. Plus walking trails, benches, lanterns etc.
The time has come to accept reality. Love or hate Greenstein- he is playing the hand he was dealt.

By Long time resident on 10/30/2014 at 5:06 pm

To The common good- all you do is hurt yourself with your ridiculous comment you play right into the hands of those that accuse you NiMbys of fear mongoring hyperbole and exaggerations. “The smelly noisy vermin - infested backside of Whole Foods…”  Really? Wow! And I suppose you know where and how far this backside will be from homes and you know with certainty that it will be vermin infested. This may come as a shock to you but this is not Whole Foods first market in or near residential areas. I’m pretty sure they understand what needs to be done to avoid vermin.
Your neighborhood is going to be a mess with all the shootings Ms Katz warned of with all the stuck ambulances on Rt 117 with the sewage treatment plant in operation with the big neon lights keep you up at night with the decay of property values and NOW vermin infestation. And lions and tigers and bears oh my!!!!

By The silly exaggerations continue on 10/30/2014 at 5:50 pm

@ According to who- the traffic issue is best dealt with by experts, by people and organizations that do this all of the time. Let’s face it, few if any communities get enthusiastic when a development and change comes to their neighborhood. The ” not in my backyard” moniker is not at all unique to our debate. Frequently the objection is traffic. This is a big deal for us but it’s just another project for the traffic experts. They see and deal with this stuff all of the time. Regardless of who hired the traffic expert that has contributed data and models, he is a 30 year veteran with a phd. His track record is impeccable and his history of projections and results are well documented. In addition, the NYS Dept of Transportation will contribute- as will Westchester County agencies. Few of use can claim to be traffic experts so I don’t trust all of you who cry this will be a nightmare just as I don’t trust those who claim there will be no issue with traffic. That’s why we have professionals and experts.

By Agree with Rob M on 10/30/2014 at 6:02 pm

Just take a look, listen and smell behind any grocery store - including your precious whole foods.  Every supermarket has them, and rarely are supermarket be-hinds so close to residences and schools.

By Every supermarket has them on 10/30/2014 at 6:18 pm

Wrong.  It’s no exaggeration. The planning board regularly talks about “vector control” and Chappaqua Crossing. They’d be foolish not to.  Supermarkets bring all those things - vermin, noise, smells.

By Smell-noise-vermin? Absolutely on 10/30/2014 at 6:21 pm

Dr. Collins traffic expert is a paid and bought mouth piece for Summitt Greenfield and anyone who takes the time to examine what he has presented will see what a bunch of hooey it is.  It is chock full of holes and still shows that the increased traffic will be huge.
There is NO WAY TO MITIGATE THE TRAFFIC.!!!

And the supervisors pathetic attempt to compare this area with rt. 117 and rt. 128 is stupid.  Another instance of his craven agenda.

By do not agree with Rob M. on 10/30/2014 at 7:58 pm

Traffic expert Dr Collins is highly regarded and highly respected. A true professional delivers results and recommendations based on data and in depth analysis. The results and conclusions do not change based on who signs the check.  Collins has a 30 year track record. If he delivered inaccurate and biased results just to please who ever paid him he would be exposed as a hired hand and a fraud. On the contrary his work and predictions of traffic flow and design have proven highly reliable. He has worked on many similar Developments and his reputation is impeccable.
It is unfair to trash him and accuse him of faulty analysis because he was hired by SG.
If you NIMBYs want to be cynical then asse had traffic study shown problems at CC Then SG would have buried it and not released it. But Collins work is the real deal.
Traffic can be mitigated.
Who should we listen to? The expert or a bunch of hysterical manipulative Dishonest selfish NIMBYs

By Resident on 10/31/2014 at 6:44 am

To every supermarket has them- You state that “rarely are supermarkets this close to residences and schools”. Is this statement based on any facts and examples? Based on the plans I have seen the back of Whole Foods will be nowhere near a house or Greeley.
I have friends that live in the condos behind Wallgreens. They gave lived there for years and when Dagastino’s supermarket was in operation. They never complained of vermin.
Stop making stuff up. Stop the exaggerations

By More exaggerations on 10/31/2014 at 6:51 am

add another to the long fabricated list of the awful things that retail at CC will bring. Now we have vermin infestation. What next? Boils, mad cow disease , locusts, ?
We already heard about destruction of property values, destruction of downtown, school shootings, students getting run over, trains hitting cars, emergency vehicles unable to get to the hospital, sewage treatment plant, big box stores, neon lights, ....and now vermin.
And all the while not a single fact not a single study supports any of these ridiculous assertions.

By C'mon man on 10/31/2014 at 8:15 am

To Do Not Agree with Rob M- clearly you are a NIMBY as your behavior and comments prove that. You say Dr Collins (traffic expert) is a paid and bought mouthpiece. Perhaps YOU SHOULD TAKE A LITTLE TIME AND RESEARCH/UNDERSTAND SOMETHING BEFORE YOU START FLINGING INSULTS.Thats what you folks do when you don’t like facts - you lie you distort and you insult.
Collins works for Maser Engineering, a highly regarded engineering and consulting firm with offices in many states specializing in public and private projects.
Dr. Collins is licensed professional engineer in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut with over 45 years of extensive experience in all aspects of Transportation and Traffic Engineering. His expertise has concentrated in providing services for private, commercial, and residential developments. His current responsibilities include the management of Traffic and Transportation services in Maser Consulting’s office located in Westchester County, NY.
Dr. Collins is currently Professor of Civil Technology at Westchester Community College and has served as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the graduate Transportation Engineering program at Manhattan College. He received his B.E. in Civil Engineering from Manhattan College; his M.S.C.E. from Columbia University; and his Ph.D. from New York University. His professional affiliations include memberships with the Institute of Transportation Engineers; the National Society of Professional Engineers, and Chi Epsilon.

By More lies and insults on 10/31/2014 at 9:03 am

Someone above says SG has an “ironclad” case. It has no such thing. Two years ago they had a big part of the litigation dismissed by the court that tells you something right there Take the time to read and process thw differences in the facts in the case the lawyer mentioned and to read what the court says. Sure there are some facts that work in SG"s favor but there are some things that work in the Town"s favor. The court in the case says these zoning issues are not black and white. That is very true. SG does not even come close to having an ironclad case.

By AML on 10/31/2014 at 9:53 am

I believe a homeowner has an understandable concern w quality of life here and tje value of his home. I do not believe a large business that is looking to package a development for sale and then move on has anything like a homeowner’s “investment” in new castle. Theirs is a business decision through and through. I am in favor of a smaller development at cc. I am not looking at how much money sg will make off its sale. I am looking at what a development will bring to the community. I think it is more a positive than a negative IF reduced in size. I am not living anywhere near it though. Maybe people have been so prominent bec they live near have “made pains” of themselves are doing what any of us would do. I might. There are many others who have opposed cc who don"t live there. This is a major deal.  My view is a compromise is the only way to resolve this but I am pained for those who are taking the big hits.

By Long timer on 10/31/2014 at 10:13 am

AML- I suspect it is you who have done little research on the strength of SG litigation should they go down that road. It may not be iron clad but New Castle employs outside lawyers to advise. Our last Town Board had lawyers and this new town board brought in another law firm. Now we have legal experts past and present that concur that SG has a very strong case against us should they choose to litigate.
Logic and reason should apply as well. I suspect judges and courts will see an 8 year time line of obstruction and stone walling. Expert evidence testimony and studies will be submitted. Legal precedent will apply as zoning change in and of itself is not reason enough to deny usage especially when town officials ( our last town board) suggested the developer come to us with a plan for a supermarket.
With new evidence in the form of AKRF study commissioned by New Castle that supports this project it doesn’t seem reasonable to think that the courts will simply deny SG. Land owners have a right to use their property.
Further delay costs us tax revenue as SG continues to win lower taxes paid to New Castle. Litigation and defending this case will cost us more money. Losing the lawsuit will cost us $millions more. All because a few blocks of some 20-30 homeowners don’t want this. Let’s remember these homes are near a 110 acre commercially zoned site that sits next to a parkway, a state rd 117 and a rail line. Last point - there are actually people that live near CC that favor this. They have been intimidated into silence. I know a few of them. They exist.

By Legal opinion on 10/31/2014 at 10:50 am

More lies and insults,

Collins is part of the SG team.  That is a fact.  No insult to him or his background at all but he knows where his bread is buttered.  I read his analysis. It is spin and full of holes. That is a fact.  Experts like him are used all the time by developers. That is a fact.

I live clear on the other side of town.  Nowhere near CC so your attack on me is erroneous.

By Do not agree with Rob M on 10/31/2014 at 10:53 am

@AML - yes- 2 years ago part of the litigation was dismissed. And part was not dismissed. The most important thing in your comment is the ” 2 Years ago” reference.
Now ask yourself what has happened in the last 2 years to bolster and strengthen their case. Think about the S Carpenter era and the direction given to SG to come back to the board with plans that include a supermarket. Which they did. Think about our planning board member that suggested the strip mall design be scrapped for a town square design. Which they did. Think about the studies and experts that have since contributed to the process. All of which support and give strength to SG case.
We should be spending our time working with SG to ensure a great multi use facility. One that includes not only Whole Foods but amenities for our community like fields, pool, and walking trails. We should work with them to mitigate traffic and hours of operation. Whole Foods has a reputation of being community and environment friendly. They farm and source locally. They hire local students. The acrimony and contention being created by the locals ( I’ll refrain from using the term that seems to upset) is hurting all of us. I give Supervisor Greenstein credit for facing reality and working to get us best deal possible. As others gave said, Greenstein ran for office promising to sit down and talk/ work with and negotiate with SG. That’s what he us doing. We know L Katz is opposed to any development. She is close minded and unable to compromise. I hope the other town board members see the light and join RG in negotiating a deal that benefits all of us.

By RK on 10/31/2014 at 11:21 am

The board is made up of 5 people. I agree was very pro development at the meeting. Still Rob is just one vote. Everyone else has to fulfill their obligations as elected officials and form their own conclusions about what is in the best interests of the community. I can see Rob voting for lowered square footage. I can see him voting for the thing as is. I am not in his head. Fortunately. I do not see him voting against retail. We all know that. I have no clear read on the others. I know Lisa was very anti but after considering everything from the government’s perspecrive she might have evolved in her thought process. Elise is a mystery. Jason takes seriously his obligations to the community but he has shown little of his views lately. Adam has indicated he is thinking seriously about a smaller size.  I see them as being dedicated to now going through analyzing a mountain of material. I hope it done fairly and with an open mind. That is all any of us can ask.

By Anony on 10/31/2014 at 11:44 am

Do not agree withRob M- and AKRF was hired by Town of New Castle. Their study supports retail at CC and states it won’t destroy downtown but may actually help. AKRF is on the New Castle team. So regardless of which team and who pays all studies and all experts on both teams support this development.

By Resident on 10/31/2014 at 1:16 pm

to Do Not Agree with Rob M- yours must be a dark and cynical world. Mr Collins is paid by SG but it doesn’t follow that his analysis is flawed. The man has 45 years experience, a masters from Columbia and a PHD from NYU. Like all professionals his reputation depends on the accuracy of his work. He has hundreds of projects under his belt and if he supplied inaccurate and faulty work just to please the client it would be very obvious and damaging. Example- if he told a Community that a development would not cause traffic jams and then the thing gets built and it turns out he was wrong that would follow him. He would be known as providing bad info. That is not at all the case.  I am not naive. Certainly some are ” hired guns” that will deliver whatever is asked of them. But Collins is a senior professional and unlikely he risks his reputation for a paycheck.
All professionals providing guidance analysis and services ( i.e. Accountants, engineers, architects, consultants, ) are paid by someone. They don’t fabricate ignore and distort simply to please. They are hired to get accurate answers. I pay my accountant. I certainly don’t expect him to file inaccurate IRS forms in order to save me money because he us on my team.
We know - you don’t want retail at CC. But to disparage and belittle a professional to get your way is selfish and thoughtless.

By Open minded on 10/31/2014 at 1:56 pm

Why anyone would take my comments as showing I oppose all retail is beyond me. Retail is fine with me but how much is the question. My point was only that the lawyer was deliberately misleading that the Sherman case he had in his hand is “this” case—CC. He was using the case to threaten if NC did not approve the project as it is now, we would lose in court just the way the town of Chester NY did in Sherman.  However that case has different facts.  Anyone can see that. Read it. They simply are not the same facts as our situation. I think we should find a compromise if possible. I don’t think we should run scared however and approve the plan as is. He was trying to scare the community by pointing to a supposedly identical case that really is far from the same as here. That is what I was pointing out.  I have never heard anyone in town say SG has a very strong case if retail is approved but on a smaller scale.  I have heard Rob say that he thought saying no to all retail was not possible. That may be true. It is a different story about a smaller scale though.

By AML on 10/31/2014 at 6:12 pm

Nice try Rob / Open minded .....no cigar .

By no cigar on 10/31/2014 at 6:50 pm

You heard it folks.  Our supervisor wants to turn the Roaring Brook 117 intersection into
the Rt, 128 ,  Rt. 117 intersection.

By you heard it on 10/31/2014 at 7:19 pm

ON THE ONE HAND-the developer has been working for almost a decade to utilize CC since Readers Digest went bankrupt. Many plans proposals/applications have been submitted - most rejected or stripped down. Upon the suggestion of New Castle officials, SG was asked to resubmit plans/ application to include a supermarket. This after their original condo plan was rejected ( 300 down to 200 on 110). Age restricted housing and high end residential subdivision also rejected. So they came back with retail. Then retail was criticized for being a strip mall. With suggestions from New Castle planning board plans were changed to reflect a village town square configuration. The supermarket footprint was feared too big as it might invite a “Pedestrian” market like Stopn Shop/ Shop Rite. So they scaled it back-got Whole Foods to commit. Every change was accompanying by new plans new applications and new environmental reviews by state/local agencies. In addition , the developer provided data documentation and expert analysis. Interestingly the AKRF study ( both) was paid for by New Castle NOT SG and it too supports retail at CC.
ON THE OTHER HAND- the small loud opposition to retail continues its baseless and emotional objections. They have not one single fact not one piece of data not a single study that supports their cries of property devaluation , downtown destruction,unmanageable traffic, safety of students and now vermin ( not to mention school shootings, big box stores, sewage treatment plant, McDonalds etc)  In fact these issues are clearly addressed in the environmental review and studies already done and they conclude this development will be a positive for the community.
I hope and trust our elected officials evaluate the facts and data. Compare that to the fiction and fear mongoring unsupported by any facts and data. Factor in the very real probability that we are open to an expensive lawsuit that we most certainly lose.

By Let's move forward on 11/01/2014 at 11:27 am

Why would anyone trust the TB ?  SG was the wrong fit for this town and for that parcel from the very beginning, going back to 2005 when they first came to town.  Jan Wells was the supervisor then.  Beautiful buildings like the Readers Digest are repurposed to wonderful effect across the world. SG was never interested in doing that.

Barbara Gerrard continued the poor stewardship.  Susan Carpenter proposed retail to SG to find a use for existing builidings and secondarily to stop the lawsuit. SG never intended to use that building for a grocery and NEVER attempted to market it.  This town has been snookered by SG from the get go.  They never were and are not the developers for that site. They should have been shown the door years ago.

No, there is no reason to trust any of them and certainly not Greenstein.

By Resident on 11/01/2014 at 12:51 pm

My graduate school classmate had an amniocentesis in her 2nd month of pregnancy due to age. Her physician husband “took care” of the results.  The child had dwarfism as the genetic testing showed .

The same tradgedy is happening here. The Ncn editor and others are hiding or otherwise minimizing the Sherman court case that kills us .

Editor’s Note: No one is minimizing anything; the case does not apply.  Read it.

By Truthfulness on 11/12/2014 at 5:43 pm


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