Ltr from Super: To what degree prior TB has “tied our hands” on Chappaqua Crossing approval

April 8, 2014
by Supervisor Rob Greenstein

Please keep in mind that the prior town conducted the SEQRA review. The prior TB adopted the findings the week before elections. They made specific findings as to traffic and other impacts that would be associated with retail zoning. I do not believe the current town board is at liberty to disregard those findings as it considers whether retail zoning is appropriate for the property.

Unfortunately, while some could certainly disagree &/or chose to ignore the legal realities, our hands are tied by the actions of the prior town board. Yes, how tightly they are tied is still being studied. But, I cannot just ignore the legal realities of the situation.

Do you think we should deny retail because of traffic? Traffic was studied. We are still concerned and is working hard to address, but traffic concerns cannot support a complete denial. Maybe we can approve less. Our attorneys are studying this.

Are you opposed to a 3rd hamlet? That was also studied. We are working very hard to limit the retail uses to prevent CC from harming the existing hamlets.

Do you think we can just deny their application? After eight years of SEQR, the town just says no? How do we defend that in court? How do we convince a federal judge that the town had a legitimate, rational basis for the denial?

This is the reality. Yes, we can still deny their application. But, we would be putting our town in a very precarious legal position. I would LOVE to do as much as I can for those who live near CC but I also have a responsibility to the whole town.

At this point, I do feel that we need to work with Summit Greenfield and work out the best deal for our community. I’d rather shape the inevitable (retail) outcome now then have less leverage and a diminished ability to do so in the wake of an unsuccessful court challenge.

I would do what I think is in the best interests of New Castle - even if it upsets some - this is my current responsibility.

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