NEW: Response to comments on my Op-Ed—“Rural Elegance,” the real “brand” of New Castle

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
by Betty Weitz

Thank you, Editor, for making clear that I do not live near Chappaqua Crossing.  I live towards the western side of town near Supervisor Greenstein. See Op-Ed:  On “Rural Elegance,” the real “brand” of New Castle,, September 29, 2014.

As far as the “woodsy” characterization of our town being dated, that was the term used in the title of the last NYT article published a few weeks ago; that recent article had the same theme of the rustic character of our town as a major asset that draws homebuyers.  The title says it all:  Chappaqua, N.Y.: A Hamlet in a Woodsy Setting, dated Sept. 3, 2014.  Again, the first paragraph reads:

“’When I tell people we live in the woods, I really mean that,’ said Paul Keyes, describing his life in Chappaqua in Northern Westchester.’” 

“When I pull off the road . . .  and finally come up the driveway, I feel like I’ve gone on vacation in the Adirondacks.”  He speaks of his home where the “only views are of rolling hills and trees.”  The article declares that “Chappaqua . . . has retained a small-town rural feeling.” And the article goes on to laud the desirability of the pastoral character of our town.

It is interesting, in this regard, to hear a relatively recent resident’s comments on this same point.  At the September 16th Town Board Work Session (7:40) , a resident who moved here just 4 years ago, told the board that his family came here because of the “bucolic nature” of the town, the almost “Rockwellian sense,” in his words, because that is what they wanted for their children.

I do not endorse any inappropriate build-out of the Chappaqua Hamlet and have said so. The fact of the matter is, as far as I know, there is no such application before any of the boards at this time.  Whereas the Chappaqua Crossing retail development is well along in the SEQRA process and there is a proposed amendment to the current Master Plan before the Town Board to allow such development on that site.

And, as Editor Yeres indicated, and the residents of that neighborhood on the eastern end of town can confirm, I have been supportive of their concerns and have spoken out about the Rosehill development from its inception and presentation of its original application before the board.

Throughout the history of New Castle, supervisors and former boards have served us well in protecting the interests of the town and its residents by promulgating and enforcing the requisite zoning codes. The current zoning laws are testament to this fact. 

Thank you, Ms. Mitchell, for your continued concern for this community and for the excellent service you rendered during your tenure as Supervisor.  We have been the beneficiaries of your good stewardship. 

I believe that many of us will always be concerned about this town of New Castle where we raised our children and that our concern will extend to future generations of families who come here to raise their children.

Finally, I am concerned that there appears to be an attempt to divide this town by using a pejorative acronym that is not worthy of repeating.  This is an enlightened town and it is not characteristic of its populace to marginalize people by name calling.  Not so distant history has and, unfortunately, continues to reveal that no form of marginalization of any group of people, for any reason, is innocuous regardless of any tortuous attempt to justify it.

I prefer to refer to my fellow residents, wherever in town they live, by the term “Neighbor.”

Betty Weitz, Ph.D.






Copyright 2019