Town releases proposed zoning text for “Active Lifestyle District” w/ spa at Legionaries in mind

1:00 p.m. Friday, February 14, 2013
~ from the Town of New Castle

Editor’s Note: The proposed text amendment under which a developer would be permitted to construct The Spa at New Castle on the 96-acre Legionaries property presently zoned for two-acre residential use was released today by the town.  There was some confusion in last Tuesday’s public hearing on the draft scoping for the project as to whether the draft text had been composed yet.  It had; and here it is, below.  As with the Chappaqua Crossing application, any zoning change—and any change to the Town Development Plan to permit it—must each go through a public hearing process of its own, apart from public hearings on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and, sometimes, even the final Environmental Impact Statement. 

The amendment would create a “floating” zone, a generic zone that might be applied within the town wherever the circumstances and conditions described in the zoning text obtain.

For more articles on the Spa application from’s archives, click HERE.

The public scoping hearing (the scope is the list of environmental concerns the applicant must respond to) has closed, but written comments may be submitted until Friday, February 21, 2014—either by email, to a special address for the purpose:

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Or by snail-mail, to:

Town Administrator Jill Shapiro
200 South Greeley Avenue
Chappaqua, NY 10514

To see the February 10, 2014 letter in which the Westchester County Planning Board weighed in on the Spa application click HERE

You can find all documents pertaining to The Spa at New Castle application (including the County letter of 2-10-14) on THIS PAGE of the town’s website.


Add New § 60-370 to the Town of New Castle Zoning Code as follows:

§ 60-370 Active Lifestyle (AL) Floating District

A. Findings; purpose and intent.

(1) The Town Board of the Town of New Castle hereby finds that it is in the best

interests of the Town to foster and promote economic growth and development by

allowing active lifestyle developments, which are designed to facilitate a style of

living that combines active recreation with mind-body wellness amenities. An

active lifestyle development may contain some or all of the following types of uses:

residential dwelling units, either one- or multi-family; hotel; spa; restaurant; and

recreation. The Town Board further finds that such developments would attract

new residents, tourists, and members of the community to utilize and enjoy

recreation, service and lifestyle amenities in a self-contained, unified facility,

insulated from, and not intruding upon, surrounding areas. Pursuant to the general

authority granted under § 261 of the Town Law, the Town Board hereby creates a

floating zoning district for active lifestyle developments (“AL District”). The AL

District would permit active lifestyle developments only on those limited sites

within the Town where such use would be compatible with surrounding uses, and

would have sufficient area to provide for housing, recreational, and service needs,

while ensuring adequate buffering of neighborhood uses, protection of

environmental resources, and preservation of open space and the general character

of the Town. Such developments shall also be designed and operated in an orderly,

aesthetically pleasing, and well-planned manner.

B. Procedures and powers.

(1) In accordance with the procedures for Amending the Zoning Code set forth in

Article VI of this Chapter, on its own motion, on recommendation of the Planning

Board, or on a Petition submitted by a duly authorized representative of an owner of

any parcel of land within the Town, the Town Board may amend the Zoning Map to

include such parcel within the AL District and subject to the use, density and bulk

requirements set forth in this Section, provided that such parcel satisfies the

locational criteria set forth below.

(2) An application to the Town Board for a zoning change to permit an AL District

designation shall conform to the requirements of Article VI of this Chapter, and

shall also be accompanied by:

(a) A written statement containing the following:

[1] How the proposed development would accomplish the purposes set forth

in this Section;

[2] Intended uses on the parcel; and

[3] Intended method of preservation for any open space, environmental

resources, and/or architecturally or historically significant buildings or


(b) Preliminary site development plans illustrating design concepts for proposed

and existing streets, drives, parking areas, recreation areas, walks, paved

areas, utilities, open space, plantings, screened landscaping, and other

improvements, existing and proposed system of drainage including adjacent

existing natural waterways, existing and proposed topography at a suitable

contour level, and the locations and outlines of proposed and existing

buildings together with preliminary architectural drawings for proposed


(3) Upon the Town Board including a parcel within the AL District, implementation of

development shall be subject to the requirements set forth herein, as well as all

other applicable regulations in this Chapter, including, but not limited to, the Town

Planning Board’s site development plan review authority and procedures set forth in

§ 60-440.

C. Locational criteria.

(1) The AL District may only be applied to a parcel within the Town that contains a

minimum area of 75 contiguous acres, and has at least 300 feet of frontage along a

state or county road.

D. Permitted uses in the AL District.

(1) All permitted uses in the R-2A District, as set forth in § 60-410A.

(2) One- and multi-family dwelling units, as defined by § 60-210.

(3) Hotel.

(4) Restaurant and bar, as defined by § 60-210.

(5) Recreational facilities, including spa services and tennis courts.

(6) Meeting and conference facilities.

(7) Incidental and accessory uses, as defined by § 60-210, including, but not limited to,

retail sales, office space, and any other use permitted by the Town Board.

E. Density standards.

(1) The maximum permitted density for an active lifestyle development shall be based

on the following site area requirements:

(a) The maximum permitted floor area ratio for all buildings combined within an

active lifestyle development shall be 0.1.

(b) The maximum permitted development coverage shall be 10.0%.

(c) The maximum permitted building coverage shall 5.0%.

F. Site and structure requirements.

(1) All buildings and structures in the AL District shall comply with the following bulk


(a) Floor area ratio per use. The maximum permitted percentage of the total floor

area of an active lifestyle development to be used for residential purposes

shall be 65%. The minimum permitted percentage of the total floor area of an

active lifestyle development to be used for hospitality, recreation and/or

service purposes shall be 35%.

(b) Height. The maximum height of a building shall be 40 feet, except that any

active lifestyle development proposing the adaptive re-use of an existing

building shall be permitted to meet the highest roof peak of such existing

building so that the visual appearance is not significantly altered.

(c) Lot width and depth. There shall be no minimum lot width or depth in the AL


(d) Off-street parking. All structures and land uses in the AL District shall be

provided with a sufficient amount of off-street parking to meet the needs of

persons employed at or making use of such structures or land uses, and

sufficient off-street loading facilities to meet the needs of such structures or

land uses, as set forth in Sections 60-420F(3) and (6) of the Town Code,

except that the Planning Board may approve the joint use of parking spaces by

two or more uses on the same or contiguous lots, provided the total capacity

of said lots is no more than 30% less than the sum of the spaces required for

each, and provided that the Planning Board finds that the capacity to be

provided will substantially meet the intent of the requirements by reason of

variation in the probable time of maximum use by patrons and employees

among such establishments, and also provided that such approval of such joint

use shall be automatically terminated upon the termination of the operation of

any such establishments. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in

Sections 60-420F(3) and (6), where numerical requirements for parking and/or

loading are not specified for a particular structure or land use in the Town

Code, the Planning Board, in its sole discretion, may accept numerical parking

requirements submitted by the Applicant and obtained from other reputable

sources such as the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the Urban Land

Institute, and the American Planning Association, or from surveys of other

facilities deemed by the Planning Board to be sufficiently similar in nature

and operation to the structure or land use in question. Parking shall be set

back from the property line at least 75 feet on all sides.

(e) Yards. All front yards shall be, at a minimum, 75 feet. All side yards shall

be, at a minimum, 45 feet. All rear yards shall be, at a minimum, 60 feet.

(f) Frontage. Any parcel in the AL District shall have frontage of at least 300

feet along a state or county road.

(g) Usable open space. There shall be provided sufficient usable open space as

determined by the Planning Board for use by the residents and/or hotel/spa

guests, which shall be appropriate in location, size and design to the type of

development. Within such usable open space, there shall be provided

landscaped walkways with, as appropriate, amenities such as benches, flower

gardens, patios and other appropriate facilities designed to accommodate a

variety of outdoor recreational activities suited to the needs, abilities and

preferences of residents and hotel/spa guests.

(h) Buffer screening. The existing natural buffers at the site shall be sufficiently

maintained so as to adequately screen the development upon such parcel from

adjacent property owners. Existing buffers shall be supplemented as deemed

necessary by the Planning Board.

G. Ownership.

(1) Parcels and/or buildings constructed and maintained in conjunction with an active

lifestyle development may be in different ownership. 

(2) The parcel may be subdivided in accordance with Chapter 113 of the Town of New

Castle Town Code.

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