“All about us”—County provides extensive baseline data on New Castle

Excerpts from the report; video of the presentation
Monday, March 9, 2015
by Christine Yeres

At the end of February, representatives from the County’s Planning Department visited a Town Board meeting to give a brief summary of long-awaited baseline data on New Castle, significant material in master planning.  The extensive report resides on the County’s website; it begins:

While much of the Town’s civic life revolves around New Castle, no residents have a “New Castle” mailing address. Community identity can vary between the five school districts serving the Town, the proximity to either the hamlets of Mount Kisco or Millwood, or even just a resident’s mailing address (the zip code with the largest area is Chappaqua, while other portions of the Town have an Ossining, Millwood or Mount Kisco address).

With its rolling hills, winding roads and large homes, the Town is one of New York State’s wealthiest communities (see Chapter 4 for further discussion on Population Characteristics). The largest hamlet, Chappaqua, supports a picturesque downtown with trendy bistros and boutiques and a Metro North Railroad stop. The smaller commercial center of Millwood, located at the confluence of Routes 100, 133 and the Taconic State Parkway, contains a modest commercial strip mall with a post office and several retail shops and businesses.

New Castle also has undeveloped wooded areas, including large areas of parks and nature preserves (see Chapter 6 for further discussion of natural resources and Chapter 7 for information on recreation and open space).

To view the entire report, click HERE.

The following topic areas are included in the Planning Base Studies:

1. Introduction

2. External Influences – Regional Context

3. The Use of Land

4. Population Characteristics

5. Transportation

6. Natural Resources

7. Recreation, Open Space and Cultural Resources

8. Public Facilities

9. Infrastructure and Utilities

10.Commercial Development

11.Residential Development

12.Current Zoning

13.Build-Out Under Current Zoning

14. Historic and Cultural Resources

How we use our acres


New Castle’s primary land use is Single Family Residential. However, many large and small commercial, open space and transportation-related properties are found within the 15,003 acre Town. As mentioned previously, and as shown on the Figure 3-2, the largest land use in the Town is single family dwellings, totaling 7,727 acres, or 51 percent of the Town’s land area. This total includes larger “Estate and Rural Residential” properties and “Single Family with Accessory Apartment” properties, as shown on Map 3-1.

Two/Three-Family and Multi-Structure Properties and Condominium, Apartments, Multi-Family uses make up 484 acres, or three percent of the Town. (See Chapter 11 for further discussion of residential development in the Town).

The lands associated with the Con Edison electric power lines in the western end of Town, including significant portions of the hamlet of Millwood, significantly contribute to the acres categorized as Commercial and Retail uses, totaling 47 acres, are concentrated in and around downtown Chappaqua and Millwood.

Institutional and Public Assembly uses, including schools, government, religious and social/health services uses, account for 739 acres.

The 118 acres identified as Office and Research are almost completely attributed to the former Readers Digest property, now known as Chappaqua Crossing and proposed for a mixed use redevelopment (See Chapter 10 for further discussion of commercial development in the Town).

Open Space and Recreation uses account for 3,197 acres, or 21 percent of the Town’s land uses. These uses include County Parks and Parkway Lands, Local Parks and Open Space, Nature Preserves, Private Recreation, State Park and Parkway Lands and Water Supply Lands (See Chapter 7 for further discussion of open space and recreation).

Several parcels identified as Agricultural uses include both vegetative nursery operations and private horse stables and related equestrian activities.

Seven things that you should know about Westchester County’s population

~ fron Chapter 4: Population Characteristics

In March of 2013, Joseph Salvo, the Director of the New York City Department of City Planning’s Population Division, made “>a key presentation at the 2013 Land Use Training Institute, hosted by the Westchester Municipal Planning Federation.

Mr. Salvo and his team of demographers developed a list of seven things land use decision makers should know about the population of Westchester County. The following is just a brief summary of the points Mr. Salvo made in that presentation. The seven points included:

1. Westchester County is large and dynamic

There are over 3,100 counties in the U.S. and Westchester is 44the in size of population.

If Westchester was considered a city, it would rank 9th in the nation in size.

People leave the county, but others arrive. Many of the newcomers are from other countries, others from other parts of the United States.

Other counties and cities would envy Westchester’s dynamic shifts of populations.

2. The county possesses ethnic diversity, which is highest in the younger age groups

Immigration is fueling a more diverse racial and ethnic mix in the county.

The county’s increase in Hispanics is also happening in New York City and all over the U.S.

These new residents are younger.

3. It is becoming more diverse through immigration and births

Like New York City and other ―inner ring‖ counties surrounding the city, a growing proportion of residents are foreignborn (NYC at 37%, Westchester 24%)

Many are from Latin America (38%), and these are from a variety of countries (e.g. Mexico, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Colombia and Peru).

Hispanic immigrants have the highest rate of births among immigrants.

Foreign-born residents can be found in communities throughout Westchester.

4. It has a socioeconomic mix

The proportion of adults over the age of 25 in the county with a Bachelor’s degree or higher is 45%. New York City is 33%.

Household income is also high compared with other areas.

Some of those with lower education and income are clustered in some communities.

A third of all workers in Westchester are foreign born; and they work in a variety of occupations.

5. It is projected to grow at a modest pace

Projections for the county’s population show modest growth over the coming decades.

Such modest growth should be considered a positive.

6. It has an aging population

Westchester’s population is older than the general population of the U.S., which is a concern.

The aging population is seen in communities throughout the county.

7. Putting it all together: Decisions that are demographically informed

Immigrants have a very high employment rate. Some are at the bottom of the income ranges, while others are not.

People are migrating into Westchester, while others migrate out of Westchester. Much of this is back and forth to New York City.

While 9% of those leaving the county go to Florida, almost 8% of those coming from within the United States are from Florida.

Overall, the “ins” and “outs” are almost equal. Migration is largely a phenomenon of the young.

Table of Contents for the County’s Studies on New Castle

Town of New Castle Planning Base Studies Chapters

Cover and table of contents
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: External Influences – Regional Context
Chapter 3: The Use of Land
Chapter 4: Population Characteristics
Chapter 5: Transportation
Chapter 6: Natural Resources
Chapter 7: Recreation, Open Space and Cultural Resources
Chapter 8: Public Facilities
Chapter 9: Infrastructure and Utilities
Chapter 10: Commercial Development
Chapter 11: Residential Development
Chapter 12: Current Zoning
Chapter 13: “Build-out” Under Current Zoning
Chapter 14: Historic and Cultural Resources

Town of New Castle Planning Base Studies Maps

All Maps (22MB)
Map 2-1: Regional Location Map
Map 3-1: Land Use
Map 4-1: Population Density
Map 5-1: Road Network
Map 6-1: Environmental Features
Map 6-2: Topography
Map 6-3: Soils
Map 6-4: Impervious Surfaces
Map 7-1: Open Space, Parks and Recreation
Map 8-1: Public Facilities and School Districts
Map 9-1: Sewer Districts
Map 9-3: Sanitary Waste Disposal Methods
Map 10-1: Commercial Land Use
Map 11-1: Neighborhoods and Place Names
Map 12-1: Zoning
Map 13-1: Build-Out Analysis Results

Town of New Castle Planning Base Studies Appendices

3-1 Land Use in Westchester (26 MB)
5-1 Taconic State Parkway National Historic Register of Historic Places Form
5-2 Highway Functional Classification Concepts, Criteria and Procedures
5-3 New Castle Traffic Accident Data
5-4 Traffic Accidents by Type
5-5 Traffic Accidents by Road
5-6 Town of New Castle Design Standards for Streets
6-1 Soil Survey for Putnam and Westchester Counties, New York (17 MB)
6-2 Impervious Surfaces and Water Quality
6-3 A Home-Owner’s Guide to Operating and Maintaining a Septic System
6-4 NYS Stormwater Manuals
    NYS Stormwater Management Design Manual (11 MB)
    NYS Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control (21 MB)
6-5 Center for Watershed Protection Unified Site and Subwatershed Reconnaissance Form
6-6 New Castle Stormwater Management Program Annual Report
6-7 New Castle Environmental Protection Overlay District Ordinance
6-8 New Castle Brook Hazard Mitigation Plan
6-9 List of Plants Rarely Eaten by Whitetail Deer
6-10 Westchester County Deer Task Force Report
6-11 New Castle Coyote Flyer
6-12 NYS List of Endangered, Threatened and Special Concern Fish and Wildlife Species
9-1 County Water District Map
9-2 New Castle Climate Action Plan
9-3 Southern Exposure Map
10-1 2011 Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) Employment Analysis
12-1 New Castle Official Map and Zoning Map
13-1 New Castle Draft Build-out Analysis Results


Town of New Castle Work Session & Board Meeting 2/24/15 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.

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