DEIS hearings for the holidays?

November 14, 2008
by Christine Yeres

If the schedule runs without a hitch for the review by the town board of the monumental draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) developer Summit Greenfield has submitted for its application to build 278 condos on the property that formerly belonged to Reader’s Digest, there could be holiday hearings in store for New Castle.

The 45-day period during which the town board has to determine whether all scoping questions have been addressed in the DEIS ends December 1. During this review, if the town board finds any area in which the DEIS is inadequate, the clock stops while Summit Greenfield comes up with answers.

The town board has not yet hired a consultant to study options for town use of some parts of Summit Greenfield’s 116-acre property. The town board will put its options in priority order, leading with the Wallace auditorium, field space, and lodgings for NCCTV, and discuss its wish list at next week’s work session on November 18.

The town board will give an update on the state of its review in its last public meeting before the clock runs out, on Tuesday, November 25. They cannot say at this point whether they will be able to finish their review within the 45 day period that ends Dec. 1. At the meeting on Nov. 25, the town board will also conduct a public hearing to discuss the town’s proposed 2009 budget. 

Summit Greenfield has still not provided the DEIS in electronic form to the town or its residents. There is one public copy at town hall and one at the Chappaqua Library.

When the DEIS is finally accepted as complete by the town board, the document will be made more readily available to residents. Residents will have 15 days from the day on which the town declares the DEIS complete in which to review the DEIS before the start of a public comment period. The town board may decide to hold a public hearing in lieu of the public comment period.

Remainder of the scheduled town board meetings for 2008

There are five meetings remaining on the 2008 calendar: Nov. 18 (work session), Nov. 25 (regular meeting), Dec. 2 (work session), Dec. 9 (regular meeting) and Dec. 16 (work session).