Invitation to New Castle Residents: Let’s think together.

Opportunity to meet and talk at Lange’s on Monday, Nov. 17, 9:30 am to 11:30 am.
November 14, 2014
by Deputy Supervisor Lisa Katz

It’s no secret that, for many reasons, I am opposed to the current retail development proposal at Chappaqua Crossing.  However, I also realize that some retail may be approved by the Town Board, and, if so, I want to ensure that it is the best possible size and type of development for our whole community.

I have been working with my fellow Board members and the Planning Board on a number of additional mitigation measures and conditions, including reducing the overall size of the retail space.  As you’ve heard us discuss, we’re also looking to persuade Summit Greenfield to demolish or decommission an equivalent or greater amount of office space than the retail they are proposing to add, to help make the project a better fit for our community. 

I also have been discussing with my Board colleagues what types of retail businesses and amenities we may want, and what we may not want to allow at Chappaqua Crossing.  For example, we do not want a smoke shop, since the development is a short walk from our high school. 

We’ve heard from Summit Greenfield as to what types of retailers it hopes to attract to Chappaqua Crossing.*  I want to hear from residents on what types of retail or amenities you do and do not want to see at Chappaqua Crossing if the Board were to approve the retail proposal in some form.  I also want to hear your thoughts about other improvements that we could ask be undertaken to benefit our entire town and to lessen the impact on neighboring residents.

Our next public hearing is Tuesday, November 18th at approximately 8:30 p.m., and I urge you to attend to let the Board know your thoughts.  If you cannot attend that meeting, or if you don’t feel comfortable attending, I will once again be holding a “coffee talk” at Lange’s in Chappaqua this Monday, November 17th from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. 

Please feel free to drop by to share your thoughts.

Lisa Katz
Deputy Town Supervisor

Editor’s Note:  The list of possible retail tenants submitted by Summit Greenfield can be viewed by clicking HERE.  According to Supervisor Rob Greenstein, Town Board members will continue their discussion of matters still-to-be-decided pertaining to the Chappaqua Crossing application.

We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

Lisa- I’ll give you the benefit of doubt and accept this coffee talk as an acknowledgment by you that many of us do support retail at CC and it is inevitable. I agree with you that since it is going to happen in one form or another we should work together, share ideas, and find solutions. I hope and trust that this is not some sort of public relations / political/ tactical stunt and that you are sincere. If you plan on voting against it anyway than please don’t waste our time.
Having said that, a coffee talk on a week day (work day)does not accommodate the many of us that work and don’t have flexible hours like you. I work in CTand my husband works in NYC. Neither of us, and most people we know will not be in attandence. I hate to say it but the people most likely attending will be the old men that eat breakfast at Langes or the ladies that lunch who will attend in their Yoga pants for their morning workout.
If you want feedback and brainstorming from a broader better representation Of residents than pick a weekend or have cocktails at Quaker Tavern after work.

By Working mom on 11/14/2014 at 4:30 pm

Ms Katz- you are most certainly voting against this proposal no matter what the stores no matter what the compromise. If you don’t they won’t let you back in the neighborhood. So why pretend to hear what everyone else has to say? Your mind is already made up.
And why are you and you alone hosting this coffee talk? What of the other board members?
What’s your angle?
Oh yeah – Monday morning 9:30 -11:30. People with jobs won’t be there. Here my 2 cents. 120,000 sq feet is ok size provided there is a gym and supermarket. Push the time line or we will lose Whole Foods. Delay any further and we get sued. Let that be on your head when you vote against this project.

I will not be able to attend your coffee talk so let me offer a few things here.
At first I thought 120,000 square feet of retail at CC was too much. But upon further consideration and with more information I am comfortable with the size as long as a Whole Foods and the gym are included. Combined these 2 will occupy more than half the space. So the remaining 50k sq ft can be used for other retail.
To that point and to make some suggestions for type of retail- I think a ” healthy-lifestyle” type theme would be great. Include a Jamba Juice , a GNC or Vitamin Shoppe and perhaps an athletic apparel retailer. A health conscious restaraunt Elevation Burger would fit nicely. I know it may not be possible to dictate these terms but it would be great if SG could exert pressure on their retail tenants to hire locals – especially our teenagers. These kids should work -they need jobs to keep them busy especially in the summer!!
Whole Foods in some markets grows some of its produce in very close proximity to stores. It would be a great learning experience and wonderful opportunity for some of our kids could get that kind of experience.
I am glad that you are understanding that this can and will bring terrific benefits to our community – at least I hope you see.

By Resident on 11/14/2014 at 7:37 pm

For you haters and complainers out there, including Working mom and Resident above, just stop already!  If you ever took the time to speak with Lisa, as I have, and I know many other residents who have, she has been saying all along that she was working on two parallel paths.  That while she was not in favor of the project at CC, she would also be working to negotiate the best possible development if CC is approved.  So there is no reason to give her the benefit of the doubt, as you say, and there are no angles.  She is doing exactly what she said she would do from day 1.  I notice that she is the only Board member who is actually reaching out to residents, so stop with your hating already.  And, working mom, Lisa is a working mom too who is taking on both her law firm and the town board.  She says in her letter that she is holding the talk during the day for those who cannot come to the Board meetings at night.  Do you really expect her to have drinks with you after you insult her? She already probably spends many nights at Board events and meetings which you could attend with your schedule if you ever stopped complaining and actually did something.

By Thank you Lisa on 11/15/2014 at 9:30 am

Give us a break.

I have seen or attended nearly every board meeting this year on this topic.  And heard you say over and over and over again, “we have open minds….we will consider all opinions…”

Your mind has been as shut as a steel trap.  Everything you have said and done to date has to been to try and stop or delay this project, including proposing a moratorium.  And now when you see that the tide has turned against you, you come in at the 11th hour and try to act like the voice of reason?!  You’re fooling no one. I agree with above poster that this reeks of a PR/political maneuver.

Elected officials have a responsibility to at least consider both sides of an issue. And you have failed to do that.

And by the way, the fact that you have failed to apologize for, retract, or even acknowledge your comments about a year ago using the Nevada school shootings as a reason as to why this project should be stopped will never be forgotten by this household.

By insulting our intelligence on 11/15/2014 at 10:56 am

Ms Katz -I think its a bit late in the game for you to be conducting a “community outreach” exercise. Had you been listening all along you would already know and understand what people want. Unfortunately you are deeply out of touch with community sentiment and totally insulated by your NIMBY neighbors. Fortunately even some in your own neighborhood have begun to emerge as in favor of retail at CC. I recall vividly as I sat in a town board meting last year when you were a resident (pre-election). You berated Ms Carpenter and scolded her insisting that “nobody wanted this” and that you had not met a single person in favor. That was terribly inaccurate as proven by an online survey showing majority was in favor. Of course that survey was taken down prematurely as your neighbors poisoned it.
Personally , I would have been very satisfied with a residential complex that included age restricted town houses – but you opposed those too. SG had asked for 300 then 200 and finally settled on 110 condos. I view that as compromise and negotiation. There are many others examples of compromise these past 2 years as well.
So what is the point of your coffee talk in the final hours? There has been significant resident feedback all along but you have been so focused on stopping any and all development that you haven’t heard us. Besides, you are voting against it anyway.
I would have preferred additional residential but that ship has sailed. Get us Whole Foods,a gym and quality retail. I like the juice bar concept with a LuluLemon apparel store,SoulCycle the “healthy lifestyle” concept as mentioned above. 120,000 square feet with quality retail is perfectly acceptable now that the developer has eliminated the strip mall and made other improvements – those were compromises too. There will be some traffic – it wont be the end of the world. I suspect your property values will actually increase as having such a complex close by will be a huge advantage and buyers will love it.

By emptynester on 11/15/2014 at 11:50 am

I think this is a stunt or a PYA (protect your ass) move. Is Lisa seriously trying to demonstrate that now, after all this time, she wants to hear what residents want at CC?
My gosh – haven’t we heard and read all the comments and possibilities. She has been so opposed to all development and so obsessed with blocking EVERYTHING that she has not heard anything but her own NIMBY cheerleaders who keep telling her to fight.
I work during the week and will not be able to meet at Langes on Monday. I used to attend (and watch) town board meetings but due to the long tedious and repetitive public hearings I wont be sitting there either until midnight next week. The behavior and monopolization of this topic by a handful of people have turned many of us off from getting involved and attending.
Now she wants to hear what we have to say???? I don’t get it.

By RDD on 11/15/2014 at 12:09 pm

Dearest Deputy Supervisor Katz- this gesture is a bit too little too late. You will be voting against whatever is agreed upon so let’s stop this charade. If you don’t know by now what our community wants then you will never know. Greenstein as he promised has been working from day one with the developer, negotiating size layout and land use and swaps. You on the other hand have been adamantly opposed to such dealings because you represent a small cluster of your neighbors who want nothing at CC. So now you reach out and want to hear from residents? I don’t get it.
The current size and layout has been discuses negotiated and changed many times already. The dreaded ” strip mall” has been eliminated.  The big 60,000 sq ft supermarket has been downsized to 40k SG ft and moved to accommodate a Whole Foods which the large majority are very excited about. A large gym has been added after suggestions from many and it will be large enough to occupy considerable space that would otherwise have been used for retail. The developer asked and was denied relaxing the small retail inclusion which also cut down on the number of retail stores. These are just some of the results of negotiation and dialogue between New Castle and SG. You just weren’t involved or paying attention because you don’t want anything.
The 120,000 sq ft proposed with market and gym can easily be managed and accommodated on the 110 acres at CC. Decommissioning other buildings so they can not be converted in the future is a smart move.
It’s a shame you didn’t see the light sooner as you probably could have been helpful – instead you alianated the developer and Greenstein and the other board members have been doing all the heavy lifting.

By C’mon Man… on 11/15/2014 at 1:31 pm

to Thank You Lisa – you are right about one thing.  I never spoke to Lisa so I never heard her two track plan.  However, I have been paying very close attention to this entire saga including Ms Katz and her antics as a resident as a candidate and as deputy Supevisor. AT NO TIME Ever did Lisa Katz suggest 2 parallel paths or compromise with SG or any collaborative effort to bring retail to CC. NEVER. Quite the contrary. She regularly derided insulted and vilified the developer and was in complete denial that there is as support for this project. Resident Katz has been adamantly opposed. Candidate Katz ran to stop development at CC. In her letters and at candidates night she never mentioned working with SG. I met her at Taza in Millwood and she was all about stopping CC. As board member all her questions and comments are intended to stall and undermine. Maybe you have access to Lisa because you must be a neighbor but most of us only know the public Ms Katz. And that person has never discussed 2 parallel paths- ever.

By Resident on 11/15/2014 at 5:19 pm

The purpose of this is to see if anyone has any new ideas on how to stop progress on the project. The tide has finally turned and Katz is soliciting new angles for obstruction

By Figure it out on 11/15/2014 at 8:43 pm

Lisa, don’t let the comments of the above people above bother you. There are some people who can’t be happy unless they are complaining from the sidelines. Those of us who have participated in the process and actually know you, know that you have been negotiating all along because once Rob and Adam changed their tune you knew CC might be approved. Those who actually have taken the time to speak with you (as opposed to the unhelpful complainers) thank you for all you have been doing. You have always tried to have the best interests of the town at heart while trying to protect the neighbors of CC. I wish those complainers (including you, Summit Greenfied and Rob Greenstein – we know you make anonymous comments against Lisa because she has the gall to stand up to you and not bow down to your every wish) would see all the good you are doing and provide valuable input instead of hateful emails. Let them spend their time doing something besides write cruel comments. I applaud you for being the only Board member to ask for input. Funny the complainers never mention the bad job everyone else is doing. Thanks again Lisa and stay positive. Many of us with helpful suggestions will see you Monday.

By Stop listening on 11/15/2014 at 9:31 pm

@stop listening,
What you mean is that you and the NIMBY’s will be joining Katz to come up with a new strategy. Love to hear how you know that SG and RG are posting anonymous comments. Oh, I forgot. Nobody in Town supports retail at CC so it must be them

By Helpful means new tactics on 11/15/2014 at 11:11 pm

i am an informed resident. I have been closely following this and most town developments. I read NewCasltenow and Chapp Daily.I watch replays of board meetings when I can’t attend.  I went to candidates night and was an informed voter.
At no time have I heard Lisa Katz discuss parallel paths and anything that might resemble a collaborative effort with the developer. Last week she asked about compromise and negotiation and now she hosts a coffee talk seeking input on CC.
She had only been about stopping development at CC. This parallel path theory is pure nonsense.

By KA on 11/16/2014 at 7:55 am

To Stop Listening- Your homage to Lisa Katz is off the mark. I, like many others, have been involved in the process. But because I don’t live with the rest of you NIMBYs I don’t get invited to your secret meetings at Crabtree Kittke Hiyse and all your other block party meetings where you strategize your opposition to CC. So for most of us our understanding and knowledge about Katz and her positions comes from her public persona. I attend or watch board meetings. I attended candidates night and read all the campaign literature. I read most letters comments here post to FaceBook.
You are correct – I haven’t spoken to Katz directly but her positions on CC have been made very clear from when she was resident then candidate and now board member. She had never been anything but opposed to development at CC. Period! Maybe in your private NIMBY meetings she has indicated otherwise but got the rest of us she is also supposed to serving she has been consistently anti CC.
You say Katz has been negotiating “all along once Rob and Adam changed their tune”. That is another NIMBY fiction. Candidate Greenstein promoted Whole Foods at CC. His platform was a new approach to dealing with Summit Greenfield- to negotiate with them not block them. Adam like Rob was very clear he was pro development especially downtown. Both ran a campaign promising repurposing town hall including moving it to CC.  You NIMBY’s can repeat this fiction that Rob ran for supervisor to block CC but the facts show otherwise. 
I’m not buying this final hour “let’s talk – let’s share ideas” by Lisa. It’s a transparent stunt. Besides before I would ever go to such a meet and greet I would want an apology for all her poor behavior and all the NIMBY behavior. Calling the supervisor a liar, rigging the survey, school shootings… Disgraceful. 

By Chappster on 11/16/2014 at 9:53 am

I am so saddened that my fellow community members are so disgusting.  Look at the comments above.  They anonymously and cowardly bash a woman who is trying to do the right thing.  It find it so sad that a community that I love houses such vicious and truly horrible people.  What is wrong with you all?  You should be ashamed.

By A. Cohen on 11/17/2014 at 8:12 am

i just got around to reading this issue and this blows me away. Lisa Katz is hosting a coffee talk to share ideas and in her words “ensure it is the best possible size and type of development for our whole community”. Seriously? She was elected exactly one year ago. Now with the clock ticking and deadlines nearing she has finally seen the light. I think what she really means is that her block and obstruct position hasn’t worked she now wants to get the right size and development for her neighbors not the whole community.  So expect her to grandstand and come to the table with unrealistic proposals and continue to paint the developer as the bad guy.
She and her constituents could have and should have been having this discussion for the past year. Thankfully the other 4 board members understand that the majority want this, that SG has an airtight case, and that when complete this will be a huge win for all.
Before anyone challenges the airtight lawsuit statement you should consider that even Lisa Katz has now resigned herself that this is happening. Unfortunately for her she wasted the last year and the developer will not and should wait for her suggestions to materialize. The other board members have been hearing and listening all along.

By Earth to Lisa – come in on 11/17/2014 at 12:36 pm

Chapin and Motel have been listening and paying attention to all ideas regarding retail at CC since inception. For almost a year since they were elected,  Brodsky and Greenstein have been engaged with the developer and hearing/ understanding what people want. All of them have had the inside look at what case SG has against us so the 4 of them have understood that retail in some form is coming to CC.  Only Ms Katz has insulated herself because she has represented herself as ” stop retail at CC”.  That’s what she ran on and that is how she has conductered herself as deputy supervisor. It’s evident in her comments and questions whenever the topic is on the agenda ( which is always). 
Now, after almost a year, Katz decides to hold a little meeting of her own at Langes to meet and talk and hear from residents as to the type of retail and amenities we want and don’t want. this meeting will be a bunch of your neighbors with you trying to save face and extract something and throw a wrench in the works.
NEWSFLASH Lisa- your a bit late to the party.  Your fellow board members have been doing this all along. I’ve met and spoken to 3 of them. People have written letters. You don’t see and hear it because you have put yourself out there as oppose.d to everything. So why would anybody share with you what stores they would like to see at CC when they know you want nothing at CC. But now you see the light. Like I said – your a bit late.

By Ryan on 11/17/2014 at 3:48 pm

Lisa should have just voted.  What an joke!

By i have a bridge to sell on 11/17/2014 at 5:18 pm

To earth to Lisa,

Earth to YOU!!  Summitt Greendpfield will be building EXACTLY as much as they want to build in EXACTLY the fashion that they want.  THERE IS NO NEGOTIATING WITH THEM. They are and have been in complete charge. You really must be stupid to not see this or to believe the Robster who continues with his spin.


This town will be losing a huge amount because of this development and you do not have a clue.

By earth to earth to lisa on 11/18/2014 at 6:45 am

to earth to earth to Lisa- it is you with no clue!
Summit Greenfield has already made multiple changes to their original retail proposal based on feedback, pushback, and negotiation. So CLEARLY they haven’t gotten exactly what they want. They originally submitted plans for a strip mall with a 60,000 sq ft supermarket. They changed that after siggestions and objections. They asked for and have been denied relaxing the small store provision thus limiting the number of merchants. Your assertion that they are and have been in complete charge proves you have no idea what you are talking about. It’s been 10 years. They originally proposed 300 condos and didn’t get it. Then 200 and didn’t get it. They proposed age restricted housing – didn’t get that either. There is ongoing discussion to use the old Readers Digest buildings ( at least some of them) for town hall and police station. That qualifies as repurposing. The other buildings may be destroyed or decommissioned to limit future use.
You are incorrect on everything you just wrote.  It’s pretty clear who is the stupid one in this discussion.

By Get a clue on 11/18/2014 at 8:45 am

Someone on the Chappaqua Moms page reported that 6 people showed up to this so I guess most people saw through this charade.

By ’nuff said on 11/18/2014 at 9:00 am

A Cohen
Lisa Katz ran for town board and won. She now holds a public position and thus is subject to public scrutiny. Her positions and her behavior are well documented and clearly she has detractors. Understandably she wants to protect her neighborhood but there is a right way and a wrong way to do so.
Her treatment of S Carpenter and that town board was disrespectful and rude. She regularly publicly derided and insulted them. She authored a petition that was intentionally misleading – some say it was full of lies and deceptions – meant to gather signatures to show opposition to CC. Residents were angry that they were duped into signing, believing they were opposing things that never were proposed by the developer.
Already mentioned but important enough to comment again, was Ms Katz’s insensitive and irresponsible rant that retail at CC might/ could somehow be linked to mass shootings shortly after the tragedy at Newton CT. That was horrible and she never apologized.
I think your sadness and disgust should be directed elsewhere.

By You reap what you sow on 11/18/2014 at 9:16 am

to get a clue—

Using Reader’s Digest buildings for town hall and police?  YOu must be Rob Greenstein talking, because it’s Rob who wants to do that.  If you’re counting that as the “repurposing” of existing buildings – and letting Summit Grfeenfield build all new footprint – you’re Rob Greenstein, and you’re giving away the store.

By get a clue = Rob Greenstein on 11/18/2014 at 9:22 am

get a clue/Rob,

More of your lies.  Would expect no less.

By dear Rob/get a clue greenstein on 11/18/2014 at 9:24 am


Working Mom
Insulting our intelligence
c’mon Man
Figure it out
Helpful means new tactics
Earth to Lisa – come in
You reap what you sow

To each of you – and all others who will follow with your same vitriol and misguided support of Summit Greenfield (the worst neighbor we could have imagined) you clearly have done nothing to educate yourselves on the facts of Summit Greenfield’s ownership and pursuit of this project.

I drove on Roaring Brook Road last night at 5pm. It was already dark and the CC property was peaceful in an area surrounded by homes. Fast forward to the point when SG’s project is built and you will have an assault on the environment and this residential community.  Sure, you will have a place to shop or go to a Gym, if you choose to drop your membership at Saw Mill Club, Club Fit or Equinox, but this part of our community will be ruined.

I am sure that you none of you live near the intersection of 117 and Roaring Brook Road, so any inconvenience created by increased traffic will not bother any of you.  Lisa ran on a platform to stop retail development. You cannot blame her or villify her for sticking to that platform, unlike Greenstein and Brodsky who have completely abandoned their constituents who (even in my case) blindly supported them because of that very same platform only to realize that we had been lied to from the start.

As for the choices or stores, it is the height of ignorance to think that we can dictate any of that. Once the project is built, the landlord will lease to whomever will pay the rent. Given the awful location that this site offers for retail, chances are that the best tenants will NOT be interested. At some point, you can all look for another nail salon, a Dollar Store, and other dreck. This is truly a case of be careful what you wish for. Good luck with that.

By be careful what you wish for on 11/18/2014 at 10:56 am

To By Working mom -why don’t you send Lisa an email instead of complaining and putting people down.  She’s volunteering her time to make things better, unlike the rest of the board members.  If daytime doesn’t work, go to town hall meetings – those are at night.

By ugh on 11/18/2014 at 4:30 pm

I wonder how much of a payoff Rob is getting.  Anyone want to guess?

By $$$ on 11/18/2014 at 4:46 pm

My husband and I moved here 11 years ago to raise our family. We have been willing to keep an open mind on development at CC. We are neither enthusiastically for or against it. I guess you can say we understand all sides and expect that reasonable people ( residents, elected officials, and developer) will reasonably resolve this.
Last year my daughter as part of a school assignment and term paper of sorts picked “local politics”. She closely followed the town board elections and election issues. Because of that we started watching replays of town meetings on New CastleMedia.
All I can say as parents we cannot condone the behavior of Lisa Katz. Throughout this debate she has been disresptful and rude. In making her anti retail at CC case she exaggerated and took great liberties with facts and truths. It has already been mentioned but I would remiss in also not pointing it out that her referencing school shootings as part of her objection to CC was terribly insensitive and over the top. We teach our children to be respectful, especially to those in authority. We teach them manners and decorum. The example set by Ms Katz was terrible.
I can understand why some of you in proximity to CC support her but I will never understand how you do so without calling her to task for her methods. There has never been an apology or any attempt to explain some of her outlandish claims and behavior. As long as she is fighting to stop CC you people keep cheerleading.
We all live in this town together. I get that CC will be disruptive and I understand the pushback. There is a right way to fight this and a wrong way.

To Ugh- it’s the other 4 board members that are working for all of us. Katz is working for a few dozen people and she doesn’t give a hoot about the rest of town.
None of you Katz supporters have yet to come out and denounce her delplorable behavior and antics before during and once elected. Her insults and fear mongering have been well documented – she gas never apologized and by your support you legitimatize her

By Concerned citizen on 11/19/2014 at 8:52 am

To Ugh:
She is not volunteering her time.  She is being paid. By us.  For a job that she campaigned to have.  Being a board member involves more than just showing up at meetings every other week.

By cmon on 11/19/2014 at 9:05 am

Concerned citizen,

Wow.  Just wow.  And you have no issue with Supervisor Greenstein’s rude and quite obnoxious manner, meeting after meeting to resident and board members alike.

By interesting on 11/20/2014 at 5:01 pm

@Concerned Citizen, there is so much above in the criticisms regarding Lisa Katz that I would love to address, but somehow your’s struck a nerve.  Thank you for referencing your daughter’s school project.  So what exactly about Lisa’s behavior “as parents” we should not be able to condone.  Sure it is very nice that you think that reasonably people should resolve all of this in a reasonable manner.  So why exactly would you expect SG to be reasonable?  No doubt this all can be resolved, but I’m not sure where “being friends with the developer” is located in Lisa’s job description.  In all the words above, the only item of substance I see is the reference to school shootings, which was made well in advance of Lisa’s election to the Board.  Clearly an emotionally charged matter, and likely not her finest moment.  But if things are so “well documented”, why don’t I see any of it in the drivel you have offered above?  Personally, I think Lisa is awesome.  If anyone has issues, there she is, making herself available.  Perhaps not convenient for many, but way more convenient than those that don’t make themselves available at all (or in some cases, rarely say anything of substance on this topic).  So please do us a favor and step off your high horse, and if your daughter does any more politically oriented class projects, you might consider allowing her to do so without the added burden of your warped view of the world.

By Concerned Person on 11/21/2014 at 10:07 am

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