Master Plan Steering Committee meets new Business Development Committee . . .
Saturday, November 22, 2014
by Christine Yeres
THIS MEETING WAS CANCELLED
According to the home page of the town’s website, “The New Castle Master Plan Steering Committee and the Business Development Advisory Committee will meet on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. to hear a presentation on “Transit Oriented Development – The Path to Downtown Revitalization.” Supervisor Rob Greenstein has frequently touted the benefits of transit-oriented development (TOD) for the Chappaqua hamlet, maintaining that approval of retail at Chappaqua Crossing would act as additional motivation to strengthen the existing hamlet by means of TOD.
What is TOD?
“Transit-oriented development, or TOD, is a type of community development that includes a mixture of housing, office, retail and/or other amenities integrated into a walkable neighborhood and located within a half-mile of quality public transportation.” ~ from ReconnectingAmerica.org
The town is actively engaged in having the eight acres it owns around and including town hall, some of the train parking lot and the rec field appraised and surveyed. A priority for members of the newly-formed Business Development Advisory Committee (BDAC), headed by Town Board member Adam Brodsky, is to make “recommendations to the New Castle government regarding strategic redevelopment opportunities for Town-owned property and make recommendations regarding the highest and best uses based on current market conditions.” See full text of the resolution forming the BDAC by clicking HERE.
See also Town Board makes it official: New Castle has a “Business Development Advisory Committee”—Brodsky promises to work closely with Master Plan “commercial development and hamlets” group, NCNOW.org, 11/15/14.
If the Town was really intent on encouraging transit oriented development it would be discouraging the development of a third hamlet that does not have transit (a bus stop on Rte 117 does not count) and instead would be figuring out how to encourage the new retail and services in walking distance of the Metro North station. It would not be promoting the relocation of town hall, the police etc away from downtown to a hamlet requiring a car trip from downtown. It would also be doing TOD planning as part of the Master Plan process. The current administration is engaging in Orwellian new speak. If it wasn’t so serious it would be funny.
retail at CC ( third hamlet) and TOD for downtown are not mutually exclusive. In fact one compliments the other. Bring people to Whole Foods and some will find there way downtown to shop and eat. Now we are going to Mt Kisco and Armonk so downtown gets none or little of our business. Bring in folks from outside the community and they will discover a revitalized downtown. Right now downtown is dying and dead. It can’t get worse. CC will help – a riding tide lifts all boats.
We need bid
Editor’s Note: “bid” = “business improvement district”
Stop with the smoke and mirrors. If you want to find out what needs to be done and where to attract money with StartupNewcastle. Take a pointer from what NY is trying to do on a State level and apply it on a local level. If we promised the developer of CC 20 years free property taxes and made downtown Chappaqua free from reporting sales tax for 15 years; how would this impact New Castle? If the above formula does not work, but the concept is good, what would be the right mix of applying the kind of idea that startupnewyork represents but with the twist of making it startupnewcastle? If we applied a StartupNewCastle Task Force, could we qualify for shovel ready projects and pull some money from both State and Federal into New Castle? Could we bury our telephone poles in the ground, improve our water sources, expand or parks, expand the sewer districts, and correct and widen Muncipal located roads. Could we create a bicycle path from the far reaches of new castle to the rail road station? Could we approve and improve downtown Chappaqua to allow Segways for transportation? Who is thinking of a four story parking garage? Come up from NYC and rent a Segway to go all over Chappaqua; stop here, stop there, go in here, buy this, buy that, and have fun spending money. Approve CC, make downtown Chappaqua a 20 year Sales Tax free zone. Do we have the people in our community to get a variation of these ideas working? Are wealthy communities immune from being able to ask for help during tough economic times? Between UPS and Amazon, we better start to address our applied approach towards our downtown, and we really can’t afford to discuss it at length like the Tappan Zee Bridge – we have to get something in the works! Make sense?