December 12, 2014
Editor’s Note: What follows is an op-ed + public comment. Since today is the deadline for comments on the proposed rezoning of Chappaqua Crossing as a retail shopping center, I am submitting into the record an email discussion with Town Board and Board of Education members. It was triggered by my email to them suggesting they consider a roundabout rather than a “signalized” six-lane intersection at the high school entrance. Roundabouts have been proven safer for pedestrians and vehicles that conventional intersections with traffic lights. In the group email below, Supervisor Greenstein and Board of Ed members Jeffrey Mester and Vicky Tipp weighed in. Thanks to a reference by Mester to a previous article in NCNOW, I found that the Town’s traffic consultant Michael Galante had told Board of Ed members in August of 2013 that only 5% of traffic could be “counted on” to use the back road into Chappaqua Crossing; the Greeley entrance and the main entrance on Bedford Road would serve as main access drives.
December 12, 2014
by Christine Yeres
Speaking for neighbors in Lawrence Farms East, Bill Devaney challenged the work of Summit Greenfield’s traffic consultant, John Collins, with a report of his own. In the December 9 continuation of the public hearing on Chappaqua Crossing, Devaney asked Town Board counsel Nick Ward-Willis to confirm that the State would require Summit Greenfield to construct all roadway improvements before any certificate of occupancy were issued. Ward-Willis did so, explaining that Summit Greenfield cannot get a building permit until New York State’s Department of Transportation has approved Summit Greenfield’s proposed road improvements or “mitigations,” and cannot obtain a certificate of occupancy until those improvements are completed. Devaney then read sections of the report he had commissioned from an independent traffic consultant.
FCC’s tree and wreath sale takes place Sat-Sun December 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st
Saturday, December 6, 2014
by Astrid Quish
Every December since we’ve lived here (16 years), my family has sold Christmas trees at our church, The First Congregational Church of Chappaqua on Orchard Ridge Road. Yes, that’s the same church that has the famous Barn Sale every year.
Hours before Town Board votes on zoning—8:15 p.m. @ Chappaqua Library—Planning Board finalizes its comments on Chappaqua Crossing
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Editor’s Note: Planning Board members followed up their Monday discussion of Chappaqua Crossing’s application for retail zoning with final comments to the Town Board. The 8-point letter ends: “In sum, after all this time and effort, the Planning Board believes that we need to look beyond the applicant’s immediate financial needs and legal posturing and get this right. Frankly, a broader enabling law should work better than the more limited approval that [Summit Greenfield] seek[s]. At the same time, broader enabling legislation should serve as an important signal from the Town to the applicant that there is an expectation that we need to continue to work jointly toward a ‘best’ plan.”
In tonight’s meeting, the Town Board’s counsel has explained, the Town Board will vote on whether to grant the retail zoning, but it will not vote on the preliminary development concept plan, specifying locations of buildings and roadways, until January or February. Counsel has also said that “mitigations” —in the form of a letter from Summit Greenfield—will be revealed.
CORRECTION: In tonight’s meeting, the Town Board’s counsel [has] explained ON MONDAY, the Town Board will vote on whether to grant the retail zoning, but it will not vote on the preliminary development concept plan, specifying locations of buildings and roadways, until January or February.
and instead of:
Although on Monday the town’s Counsel said that “mitigations” —in the form of a letter from Summit Greenfield—will be revealed tonight, today that estimate was revised. It is no longer certain that the Summit Greenfield’s letter proposing mitigations will be a part of tonight’s meeting.
Below are the Planning Board’s comments of today in their entirety:
Town Board will vote on the zoning legislation at 8:15 p.m. on Thursday, December 18, at Chappaqua Library Theater
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
by Christine Yeres
Last night, Bob Kirkwood, chair of Planning Board, proposed a way forward with the Chappaqua Crossing application that could lessen the impacts of the proposed retail development. In a letter shared with Town Board members, Kirkwood proposed that that the Town Board give the town and the developer more flexibility to plan the site as genuine mixed-use. Instead of three disparate office, residential and retail zones, he suggested, maintain the overall cap for retail of 120,000 square feet (and office space of 500,000 square feet), but draw a boundary around the entire property designating it as “mixed use.” The single “mixed use” zoning could permit uses to move or mingle and create “traditional neighborhood development” conditions as both county and town Planning Boards have consistently called for over the 2.5 years of reviewing the application.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Editor’s Note: The finances of Chappaqua Crossing were again a topic of discussion in the November 18 public hearing. With the public hearing on Tuesday, December 2, NCNOW is reprinting a piece by Jason Chapin from August 2013, setting out Summit Greenfield’s tax revenue projections for Chappaqua Crossing. Chapin provided the piece in response to a statement in August 2013 by then-Supervisor Susan Carpenter that the revenues from Chappaqua Crossing were “just projections,” and that the Town Assessor could not determine the value of the property and its taxes until the proposed retail was leased and operating. They may indeed be “just projections,” but in Chapin’s view they are projections that count. Below is his thinking. NCNOW has added some bracketed information, for clarification.
Monday, December 1, 2014
~ from The New Castle Police
New Castle Police Department has been receiving a significant increase in reports of attempted telephone scams involving the Internal Revenue Service and other scams. During the last 24 hours many New Castle residents reported getting calls from an individual identifying himself/herself as an agent of the IRS and that the resident owed back taxes. The caller states that if the taxes are not paid immediately by phone or wire they or their spouse will be arrested within the next few hours.