Op-Ed:  On “Rural Elegance,” the real “brand” of New Castle

Monday, September 29, 2014
by Betty Weitz

“’There is a rural elegance to New Castle that is hard to duplicate anywhere in the metropolitan area,’ says Lois L. Mitchell, Town Supervisor of New Castle” in a May 12, 1985 New York Times article.  The article speaks of “wooded roads,” the “quaint” and “colonial” character of the Chappaqua hamlet and of the high quality of our schools.  The electric trains had recently been installed and she mentions the ease of commuting.

Another New York Times article, September 19, 1999, is entitled, “If You’re Thinking of Living In/ Chappaqua, N.Y.; Fine Schools, And a Feel of New England.”  And the first paragraph reads:  “Attracted by a school system with a national reputation, a 50 minute commute to midtown Manhattan and the prospect of living in rustic neighborhoods with the feel of rural Vermont, young families are joining waiting lists for houses in Chappaqua.”

The article goes on to speak of “the town struggles to preserve its history and control land use” and that “real estate brokers say that the price of home ownership continues to rise.”

“The rural feel is what brought Leslie and Eli Richman and their two children . . .  from their Upper West Side apartment in Manhattan,” the article goes on to say. “’If we are going to move out of the city,’ Ms. Richman says, ‘we wanted a real country feel.’  They found it when they bought their house” in this community.

Another New York Times article, dated October 21, 1990, entitled, “If You’re Thinking of Living in Chappaqua,” states:  “Nevertheless, The Westchester community’s rustic atmosphere is one of the biggest selling points, realtors say, ‘people come here for the green, woodsy feeling,’ says Muriel L. Randolph,” a real estate broker.

And the same article quotes another couple who moved here from Boston, “They chose Chappaqua because it reminded them of ‘those quaint old New England villages. . . .‘”

Still another New York Times article, August 6, 1995 states, “Much of Chappaqua’s rural beauty is still intact, protected by rolling hills combined with strict local laws limiting building bulk, protecting trees and limiting steep slope construction [my emphasis].”

And in the same article Mrs. Kuhn, a former Supervisor, says that we must plan how to keep our open spaces.
Another homebuyer, interviewed for the same article, who opted for this town over other choices, states:  “It’s a country atmosphere close to the city.”

And, finally, still another New York Times article that recently appeared on Sunday, September 3, 2014 is entitled:  “Chappaqua, N.Y.:  A Hamlet in a Woodsy Setting.”  The first paragraph reads:  “’When I tell people we live in the woods, I really mean that,’ said Paul Keyes, describing his life in Chappaqua in Northern Westchester. 

‘When I pull off the road . . .  and finally come up the driveway, I feel like I’ve gone on vacation in the Adirondacks.’”  He speaks of his home where the “only views are of rolling hills and trees.”  The article declares that “Chappaqua . . . has retained a small-town rural feeling.”

However, it warns of changes.  “While living in the leafy hamlet, with its meandering country roads, stone walls and little shops where sales people know everyone by name, sounds idyllic in many ways, there may be some changes on the horizon.”  This article sounds an ominous note: 

“On a 120 acre site encompassing the former campus of Reader’s Digest, the developer, Summit Greenfield wants to build 120,000 square feet of retail space, including a Whole Foods Market, and 111 residential units, in addition to 680,000 square feet of existing office space.  But many residents worry about increased traffic and possible changes in the town’s laid-back tone.”

What a longstanding history, beyond the almost thirty-year history I have cited, up to this current article reveals is that this town has two major assets:  Its schools and its unique New England charm within easy commutation to New York City from the additional advantage of its own railroad station.

Our Supervisor has repeatedly spoken of “branding” the town.  It is self-evident that we already have a long-standing and valuable “brand,” or as I prefer to call it, public image, that is valuable not only for quality of life but for the practical matter of our home values. Our “brand” or public image is that of “rural elegance,” of New England charm, of rustic beauty.

Our Supervisor says we need change, but do we really want to exchange the reality and public image of, what has been called, “rural elegance” for that of a shopping mall destination?

Betty Weitz, Ph.D..

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

Betty- It’s very telling that the articles and quotes you include in your letter are dated from 1985 and 1995. I think decades old thinking is highly inappropriate. Our community has changed our residents have changed where and how we shop have changed. In 1985 and 1995 our school district was distinctively outstanding from most. Now there are many very strong competing school districts in towns that provide quality goods and services and have much lower taxes than we do. Real estate brokers will tell you buyers have many and better choices. We need to compete and offer residents a Whole Foods and a variety of housing stock.
I find it extremely interesting that you make no mention of Mr Napoli’s plan for downtown Chapp. He has 2 letters / Op-Eds in thus edition of New CastleNow. Both extolling the virtues of chain stores for downtown. If you are sincere about your concern for ” rural elegance” than why haven’t you criticized or commented about his plan to bring chain stores and a 400 car garage downtown. No – you are all about NIMBY.

By ResIdent on 09/29/2014 at 12:03 pm

Ms Weitz- Perhaps you are forgetting the many thousands of employees at Readers Digest some years ago. You conveniently omitted that the 120 acres at CC are bordered by a parkway a commuter train line and a state truck route. What rural elegance is there in that? You are only concerned with your backyard not the town brand or preserving rural elegance.

Editor’s Note:  Betty Weitz does not live in Chappaqua Crossing’s backyard.

By Long time resident on 09/29/2014 at 12:26 pm

To Betty Weitz, PHD – Its a shame that you focus ONLY on the Chapp Crossing 120 acre development. You say – Our “brand” or public image is that of “rural elegance,” of New England charm, of rustic beauty.”
If your concern is all of our town and all of our brand and all of our rural elegance then why do you ONLY mention CC? Your letter is presented in the very same NewCastleNow issue that contains not 1 but 2 letters/articles in support of chain stores in our community. More chain stores and chain restaraunts for downtown? Where is your outrage – where is your concern? 
We have other issues and developments that also would disturb and potentially ruin our rural elegance. The condos at Legionnaires and the large Mosque on the west side to name but 2.
Your sole focus has always been preventing retail at CC because it is in your backyard – hence NIMBY. Lets stop pretending you are a champion for rural elegance and preservation of our brand. You are not – you care only about CC and how it directly affects you.
And i haven’t even mentioned that much of your worry and concern has been refuted and never proven.Times change, people change, communities change, things evolve , they meet the needs of changing dynamics. We are not in Kansas anymore.

Editor’s Note: Betty Weitz does not live near Chappaqua Crossing.

By townie on 09/29/2014 at 3:23 pm

You always hit the nail on the head. Well said.

By Donna White on 09/29/2014 at 4:32 pm

I’m reminded of the developer in Armonk who was quoted in the NYT as saying, “if you want trees, move to Vermont!”.
Sadly, our town is suffering from Nature Deficit Disorder. Residents sport large green lawns, (meticulously maintained with petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides)that no one plays on. And the focus is on shopping and business. It is sad that this is what it has come to. We’ve lost our way.

By what has become of us? on 09/30/2014 at 8:41 am

I found it very strange that the supervisor said that we needed a “brand” for our town.
As Betty Weitz so clearly and intelligently shows us , we already have our brand. 

I would add that that beautiful, iconic Reader’s Digest building and property are our brand as well.  Everyone who I know who visits this area refers to its beauty and knows Chappaqua because of it. Now the supervisor is set to allow a huge new construction on this property that will forever change and mar it.  He says that he has no choice.  That is not true.

I have heard him refer to the downtown hamlet as a “dump.”  He has plans for that too.
This town is in big trouble with this supervisor.

By James Barron on 09/30/2014 at 12:39 pm

I agree with Ms. Weitz that our town does not need to struggle to find its “brand.”
We are small-that is why all of us are here.  The recognition of this as a positive trait is something that seems to have escaped our current town supervisor. I attended last night’s presentation by Mr. Greenstein and was distressed to hear him call our downtown “broken.” He and his board, and his developer contacts, all seem to think that the only way to guide our town is MORE. More stores, more resturants,more gyms, more theaters, more traffic, MORE profits for the developers. 
Let’s not assume that downtown is broken-let’s enjoy our small town charm.

By Keep it small on 09/30/2014 at 1:32 pm

Nice article Dr. Weitz, well done.  However, seasons change and while the Town does not need wholesale change, it does need updating.  The great school system and limited commercial revenue of the New Castle creates a heavy tax burden on homeowners that I suspect is not sustainable.  I suggest we be open to change but guard against a marked transformation.  I think Supervisor Greenstein is wise to look at new Opportunities.

By Gerry Ritterman on 09/30/2014 at 10:01 pm

I have been long gone as a former supervisor and a resident but I still care about that beautiful town.  When I think of all the wars we fought (republican & democrat together) to maintain the character of the town, I am sad and appalled that a shopping mall is being proposed.  The Digest campus is unique and should be put to a better community use.  Lois L Mitchell, Pinehurst, NC

By Lois l mitchell on 10/01/2014 at 9:10 am

Betty is a BANANA: Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything!

By Banana on 10/01/2014 at 12:03 pm

Our taxes are a killer.  Whole Foods at the readers digest site doesn’t really have anywhere near the impact that all these housing developments have had- nor does it have the impact that all these oversized lawns have. Our prized schools are being starved of tax money-and while Chappaqua folks still pay for expensive tutors to keep their kids achieving, the schools will suffer in the long run from our reliance on the residential tax base unless the state gets rid of the 2% tax increase limit.  Your similar house in Armonk pays much lower taxes, and take a drive there- it has lots of trees as well.  By the way- I drive to DeCicco’s in Armonk and I see lots of Chappaqua people there.

By yes but on 10/01/2014 at 3:57 pm

I would hardly say one development will compromise the tenor of the WHOLE of New Castle. Times change and if we want to attract people to our town/tax base, we, too, must change.

By Anonymous on 10/01/2014 at 4:36 pm

The town and society have changed. Ms. Weitz should be more worldly in her approach to 2014

By 36 year resident on 10/02/2014 at 5:27 am

The issue is that we are not really small.  There has been a ton of development and increased traffic that the town has not really figured out how to manage.  Downtown is broken because no one wants to deal with all of the train station traffic and parking in order to shop.  It’s much easier to go elsewhere.  If we were small, we could pop in and out either on foot or in a car without issue.  If we were rural we wouldn’t have to fight suburban traffic everyday.  We need a walkable downtown and better traffic flow in and out of the train station.  (and if we were Vermont, we would be developing policy to encourage folks to walk, bike, or sled into town to protect it)

By JP on 10/02/2014 at 9:37 am

Betty Weitz is a well documented NIMBY. She has regularly written letters and comments to that effect. Her regular appearances and protestations at Town Board meetings are well documented. She lives near CC.
This letter exposes the hypocrisy. Betty expounds on our towns brand and “rural elegance”. She mentions our 2 strong assets – our schools and our New England charm. But she only mentions rural elegance, charm, character etc as it is in relation to retail at CC. In this issue of NCNow developer Chuck Napoli has 2 letters (OP-EDS) extolling the virtues of chain stores for downtown Chappaqua. He is relentless in his push to move his plan forward. His plan also includes a 5 story theater and 400 car garage.
So I ask Betty Weitz- why do you not comment/speak up in opposition to Napoli? Surely chain stores, raised turf fields, 400 car cement garage, and a 5 story theater are not part of the rural elegance, brand, and New England charm you want to preserve. Surely chain stores and parking next to Bell School will not presrve the excellent reputation our schools have.
Betty – if you want us to believe you are an honest and sincere resident looking out for all our community and not just what is in your backyard then you should also speak out against downtown devlopment with chain stores. Unless of course you only care about YOUR rural elegance and not the rest of us.

Editor’s Note: Betty Weitz does not live near Reader’s Digest.

By westie on 10/02/2014 at 10:51 am

I’ve heard no discussion from the board of education members about how a 120,000 shopping center will change the life of Greeley students. My kids have loads of time during their day and, if allowed, will spend it all (and their money) across the street. Is that the idea? Is this shopping center counting on our high schoolers’ open campus and disposable income?

By Board of education, are you there? on 10/03/2014 at 7:07 am

You’re right about our brand, Ms. Weitz, the rural character of this suburb.  And this town board is considering plopping a regional retail shopping center across from another equally important brand: Greeley.  Cowboy Rob Greenstein is busy re-branding everything he can get his hands on. Long-term, he’s damaging this town.

By Greenstein’s branding iron on 10/03/2014 at 8:19 am

All the mad build at any cost posters should re-read what Betty has written, it is not what they are ranting about.  She traces the “thinking of living in” NYT’s columns from 1985 to the present, last being Sept. 3 2014.  She notes that they ALL have the same view of Chappaqua.

BTW, to all those ranters who believe that this proposed development at CC will lower their taxes, they are mistaken.  It will not.  Folks, if it is high taxes that are your concern then you should look closely at how your school taxes are spent. 

Very nice to see Lois L. Mitchell’s post.

Mr. Ritterman has his own agenda.

By get your facts straight on 10/03/2014 at 10:09 am

dear Editor – thank you for clearing up the notion that Ms Weitz lives near CC- she does not. However she has been a regular and strong opponent of retail at CC. That some comments incorrectly called her a NIMBY should not deflect from the fact that Betty has remained silent on downtown revitalization plans as well as development at Legionarres. As pointed out by resident and Townie , Betty Weitz letter supports our “Rural Elegance” ” New England charm ” brand” and public image as she opposes Chapp Xing. Then why does she remain silent and why does she not oppose downtown chain stores, 5 story theater and 400 car garage? Why is she silent for plans for condos at Legionarries? Is a large mosque on the west side of town consistent with her vision of rural elegance ? 
Christine- I hope your mom heals quickly.

Editor’s Note:  Thanks, she is!  Betty can answer for herself, but she has been ver vocal about the impropriety of the Town Board making itself lead agency in the Rosehill matter.  And she has not endorsed Chuck’s Bell field plan, but I believe that she is curious (as I am too) to know more about it and about the overall vision for the town—the Master Plan and a Master Plan process that is not a fake one.

By Ronnie on 10/03/2014 at 10:38 am

Christine and Betty – you are curious to know more about Napoli’s Bell Field plan? What do you need to know? He has written multiple letters, made numerous town board presentations and spoken publicly many times. His development for downtown calls for chain stores ( see his 2 letters in this edition) , a. 5 story theater , a 400 car garage – all next to Bell school and across from Metro North. What are you curious about?
Seems to me if people like Betty are sincerely interested in preserving our brand and our rural elegance then she would be dead set against the plan.
I find it interesting that you and Betty don’t express the same curiousity about retail at CC. There are many possibilities where Whole Foods and some retail in conjunction with town facilities and residential ” might” be in harmony with the community. Seems to me if you can hold judgement and be curious about the Napoli plan you might as well be consistent about all plans. Maybe Greenstein can pull this off.

Editor’s Note:  I think that my curiosity about the CC plan is well documented.  When I say “curious” I mean curious to know everything about all these plans—including CC—and how they fit into our town along with everything else.  I want to understand all these proposals (Rosehill too) through a Big Picture look at the town, i.e., a genuine master plan review.  All that needs to happen is for the Supervisor to leave the review to the Planning Board and the Master Plan Steering Committee.

By Ronnie on 10/03/2014 at 11:19 am

Down to earth, practical analyses are what is needed for our difficult development issues. Not philosophical, Ph.D, pronouncements.
Ms. Weitz is a well meaning, but misguided academic. Brick and mortar people, professional developers and forward, competitive thinking is what is called for…with eyes wide open.

Everyone is entitled to her own, one opinion with all its impracticality.

We are not 1985 Chappaqua.

By Not An Ostrich on 10/03/2014 at 11:29 am

editor Yeres- speedy recovery to your mom!
You seem to have an open mind as you suggest you and Betty Weitz is curious to know more about the overall vision as it pertains to the Napoli Plan for downtown. Napoli has been very clear for many years on his plans that include chain stores ( which he continues to justify and rationalize in 2 recent letters you just published) / 400 car garage / elevated turf ball field / and five story performing arts center. I don’t see how that is anything remotely quant or charming or rural elegance.
Why not keep the same open mind and let’s see if Rob Greenstein can deliver on his promise to be a tough negotiator with Summit Greenfield. I’m curious to see if we can get Whole Foods and move town hall thus opening up downtown space, a gym, get some town recreational facilities and some modest ancilary retail. Maybe 120,000 sq feet can be negotiated lower. Maybe smaller will improve traffic concerns.
Let’s also not forget that there is a significant legal obligation already set in motion and I respect the Supervisor’s recognition of this fact and his elected duty to protect all of us from lawsuits.
I guess what I am saying is if you and Betty can hold judgment and remain ” curious” about Napoli and his development the least you can do is be consistent. Either condemn them both and be consistent or remain open minded on both.  Both have schools nearby, both have traffic concerns, both potentially change character. Why object to one and give a pass to the other?

By Long time resident on 10/03/2014 at 11:48 am

i totaly agree with Ronnie. I question the motive and sincerity of Ms Weitz ( Phd). How can Betty be credible if she stays silent about chain stores and the rest of Napoliville while she objects to retail at CC on the grounds that our rural elegance and charm will be ruined. Seems to me that if Betty was genuine in her concern for our community – ALL of our community- she would have blasted plans for downtown that include a 5 story theater, 400 car parking garage and chain stores.

By Right on Ronnie on 10/03/2014 at 12:29 pm

Betty has the courage to stand up for something she believes in and she is undoubtedly entitled to her opinion.  You hide behind your keyboard and call her a NIMBY or a Banana.

By Liam Donnelly on 10/03/2014 at 12:54 pm

“All that needs to happen is for the Supervisor to leave the review to the Planning Board and the Master Plan Steering Committee.”

But is it not true that the TB will ultimately have to vote for or against the revised master plan, no matter if the PB and the steering committee is putting it together?

The TB SHOULD be involved. They are the ones who are ELECTED, not the very overrated planning board, not all the bickering committees, and not our very own BANANA, Betty Weitz.

By bob on 10/03/2014 at 1:00 pm

@yes but,

Wise up. Those “prized” schools are deteriorating. Ask some realtors where people are going.

The kids are “starved” for tax money because of the bloated administration feathering its own nest and the school board’s utter failure to recognize that two middle schools are not needed.

Not only should the state strenuously enforce the 2% cap, it should eliminate the loopholes that allow taxes to be increased far above the so-called cap.

By bob on 10/03/2014 at 1:29 pm


There are a great many opponents of bringing retail to CC.  These are residents who live all over this town and are not neighbors of this project.  Your deliberate obfuscations are not working.  How many times must this be clarified for you ???  We all know your “judgement.”

36 year resident,

You may not care about how this town changes but there are many of us who do care.
Please tell us how “we ” have changed and what you want to see.  Your post is insulting.

By no thank you on 10/03/2014 at 3:33 pm

To No Thank You- you sound like Lisa Katz when she berated the last town board and proclaimed “nobody wants this” and ” I haven’t met a single person who supports retail at CC”. Then a survey ( then a second survey) proved just how wrong she was.
Of course some people not living near CC are not in favor. But decisions and policy should be made based on majority rule, greater good for all, and the rule of law.
The majority want this – it’s in the towns best interests on multiple levels and zoning laws are easily changed.
There were people opposed to Deciccios in Armonk too. Now it’s characterized as a huge success.

By Long time resident on 10/03/2014 at 6:40 pm

betty – you are either for Rural elegance or you are not. You are either for charm and quaintness or you are not. If you stand opposed to retail at CC then you must naturally stand opposed to other change and development like downtown chain stores and parking garages which will ruin the elegance you want to preserve.
But you speak out against CC. Why?
As others have commented, it’s not 1985 or 1995 anymore. People change, habits change and technology alters things. Towns change also. Trying to hold on to some decades old romantic notion of what you think this town should be is unreasonable. I’d love to go into town and browse the book or record store or sit down with a travel agent to plan a vacation but those days are over. Now I shop online for many items and gifts. Most of my shopping excursions involve food and household shopping for a family of 5. When I’m not working I try to get to the gym or Pilates class and then to the hair salon. It would be nice if our town leaders could deliver this. With all the taxes I pay to this town it’s a shame I have to shop elsewhere. If I wanted New England charm I would have moved to Middlebury VT.

By Let’s be clear on 10/03/2014 at 7:40 pm

A few of the changes :
Much less one income families
Demands for instantaneous gratification. A la Internet and that cell phones were in there infancy 36 years ago
Landlords’ stranglehold on the downtown has strengthened, killed all our charming stores.
No more ocean house, liketey split, gristedes, supermarkets in general,
Proliferation of nail salons etc
The town is now split in half due to the middle school split up
Taxes have out paced other towns
Cliques are inpenetrable
Chappaqua mom Facebook page is an embarrassment .  It is the way people now think as opposed to 1979
The nimby faction has an Attitude thAt is vocally extremist in the worst sense.
Special Ed expenses at school were gratefully accepted as opposed to being considered a litigAtive entitlement.
Downtown is now virtually dead when , prior to 7 bridges school, it was like an any hill after school let out

Enough? There is much more

I am not bashing us, but you asked.

……and compare us to armonk. Sheesh

By 36 year resident on 10/03/2014 at 8:53 pm

There are more supporters than opponents to CC. Deal with it, not to mention this publication

By Dear no thank you on 10/03/2014 at 8:55 pm

All of this really weird concern about CC and Greeley kids…c’mon. Greeley kids leave the campus all of the time – no, despite their insistence, kids at EACH and EVERY grade leave to go to Rocky’s or wherever.  Given that they are going to leave, better to leave and get food from across the street than have to cross the Saw Mill, etc.
Also, given the inexcusable lunch lines that Greeley has not dealt with in years, I’d be really happy if my Greeley students actually got to eat lunch (and not have to pack one – maybe they want something hot!). Greeley step up and make it so there is no need to leave the campus in order to get food.

By Maybe our Greeley Kids will actually get to eat lu on 10/04/2014 at 5:49 am

dear Editor- in your response to Ronnie you expose yourself and Betty to a double standard. When it comes to retail at CC you ( and Betty) are unequivocally opposed. You and Betty have been vocal and at the forefront of opposition. Amongst the many real or imagined complaints are that retail at CC will change the charecter of the community, bring dangerous traffic, and create dangerous conditions for nearby Greeley students.
But with Chuck Napoli’s plan for downtown ( Bell field plan as you call it) you show no such concern. His plan with its chain stores, parking garage and 5 story theater certainly will change the charecter of our community ( rural elegance as Betty calls it). His plan will definitely bring more traffic. Bell students will be exposed to more strangers, more traffic. They are younger and more vulnerable than high school students and they will be exposed as they use Bell school facilities and fields and as they walk into town. At Greeley the students are in a self contained campus set back from any potential commerce. You say you are curious about the Bell field plan and that Betty has not endorsed it. You seem to indicate an open mind about Napoli but when it comes to retail at CC with many of the same issues you are adamantly opposed. I guess that’s why the expression NIMBY fits. If you are concerned with student safety than Bell kids are just as important.
The planning and steering committee members are appointed.  They volunteered and some maybe many have agendas. Greenstein was elected by residents to serve all residents. I find nothing wrong with his involvement in this process.

By Roaring Brook mom on 10/04/2014 at 8:13 am

The students at Greeley are going hungry?

By bob on 10/04/2014 at 8:57 am

The Town of New Castle was a great place to live .,enjoy the outdoors with your kids and friends , L.Mitchell was a great supervisor in those days people were friendly and
HUMBLE , boy what a change , and not for the best ,I know that society moves forward
But the changes that have taking place in New Castle have nothing to do with society
Moving forward , it’s all about EGOS , many residents called it a tiny Long Island or a tiny Manhattan ,  it is not the same and the rural friendly feeling it’s gone forever .
Wish you all the best of luck.

By Former resident on 10/04/2014 at 3:55 pm

Add snobbishness and cliquish and pretentious

By Last stab on 10/05/2014 at 3:59 pm

Former resident you are so right.  It is very sad to see what has been happening in Chappaqua.  Each administration just gets worse and worse and the tone of so many residents is appalling.
As a resident still, I thank you for wishing us good luck.  I hope it is not too late but I fear that it is.

By current resident on 10/06/2014 at 9:43 pm

@36 Year Resident – How exactly have our taxes outpaced those in other towns?  I know taxes are high and that’s an easy thing to write, except for the fact it is not true.  And why is Chappaqua Moms an embarrassment?  Sure, inevitably you’ll have some small element of group think detached from reality, but you might be surprised at the doses of sanity that get interjected.  Aside from that, the vast majority of the activity is incredibly constructive, and among the best examples of what it means to be a community.  But yes, I’m sure it is easier under the cover of ignorance to imagine this group of women in some form of collective hysteria.

@Former Resident – once again, an easy thing to write and say.  Sure you’ll get an ego here and there.  I’m sure that wasn’t the case years back.  But have things changed all that much?  Have you been to Gedney Park recently, or perhaps chatted with folks around town?  Why do people so often make the mistake of assuming other folks are so different than themselves?  They are not, nor should we submit to these dire views of our community.

By Nonsense on 10/07/2014 at 6:12 am

Fact based comparisons of real estate taxes and actual per property increases per town shows our taxes to be the highest or almost the highest in the county, including increases. Our higher incremental tax rate, when applied to our extremely high existing tax base, calculates to the highest real dollar tax increase per property.

Thank you for acknowledging that there are ‘detached from reality’ factions in town. To name a few vocal ones:

1.pro-subsidized housing folks who want to spend your money to subsidize the existence of other families who can easily live in more affordable areas…when there is no need for such housing over and above the CC 20 dedicated units.

2. Anti forward thinking NIMBYS who feel that they can hold back the tide of progress and tax increases with the fingers of their open hands.

  3. ‘Napoli-ites’ who at once decry development at CC and advance a downtown clogging, traffic spill over, super development at who knows what the cost will be.

  4. The voices of the ‘sanity’ people are drowned out by the secular ‘jihadist’ types who pontificate and ‘want what they want’, no matter who it hurts or how impractical or costly it will be. Also, who defines sanity? Certainly not YOU or the uber liberal academics who, with PhD’s in psychology ‘know’ better than engineers and the other talent we have in this town.

By Dear Nonsense on 10/07/2014 at 10:40 am

Thank you for that comprehensive and enlightening reply.  Your voice of reason has greatly clarified the situation, at least for me anyway.  But I’m afraid that the clarity does not extend to support for the perspective you have outlined above, but I very much look forward to your further efforts!

By Nonsense on 10/07/2014 at 12:03 pm

i agree with Dear Nonsense- ask any real estate broker willing to talk off the record about the challenges of attracting buyers to Chapp and the choices buyers have. They will affirm that comparatively our taxes are higher, they have been accelerating faster, and our schools are no longer in a class of our own like years ago. Many surrounding communities now have excellent schools. They also have more commercial/ retail tax revenue thus taking some burden from the residents. Taxes are lower in other communities. They also have sewers, supermarkets, town pools- rec centers.
To be clear, as an empty nester who recently took my house off the market I know first hand what the challenges there are. Residents in New Castle pay higher taxes for comparable house- property.
I also agree with the detached from reality view that those adamantly opposed to progress at CC ( Whole Foods – tax revenue) stay silent on the ridiculous Napoli plan. They cry about traffic and school safety at CC but remain silent on Naploli parking garage and chain stores. Cmon folks- you are not fooling anybody.

By Old timer on 10/07/2014 at 1:02 pm

Sometimes a toe must be sacrificed to save the entire leg. The Cowdin Lane residents and the other proximate NIMBYS are understandably concerned. But they are only one toe on the leg and body of the entire town body. I respect their worries but not their behavior.

The visual impact to our so called ‘rural elegance’ is almost entirely noticed while driving on the Saw Mill Parkway valley area and the Roaring Brook and Readers Digest approaches. Otherwise, visually the stores won’t be seen anywhere else. Yes the 111 residential units will be see from 117. But that is a given and not part of the discussion.

By sad CC reality on 10/07/2014 at 1:06 pm

“Sure you’ll get an ego here and there.”

Nah. Not in Chappaqua. Never happen.

By bob on 10/07/2014 at 1:23 pm


By Dear Bob on 10/07/2014 at 3:15 pm

By approving Chappaqua Crossing, it appears that the town supervisor is trying to drum up some business.  http://www.caraccidentlawyer-ny.com  Remember that website folks, people will need it.

By RG on 10/08/2014 at 1:44 pm

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