Open Letter to the Community: Put on our whole-town thinking caps
September 28, 2012
by Chuck Napoli
I wish the town board had waited until they had a picture or a site plan to show us before holding a public hearing on the zoning change at Chappaqua Crossing to allow retail uses. The confusion and fear that was revealed at Monday night’s hearing means to me that it’s time to have a real conversation about how we can all work together with Chappaqua Crossing to develop their property without hurting our downtown hamlet. To get this conversation going, here are a few questions that the hearing on Monday night left me—and probably a lot of you—wondering about.
1. Most importantly, what are the impacts for the downtown hamlet?
2. What are the impacts to the plan I’ve proposed for an additional 54,000 square feet of retail space and 18,000 square feet of residential—to include a raised field at Bell and parking beneath?
3. Does Summit Greenfield plan to use existing buildings to house retail, or build more footprint at Chappaqua Crossing?
4. In my plan for the downtown, I would own the entire development and make sure that the various retail uses would be uses that benefit the whole. Would Chappaqua Crossing own the whole retail area? The draft zoning says that the retail space “may be owned by one or more persons, organizations, or entities.” What does that mean for the town?
5. We need to see that floor plan Summit Greenfield’s attorney told the Town Board they’re working on. I think we can all help them with it.
Do you have any ideas? A thorough discussion could result in a win-win for the town and Chappaqua Crossing. We can’t afford to have any losers.