Planning Bd to Town Bd: Master Plan update should come before rezoning for Rosehill

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Editor’s Note: .  In a work session tonight, the Town Board will discuss the draft scoping document—a broad list of environmental impacts to address—for the Rosehill application to construct 60 condo units on the Legionaries property at 773 Armonk Road.

Against the advice of residents, who recommended that the Planning Board, which is more expert in planning matters, take the lead on the Rosehill application, the Town Board decided to make itself “lead agency” and then passed the draft scoping document to the Planning Board for its comments.  Below is the June 18, 2014 cover letter that accompanied the comments from the Planning Board to the Town Board. 

In short, “The consensus of the Planning Board is that the much awaited Master Plan Update should be completed prior to any further consideration to rezoning the subject property.”

June 18, 2014 Planning Board comments to Town Board on Rosehill application

Prior to offering comments on the above noted documents, the Planning Board would like to
express its concerns that this project remains outside the recommendations of the Town
Development Plan which call for protection of the eastern and western sides of New Castle and
the use of these areas as low density (R-2A) residential zoning as these areas of our community
are rich in environmental resources. In fact, the Town promulgated the environmental
protection overlay zoning district, which includes the subject property, in 2002 as a response to
the Town Development Plan. The Town Board should determine whether review of the
amendments to the Town Development Plan are more appropriately conducted before moving
forward with this project. The consensus of the Planning Board is that the much awaited
Master Plan Update should be completed prior to any further consideration to rezoning the
subject property. The Planning Board believes that to conduct the review of this project under
circumstances that differ from its current zoning and the Town Development Plan would be
putting the cart before the horse.

With that said, should the Town Board decide to move forward with the proposal, the Planning
Board offers the attached tracked changed comments on the draft Scoping Document. In
addition, we have comments pertaining to the proposed zoning text amendment for a UPP
Floating Zone which can be found below:

Proposed UPP Floating Zone

In general, the Planning Board feels that the proposed zoning text amendment was prompted by
the interests of a particular applicant for one of the largest properties in our community. It was
drafted for the purpose of providing an as-of-right regulatory framework for the proposed
development. Yet, the proposed floating zone (as drafted to date) would apply to all properties
larger than 75 acres. As such, it is intended to be the zoning that regulates our last remaining
large properties. Before the Town Board takes action on such a proposal, the following
questions should be considered:

1. What is considered a “Large Site” that would qualify as “unique properties”, what
qualifies them as such and where are they located? 

2. How do the attributes of these sites and their locations combine to affect the overall
character of the community and the quality of life for the Town’s residents?

3. What are the appropriate land uses for such sites? Are the sites to be limited to
residential or would subsequent applicants need variances or new floating zones to
proceed with their developments?

These questions should be addressed to understand the opportunities for this category of
properties in the context to which the proposed legislation applies. The most appropriate
avenue to answer these questions is not within a Planning Board/Town Board response to a
developer’s initiative, but rather through a thoughtful master plan update process, or strongly
encouraging the developer to propose a project that adheres to existing zoning.

Findings, Purpose and Intent

A statement is made in association with the purpose and intent that “such developments shall
be designed to meet the objectives of the applicant.” The Town does not have an obligation to
insure the objectives of any applicant are met. To wit, we recommend that the Town Board not
consider this project at this time.

Location Criteria

Specific limitations regarding lot size and frontage are provided. The criteria should be
developed based on an actual survey of large lot candidates.

Permitted Uses

These should be derived through a master plan process.

Density Standards

These should be derived through a master plan process.

Site and Structure Requirements

The height restrictions limit new buildings to the height of any existing structure. This can be
intrusive. New buildings should be limited to the height as currently permitted by the Town

All specific site restrictions should be determined only after a Master Plan review of the sites
and their context within the community is conducted.

Affordable Housing

As currently written, the proposed zoning text amendment does not include provisions for
affordable housing. These provisions should be incorporated.

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

“Against the advice of residents…”

All residents?
Some residents?
A few residents?
A handful of residents who live near the site?

Editor’s Note:  Of residents who live near the site and of some who do not.  Like me. 

And you know who else?  The Planning Board.  If you’ve been listening to their discussions, they also thought that the PB as lead would be more appropriate.  They’re residents too.

By bob on 07/01/2014 at 11:52 am

put 10 units in rose hill and to “heck” with conifer

By cancel conifer on 07/01/2014 at 11:59 am


By The Right Thing on 07/01/2014 at 2:46 pm

Dear Editor Yeres- in many comments written regarding retail at CC when a supporter states ” many residents are in favor” or ” the majority of residents support retail at CC” you take issue with them. You provide an Editors Note in which you challenge the writer and ask who or how many or what poll/ survey was done. In such you attempt to discredit the supporter of retail at CC.
I find it terribly inconsistent of you in your article when you state ” Against the advice of residents”.  Really? Which residents? How many?
Because when I say ” the majority of residents are in favor of Whole Foods and retail at CC you reply with a clear anti retail anti Who,e a foods response. Prob because of where you live. You ought to at least try to disguise your bias.
Your credibility is now shot. You no longer separate your role as reporter/ editor from a NIMBY. This proves it. At least write an editorial and stop pretending to be a reporter. You are trying to make the news- you should be reporting it.

By You must be kidding on 07/01/2014 at 2:51 pm

Why is this Board stacking this whole review process in favor of this developer?  Something is rotten in the State of Denmark.

By Mr. Article 78 on 07/01/2014 at 4:15 pm

The Town Planning board got it right. There is nothing in our town code anywhere that supports the development of Rosehill at 773 Armonk Road. Zoning is R-2A. The Master Plan has specific language in it that does not permit it. The planning board says this project should not go forward based on this and for many other reasons they have provided. Everybody says it should not go forward—except for Robert Greenstein, his minions on the Town Board, and the developer.

Personally, I have lost all faith whatsoever in our Town Board led by Robert Greenstein. Team Green had a great campaign and I even voted for them – but it seems clear their campaign was a bunch of lies meticulously designed to help them get voted into office. Why have they abandoned their “beliefs” so dramatically and quickly after taking office? They have proven to be nothing more than a trojan horse, and now that they are in office they have their own secret agenda to thrust upon our town. Robert Greenstein and our town board have no regard for what they said they believed in while campaigning for the positions they now hold. This is regardless of what residents who voted them into office have to say, regardless of zoning code, and completely lacking any respect and regard for the opinion of the town planning board’s position or even that the Master Plan has clear language in it that would prevent this from even being considered.

This town board has their own secret agenda and has made it obvious that they just do not care. As long as they can find a loophole in the process they will just do whatever they damn want. It is very sad, and as a resident i feel like I have been “fooled” by this board – and as a result, helpless. I believe that this town board has the power to ruin our town for future generations with these big, bold decisions unless some action – political, legal or otherwise – is taken now to hold them to the law and to the standard of the public office they now hold.

By Mike P. on 07/02/2014 at 1:46 pm

I think it is time for the experts who live in our community to create the very first privately funded, but publicly traded stock, whereas this kind of financial instrument is specifically created and tied to a named municipality i.e. New Castle. The residents on a whole and independent of each other can buy this traded stock where the management team of the stock are paid to proactively and agressively go out into the community to buy back property already owned by developers or investors who want to build a project out similiar to a CC, Rt. 128 project, or Hunts Road project, or any other project of anykind that comes along that the shareholders of this fund would seek to stop by buying back the property at top dollar in an effort to insulate from harm the value of what the shareholders of New Castle originally liked about New Castle when they first moved here. Just think, if you decide to move out of New Castle you can still own a piece of it and trade it on the open market. I’m sure we have the experts that can monetize what has been taking place in New Castle. Instead of buying and holding gold, silver, or diamonds; you get to hold on to New Castle in the way that you would like too by buying up its private but publicly traded stock.  I’m thinking that the shareholders would need to raise $300,000,000 million to stop all projects by just buying them off. So the question becomes, how much are you willing to pay on a stock price, what do you expect in return as a shareholder, and how would it go up or down in value as seen with a metal bar made out of gold or silver. Remember, diamonds last forever and so does Real Estate. How many shares need to be floated?

By Money and values on 07/03/2014 at 1:00 am

Except not everyone in New Castle is rich.  However, if the community owns the land they don’t need to hold it forever.  The 128 parcel can be subdivided into several large lots- its 2 acre zoning and even though most of it can’t be built on, it still has some that can.  Or sell it off to some big money guy.  The old Harriman estate sold to a single buyer.  And then the rest owners of CC can decide what to do with it.  If they want a park- fine, have a park.  And Hunts Lane would be a great parking garage space.  Do that and you free up some spcae in the parking lot for housing by town hall. 
It really is time for people to stop saying no and decide what they want to say yes to.

By great idea on 07/04/2014 at 7:59 pm

Your comment calls out the hypocrites to put their money where their mouths are…which is a good thing. Everyone in this town is a critic. They all love to beat up on Rob Greenstein.

The first subscribers to your fund should be the Jessica Reimann NIMBY group, as your suggestion fits in with its/their expressed viewpoints.

But for she/they to step up and write checks (other than to pay legal fees) would violate the NIMBY creed, which is:

    “We want what we want and expect everyone else
      to bear the financial costs. We do not care that most
      want a supermarket in town. We are the ultimate    
      hypocrites and are proud of it because, when CC is built, we  
      will shop there”

By dear Money and values on 07/07/2014 at 8:24 am

Re: Money and values: I can go either way on this topic, but I would buy such a stock. I actually have a friend that can put this concept together and get it on the big board. We have been working on it all weekend long.

By Stay tuned on 07/07/2014 at 10:09 pm

What happend to the promises of NO NEW BUILDING UNTIL MASTER PLAN IS COMPLETE?  More broken promises and lies from the trio of doom

By Where’s Team New Castle Now on 07/13/2014 at 12:23 am

Spade, Greenstein, Brodsky and Katz are ruining the wonderful feel this Town once had.  There would be no NIMBYs if the Town Board would have looked at the big picture.  Town taxes are not the problem.  Take out your tax bills and see what the town taxes are compared to the school taxes.  We all moved here because it was a nice place to live.  We knew school taxes were high but we accepted that to send our children to good schools.  We don’t have the revenue sources.  That is true.  But do we really want change that much.  Say no to any development until the master plan is complete.  We need a guide to do it right if changes are in the best interest of the town.

By what is happening to our nice town on 07/15/2014 at 7:39 am

When the master plan is complete, does it need to be followed? If you answered yes, then you do not know what you are talking about. The fact of the matter is that the master plan does not need to be followed after it is completed. Did you know that? If you don’t believe me then ask the Town Board but listen very carefully and ask them to place their answer in a letter to you that is signed off by the Town Attorney. The only master plan we need to accept is the leadership that we vote into office. It really is that simple. If you believe anything else, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. Put on your dancing shoes and go before the Board and ask them. Sit back down when the music stops. I am very serious, a bubble is being created that is made out of bubble gum and when it pops its going to be a sticky situation because so many people think that this master plan is the answer to a certain Municipal direction, and the real answer is that it is not. Go ask. N C N . Org should do an investigative article on this very topic.

By Music man on 07/18/2014 at 1:12 am

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