Town board work session and regular meeting

June 13, 2008
by Christine Yeres

In work session: environmental impact statements, draft and generic; hearing set for zoning change to permit hospital parking; bridge construction company seeks staging area.  Regular meeting: seniors turn out to tell of need for new bus; County moving forward to improve septic management program, may enlist private companies to make inspection reports.

In a Work Session preceding its Regular Meeting on Tuesday, June 10, the town board discussed both the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) that Reader’s Digest property owner Summit Greenfield is working to complete as well as the generic environmental impact statement (GEIS) for which the town is hiring a consultant to advise on its own possible municipal uses of the property.

Draft Environmental Impact Statement

Putting age restriction aside, one of the puzzle pieces of information the town requested the developer to supply in its draft environmental impact statement is the physical layout of comparable developments in nearby towns of about 100 or more units of “low rise residential.”  Town board members discussed whether the five that Summit Greenfield had proposed in its DEIS were useful for comparison to the proposed Chappaqua Crossing.  The five were:

Heritage Hills in Somers: 1,100 acres; 2,600 units
Chapel Hill in Peekskill/Cordtland: 110 acres; 429 units
Guard Hill Manor in Mt. Kisco: 68 acres; 216 units
Foxwood in Pleasantville: 35 acres; 254 units
The Meadows in Cross River: [acreage not yet known]; 174 units

The town board concluded that it might ask the applicant to drop The Meadows as more rural than suburban and instead substitute Glassbury Court in Mt. Kisco, the development across the street from the Mt. Kisco Medical Group facility’s entrance on 172, although the board knows very little about Glassbury.

Also in question were the number and location of sight lines from adjoining residences along Cowdin Lane.  The town board concluded that the eight the developer’s engineering firm, Divney Tung, had selected were good ones, the town board might wish to add one or two more locations at each end of Cowdin from which visual simulations would be worked up, from the inside of Reader’s Digest looking out to those Cowdin residences.

Generic environmental impact statement

Supervisor Barbara Gerrard asked board members if they wished to revise the scope of services of the request for proposals for the consultant to help with the town’s generic EIS.  Town attorney Clinton Smith suggested that the board think about whether all the objectives they have assembled so far can be bet, and, if not, beging to prioritize and choose from among them.  Gerrard mentioned that the library board of trustees had weighed in, asking that the town board keep the library in mind for any possible performance space at Reader’s Digest. 

Hospital parking at Reader’s Digest

Parking relief in the form of 140 spaces during renovations at Northern Westchester Hospital is high in the board’s mind and they determined to go ahead and announce the required public hearing date and work on the operational details—such as hours of entry and exit, number of shuttle buses, number of runs per bus—while waiting for the hearing date (July 8, 2008) to arrive.  The board has already referred the matter to the planning board so that its 30 day clock was able to begin ticking. 

Parking scarce for bridge builders, too

The construction company that was awarded the 120 bridge contract, Conti Construction of New York City, is having difficulty finding a staging area in which to set up a couple of trailers and some parking for cars.  Town administrator Jerry Faiella is casting about to find alternative space, but so far none is readily available.  Faiella estimated that New Castle would see no action on the bridge rebuild during the month of June.  “It’s moving along slower than we’d expected, but it is moving,” he told board members.