New Castle's Planning Board does not have any problems with a proposed town code change that would give Chappaqua Crossing owner Summit/Greenfield more time to keep its multifamily housing zone.
“We have no objection," said board Chairman Richard Brownell, who explained that members voted to tell the town board, which referred to legislation to it, that it had no issues. The board made a decision at its Tuesday night meeting.
The proposed law calls for allowing any applicant - Chappaqua Crossing is the only property that would benefit for now, however - that has gotten rezoning for a Multifamily Planned Development (MFPD), but whose deadline to get planning board approval for a site plan has expired. Under current law, up to two, 6-month extensions for the zoning can be granted by the town board before the zoning reverts back to its previous type. The proposed change would allow for any MFPD applicant to request an unlimited number of 6-month extensions.
The town board granted an MFPD for Chappaqua Crossing in April 2011, but only approved it for 111 units out of 199 that Summit/Greenfield proposed. The developer and town, from February 2011 (during the rezoning review) to December 2012, were engaged in federal and state lawsuits over the review process. A December settlement calls for the town to extend the MFPD zone, along with approving a rezoning request for a newer proposal that would allow for a grocery store and ancillary retail on the site.
Both the old housing plan and the new retail plan have been controversial; the former proposal because of fears that it would've led to an influx of new kids in the Chappaqua school district, and the later over concerns that the stores would compete with existing town merchants cna comprise a strip mall.
A public hearing on the proposed law change is scheduled for the town board's meeting next Tuesday.
To read our previous coverage of Chappaqua Crossing, which is the former Reader's Digest headquarters, click here.