After being delayed for nearly a month by the impact of Hurricane Sandy, New Castle residents will get a chance tonight to weigh in on proposals for rezoning Chappaqua Crossing to permit a large grocery store and ancillary retail shops.
The set of public hearings, which will be at tonight's Town Board meeting, are for a pair of similar proposals. The first concerns a plan from the Town Board to create legisialtion that would enabling requesting a retail overlay zone for the property. The overlay, in turn, could be placed anywhere on the site that is currently zoned for commerical usage. Under the town proposal, the overlay zone must include a large grocery store of 50,000 to 60,000 square feet, with ancillary retail uses of 5,000 square feet each. The Town Board's proposal is in response to the 2011 departure of the D'Agostino grocery chain from Chappaqua, which left the hamlet without a major supermarket.
The second plan being considered tonight is one from Summit/Greenfield, which has owned Chappaqua Crossing since it purchased the property from Reader's Digest in 2004. The developer's iteration calls for an overlay zone as well, but would involve building a grocery store and retail specially on the southern part of the site, with 120,000 square feet of total space for the purposes. The grocery store would range from 36,000 to 66,000 square feet in size and could potentially be connected to the historic cupola building on the campus. The grocery and retail space would be accompanied by a reduction in part of the existing office space, which currently stands at 700,000 square feet and is mostly vacant.
The Town Board came up with its proposal earlier this year, while Summit/Greenfield submitted its proposal in October, in response to the town's iteration.
Although many in the community were upset to see D'Agostino leave, the proposals being discussed now have been met with controvery among residents who fear more traffic, an unappealing strip mall and the creation of a third hamlet that would compete with merchants in Chappaqua and Millwood. Planning Board members have voiced some of the same concerns.
The Town Board's meeting, which includes the hearings, starts at 7:45 p.m. at town hall in Chappaqua.