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Conifer Hearing Adjourned for a Month

The public hearing for Conifer Realty's special permit for its housing plan will continue on March 12.

The public hearing for Conifer Realty's special permit that's need for its Chappaqua Station affordable housing plan has been adjourned to March 12, New Castle Town Administrator Penny Paderewski confirmed.

The hearing was slated to continue on Tuesday, Feb. 12, but Conifer requested an adjournment. The developer's attorney, Alfred DelBello, cited the fact that Conifer only responded on Monday, the day before, to a memo prepared last month by Town Planner Sabrina Charney Hull. That memo included concerns about whether Conifer's off-site parking proposal for the building, which includes using municipal spots by the Chappaqua train station, is practical.

The proposal, which calls for building a 3-to-5-story apartment building with 36 units, involves using 0.38 acres bounded by Metro-North train tracks to the east and the Saw Mill River Parkway's northbound exit ramp to the west. The site would be located at the end of Hunts Place and includes the right of way for the dead end of the road.

Some residents have criticized the proposal due to the nature of its site, arguing that it is not safe enough and that it would serve to isolate residents. 

Meanwhile, relations appeared to have frayed between Conifer and town board members. Board members have voiced concerns ranging from traffic safety to density; some on the board have weighed whether to support requiring Conifer to prepare an environmental impact statement. A small building alternative has also been suggested as part of the review, but DelBello told Patch that one will not be submitted.

Susan Carpenter disclosed, at a Feb. 5 board work session, that Conifer has threatened to sue over the matter, while board members have considered rezoning the site and make it Retail Business (B-R), as opposed to the current General Industrial (I-G). Under the current zoning, which allows for affordable housing if a special permit is granted, Conifer will need several variances from the zoning board of appeals, including for height and building size.

According to an NCCMC video of the town board meeting, the hearing was briefly kept open for comment. One resident, project critic Bill Spade, called for any rezoning process for the site to be done as part of the town's master plan update, instead of a change by itself. Spade was the only person to comment.

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