Planning Board Not Keen on New Chappaqua Crossing Layout

Meanwhile, a planning board member who recused himself is no longer doing so.

New Castle Planning Board members at their work session.
New Castle Planning Board members at their work session.
New Castle Planning Board members were unenthusiastic about the newest layout for the Chappaqua Crossing retail plan, based on remarks made at their recent work session.

The Dec. 3 meeting was the first that involved the latest iteration, which is officially called a preliminary development concept plan (PDCP). It was submitted to the town by developer Summit/Greenfield last month and includes a freestanding structure on the southern end that has a 40,000-square-foot Whole Foods grocery store.

The PDCP was criticized due to its nature, which involves separating retail from elsewhere on the site with a large parking lot. Building mass, truck movements, and wetland proximity were also issues concerned at the meeting.

An earlier PDCP had a grocery store situated in the cupola building and a reconstructed connecting structure. The grocer's influence is what has shaped the plan, based on an explanation given to the board by Andrew Tung, whose engineering and planning firm is working with Summit/Greenfield.

During a review earlier this year by the planning board, a suggestion came up about incorporating what is called traditional neighborhood design (TND) into the project, which would result in something that resembles a downtown. Board member Tom Curley, during the spring, presented an alternative layout, which had a roadway that comes into the site from Route 117 acting like a main street and surrounded by buildings on each side.

Board members appeared to remain interested in TND incorporation were not receptive to the newest one.

Curley raised the prospect of people taking multiple trips around the complex instead of parking once. He also brought up the idea that retail could help add value to the site's nearby office space but showed skepticism about the current proposal's performance for that aspect.

Board Chair Richard Brownell called the plan a "horseshoe mall." He was also unimpressed with the building arrangement.

The planning board is reviewing the PDCP for its advisory input to the town board, which made a referral of the plan to it at a meeting late last month. The board will take up the issue again on Dec. 17.

The project still involves a total of 120,000 square feet of retail space. The town board wound down its environmental review, which involved the earlier PDCP, in late October but has not voted on the items needed for the project. 

Schuerman No Longer Recuses Himself

The planning board now has one more member for the Chappaqua Crossing review process. Douglas Schuerman, who had recused himself, is now involved. Asked why, Schuerman, an engineer, explained that he switched companies.

The addition of Schuerman means that all four sitting board members are involved. There is a fifth seat on the board but it is currently vacant.

If the town board gives approvals for the proposal that include rezoning and the PDCP, then the project would go to the planning board for site plan approval.


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