New Castle's Planning Board will hold a work session tonight to give its input on the Town Board's proposed rezoning for Chappaqua Crossing that would legalize building a large grocery store and other retail, according to the meeting's agenda.
The meeting comes just a little more than a week after the Town Board held a public hearing on the matter. Residents at the hearing blasted the proposal, fearing that it will cause traffic problems and create a third business district in town - downtowns Chappaqua and Millwood being the other two - that will compete with existing merchants. The Town Board, with its interest in exploring the option, believes that the rezoning could potential help solve two issues in New Castle: bringing a new full-service grocery store to Chappaqua that would replace the shuttered D'Agostino, and boosting the commercial tax base.
Meanwhile, Summit/Greenfield, developer and owner of Chappaqua Crossing, has announced that it will soon submit a new plan for the site, one that will take into account the Town Board's proposed rezoning.
The rezoning proposal calls for creating an Office Park Retail Overlay District, which would be applied as a floating zone and could be used on Chappaqua Crossing's existing commercially zoned land. The official name of the existing commercial zone is called the Research and Office Business District. The legislation establishing the zone's existence would create a review process for creating one, in which Town Board approval would be needed for the rezoning siteself, followed by site plan approval from the Planning Board.
Under the proposed zoning a supermarket for the site must be built and range from 50,000 to 60,000 square feet. A single use of ancillary retail must be at least 5,000 square feet.
Tonight's meeting comes just one day after it was announced that a judge dismissed Summit/Greenfield's lawsuit over how the town handled its rezoning review of the developer's proposal to build 199 housing units on the property; the board, in April 2011, only approved 111 of them. An accompanying federal case is still pending and Summit/Greenfield, which faces expiration of the 111-unit rezoning unless it were to submit a site plan and get it approved by the Planning Board, is requesting a 6-month extension of the zoning change.
The Planning Board's meeting starts tonight at 7 p.m., at New Castle Town Hall in Chappaqua. To read a copy of the rezoning proposal legislation, click here for our previous story.