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Town & Planning Boards to Talk Chap Crossing Retail

New Castle's Town Board and Planning Board will have their first meetings concerning Chappaqua Crossing since the town's settlement with its developer was approved.

Editor's Note: The Town Board's work session starts at 7 p.m., not 7:45 p.m. as originally written. The time given in the original version of the story is when the board generally starts its meetings, but this Tuesday is an exception.

For folks who are following the status of Chappaqua Crossing, Tuesday night will be notable.

According to the posted agendas, both the Town Board and Planning Board will discuss the proposals to rezone the site's commercial portion for grocery store and retail usage. The meetings, both work sessions, will be the first of their kind since the town entered into a settlement last Tuesday with site owner Summit/Greenfield to settle a pair of its lawsuits stemming from the town's review of its older residential rezoning application, which was partially approved (and partially denied) in 2011.

The settlement calls for Summit/Greenfield to suspend its lawsuits and drop them if both the Town Board and Planning Board give their respective rezoning and site plan approvals for a grocery store and ancillary retail. The approvals would be for a proposal like the one that the developer submitted to the town in October - the plan was in response to a similar one drafted by the Town Board earlier this year - although the deal leaves room for some divergence that can be agreed upon with a third-party mediator.

Under the settlement, the town would adhere to a series of "milestones," or deadlines for the review processes of the two boards, and Tuesday's Town Board meeting concerns the process.

The board's meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. in the small conference room at town hall, will be about reviewing the developer's draft supplemental environmental impact statement (DSEIS) for the plan and check for whether it is a "complete" review, meaning whether it has enough information provided to satisfy the town so the process can move along. The deadline for the Town Board to make a completeness determination is within 30 days of the settlement, or early next month. The milestones call for the entire review process to be wrapped up by late 2013 or possibly in 2014. If Summit/Greenfield gets it approvals, then the settlement would require that the lawsuits are dropped sometime in 2014, depending on the pace of the approval processes.

Planning Board Meeting

Meanwhile, the Planning Board will continue with its advisory input for the idea in a work session, although the agenda technically only refers to the Town Board's draft rezoning law. Planning Board members, who have been vocally skeptical about the town's and the developer's versions, would be tasked under the settlement with giving site plan approval after the Town Board gives its approval, or else Summit/Greenfield could re-activate its lawsuits. Whether the board members will touch on that matter during the meeeting remains to be seen.

The work session will follow the Planning Board's regular meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. in the large assembly room at town hall. Also on the board's agenda is a presentation for Chuck Napoli's proposal to build more downtown retail and a performing arts center on the site of the South Greeley parking lot.

Note for Possible Attendees: In work sessions, unlike regular meetings, boards are not obligated to take questions from the public, although they may do so at their discretion. The Town Board will hold its meeting in the small conference room across the hallway from the main assembly room, so seating will be tight.

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