Supervisor's Report

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Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 12/15/14

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By Rob Greenstein

Chappaqua Crossing

The Chappaqua Crossing vote will take place on Thursday, December 18, 7:30pm, at the Chappaqua Library Auditorium, 195 South Greeley Avenue, Chappaqua, NY. The vote involves the following:

  1. Amendment to Supplemental Findings Statement for Chappaqua Crossing Project
  2. Amendments to 1989 Town Development Plan in Relation to the Chappaqua Crossing Project
  3. Local Law to amend Chapter 60 of the New Castle Town Code to allow retail uses in a research and office business district under certain conditions

Transparency

In an effort to increase transparency, the Town Board approved the purchase of OpenGov budget software and Virtual Emergency Operation Center program software. OpenGov is a program to share financial data with residents. Residents can see where revenue is generated, how funds are distributed, and the goods and services provided for the community. Virtual Emergency Operation Center program software allows residents to see reported problems and see the progress of the response over the course of an incident.

Sledding at Gedney Park

In an effort to increase safety of sledding at Gedney Park, we will be installing ski netting around the perimeter of the hill next to the playground.

 

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Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 12/9/14

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By Rob Greenstein

Chappaqua Crossing

We continued our Chappaqua Crossing public hearings. The three public hearings addressed the Town Development Plan amendments, Retail Local Law and the Preliminary Development Concept Plan. This is our tenth (10) public hearing since the revised Preliminary Development Concept Plan was introduced in April, 2014.

I would like to point out some of the highlights of Draft Local Law.

  • 162,000 SF will be either decommissioned (i.e. taken out of use) or demolished
  • No lower level/basement space can be counted towards this 162,000 SF
  • Fitness-related use(s) is now mandated and must occupy at least 25,000 SF
  • Maximum office space will be capped at 500,000 SF
  • Fast food is not permitted

Please keep in mind that prohibiting a restaurant that is part of a national chain would be unprecedented in Westchester County. We're unaware of any municipality in Westchester that has banned or restricted full-service chain restaurants. The legality of a ban on full-service chain restaurants would likely be subject to challenge. On the other hand, many municipalities, including New Castle, restrict "fast food" restaurants to certain zoning districts. In the proposed local zoning law, fast-food restaurants would be prohibited at Chappaqua Crossing.

At the conclusion of Tuesday's meeting, the public hearings were closed. Written comments will be accepted until December 12, 2014 at 4:00pm . The Chappaqua Crossing vote is currently scheduled for Thursday, December 18th.

Conifer

A few weeks back, Conifer's project began showing new signs of activity. As you probably heard, Westchester County Board Chairman Michael Kaplowitz announced that the County legislature intended to conditionally approve funding for Conifer's project, subject to issuance of the necessary building and fire code variances. Conifer was on the New York State Board of Review's agenda on December 9, 2014 with a revised application.

Conifer's revised plans do not shrink or materially change the footprint of Conifer's proposed building. In other words, Conifer still proposes to build from property line to property line. Conifer is now proposing the use of nonflammable building materials in upper portions of the building and adding additional sprinklers. The matter was heard and then adjourned without a decision. The hearing will resume in February, 2015.

 

Town Supervisor's Report 12/9/14 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.

 

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Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 11/18/14 (2)

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By Rob Greenstein

 Chappaqua Crossing

Since April 2014 when Summit Greenfield changed the layout and design of its proposed retail center, we have conducted seven (7) public hearings, all of which have been lengthy and well-attended. In terms of next steps, the Town Board is working on what it anticipates will be a final version of the Retail Local Law. The Board is considering certain changes based upon the work and input that has gone into this application. For example, we are exploring ways to limit the overall amount of commercial and retail space that is allowed at Chappaqua Crossing. We may consider prohibiting certain retail uses at the site, particularly given its proximity to Horace Greeley High School. We welcome comments from residents tonight on those issues. I still anticipate that the Town Board will be able to complete its work on the draft Retail Local Law and be in a position to vote on the legislation by the end of the year. I would encourage residents to stay informed by checking our Town website for updates about the public hearings and any further revisions to the draft Retail Local Law. Our next, and eighth (8), public hearing will be held on December 2nd.

Chappaqua Central School District - Finance Advisory Committee

This week both myself, Deputy Supervisor Lisa Katz & Town Administrator Jill Shapiro will be meeting with the Chappaqua Central School District Finance Advisory Committee, along with School Superintendent Dr. Lyn McKay and a few members of the School Board. The purpose of the meeting is to seek out and take advantage of collaboration opportunities between the school district and the town.

Town Supervisor's Report 11/18/14 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.

 

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Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 11/25/14

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By Rob Greenstein

 

Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated to supporting small businesses. Local merchants need a robust holiday season! A very large percentage of a merchant's sales are made in the next month. There are so many reasons to support our merchants. Here is my top 10 reasons to Shop Local!

  1. Vibrant business districts help maintain high residential property values. Research shows that a healthy and vibrant business districts boosts the economic health and quality of life in a community. So, by shopping locally you're actually benefiting yourself.
  2. Vibrant business districts help defray the residential share of the property tax. Much of their taxes goes directly to help fund our great schools.
  3. Small businesses contribute more to local causes and community groups. They support school and charitable causes year-round.
  4. Small businesses are more invested in the community's future as many are owned by our neighbors.
  5. Small businesses offer superior customer service and a local touch.
  6. Our New Castle small businesses sell unique products and quickly meet the needs of their local customers.
  7. Shopping Local keeps money in New Castle. The 3/50 Project asks consumers what 3 businesses they would miss if they closed and to commit to spending a total of $50 a month in one or more of those three establishments. For every $50 spent in locally owned stores, $34 returns to the community through payroll, other expenditures and taxes. If you spend $50 in a national chain, only $22 stays here. If you spend it online, $0 stays here.
  8. Shopping Local helps to sustain vibrant and walkable town centers in Millwood and Chappaqua.
  9. Shopping Local is an easy way for you to join New Castle's environmental efforts . Save money, save gas, save the environment!
  10. Finally: do you remember what traffic is like Thanksgiving Weekend? Shop Local in New Castle and avoid the chaos!

American Express card members can get a $10 statement credit from American Express after they spend $10+ at any qualifying merchant on Small Business Saturday. You can take advantage of this offer up to three times, for a total of up to $30 in statement credits. You can register more than one American Express card, but you must register your card in advance! Register your card here.

VEOCI emergency management software

This week the Town Board watched a demonstration of the VEOCI emergency management software. During an emergency, this program will allow our emergency responders to see an aggregate of tasks, resources, assets, and personnel on a single map so they can visualize an emergency's impact, construct a plan of attack, and monitor the response.

 

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Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 11/10/14

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By Rob Greenstein

Chappaqua Crossing

The Town Board is continuing its work on a draft local law and preliminary development concept plan that could allow a Whole Foods supermarket, a gym, restaurants and retail stores to be built at Chappaqua Crossing. With input from our Planning Board, we've persuaded Summit Greenfield to move away from its original proposal to build large format retail stores, and instead to design a more community-oriented, walkable retail development. Each side has compromised and the current proposal, while not perfect, has been significantly improved.

The Board also is working with its Town Planner and consultants to do everything it can to ensure that the type of retailers and amenities we might see at Chappaqua Crossing are the best for our community. Perhaps most importantly, the Board continues to press Summit Greenfield to commit itself to taking the steps necessary to ensure that the impacts of any retail development are avoided or mitigated to the fullest extent possible. These steps may involve limiting not just the allowable retail space at Chappaqua Crossing, but the overall amount of commercial space on the property. The Board also is exploring ways to create new open space on the property and other improvements that could benefit nearby residents. Next week, I expect that the Town Board will be discussing some of these possibilities at its Work Session on Tuesday, November 18, 2014.

Business Development Advisory Committee

The Downtown Business Development Committee ("DBDC") is being established to assist the long-term economic stability of the Town's downtown business district while maintaining the small town values and community spirit that assure New Castle is a great place to live, work, play, invest and conduct business.

The DBDC will engage with the business community to attract desirable new community investment, help existing businesses expand, recruit targeted new businesses and enrich the life of the community. The DBDC will also make recommendations to the New Castle government regarding strategic redevelopment opportunities for Town-owned downtown property and make recommendations regarding the highest and best uses based on current market conditions. DBDC is committed to the revitalization of downtown Chappaqua. The vision for the revitalization of downtown Chappaqua will be the catalyst for a dynamic and growing partnership among members of the community, business owners and local government.

Town of New Castle Winter Preparedness

 

  • We have our contract in place for weather notifications from Universal Weather Service
  • We have on hand a salt supply to handle 6 to 9 storm events
  • We have a contractual relationship with the same NYS Office of General Services salt supplier as last year
  • Liquid anti-icing/de-icing solutions on-hand to handle 4 to 5 storms
  • All plow trucks are current on service
  • All drop-in spreaders have been serviced and ready for installation by Friday November 14
  • Spare plow blade inventory is adequate
  • 2 new F-550 salt spreaders are on order to be delivered by end of November
  • One replacement plow truck is being added to our fleet
  • All 17 designated primary plow operators have received the Cornell University Snow-Ice Operations and Safety Training; additionally, all 5 back-up drivers have received this training
  • Rental Bobcat for sidewalk clearing will arrive shortly
  • Currently working with NYS Department Of Transportation on obtaining space in Millwood Salt Shed to supply our "west-end" trucks

 

Town Supervisor's Report 11/10/14 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.