Town Hall eNews Logo

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

supervisor's report
Ivy Pool, Town Supervisor

Chappaqua Hamlet Rezoning – Form Based Code Update

Downtown rendering

In my Supervisor’s Report last week I discussed the Town’s project to create a Form Based Code for the Chappaqua Hamlet. A traditional zoning code regulates land use by dictating where certain uses (ie: business, residential, industrial, etc.) can occur.  By comparison, a form based code attempts to look holistically at how zoning relates to infrastructure, parking, open space, design/architecture, etc., and focuses more on the “form” of the building, as opposed to mandating its use. This is a truly exciting way to plan for the future of our beloved downtown.  Working with the members of the Downtown Working Group, the Town Board is charged with creating a form based code that reflects the goals of the Town’s 2017 Comprehensive Plan: “to preserve the Town’s bucolic, residential character and its historic resources, while promoting new mixed-use development in the hamlets to meet the community’s housing needs and fostering thriving commercial and civic spaces.”

Last night the Downtown Working Group convened to discuss the most recent draft of the code. You can find the draft of the Form Based Code, as well as other project documents and videos from all our public meetings at: As a result of this meeting the draft will be updated to reflect feedback on the regulating plan and review process.

Following the Downtown Working Group meeting, at our Town Board Meeting the Town Board approved a resolution to take the following next steps:

  1. The Town Board declared itself to be the lead agency with regard to the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR),
  2. Upon review of the Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) prepared by our consultants, Kimley Horn, the Town Board issued a “positive declaration,” finding that there are potentially significant environmental impacts resulting from this project which warrant an Environmental Impact Assessment, and
  3. We set the date for the public scoping session for the EIS, which will be during our Town Board meeting on January 28th.

I want to stress that we are at the beginning of the public engagement process that is required in the SEQR process. We have taken steps to move forward with the Environmental analysis that will answer some of the questions that have been raised to date – how will increased density impact traffic and parking? How will the building heights proposed in the draft code impact the character of the hamlet? Ultimately, the EIS will give the Town Board, acting as Lead Agency, the information we need to determine the merits of the project.

Frequently Asked Questions

To help residents understand where we are in the process and how you can get involved, here is a list of helpful Frequently Asked Questions about the Public Role in State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and the “Scoping” Process:

What is SEQR?

In New York, SEQR requires all state, regional and local government agencies to determine, at the earliest possible time, whether “actions” (projects or activities they undertake or fund directly, or that require their approval), may have a significant impact on the environment. If the proposed action is seen to have at least one environmental impact, then agencies must issue a “positive declaration of significance” (pos dec) and require the preparation of an environmental impact assessment (EIS). An important aspect of SEQR is the public’s ability to participate in the environmental assessment process. You will have several opportunities to provide feedback, beginning with public input on the preparation of a “scope,” which will guide and direct the preparation of the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS).

What is a DEIS and why is it important?

It is the primary source of environmental information to help involved agencies consider environmental concerns in making decisions about a proposed action. The DEIS examines the nature and extent of an action’s identified potential environmental impacts, as well as steps that could be taken to avoid or minimize these impacts.

What is scoping?

Scoping is a process to identify the topics and analyses of an action’s potential environmental impacts that will be addressed in a DEIS. The scoping process is intended to:

  • Focus the EIS on potentially significant adverse impacts and eliminate considerations of those impacts that are irrelevant or nonsignificant;
  • ensure public participation in the EIS development process;
  • allow open discussion of issues of public concern; and
  • permit inclusion of relevant, substantive public issues in the final written scope.

Who prepares the scope?

Town Hall staff and our consultants will prepare and submit a draft scope to the Town Board. Once formal scoping has started, the lead agency directs the process and preparation of the final written scope.

What is the lead agency’s role in the scoping process?

The Town Board must provide the draft scope to all involved agencies and any that express interest in writing, ensuring an opportunity for them and the public to offer input. Under SEQR, this opportunity is required. The lead agency may provide it by circulating the draft scope and providing time for the public to submit written comments, holding one or more public meetings, or a combination of these.

Why is public participation in developing the scope important?

Public involvement reduces the likelihood that unaddressed issues will arise during public review of the DEIS. From the public’s perspective, scoping is important because it offers an opportunity to ensure the DEIS is as comprehensive as possible to minimize the project’s environmental impact on the community. It also increases the likelihood the project will be consistent with community values.

What is considered “the environment” in this environmental review?

The definition is very comprehensive and includes impacts relating to: • Land use, zoning and public policy • Vegetation and wildlife • Geology, soils and topography • Storm water, waste water • Water Supply, surface water, ground water • Wetlands • Cultural resources • Solid waste • Air quality • Noise • Community character, community services • Socioeconomic, fiscal

How can I writing effective scoping comments that will assist the Town Board?

Scoping comments from the public and other agencies provide the environmental review process with a broader perspective. Your comments will help ensure that the DEIS prepared by the project sponsor is relevant, comprehensive and addresses stakeholders’ concerns. Consider:

IMPACT—Introduce yourself, your purpose for writing and potential impacts of concern—e.g., water/air quality, open space, recreational resources, climate change, culture, economics, health. State direct, indirect or cumulative impacts you want studied.

SIGNIFICANCE—Describe the significance of the impact(s). Define the breadth of study necessary to address adequately the impact’s significance in terms of time, geography and populations affected.

FORESEEABLE—Provide support as to why impact(s) is/are foreseeable. If available, offer supporting information or research regarding potential harms.

ALTERNATIVES—Identify alternative(s) you want the DEIS to consider, including potential mitigations and other courses of action.

Congratulations Eagle Scout David Koestler!

David Koestler

On January 12, at a ceremony at the New Castle Community Center, Horace Greeley High School junior David Koestler was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout in BSA Scouts. David is part of a proud tradition of scouts who have served our community and the nation in ways both large and small. Here in the Town of New Castle, scouts help those in need, improve our neighborhoods, and reach out to those less fortunate. David’s Eagle Scout project was to design and construct a shed at the First Congregational Church, where PlayCare nursery school is located, to significantly improve the playground by securing and concealing the refuse bins. I had the honor of presenting David with a proclamation on behalf of the Town of New Castle. David, we are all so proud of you. You represent the very best of this community!

Catskill Aqueduct Shutdown Update

On December 11, 2019 the Town switched its water source temporarily from the Catskill Aqueduct to the New Croton Reservoir, due to a scheduled shutdown of the Catskill Aqueduct by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, to allow the DEP to make necessary repairs to the aqueduct. Due to the change in water source, some residents have noted a change in the taste or smell of their water. Rest assured that the water is tested and treated at the Millwood Water Treatment Plant and greatly exceeds all NYSDOH and EPA water quality standards! The Town has reached out to DEP and re-confirmed their plan re-open the Aqueduct in late January, at which time our water source will shift back to the Catskill Aqueduct. Please keep in mind that it will take a few days for the water to cycle through the pipes and tanks, when the source switches back. Learn more:

Join Westchester County for an FAA Noise Forum on 1/22

Be heard and help resolve the impacts of Westchester County Airport (HPN) on our community.  Join concerned residents from across Westchester County for an FAA Airport Noise Forum, a public meeting to be held on Wednesday, January 22nd @ 6:00 p.m. at the New Castle Community Center, 10 Senter Street. 

Learn more:

administrator's report
Jill Shapiro, Town Administrator

Water Leak Repair- Quaker Road

DPW will be on site Wednesday, January 15, 2020 to repair a minor water leak on Quaker  Road between Suzanne and Hardscrabble Road from 7 am - 10 pm. One lane of traffic will be open at all times. Affected homeowners will be notified by DPW staff on site. Expect delays, please plan accordingly.  We apologize for any inconvenience this infrastructure repair may cause.

Basketball Court and Playground Update

Last Wednesday we had our first construction meeting on the construction of the basketball court and inclusive playground behind town hall. The contractors are on schedule, they are projecting a June 2020 completion date.  The site work for the playground has been completed. Drainage and site work for the basketball court is continuing. The work will come to a point where they will need to stop until the asphalt plants open for the year- approximately April of 2020.

Second Half School Taxes Are Due on Friday, January 31, 2020

If you, as opposed to your bank, are responsible to pay school taxes, the last day to pay the second half school tax bill without penalty is Friday, January 31, 2020.  The tax office is open 7 am to 7 pm on the last day of tax collection- Friday, January 31- but you need not wait for the last day to pay your taxes. The Tax Office accepts post-dated checks and will hold them until January 31 to deposit them. In addition, you can make on line tax payments until 11:59 pm through our website- no charge for ACH payment and a 3% service charge for credit card payments. Any questions, please call the tax office at 238-4773.

Summer Help Wanted!

If you are New Castle resident, with one year of college completed by Summer 2020, we have paid internships available.  The Town of New Castle is looking for college students for a 6 week internship, knowledge of CAD preferred but not required. Compensation is $1500 for the 6 weeks with an opportunity to extend. Cover letter with resume should be sent to Jill Shapiro  at JShapiro@MyNewCastle.Org by January 31, 2020.

DPW is also looking for summer help- 7 am – 3 pm for up to 12 weeks at $15 an hour, returning laborers earn $16 an hour.

Water Unit is looking for laborers to paint hydrants $15 an hour.

And those with an interest in engineering, we have two  internships at the Millwood Water Treatment Plant,  including  the Mike Martus Internship – also paid for the summer.

All emails of interest, should be to my attention at

Volunteer Board and Commission Openings!

There are currently vacancies on the Beautification Advisory Board, Conservation Board, Planning Board, and Recreation Commission.  If you are interested in applying for one of these positions, please fill out a volunteer application form and return it to Jill Shapiro at JShapiro@MyNewCastle.Org. Questions? Need more information? Please call Jill at 238.4742 or email me at JShapiro@MyNewCastle.Org

Beautification Board

A non-partisan advisory committee that advises on, formulates and promotes programs that will enhance the beauty and appearance of New Castle. Read more about the Beautification Board here:

Conservation Board

The Conservation Board studies and advises the Town Board and other Town departments, boards and commissions on developing sound open space planning and assuring preservation of natural and scenic resources within the Town of New Castle. Read more about the Conservation Board here:

Planning Board

The Planning Board is responsible for approval of all subdivisions and site plans throughout the Town as well as certain environmental permits. Read more about the Planning Board here:

Recreation & Parks Commission

The mission of the New Castle Recreation and Parks Department is to enhance the quality of life in New Castle through sports, leisure, and other recreational experiences and to provide a safe environment that emphasizes fun and the joy of personal development through participation and discovery at all ages. Read more about the Recreation and Parks Commission here:

Town Hall: Learn More and Contact Us

Town Hall Meetings and Board Packets

To find agendas, supporting documents, and meeting minutes for Board meetings, click here.

To watch videos from recent meetings recorded by New Castle Community Media Center, click here

Stay Connected

To stay informed about your local government and community, click here to create a account, sign up for Town Hall e-News and Community e-News, and sign up with Nixle and Code Red to receive text messages and/or emails for emergency alerts and community events.

Contact Us! - Email Your Town Council and Town Administrator

You may contact your town board members and town administrator by using the links below, or as a group. For a full list of town contacts, click here.

New Castle Community Calendar

Click here to view the calendar.

Click here to view the calendar guidelines.

TNC Seal
first responders

Storm Central

Click here for Con Edison's Storm Central including outage location maps, storm preparation, and recovery tips!

Click here for New Castle's storm FAQ.

Storm Central
Powered by
CivicSend - A product of CivicPlus