What is the “New Direction” announced by the Town Board for the Form Based Code? What does that mean and what happens next?

On February 23, 2021, the Town Board voted to close the public hearing on the DEGIS for the Form Based Code. At the same time, the Town Board announced that based upon community input, it planned to limit the application of the Form Based Code to a relatively small area of the Chappaqua hamlet – the North Greeley corridor, from the traffic light at the intersection with King Street to Bischoff Avenue. This area includes the former Rite Aid space that has been vacant for over 2 years.

By making this announcement, the Town Board signaled that applying the Form Based Code to the entire study area under review is no longer an alternative it will pursue. Accordingly, the Town Board will not be rezoning any public property outside the North Greeley corridor, such as the train station parking lot. Similarly, the Town Board will not be rezoning the South Greeley area of the downtown or the properties on King Street. Having taken these options off the table, the Town Board will instead target a single area of the downtown for zoning changes that are designed to facilitate redevelopment and revitalization.

The next steps in this process require the completion of the SEQRA process and the preparation of revised zoning legislation that aligns with the Town Board’s objective to rezone only the North Greeley corridor.

With respect to SEQRA, the Town Board will be working with its professional consultants to prepare a Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement, or “FGEIS.” The FGEIS will respond to comments made during our public hearing on the DGEIS and may include additional analyses and explanations. All substantive comments on the DGEIS will be listed and addressed in the FGEIS.

The last step in the SEQRA process will be the preparation of a Findings Statement. The Findings Statement will evaluate whether the proposed action (rezoning) will avoid or minimize adverse environmental impacts identified in the DGEIS/FGEIS and balance those impacts against social, economic, and other considerations.

The other step that the Town Board will pursue over the upcoming months involves revising the draft Form Based Code legislation not only to focus on the North Greeley corridor, but take into consideration the public comments and input from our public hearing on the DGEIS. With respect to the legislation, the Town Board will be addressing matters such as building heights, affordable housing criteria and leveraging the expertise of our Planning and Architectural Review

Boards for larger projects that emerge along the North Greeley corridor. Any such changes to the legislation will be subject to further public input and ultimately a public hearing.

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1. NEW - Will completing the SEQRA review for the FBC on the entire study area undermine the Town Board’s ability to limit the FBC to only a small area (the North Greeley corridor)...
2. NEW - Why is the Town Board considering revisions to the FBC legislation before receiving draft responses to the comments from the public and interested agencies on the Town's DGEIS? ...
3. What is a form-based code?
4. What is the purpose of Chappaqua’s comprehensive plan?
5. What is the goal of rezoning the Chappaqua Hamlet?
6. Will the rezoning change the history of Chappaqua?
7. Is the Chappaqua form-based code a construction project?
8. What is GEIS?
9. Didn’t the members of the Downtown Working Group who own commercial properties in the Chappaqua hamlet have conflicts of interest that precluded their participation?
10. Does the Form Based Code allow the entire Chappaqua Hamlet to be 5 stories in height?
11. Why does the DGEIS study a "full build out" or "buildout scenario" of the Chappaqua Hamlet under the Form Based Code?
12. Does the FBC mean development on Town-owned land?
13. If the Town Board determines in the future to sell or lease Town-owned land for a development project, will I have and opportunity to vote on whether that should occur? Will there be a referendum?
14. Has the Town been in contact with other public entities on this proposal (e.g. the school board)?
15. Once the Form Based Code is in place, what are the next steps for the Town to attract interest in potential opportunities for development?
16. Does the Town plan to use eminent domain to buy and consolidate privately owned, small contiguous parcels?
17. How does the public notification of a proposed development project change with the Form Based Code?
18. Why is this the appropriate time to adopt a Form Based Code for Chappaqua?
19. Does Chappaqua have the water and sewer infrastructure to handle future development?
20. What assumptions were the foundation of the Form Based Code?
21. Can the public vote on the Form Based Code?
22. Can the Town conduct a "public opinion poll" or an advisory (non-binding) referendum of the electorate with respect to the proposed Form-Based Code?
23. Do any members of the Town Board have a conflict of interest with respect to the Form Based Code because they own property in the Chappaqua business hamlet?
24. Did the members of the Town’s “Downtown Working Group” write the Form Based Code?
25. What is the “New Direction” announced by the Town Board for the Form Based Code? What does that mean and what happens next?
26. If the Town Board is limiting the Form Based district to North Greeley, why will the FGEIS and SEQRA Findings Statement be completed for the entire study area?
27. Can the Town lawfully regulate the number of bedrooms that would be permitted within new apartment units?
28. The Chappaqua Board of Education has asserted that the Town cannot control whether future developments in the Chappaqua hamlet will be subsidized through PILOT agreements. Is this accurate?