CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – A town-initiated proposal to bring a supermarket to Chappaqua Crossing was blasted by residents Monday night who said it resembles a “strip mall” and worried that it would divide the hamlet’s business district.
“This is freaking me out. I feel like this is so much worse than I thought it was and I know, for damn sure, that nobody else understands what’s going on here,” said resident Lisa Katz, who lives in the nearby residential neighborhood.
The proposal would amend Chapter 60 of the Town Code to allow for retail uses in the current research and office business district. The idea to rezone the property was announced by the board in March after hearing from residents about the lack of a supermarket in the hamlet.
The conceptual design calls for up to 150,000 square feet of property to be rezoned for retail use, which would be anchored by a full-service grocery store occupying at least 50,000 square feet. Other ancillary uses such as a restaurant, fast-food establishments, fitness centers, and more would be allowed.
Residents spoke out in near-unanimous opposition to the proposal at Monday night’s public hearing, citing concerns over increased traffic and splitting the town’s business district. Resident Manny Areces said putting a new business center at Chappaqua Crossing would take away from businesses in the downtown area.
“What you’re going to do by building this new center, with 150,000 square feet of retail, you’re going to hang them out to dry,” Areces said. “It’s going to be a slow death, but eventually the retail is going to move to Chappaqua Crossing, because that’s the way it is.”
Chappaqua Crossing’s owners, Summit/Greenfield, were represented Monday night by attorney John Marwell. The company applauded the town’s proposal and plans to submit official comments on the development in the near future.
The proposal faces a two-part approval process. The town board would have to approve the conceptual site plan and the rezoning of the area, and the planning board would have to approve the finalized site-development plan, any environmental permit, and any subdivision. The public hearing remains open and will continue at the town board’s Oct. 30 meeting.