CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. - The New Castle Town Board's idea of exploring Chappaqua Crossing as an answer the hamlet's supermarket woes was met with mixed reviews from residents Tuesday night.
"I don’t have any facts or figures; I wasn't fully prepared to talk, what I do have is common sense. And I don’t think we need another supermarket," resident Lisa Katz said to the board.
Katz said she worries that rezoning Chappaqua Crossing for commercial use would divide the hamlet and there would be no real downtown area. She also expressed concern about increased traffic, pollution and noise in a residential neighborhood.
"You've got peace and quiet of a lot of people who spent a lot of money on their houses in this neighborhood to not live next to an A&P," Katz said. "It's a horrible, horrible idea."
Resident Manny Areces recommended the town target smaller neighborhood grocers that would require as little as 10,000 square feet.
"Sometimes the solution is not looking at somebody that wants to put a full-blown supermarket that includes housewares and all kinds of services, but to put in place a food establishment that fulfills the needs that are missing in our town,” Areces said.
Town Supervisor Susan Carpenter said the board was receiving mixed messages from residents, and the area was only looked into after hearing complaints about the lack of a supermarket in Chappaqua.
"If none of the people were screaming last summer about the loss of D’Agostinos, if everybody found another grocery store and nobody cares anymore, that’s fine," Carpenter said. "But there were hundreds of people that signed petitions last summer saying we need a grocery store in town."
The petition in question was created after Chappaqua's only supermarket, D'Agostino's, packed up and left town in August. The online petition currently has 694 signatures .
The board stressed the idea is only in an exploratory stage, and the town will maintain dialogue between itself and the residents before making any decision. The town also is open to other creative solutions regarding the commercial development of the town.
At Tuesday night's meeting, some residents recommended moving town hall to Chappaqua Crossing and potentially developing housing or a grocery store in the area. Carpenter said such a move would be difficult, but agreed more offices could move to Chappaqua Crossing and open more space downtown for retail purposes.
"We really are very open to ideas, and we’re looking for options, and we wanted to encourage an ongoing dialogue so that we can make decision together," said council member Jason Chapin. "Now, there’s not gonna be a decisions that makes everybody happy."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.