CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. - The New Castle Town Board is hoping to repair a contentious relationship with Chappaqua Crossing developers Summit/Greenfield following a 2011 lawsuit that accused the board of keeping the property from being developed.
Despite the ongoing litigation, Supervisor Susan Carpenter said the Town Board is not cutting off its nose to spite its face when it comes to working with the developer for the betterment of Chappaqua. The Town Board last week revealed that it will consider rezoning the Chappaqua Crossing property to allow for a supermarket.
"[It] would be an incredible benefit to us in terms of our real estate tax revenues and in terms of some sales tax revenue," said Carpenter. "That’s an issue that we would like to investigate."
Carpenter stressed that rezoning of the property does not necessarily mean a supermarket will be built at the site.
"Changing the zoning doesn’t mean that we’d approve the facility," Carpenter said. "Even if we change the zoning, they might decide they don’t wanna do it. All you’re doing is telling them that they could."
She also said the town will not stand in the way of Northern Westchester Hospital's proposal to use 250 additional parking spaces at Chappaqua Crossing for displaced employees during an upcoming 18-month construction period.
"We’re not hurting them, we’re hurting the hospital," said Carpenter, if the proposal were to be rejected. "They’re doing it as a service to the community. By doing it doing it as a service to the community, they’re doing it as a service to us. We count on that hospital."
The Town Board approved zoning for housing on the property on April 11, 2011, with the stipulation it would have to return withing one year with site plans, which Carpenter says the town has yet to receive. Summitt/Greenfield's attorney, John Marwell, recently wrote a letter to the Town Board asking for a one-year extension on the plans.
"Given that a lot of things were in litigation, things have been held up; it took us a while to get them into the sewer district, now to turn around and say ‘aha, gotcha,’ I don’t think would probably be a particularly good move," Carpenter said.
According to Carpenter, the relationship has improved since last year, when the issues between the two sides resulted in Chappaqua Crossing not allowing nearby Horace Greeley High School to use parking spaces for graduation.
"Hopefully that will change," Carpenter said. "I think that they know that they really struck a nerve last year when they didn’t do that. It made people very unfriendly toward them."
The Town Board has set aside time for residents to voice their opinions on the idea of bringing a supermarket to Chappaqua Crossing at a board meeting at 7:45 p.m. March 27.