CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- Applicants who sought to lease space at the Chappaqua train station and were turned down in favor of Leslie Lampert's Love at 10514 want the lease to be the subject of a permissive referendum.
The applicants -- Via Vanti! founder Carla Gambescia and Peter and Erin Chase -- have teamed up to back the effort, which requires petition signatures from New Castle residents equal to five percent of the total local turnout in the last election for governor. The deadline for collecting valid signatures is Wednesday, June 18.
The three individuals, collectively, were two applicants because the Chases filed together.
The three, in an announcement of the initiative that was posted to a Facebook group called Our Station, Our Town, gave a statement.
“We are fully confident we will be able to gather the required number of local registered voters’ signatures, resulting in the issuance of a Permissive Referendum on the lease. We, like so many of our fellow residents, are not pleased that we are compelled to seek this course of action; however, we want what is best for our town and only wish for an end result that the residents of New Castle can all feel proud of.”
The duration of public availability of the town's Request for Proposals (RFP) before a deadline is cited as a factor for pursuing the matter. The three also claimed that negotiations were only entered into with one of the three bidders.
Asked for a response, Town Supervisor Rob Greenstein was "disappointed" but added it is their right to do so.
The New Castle Town Board voted last month to award the lease to the new venture's company. Lampert, a former Chappaqua resident, is also the owner of Mount Kisco restaurants Ladle of Love and Cafe of Love. Councilman Jason Chapin, however, voted against the award and brought up his support for Gambescia.