CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- The New Castle Town Board tied up loose ends pertaining to the Chappaqua Crossing retail proposal when it voted on Tuesday night to approve a draft layout for the project's buildings, along with remapping a portion of the site to allow for retail use.
The items passed by a 3-1 margin, with Deputy Supervisor Lisa Katz voting against. Councilman Adam Brodsky was absent.
The board voted in December to allow retail zoning for the former Reader's Digest campus ; Tuesday's mapping legislation specifies that the retail zone will only be allowed for a 19.1-acre southern portion of the property.
In a statement prior to the vote, Katz reiterated her concerns about the project, which calls for having 120,000 square feet of retail space that is anchored by a 40,000-square-foot Whole Foods grocery store. She cited traffic impact and the amount of space dedicated to the project as concerns. Katz, who has been a critic of the project in general, voted against the rezoning in December.
Despite her disagreement with the project, Katz commended site owner Summit/Greenfield for working with town officials and the public to revise its proposal in measures undertaken recently.
“The project has moved in the right direction, especially with respect to the architectural design.”
Asked for comment on the decision, Geoff Thompson, a spokesman for Summit/Greenfield, said he was "extremely pleased.”
The approved draft layout is officially called a Preliminary Development Concept Plan (PDCP). The latest PDCP iteration was submitted to the town following the December rezoning vote. The PDCP is a precursor to the project's site plan, which is a final layout.
The next step for Summit/Greenfield is to seek site plan approval from the town's Planning Board. Thompson expects that a site plan application will be submitted by June.
The PDCP approval comes with a long list of conditions for Summit/Greenfield. They include barring deliveries from tractor trailers between 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.; barring garbage and recycling collection between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.; a 500,000-square-foot cap on using non-retail commercial space; and "mothballing" excess commercial space once the cap is used.
The Town Board also approved a revision to the boundaries of the site's zone for multifamily housing, which is on the eastern portion of the campus. The housing-zone measure passed unanimously.
The housing zone was initially approved in 2011 and accompanied by an authorization from the Town Board allowing up to 111 housing units, which are a mix of townhouses and condos.
The housing component may change, however. Last week, Summit/Greenfield presented a plan to move the project's affordable housing into the campus' cupola building , Town Board meeting video shows. Under the proposal presented, the overall unit count would increase to a range of 119 to 123 units, although the total bedroom count on the site would be flat. The proposal, it was noted at the meeting, would include having 91 townhouses on the proposed residential portion of the site.
The project is subject to a rezoning petition. Asked when a petition will be submitted, Thompson said, “as soon as possible.”
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