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Townhouses Proposed For Church, Upholstery Sites In Chappaqua

The former Lutheran Church in downtown Chappaqua Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
A screen shot of a rendering of Chappaqua Hollows that was submitted to New Castle. Photo Credit: Screen shot/Garson Group
Buildings on the upholstery site in Chappaqua, viewed from King Street. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
A screen shot of a rendering of Chappaqua Hollows that was submitted to New Castle. Photo Credit: Screen shot/Garson Group
A screen shot of the site plan for the townhouses at Chappaqua Hollows. Photo Credit: Screen shot/Garson Group

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- A residential complex with 10 townhouses is being proposed for two Chappaqua parcels that include a shuttered church building and an upholstery shop.

The church parcel, located at 120 King St., was formerly occupied by the Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, which now shares space with the First Congregational Church of Chappaqua. The business, which is called Downtown Upholstery, is still active.

The proposal is called Chappaqua Hollows and would include 10 units for sale, one of which would be designated for affordable housing.

Developer Staffard Garson, whose family owns the parcels through a pair of limited liability companies, noted the site's proximity to downtown and to the train station.

“I think Chappaqua is a wonderful location,” he said in an interview.

Another family company, Garson Group, will be the developer, he explained.

The family has owned the upholstery parcel, which is located at 126 King Street, for more than a decade. According to information submitted to the town, the upholstery site includes a house and a deteriorating.

The family, through one of its companies, only recently closed on a deal to acquire the former church site.

Maps show that the upholstery site is roughly rectangular shaped and has a corridor of space that gives it vehicular access to King Street (Route 120). The former church parcel, by contract, has considerably more frontage.

The proposal calls for merging the parcels into a single lot, which would be T-shaped and total about 1.36 acres. A mix of two-bedroom and three-bedroom units are proposed for the townhouses.

A wider driveway will replace the current one that connects the upholstery site to King Street.

All of the structures would be demolished. Garson, who recalled that the New Castle Historical Society and a state historical agency were in correspondence, explained that the church does not have historical value and has been altered.

A traffic study submitted to the town projects that the project will generate eight trips during a morning peak hour and nine during an afternoon peak hour, a slight increase from the current figures of six and five, respectively.

The site falls under commercial zoning called Retail Business (B-R). However, the zone also allows for multifamily housing.

The proposal calls for 20 parking space and for eight of the units to have single-car garages.

The development will need several approvals from the Planning Board, including for a site plan and lot merger.

Members of the development team made an initial appearance before the Planning Board on Feb. 17. Feedback from the board included moving the housing cluster closer to King Street and further away from the back in order to help with vehicular turning. It was noted, however, that a variance would be required from the town's Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) in order to allow this.

The iteration presented to the Planning Board included a setback of about 50 feet from King Street to the nearest unit. Planning Board Chairman Robert Kirkwood suggested possibility sending a letter to the ZBA to help the applicant get a variance.

No date was given for revisiting the proposal.

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