The petition was submitted to the town on Oct. 16 and calls for 120,000-square-feet of retail space, including a full-service grocery store between 36,000 and 66,000-square-feet. The proposal was made by Summit/Greenfield, the owners of the 480 Bedford Road property, in response to a town-initiated proposal to re-zone property for retail use.
The property is currently zoned as a Research and Office Business District. The proposal to re-zone the property as an Office Park Retail Overlay District is also in the middle of a public hearing that resumes at Tuesday night’s meeting.
The overlapping hearings confused some members of New Castle’s planning board, which reviewed Summit/Greenfield’s petition on Nov. 20.
“I feel like these are all stones in a brook and they’re sort of running all over each other, and I don’t know where we stand in this process,” said board member Sheila Crespi, who said she didn’t understand how the town could review a development proposal for a property that has not yet been re-zoned.
“There’s so much in this document, it’s hard to have a substantive discussion about the legislation that comes out of the process before we get into the process,” said planning board member Tom Curley.
Regardless, the new proposal didn’t change much for the board, which still feels many questions need to be answered before the town considers re-zoning the property.
Crespi and other board members agreed that more comprehensive studies are required, including a study about the actual need for the retail center. The town’s proposal describes the Chappaqua Crossing area as an “underserved market,” which Crespi believes has not been proven.
Curley said he understands what the town will gain from the retail center in terms of tax revenue, but said the town should also consider what it will lose.
“Getting tax ratables is fine, but what are we trading in terms of the neighborhood?” he said. “What are we really attracting here? What do we really want to build here?”
Summit/Greenfield will present its petition during the town board meeting, which begins at 7:45 p.m. in the Assembly Room of New Castle Town Hall.