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New Castle Revisits Chappaqua Housing Proposal

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – The New Castle Town Board will review Conifer Realty's request for a special use permit needed for its affordable housing proposal at a work session Tuesday night.

The discussion will include recommendations from Town Planner Sabrina Charney Hull, who is asking for additional studies from Conifer after reviewing part two of its Environmental Assessment Form.

In a memo to the board, Hull said the proposal's proximity to the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Metro-North Railroad station raises concerns about air, noise and odor impacts. Hull would like to see more studies about how Conifer would mitigate the impacts.

Hull also asked for better renderings of what the four-story, 36-unit building would look like in downtown Chappaqua. The 16,697-square-foot building at 54 Hunts Place would be the tallest building in Chappaqua. Residents have previously expressed concerns about the size of the building, causing Conifer to reduce the proposal by one story.

"The bulk and density of the proposed action in relation to the setting of downtown Chappaqua should be assessed through the use of visual impact analysis," Hull wrote.

At Tuesday's work session, the board will consider making itself the lead agency in the review of the housing proposal, giving it authority over the project. The board initially proposed to take over at a March 27 meeting, but Hull said the board's intent never reached other agencies involved.

The board probably will vote on on reaffirming its position as lead agency at a July 10 meeting. After the vote, other agencies will be notified and will have 30 days to object to the Town Board's becoming lead agent. If there are no objections, the Town Board would take over by Aug. 9.

"As lead agency, the town board would need to determine whether or not there are any significant environmental impacts associated with the proposed action," Hull wrote the board in a memo.

The project has received heavy opposition from members of the public, resulting in the creation of a Facebook group and a petition calling for the rejection of the proposal.

All documents submitted about the project from Conifer can be seen on the town's website.

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