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New Castle Town Board Has More Issues With Conifer Plan

The New Castle Town Board passed a “Sense of the Board” resolution in regards to the controversial Conifer Realty affordable housing proposal.
The New Castle Town Board passed a “Sense of the Board” resolution in regards to the controversial Conifer Realty affordable housing proposal. Photo Credit: Michael Nocella

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – In a special Thursday morning meeting , the New Castle Town Board passed a “Sense of the Board” resolution in regards to the controversial Conifer Realty affordable housing proposal.

In the 12-page resolution , the board gave a list of major concerns about Conifer’s five-story, 36-unit building Chappaqua Station proposal at 54 Hunts Place. Board members have previously voiced concern in public hearing settings , however, this resolution confirms —and expands — previously heard issues.

Since the Town Board would need to approve a special permit for the proposal to go through, the newly passed resolution figures to make obtaining such a permit that much more difficult for Conifer.

The resolution states that the Town Board wants Conifer to create more open space on the site and given the current zoning on the property, the “Town Board does not favor a building over three stories tall.”

However, the resolution later states Town Board members might allow some part of the building to exceed three stories in a staircase design, if doing so was beneficial to the building’s appearance or provided more separation of the living areas in regards to the Metro-North Commuter Railroad tracks and or the off ramp of Saw Mill River Parkway Exit 32.

The Town Board also critiques Conifer’s proposed site’s size and appearance, stating that its “visual impacts appear excessive" in the areas of the northbound off-ramp of the Saw Mill River Parkway Exit 32 and King Street Extension in the Chappaqua hamlet, and "excessively dissimilar or inappropriate" in relation to its surroundings.

While the resolution states the proposed site having “a connection to the bridge like the existing stairways might be appropriate,” it also suggests the Town Board, “does not favor the proposed site development’s direct connection to the bridge.”

The resolution closes by stating that if a portion of Hunts Place that runs to the property is conveyed to or utilized by the developer, then it must remain open.

Conifer's attorney Alfred Delbello is aware of the resolution and has received a copy of it, but has chosen not to make a comment at this time.

This resolution is the latest chapter in the ever-growing Conifer saga and follows canceled Conifer appointments with New Castle Planning Board and its last scheduled public hearing on Feb. 12 , which has been rescheduled for March 12.

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