CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – Before moving any further on the proposed Chappaqua Crossing retail center, the New Castle Planning Board wants to have one question answered: is it something the town even wants?
“I think that’s the first and foremost question that has to be answered,” said board member Sheila Crespi.
Board members questioned the phrase “under-served market area” in regard to Chappaqua Crossing, and agreed that much more information about the actual necessity of the project needs to be collected before moving ahead.
Town Planner Sabrina Charney Hull said the market studies could either be lumped in with the town’s updated comprehensive plan, or a separate commercial studies evaluation on the property could be carried out.
Hull said the comprehensive plan update could take anywhere from 12 months to three years, while a commercial study would take about six months. Board member Tom Curley said he would be comfortable with waiting regardless of how long it took.
“You don’t want to move this quickly on something that will be there forever,” Curley said.
While the board did not make any official comments on the recently-submitted plans by the site’s owner, Curley said he looked at the drawings and believes it looks similar to a “strip mall.” Curley said the size of the proposed retail center would create a third business hamlet within the town.
Crespi compared the proposal to the Target/A&P plaza located in neighboring Mount Kisco.
“Are we comfortable becoming a destination retail center?” she said. “Because a retail center of this size, I do not think, can be supported solely by the population of New Castle.”
The planning board unanimously passed a resolution to send its comments back to the New Castle Town Board, which is the lead agency on the proposal.