CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – Residents worrying about the Chappaqua affordable housing proposal being fast tracked can breathe easy.
Conifer Realty’s plan for 36 units of housing in the downtown area may not return before any town agencies until September after the New Castle Town Board declared itself as the lead agency Tuesday night.
The lead agency process will take at least 30 days, Town Planner Sabrina Charney Hull explained. There are several other agencies involved in the housing proposal that can object to the town’s request, but Hull said that is unlikely to happen.
If there are no objections, the board would take over on August 2. At that time the board plans on referring the proposal to the town’s Planning and Architectural Review boards for a joint meeting. Town Supervisor Susan Carpenter said that meeting may not happen until September.
As lead agency, the Town Board will have final say over the environmental review process. Hull has already noted two specific concerns she is asking Conifer to address.
She said there are concerns over air, noise, and odor for the building primarily because the area, which is adjacent to the Metro-North Railroad station and the Saw Mill River Parkway, is an industrial site that is being looked at for residential purposes. Hull said more information is needed on how Conifer would mitigate those concerns. She is also requesting better visuals of what the building would look like in the downtown area.
While the town is taking over the environmental review, Town Councilman Jason Chapin said there are 10 agencies that will have a yes or no vote on the proposal in some fashion.
“There’s a perception among some in the community that this is only before the Town Board and the Town Board will be deciding,” Chapin said. “There are town and county and state agencies that are involved in this SEQRA [State Environmental Quality Review Act] process before a decision can be made.”