CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- The New Castle Town Board adopted another step for Summit/Greenfield’s grocery store-retail proposal at Chappaqua Crossing despite three more hours of outcry in a special public meeting Tuesday, Oct. 31.
The board voted to adopt the final, revised version of the findings statement for the final draft supplemental environmental statement, which can be found here online.
It is considered an important step of the process, as it's the last stage in the proposal’s environmental review. The next step in the process would be for the developer to submit a preliminary development concept plan.
Town Supervisor Susan Carpenter, Councilmen Robin Stout and Jason Chapin voted in favor of the project. Councilman John Buckley voted against it. Buckley, the only member of the board running for re-election next Tuesday, has told the public he is against the project in his campaign.
Deputy Supervisor Elise Kessler Mottel has recused herself from all things Chappaqua Crossing due to her affiliation between her current employer, which is connected to Summit/Greenfield.
Several residents took the time to reverberate concerns again Tuesday night. Stout cautioned adoption of the findings statement only concludes the environmental review process and “sets the parameter only for something that might happen.”
Some remained unconvinced.
“Robin, you’re not telling the truth,” resident Victor Siber said. “The town board made a contract with the devil. This is a sad day. I am embarrassed by the town government we have here.”
Resident Betty Weitz said that while her home is not near the site, she had an ethical problem with personally reaping tax benefits from a project that could negatively impact the lifestyle of her neighbors.
“How much money would it take for you to throw these people under the bus?” she asked the board. “I do not want to benefit from someone else’s loss.”
Despite studies included in the findings statement that predict the project will not negatively impact existing New Castle business districts in Chappaqua and Millwood, resident Matt Weinberg said he “can’t imagine how this won’t cannibalize the downtown.”
Chappaqua-Millwood Chamber of Commerce founder Rob Greenstein and Chappaqua business owner Cindy Lupica echoed Weinberg, asking the board what would be done in the current business districts to combat the presence of a third.
Board members Chapin and Stout continued to stand behind their belief that a retail plan at Chappaqua Crossing would compliment existing businesses, and not take away from them.
“I’m not in this for Summit/Greenfield,” Stout said. “I’m in this for the town.”