CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- Chappaqua Crossing developer Summit/Greenfield unveiled a plan to shift the site's proposed affordable housing into the historic "cupola building," video of Tuesday's New Castle Town Board meeting shows.
Currently, Summit/Greenfield has zoning approval from the town to construct 111 housing units in a cluster on the site that it calls the East Village. The Town Board granted the approval in 2011.
Andrew Tung, whose planning firm is working for Summit/Greenfield, told the board that the area allows for 60 townhouses and 51 multifamily condos. Of the latter, Tung said there are 20 affordable units.
Under the revised plan that Tung laid out, the overall housing-unit count on the former Reader's Digest campus would increase. This would include having 91 townhouses in the East Village, eliminating the condos in the cluster and constructing 28 to 32 affordable-housing units in the third and fourth floors of the cupola building. This would mean a higher total count of 119 to 123 units.
Total bedroom count would be flat, it was noted. The affordable housing, Tung stated, would include 26 studio or one-bedroom units, four two-bedroom units and two three-bedroom units.
A renovation of the cupola building would be needed for the affordable housing and the ability of people to access nearby office space would be curtailed.
Summit Development President Felix Charney, whose company participates in Summit/Greenfield as a joint venture with Greenfield Partners, was on hand to give details. Charney expressed a preference for doing work on the cupola building during the same construction stage as demolishing an adjacent office building, the latter of which is being done to help with stormwater management.
Officials from the town and developer have been exploring the cupola-building scenario, Supervisor Rob Greenstein stated when reached for comment on Friday. The issue also came up during a joint March meeting of the Town Board, Planning Board and Architectural Review Board, he added.
Norma Drummond, a top Westchester County planning official, also spoke at the meeting. She urged the board to conduct an expeditious review of the project, citing the county's need to comply with its federal affordable-housing settlement.
“It just would help us with our overall plan to complete the obligations of the housing settlement," Drummond said at the meeting.
Town Attorney Nicholas Ward-Willis told the board that the next step would be to submit a rezoning petition; the cupola building is in the campus' commercial zone.
The project would be subject to an environmental review. However, Ward-Willis suggested that the project might not need site plan approval from the Planning Board because it involves work in an existing building.
Summit/Greenfield had considered "mothballing" the cupola building's space, it was noted, as part of an office space reduction for the site.
Greenstein is not sure whether the project will require an environmental impact statement (EIS). A determination will be made later, he explained.
The Town Board is scheduled on Tuesday to vote on the last two legislative items for Summit/Greenfield's 120,000-square-foot retail proposal for another portion of the site, which include a preliminary layout and mapping a retail zone that the board approved in December.
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