Supervisor's Report


Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 4/14/15


By Rob Greenstein 


New Castle Supervisor Quarterly Update - 1st Quarter - 2015 I have said it again and again: it is truly an honor to serve the citizens of New Castle. From the start, I have viewed that your Town Supervisor should be guided by rights and obligations. The rights of the community to be heard and to be informed are critical to a responsive Town Government. And we must always be conscious of our obligations to listen and communicate effectively as we work to address current concerns and problems while at the same time improving our Town. Almost every day, I have been responding to individual matters, none of which is too small for a responsive town government. As we look ahead, there remains much work to be done, and I will continue to work hard for the entire community. It is my pleasure, then, as Supervisor to provide a quarterly report to the community about current Town projects and initiatives:

New Castle Supervisor Quarterly Update 1st Quarter 2015

Clean Water Funding in State budget

The New York State 2015-2016 budget has successfully passed. I am happy to report that the State budget includes $200 million (over 3 years) for Clean Water Infrastructure grants (sewers) to municipalities. The money will be appropriated to DEC and administered by EFC. I will be in Albany on April 22 to meet with Senator Terrence Murphy and Assemblyman David Buchwald to formally request the $10 million that will complete the financing package for our Sewage Diversion Project. This project will bring the town into compliance with watershed protection regulations to protect New York City's drinking water as well as drinking water for Westchester County residents.


I am happy to report that as part of the 2015-16 state budget, New Castle will receive $255,237 in CHIPS funding to help repair our roads. Thank you Senator Murphy for co-signing a letter asking for increased funding for our roads.

Inside New Castle: Welcome to the Neighborhood!

Since the 2007-08 school year, which was the beginning of one of the worst economic times for our country, student enrollment in Chappaqua Central School District has decreased by 325 (7.6%) and is projected to decrease an additional 49 students for next year. In an effort to stop this downward trend, we are proud to announce our plans to produce an attractive, full color, glossy, "Welcome to the Neighborhood" guide for current and prospective New Castle residents. The guide is intended to serve as a year round resource for New Castle residents, especially those new to the area, and highlight our special community for those contemplating moving in. The guide will be chock full of Town and relevant information that captures the essence and opportunities of New Castle living. This comprehensive and useful guide is being proudly produced by Inside Chappaqua Magazine's publisher together with a group of contributors in close collaboration with the Town of New Castle. It will be updated annually.

Downtown - Infrastructure and Streetscape Project

On April 7, WSP Sells made another presentation to the Town Board with recommendations for streetscape improvements, improving pedestrian safety and improve traffic circulation in downtown Chappaqua. The Town Board approved interim traffic improvements such as installing a stop sign at the intersection of King Street and Greeley Avenue and studying the impacts associated with turning the Triangle into a modified round-about. WSP presented information related to reducing the visual impact of the power lines in the downtown, through partial burial and increasing the pole height. WSP also presented information regarding streetscape amenities which included identification of areas to create pedestrian gathering spaces through the use of street furniture and landscaping.

Hunts Place

As we all know, on September 10, 2013, the prior Town Board adopted (via a 3-2 vote) a resolution granting the application of Conifer for a special use permit to allow for the construction of a 4-story residential building with 28 units of workforce housing on Hunts Place. While the Town Board recognizes that its predecessor board granted the Special Use Permit and that Conifer has a right to continue its efforts to bring the project to fruition, the current Town Board believes that the Hunts Place project site reflects unfavorably upon the values and goals of our community insofar as creating a diverse range of housing opportunities. The Town has advised Conifer of its strong interest in having Conifer relocate its project to a vacant property owned by the Town and located near Town Hall, on a tree-lined residential street in the heart of downtown Chappaqua. This property is referred to as the Washington Avenue Property. The Town remains willing to work collaboratively with Conifer on relocating its project to this property. To further that goal, tonight the Town Board will be voting on a resolution requesting the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee to study and provide recommendations to the Town Board on the potential use and development of the Washington Avenue property for workforce housing in a manner that is consistent with the policies and themes emerging from the Town Development Plan update and with the infrastructure improvements and streetscape work occurring within the Chappaqua business hamlet.

Ability Beyond Disability

The Town has been advised by Ability Beyond Disability that it will be constructing a residential community home on vacant land at 11 Somerstown Road, Ossining, NY. The home will be for 8 people with developmental disabilities. Under the applicable NYS Mental Hygiene Law, the Town can only recommend denial of the application if there is an over saturation of such homes in the Town. I have been advised there are not, and we welcome Ability Beyond Disability to our Town. Should any residents have any questions or concerns regarding this proposal, please contact my office and I will arrange for a meeting with Ability Beyond Disability to discuss their proposal.

Meeting with President of CCSD

This week I had a productive meeting Karen Visser, President of the Chappaqua Central School District. We discussed scheduling another joint meeting, the improvements to the Horace Greeley High School entrance, education about railroad crossing safety & our distracted driving campaign and working together on marketing Chappaqua to prospective home buyers.

Town Supervisor's Report 4/14/15 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.




Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 3/24/15


By Rob Greenstein 

Train Crossing Safety

Chappaqua Central School District Board of Education wrote a letter to Congresswoman Nita Lowey applauding the Town Board of New Castle for identifying a project that concerns the safety of our students. Their letter stated that they support any safety mitigation measures as well as join them in requesting that the federal government fund the construction of a railway and roadway overpass at the junction of the Metro-North Harlem Line's Roaring Brook Road grade crossing and the Saw Mill River Parkway. Click here for PDF

Although there are efforts at the federal level to provide funding for a bridge, we are also working on short-term solutions. Even if the bridge was approved tomorrow, it's not being built tomorrow. New Castle Police Department has been issuing tickets to drivers waiting too close to the tracks. Local officials also are looking into adding road signs and pavement markings as soon as the weather warms, and plans are in motion to educate residents about reducing risky behavior at highway-rail intersections. We are also looking into traffic cameras. Our efforts have been noticed. Click here for Journal News article "New Castle fighting for a safer rail crossing". And I was thrilled to receive a letter from Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Operation Lifesaver made a presentation to the Town Board on Tuesday night. Operation Lifesaver is a National Organization dedicated to raising the public's awareness of the need to be careful around railroad/highway crossings and that it is illegal and dangerous to trespass on railroad property. New York Operation Lifesaver in cooperation with the Town of New Castle is very excited to help residents and non-residents alike stay safe around the railroads in their community. This is all part of the joint safety partnership with Metro North Railroad. Operation Lifesaver also works to change people's behavior around railroad tracks and crossings with the national public awareness campaign, "See Tracks? Think Train". We just ordered 2,000 "See Tracks? Think Train" car magnets. We are hoping to receive some safety brochures as well. Thank you to Metro-North Railroad Chief Safety Officer Anne Kirsch and Director of Government & Community Relations Mark Mannix for attending this presentation and answering questions.

2015 Downtown Beautification Projects for Chappaqua and Millwood – BAB Update

I would like to provide a summary of the Town Board's commitment of additional funding to support town-wide beautification projects.

Hanging Flower Basket Program: A total of 96 hanging flower baskets will be installed in the hamlets of Chappaqua and Millwood. This represents an increase of 46 baskets from 2014. An additional 20 baskets will be added in Millwood along Station Road. Millwood previously had 5 baskets. A total of 44 new brackets have been ordered to be installed on the light poles on the bridge and in Millwood.

Planters/Containers Program: A total of 54 planters/containers of variable sizes are spread throughout the hamlets of Chappaqua and Millwood and will be planted with annual flowers, and then the flowers replaced in late fall with winter greens.

Holiday Lighting Projects: A total of 20 new snowflakes were ordered to expand the coverage of snowflakes on the bridge and also coverage in Millwood. A total of 12 snowflakes will be added to the bridge, and 8 new snowflakes added to Millwood. An additional 150 sets of mini LED lights were ordered to supplement lighting of poles, trees and other areas throughout the hamlets. New LED lights have been purchased to decorate the Train Station. The lights selected are the same as previously selected for the Gazebo. Click here for PDF

Millwood Pedestrian and Safety Improvements

Senator Terrence Murphy wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos requesting $500,000 in funding be provided to the Town of New Castle to provide pedestrian and safety improvements in the Hamlet of Millwood. You can read the letter here.

Diversion & Clean Water

On the water and sewer funding front, in the State Assembly, Assemblyman David Buchwald sent a letter to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie requesting a $10 million appropriation in the state budget to go to the Town of New Castle for the purpose of installing a sewer line to connect to the Saw Mill Valley trunk line. As well, in the State Assembly's one-house budget bill is a $250 million proposal for the water and sewer infrastructure program. Assemblyman Buchwald, as well as the Town of New Castle, has been in touch with the East of Hudson Watershed Corporation to see if they may be able to help fund the project. Click here to read the letter.


NYS Senator Murphy Co-Signed letter asking for increased funding for our roads. The Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPs) was established to help local governments repair highways, bridges, and roads that they operate and maintain. Therefore, we are again proudly joining with our local leaders urge you to support a multi-year strategy to address local infrastructure needs in order to help provide our citizens, local property taxpayers, tourists and motorists with the kind of local transportation system they need and deserve. As their letter indicated "local roads matter". Remember, report potholes to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . You can also read the letter here.

Gerard C. Moerschell, Commissioner of Public Works, made a presentation to the Town Board on "Potholes & Other Forms of Pavement Distress"

Train Station Restaurant

On Tuesday night the Town Board voted to approve the train station restaurant lease with the Chases. This restaurant will offer commuters and Town residents a new dining option. We believe this new venture will add excitement and vibrancy to our downtown. We understand they intend to be fully operational at the beginning of the summer. I'd like to acknowledge and thank our Town Attorneys, Keane & Beane, for their work on putting this lease together. This is the first time that the train station has been leased by the Town, and there were many, many issues that had to be worked out concerning the use of the space as a restaurant. I don't practice real estate law, but the thoroughness and quality of the lease was readily apparent to me. And one of the best parts for the Town, aside from getting an exciting new restaurant, is that Keane & Beane agreed not to charge the Town for all the extra legal work that was needed.

You can also watch the Supervisors' Report below:

Town Supervisor's Report 3/24/15 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.



Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 2/24/15


By Rob Greenstein

Hunt's Place Affordable Housing

The Town Board recently sent a letter to the Federal Housing Monitor & County Executive Robert Astorino. In the letter, we expressed support for our Building Inspector, who has raised fire safety concerns with Conifer's project site and building plans. These concerns stem from the fact that the project site is only 1/3 of an acre in size, and is wedged alongside Metro-North Railroad tracks, an exit ramp from the Saw Mill River Parkway, and a bridge overpass. Conifer's plans call for developing a 4-story residential building, from lot-line-to-lot-line, on that site.

Our letter to the Monitor and County Executive also expressed concerns that the project site poses "the risk of significant stigmatization and isolation of residents." Those are not my words - that is what the Housing Monitor initially said about the project site back in July 2012.

Our letter also explained that the Town owns vacant property directly behind its Town Hall that appears well-suited for the construction of workforce or affordable housing. The property fronts on Washington Avenue -- a tree-lined, residential street in the heart of downtown Chappaqua. We've asked the County and Conifer to seriously consider working collaboratively with the Town in an effort to relocate Conifer's project to the Washington Avenue Property and build residential housing that all parties can be proud of.

The Town Board also sent a separate letter to the New York State Board of Review. In that letter, we've expressed our disappointment with their decision on January 22, 2015 to grant Conifer's variance petition. We also reiterated our support for our Building Inspector and our first responders, and questioned whether the latest iteration of Conifer's site plan adequately addresses the risks associated with this project site. The tragic accident that occurred on February 3, 2015 on the MTA's Harlem Line in Valhalla, which claimed the lives of two Town of New Castle residents and four others, has only heightened the Town Board's safety concerns. Conifer's proposed residential building would be erected only 15-feet from the MTA's Harlem Line, which is among the busiest railway corridors in the United States. Our letter asks the Board of Review to reconsider its variance decision.

Finally, this past Friday, Conifer commenced a new litigation against the Town concerning the time in which it has to complete construction of the project. Under the Town Code § 60-430(M), the Town believes that Conifer has 18 months from the issuance of its special permit to complete construction. Conifer, citing a different section of the Town Code, contends that it can wait as long as 25 years before completing the improvements required by the special permit. On multiple occasions, the Town Attorney has advised Conifer that it can request an extension of the 18-month period by submitting a letter request. Unfortunately, rather than simply asking for an extension of time, Conifer has filed a lawsuit.

Railroad grade crossing at Roaring Brook Road/Saw Mill River Parkway

Last week we were informed that the project to build a bridge and eliminate the grade railroad crossing on Roaring Brook Road was removed from the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) TIP list in 2006. We wrote a letter to the Commissioner New York State Department of Transportation requesting that the NYSDOT restore this critical project to the TIP list. Because of the proximity of Horace Greeley High School with a large percentage of young and relatively inexperienced drivers, we emphasized that these much-needed improvements to the Roaring Brook Road grade crossing and Saw Mill River parkway interchange are long overdue and urgently needed to prevent another tragedy from occurring. Now more than ever, the Town believes this project should remain a high priority for NYSDOT.

Meeting with Senator Terrence Murphy

This week I met with Senator Terrence Murphy. I requested that we be reinstated to the NYSDOT TIP list. He also provided me with a copy of a letter he wrote - at my request - to the Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos requesting $10M needed for the sewage Diversion Project to prevent sewage dicharged into the Croton and Kensico watershed basins. A copy of his letter can be seen here.

Chappaqua Crossing

We received the updated Preliminary Development Concept Plan, and we are having a joint meeting with the Planning Board & Architectural Review Board on March 3. Public hearing on 2015 Retail PDCP and retail remapping Local Law set for March 10th.

Downtown Infrastructure/ Streetscape improvements

WSP Sells, the company working on our $6.5M infrastructure & streetscape project, will be making their 30% Design Presentation on March 10. The Master Plan Steering Committee will be attending. Also, we will asking the Architecural Review Board ("ARB") to attend. WSP will be working on design standards for downtown Chappaqua, and we would like input from the ARB.

Sledding at Gedney

The Town Board approved the amendment to Park and Recreation Rule requiring minor children to wear a bicycle helmet, skiing/snowboarding helmet or equivalent helmet when sledding at Gedney Park.



Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 3/10/15


By Rob Greenstein

Chappaqua Crossing

We received the updated Preliminary Development Concept Plan ("PDCP"). The public hearing on 2015 Retail PDCP and retail remapping Local Law was opened on Tuesday night. Summit Greenfield hired Monroe Associates to design the architectural elements of the project. Monroe Associates have provided their latest renderings to the Town which show a very strong commitment to maintaining the Georgian Architecture found in the style of the Cupola Building throughout the entire retail project. The public hearing was left open and adjourned to April 14th. We are having a joint meeting with the Planning Board & Architectural Review Board on March 17. This meeting was originally scheduled for March 3rd but had to be rescheduled due to the snow.

You can see the presentation here.

































Downtown Chappaqua Infrastructure and Streetscape Improvement Project

On Tuesday, WSP Sells presented their preliminary designs for the sewer, water, stormwater and streetscape improvements for downtown Chappaqua. WSP identified improvements which reduce flooding, improve pedestrian safety and improve traffic circulation. They are proposing that the Town undertake interim traffic improvements such as installing a stop sign at the intersection of King Street and Greeley Avenue. WSP is also examining options to reduce the visual impact of the power lines downtown, through burial of power lines and increasing the pole height. Specific recommendations for all areas under study (sewer, water, stormwater, traffic and streetscape) will be presented to the Town Board during their April 7th work session.A link to their presentation will be posted to the Town's website in the near future.

Conversation with the Supervisor

The League of Women Voters of New Castle hosted their conversation with the Supervisor on Tuesday. Here is the video:

Conversation with Supervisor Greenstein 3/10/15 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.

Metro North Railroad Crossing 

See Tracks? Think TrainLast Monday, Congresspersons Nita Lowey and Sean Patrick Maloney joined myself, town council members Adam Brodsky and Lisa Katz, Westchester County Legislator Mike Kaplowitz, Town Administrator Jill Shapiro, Superintendent Lyn McKay, board of education members Karen Visser, Victoria Tipp and Warren Messner, and Police Chief Charles Ferry for a press conference at the Roaring Brook Road railroad crossing. Congresspersons Maloney and Lowey spoke of their dedication to improving safety at rail crossings. Congressman Maloney spoke of the Rail Crossings Safety Improvement Act, which he introduced following the February 3 fatal Metro-North collision, which invests in state and local governments' efforts to build bridges or tunnels to improve the safety of grade crossings. Two days later, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act by a vote of 316-101. The bill now moves to the Senate.

New York State Senator Terrence Murphy recently wrote a letter to the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation urging them to return the Metro-North Harlem Line grade crossing at Roaring Brook Road/Saw Mill River Parkway to the TIP list and make it a high priority. You can read the full letter here.

Sewage Diversion Project - Meeting with Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos 2e20099e-41ba-4a88-a69d-14acc18a3b54

On Wednesday, I was in Albany and met with Senator Terrence Murphy and Robert Mujica, Chief of Staff to Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, requesting the $10 million needed for the Sewage Diversion Project to prevent sewage discharge into the Croton and Kensico watershed basins. The Town is requesting $10 million that will complete the financing package for their Sewage Diversion Project for sewage discharged into the Croton and Kensico watershed basins. This project will bring the town into compliance with watershed protection regulations to protect New York City's drinking water as well as drinking water for Westchester County residents. Westchester County has committed $10 million from the EOH Water Quality Investment Program. The NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has committed an additional $6 million from the Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade Program.


According to our Town Administrator's contract, the Supervisor, Town Board and Town Administrator are supposed to define such goals and performance objectives. This year, we have done that. In the near future, we will be preparing a spreadsheet listing the goals and documenting our progress. I will briefly discuss some of those goals

  • Metro North railroad & Saw Mill River bridge
  • Railroad crossing safety
  • Master Plan Update
  • Downtown infrastructure
  • Design Standards - Work with ARB to create design standards for Town of New Castle
  • Town Building Code – Examine current code provisions to identify ways to streamline and make more business friendly
  • Millwood Garden
  • Millwood Pedestrian and Safety Improvements (i.e. sidewalks)
  • Road repaving project - for 2016 bonding
  • Emergency Operations Plan - Finalize/Update
  • Chap Line
  • Dog Park - scope/development
  • Website
  • Coyote Policy for Town
  • Commuter parking lot - escalating fine policy
  • Plastic bag ban
  • WiFi Downtown Chappaqua
  • Work with CCSD Finance Committee to help promote common goals
  • Work with CCSD Greeley's Senior Experience Program


In the 2015 budget, the 1st budget of the current Town Board, we increased our road paving / permanent improvements budget from $400,000 to $600,000. This winter was brutal, and our roads will be a mess. In my opinion, our roads must be a priority. I have asked our Town Comptroller to see if there are any projects that can be delayed so we can focus on pothole repair. Jill Shapiro discusses potholes and road repaving in her Administrator's Report. You can report potholes by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Distracted Driving

259 Distracted Driving tickets were issued from 10/1/2014 to 3/6/2015. During the same period last year, 9 tickets were issued

You can also watch the Supervisor's Report on video here.

Town Supervisor's Report 3/10/15 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo


Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 2/10/15


By Rob Greenstein

Metro North Accident

On behalf of the Town of New Castle, we want to express our sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of Joseph Nadol of Ossining, Robert Dirks of Chappaqua and Ellen Brody, who worked at a local jewelry store.

Joseph Nadol, 42, of Ossining, is survived by his wife Jen and his three young sons. Robert Dirks, 36, of Chappaqua is survived by his wife Christine and his two young children, ages 2 and 5. Ellen Brody, 49, is survived by her husband Alan and three daughters in their teens and 20s.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to these three as well as to all victims and all affected by this tragedy. I would like to thank all first responders and emergency workers for their response and assistance in dealing with this tragic incident. The flag at town hall will remain at half-staff until Friday to honor of the victims of this tragic accident.

Metro North Service

In the aftermath of the accident, Town Administrator Jill Shapiro and I did our best to persuade Metro North to provide shuttle service to North White Plains. We spoke to every politician we could. Special thanks to Mike Kaplowitz, Terrence Murphy, George Oros and Mark Mannix, MTA Director of Government & Community Relations, for their assistance and understanding! After coming to the realization that Metro North shuttle service would not be forthcoming, we developed a plan to provide our own shuttle buses with Chappaqua Transportation. We also decided it would be best to shuttle residents to/from the Ossining Metro North station, instead of North White Plains or White Plains. Special thanks to Joan and Seth Corwin of Chappaqua Transportation for working with the town, and being so understanding when we cancelled at the last minute because service on Metro North resumed. Lastly, special thanks to Jill for making TONS of calls and setting up the bus service, and New Castle Comptroller Rob Deary for suggesting Ossining as station of choice.

Train Overpass

Over this past week, we sent letters to U.S Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Representative Nita M. Lowey requesting the Federal Government to construct the Roaring Brook Road Railway and Parkway Overpass to eliminate the railroad grade crossing in the Town of New Castle located within half a mile of Horace Greeley High School. The benefit of constructing a bridge at this crossing to the safety of the public - travelling by car or train – is clear. There is sufficient land. The need to build is clear. The time has come to build the Roaring Brook Road overpass, which in addition to alleviating a dangerous train crossing, will also remove a traffic lighted intersection on the Saw Mill River Parkway and will ease traffic congestion. It is beyond the Town's resources to construct this bridge and federal aid should immediately be made available for the design and construction of the overpass. You can read the full letter here. If you support this effort, I would encourage you to send an email or write a letter to The Honorable Kirsten Gillibrand, The Honorable Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Representative Nita M. Lowey. Click here for contact info.


Speaking of safety, I am happy to report that our recreation commission unanimously voted to mandate helmets at our town parks for sledding. The Town Board will soon be confirming this requirement. We are working on signage for the parks. Our liability insurance carrier certainly supports the idea. We have already placed over thirty more hay bales at Gedney Park. Click here to see our sledding tips.


I would like to remind residents why the Town Board formed the advisory committees. Last year, we received reports from residents and our Police Department that coyote sightings and interactions were on the rise. Some residents reported having their pets taken by coyotes, and others expressed safety concerns abut their children and pets. Based on this feedback, I encouraged several residents to form an advisory committee to help the Town Board gather information about best practices for dealing with coyotes.

In attempting to form an advisory committee, it quickly became apparent that individuals would approach the task with very strong views about conservation and coexisting with wildlife. For that reason, the Town Board took the somewhat unconventional step of forming two advisory committees. The resolutions forming both coyote committees recognized that coyote sightings have markedly increased in the Town, and our residents have reported having their dogs attacked and killed by coyotes.

Starting with that premise, both committees were asked to study and make recommendations to the Town Board on ways to increase community awareness about coyotes and minimize the risk of coyote attacks on pets. Both committees were asked to develop strategies and information relating to coyote hazing, conflict deterrents, behavior modification, what to do when sightings occur, and when trapping may be necessary. Both committees worked incredibly hard, and I would like to thank the members for their time and effort.

I anticipate that the Town Board will set aside time at a future work session to discuss the information and recommendations we receive from our advisory committees. After that step, we will adopt a plan – most likely with contributions from each committee. This wasn't a competition and should not be viewed as such. The winners will be the residents of New Castle who will take comfort in the fact that their elected officials are looking out for the safety, the safety of their pets and quality of life. You can read my full statement here.

Master Plan

I am happy to report that the Town Board appointed Gregg Sanzari to the Master Plan Steering Committee. Gregg is a West End resident, and member of the Millwood-West End Advisory Committee. We thank Dick Brownell for his prior service.