New Castle Supervisor’s Report – 6/21/2017
Town Supervisor, New Castle
2017 New Castle Comprehensive Plan
The Town Board unanimously adopted the 2017 New Castle Comprehensive Plan, and we did it the right way – with community participation!
It’s been 28 years since the Town’s Comprehensive Plan was last updated. I would like to thank Sabrina Charney Hull, our Director of Planning, Samantha Leroy, our Assistant Town Planner, and our entire Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee – Maud Bailey, Gregg Sanzari, Bob Lewis & Chris Roberta – for their commitment, dedication & hard work on this massive undertaking. I would also like to thank our entire Town staff and PACE Land Use Law Center for their efforts in developing a draft Comprehensive Plan.
Over the past few years, residents and volunteers, planning consultants and advisory board members, Town staff and officials have worked collaboratively to develop our new Comprehensive Plan. Our Comprehensive Plan combines resident input with best planning practice to establish policies that will guide New Castle’s growth and governance over the next fifteen to twenty years.
This process involved an unprecedented amount of community input. The desires, hopes and opinions about New Castle form the basis of the document. The Town held seven public outreach sessions to encourage public participation and gather public input as to the priority issues, assets and challenges facing the Town in relation to its land use pattern.
Our Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee met with all of the Town’s Advisory Boards and Committees. Our steering committee received substantial input from the New Castle Planning Board, the New Castle Environmental Review Board, the New Castle Architectural Review Board, the New Castle Sustainability Advisory Board, the New Castle Beautification Advisory Board, the New Castle Historical Society and the New Castle Recreation Commission.
By February 2017, the Town’s Planning Department had completed a draft version of a proposed comprehensive plan and provided a copy thereof to the Town Board for review. The Town Board reviewed the aforementioned draft comprehensive plan, received comments from the Town Planning Board.
On April 18, 2017, the Town Board opened a public hearing on its draft comprehensive plan. The public hearing continued on April 25, 2017, May 9, 2017, May 17, 2017 and May 23, 2017. A total of five public hearings were held.
On May 23, 2017, the Town Board closed its public hearing but permitted written comments to be submitted through 12:00 noon on June 2, 2017.
The Town Board received and incorporated multiple comments and suggestions from the New Castle Planning Board, and we thank them for their incredibly helpful input.
The Town Board also received and considered the comments of the Westchester County Department of Planning. They noted that the proposed Comprehensive Plan is organized according to plan principles put forth by the American Planning Association. They noted that our proposed Comprehensive Plan is consistent with the County Planning Board’s long-range planning policies. They noted that our plan is more succinct than a traditional comprehensive plan, and acknowledged that this approach has allowed our plan to focus on the issues that matter most to our Town and allowed for the creation of a more user-friendly multi-disciplinary compressive plan. They commended the town for recommending that future growth to be directed towards the Town’s hamlet centers to create mixed-use environments containing housing at a range of price points. They commended the Town for placing a large emphasis on increasing the walkability of the hamlet centers through better pedestrian connections to transit. They also commended the Town for wanting to increase access between housing units and retail storefronts, which is highly consistent with Westchester 2025.
We received a letter from The League of Women Voters of New Castle which notes that they support the process followed in developing the draft Comprehensive Plan and recognizes that APA best practices were used to structure the Plan.
Pace Land Use Law Center, known for fostering collaborative decision-making techniques, has already started highlighting our comp plan. In fact, Pace is using our Comp Plan as a model approach in all of their discussions engagements. Other communities have already reached out to us for guidance.
This is a document we can all be proud of. This is truly a community based comprehensive plan!
Chappaqua Infrastructure/Streetscape Project
Our massive Infrastructure/Streetscape Project is on track! Stay tuned for the groundbreaking ceremony! We were just advised by the NYS Department of Transportation Permit Coordinator that our construction permit has been issued. We are waiting on one minor permit from the County and then work will begin. We hosted a pre-construction meeting last week with representatives from New Castle, NYS DOT, Police, engineering, DPW, CVAC, Chappaqua Bus, Con Ed, Creamer Construction, Boswell Engineering & ELQ.
In regard to Amazon buying Whole Foods, please keep in mind that Whole Foods is under contract at Chappaqua Crossing. I asked the developer if this has any impact on Chap Crossing and his response was….”No, good news, stronger credit now”. Whole Foods will continue to operate stores under its brand. I am happy to report that the long-awaited Greeley entrance improvements will begin on Monday, 6/26, and continue throughout the summer.
We finally received the NYSDOT work permit for sidewalk replacement for the 120 sidewalk up by Grafflin. We will now issue an RFP on the work. It is our intention to proceed in two phases.
- Phase 1: Grafflin to Old Lyme – to be completed this year 2017
- Phase 2: Old Lyme down to elm street – to be completed Spring 2018
Habitat for Humanity
Kudos to our Town Prosecutor Stu Miller and Jim Killoran from Habitat for Humanity. Stu was involved in the prosecution of a homeowner who ran into some hard times. His wife has been injured and two kids have muscular dystrophy. Rather than just prosecuting him, he helped him. Both Stu & Jim cleaned up his house. They helped his family and his neighbors will be happier. Click here to support Habitat for Humanity.
Shared Service Property Tax Savings Pan – Unfunded Mandates
Deputy Supervisor Adam Brodsky & myself attended a discussion last week regarding the Governor’s Shared Service Property Tax Savings Pan. Essentially the initiative requires counties to assemble local governments, hold public hearings and vote on a plan to share services such as trash pickup, information technology & purchasing. I think it’s fair to say that all local officials support municipalities sharing services and saving tax dollars. But, if we really want to help localities save money, we need to provide municipalities and school districts we must significantly reduce the burden of unfunded mandates. Unfunded Mandates from Washington and Albany cost Westchester County $1 billion dollars a year!
Parking on Weekends
I would like to remind residents that we have 1,300 parking spots in our commuter lot and parking is free from 6:01 pm Friday night until 5:59am on Mon. Many of us lived in NYC before moving to New Castle, walking 20 blocks was the norm. The walk from the commuter lot to Starbucks is about 5 blocks.
For those on Facebook, please follow my Supervisor’s Page, which can be found here. This is just another avenue to interact with the community, as well as share news, events and updates. As well, please like the Chappaqua Performing Arts Center Facebook page.