Town of New Castle Supervisor’s Report November 14, 2017

Town of New Castle Supervisor’s Report November 14, 2017

Rob Greenstein
Supervisor, New Castle
 

Town Election

Now that all the votes are counted, I would like to congratulate Ivy Pool & Lisa Katz on their victories. I said from the beginning, this election was about people, not politics. The voters made choices. I hope the voters focused on substance. I hope the voters focused on our town. I hope the voters focused on community.I also offer my congratulations to everyone who participated in this election. Democracy is at its best when it is not a spectator event. All of the candidates who put themselves out there appreciate that unless you’ve run for public office, you cannot understand the pressures, emotions and hard work that comes with campaigning. Theodore Roosevelt said that, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly.”

I have special remarks for one candidate, my fellow board member Adam Brodsky. Adam, it’s been an honor to be in the arena with you, because you certainly have those qualities President Roosevelt described. One day, we will all walk around our downtown – a re-invigorated, community oriented downtown – knowing there was 1 person most responsible, and that was you, my friend. My hope is that this December is not the last time we see you up here on this Board. New Castle needs you.

Adam, you symbolize the principle that local politics isn’t a competition for power. It certainly isn’t a chase for financial benefits. It is a chance to be responsible for the betterment of the community. The election is over. It’s time to come together. Together, we can accomplish great things. The community deserves no less from us. Let’s move forward.

 

Small Business Saturday

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated to supporting small businesses. There are so many reasons to support our merchants. Here are my top 10 reasons to Shop Local.

  1. Vibrant business districts help maintain high residential property values. Research shows that a healthy and vibrant business districts boosts the economic health and quality of life in a community. So, by shopping locally you’re actually benefitting yourself.
  2. Vibrant business districts help defray the residential share of the property tax. Much of their taxes goes directly to help fund our great schools.
  3. Small businesses contribute more to local causes and community groups. They support school and charitable causes year-round.
  4. Small businesses are more invested in the community’s future as many are owned by our neighbors.
  5. Small businesses offers personalized customer service and a local touch.
  6. Our New Castle small businesses sell unique products and quickly meet the needs of their local customers.
  7. Shopping Local keeps money in New Castle. The 3/50 Project asks consumers what 3 businesses they would miss if they closed and to commit to spending a total of $50 a month in one or more of those three establishments. For every $50 spent in locally owned stores, $34 returns to the community through payroll, other expenditures and taxes. If you spend $50 in a national chain, only $22 stays here. If you spend it online, $0 stays here.
  8. Shopping Local helps to sustain vibrant and walkable town centers in Millwood and Chappaqua.
  9. Shopping Local is an easy way for you to join New Castle’s environmental efforts – save money, save gas, save the environment!.
  10. When small businesses succeed, we all do!

Keeping and Raising of Chickens

Next week we will be voting to update our town code regarding the keeping and raising of chickens. From the beginning, we’ve been focused on the benefits of keeping of chickens for personal use while minimizing potential impacts on neighboring properties. We are also concerned about providing for the health and welfare of chickens. This has been a thorough and collaborative effort. Here are some highlights:

  • No more than 6 chickens shall be a permitted accessory use on lots of at least one acre, or in 1 acre zoning.
  • On lots of at least two acres, the keeping and raising of no more than 12 chickens shall be a permitted.
  • Any person wishing to keep chickens on residential property on one acre or two acre lots shall first obtain a permit from the Town Clerk and pay a fee, as set forth in the Town fee schedule.
  • Only female chickens, or hens, may be kept. The keeping of roosters is prohibited.
  • Chickens shall be provided with adequate food and water at all times.
  • All feed must be kept indoors in metal containers with metal covers, with securely fastened covers, at all times to minimize the infestation of rodents or problems with predators.
  • Chickens must be confined at all times to the chicken enclosure.
  • The coop and enclosures shall not be located in any front yard. Coops and enclosures must be located a minimum of 100 feet from any residence situated on an adjacent lot and outside the minimum setback of the district in which they are located.
  • Any person constructing a coop or enclosure must obtain a building permit from the Building Department.
  • The coop shall be covered and ventilated, and a fenced enclosure/run is required. The coop and enclosure must be completely secured from predators, including all openings, ventilation holes, doors and gates.
  • The keeping and raising of a maximum of 6 chickens shall be permitted on lots of at least ½ acre as a specially permitted accessory use subject to the review and approval of the Zoning Board of Appeals, subject to a public hearing with notice of the hearing to all abutting property owners. Coops and chicken enclosures shall not be located in any front yard. Coops and enclosure must be located a minimum of 80 feet from any residence situated on an adjacent lot and outside the minimum setback of the R-½A district.

 

Vape Law

The purpose of the proposed local law regulating vape shops is to reduce the negative secondary effects caused by vape shops and the impacts such shops have on adolescents who may believe that that e-cigarettes and vapor products pose little risk to health. It is important to regulate tobacco retail establishments on a local level to best protect the health and welfare of the community The proposed local law regulating vape shops defines “Vape Shops” as any retail outlet with 25% or more of its retail space devoted to selling or distributing electronic cigarettes or vapor products. Vape Shops may only be located in the Town’s Business or Industrial Districts subject to several distance restrictions from schools, parks, and other points of interest for children and families. The proposed local law prohibits the establishment of vape shops within 2,000 feet of the lot line of any school. The proposed local law also prohibits the establishment of vape shops within 500 feet of any park, playground, library or religious institution. Furthermore, no more than one vape shall be located on any lot or within 1,000 feet of any other Vape Shop. Thank you to councilman Jeremy Saland for raising this issue with the Town Board. 

Cell Service – Millwood

We are exploring putting a cell tower on the water treatment property in Millwood. This cell towner would be near the Con Ed transmission line towers which would reduce the visual impact. A balloon float is scheduled before the end of the year. To date, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T are interested in this site. The town would collect rent from Homeland Towers, while increasing cell service in Millwood. 

Westchester County Airport

I met with Congresswoman Nita Lowey’s office on Wednesday to discuss the increased number of low flying and loud aircraft from Westchester County Airport. We must focus on the problem at hand. The problem is the private & charter jets. The problem is the leases that are rubber stamped by the Westchester County Board of Legislators. Westchester County Airport is the third-busiest airport in terms of non-airline flights in the Country! According to the FAA, there were about 125,000 charter, air taxi, and private flights at Westchester Airport in 2014 – this represents 82 percent of the total takeoffs and landings there! Current noise and environmental issues must be addressed now, before airport privatization is even considered. We need a full accounting of all airport activities including the environmental impact of the current operations of the airport. Currently, local elected officials are not involved in the process regarding changes in airport operations, including the approval of new leases for private & charter jets. Local officials must be involved in the decision making process. We must be included as interested parties. It’s effecting our quality of life. Once again, I encourage residents to contact Michael Kaplowitz, our representative on the Board of Legislators kaplowitz@westchesterlegislators.com. As well, report airport noise using the following form

Millwood Sidewalk Improvement Project

Last night we awarded the bid for engineering services for the Millwood Sidewalk Improvement Project. Some of the tasks involved include: preparation of preliminary design plans, NYSDOT work permit, preparation of construction & bid documents, bidding process, construction management & inspection services and record drawings. 

Senior Center – New Carpet

New carpet has been installed!