Town Board – Supervisor’s Report – 2019 – 2nd Quarter Review
I have said it again and again: it is truly an honor to serve the citizens of New Castle. From the start, I have believed 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 and planning for the future.
- Downtown Chappaqua Infrastructure and Streetscape Project Update
- Downtown Chappaqua Rezoning
- Discover Chappaqua
- Basketball Court & Playground
- Chappaqua Crossing
- Recreational Marijuana
- New Castle Holocaust Memorial
- Distracted Driving
- Leaf Blower Environmental Protection Law
- Gun Violence
- Westchester County Airport
- InterGenerate Community Garden at Millwood
- LED Lights
- Workers Compensation Savings
- Chief Charles Ferry
- Chief James Carroll
- Thank You Chappaqua Station
Downtown Chappaqua Infrastructure and Streetscape Project Update
Town Hall to the Shell Station is done including the installation of a new fence. Library to Bank of America is done. South Greeley by traffic triangle is done. Lower King is essentially done including the alley way & bluestone patio by Casa Tile. Allen Place is done. All of North Greeley is done with the exception of the area near Sotheby’s. Much of South Greeley is done but we many gaps in the new sidewalks. That reason is that we are waiting for NYSDOT approval for ADA compliance before pouring sidewalks at a few locations, such as by Eye Gallery, ICD, Local, Whispering Pines & Bank of America. This approval comes after the curbs are installed & involves reviewing redesigned steps into those stores. We also cannot pour new sidewalks until some trench drains are installed by Starbucks and Pizza Station. As far as upper King from South Greeley to Senter Street (Family Britches side), they started to excavate & install new drainage. Our 1st pedestrian beacon is currently installed. The other 3 pedestrian beacons will be installed at the following locations.
- By Pizza Station to Bank of America
- By Lange’s
- By Route 100/bike path
These beacons, along with our new crosswalks, bump-outs & traffic light will make it safer and more enjoyable to walk around our downtown! Please remember to check the Town of New Castle website for all updates. To date, there have been 47 updates.
Downtown Chappaqua Rezoning
We issued a Request for Proposals (“RFP”) to update our zoning so it’s consistent with the 2017 Comprehensive Plan – which calls for a new and more vibrant mix of retail and residential uses within the hamlets. We awarded the zoning RFP to Kimley-Horn. The goal of our new zoning is to encourage and support a sustainable retail and residential downtown Chappaqua. Our consultant will complete a high-level market and financial development analysis to assist in creating the new zoning code. They will explore various development approaches and densities. The Consultant Team will recommend strategies such as programming events and suggestions of attractions to bring people downtown to support retail and add to the attraction of Chappaqua as a place to live, educate, and play, overall improving the tax base in New Castle. The work is projected to last for 12-15 months. As far as the actual re-zoning, we’ve already held 3 working group meetings. Read more about the Chappaqua Hamlet Rezoning Project and watch the meetings here.
New Castle Comprehensive Plan
Late last year, we enacted a 6 month moratorium. The moratorium was enacted to allow adequate time for the Town Board to implement new retail and commercial zoning legislation for the Chappaqua hamlet which is consistent with the 2017 Comprehensive Plan goals, which establishes the goal of creating a new and more vibrant mix of retail and residential uses through new land use regulations. We extended the moratorium for another 6 months.
The Town Board approved funding for content for a brand new web site the town is planning called Discover Chappaqua. A site similar to this. For the content we are collaborating with Grace Bennett of Inside Press. This Discover Chappaqua website that will highlight all that Chappaqua has to offer – a great place to shop, eat & live. The web site will also highlight the streetscape improvements. The web site launch will coincide with a ribbon cutting celebration in downtown Chappaqua when the streetscape improvements are completed.
New Castle Basketball Court & Playground
Construction of our new expanded, inclusive playground and basketball court behind Town Hall is currently scheduled to start in September. The 84-by-50-foot court will be located in the back corner of the lot near Recreation Field. We plan to use the basketball court for pickleball as well. Additional parking will be added to the front parking lot at Town Hall to offset the loss of spaces in the back. The basketball court and playground are expected to take about three months to complete. Request for Proposals for the new basketball court and inclusive playground were released.
We issued Request for Proposals for the multi-use trail which would connect Chappaqua Crossing to downtown Chappaqua. We authorized the acceptance of the bid for the Chap-Line feasibility study to Barton & LoGuidice.
Work continues on 117. Work is expected to be completed by 7/20. The Town Board approved the opening of the remaining retail once the road improvements are completed to the satisfaction of our Commissioner of Public Works & Town Engineer (with the new turning lanes fully operational) while they await for final administrative approval from NYS DOT. Brush along 117 by Whippoorwill was cleared to help the sight lines! ROCKS Jewelry Gifts Home opened. Extremely proud to receive an award on behalf of New Castle from the Westchester Municipal Planning Federation for the integrated housing in the Cupola building at Chappaqua Crossing. It was noted that…..The creative renovation of this iconic building at the heart of the 114 acre former Reader’s Digest campus resulted in 64 integrated mixed income residential apartments. The adaptive re-use of the building now provides affordable, workforce and market rate housing options while contributing to the successful mixed-use re-development of the property. Congratulations to the Town Board, Planning Board & Sabrina D. Charney Hull, our Director of Planning.
We passed a resolution amending our vape law to include the same restrictions for the retail distribution, sale or offer for consumption of recreation marijuana. Marijuana Dispensaries, as well as Vape Shops, are now prohibited within 2,000 feet of the lot line of any school, 500 feet of any park, playground, library or religious institution & no more than one Marijuana Dispensary &/or Vape Shop shall be located on any lot or within 1,000 feet of any other Marijuana Dispensary/Vape Shop.
New Castle Holocaust Memorial
We are planning a Holocaust Memorial in Town. The main location under consideration is by the Gazebo. We met with Manzer Landscaping who is donated their services. Thank you to Ali Rosenberg & Stacey Saiontz for their commitment & work on this incredibly important initiative. Great article in The Examiner.
I was extremely proud to take part in a Textalyzer Roundtable on April 29th in Albany. The Textalyzer is a mobile use detection technology for drivers involved in an accident. This event was sponsored by NYS Senator Shelley B. Mayer. Senator Mayer is also sponsoring legislation to establish a pilot program for field testing using the Textalyzer.
Leaf Blower Environmental Protection Law
After multiple public hearings and lots of written comments, our incredible Sustainability Advisory Board (“SAB”) has developed a revised solution. We held another public hearing on 6/11. One again, we heard lots of great feedback. Our next public hearing is 07/16. The revised leaf blower legislation permits gas-powered leaf blowers during October thru May but only permits electric leaf blowers in the summertime. Eliminating gas-powered leaf blowers in the summer will reduce air pollutants & reduce noise levels. As far as greenhouse gases, it is estimated that with this proposal over 135 metric tons of CO2 annually will be saved from the atmosphere. Click here to see the SAB Report – Leaf Blower Environmental Protection Law April 2019. Click here to read the Draft law.
The Town Board passed a resolution declaring the first Friday in June to be National Gun Violence Awareness Day – a day to honor and remember all victims and survivors of gun violence and to declare that we as a country must do more to reduce gun violence. We also held a community gathering at the gazebo on Friday, June 7th, 6:30pm to show support for the effort to prevent the tragic effects of gun violence and to honor and value human lives and encourage responsible gun ownership.
Westchester County Airport
We had a very productive meeting with the County Executive to discuss New Castle issues with the Westchester County Airport. We asked for the engagement and funding of an independent consultant. County Executive George Latimer announced new noise and flight pattern analysis program. He held a press conference on June 5th here in Chappaqua announcing a new portable noise monitor at a Chappaqua home. In response to our request, the County Executive announced a new agreement with a consultant to analyze historical noise data & flight patterns. As well, the County Executive signed two Executive Orders – he reinstated groundwater testing for pollutants and banned the use of PFAS at the airport. We also held a meeting with a representative from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s office. Read more about our airport committee’s work here.
InterGenerate Community Garden at Millwood
The Millwood InterGenerate Community Garden is open! This garden, which consists of 30 raised beds and is located at the base of Sand Street in Millwood, is a great collaboration between the Town of New Castle and InterGenerate.
Our street light conversion to LEDs is complete! We replaced over 400 fixtures throughout Town. Thanks to DPW for their amazing work on this important project.
Workers Compensation Savings
We are renewing our workers compensation policy for 2019-2020. The savings over last year’s policy will be $63.036. Since 2014 Foa & Son Co has reduced the Town’s workers compensation costs by $1,575,047!
Chief Charles Ferry
After 35 years on the New Castle Police force, including the last 10 as Chief of Police, I am sorry to report that Chief Charles Ferry is retiring effective June 28, 2019. Of course, because he’ll have time to enjoy his family and not be on constant 24-hour call, Chief Ferry may not share my disappointment! Chief Ferry has served the Town of New Castle with professionalism, integrity and honor. Under Chief Ferry’s leadership, we have assembled a diverse police force of outstanding professionals. The women and men who served under Chief Ferry have responded to the full spectrum of situations, keeping all of New Castle safe and secure. On a personal level, I have really enjoyed working with the Chief over the last 5 ½ years. We’ve collaborated on a number of public safety initiatives including our nationally-recognized “Hands off the Phone and On the Wheel” initiative. Those efforts, including the distracted driver diversion course, will be part of the Chief’s legacy. Chief Ferry leaves our police department in great shape for his successor, Lieutenant James Carroll, who will be surrounded by a great team. On behalf of the residents of New Castle, I thank Chief Ferry for his service and wish him the very best.
Chief James Carroll
Chief Carroll has been with New Castle for over 25 years. He started as a police Officer in 1993. He was a field training officer for 5 years, Sergeant from 2004- 2016 and Lieutenant since 2016. He has more than 15 years of police supervisory experience. He has been & will continue to be an asset to the Town. We wish Chief Carroll great success in his tenure as Chief of Police. Congrats!
Thank You Chappaqua Station
The Town Board has consented to the assignment of the Chappaqua Station lease to Bobo’s Café from Somers. Check out their menu here. I know my daughter is looking forward to their pitaya bowls & smoothies! Thank you Chappaqua Station for a beautiful renovation of the space & serving the community for the past 4 years.These are the highlights of the matters of Town-wide concern that we have been addressing recently. As I noted at the beginning, a responsive Town government listens, responds and communicates. We work for you, our fellow residents! As we look ahead, I will continue to work hard and get things done that benefit our entire community.