New Castle Supervisor’s Report – March 26, 2019
Supervisor, New Castle
Chappaqua – The Best Place to Buy a House in New York!
Chappaqua was determined to be the #1 best place in all of New York State to buy a home!
Chappaqua Interfaith Council for an Interfaith Vigil
I was honored to speak at the Chappaqua Interfaith Council community-wide vigil last Wednesday. Here are my remarks:
This is not the first time that we gathered to mourn victims of senseless violence. This is not the first time that we that we gathered to offer up our sympathies. Today, we are here because our thoughts and sympathies go out to the victims of the violence in New Zealand. Innocent people murdered simply because of their faith. And, I’m afraid, that it is inevitable that it won’t be the last time I say these things. It won’t be the last time we gather for a vigil. It won’t be the last time we send our thoughts and sympathies to the victims. And it won’t be the last time we have to cope with these types of loses. We must do more to prevent these senseless tragedies. We must take a stand to unite against gun violence. I commend New Zealand for having a strong leader willing to make the necessary changes. I commend New York State leaders for recently passing common-sense gun safety legislation. We must make our voices heard and demand that all of our national leaders focus on real national emergencies like gun violence. We also must take local action. Let’s be honest with each other, our conversations are mostly inspired by tragedy. When we gather to mourn. Every day we must follow the lead and actions of the Chappaqua Interfaith Council. The very existence of the Chappaqua Interfaith Council should inspire us & make us proud. We must practice and talk to each other about tolerance. We must teach our children about respect of those who may not share their religious beliefs or sexual orientation. We must live and create a culture and atmosphere of acceptance and tolerance. We must embrace these themes, every day, not just when these outrages are committed. We all have a role to play. We must take a stand against hatred, prejudice, rage and gun violence – and the tragedy it brings. Those are our national emergencies. Our voices must be heard, and we cannot stop until they are.
Click here to read more about the event.
Downtown Chappaqua Infrastructure and Streetscape Project Update
Work has resumed. We are currently installing new curbing, footings & electrical conduits for the new decorative light poles & new sidewalks from Town Hall to the Shell Station (on the town hall side). As I mentioned several times over the past few months, Sam Schwartz Engineering, our traffic and transportation planning and engineering firm, will be studying and providing an opinion regarding making lower King into a two-way street. Please keep in mind that a traffic light is coming to the intersection of King & South Greeley (by Starbucks). Sam Schwartz has already determined that two-way traffic on lower King Street is geometrically feasible. We also know that with 2-way traffic on both lower King & Allen Place would result in no loss of parking spots – the loss of ten (10) spots on lower King would be offset by gaining (10) additional spaces on Allen Place. We are now doing an operational feasibility analysis. They will perform the following tasks:
- Analyze trip generation and distribution to determine added demand to lower King Street eastbound
- Perform operational Analysis of King Street (NY 120) / Lower King Street / Greeley Avenue and Woodburn Avenue / Greeley Avenue intersections
- Revise traffic signal plans and timing for King Street (NY 120) / Lower King Street / Greeley Avenue Intersection; recommendations for Woodburn Avenue / Greeley Avenue intersection
- Evaluate traffic circulation for the retail / Metro North Station parking sites
- Conduct public and stakeholder meetings
There’s a lot of precedent for changing a one-way street into a two-way street to help revitalize downtowns. Please remember to check the Town of New Castle website for all updates.
As I mentioned several months ago, 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 received 4 responses. We interviewed two firms on March 15th, and will do further interviews March 19th & March 29th.
We issued a Request for Proposals “RFP” for a feasibility study for the “ChapLine – a proposed multi-use pedestrian trail between downtown Chappaqua and Roaring Brook Road. The good news is that this path already exists! Less than a decade ago a dirt roadway was built to allow for truck access for the installation of a new sewer line extending from North Greeley Avenue north to Roaring Brook Road. This trail remains in decent shape and hopefully could be upgraded cost-effectively to a public pedestrian/bicycle path that would help revitalize downtown Chappaqua. We are soliciting services of qualified engineering and landscape architectural firms with considerable experience for multi-use trail design and construction. The requested phased services shall encompass all phases of a comprehensive multi-use trail design and construction plans, including conceptual plans, construction plans, bid documents, implementation, and construction administration, as well as funding opportunities, including identifying appropriate grants and assisting to submit a successful grant application. It is estimated that the ChapLine would connect over 400 households to downtown Chappaqua, and it’s 100% consistent with the updated 2017 Comprehensive Plan.
Joan Corwin Way
Last night the Town Board approved the following resolution:
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that in appreciation and recognition of her service to the children and greater community of New Castle, the Town hereby renames Hunts Lane to Joan Corwin Way effective September 3, 2019.
The reason for the September effective date is to give time for all businesses and property owners on Hunts Lane, the Town emergency services, all Town Departments, Westchester County 911, the NYS Police, mapping companies to prepare for the street name change.
Cut in Aim Funding
The Town Board wrote a letter to Senator Peter Harckham & Assemblyman David Buchwald thanking them for fighting against the $59 million cut to the AIM program which, if enacted, would take $87,471 in critical resources away from the Town of New Castle. We asked that State Legislature not only restore the $59 million in AIM funding but also provide an increase in municipal aid for the first time in a decade.
Pooper Scooper Law
New Castle now has a Pooper Scooper Law! This law applies to any common thoroughfare. sidewalk, passageway, bypath, play area, park or any other property. These restriction shall also apply to private property (for other people’s dogs, not your own). It’s unfortunate that it’s necessary but hopefully this will encourage people to clean up after their dogs.
We previously passed a new rule prohibiting smoking in our public parks. We also passed a local law raising the age to purchase tobacco & vape product from 18 to 21. As well, we passed a local law regulating the location of vape shop. We prohibited vape shops 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 vape shall be located on any lot or within 1,000 feet of any other vape shop. We are now considering amending our vape law to include the same restrictions for the retail distribution, sale or offer for consumption of recreation marijuana. Last night we opened our public hearing, and adjourned it to April 30th. We also wrote a letter to Senator Peter Harckham & Assemblyman David Buchwald expressing our concerns re: recreational marijuana.
Wasted Movie Screening
Come to a free movie screening of “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste” on Sunday, March 31, 2019, 2 PM – 5 PM, Chappaqua Performing Arts Center, 480 N Bedford Rd, Chappaqua. This is a great collaborative effort sponsored by the New Castle Sustainability Board (“SAB”), League of Women Voters of New Castle, Greeley Environmental Club S.T.O.P. & Friends of the Chappaqua Performing Arts Center. This movie aims to change the way people buy, cook, recycle, and eat food. Through the eyes of famous chefs audiences will see how the world’s most influential chefs make the most of every kind of food, transforming what most people consider scraps into incredible dishes that create a more secure food system.