New Castle Supervisor’s Report – 5/29/2019
Supervisor, New Castle
Memorial Day Parade
Thank you to Peter Gaudet, our new Grand Marshall. Thank you also to James Mccauley, Jr. for his 19 straight years of service, and continued guidance this year. Thank you as well to the Memorial Day Committee: Barbara Jenkel, Dave Egerton, Dr. Michael Finkelstein and Eric Rosenfeld. Thank you to Joanne Brady and Tara Ramirez. Thank you to New Castle Police Department for doing an incredible job at the parade. And, thank you to Town Administrator Jill Shapiro, Lauren Cascone & Kyra Slive for their help organizing the parade & ceremony. Most importantly, thank you for keeping the focus on remembering and honoring those who died serving our country.
Thank You Girl Scouts
Thank you Girl Scouts for planting fresh plants into the flower bed by the Chappaqua Train Station so that it looks pretty for our Memorial Day ceremony. Thank you William Raveis for donating the plants again.
Art Around Town – 5th Annual Opening Night
The Northern Westchester Artists Guild brings artists, patrons and merchants together in a celebration of culture and community to Chappaqua! Opening night is Thursday, May 30, 2019 from 5 PM – 8 PM
We opened our public hearing to extend the 6 month moratorium for downtown Chappaqua. This public hearing was adjourned to 6/4. As I mentioned two weeks ago, in November, 2018, the Town Board enacted a 6 month moratorium to allow adequate time to implement new retail and commercial zoning for the Chappaqua hamlet. We must update our zoning so it’s consistent with the goals of the 2017 Comprehensive Plan. Some of those goals include creating a new and more vibrant mix of retail, as well as facilitating the development of diverse housing that meets the needs of young people and older adults. Another goal is creating design guidelines for retail and commercial establishments. Since the adoption of the Moratorium, the Town Board has authorized creation and issuance of a Request For Proposals (RFP) for the Chappaqua Hamlet re-zoning. We released the RFP and, after a series of interviews, we awarded the contract to Kimley-Horn. Kimley-Horn has set forth a 12 to 15 month project timeframe with draft regulations ready by November/December of 2019. Since the current moratorium will expire on June 3, 2019, we are now considering extending it for another 6 months so that there will be time for development of new zoning regulations.
As far as the actual re-zoning, we established a working group. The working group consists of the Town Board, Planning Board, Randy Katchis, Steve Tavolacci & Bill Spade. We held our kick-off meeting on 5/23. Watch video here: https://vimeo.com/338299328. All work group meetings will be taped. Our Consultant also started meeting with stakeholders of the Chappaqua Hamlet. Our next work group meeting will be June 10th.
Downtown Chappaqua Infrastructure and Streetscape Project Update
As far as North Greeley, granite curbing was installed by Susan Lawrence. Decorative light fixtures were also installed. The sidewalks by Susan Lawrence are graded, and ready for sidewalks. The sidewalks were poured on Tuesday, and installing the sidewalks will continue on Wednesday. They will place the concrete for the pavers on Thursday & Friday. They will installing brick pavers the following week on Wed, Thurs & Fri.
As far as lower King, granite curbing was installed. Decorative light fixtures were also installed. They started grading the sidewalk. This week they will continue to grade the sidewalk & start pouring the sidewalks on Wednesday. They also excavated the alley on lower King, It was graded and concrete was poured.
As far as Allen Place, they excavated the existing curb & sidewalk. This week they will form & place the concrete curb & grade for the sidewalk. The sidewalk will be installed next week.
As far as South Greeley, this week they will be working at night excavating the existing curb & sidewalk from the triangle to lower King (Starbucks side). During the day they will be grading for the granite curb and installing conduits & light pole footings. Next week, working at night, they will be excavating the existing curb & sidewalk on South Greeley from Woodburn to upper King. During the day they will be grading for the granite curb and installing conduits & light pole footings.
Work on 117 continues. As I mentioned two weeks ago, just as we experienced delays due to underground utility conflicts with our downtown project, so too have the developers at Chappaqua Crossing. They continue to work on the retaining wall along 117.
National Gun Violence Awareness Day – Wear Orange – June 7th
Last week 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. The resolution, being passed by communities across the country, notes that 100 Americans are killed by gun violence every day and on average there are nearly 13,000 gun homicides every year. Americans are 25 times more likely to be killed with guns than people in other high-income countries. In January 2013, Hadiya Pendleton, a teenager who marched in President Obama’s second inaugural parade, was tragically shot and killed just weeks later. To help honor Hadiya, a national coalition of organizations has designated the first Friday in June as National Gun Violence Awareness Day. National Gun Violence Awareness Day asks everyone who believes we can do more to save American lives from gun violence to do one simple thing: Wear Orange. Please join us for 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. Wear Orange!
Leaf Blower Environmental Protection Law
We have scheduled the public hearing for 6/11. 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. We discussed the new legislation at a work session on May 7th. Click here to see the SAB Report – Leaf Blower Environmental Protection Law April 2019.
You can also find a copy of the draft law here.
Westchester County Airport
Lots of progress on this front. A meeting with a representative from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s office was held on May 17th. Congresswoman Lowey has signed on as a co-sponsor of the Quiet Communities Act. This legislation, announced last year, would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reestablish an Office of Noise Abatement and Control. This legislation would empower the EPA to oversee airplane noise issues across the country. Westchester County has contracted with a leading airport noise consultant to conduct a noise study. County Executive George Latimer signed two Executive Orders – he reinstated groundwater testing for pollutants and banned the use of PFAS at the airport.
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 Basketball Court and Inclusive Playground
The bid for the new basketball court and inclusive playground were released. The bids are returnable on May 31. We hope to be able to start the project in early August.
Multi-Use Trail RFP
We received 2 responses to the RFP for the multi-use trail. The Town Board has reviewed the responses. The 2 potential candidates will be presenting to the Town Board & Chap Line Committee at an Executive Session on 6/4.
Reusable Bag Initiative
Thank you to our incredible Sustainability Advisory Board for drafting a letter to the County to express our support for a county-wide fee on paper bags in Westchester. New Castle letter dated 5-22-19 to Westchester County in support of county-wide fee on paper bags