New Castle Supervisor’s Report – 11/27/18
Supervisor, New Castle
Third Annual Wine Around Town
The Chamber’s Third Annual Wine Around Town downtown shopping event will take place on Fri., December 7th, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm. This is a major town-wide community shopping event hosted by the Chamber of Commerce.
Downtown Chappaqua Infrastructure and Streetscape Project Update
Happy to announce that New Castle is getting a $459,802 grant for our water infrastructure improvements! Granite curbing & brand new sidewalks were installed on North Greeley from Bischoff to the post office. Granite curbing was also installed on South Greeley from Washington to Woodburn (library side).
The snow last week delayed the installation of the sidewalks at that location. They are being installed this week. Granite curbing on King Street from Greeley to the project limit was installed last week. Last week’s snow delayed the placing of asphalt on the sidewalk at that location.
As far as the parking on King Street by Petticoat Lane, Family Britches & Ibiza Kitchen (old Chap Tavern space) we are not losing any parking spaces at that location. This will be apparent when the yellow lines are relocated this week – when the roads are dry! The street will be 40’ wide – two 12’ wide travel lanes and two 8’ wide parking lanes. Please keep in mind the roadway geometry is consistent with NYS DOT Highway Design Standards. It was designed by our traffic engineers, and reviewed and approved by NYSDOT – it’s their road. The narrowed road is a traffic calming measure to encourage safer, more responsible driving and improve safety for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.
As far as final drainage work on North Greeley from lower King to Maple, we continue down North Greeley. As I mentioned several times over the course of the year, merchants and residents will not be inconvenienced for a second consecutive holiday shopping season – we are shutting down most of the operation from Thanksgiving until after the first of the year. Residents can look forward to new wider sidewalks, attractive new public spaces, new crosswalks and traffic/parking improvements that will make it safer and more enjoyable to walk around our downtown. This project will improve the overall aesthetic of our Chappaqua Hamlet and finally provide us with an infrastructure platform that will allow our downtown to grow and prosper.
Please remember to check the Town of New Castle website for all updates. If you would like to receive daily updates, please email me at RGreenstein@MyNewCastle.org
Ibiza Kitchen “may” open 12/1. Stay tuned. Last week the Town Board took 2 important steps to help revitalize downtown Chappaqua. First, we approved the issuance of a Request for Proposals (“RFP”) to update our zoning. We must update our zoning so it’s consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. For example, the 2017 Comprehensive Plan calls for more housing in downtown Chappaqua but our current zoning only allows for 1 floor of housing above retail. That needs to be changed. Another example, North Greeley is a prime area for more housing. Our zoning must reflect that.
The second step is we approved a moratorium. The moratorium will allow us to maintain the status quo in the Chappaqua hamlet while we study and implement new retail and commercial zoning legislation for the hamlet. The moratorium prevents the issuance of a building permit & sign permit. The moratorium only applies to spaces > 3,000 SF. As well, applications that were received on or before 10/30/18 will be able to proceed. This moratorium is retroactive to October 30th. You can read more about it here.
We approved a proposal for “Discover Chappaqua”. No doubt, the downtown construction has been tough for our merchants. This initiative will include a 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. This is being funded by a very small portion of the mitigation money from Chappaqua Crossing.
Work on Route 117 commenced this week. As far as the Roaring Brook Road traffic signal, power has been brought to the signal but Con Ed has not yet installed the meter. This light cannot function until the meter is in place. The developer is still working with Con Ed to remove the utility poles on Roaring Brook Road. Con Ed must also remove some poles on 117 to complete installation of new northbound and southbound turning lanes at intersection of Route 117 and RBR. The opening for Whole Foods is still scheduled for 12/12. The opening for Lifetime Fitness is now Jan, 2019.
2019 Preliminary Budget
The 2019 Preliminary Budget marks the 8th straight year that New Castle will stay within the 2% tax cap. We are staying within the cap while managing the $14.1 million borrowing necessary to replace water, sanitary sewer and storm water infrastructure in our downtown Chappaqua Hamlet. With carry-overs from prior years, the law allows us to raise taxes by more than one million dollars. Our tentative budget only proposes a tax increase of $484,336. This amounts to a $62 increase to the average resident. We have maintained almost a million dollars for our paving budget. Comptroller Rob Deary attended the public hearing on Nov. 27 & conducted his annual budget presentation. The Town Board will vote on the budget at our Dec 11th meeting. Here’s the link to the 2019 Preliminary Budget.
Seasonal Limitations on Motorized Leaf Blowers
As I mentioned several times since June, our Sustainability Advisory Board (“SAB”) has proposed legislation setting forth seasonal limitations regarding the use of motorized leaf blowers. Like many other towns, our SAB is recommending prohibiting the use of motorized blowers from May 15 through September 30. Our 1st public hearing was held on October 23rd. Our 2nd public hearing was November 13th. After hearing lots of great feedback from residents and landscapers, the SAB has requested that we adjourn our next public hearing – which was scheduled for December 4 – so they can rework the legislation. I would like to thank the SAB for their work on this initiative and their commitment to addressing environmental concerns.
Dual Stream Recycling
Starting January 1, 2019, we are going back to dual-stream recycling. As I mentioned a few week ago, the United States used to export much of its recycling waste to China. Unfortunately, China recently stopped taking this foreign recycled waste. This change has dramatically increased the cost to accept single stream recycling causing municipalities across the country to go back to dual-stream recycling. A flyer is being mailed to explain the change. You will hear much more about this over the next several weeks .