When the Planning Board convened on the evening of October 2, it faced a full agenda. Ordinary items including exterior lighting at Chase and a residential swimming pool were quickly dispatched. Next, the Planning Board turned to consider an issue at Chappaqua Crossing and a lengthy and learned discussion ensued. The Planning Board deliberated the proposal to amend chapter 60 of the town code to allow retail stores to operate in a research and business district. This issue had been referred by the Town Board to the Planning Board.
One of the major talking points focused on the 50,000 square foot grocery store, a potential anchor tenant of the retail mix. Board member Sheila Crespi raised the question about the potential impact of the proposed change on the rest of the town: “I feel that this is introducing a third community area into New Castle. This is a very significant change to the development of our town,” she noted. The Board then examined the possibility of decreased patronage of the stores in Chappaqua and Millwood.
Reaction to the proposed changes in the community at Chappaqua Crossing are mixed. Although there are residents who favor an addition to the local retail environment, there are also many who remain opposed. Michelle Lee voiced a common concern: “I don’t know if we need another grocery store.” “There’s too much traffic as it is and we have a lot of options,” she continued.
The debate will continue at the meeting of the Town Board on October 30. The public is invited to attend.