SAVE DOWNTOWN CHAPPAQUA - Say NO to a Strip Mall @ Chappaqua Crossing!
This petition had 827 supporters
Allowing over 120,000 square feet of retail space at the Chappaqua Crossing location, including at least one tenant the size of a typical WalMart, is the wrong direction for New Castle and should not be allowed by the Town Board. We believe that this will negatively impact the surrounding neighborhoods, will put our children in danger, and will pose a significant threat to the long-term viability of our historic business districts. Instead, the Town Board should focus on strengthening retail operations in our current downtown hamlets.
1. New Castle does not own the land at Chappaqua Crossing. Rezoning the area to allow for a retail area TWICE AS LARGE as current downtown Chappaqua will set a terrible precedent, and New Castle will not be able to control the future tenants on the site. Also, if the area is rezoned for a large supercenter/market and numerous other large retail stores, and the supercenter/market and other stores decided not to go in, or subsequently failed, the opportunity for any type of commercial retail establishment would exist. If the Town were to establish commercial zones, the tenants become a subject of negotiation between the landlord and the proposed tenant, not the Town. Do we really need more nail salons, a WalMart, a McDonald's with neon signs and another drug store? Transforming a beautiful property into a retail strip mall would forever ruin the beauty of the town.
2. Creating a retail strip mall at Chappaqua Crossing will destroy our downtowns. It will serve to create yet a third business district (downtowns for Chappaqua and Millwood being the other two) - one that could provide unfair competition to existing merchants. Based on information discussed and the new zoning requirements proposed by the Town Board, in addition to a 60,000 square foot anchor store, there will be other large merchants (approximately 5000 square feet each, with the potential for combining of stores) and will likely include ANOTHER dry cleaner, another pizza/food shop -- all the typical shops in a shopping strip anchored by a supercenter/supermarket -- as well as, according to the Town Board, a Verizon Wireless shop and other type stores. This will draw even more shoppers away from the downtown Chappaqua shopping hamlet, a place we need to support if we want local merchants at all. Our current, quaint downtown has seen a resurgence of new restaurants and retail shops, but it still needs a lot of work. We have to build our town downtown and support our current merchants. Current retailers, such as our local Village Market, have stepped up and opened on the weekend to serve the needs of our community -- lets give our existing local businesses a chance to meet our needs.
3. A&P is already close by, as is Mrs. Green's, Stop & Shop, and other large retailers like Target. Data indicates that our town does not have the capacity to support another large chain market.
4. There are other alternatives to increasing our tax base that the the Town Board needs to explore, with community input, before even considering re-zoning Chappaqua Crossing. There is a Master Plan being devised for New Castle -- why not consider the development that can be done downtown, in the location of the current Town Hall and police department, for example, as a cohesive and well-considered alternative, on land that the Town CAN control, first?
5. Traffic patterns and the nature of the traffic would be a DANGEROUS negative-- trucks and deliveries at all hours would also change the nature of the predominantly residential area and make an already burdened traffic situation worse. Deliveries can't be made via the Saw Mill Parkway, which is barred to commercial traffic, so all the trucks would have to access the strip mall via 117. The intersection already is a dangerous one, and the change in traffic pattern would worsen the already troublesome traffic safety concerns for residents with numerous accidents and 17-year old drivers trying to negotiate traffic on the way to the High School. All it would take is for one delivery truck to get a flat tire or one of the hundreds of cars heading to/from the new strip mall to break down, and traffic would be lined up miles in either direction. What if an ambulence needs to get through? With no turning lanes in either direction at 117 & Reader's Digest Road? The impact that a significant increase in commercial traffic would have on a severely constricted intersection and its approaches has never been fully recognized or addressed by the Town or the Chappaqua Crossing developers. Absent a huge and costly re-engineering of both site entrances and lane turning traffic controls at Route 117 & Roaring Brook Road, no additional commercial development should proceed.
6. The safety of our children is at risk. We may not be able to protect our children, specifically those at the High School and local children in surrounding neighborhoods, from accidents resulting from constant traffic at the strip mall across the street, nor from persons who may loiter around a strip mall.
7. A retail strip mall at Chappaqua Crossing will significantly and negatively impact the very nature of the surrounding neighborhoods. It will also bring in rats and other vermin, potential hazardous chemical issues, sewage issues, pollution, noise and safety concerns to local residents who call this RESIDENTIAL neighborhood their home.
Let's show the Town Board that re-zoning Chappaqua Crossing for a strip mall is a reactionary step to settle a lawsuit with a litigious developer, and a poorly reasoned and researched idea that does not take their local constituents, the businesses and residents of New Castle, into account!
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