Town of New Castle Open House on July 23 Spotlights Hamlet Rezoning Plan

Chappaqua Hamlet Rezoning

Town of New Castle will be holding an “Open House” (2:00-4:00PM & 6:00-8:00PM) for the community to come hear about and discuss Chappaqua’s new Form-Based Code on Tuesday, July 23

On June 21, 2017, after a multi-year public outreach process, the Town of New Castle adopted its Comprehensive Plan Update, “A Framework for New Castle”. The Town’s Comprehensive Plan Update sets forth specific goals to “preserve the Town’s bucolic, residential character and its historic resources while promoting new mixed-use development in the hamlets to meet the community’s housing needs and fostering thriving commercial and civic spaces. The plan recognizes that a healthy 21st century hamlet is much more than a retail destination; it is a place for community gatherings and civic events; a place where residents can live, congregate and spend their time comfortably; a place that is aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles; and a place that offers exciting dining and entertainment options that attract community residents and visitors. Today the Chappaqua Hamlet fulfills some of these criteria but falls short on many others (e.g. limited entertainment options, a limited selection of housing types, difficult pedestrian navigation, limited parking). The Comprehensive Plan acknowledges the need to revitalize the Chappaqua Hamlet as a more modern, mixed-use community calling for actions that will help support its goals. The New Castle Comprehensive Plan Update can be found here.

Since its adoption, the New Castle Town Board has been implementing the Comprehensive Plan actions to meet the Community’s goals. Development of a Form Based Code to address revitalization of the Chappaqua hamlet is a priority implementation action that arose from the Comprehensive Plan. On April 23, 2019 the New Castle Town Board awarded Kimley-Horn, Torti-Gallas +Partners, RESGroup, and Joel Russell, Esq. the Chappaqua Rezoning Project. This project will produce a draft Form Based Zoning Code, a build-out analysis and a Generic Environmental Impact Statement. Work began in May and will continue through the end of the year with consideration of final draft legislation in Spring 2020.

A form-based code is a land development regulation that fosters predictable built results and a highquality public realm by using physical form (rather than separation of uses) as the organizing principle for the code. A form-based code offers an alternative to conventional zoning regulation to address the relationship between building facades and the public realm, the form and mass of buildings in relation to one another, and the scale and types of streets and blocks. The regulations and standards in form-based codes are presented in both words and clearly drawn diagrams and other visuals. They are keyed to a Regulating Plan that designates the appropriate form and scale (and therefore, character) of development, rather than only making distinctions in land-use type. Ultimately, a form-based code is a tool; the quality of development outcomes depends on the quality and objectives of the community plan that a code implements.

On Tuesday, July 23, 2019 the Town of New Castle will be holding an “Open House” (2:00-4:00PM & 6:00-8:00PM) for the community to come hear about and discuss Chappaqua’s new Form-Based Code.

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