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May 23, 2014

‘Pops, Patriots and Fireworks’

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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Court deals setback to Grace Church neighbors


By DON HEPPNER

Pound Ridgers hoping to stop the construction of a neighboring New Canaan church were dealt a blow in a Connecticut courthouse on April 21. In a 16-page opinion, Superior Court Justice J. Berger dismissed the appeal made by plaintiffs Sanjit and Mary Shah of Lewisboro and Daniel and Karen Cooper of West Road in Pound Ridge against the New Canaan Planning and Zoning Commission and Grace Property Holdings that could have stopped construction of Grace Church.

The ruling confirms the New Canaan planning board’s decision to allow 75 acres of the former Windsome Farms property abutting the Pound Ridge and Lewisboro town lines off Route 123 to be subdivided by special permit, allowing the construction of permanent church sanctuary.

The families had sought to halt the construction based on concerns about traffic and other impacts. They say they are appealing the decision.

The April 21 decision said that an additional traffic study was unnecessary since the original study addressed all the issues, despite changes in the site plan and an increase in church membership.

“What I found most disturbing is that the original traffic report only measured the impact of one church service on area roads, and now the commission has expressly authorized the church to hold multiple services and there is no evidence that the New York state roads are adequate to handle multiple services,” said Mr. Shah. “And because the number of permanent seats was reduced from 900 to 716, there will necessarily be multiple services.”

The revised plans for the Grace Church facility included a library, sanctuary, gym and a living and dining facility, with an overall size of 77,800 square feet. The previously proposed structures combined totaled 71,000 square feet.

In addition to Sunday worship, the church suggested in its revised application that the space could be used to support nonprofit organizations such as the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, the Volunteer Architects Network and Partners in Health.

“We asked that they be required to follow all of their special permit regulations, which would require that any development not have a negative impact on the value of neighboring properties,” Mr. Shah said. “Instead of producing a new report, they relied on the old report based on a completely different site plan from six years ago.”

“The plaintiffs’ primary complaint is that the commission should have required a new traffic study for the 2012 amendments to the application for a special permit, even though a traffic study had been done as a part of the application,” Judge Berger’s decision read.

However, the court concluded that the previous study was sufficient. “The court had already addressed traffic considerations, among other things, in a thorough decision and concluded that the previous return of record enabled the commission to find that the proposed use would not adversely affect safety in the streets nor unreasonably increase traffic congestion,” the decision stated.

Mr. Shah filed an appeal to Judge Berger’s April 21 decision on Monday, May 12.

“As discussed, this document, filed on Monday, requests that the appellate court hear our appeal of Judge Berger's April 21, 2014 decision,” Mr. Shah wrote to Mr. Cooper. “Even if the appellate court grants our petition, however, that does not necessarily mean we will win the appeal and succeed in getting his decision reversed.”

He said that Judge Berger found it significant that neither Pound Ridge nor Lewisboro “filed an appeal or sought to intervene in any matter.”

Pound Ridge town supervisor Richard Lyman attended many of the New Canaan planning board meetings as a town councilman before the final approval and expressed his concern about the impact of traffic on Pound Ridge roads during the meetings.

Mr. Lyman negotiated an agreement between the church and the town that would require the church to reimburse the town for any damage to Pound Ridge roads.

There will be a policeman to direct traffic as it exits on to Lukes Wood Road in Lewisboro, according to Peter Parsons, Lewisboro town supervisor. He said that he did intervene and pressed the planning board for certain considerations designed to protect the citizens and roads in Lewisboro.

“I was asking for an exit onto Route 123, like any sane individual would have done, but I got a firm no,” said Mr. Parsons. “Both Dick Lyman and I worked very closely on this, and we met with the first selectman of New Canaan.”

Mr. Lyman and Mr. Parsons negotiated for the police officer to direct traffic as it comes out of the church property and onto Route 123. “That is where we anticipate the exiting traffic to be heavy at that point,” Mr. Parsons said.

Mr. Shah said that his appeal for court consideration to allow another appeal would be opposed by the church, but that about 50 percent of the petitions filed for the ability to appeal a case are granted.



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