Principle: Healthy Community
Ensure that public health needs are recognized and addressed through provisions for healthy foods, physical activity, access to recreation, health care, environmental justice, and safe neighborhoods.
Goal 32. Increase availability of recreational programming and facilities
Feedback from residents and the Recreation and Parks Commission during the Comprehensive Plan outreach process suggest that there is a need to increase the availability of recreational programming and facilities in the Town. A formal parkland and facilities demand analysis and a community survey should be conducted to gauge the recreational needs of residents of all ages, socioeconomic statuses and abilities. The 2007 Recreation and Parks Master Plan should then be updated to include the identification of large recreational projects and new recreational programming.
Conduct a parkland and facilities demand analysis. Suvery the community to assess the recreational needs and interests of residents of all ages, socioeconomic status, ability, etc. Survey and analysis should address year-round programming and facility needs/interests.
Update the 2007 Recreation and Parks Master Plan. Include the identification and prioritization of large recreational projects and incorporate into the Capital Improvement Plan, as well as the creation of new recreational programming that addresses the needs of residents.
Explore opportunities to share recreational services and facilities with neighboring Towns and the region (e.g. athletic bubble).
Goal 33. Expand, enhance and maintain parkland and recreational space
In coordination with a Town-wide Biodiversity Plan and the update of the 2007 Recreation and Parks Master Plan, the Town’s Open Space Management Plan (OSMP) should be revised with the intention to expand, enhance and maintain the Town’s parkland and recreational space. The Town should explore the development of pocket parks in residential and commercial developments to make open space even more readily available to residents.
Review and revise the Town’s Open Space Management Plan to expand, enhance and maintain park and recreational space. Coordinate with the creation of the Biodiversity Management Plan and the update of the 2007 Parks and Rec Master Plan. Include identification of parcels that would function well as parkland for both passive and active recreational use.
Maintain existing parks and nature preserves.
Explore the development of pocket parks in residential neighborhoods and where necessary in the hamlets.
Goal 34. Plan for equitable access to recreational services, schools and arts and cultural facilities
The Town should examine enrollment demographics of recreational programming participants and identify areas of improvement to ensure access to programming is attainable by all residents, no matter age, physical ability, or income level. All Town-owned recreational facilities should be evaluated to ensure they are handicap accessible and ADA compliant. Finally, the Town should continue its open dialogue with the Chappaqua Central School District regarding amenity usage and scheduling.
Collaborate with Recreation and Parks Department to examine enrollment demographics and identify areas of improvements to ensure equitable access and programming for all residents, including those with special needs.
Undertake a facilities evaluation for all Town owned recreational facilities to ensure ADA compliance and accessibility for physically disabled participants.
Continue open dialogue about amenity usage and scheduling with the Chappaqua Central School District.
Goal 35. Improve trail and unimproved linkages between open space parcels and prominent destinations in the Town of New Castle
The improvement of off road linkages between open space and prominent destinations in the Town will encourage alternative transportation methods, physical activity, and resident interaction with nature. The Town’s Trail Development Master Plan should be updated to identify locations for potential bike paths and walkways between nature areas and parkland and the Town’s schools and hamlets. The Town should investigate and implement infrastructure improvements and public outreach efforts that will encourage the use of the North County Trailway in the Millwood hamlet. Finally, signage, guidance and maintenance of existing hiking trails should be improved.
Update the Town’s Trail Development Master Plan. The plan should identify locations for new bike paths and walkways, as well as opportunities for bicycle parking, between nature areas and parkland and the Town’s schools and hamlets. Continue to consider the development of a trail from Chappaqua Crossing and Greeley High School to the Chappaqua hamlet.
Improve signage, guidance and maintenance of hiking trails.
Goal 36. Promote sustainable food practice
The Town should continue to support year-round farmer’s markets. This should include ensuring that a farmer’s market takes place in the Town every year during the cold weather season. When necessary, the Town should support the operation of existing and new community gardens. The Town should consider partnering with businesses in the hamlets to establish green roof community gardens.
Continue to support year-round local farmer’s markets.
Partner with residents, ERB, Parks, local nurseries, and Green Thumbs to support existing community gardens in the Town when necessary (e.g. dedication of public space, zoning to allow for CSAs, determine entities in charge of maintaining, operating, and programming these spaces).
Consider the feasibility of creating a green roof community garden within a hamlet or on an institutional property.
Goal 37. Provide clear information regarding social services through a variety of media, including both traditional and electronic media
The Town should keep an inventory of all social, cultural, and institutional services in the Town, as well as nearby food pantries and local healthcare providers. A social services bulletin should be created on the Town’s website. The Town should garner feedback from residents regarding their access to social services and assess how access to and provision of these services could be improved.
Inventory all social, cultural, institutional etc. services in Town.
Poll residents regarding their access to social services and the obstacles faced in accessing social services. Assess how access to and the provision of social services could be improved.
Create social services bulletin on website.
Goal 38. Improve Town communication channels and feedback mechanism
Throughout the Comprehensive Plan outreach process, residents expressed a general dissatisfaction with the Town’s communications and were especially critical of the Town’s website. To improve the Town’s communication with residents and to eliminate barriers to all social services, the Town should evaluate the clarity and effectiveness of the format of its website, mail communications and postings and make necessary improvements.
Evaluate the clarity and effectiveness of the format of the Town’s website. Make improvements where necessary.
Create and disseminate instruction guides on how to access information on the Town’s website for all different types of devices.
Develop uniform processes and methods to post materials on the website for ease of resident access.
Goal 39. Improve road safety
Road improvements should be made at intersections and crossings that have shown high frequency of incidents. Improvements should consider not only vehicular safety, but pedestrian and cyclist safety as well. Complete Street elements should always be considered when making roadway safety improvements. To ensure the safety of vehicles at the highly trafficked Saw Mill River Parkway entrance at Roaring Brook Road, the Town should pursue the development of a bridge over the MTA Railroad Crossing and the Parkway.
Coordinate with Commissioner of Public Works on the creation of a Road Safety Plan and map. Investigate and identify road safety issues in Town. Consider utilizing Westchester County Base Studies traffic data and NYSDOT and NYMTC resources.
Identify intersections and crossings that have shown high frequency of incidents and address pedestrian and cyclist safety at these locations.
Pursue development of Saw Mill River Parkway Bridge at Roaring Brook Road and MTA Railroad crossing.
Goal 40. Promote general public safety
Design elements that reduce injuries and improve public safety should be included in street, building, and landscape capital improvements. Public employees and first responders should be adequately trained for handling and responding to incidences of violence such as bomb threats and shootings. Education materials illustrating “best practice” in public safety behavior should be developed and disseminated via multiple media outlets. Finally, the Town website should be reviewed to ensure emergency information is easily and intuitively accessible.
Include elements in street, building and landscape capital improvements that reduce public injuries and improve public safety.
Prepare public employees and first responders for violent incidences (e.g. shootings, bomb threats).
Improve clarity and access to information (including emergency information) on Town’s website.
Establish public safety best practice fact sheets to be disseminated via varying media outlets.
Goal 41. Promote public safety in natural disasters and emergency situations
The Town should plan for more frequent and intense weather events by implementing appropriate disaster mitigation and adaptation measures. The Town should develop a Post Disaster Recovery Plan, which should include economic recovery strategies. Mitigation, resiliency and preparedness measures should be included in all local plans and design projects. The Town’s Hazard Mitigation Plan should continue to be updated as required and coordinated with ongoing capital and infrastructure improvements. The Town should invest in energy reliability and security and explore the feasibility of community and neighborhood microgrids and combined heat and power (CHP) systems. Finally, the Town should continue to promote safety awareness in all emergencies, including evacuation information in the event of an emergency at Indian Point.
Continue to update the Town’s Hazard Mitigation Plan as required and coordinate with the Capital Improvement Plan and other ongoing infrastructure planning.
Map identified mitigation initiatives from the Hazard Mitigation Plan and provide mapping to department staff reviewing capital improvement and private development projects to streamline implementation of mitigation initiatives.
Establish a policy/legislation that requires the incorporation of mitigation, resiliency and preparedness measures into local plans, design of projects and capital improvements (e.g. generators, microgrids, green infrastructure, green roofs, position of buildings).
Develop a Post Disaster Recovery Plan which includes strategies for economic recovery.
To fortify the Town’s energy security, consider developing community and neighborhood microgrids and combined heat and power (CHP) systems
Regularly test emergency communication systems
Continue annual notification of septic system maintenance in annual Town newsletter. Expand educational information to include emergency preparedness.
Promote awareness of evacuation and recovery procedures in the event of an emergency at Indian Point through educational mailings and Town website.
Goal 42. Reduce flooding frequency and intensity in flood-prone areas
Much of New Castle was built on swamp land before modern day environmental regulations and wetland buffer requirements were established. As a result, there are many areas in New Castle that are prone to flooding despite best efforts in flood prevention or mitigation. It is paramount that the Town continue to be vigilant in implementing flood prevention measures and investigate inventive solutions to flooding. The Town’s Hazard Mitigation Plan should continue to be used to identify drainage improvements and flood prevention projects. The Town’s floodplain management ordinance should be strengthened to reduce vulnerability to flooding and erosion. Finally, the Town’s flood prevention strategies should be aligned with those found in the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating system. Formal participation in the Rating System should be considered to ensure New Castle is receiving all appropriate assistance for flood event prevention and recovery.
Continue to utilize the Town’s Hazard Mitigation Plan to identify drainage improvements and flooding prevention projects.
Strengthen floodplain management ordinance to reduce vulnerability to flooding and erosion.
Align flood prevention strategies with those found in the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System. Consider participation in the Rating System.
Goal 43. Mitigate hazards posed by utility poles, wires and infrastructure
The Town should coordinate with Con Edison and other utility providers to undertake aesthetic and safety improvements of existing above-ground services. Where appropriate, burial of above-ground utility lines should be continued and promoted.
Promote the burial of above-ground utility lines where appropriate.
Coordinate with Con Edison to undertake aesthetic and safety improvements of existing above-ground services.
Goal 44. Reduce adverse impacts of environmental hazards or disasters on vulnerable populations
As variety in the Town’s housing stock increases and the baby boomer population ages, the Town could see an increase in “vulnerable” populations, or populations that do not have adequate physical or monetary resources to prepare or adapt sufficiently to environmental hazards or disasters. The Town should identify these vulnerable populations and their need for assistance during and after natural disasters, or as the result of changes in the environment. The Town should develop an inventory of available Federal, State, and local assistance programs for disaster recovery for use by all residents.
Identify vulnerable populations and determine potential needs during and after natural disasters or as the result of changes in the environment or adjoining landscapes.
Inventory available Federal, State and local assistance for disaster recovery and make information accessible to residents.
Investigate opportunity to address off site impacts of new projects, specifically to consider adjoining properties and the need to protect vulnerable populations from unintended consequences of development.