PCMSA recently met (via Zoom) with Maggie Ferguson, who organized a successful grass-roots campaign in Chappaqua to oppose their new Form Based Code. The Form Based Code would have permitted construction that was out-of-scale and out of context for the existing retail area. As a result, their Board of Trustees was virtually replaced in their next local election, and the entire Zoning ordinance is being revised. Maggie explained in detail how the opposition grew once residents learned the details of some of the proposed projects.
In many ways, Port Chester is further along in the demolition process than Chappaqua was. This creates a more immediate threat to Main Street. The current Character-Based Code in Port Chester claims, in its Preamble, that the ordinance provides for the preservation of Port Chester's unique downtown character. But nothing could be further from the truth. There are no provisions in the current ordinance to protect, preserve, or repair historic buildings; there is no requirement to pass an Architectural Review Board hearing; there is no requirement to design new buildings in a way that is compatible or complimentary to the existing fabric of Main Street.
Chappaqua is the hometown of Horace Greeley, and the site of Reader's Digest Headquarters. The Chappaqua Friends Meeting House, circa 1753, is the oldest Quaker meeting house standing in Westchester County.