POLL: Do You Support the Crossroads Plan?

The Southeast Town Board is slated to revisit the project later this month.

The planners behind the Crossroads 312 proposal—which calls for a hotel, retail shops and more to sit on 52 acres in Southeast—are due before Town Board members later this month.

Slated for 7 p.m. July 19, the special meeting comes after , which left presenters jotting down notes as several council members fired off follow-up questions.

The project would require a zoning change to allow for a mixed-use commercial property on the parcel. It's located near exit 19 of Interstate 84, on Route 312 and adjacent to The Highlands, the shopping center that features . 

The proposal has been in the works for years. Now, we're hoping you'll tell us what you think of it.

If you are a Southeast or Brewster resident, take our poll (once only, please!), and feel free to add any additional information to the comments section below. Stay with Patch for updates on the project. Thanks for reading! You can "like" us on Facebook here and follow our Tweets here.

Ashley Tarr (Editor) July 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Forget to mention the Brewster Flower Garden, too (http://patch.com/L-f34b).
Ashley Tarr (Editor) July 10, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Thanks for commenting, Chad! When you say a "town center," do you mean that's what you'd like to see happen with Crossroads, or you'd like to the see something like that in the Village?
May July 11, 2012 at 01:59 AM
It is not what we need here. It will just raise the taxes like it's doing down south! Maybe you would profit from it but the residents of 'where the country begins' (Putnam) will pay for it.
lillian philbin July 11, 2012 at 01:05 PM
An upscale restaurant and bar, not a sports bar or teen hangout. Not a franchise. Maybe some music on weekends. Check out Danbury.
alex mueck July 11, 2012 at 03:08 PM
I moved to Southeast about four years ago. I grew up on Long Island, lived in Manhattan for many years, then went back to Long Island. Four years ago I came to the conclusion that I wanted something different in my life. I was tired of the traffic, lack of nature and tranquility. I looked into Putnam County, and fell in love with the reservoirs, streams, lakes, woods, and such. I decided to make a change and leave friends and family for what I believed was a better way of life. I have worked on Wall Street for twenty years, and am by no means anti-business. If someone said, we had IBM or some company coming in where there would be multiple high paying jobs, I get that, but a hotel? Any why? I was told because people from Brewster were saddened that when they have reunions, they have to go to a different town. I grew up in Massapequa, and we never have our reunions there. People like Jerry Seinfeld, Alec Baldwin, and others all went to Massapequa schools. Trust me, no one lamented the fact that we went to Huntington for our High School reunions. ILong Island is wall to wall business, and guess what, the taxes are higher than here. The one day you go shopping to CT, will be more than offset by the traffic those who live by 312 will have to suffer. Stop being so shortsighted and preserve the beauty of the your community.
Randy Maurer July 11, 2012 at 03:52 PM
May, what country are you refering to, Central America. How does it raise taxes when the development will pay huge amounts of sales tax into the system as well as income tax from employees and "developed" property tax. The town is only collecting a few thousand in vacant property tax now. The only reason our taxes go up is because of out of control government spending. They have a never empty pocket because they simply raise your taxes when they need more money. By the way I don't profit from anything that is done in this town.
Bob Dumont July 11, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Randy - I would love to answer that question for you! First of all, ask yourself - how long have you lived in Brewster/PC? Second, in the 20 years I am here, we have had dozens of new chain stores come in, development of new strip malls, retail centers and the only thing that ever happened was - YOU GUESSED IT - TAX INCREASES! There is one rule in life - more of anything will always get you more. So more development, attracts more people, which need more garbage, police, services, government workers, houses, schools etc. And none of the developers or developments ever pay an amount greater then the tax they generate - which is why taxes always goes up. If they did generate a profit - well wouldn't your taxes go down? and the argument that they hold - "well if we didn't have them taxes would be that much higher!". Well, that isn't true at all - because we also wouldn't need all the services which go into maintaining a strip mall and the associating throngs of people. Nevermind the fact that many of them are tax abated or receive tax incentives that give them a net zero tax bill. Small business development of existing plots is the only way to net sales cash at no additional cost to the taxpayer.
May July 11, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Such great points, Alex. I agree. The more growth the higher the taxes too. I love the beauty and tranquility of our County...let's not destroy it. Our taxes have done nothing but go up with every new development...commercial or residential...especially residential!
May July 11, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Randy, I've lived here 16 yrs. and I am not referring to Central America when I say 'Residential and Commercial growth' results in higher taxes. Simple economics, happens over & over, STILL some people don't get it. I grew up in Monmouth county, NJ. Watched McMansions, Residential developments, Condo's, then shopping centers, Malls, Industrial Parks destroy the landscape, traffic became unbearable, now one road or another is under construction..and guess what? TAXES SOARED...more kids, more schools, more infrastructure capital & maintenance expenses, more crime. I saw the same thing happen in VA, NC and GA...ALL ENDING IN HIGHER TAXES FOR PROPERTY OWNERS! So please don't tell me WE need it, if anyone needs more than we have here, please consider moving somewhere more suited to your needs but don't change our area to suit you. We love our 'rural' homes!
Randy Maurer July 11, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Hi Bob, First of all you got me by one year, I have only lived here for 19 years. I love it here in Southeast. But, and you knew it was coming, this town has been going down hill for the last 15. I was at the Bowl Company last weekend and I liked your shop. I also visited the other street vendors. If that is what its going to make the village come back, then it is only for the day. After hours its back to blight. That will never go away. Never. That said, the next time you need a screw or nut for a shelf or table please drive to danbury home depot.
May July 11, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Bob Dumont, you have put it all into perspective very well. Thank-you.
Bob Dumont July 11, 2012 at 04:54 PM
oh, poor misguided randy. we already have a HD. but even better - go to ace hardware on 22 - they have all the nuts and bolts you need and are in Southeast. There probably isn't a product on the mass market you can't find somewhere in PC in one form or another. and as far as the Village - you just can't see the future. Come back to me in 5 years and say thanks to myself and the dozens of people working at getting this Village back again. BTW, it has already made great strides with new stores, people and things to do in the past 2 years. But that would mean you have to spend some time here and not in Danbury.
Randy Maurer July 11, 2012 at 04:54 PM
There is no residential growth in southeast. There are no new schools, kids. School enrollment has gone down. We consolidated the elementry schools and closed one. Guess what, the school tax went up. Why, because our elected officials don't do enough. They say "we really had to work hard to cut expenses this year". What happened to the other years, they did'nt have the need to work hard?. Open pockets is the answer. Whats another 100 bucks a year. I'm done with this post - boiling point.
May July 11, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Randy, if I need hardware I go to Palmer's on 22 first, Before that we used to also be able to go to Dill's on 22 before Home Depot put them out of business.
Ashley Tarr (Editor) July 11, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Great conversation, everyone. Just please remember to stay civil!
Randy Maurer July 11, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Not misguided, EYES WIDE OPEN. Coming back? 6 deli's, 5 barber shops. Whats new? I also go to Palmer Brothers as they are friends of mine.
Dan July 11, 2012 at 06:11 PM
My in-laws have lived in the Brewster/Southeast area for over 40 years and they have seen many changes, even they say that they don't like over developing in the area. However they also feel that people seem to forget that some newcomers (5,10 even 20 years ago) came to the area and built houses and commericial buildings. They believe that the property owner has the right to develope the property within the code. And as my father used to say to me "If you don't want someone to build next door to you, then you buy it and you pay the taxes on it"
timetofightback July 14, 2012 at 03:23 PM
The village is a lost cause until loitering and illegal immigration laws are enforced, plus these things need to be built from scratch. Attached is a link to the one in Rhode Island I'm talking about. It's beautiful. http://southcountycommons.com/
alex mueck July 17, 2012 at 12:19 PM
I keep hearing about people griping abut 15 minutes to shop and not good clothes stores......even from men?? I have to say, on Long Island the trick of the rich northshore was to build all the stores and shopping on the southshore. Why? Because they were smart. They rather drive the 1/2 hour to southern Long Island and keep their neighboorhoods pristine. The south shore fell for all the projects hearing taxes would go down. They never did, and now it is wall to wall strip malls. With the economy tanking, many are now boarded up closed, making it a total eyesore. And yet the locals here in Southeast are ready to sell their town out for a few stores because 15 minutes is too much for them to travel. Yet they do not care about the added traffic times for 312 travel or about lost property valuies for Lake Tonetta residents. It is more important they they have another store to shop at. Crying shame
Ashley Tarr (Editor) July 17, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Thanks for following up, Alex. Have you talked to any of your neighbors about the proposal? What are you hearing around town (aside from this conversation)?
Samantha Jacobs July 17, 2012 at 11:05 PM
I don't think residents understand the size of Crossroads 312. It's 540,000 square feet - 240,000 square foot hotel. 314,000 square foot retail, 7,000 square foot restaurant, 3,400 square foot bank. To put it in perspective, Highlands (the shopping area for home depot) is 340,000 square feet. Crossroads is just under double the size. That's a huge traffic increase. Add in the 500 parking spaces approved for Southeast train station, the expansion of Teravest Industrial park, the 50,000 sf industrial park in Dykeman's (by the railroad tracks) and addition of another medical building in front of the current glass building by Highlands. Suddenly that's a huge increase in traffic, noise and pollution. Shopping will attract people from North Salem, Kent, Patterson, Fishkill and Somers (much more on the list) who will be using roads to get to 312. How many residents on roads such as Fogginton Road, Starr Ridge Road, Pugsley Road and Soddom Road will become the cut through roads for shoppers? The developer has listed North Brewster Road, Brewster Hill Road and Farm to Market as carrying the traffic to 312. I wonder how residents on North Brewster Road and Route 312 feel about the increase in traffic. Suddenly your front yard becomes the speed way for people to get to shopping. The great thing about the current zoning on the property is that a hotel or retail can be built - while maintaining the beauty of the area and minimizing the traffic.
Ashley Tarr (Editor) July 18, 2012 at 10:30 PM
All good points, Samantha. Thanks for putting the size in perspective. Does that change anyone's opinion?
Samantha Jacobs July 19, 2012 at 04:07 PM
I've been reading the pDEIS from the developer. The size of the hotel is only mentioned once in the document - under jobs. This has me concerned. Why? Because as a community we get fixed on the retail part and forget the hotel portion. Over half a million square feet is a lot of buildings. Plus there's a bigger issue here - how do we, the residents, want southeast to look like? There are 5 more lots in Southeast which would qualify for this huge increase in zoning. I wonder if residents on Pugsley road, Fogginton Road and Salingers/guinea road will be the next huge development? I think some residents feel it wont affect them. But once the door has been opened, the developers will get the increased zoning. Imagine 5 shopping centers- half a million square feet each in our little town. Your section of town could be next. I find it quite sad, about where Southeast might be headed. I don't want to live in area like Danbury.....just filled with concrete and square retail buildings.
alex July 20, 2012 at 05:47 PM
So your father is saying buy all the surrounding land to prevent such? Yeah, that is very practical. The reality is no one is stopping development. The 'key' difference is, the zoning law is being CHANGED to allow unprecedented construction of a 7th story hotel. So the poperty owner is NOT building the property within the current law/code. That is the fundamental issue. Take a look at towns that have major devlopment vs those that do not. On Long Island, the wealthy north shore has barely any development, while it it is all on the south shore. The north shore was smart, and did not mind driving 15 minutes to preserve their towns. Guess who's property values skyrocketed and whose stagnated? Does anyone think North Salem would let this float? No, they would try and preserve their town's quality of life. I cannot imagine anyone on Tonetta Lake wanting this. Everyone I have talked to realizes this will alter our view on homes that were bought before a developer tried to re-write zoning laws. It will likely lower our property values too. I really feel people are being very shortsighted and overlooking the developers actual plan.
May July 21, 2012 at 07:31 PM
I so agree with Samantha & Alex.The zoning laws are enforced for small business. It should be enforced in this case too! If it's not enforced & the zoning is changed for this development somebody is on the take, follow the money. More concrete & traffic more blight, taxes & lower property values. There is no paved paradise. I think most of the residents moved here for the beauty & serenity not to shop. Lets look ahead at what a dangerous precedent this is..again!
jim mcdonald August 03, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Hi Everybody, My dad owned a small parcel 2 miles away that my brother inherited and we still dream of building a home there. That said, you do not have to look to hard or far to see what happens to commnities that do not accept reality. Closed schools, less fire and police, real blight(not what is seen in Southeast). Our way of life has always been evolving. This project should be built and the residents and government should be thinking of the next project after that balancing community and reality. Just my two cents.
Samantha Jacobs August 03, 2012 at 05:24 PM
I think what's really up for debate here is the zone changing. It's just not "spot zoning". The developer is asking the town to change the Master Plan. There are 4 more lots in Southeast that qualify for development of over half million square feet if crossroads passes. This is what I have aproblem with. The developer has zoning to built a hotel, retail or offices i have no problem with that. Its the size of crossroads that humbling. It will change our community forever. Jim I would argue communities like north Salem, Ridgefield, Bedford, chappaqua have controlled theit development to provide a balance between quality of life and services. Their home values are high and their communities thrive.
Ashley Tarr (Editor) August 09, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Concerned resident weighs in on the subject here: http://patch.com/B-cjLG
Keith September 21, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Sean, we need to let our elected officials know how we feel, it is stoppable.
Keith September 21, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Dan, they want to change the zoning to put something FAR greater than was ever planned for Southeast. It is their land, and if they want to build within the current zoning, we can't stop that. But what you have to understand is 2 things. One, There are already numerous projects in the area that are currently expanding or about to. They will already add additional congestion to the area including more commercial traffic. Two, changing the zoning laws to allow this giant project would affect other areas in Brewster and allow other parcels to be over-developed. It will destroy the character of our town. More importantly, Rt. 312 can not sustain this kind of added traffic, it just can't. The road and the community don't have the infrastructure to support development of this scale.


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