Planning Board Minutes 02/04/03
VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON, NEW YORK

PLANNING BOARD MEETING MINUTES – TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2003:


A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, February 4, 2003 in the Municipal Building.

        MEMBERS PRESENT:        Ann Gallelli, Chair
                                        Fran Allen
Ted Brumleve
                                        Andrew Zelman
        
        ABSENT:        Joel Klein

                 ALSO PRESENT:  Daniel O’Connor, P.E., Village Engineer

                                                
1.  Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order at 8:00 P.M. by Chairman Gallelli.

PUBLIC HEARING, CONTINUED:

Malom Development Corp. (Kieran Murray) – Croton Point Avenue (Sec. 79.13 Blk. 2 Lots 18, 19 & 20) – Application for Site Plan Approval

John Lentini, Architect, and Kieran Murray, owner of the property, were present for this application.

Chairman Gallelli suggested that, before beginning the discussion on the Applicant’s Site Plan, the Planning Board should review the item under “Other Business” regarding Mr. Murray’s request for an extension for Final Subdivision Approval. The Planning Board has received a letter from Mr. Murray’s attorney, Wayne Spector of Sweeney, Cohn, Stahl, Spector & Frank, dated January 10, 2003, requesting a time extension.  Chairman Gallelli proposed, and the Planning Board members agreed, to extend the Final Subdivision Approval to April 30, 2003.  

Mr. Lentini told the Planning Board members that, since the last meeting on the Site Plan application, the Applicant’s focus has been on the design of the new building.  He distributed to the Planning Board members renderings showing different designs.  

Mr. Lentini stated that, with respect to the scheme of building types, his renderings show the same design using both vertical and horizontal siding. The design on Sheet 2 shows horizontal siding with scalloping on the gable(s).  Mr. Lentini said that he has included the elevations.  

Mr. Lentini stated that he resisted putting a sign on the building’s facade because he thought that the Planning Board wanted the façade to have a residential rather than a commercial appearance.  He suggested that, rather than a wall sign, a freestanding sign could be placed in the front of the property.

Mr. Brumleve asked what the square footage of the first floor (that is) intended for commercial use will be. Mr. Murray said it would be approximately 1,000 to 1,200 square feet.

Mr. Brumleve asked if the waste from the new building will be pumped or if it will flow by gravity, to which Mr. Murray said that it would flow by gravity. The Village Engineer stated that it will flow by gravity from one house to the other and, then, it goes to a pump station.

Chairman Gallelli asked if the Applicant anticipates that signs will be placed on the windows, to which Mr. Lentini replied that signs would be placed over the doors.  Chairman Gallelli stated that, with respect to the freestanding sign, she would guess it would be installed out by the entrance to the driveway.

Ms. Allen noted that, on the renderings distributed tonight, the left side of the façade projects out somewhat, to which Mr. Lentini stated that this was done only to give definition to the façade.

Mr. Brumleve asked if it would be possible to extend the siding downward on the shorter end elevations, to which Mr. Lentini stated that he supposed it would be possible. He said, “We would have to go down each of the stairs with the siding.”  Mr. Brumleve stated that his interest there (on the sides of the building) would be to reduce the appearance of a two-story house sitting on top of a concrete shell.

Ms. Allen referred to the renderings and asked the Applicant’s architect how high the overhang on the front of the building is going to be, to which Mr. Lentini said that it is 30” at its widest point.  Mr. Brumleve asked Mr. Lentini what the dimension of the overhang would be, to which Mr. Lentini said that it is close to 3 ?’.  Chairman Gallelli asked if it is 4 ?’ on the other end, to which Mr. Lentini stated that it is.  Ms. Allen did not think that the overhang being shown served much of a function.  The Village Engineer noted that the walkway in the front is 4’ deep.  There would be some room to walk underneath. Chairman Gallelli asked the Applicant’s architect to specify on the plans exactly what the dimension of the overhang is going to be on both ends of the building, to which Mr. Lentini said that he would do so.  

Chairman Gallelli stated that, at the last meeting, there was talk of using wood for the architectural details at the entranceway to the building.  Mr. Lentini stated that wood is not an easy material to keep clean.  Furthermore, using wood on a storefront of a building is usually prohibited for safety reasons.  The Village Engineer stated that, from a safety perspective, it is true that one would rather not have wood.  He would review the Building Code in detail to find out how this matter is addressed.

Mr. Brumleve asked what the fascia treatment on the gables would be, to which Mr. Lentini said that it would be a vinyl wrap, and it would be the same color as the siding.  

Ms. Allen asked what kind of doors the Applicant is envisioning for the front entrance. Mr. Lentini said that there would be a double door with glass on each side.   

Mr. Murray told the Board members that the apartment units upstairs are not going to have central air-conditioning.

Ms. Allen wanted to know the dimensions across the house, to which Mr. Lentini said that the house is 48’ x 26’.

Chairman Gallelli asked to be reminded of the colors for the building that the Planning Board looked at the last time.  Mr. Lentini said that the Planning Board chose silver-gray for the siding, white for the scalloping and light blue for the shutters.  

Chairman Gallelli told the Applicant that she personally has a problem with the house design, submitted with the design renderings tonight, that shows a combination of vertical and horizontal siding on the front.  Ms. Allen thought that the combination of vertical and horizontal siding was “too busy.”

Mr. Brumleve suggested that, as a condition of the Planning Board’s resolution of approval, the Planning Board should prohibit the placement of signs on the walls of the building itself.  He would suggest, as an alternative, a freestanding sign or a window sign in the transom.  Mr. Brumleve stated that, based on the renderings the Planning Board is seeing tonight, one proper place for signage would be the window(s).  Mr. Zelman asked Mr. Brumleve if he meant to say windows as opposed to over the doors, to which Mr. Brumleve replied that signs could be considered in either type of location.

The Planning Board looked at the rendering of the rear of the building on Sheet 2.  Chairman Gallelli noted that when people park their cars on Croton Point Avenue, they would go around the side and up the steps of the residences to reach the front doors.  She asked if the retaining wall would prevent people from seeing the doors, to which Mr. Lentini replied that it would.  Mr. Lentini added that, from the rear left, a person would only see the top of the windows.

Mr. Zelman wanted to know where the gutters would be placed.  Mr. Lentini pointed to the area on the front of the building where the gutters would come down.

Chairman Gallelli asked for a consensus on the building design.  The Planning Board members preferred the rendering on Sheet 2 showing horizontal siding all across the front with scalloping on the gables.  

Mr. Brumleve told the Applicant’s architect that the final drawing should show the gutters and leaders.  

Mr. Lentini told the Board members that he would recommend the same surface treatment be used for the concrete on the sides of the building and for the retaining walls.  He referred to the form liner samples and stated that, as an example, the form liner known as “Broom Swept” could be used on both the building and the walls.  He added that he had no preference and would leave it up to the Board members.     

Mr. Lentini stated that the storefront system in the front would have mullions wrapped with aluminum.  Mr. Brumleve asked Mr. Lentini if he knew of an aluminum that would match the color of the siding. Mr. Lentini stated that the choices are few.  However, he thought that there is an aluminum that will blend with the silver-gray.

Ms. Allen asked if any of the materials for the form liners were shiny.  Mr. Lentini thought that the Board would want to choose a matte or brush finish.

Chairman Gallelli stated that the Applicant has provided samples of materials for the retaining walls.  She asked if these same materials would be considered for the sides of the building, to which Mr. Lentini said that they would be.  Mr. Brumleve reiterated what he had said earlier in the meeting that the siding being used should be applied to the sides of the building as much as possible so that the building reads as a unified whole.

Chairman Gallelli asked if the material for the form liners is for both the outside and the inside of the walls. Mr. Lentini stated that the outside walls would be substantially buried in dirt, so it is mostly for the inside walls.  Mr. Murray added that the wall is going to follow the grade, so the outside, at best, will be 6” out of the ground.  

Mr. Brumleve stated that, at the last meeting, the Planning Board discussed with the Applicant the possibility (potential) of doing grading on the other parcel adjacent to this one. The grade is potentially too high and the thought was that, if brought down, it would reduce the required height of the retaining walls on the site.  Mr. Murray stated that he spoke with his engineer, Ralph Mastromonaco, about this matter.  They looked at the cost involved and they weighed the risks of excavating closer to the existing house on the adjacent lot.  Mr. Mastromonaco came to the conclusion that the current plan should not be changed.  Mr. Lentini said that he would have opted to leave it alone so as not to make the building unstable.  The height of the wall could be reduced but at an expense and with risks involved.  Mr. Murray stated that the closer the excavation is to the existing building, the riskier it becomes.  Mr. Brumleve recalled that the motive for the discussion was to reduce the visual height of the retaining walls.  The Village Engineer told the Applicant that, even with some minor re-grading, 2’ could be taken off the height of the wall.  Chairman Gallelli stated that the Planning Board would be interested in seeing what could possibly be done to reduce the height of the wall.  She suggested that the Applicant’s engineer could meet with the Village Engineer to discuss what could be done to “shave” one or two feet off the height.

Chairman Gallelli stated that the Planning Board still needs to discuss the various options for the retaining wall materials.  The materials would be for the inside of the exposed wall.  Mr. Murray stated that some of these form liners are available in reusable form.  He referred to the photocopied pages of different types of form liners and stated that the ones in the front are more available than the ones in the back.  The ones in the back are custom-made.  

Chairman Gallelli thought that the vertical lines of the form liner material known as “Deep Rib” would accentuate the height of the wall.  Ms. Allen stated that she thought this particular one (“Deep Rib”) had an industrial look to it.

Chairman Gallelli asked if the 2” “Broken Rock Rib” is one of the custom-made form liners, to which Mr. Murray stated that it is.  

The Village Engineer asked if, for the “Vertical Flagstone,” there is a size variation, to which Mr. Murray replied that the size varies from 2” x 3” to 12” x 17”.

Mr. Brumleve told Mr. Lentini that when he does the end elevation, he should do it in such a way as to allow the Planning Board to look at the slope at the top of the wall and see the magnitude of the wall. He said that Mr. Lentini should view the wall as part of the building, and the two should be “thought through” together.  He believed this would help the Planning Board to make a better decision on the form liner material.

The Planning Board members present all preferred the form liner material known as “Vertical Flagstone.”  Chairman Gallelli thought that this material would be ideal.  Mr. Brumleve stated that the “Vertical Flagstone” would give a variety of lines, movement and shadows to the wall’s surface.
  
Mr. Murray asked what size flagstone the Planning Board preferred, to which the members thought that the Applicant would want to use the bigger size.

Mr. Brumleve stated that there should be a specification on the plan as to what areas of wall will be textured, i.e., any area of wall over 6” in diameter.  

Chairman Gallelli brought up the issue of the garbage enclosure on the Wayne Street side of the property and stated that a design for this enclosure needs to be developed.  She noted that the Planning Board would want a container that is attractive and that can be closed up so that the garbage does not spill out.  The Board needs to see a design for the garbage unit including what the unit is made of.   She noted that the garbage from the new building would be picked up on Croton Point Avenue.  The people that live in the existing apartment building carry garbage to the top of the driveway and leave it there.  That location is almost in front of someone’s house.  Chairman Gallelli noted that, at one of the previous meetings, the Planning Board told the neighbors on Wayne Street that it would address this issue.  

Mr. Murray told the Planning Board that his engineer needs to specify on the site plan the form liner being used and the placement (location) of the freestanding sign.  He thought that most of the other issues raised by the Village Engineer had been addressed.

The Planning Board members reviewed the items that still need to be addressed.  Chairman Gallelli reiterated that the Board needs to see a concept for the garbage enclosure on Wayne Street. She noted that, in so far as the air-conditioning for the new building is concerned, the Planning Board would probably put a prohibition in the resolution that no air-conditioning equipment can be installed in the front of the building.  Mr. Brumleve concurred and stated that the Planning Board will not permit window air-conditioners at the commercial level.  Furthermore, the Planning Board would (ideally) not want air-conditioning units in the front windows of the residential apartments.

Chairman Gallelli told the Applicant that the Planning Board would need additional information on the freestanding sign.  No signs will be permitted on the building façade except for possibly in the transom and storefront windows.  Mr. Brumleve thought that the Applicant would probably be proposing a monument sign, externally illuminated, and limited in size to less than 10 sq. ft.

Chairman Gallelli stated that the Applicant should provide on the site plan the location(s) of the gutters.  The colors for the siding, scalloped gables, roof and window shutters should be identified on the plans.

Ms. Allen stated that details on the exterior lighting, including the wattage, should be provided.  Mr. Brumleve added that there should be no off-site glare onto adjacent buildings/properties. Ms. Allen noted that the Applicant has stair lighting as well.

Ms. Allen asked how the people picking up the garbage would get to the garbage area, to which Mr. Lentini replied that he could pose this question to Ken Kraft of the Department of Public Works.  Chairman Gallelli reiterated that the Applicant needs to verify the garbage collection method on Croton Point Avenue.

Mr. Brumleve stated that the landscaped strip immediately in front of the entry walk, discussed at the last meeting, should be shown on the site plan.  He recalled from the discussion with the VEB that there was an 18” strip between parking and entry walk that could be used as a planting area.

Mr. Brumleve told the Applicant that he would strongly recommend that he look into opportunities to reduce the height of the wall on the northwest corner of the site by doing grading on the adjacent parcel.  Chairman Gallelli suggested that the Applicant’s engineer could meet with the Village Engineer to discuss this matter.  

Ms. Allen stated that the garbage collection area on Croton Point Avenue has to be screened.  In the discussion that followed, it was decided that the proposed berm and landscaping would provide the screening.

Chairman Gallelli told the Applicant that the Planning Board would try to have ready by the next meeting a preliminary draft of the resolution.

The Village Engineer asked if the complete design of the retaining walls has to be on the site plan or if it can be addressed on the building permit.  Mr. Brumleve stated that the Planning Board is interested in the aesthetics.  The engineering plans for the walls can be done during the building permit stage.

A discussion ensued regarding the material for the fence on top of the retaining wall.  Mr. Brumleve suggested as a possibility using wrought iron.  Mr. Murray stated that a wrought iron fence would be very expensive.  Mr. Lentini said that, “they do make today a heavy duty vinyl slab fence.”  Chairman Gallelli suggested that Mr. Lentini could show the Planning Board exactly what he is talking about the next time.

The Village Engineer told the Applicant that the condenser for the air-conditioner should be shown on the site plan.

Chairman Gallelli told the Applicant that the next meeting of the Planning Board is scheduled for February 25th.  The meeting after that is Tuesday, March 4th.

NEW BUSINESS:

Hudson National Golf Club – 40 Arrowcrest Drive (Sec. 67.15 Blk. 1 Lot 4) – Application for Amended Site Plan Approval (Proposal for a Welcome House) – Preliminary Discussion

Gregg Stanley of the Hudson National Golf Club was present.

Mr. Stanley stated that, every year, the members of the golf club want to improve the operations of the club.  The Welcome House being proposed would improve communications within the main clubhouse.  Mr. Stanley stated that members of the staff have a record of who is coming to play golf on any given day.  The Welcome House will help communicate this information to the staff members.  Mr. Stanley stated that during the golf season, “we get a lot of different people heading in different directions.”  The Welcome House should make the site run more efficiently.  

Ms. Allen asked if the Welcome House would be manned, to which Mr. Stanley stated that it would be manned during the golf season.

Mr. Stanley stated that the golf club would like to model the Welcome House after the Starter House.  The exterior finish would be the same, but the shape would not be the same.   The walls of the Welcome House would be designed using a rectangular stone veneer with a blue stone cap and a slate roof.  Mr. Stanley noted to the Board members that there is plenty of stone material right on the golf course property.

Mr. Zelman asked how the members of the club and others entering the site would check in, to which Mr. Stanley stated that they would check in from their cars and, then, park in the club’s parking lot.  Mr. Stanley stated that he thinks the Welcome House will help a great deal with deliveries.

Mr. Brumleve asked the Applicant if it would make any sense to him to locate the structure on the driver’s side of the vehicle.  This is a practical matter.  Generally, if the driver were the one communicating with the attendant, it would be better to have it on the driver’s side.  Mr. Stanley told Mr. Brumleve that the location of the proposed building was taken into consideration.  The golf club was trying to avoid the need for major road improvements, such as putting the new building on an island in the middle of the drive.  The area in question is a quiet spot.  Mr. Stanley thought that they would probably put in some signage to emphasize that traffic should go slowly.  He noted that, with respect to the location of the building, it was (also) thought that the attendant would have better visibility on the passenger side.

The Village Engineer asked if there was any other signage being proposed or any exterior lighting.  Mr. Stanley stated that there would be one exterior light on the street side.  He noted that the Welcome House would not be open after dark.

Chairman Gallelli stated that she does not think any trees will have to be removed to build this structure.

Chairman Gallelli suggested that the Planning Board could call a public hearing on this application, to which the others agreed.  The public hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, February 25th.

OTHER BUSINESS:

Chairman Gallelli stated that the Hudson National Golf Club is very interested in having the Planning Board members take a walk on the golf course property once the leaves are on the trees.

Chairman Gallelli stated that Ms. Allen is becoming involved with storm water regulations for the Village.  Ms. Allen has been attending seminars/conferences.  The Village is required to have filed their Notice of Intent statement by March 10th.

Chairman Gallelli stated that the selection has been made for the affordable housing projects at Half Moon Bay.  It was done by a lottery.  It came down to 15 candidates, and 4 were selected.  Those who were not selected are now on a “priority list” for other rental housing in the Village.

Chairman Gallelli told the other members that ShopRite is only going to make interior changes to their store; so, ShopRite will not be coming before the Planning Board.

Chairman Gallelli told the Board members that Mark Giordano has stated that he has a grocer about to sign a contract for the space at the old Grand Union site.  The contract has not been signed yet; but, if and when it is, the Planning Board will be looking (again) at what it talked about last year.

Chairman Gallelli stated that the Comprehensive Plan has been passed by the Village Board. In the Planning Board’s letter of recommendation to the Village Board, the Planning Board had recommended that it should not be required to act as an Architectural Review Board for changes to single-family housing.  The Village Board rejected this idea. The Village Board wants the Comprehensive Plan to state that the Planning Board will act as an Architectural Review Board for changes to single-family housing as well as for everything else (that was) originally mentioned.    

Mr. Brumleve stated that he thinks his attendance at the VEB meetings is working out well.

Chairman Gallelli stated that she anticipates the Finkelstein application and the Croton Medical Center application will be back sometime in the near future.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The minutes of the Tuesday, November 12, 2002 Planning Board meeting were approved on a motion by Ms. Allen, seconded by Mr. Brumleve and carried by a vote of 4 to 0.

The minutes of the Tuesday, November 26, 2002 Planning Board meeting were approved, as amended, on motion by Ms. Allen, seconded by Mr. Zelman and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.  Chairman Gallelli abstained.  

Approval of the minutes of December 3, 2002 and January 7, 2003, respectively, was deferred until the next Planning Board meeting.

ADJOURNMENT:

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 10:05 P.M.

Sincerely,



Sylvia Mills,
SECRETARY