Planning Board Minutes 06/03/03
VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON, NEW YORK

PLANNING BOARD MEETING MINUTES – TUESDAY, JUNE 3, 2003:

A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 in the Municipal Building.

        MEMBERS PRESENT:        Ann Gallelli, Chair
                                        Ted Brumleve
Joel Klein

                         ABSENT:        Fran Allen
                                        Andrew Zelman
        
                 ALSO PRESENT:  Charles Kane, Chair, Water Control Commission
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.


OLD BUSINESS:

Velardo Subdivision – Lot #3 (M & A Real Estate Development Corp.) – 214 Albany Post Road (Sec. 67.19 Blk. 1 Lot 4.02) – Application for Amended Site Plan Approval

Ralph Mastromonaco, engineer, was present for this application.  

Chairman Gallelli stated that the only item on the Planning Board’s agenda tonight is the Amended Site Plan application for Velardo Subdivision – Lot 3.  The Planning Board must address the relocation of the building limit line on the preliminary subdivision plat.  The preliminary plat was originally approved in the year 2000.  The first discussion on this Amended Site Plan application took place at the meeting last week. One of the main issues was the removal of trees. Chairman Gallelli stated that Mr. Mastromonaco has prepared for tonight’s meeting a chart comparing the proposed tree removal on the originally approved plan; the plan revised for the Water Control Commission; and the plan submitted to the Planning Board.  Chairman Gallelli told Mr. Mastromonaco that she has prepared a color-coded map showing more clearly the trees to be removed.  She gave Mr. Mastromonaco a copy.  

Chairman Gallelli welcomed to the Planning Board meeting Charles Kane, Chairman of the Water Control Commission (WCC).  She asked Mr. Kane to explain to the Planning Board members how the WCC came to their decision to have the proposed house on Lot #3 relocated.

Mr. Kane stated that the Applicant’s engineer, Ralph Mastromonaco, came before the WCC for a Wetlands Activity Permit for Lot #3 in March 2003.   Mr. Mastromonaco submitted a set of plans for review at the first meeting.  The set of plans showed a building limit line and the proposed residence.  The WCC went on a site visit, at which time the WCC was given another set of plans.  At the next meeting, the WCC was presented with a third set of plans, which showed a residence half way into the Minimum Activity Setback (MAS) zone.  Mr. Kane stated that the WCC members were not happy with the Applicant’s proposal.  The retaining wall was situated 60’ into the stream area.  The stream flows into a pond and drains into the Hudson River.  The WCC expressed concern about protecting the stream and pond.  Fill accumulating in the pond could create drainage and storm water problems.  The WCC asked the Applicant’s engineer if he could relocate the house in a counterclockwise position.  Mr. Kane stated that the retaining wall being proposed was 160’ in length and 10’ in height.  The WCC considered this wall to be very intrusive.  The WCC asked that the house be removed from the MAS zone as much as possible.  

Mr. Kane stated that the Applicant came back again to the WCC with another plan showing the house rotated to an area almost out of the MAS zone.  The WCC felt that this plan provided much more protection to the stream and pond from pollutants, sedimentation and erosion. Mr. Kane stated that, as a condition of the approval, the WCC asked that three catch basins be installed to catch runoff that would come down the side hill and under the deck.  The WCC did not want storm water runoff to come into the stream area and fill the pond up with silt.  

Mr. Kane stated that the new house now being proposed follows the natural contours of the land.  It is being built into the contours and is nestled into the hillside.  Furthermore, the retaining wall being proposed is much smaller in size (6’).  

Mr. Kane stated that, as part of the approval, the WCC wants a buffer remediation plan to be provided.  The invasive plants would be removed by hand and replaced by plants that are going to be more attractive.

Mr. Klein stated that the WCC resolution did not specify the amount of plantings to be provided.   Chairman Gallelli noted that the resolution does specify the types of plants.  Chairman Gallelli stated that, in the Planning Board’s resolution of approval, the Planning Board required that an environmental site plan be submitted.  Perhaps, the number of plantings could be left up to the environmental consultant.  Mr. Klein suggested that the Applicant could go back to the WCC for a recommendation on what would be acceptable. Mr. Kane suggested that Mr. Mastromonaco could ask his clients’ environmental consultants for more information on the plants.  Mr. Brumleve stated that the two issues about the plantings to be considered are 1) the removal of invasive species in the wetlands buffer remediation area and 2) the stabilization of the hillside.  Mr. Brumleve told the Applicant that he was glad to see that the proposed house is farther away from the stream than it was before.  

Mr. Kane indicated on the Applicant’s map the driveway, porch, walkways and lawn areas.  He stated that, by turning the house slightly, one of the lawn areas is eliminated.  He noted that the WCC was pleased that this lawn was “no longer in the picture” because it meant that there would be less of a problem with fertilizers and other groundwater contaminants.  

Chairman Gallelli asked the Board members if they had any further questions to ask the Applicant’s engineer, to which there were none.

Chairman Gallelli stated that she has prepared a draft resolution on this application.  She noted that Ms. Allen was unable to be at tonight’s meeting; however, Ms. Allen made a suggestion to her that the resolution should reflect all of the drawings that have been a part of this process from the very beginning.  The resolution may seem excessively detailed, but it tracks the various stages/steps in the process of going before the two boards (Planning Board and WCC), as well as the timing.  

Chairman Gallelli referred to the first condition of the resolution pertaining to the Tree Removal Chart prepared for tonight’s meeting by Mr. Mastromonaco.  This first condition in the resolution states that Scenario #3, as shown on the site plan dated May 8, 2003, shall be identified as the Tree Removal Plan that is approved by this resolution.  

Chairman Gallelli stated that a second condition should be added to the resolution as follows:  

“The program for the remediation plantings in the Wetlands Buffer Remediation Limits area, as shown on the plan entitled “Site Plan Lot 3,” dated January 16, 2003, last revised May 8, 2003, shall be approved by the WCC.”

Mr. Mastromonaco stated that the Applicant would be opposed to the idea of having to go back before the WCC.  The Applicant has already been before this board, and the Wetlands Permit has been granted.  Chairman Gallelli stated that the original approval called for an environmental site plan to be developed for each lot.  The environmental site plan for Lot #3 does not mention the exact amount/number of plants.  The Applicant has already agreed to do the plantings. The issue that still needs to be addressed is the number/quantities of plants.

Mr. Brumleve stated that it is his understanding that there are some invasive species of plants, which need to be eliminated.  The Applicant’s intention might be to pull out 200 rooted plants and replace with 5 other plant species to stabilize the hillside.  Mr. Brumleve did not think that there should be any objection on the part of the Applicant to provide the Planning Board with the quantities being requested.  He said, “All the Planning Board is asking for is clarity of content.”  

Chairman Gallelli reiterated that the quantities of plants could have been provided in the Applicant’s environmental site plan, but they were not.   The Planning Board is simply asking that the quantities be provided for review/approval by the WCC.

The Village Engineer suggested that the Planning Board could require the Applicant’s environmental consultant to issue a report on what is being done.  Mr. Brumleve added that the environmental consultant would have to be able to say in this report that the slope is stabilized.  

Mr. Klein expressed concern that, without a required number being specified, the number of plants removed and, then, replaced by more desirable species, might be insufficient.    

Chairman Gallelli stated that the resolution, which the Planning Board originally approved, called for monitoring by an environmental consultant who would be approved by the Village Engineer.

Mr. Klein reiterated that the plants need to be quantified through numbers and types of plants.  He thought that it might not necessarily take a meeting of the WCC to approve these numbers. For example, the Planning Board resolution could say that the numbers must be acceptable to the WCC chairman.

Mr. Kane suggested that the Applicant(s) could approach their environmental consultant, Tim Miller Associates, and request a planting plan/map indicating the different species and numbers of plants.  Chairman Gallelli stated again that the Planning Board is simply asking that the Applicant’s consultant provide the WCC with a report showing the quantities of plants (remediation plantings). The WCC’s decision on the plantings could, then, be provided to the Village Engineer without the Applicant’s having to attend a WCC meeting.

Chairman Gallelli suggested that the Planning Board work on the wording of the second condition.  The Planning Board’s intent would be that the Applicant’s report on the plantings could be submitted to the WCC for review/approval without the Applicant having to attend the actual meeting. Mr. Mastromonaco suggested that the review and the ultimate approval of the planting program could be left up to the Village Engineer rather than the WCC.  The Village Engineer could ask the WCC and the Village’s environmental consultant to review the planting program and provide comments.  However, the ultimate authority could be with the Village Engineer. The Planning Board found Mr. Mastromonaco’s suggestion to be acceptable.  The condition would, then, read:

“The program for remediation plantings in the Wetlands Buffer Remediation Limits area, as shown on the plan entitled Site Plan Lot 3, dated January 16, 2003, last revised May 8, 2003, be prepared in a manner satisfactory for review and approval by the Village Engineer.  The program shall clearly identify quantities of species to be used in remediation.”

Chairman Gallelli asked if there was any further discussion on this application, to which there was none.

Chairman Gallelli noted to the Applicant that, because there are only three members of the Planning Board present at the meeting tonight, all three members would have to be in favor of this application for the vote to be carried.  The Applicant has an option of waiting until a full board is present for the vote to take place.  Mr. Mastromonaco stated that, although there are only three Planning Board members present, the Applicant would prefer a vote on this application tonight.  

Chairman Gallelli entertained a motion to approve this application for Amended Site Plan Approval with the two conditions identified tonight.  The motion was made by Mr. Brumleve, seconded by Chairman Gallelli and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.


OTHER BUSINESS:

The Village Engineer told the Planning Board that Galena Feit of American Building Technologies wants to come back before the Planning Board on June 24th for the subdivision proposal that was before the Board several months ago.  Chairman Gallelli recalled that the subdivision being proposed was on the property situated at the corner of Old Post Road and Prospect Place. The Planning Board told Ms. Feit at that time that, before the application could be reviewed any further, the Planning Board would want to see the results of Dvirka & Bartilucci’s drainage study.  Chairman Gallelli noted that Dvirka & Bartilucci’s presentation on the drainage study is scheduled to take place before the Village Board on June 16th.  She has read the draft.  Dvirka & Bartilucci have concentrated on three specific drainage areas for detailed analyses, one of which is Prospect Place.   

Chairman Gallelli stated that, on the meeting of the 24th, the Planning Board will begin its review of the recommendations made by Stuart Cohen of Environmental & Turf Services (ETS) for amending the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for Hudson National Golf Course.  The reason for making these recommendations is that ETS had sent to the Village, earlier this year, a proposal to revise the monitoring program at the golf course.  Dr. Cohen was told that the Planning Board would want to see the amendment recommendations first; then, the Planning Board would be in a position to change the actual monitoring program.

Chairman Gallelli told the other members that, before the next meeting, she would write a letter to Dr. Cohen asking where in the document these recommendations should be added. The Planning Board would want to have these amendments appropriately incorporated into the EMP in order to maintain the integrity of the document as a whole.

Chairman Gallelli stated that the grocery store “Zeytuna” might also be before the Planning Board on the 24th.

Mr. Brumleve noted that there has been considerable sidewalk replacement work going on in the Village recently.  Some power poles have been replaced.  He wondered if there would be a way, while this sidewalk work is being done, for the Village to coordinate with the utility companies for underground conduits.  The Village Engineer said that he does not know how the utility companies would look at this proposition.  It would be a large outlay of money for them.  Furthermore, coordination between the sidewalk contractor and the utility companies might be difficult, given the way the sidewalk improvement program is being carried out.  Mr. Brumleve stated that he hoped there would be opportunities at some point to begin looking into this situation.  Chairman Gallelli noted that Mr. Brumleve’s point about getting rid of the overhead utility lines in the Village is totally consistent with the Village’s Comprehensive Plan.  The Comprehensive Plan identifies the gateway areas in the Village as being areas where overhead utilities should be eliminated.  Chairman Gallelli thought that Mr. Brumleve’s point was an extremely good one. The Village Engineer told the Planning Board that the Village is going to be working on the water main in the Harmon section of the Village over the next 2? years.  He thought this might present another opportunity to begin a dialogue with the utility companies.       

The Village Engineer stated that the owner of the Colonial Diner, Peter Tsagarakis, has come to him about a proposal to expand the diner.  Part of his proposal would be to provide additional parking in the vacant lots that he owns.

Chairman Gallelli stated that Amy Cotton, the owner of the antique store on Grand Street, wants to put up an awning at the front of her store.  She has been told that she would have to go before the Planning Board for Site Plan approval.  

Chairman Gallelli noted that, at the last meeting, Mr. Mastromonaco was told that the operator/owner of the Exxon Station in town would have to come before the Planning Board for an Amended Site Plan approval for the solar panels on top of the canopy.

Chairman Gallelli stated that, as it stands now, the three items on the agenda for next week’s meeting are the EMP amendments, the subdivision at Prospect Place and the “Zeytuna” grocery store.  She told the Planning Board Secretary that if any one of these three items comes off the agenda, then, one of the items that she just mentioned could be substituted.  




ADJOURNMENT:

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 9:17 P.M.

Sincerely,



Sylvia Mills,
SECRETARY


RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, M and A Real Estate has applied to the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY, for a relocation of the Building Limit Line shown on the Preliminary Plan, Proposed Subdivision, Velardo Property, Lot 3 – Sec. 67.19 Blk. 1 Lot 4.02 on the Village Tax Map, prepared by Ralph G. Mastromonaco, P.E., P.C., dated March 11, 1999, last revised Nov. 15, 1999, and
WHEREAS, the applicant has met with the Water Control Commission on April 10, 2003 and May 1, 2003 to examine locations for the proposed one-family dwelling as shown on a plan dated April 1, 2003, and a plan dated Jan. 16, 2003 (last revised April 29, 2003) prepared by Ralph G. Mastromonaco, and
WHEREAS, after extensive discussion and review, the Water Control Commission approved a Wetlands Activity Permit in a resolution dated May 1, 2003 with four (4) conditions, which approval would necessitate a relocation of the Building Limit Line as shown on the Preliminary Plat Drawing (dated March 11, 1999, revised Feb. 16, 2000) previously approved by the Planning Board on March 28, 2000, and
WHEREAS, the above-mentioned Preliminary Plat drawing contains a note specifying that “Principal buildings located beyond the Building Limit Lines shown on this map require approval of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson Planning Board,” and
WHEREAS, the Planning Board has reviewed the proposed relocation of the Building Limit Line as shown on the drawing labeled Site Plan Lot 3, prepared for M & A Real Estate Development Corp. by Ralph G. Mastromonaco, P.E., P.C., dated Jan. 16, 2003, last revised May 8, 2003, and
WHEREAS, the applicant has submitted a chart showing a comparison of the tree removal involved with the proposed development of Lot 3.  Such chart is based on the originally approved Tree Removal Plan, Proposed Subdivision Velardo Property, dated March 11, 1999, last revised Feb. 7, 2000, prepared by Ralph G. Mastromonaco, P.E., P.C., and
WHEREAS, under the requirements of Local Law 7 of 1977, the Planning Board has determined that there will be no adverse impacts resulting from the proposed application that cannot be properly mitigated.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY accepts the relocation of the Building Limit Line with the following conditions:
1.      The Tree Removal Chart prepared by Ralph G. Mastromonaco, dated May 30, 2003, be physically attached to both the Tree Removal Plan (dated March 11, 1999, revised Feb. 7, 2000) approved in the Preliminary Plat approval of March 28, 2000, and to the drawing entitled Site Plan Lot 3, prepared for M & A Real Estate Development Corporation, dated January 16, 2003 (last revised May 8, 2003).  In both cases, Scenario #3 (May 8, 2003) shall be clearly identified as the tree removal plan that is approved by this resolution.
2.      The program for remediation plantings in the Wetlands Buffer Remediation Limits area, as shown on the plan entitled Site Plan Lot 3, dated January 16, 2003, last revised May 8, 2003, be prepared in a manner satisfactory for review and approval by the Village Engineer.  The program shall clearly identify quantities of species to be used in remediation.
The Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York

                                                Ann H. Gallelli, Chairperson
                                                Fran Allen
                                                Ted Brumleve
                                        Joel Klein
                                                Andrew Zelman
                                                

Motion to approve by Mr. Brumleve, seconded by Chairman Gallelli and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.  

Resolution accepted with the minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday, June 3, 2003.