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Planning Board Minutes 06/24/03


A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 in the Municipal Building.

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

                         ABSENT:        Joel Klein
                 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.


Hudson National Golf Course – Discussion of Environmental Management Plan (EMP) Amendment Recommendations from Stuart Cohen of Environmental & Turf Services (ETS)

Greg Stanley, Superintendent of Grounds at the Hudson National Golf Course, was present.

Chairman Gallelli stated that tonight’s discussion is on Stuart Cohen’s recommended amendments to the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for the Hudson National Golf Course.  Dr. Cohen has been the Village’s consultant on the golf course for the Water Quality Monitoring Program and the EMP.  Chairman Gallelli stated that, last fall, Dr. Cohen told her that he would be making recommendations to revise the Water Quality Monitoring Program.  On February 12, 2003, he wrote a letter outlining these changes.  Chairman Gallelli replied to Dr. Cohen that the Planning Board would want to consider these changes in the context of the amendment recommendations to the EMP.  On April 16, 2003, Dr. Cohen sent his proposal for the amendments to the EMP.  There are six (6) amendments in all.  In a letter to the Planning Board dated June 19th, 2003, Dr. Cohen made his recommendations on where to place these amendments in the EMP document.  The Planning Board’s intent is to maintain the integrity of the document as a whole.
Chairman Gallelli told the other members that she asked Greg Stanley of HNGC to be here tonight.  Mr. Stanley should be kept informed about modifications to the EMP. The HNGC has a copy of the final EMP, and these modifications would ultimately become a part of the document.

Chairman Gallelli suggested that the Planning Board look at the six recommendations, as outlined in Dr. Cohen’s letter of April 16th, in the order in which they are presented.  She reiterated that in his letter of June 19th, Dr. Cohen recommends where in the document these amendments should be inserted.  He further recommends that the amendments should be added to the EMP as a new appendix (Appendix XIII).   

Ms. Allen referred to Dr. Cohen’s correspondence to the Planning Board dated February 12th, 2003.  She thought that the Planning Board might want to discuss the key assumptions that were made about time lines outlined in the letter of February 12th.  All the rest follows from these key assumptions about starting dates.  The monitoring went on before the collection of samples officially started. How do we treat what happened during that period?  If something is being monitored, and an exceedance occurred triggering more monitoring, how does the timing work out?  Ms. Allen expressed her concerns about the time line for monitoring pesticides and the decisions that were (are being) made on eliminating the monitoring of certain pesticides.   

Chairman Gallelli told Ms. Allen that Dr. Cohen is suggesting a change in only three chemicals. In all three cases, the chemicals that are being discussed were never used, were withdrawn from use or never had an exceedance.  Whether the monitoring started in 1997 or 1999, the chemicals that Dr. Cohen is referring to never exceeded the Response Threshold (RT) or were withdrawn from use.  

Ms. Allen noted that the chemical chlorothalonil was withdrawn from use.  PCNB was used in 1997 and, then, was withdrawn from use.  It has not been used since.

Ms. Allen thought that the Planning Board should see a record of the present state of the chemical monitoring as of the amendments to the EMP now being proposed.  The information provided should be recorded in table form.  She would want to know, with respect to the chemical monitoring, what happened, when it happened, and if the chemical(s) in question (was) were removed.  She would want a list of chemicals that have been applied and when they were applied. Ms. Allen stated that, basically, what she is looking for is a new (updated) table.

Chairman Gallelli noted to Ms. Allen that every year the HNGC submits an annual report on pesticides in which some of this information, at least, is probably found.  Ms. Allen stated that what she is looking for is an update to the EMP.  She wants to see updated information, which, at the present time, is spread out in various documents.  The updated information could be compiled in table form.  This new table would list which chemicals have been applied and tested, which ones have never been applied, which ones have been removed from the list, etc.  Ms. Allen referred to Table 12 on page 59 of the EMP and stated that the Planning Board needs to see another list on what was (has been) applied and if there were any exceedances.    
Chairman Gallelli noted that, if HNGC wants to introduce a new chemical/pesticide on the golf course, then, they have to go before the Planning Board.

Chairman Gallelli stated that it is her understanding that, if the Planning Board follows Dr. Cohen’s recommendations, this table, which Ms. Allen is referring to, would be updated.  Chlorothalonil and PCNB would be crossed out.  A footnote would be added stating that these chemicals have been terminated.  If HNGC wants to introduce a new chemical or reinstate one that has been terminated, then, HNGC would have to come back before the Planning Board.  

Greg Stanley of HNGC referred to Dr. Cohen’s memorandum dated April 16th.  He thought that the last paragraph on page 1 addresses the point that Ms. Allen has raised tonight.  Chairman Gallelli stated that, in this paragraph, Dr. Cohen refers to chemicals/pesticides, which have never been used.  She thought that the point he was making in this paragraph is that HNGC should not be penalized for not using pesticides on the golf course.

Ms. Allen stated that she would want to make sure that, when it is deemed appropriate, HNGC feels comfortable with changing the type of chemicals/pesticides being used.  The Planning Board would want to encourage the golf course to use new and better chemicals.  Her point tonight is that she simply wants to be sure that any and all of the chemicals that are being used do not create any problems.             

Mr. Zelman said that he had a question about chemicals that were approved for use but were never used. He understands Dr. Cohen’s argument; however, the Planning Board is still left with the fact that there is a chemical that has never been monitored.  Chairman Gallelli suggested that perhaps Dr. Cohen could make a recommendation to the Planning Board on how this might be looked at.

Mr. Zelman wanted to know what happens if a chemical has been used in the past and is introduced again at a much higher quantity/level.  Mr. Stanley responded that chemicals are always applied at label rates or less.  He could not imagine that happening.  Chairman Gallelli stated that the EMP prescribes the maximum rates for application but, generally speaking, the amounts that have been applied have been less than these maximum rates.

Mr. Zelman stated that, if there is a significant difference between the prior use of a chemical and the reintroduced use, then, it is almost like introducing a new chemical.  Detection does not depend on level of usage.  He could see a case where half a dose is used and then later on, twice the amount is used.  He does not know if this should be considered any different than using a new chemical.

Chairman Gallelli stated that she thought the questions raised tonight were good ones.  The Planning Board can ask Dr. Cohen to provide the answers to all these questions.  She suggested that the Planning Board should continue reviewing Dr. Cohen’s amendment recommendations and come back to amendment #1 later on.

Chairman Gallelli referred to amendment #2 and stated that this amendment has to do with sediment monitoring.  Dr. Cohen suggests that monitoring pesticides in sediment should be discontinued.

Ms. Allen stated that the farm pond on the golf course property was made much larger and acts as a water quality basin/catch basin.  There was a question about it filling up with sediment.  She would like to hear from the Water Control Commission (WCC) about what state it is in.  

Chairman Gallelli suggested that the Planning Board could look at what Dr. Cohen is saying in his recommendation #2.  Basically, sediment monitoring was important during the construction of the golf course when the possibility of soil erosion was the greatest.  Now, the construction is complete.  The ground is stabilized.  Chairman Gallelli stated that the turbidity levels in the water quality monitoring have declined considerably.  The one time that there was a threshold reached in the farm pond, it did not continue downstream to the surface water.  Dr. Cohen thinks this is further evidence that the farm pond, as a water control basin, is working properly.  The golf course turf has been established, and there is very little soil erosion.  Dr. Cohen thinks that sediment monitoring is no longer necessary, and he suggests eliminating it.  

Ms. Allen stated that, because the farm pond is a water control facility, storm water flows into it.  She did not know whether much sediment was being carried into the farm pond.  The questions she would ask are, “What is the accumulative effect of pesticides and fertilizers over years of sediment build-up?” and “How will we manage the assessment of it every year?”

Mr. Stanley thought that Dr. Cohen’s points in his amendment recommendation #2 were well made.  He noted that the turbidity levels have shown a dramatic decrease since the golf course has gone into operation.

Ms. Allen wanted to know how the farm pond is being managed.  She asked if it is being managed like a water control basin.  Mr. Stanley stated that he inspects the farm pond every 6 to 8 weeks and checks the integrity of the dam to make sure the spillway is clean.  

Mr. Kane referred to the last paragraph on page 3 in which Dr. Cohen states that low turbidity results have been observed at all on-site surface water monitoring stations.  This is evidence that the Best Management Practices (BMP’s) are working.  The water exiting the farm pond has very little sediment in it.    

Chairman Gallelli asked the Planning Board members if they were in agreement with Dr. Cohen’s recommendation #2 on sediment monitoring, to which the Planning Board members said that they were.

Chairman Gallelli referred to Protocol Amendment #3 calling for a provision to be added to the EMP that would require an annual field audit during water sample collection.  Conducting an annual audit would ensure that proper quality control guidelines are being followed and proper collection techniques are being used. It was the consensus of the Planning Board that Dr. Cohen’s amendment recommendation #3 should be approved.

Chairman Gallelli referred to Protocol Amendment #4 pertaining to the relocation and modification of surface water station SW-5.  Dr. Cohen is recommending that this station be relocated to increase the sample success rate.  Chairman Gallelli stated that, in Amendment #5, Dr. Cohen is recommending that station SW-3a be modified.  Finally, in Amendment #6, Dr. Cohen is suggesting that a review should be conducted to evaluate the effect on the monitoring of pollutants of moving a surface water station.   

Chairman Gallelli reiterated that Amendment recommendation #4 calls for the relocation of SW-5.  According to ETS, the sampling from this station has been unsuccessful due to the insufficient flow of water into this station.  ETS wants to work with the Superintendent of Grounds at HNGC, Greg Stanley, to assign a more appropriate spot.   

Chairman Gallelli referred to Amendment #5 pertaining to the relocation of SW-3a.  According to Dr. Cohen, sometimes, during sampling, the only water flowing into SW-3a is water from a garden hose. At those times, the laboratory taking the samples would be analyzing municipal water and not golf course discharge. This garden hose is situated in this particular location to ensure a minimum flow into the stream, which flows into the arboretum.  Dr. Cohen suggests that the EMP should be amended so that more effective testing can take place in this location.  Water station SW-3a could be relocated upstream and/or the garden hose moved further downstream.  Ms. Allen thought that this suggestion made sense.

Mr. Stanley wondered if the testing could take place in the irrigation pond.  He thought that it might be beneficial.  He noted that this is a highly managed area.  Chairman Gallelli stated that Dr. Cohen is recommending that ETS work with the golf course superintendent and the Village to find the best spot for the testing to take place.  She did not think that this issue could be resolved tonight.  Ms. Allen stated that she thinks any testing taking place in the irrigation pond could be misleading.  If anything, the results of the monitoring would test higher and not lower.  This would lead to more care having to be taken.  She noted that many sites were chosen to test the water going off the golf course property.  It is essential that, for the water going into the arboretum, the water being monitored be captured at exactly the right point.   

Mr. Stanley stated that there might be room for the testing to take place where the water supply enters the stream at the foot of the spillway.  He noted that the hose is below the frost line so that it does not freeze in the wintertime.  He thought it would be a job to do the testing there, but it might solve the problem.

Chairman Gallelli reiterated that the Village would ask Dr. Cohen to work with the golf course on the best place to relocate these water quality monitoring stations.  She noted to Mr. Stanley that the Planning Board would need a complete new map showing the exact locations of the new stations.

Chairman Gallelli stated that Protocol Amendment #6 has to do with modifying Response Thresholds (RTs) for the nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus, in each of the surface water monitoring stations. SW-1 and SW-2 have been relocated since the baseline monitoring period in 1994, which may effect pollutant concentrations.  SW-3a and SW-5 did not exist during the baseline monitoring period.  

Ms. Allen noted that the baselines for phosphorus and nitrogen were based on what existed in 1994, but the exceedances for chemicals are based on government standards. Mr. Stanley stated that the one (exceedances) has to do with pesticide monitoring and the other (baselines) has to do with response thresholds. Mr. Stanley stated that these baselines have provided the necessary data.  The goal(s) of the on-going management of the golf course would not change those results.    

Ms. Allen referred to the last sentence in the second paragraph of Amendment #6, which reads, “While this station (SW-1) has not had many N and P response threshold exceedances, it is still necessary to consider modifying the RT accordingly.”  Ms. Allen wondered if there is any intent to extend the monitoring period for these RT changes.  She noted that earlier amendments talk about changes that are being proposed.  This amendment talks about changing the thresholds.  She asked what is going to be done about extending the monitoring period for the change in locations.  Chairman Gallelli thought that Ms. Allen’s question was a good one.

Chairman Gallelli stated that the Planning Board seems to be in agreement with Amendments 2, 3, 4, and 5.  For Amendment #6, the Planning Board should consider the question that Ms. Allen just asked, i.e., “Is there any intention or need to change the monitoring for relocated SW-1 and SW-2?”  Also, for Amendment #1, there were a number of questions that have been identified tonight.  

Ms. Allen stated again that, for Amendment #1, she would like to have a table that would identify what was used, when it was used and for how long.  There is also the question of chemicals that were approved for use but never used.  Mr. Zelman noted that there are two separate issues: 1) chemicals on the list that were never used and 2) chemicals that have been used and have been reintroduced in a much higher dosage.  These chemicals have never been tested at these higher levels.  Mr. Brumleve pointed out to Mr. Zelman that, by saying it in this way, it sounds as if the golf course is going to increase the levels.  He suggested saying instead “…still within the recommended levels but more than was applied before.”  

Mr. Zelman had a question about the pesticides applied at the end of the monitoring period.  He asked if a pesticide/chemical could be put down so late in the period that it is never monitored.  Chairman Gallelli stated that it is her understanding that if something was never used but is used now, and there are only 1? years left until the end of the program, then, it would not be monitored.  Ms. Allen expressed her concern about the monitoring of these pesticides used late in the monitoring period.  She thought that a protocol should be put in place for monitoring a pesticide when the golf course starts using it.  If there were any new pesticides, then, it would go into the 5- or 3-year monitoring program.  Mr. Stanley stated that if this is the case, then, the golf course should have been notified of this policy in the very beginning. The golf course was encouraged not to use too many chemicals. If monitoring of chemicals is to start now and continue for the next 3 to 5 years, then, the golf course should have applied all the chemicals on the list in the very beginning. Mr. Stanley stated that the members have been satisfied with the condition of the golf course based on the materials used.  He added that the golf course has made a good effort not to apply all the chemicals that could have been used.  Chairman Gallelli noted again that, if a new chemical is being introduced, the golf course has to come back before the Planning Board.

Chairman Gallelli suggested that, with respect to Amendments #1 and #6, Ms. Allen could contact Stuart Cohen and raise the issues brought up at tonight’s meeting.  She thought that Ms. Allen was very knowledgeable about the design and processes in place at the golf course and could best articulate the questions posed tonight.  Ms. Allen could report back to the Planning Board at the next meeting.  Ms. Allen stated that she would be willing to contact Dr. Cohen about these matters.  The Planning Board members all agreed that this would be a good solution. Ms. Allen stated that she thought it would be important to understand which of the chemicals being discussed are benign and which ones are not.  Chairman Gallelli thought that this information could be found in previous meeting notes, or she (Ms. Allen) could ask Dr. Cohen.  

The Planning Board all agreed that Amendments #2, 3, 4 and 5 should be incorporated into the EMP.

Chairman Gallelli stated that Stuart Cohen’s e-mail dated June 19th says exactly where the six amendments should be placed in the EMP document and what the wording should be.  The three copies of the final EMP will have to be updated accordingly.  Chairman Gallelli told Greg Stanley that his copy would have to be updated.  He should bring it to the Village Engineer’s office.  The Village Engineer noted that there were PDF versions that were sent out, and these have to be updated as well.

Karen Jescavage-Bernard, president of the Arboretum, was present.  She asked if she should submit her comments on the amendments in writing, to which Chairman Gallelli suggested that she could ask her questions now.  Ms. Bernard said that she wants to find out if any chemicals originally approved have been discontinued by the Federal Government or are slated to be discontinued.  She also wants to know if the approval of a new product would trigger a new round of monitoring, to which Chairman Gallelli responded that whether or not monitoring would be required is at the discretion of the Planning Board.  It may be required.  She added that when the request is made, the Planning Board would have to look into it and balance it with what is currently being used.  The monitoring period would be no longer than 5 years.

Ms. Bernard stated that it appears Dr. Cohen does not have a problem with moving the surface water monitoring stations.  She said that she finds it strange.  There have been times when the flow is so slow that it is impossible to obtain samples.  She said that what the Arboretum has done to rectify this situation is to create another station further downstream.  There have been times when it has been impossible to obtain a sample from the original station, but Dr. Cohen does not mention this.  She thought that it would be interesting to go back to the annual report and see what Dr. Cohen’s findings are for that individual station (the Arboretum). Ms. Bernard stated that she wants to revisit the recommendation to move SW-3a.  Historically, this station was put where it is downstream because it was thought advisable to monitor anything coming down from hole #8.  It was also put there to test the water quality going into the Arboretum. Chairman Gallelli said that she thought the Planning Board had agreed earlier that there might be room to put a testing station where the water enters the stream at the foot of the dam. Ms. Bernard pointed out that, if it were relocated to the irrigation pond, then, the outflow would be different if it were diluted with millions of gallons of water. The Village Engineer suggested that when the sampling takes place, the water could be turned off, to which Ms. Allen said that she thought this could get very complicated.  

Chairman Gallelli asked Ms. Allen if she thought she could have the discussion with Dr. Cohen within the next week, to which Ms. Allen thought that she could.

Ms. Allen said that she recalls that the Planning Board ended up with a multi-layered list of pesticides/chemicals, and the WCC was involved, to which Chairman Gallelli responded that she thinks this was an earlier report submitted when the Prickly Pear golf course application was before the Planning Board.

Ms. Allen stated that she thinks the monitoring results at the golf course are very heartening.  There have been very few problems to report.

Chairman Gallelli stated that, at a previous meeting, the Planning Board discussed going to the golf course when the leaves are out.  The purpose would be to look at the plantings.  Mr. Brumleve said that he could probably go on a site visit to the golf course anytime after 5:00 P.M.  Mr. Zelman said that, because he works in the City, a later time would be better for him.  Chairman Gallelli thought that Joel Klein could probably be there any time after 5:00 P.M.  She noted that, according to Bruce Donohue, the planting program at the golf course for the year 2003 is all done.  

The Planning Board would continue its discussion on Dr. Cohen’s recommended amendments to the EMP at the next Planning Board meeting.


Chairman Gallelli stated that Galena Feit’s subdivision proposal at Old Post Road North and Prospect Place is coming back before the Planning Board.  There are now three rather than four lots being proposed.  

Chairman Gallelli stated that the Village Board is referring to the Planning Board a change, proposed by Westchester County, for the location of the model airplane field.  It is now located too close to the Half Moon Bay condominiums, and the County wants to relocate it to the top of the dome of the original landfill.  

Chairman Gallelli told the others that she thinks the Village Board, sometime in the future, might be asking the Planning Board to review a change to the Steep Slopes Law.  

Chairman Gallelli stated that Amy Cotton would be coming before the Planning Board next week for a retractable awning at the front of her antique store.  Also, Brian Ackerman and Lael Morgan would be coming before the Board for a discussion of a lot line adjustment. There is some question as to whether this application from Mr. Ackerman and Ms. Morgan constitutes a subdivision rather than a lot line adjustment.  The Village Attorney, Seymour Waldman, is looking into this matter.  

Chairman Gallelli noted to the other members that the Village Engineer wants to make a recommendation to the Village Board to increase the Recreation Fee from $5,000 to $7,500.  

The Village Engineer told the members that the Village is in the process of reviewing fees.  Changing these fees would require modifying the Village Code in different parts.  The Village Engineer stated that, as far as the subdivision of land is concerned, the Applicant has to provide land for recreation purposes or pay a fee to the Village to help support parks and recreation.  This fee is paid either when the subdivision plan is approved or prior to a Building Permit being issued.  He would recommend increasing this fee.

Mr. Brumleve told the Planning Board that he is teaching this summer on Mondays and Wednesdays and will, therefore, be unable to attend the VEB meetings.  He noted that the VEB is now in the process of reviewing the current signage law.

Chairman Gallelli reminded the Planning Board members that the joint-meeting of the Planning Board, Comprehensive Plan Committee and the Village Board is scheduled to take place on July 14th.  The discussion will be the revision of the gateway law.

Chairman Gallelli stated that she and Ted Brumleve would be unable to attend the Planning Board meeting of August 5th.  Ms. Allen stated that she might not be able to attend the meeting of August 26th.  

Mr. Brumleve stated that it appears that Zoller’s roof is being used for the storage of jet skis.  He questioned if this were safe from an engineering standpoint, to which the Village Engineer said that he would look into this matter.


The minutes of the Tuesday, May 27, 2003 Planning Board meeting were approved, as amended, on a motion by Mr. Brumleve, seconded by Ms. Allen and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.  Planning Board member, Andrew Zelman, abstained.

Approval of the minutes of the Tuesday, June 3, 2003 Planning Board meeting was adjourned until the next meeting.


There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 9:40 P.M.


Sylvia Mills,