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Planning Board Minutes 11/04/03


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

        MEMBERS PRESENT:                Ann Gallelli, Chair
                                                Fran Allen
                                                Joel Klein

                         ABSENT:                Ted Brumleve
        Thomas Burniston
                 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.


Van Wyck Associates (Mark Giordano) – 50 Maple Street - (Sec. 79.09 Blk. 1 Lot 30) – Discussion of Amended Site Plan-Related Issues

Sam Villagomez of Van Wyck Associates and Ender Ozgur from “Zeytinia” were present for this application.  

Chairman Gallelli stated that the Applicant has submitted a plan for tonight’s meeting showing most of the changes that the Planning Board asked for in its October 14th resolution of approval for the  “Zeytinia” gourmet market.

Chairman Gallelli noted that the Planning Board had hoped to have tonight a discussion on the 18-wheeler truck situation at the shopping center.  This discussion was to take place with the owner of the property, Mark Giordano, and, if possible, a representative from the CVS drugstore.  However, neither Mr. Giordano nor CVS are here tonight.     

Chairman Gallelli noted that the sign application for “Zeytinia” is not ready for the Planning Board to review.  The Applicant is here tonight to address some other site plan-related issues.

Mr. Ozgur presented to the Board members a plan showing where the condensers would be situated on the roof.  He stated that they will no longer have a cooling tower, just these condensers.  He said that he brought for the Board’s review tonight the sound data on these condensers.  

Mr. Klein noted that the decibel level is 72 to 75.  He thought that this would, presumably, be the decibel level at the source.

Chairman Gallelli told Mr. Ozgur that, in the Planning Board resolution, the Board called for a baseline noise study to be performed.  The Planning Board imposed that condition so that the Board could compare subsequent noise against this baseline noise.  She stated that the Planning Board would need a noise measurement taken so that there could be a comparison made.  A noise consultant would have to be hired to look at sensitive receptors and put noise meters up.  Mr. Klein stated that, if the noise level is too high, then the Applicant might have to install buffers to keep the noise down.  

Ms. Allen referred to the noise data for the condensers and asked the Applicant what all the numbers mean.  She asked if, for example, the decibel level “72 to 75” is the ambient noise as it exists on the roof, or the internal noise of the condenser motor given in the brochure.  Ms. Allen stated that the Applicant’s noise consultant should work with the Village Engineer to establish the points (locations) for the base line study.  Noise measurements would have to be taken.  Ms. Allen stated that the Applicant should be in touch with the manufacturer of these condensers for further clarification of the noise data.  She would like the Planning Board to have a written summary of what all these numbers signify.

Chairman Gallelli asked if the condensers could be seen from the front of the store, to which Mr. Ozgur said that they could not.

Mr. Villagomez told the Board members that Mr. Giordano would like to re-stripe the parking lot, to which Chairman Gallelli pointed out that the re-striping of the parking lot is one of the Planning Board’s conditions of approval.  She referred to the Applicant’s plan and stated that, at the last meeting, the Planning Board agreed that the spacing shown on this plan is the appropriate spacing. He (Mr. Giordano) can re-stripe the parking lot as shown.

Mr. Villagomez stated that all of the two-hour parking signs have been installed at the shopping center.

Mr. Villagomez told the Planning Board that, according to their (the Applicant’s) engineer, the driveway entrance in the back of the shopping center is adequate for 18-wheeler trucks to enter head-on.  He demonstrated on the plan how this could be done.  The Village Engineer noted that, if these trucks were to turn around in this way, they would be going against traffic. Mr. Villagomez told the Board that Mr. Giordano intends to discuss this matter at the next meeting on this application.  The Village Engineer noted that, for the next meeting, the Applicant’s plan should show the turning radius.

Chairman Gallelli stated that the Planning Board would like to have a representative from CVS present at the discussion on the 18-wheelers.  The Planning Board would like to know what alternatives CVS might have to offer for making deliveries to the drugstore or, if they feel there are no alternative ways, what case they would make for maintaining deliveries in 18-wheeler trucks.     

Chairman Gallelli stated that, at the last meeting, the Planning Board asked to have a note put on the Applicant’s plan that the gate in the back is to be closed at 9:30 P.M.  This note is not on the current (revised) plan.

Joann Minett of 5 Van Cortlandt Place was present.  She expressed concern about the 18-wheeler trucks making deliveries to the back.  She did not believe that the turning radius at the entrance was sufficient for these large trucks. She said that when they back in now, it takes them a long time to maneuver.  They hit the guardrail or the rock.  She said that they never pull in, as it is being shown on the Applicant’s plan.  

Ms. Minett wanted to know if the turn at the entrance would be widened should CVS say that they absolutely need the 18-wheeler truck deliveries.  Chairman Gallelli told Ms. Minett that the Planning Board put a condition in the “Zeytinia” Amended Site Plan resolution that if the 18-wheelers are to remain, there may have to be a modification to the entrance of the shopping center to accommodate these trucks.  Ms. Minett asked if it is true that any new businesses to the shopping center would not be allowed to receive deliveries in 18-wheeler trucks, to which Chairman Gallelli replied that this is, indeed, true.  She told Ms. Minett that this is a condition of the Amended Site Plan Approval.

Chairman Gallelli noted that, at the last meeting, the Planning Board decided that it would ask the Village Manager to write to the Post Office about changing the location of the drop-off mailbox.

Ms. Minett stated that the engines from the 18-wheeler trucks rattle her house in the wintertime when the drivers keep the engines running.  She suggested that, perhaps, there could be a sign that says that truck drivers have to wait in the front.  They could then come around to the back when they are ready to make the deliveries.  Chairman Gallelli suggested that the Board could revisit this issue when it has its next discussion with Mark Giordano on the 18-wheelers.

Chairman Gallelli summarized for the Applicant some of the remaining items to be addressed.  The Applicant’s consultant will have to do a baseline noise study.  The Applicant’s plan should be revised to show the turning radius at the entrance.  A note should be added to the plan that the gate in the back must be closed by 9:30 P.M.  Ms. Allen added that the Planning Board also needs some further clarification of the noise data on the condensers.

Chairman Gallelli told Mr. Ozgur that he would have to come back to the Planning Board for the signage being proposed for the gourmet market.  The Planning Board has not yet approved the signage. Chairman Gallelli noted that the “Zeytinia” sign application has already been before the VEB.  Mr. Ozgur stated that, as a result of the discussions with the VEB, the sign is going to be a darker green than what was originally proposed.  Chairman Gallelli reiterated that, in order to approve the signage, the Planning Board would need to see this revised application.


Hudson National Golf Club – (Sec. 67.16 Blk. 1 Lots 1, 2 & 27) -– Application for Amended Site Plan Approval for a ‘Practice Hole’

Gregg Stanley, Superintendent of Grounds for Hudson National Golf Club, and Brad Saunders of Sasaki Associates, Inc., were present for this application.

Chairman Gallelli noted that, about one month ago, the Planning Board made a site visit to the golf course, during which the Planning Board members identified some issues/concerns that they believed should be looked at more carefully.  As a result of this site visit, the Applicant is presenting tonight a different plan than what was originally being proposed.  

Mr. Saunders reviewed for those present the golf club’s proposal, stating that this Amended Site Plan application is to construct a “practice hole,’ which includes a short-game practice area and a teaching facility. The ‘practice hole’ and teaching facility is on approximately 9.9 acres of land of which 4.7 acres were recently purchased and the other 5.2 acres are lands that have been part of the club since its inception.  The driving range is proposed to be 285 yards in length.  The width will vary from 190’ to 280’.  The teaching facility will be a small building (1,500 sq. ft.).  Mr. Saunders pointed out on the map the location of the short-game practice area.  

Mr. Saunders stated that the new plan represents modifications from the one seen at the Planning Board meeting in September.  There were a number of comments/concerns expressed by members of the public at the September meeting.  In the new plan, the alignment of the driving range has been shifted to the northwest.  The slope has been tightened up.  The area of disturbance has been shifted further back and farther away from Mrs. Arnold’s residence.  The distance from the retaining wall to Mrs. Arnold’s property is now 470’.  The purpose of the proposed retaining wall is to decrease the amount of disturbance to the woods.  This retaining wall would be made of stone.

Mr. Klein asked Mr. Saunders if the retaining wall would be a wet-laid or dry-laid stone, to which Mr. Saunders said that it would probably be dry-laid stone.  

Mr. Saunders stated that the storm water would be managed using two water quality basins.  He indicated the location of the basins on the map.   The basins have been designed to be in compliance with the DEC’s current Storm Water Management Design Manual.  A hydrology analysis has been performed and the report has been submitted with this application.  Mr. Saunders stated that the Applicant is looking forward to having the Planning Board’s consultant(s) review this report.  Chairman Gallelli noted that Stuart Cohen of Environmental & Turf Services (E&TS) and Tony Conetta of Dvirka & Bartilucci will be the consultants reviewing the hydrology report.

Mr. Saunders stated that, in conjunction with this proposal, the Applicant intends to close off Finney Farm Lane and revegetate the roadbed with trees and shrubs.  Also, the Applicant proposes to convert the club’s existing driving range into an old field habitat for those species that are associated with grassland habitats.

Ms. Allen noted that the trees in the area of the proposed ‘practice hole’ consist largely of oaks and hickory trees and, also, some cherry and birch trees.  She hoped to be able to save as many trees as possible.  She pointed to the corner of the new tee-off area and asked if it was absolutely necessary to disturb this area.  Mr. Stanley stated that he would look into it.  If it were possible to adjust the practice tee and save these trees, he would do so.  Mr. Saunders noted that if the corner of the practice tee were reduced in this way, it would eliminate one or two of the sections to tee off.  Chairman Gallelli noted that because the entire ‘practice hole’ has been shifted to the northeast, many of the trees that were to be removed would be saved.

William Broudy of 31 Finney Farm Road was present.  He asked if the revegetation on Finney Farm Lane would have an effect on the drainage, to which Mr. Saunders said that it would undoubtedly affect the drainage.  Mr. Broudy asked if the re-sculpturing of the land would create some other source of water runoff, to which Chairman Gallelli replied that this is exactly the type of question/concern that the Planning Board’s consultants would look into when they review the drainage studies.

Mr. Klein wanted to know if there would be a change to the cut and fill balance, to which Mr. Saunders replied that the balance of cut and fill would remain the same.  Mr. Klein asked how much rock would have to come out, to which Mr. Saunders said that nothing would have to come off the site.

Ms. Allen asked about the sewer system being proposed, to which Mr. Saunders replied that a septic system would need to be installed for the bathrooms in the teaching facility.  

Eugene Perl of 39 Finney Farm Road asked the Applicant what the red lines on the map signify, to which Mr. Saunders answered that the red lines indicate the 20’ buffer of the wetlands area.  

Chairman Gallelli stated that, according to the Environmental Assessment Form (EAF), the Applicant anticipates that 10,000 gallons of water per day would be required for irrigation purposes. She told the Applicant that the Planning Board would ask the Village’s water foreman, Thomas Brann, to look into this matter and give the Planning Board his assessment.

Mr. Broudy asked if the construction of the ‘practice hole’ would have an effect on a proposed water line possibly being installed one day on Finney Farm Road, to which Mr. Saunders replied that he did not think it would have an effect.  Chairman Gallelli noted that the Planning Board would want to make sure that the construction of the ‘practice hole’ would not interfere with and/or prevent a solution to any potential water problems.

Mr. Klein noted that, as a result of the shift in the centerline, the old stone wall has to be moved.  He asked if a portion of the old wall could be kept in place to suggest, for future generations, that the wall would have continued in this direction and to make it clear that it was moved, to which Mr. Saunders said that this would, indeed, be possible.

Ms. Allen stated that there is, presently, an environmental study being conducted, which involves four or five towns.  The study is on the preservation of open space and is part of a larger land use program.  The first report will be available in April 2004.  Ms. Allen noted that one of the subjects under review is how biotic corridors are connected from one to another.  Ms. Allen thought that it might be of interest to explore this subject in connection with the proposed development of the field habitat at the old driving range.  Ms. Allen thought that the Planning Board would also want the Arboretum and the Audubon Society to become involved with the Applicant’s efforts to create an old field habitat.

Ms. Nelson wanted to know what the water quality basins do, to which Mr. Saunders replied that the drainage from the driving range is collected in the field drains and flows through culverts into these basins.  The water quality basins remove pollutants, and they (also) hold floodwaters.  

Ms. Nelson asked what the width of the driving range would be, to which Mr. Saunders replied that the width ranges from 190 feet to 280 feet.  Ms. Nelson asked about the golfers who hit the ball a long distance.  Mr. Saunders told Ms. Nelson that these golfers normally hit the ball the distance of the driving range, or they have to reduce the size of their club.

Ms. Nelson asked if the teaching facility was just for members or for the general public, to which Mr. Saunders stated that it is just for the members.

Ms. Nelson pointed to an area on Finney Farm Lane and stated that, at one time, there was a problem with drainage in this area, to which Mr. Saunders replied that the area where the drainage basin is now is going to be a pond.

Ms. Nelson asked if the public would be allowed in the old driving range, which is going to become a wildlife habitat.  Mr. Stanley said that the public would not be allowed in that area.

Theresa Arnold of 51 Finney Farm Road expressed concern about the proximity of the ‘practice hole’ to her property.  Chairman Gallelli noted that, with the shift in location that has taken place, the ‘practice hole’ is farther away from her property than it was before.

Mr. Perl expressed concern about the affect on the drainage, given the vegetation that would have to be removed.  Mr. Saunders stated that, indeed, vegetation would have to be removed; however, it would be replaced.  

Mr. Perl asked what would happen to the residents if the catch basins fill up faster than expected and the proposed drainage system fails.  Mr. Saunders stated that the storm water management system has to be designed properly so that this does not happen.  Mr. Perl said that he would want to know if penalties would be imposed if the system does not work.  Mr. Saunders stated that two water quality basins are being proposed to make sure that the natural split of the water flow is maintained.  Ms. Allen noted that the Finney Farm pool is fed by water from this area.  It is important that current flows be maintained.

Donald Sapir of 25 Finney Farm Road was present.  He asked what type of structure(s) would be erected for the training facility, to which Mr. Stanley responded that the facility would be a 30’ x 50’ barn-type structure.  Mr. Sapir asked if there would be different stations for people to take lessons, to which Mr. Stanley said that there would be.

Mr. Sapir asked what the emergency access would be for the facility, to which Mr. Stanley said that the emergency access would be through the club’s service road.  Mr. Sapir stated that he would suggest that Finney Farm Road should be designated the emergency access route.  He thought that there should be some benefit to the public from the golf club’s latest proposal.  He stated that, in his view, the golf club should be required to maintain Finney Farm Road year around.  Ms. Allen did not think that Mr. Sapir’s argument, that the golf club should be required to maintain Finney Farm Road, was an appropriate argument for tonight’s discussion.  The Applicant is before the Planning Board for a ‘practice hole.’  She reiterated that it is not the right venue for having this discussion.

Mr. Stanley stated that, with respect to emergency access, the golf club submitted an emergency response plan several years ago.  It addresses ingress to the property.  There is emergency access to the property on Prickly Pear Hill Road, Fox Road and Arrowcrest Drive.       

Mr. Sapir asked if there would be any benefit to the public at all in the Planning Board’s approving this Amended Site Plan. Chairman Gallelli stated that there would be a general benefit derived from the Applicant’s efforts to develop the field habitat at the old driving range and to revegetate Finney Farm Lane.  Mr. Saunders noted that the Village would gain tax revenue.

Mr. Sapir said that he is at a loss to understand why the Village would approve this amendment when there is no benefit to the Village.  Mr. Stanley told Mr. Sapir that a ‘practice hole’ is a permitted use in this zoning district; however, the Applicant is required to go before the Planning Board for an Amended Site Plan Approval.  The Village Engineer added that the burden on the Applicant is that the Applicant must not cause any further adverse environmental impacts.  

Jon Goplerud of 33 Finney Farm Road asked what zoning district the subject property is in, to which Chairman Gallelli replied that the property is in the RA-40 Zoning District.  Mr. Goplerud expressed concern that a ‘practice hole’ is being constructed in a residential area, to which Chairman Gallelli noted that membership clubs such as this are permitted uses in the RA-40 Zoning District.

Mr. Goplerud was concerned about the impact of this proposal on the wetland areas. He noted that there would be four additional acres of fertigated land.  He asked how the impact to the wetland areas would be monitored, to which Mr. Saunders replied that the golf club is going to implement the same environmental management plan that is currently in place with Environmental & Turf Services (E&TS).  Also, the water quality basins being proposed are designed to keep pollutants from going downstream.  The pollutants settle in the water. The vegetation takes up the excess nutrients before it is discharged into the wetlands.  Mr. Saunders stated that these water quality basins are (would be) monitored by E&TS.  Ms. Allen added that the Planning Board would expect that this monitoring would take place at the appropriate points. She stated that the monitoring program with E&TS has been going on since 1996.  There are several volumes of reports, nearly all of which she has read. E&TS has been monitoring all of the water flows at storm events and after (chemical) applications.  Both surface water and ground water monitoring has taken place.  

Mr. Goplerud expressed his concern about possible contamination of well water in this area.  He stated that the neighboring residents need to be assured that their wells would not be contaminated. Mr. Stanley told Mr. Goplerud that the residents’ “comfort level” about their water supply could be found in reading the extensive data compiled thus far.    

Mr. Perl expressed his concern about contamination of well water.  He said that by the time the well water test results are reviewed and found to be in violation, a harmful increase in the amount of contaminants has already occurred.  Ms. Allen assured Mr. Perl that there are a number of rigorous protocols in place for the well water sampling.  If anything were to show up in the well water, both the resident and the Village staff would receive an immediate telephone call from E&TS (Stuart Cohen’s office).  Mr. Perl asked if this also applies to the testing of water that runs down to the pool, to which Ms. Allen stated that, indeed, it does.  The process is the same.  Chairman Gallelli noted to Mr. Perl that this whole process takes place in (only) a matter of days, and not weeks.

Mr. Goplerud was concerned about the noise generated from the titanium golf clubs.  He asked how the Applicant intends to maintain the sound from these golf clubs when everyone is teeing off at once.  Mr. Stanley told Mr. Goplerud that the current plan being presented tonight does not show the height of the trees, which would act as a buffer.  The tee-off location is not any closer to residents than the current practice area.  

Ms. Arnold stated that she found seven golf balls on her property just yesterday.

Mr. Saunders stated that when he plays golf, he uses titanium clubs.  He cannot believe that residents would be able to hear a sound from a titanium club.  He would think that the distance between the tee-off area and the neighboring houses would also serve to mitigate any excess noise.  

Mr. Goplerud told the Planning Board that the Village should consider taking out the wells in the Finney Farm area and putting in a new water system.

Ms. Nelson noted that people using the ‘practice hole’ would probably go to this area in golf carts.  
She thought that they would probably all go together, and it may be noisy.  Mr. Stanley stated that the electric golf carts, which would be used, are quiet.  Ms. Nelson noted that the machines that pick up the golf balls are also very noisy. She was concerned about the overall increase in the noise level(s). Mr. Saunders pointed out that this ‘practice hole’ being proposed at the golf club is not the same as a commercial driving range.  He did not think that there would be a problem with the noise level(s).

Ms. Nelson stated that the land being used for the ‘practice hole’ is currently full of shrubbery and trees. The Applicant is tearing down natural land for use by very few people.  Mr. Stanley stated that there are 275 members at Hudson National, and the one amenity they do not have is a way to practice their game.  

Chairman Gallelli stated that this Amended Site Plan application is a Type I Action under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).  The Planning Board needs to declare its Intent to Act as Lead Agency for this application. A resolution has already been drafted. The Planning Board will distribute the Full Environmental Assessment Form (FEAF) and the Applicant’s site plan to the involved and interested agencies. Chairman Gallelli stated that the Planning Board, as Lead Agency, is responsible for filling out Part 2 of the FEAF.  The Applicant has already provided a drainage study, which will be passed on to the Village’s consultants.  Chairman Gallelli noted to the Applicant that there is a two-page Visual EAF Addendum that the Applicant needs to fill out in order for the SEQRA mailing to be distributed.  For the next meeting on this application, the Planning Board would want to see a vegetation plan and a plan that shows the septic system design.

Mr. Klein noted that the Applicant’s archeological consultant should submit a revised/updated archeological survey based on the Applicant’s newly proposed plan.  

Ms. Allen stated that the vegetation plan should include significant trees.

Ms. Allen brought up the issue of the SPDES Permit required by the DEC.  She told the Applicant that she does not think that the drainage study submitted would be acceptable for review by the DEC.  The study consists of pages of numbers.  She thinks that, rather than pages of numbers, the DEC would want a written report/analysis, five or six pages in length, summarizing these drainage findings.   The Village Engineer added that the DEC would look at the SPDES application in two different ways based on what the Applicant submits.  If the Applicant’s design plan has been prepared according to State guidelines, the review process would be carried out accordingly. However, if circumstances require that a special design be created which is not in accordance with State guidelines, then, the DEC would need all of the necessary supplemental documentation.  The Village Engineer noted to the Applicant that the hydrology report that was submitted is only one small part of the storm water report.

Chairman Gallelli read aloud the draft resolution.

Chairman Gallelli noted that the involved agencies for this application include the Village’s Waterfront Advisory Committee.

Chairman Gallelli entertained a motion for the Planning Board to issue an Intent to Act as the Lead Agency for this Amended Site Plan application.  The motion was made by Mr. Klein, seconded by Ms. Allen and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.

Chairman Gallelli stated that the FEAF would be circulated to the involved/interested agencies.  These agencies have 30 days to respond.  

Chairman Gallelli stated that, ultimately, a public hearing on this application would be held.  There will be further presentations.  The Planning Board will have more information on the vegetation plans as well as the reports prepared by the consultants.  Chairman Gallelli stated that, as Ms. Allen noted earlier, the Planning Board would like to have the Arboretum and the Audubon Society become involved with the proposed plan for the old driving range.  

Ms. Nelson wanted to know how the Planning Board would deal with the objections brought forth by the neighbors tonight, to which Chairman Gallelli stated that the Planning Board would take all of these comments/concerns into consideration.   

Mr. Perl wanted to know how the neighbors could find out when the next meeting on this application would take place.  Chairman Gallelli stated the agendas are posted on the Village’s web site.  Also, agendas are sent to the local newspaper.  Ms. Allen stated that she would be willing to contact the neighbors on Finney Farm Road.

Mr. Saunders asked if it would be acceptable to the Planning Board for the Applicant’s archeological consultant to issue an addendum to the previously submitted archeological survey, to which Mr. Klein said that this would be acceptable.


The minutes of the Tuesday, October 14, 2003 Planning Board meeting were approved, as amended, on a motion by Chairman Gallelli, seconded by Mr. Klein and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.


There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 10:23 P.M.


Sylvia Mills,