VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON, NEW YORK
PLANNING BOARD MEETING MINUTES – TUESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2004:
A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 in the Municipal Building.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Ann Gallelli, Chairman
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.
Zeytinia Gourmet Market – 50 Maple Street (Sec. 79.09 Blk. 1 Lot 30) – Amendment to Resolution Regarding Deliveries
Erdal Kilic, owner of Zeytinia, and Sertan Antikaci, Manager, were present for this application.
Chairman Gallelli stated that in the resolution of approval for changes made to the Van Wyck Shopping Center to accommodate the Zeytinia Gourmet Market, there was a condition that pertained to 18-wheeler truck deliveries. 18-wheeler trucks were not to be used by any new tenants at the shopping center. Since then, Zeytinia has encountered a situation in which an 18-wheeler truck is being used for deliveries. The Village Engineer told Zeytinia that they must come back before the Planning Board to ask for an amendment to the resolution.
Mr. Kilic of Zeytinia referred to his letter to the Village Engineer dated December 16, 2004, stating that their main distributor, White Rose, is making deliveries in 18-wheeler trucks. He has contacted White Rose and has been informed that White Rose uses only 18-wheeler trucks for deliveries, and this would be the only method of making deliveries to Zeytinia. White Rose makes a delivery once a week or sometimes every two weeks. Mr. Kilic stated that Zeytinia receives a large amount of their grocery items from this particular distributor.
Chairman Gallelli noted that, earlier this year, CVS came before the Planning Board regarding deliveries to their store. The same condition of the resolution regarding truck deliveries required that the Applicant or owner of the property should show the Planning Board a plan for eliminating deliveries in 18-wheeler trucks or give reasons why it could not be done. CVS was abiding by the condition in the resolution in presenting their case for requiring 18-wheeler truck deliveries.
Chairman Gallelli asked the Applicant when the deliveries in 18-wheeler trucks are generally made, to which Mr. Kilic replied that the White Rose truck usually arrives in the morning around 8:00 A.M. He told the Board members that, if the Planning Board so chooses, the delivery times could be adjusted. Mr. Brumleve asked how much time it takes to makes these deliveries, to which Mr. Kilic replied that it usually takes 30 to 45 minutes. The longest time it has ever taken is one hour.
Mr. Burniston noted that, the other day, there were two trucks that came at the same time. One of the trucks was blocking the road while the other truck pulled out. Mr. Kilic explained that this is the first time that two trucks were used for a delivery to their store. Their distributor, White Rose, could not fit all the groceries in one truck. One-half of the delivery was in one of the 18-wheeler trucks and the other half was in the other.
Mr. Burniston asked if Zeytinia knew, at the time this application first came before the Planning Board, that White Rose was going to be their main distributor at the Croton-on-Hudson store. Mr. Kilic replied that Zeytinia would have known this. Mr. Kilic stated that, when the application was approved, his partner, Ender Ozgur, told the Board members that 18-wheeler trucks would not be used; however, their main distributor, White Rose, only uses 18-wheeler trucks. Mr. Klein told the other members that he was bothered by the fact that Zeytinia did not check with this distributor to make sure that, indeed, they could honor their commitment regarding the 18-wheeler trucks. Furthermore, it troubled him that Zeytinia did not address this situation earlier on. They waited until there were complaints from a
neighboring resident to come back before the Planning Board.
Ms. Allen recalled that the discussion about the 18-wheelers took place at one of the first meetings on this application, well before the application was approved. She noted that at the time this issue was discussed there were a number of other requests made that were readily agreed to. Ms. Allen noted further that the owner of the property, Mark Giordano, did not participate in any of the public discussions. He did not attend that meeting.
Mr. Klein referred to the letter dated December 14, 2004 from Joann Minett of 5 Van Cortlandt Place. He thought that her complaints regarding the 18-wheeler deliveries were valid complaints.
Mr. Klein noted that Ms. Minett told him that an ambulance was held up for several minutes on Route 129 because the 18-wheeler trucks were in the way.
Mr. Klein noted that he told Ms. Minett that, with respect to truck deliveries, the current situation at the shopping center is clearly an improvement to the situation that existed when the Grand Union Supermarket was there. However, he also believed that the existing condition in the resolution regarding 18-wheelers was an opportunity to improve an undesirable situation. Mr. Klein stated that, if the Planning Board decides to allow Zeytinia to have one delivery per week in an 18-wheeler truck, then it should be stated in the resolution that this would be an exception and would only apply during Zeytinia’s tenancy.
Chairman Gallelli suggested that the Applicant should provide the Planning Board with a record of the truck deliveries to the Zeytinia store so as to verify the number of deliveries. She noted that the Applicant is saying that there is one delivery from White Rose per week whereas the neighboring resident, Ms. Minett, believes that there is more than one delivery per week. Mr. Kilic told the Board members that he would contact White Rose tomorrow (Wednesday) and ask them to fax him the actual delivery schedule.
Mr. Burniston stated that he thought that the owner of the property, rather than the tenant, had to come before the Planning Board for site plan modifications. It was his understanding that ownership of this property has changed. He questioned whether this application was being handled in an appropriate way. He did not think that the Applicant’s letter was in the proper format for the Planning Board to consider. The Village Engineer suggested that the Planning Board could ask for a letter from the current property owner, Bowman LLC, authorizing their tenant, Zeytinia Gourmet Market, to request an amendment to the Amended Site Plan resolution.
Mr. Burniston expressed his frustration that the Applicant told the Planning Board, at the time that the application first came in, that there would not be any 18-wheeler truck deliveries when, in truth, the Applicant’s main distributor of groceries, White Rose, only makes deliveries in 18-wheeler trucks. Furthermore, the Applicant did not bring this matter concerning deliveries to the Planning Board’s attention until there was a complaint from a resident. Mr. Burniston asked Mr. Kilic how long Zeytinia had been using White Rose as a distributor, to which Mr. Kilic thought that they had been using White Rose for three or four years. Mr. Burniston noted that the resolution was approved just a little over one year ago, in October 2003. It was troubling to him that this Applicant has shown dishonesty
concerning the 18-wheeler truck deliveries.
Chairman Gallelli referred to Mr. Burniston’s earlier comment regarding the proper format for this application. She stated that, indeed, it is true that the approval of the Amended Site Plan was granted to the property owner. She personally thinks, however, that in this instance the Planning Board should be making a change to the resolution as opposed to amending the site plan. She pointed out that the only place where the 18-wheeler truck deliveries is mentioned is in the resolution. Chairman Gallelli suggested that the Planning Board should decide tonight how to handle this application, i.e., whether to consider it a site plan amendment or a modification to the resolution.
Mr. Klein stated that he would agree that this is a question of modifying the resolution. However, given the nature of this application, he would want “to see the public process work.” The neighbors would have more notice if the Planning Board were to open it up to a public hearing.
Ms. Allen stated that she would be inclined to consider this a modification to the resolution rather than a site plan amendment. Ms. Allen noted that, at the time the issue first came up, there was a presumption that there were many 18-wheeler trucks backing into the loading area behind CVS. The Planning Board has since learned that CVS receives only one delivery per week in an 18-wheeler truck. Ms. Allen noted that, when CVS came before the Planning Board several months ago regarding truck deliveries, there was no public hearing held. She reiterated that she would be inclined to work with the existing resolution rather than amend the site plan, especially if it were only a question of one more 18-wheeler truck delivery per week.
Ms. Allen noted that the property owner, Mark Giordano, was not at the meeting when the issue of 18-wheeler deliveries was discussed. The tenant, Zeytinia, acted as the Applicant, and the Planning Board accepted this arrangement. Ms. Allen thought that, at the time the application came in, Zeytinia was being asked to make decisions that were actually the property owner’s to make, i.e., decisions pertaining to the locking of the gate in the back, garbage collection, etc. The issue regarding truck maneuverability was raised, and this is also the property owner’s concern. Ms. Allen pointed out that the tenant, Zeytinia, was the only one interested in coming before this Planning Board. Still, Ms. Allen expressed her concern that 18-wheeler truck deliveries were (are) being made in violation of
Mr. Klein stated that he does not think that the Planning Board, at the time the application came in, would have turned down the Applicant’s request for one 18-wheeler truck delivery per week. His concern is with the way the situation was handled. The Planning Board now has reason to believe that Zeytinia knew in advance that they could not honor the commitment about the 18-wheeler truck deliveries. The Board was, therefore, misled.
Chairman Gallelli suggested that the Planning Board should hold off on making a decision tonight. She told the Applicant that, as requested earlier in the meeting, the Applicant should obtain for the Planning Board the record of deliveries in 18-wheeler trucks. The Board would want to see the schedule of deliveries since the beginning of operation last year. Chairman Gallelli stated that she still thinks that this matter could be handled by an amendment to the resolution; however, the Planning Board should table its decision until the schedule of deliveries is received. Chairman Gallelli noted that tabling the decision tonight would give the neighboring residents another opportunity to come to a meeting. Chairman Gallelli thought that there should be a time limit imposed. She told the
Applicant that the required documentation on deliveries should be provided to Board members in time for the last meeting in January.
Mr. Brumleve stated that Ms. Minett’s letter raises a serious issue of public health concerning garbage. According to Ms. Minett, the dumpsters are consistently overflowing, which creates a habitat for unwanted vermin. Mr. Brumleve stated that he would like to see an additional condition in the resolution stating that the garbage area must be kept neat and clean, and garbage must always be kept within (inside) the dumpster. Chairman Gallelli noted that there are other businesses at the shopping center using the dumpsters. She pointed out that Zeytinia has a closed refrigerated garbage receptacle for their food items. Chairman Gallelli stated that this matter concerning garbage is an enforcement matter that could perhaps be handled by the Village’s Code Enforcement Officer who would
issue a violation. Mr. Brumleve noted that the problem with the garbage on the premises is actually the landlord’s concern. He thought that the landlord of the shopping center should be present at the next Planning Board meeting.
Chairman Gallelli asked the Village Engineer to tell the Planning Board members about the noise problem mentioned in Ms. Minett’s letter. The Village Engineer stated that Ms. Minett contacted his office a few months ago to complain about the noise. He made a site visit to Zeytinia to find the source of the noise. The compressor units on the roof were all humming normally; however, one of the units was making a squeaking noise. It was determined that the problem was a bracket in one of the compressors. A temporary repair was made to stop the noise. The Village Engineer noted that a permanent repair was supposed to have been made, to which Mr. Kilic stated that, indeed, it has been made. The Village Engineer told the Board that he would visit the site to make sure that the noise
problem has been resolved.
Mr. Brumleve brought up the issue, raised in Ms. Minett’s letter, concerning the unlocked gate, to which Mr. Burniston noted that this, too, is an enforcement issue. Mr. Burniston stated that his main question about this application is procedural. He would want to know if the request being made requires a modification to the resolution or a site plan modification. Chairman Gallelli stated that, in the past, the Planning Board would have handled such a request by modifying the resolution.
Mr. Klein stated that he would want the neighbors to be informed about the next meeting so that they would have an opportunity to attend.
Ms. Allen stated that the landlord should be present at the next meeting. The issues concerning the garbage and the unlocked gate are the property owner’s problem(s).
Mr. Klein asked why there had not been any attempt to enforce the gate issue, to which the Village Engineer stated that there have been attempts. The Village’s Code Enforcement Officer has been to the Zeytinia store numerous times to ask them to lock the gate. The Village Engineer told the Board members that he intends to ask the Village Manager to authorize overtime – one hour a month – for the Code Enforcement Officer to do random checks after hours. This might help to resolve the situation. Chairman Gallelli asked Mr. Kilic if Zeytinia and CVS are the only two tenants who have the ability to lock and unlock the gate, to which Mr. Kilic replied that they are the only two. He noted that no driver of a delivery truck could ever open this gate.
The Planning Board decided not to make a decision at tonight’s meeting on this Applicant’s request to modify the resolution. The decision about the 18-wheeler truck deliveries would be contingent upon the Planning Board’s receiving, in one month’s time, the delivery schedule. The Planning Board members agreed that this request should be handled by a modification to the resolution rather than by an amendment to the site plan.
Chairman Gallelli stated that the next meeting on this application would take place on Tuesday, January 25th. The schedule of deliveries requested by the Board tonight should be provided to the Planning Board secretary on the Thursday before the Planning Board meeting.
Mr. Brumleve brought up again the issue of the garbage situation at the shopping center. He asked when the garbage at Zeytinia is picked up, to which Mr. Kilic stated that sometimes it is picked up at 8:00 AM in the morning and other times at 3:00 PM in the afternoon. Mr. Kilic said that, “there is no way they can come [to pick up the garbage] at 6:30 AM.” The Village Engineer noted to the Board members that Ms. Minett has told him that they have come to pick up the garbage at that time (6:30 AM).
Mr. Burniston told those present that, overall, he thinks that the Zeytinia Gourmet Market is a great improvement to the shopping center. What upsets him is that Zeytinia misled the Planning Board about the 18-wheeler truck deliveries.
The Planning Board scheduled the next meeting on this application for Tuesday, January 25th.
Chairman Gallelli distributed to the Planning Board members a report from the Village’s environmental consultant, Bruce Donohue, on the Velardo Subdivision Lot #3 wetlands mitigation plantings.
Chairman Gallelli stated that the next Planning Board meeting would take place on Tuesday, January 4th. She noted that Ms. Allen will be unable to attend the meeting, and the other Planning Board members should let her know as soon as possible whether or not they can attend. Chairman Gallelli told the Board that, at the next meeting, there might possibly be three steep slopes applications for the Board to review. One of these Steep Slopes applications would also require an amendment to the Steep Slopes Ordinance. Chairman Gallelli explained to the Board that the existing ordinance refers only to the building of a single-family residence. The property owner in this case would like to build a two-family residence in an RB Zoning District.
Chairman Gallelli referred to the Croton Housing Network’s site plan application for Symphony Knoll. Chairman Gallelli stated that Nance Shatzkin of the Croton Housing Network wants to know what the Planning Board would think of a proposal to build a three-story building on the premises. If they were to proceed with this proposal, the CHN would need to seek a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals. Chairman Gallelli noted that a three-story building would result in a reduction to the footprint, and there would therefore be less land disturbance. Chairman Gallelli brought up the issue of the visual impacts created by a three-story building. She noted that balloon tests would need to be performed. The Village Engineer thinks that the wintertime would be
the right time of year to float these balloons. Chairman Gallelli thought that a three-story building would probably be visible from Mt. Airy Road, to which Mr. Klein noted that the aforementioned balloon tests would resolve this matter. The Planning Board members all thought that CHN should move forward with this proposal. Chairman Gallelli said that she would let Ms. Shatzkin know. She would tell Ms. Shatzkin that the Planning Board feels that the visual aspects are the most important consideration. The CHN should perform balloon tests and show the Planning Board the results. In the meantime, the CHN should approach the ZBA with the proposal.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
The minutes of the Tuesday, October 26, 2004 Planning Board meeting were approved, as amended, on a motion by Mr. Klein, seconded by Ms. Allen and carried by a vote of 4 to 0. Mr. Brumleve abstained.
The minutes of the Tuesday, November 9, 2004 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. Messrs. Burniston and Klein abstained.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 9:40 P.M.