VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON, NEW YORK
PLANNING BOARD MEETING MINUTES – TUESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2005:
A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, January 25, 2005 in the Municipal Building.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Ann Gallelli, Chairman
ABSENT: Tom 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.
PUBLIC HEARING, CONTINUED:
American Building Technologies (Galena Feit) – Prospect Place and Old Post Road North (Sec. 67.20 Blk. 4 Lot 19) – Application for Preliminary Subdivision Approval for Hudson View Subdivision
Ron Wegner of Cronin Engineering and Galena Feit, owner of the property, were present for this application.
Chairman Gallelli stated that this application is for a proposed three-lot subdivision on the corner of Old Post Road North and Prospect Place. The property is in a significant drainage area in the Village. The Village has been working for more than a year with its environmental consultants, Dvirka & Bartilucci, and the Applicant’s engineer, Cronin Engineering, to determine what drainage capability would be required on this piece of property. An additional drainage study has recently been carried out. Chairman Gallelli stated that the Applicant has just received an Amended Wetlands Activity Permit from the Water Control Commission based on modifications made to the Applicant’s plan(s) that are consistent with Dvirka & Bartilucci’s continued analyses.
Mr. Wegner of Cronin Engineering stated that the proposed three-lot subdivision would be served by municipal water and municipal sewer connections.
Mr. Wegner stated that studies have been performed throughout the Planning Board’s review of this subdivision to resolve the drainage issues downstream from this property. The Applicant has been working with the Village’s environmental consultants to design a storm water detention basin. At the last meeting, an issue was raised about a small “ponding” area discovered on the Feit property. Dvirka & Bartilucci have subsequently conducted further studies and are recommending that the proposed detention pond be increased in size. The dry wells that were originally proposed for storm water control would be maintained.
Mr. Klein asked Mr. Wegner to summarize the changes, which were made as a result of Dvirka & Bartilucci’s latest study. Mr. Wegner stated that the detention pond has been increased in size by 7,030 cubic feet. Mr. Wegner noted that, in the first design for the pond, the slopes were gentler than in the current design. In the new design, the bottom of the pond has been flattened out and the sides of the pond have been made steeper. A corner of the pond has been enlarged to accommodate the volume. An emergency spillway has been added.
Mr. Klein asked Mr. Wegner to describe the spillway construction. Mr. Wegner pointed to an embankment area shown on the Applicant’s latest plan and stated that rip rap would be coming down the embankment in this location. A 10-foot wide cut in the top of the berm would be lined with stone.
Mr. Wegner stated that the proposed spillway is one foot below the top of the berm. The storm water would remain contained in the pond should there be a 100-year storm event.
Mr. Klein wanted to know the elevation of the grounds surrounding the spillway, to which Mr. Wegner stated that the elevation in this area is 60 feet. Mr. Wegner noted that the elevation of the area for the proposed spillway is 61.5 feet, which means they have 1? feet to work with.
Chairman Gallelli noted that, for the spillway to work properly, an agreement would have to be reached to use a portion of a neighbor’s property. An agreement between the Applicant and the neighboring property owner, Mr. DeSantis, would be required. Mr. Wegner stated that he thinks they could make it (the spillway) work along Ms. Feit’s property line; however, an agreement to use Mr. DeSantis’ property would be helpful. The Village Engineer stated that the agreement with Mr. DeSantis would be to have the emergency spillway discharge on his side of the property. The Village Engineer pointed out that it would be to his (Mr. DeSantis’) benefit to keep the excess storm water away from his own buildings.
Ms. Allen noted that a discussion was also supposed to take place with Mr. DeSantis regarding the use of Mr. DeSantis’ driveway for access to the detention pond. Ms. Allen stated that, if this driveway could be used, some of the existing trees on the Feit property could be saved. Mr. Wegner expressed his hope that Mr. DeSantis would be willing to agree to an easement for the use of the driveway. He hoped that an agreement could also be reached regarding the spillway.
Chairman Gallelli noted to those present that the Feit property has been identified as one of the major drainage ways of the Village. If the drainage is handled properly, it will also be an advantage to the Village. It would benefit the Village to have the spillway located in the most advantageous position. The Village would also benefit by the use of the existing gravel driveway on the DeSantis property. Chairman Gallelli thought that it would be important for the Village to facilitate the discussion(s) between the Applicant and Mr. DeSantis regarding these matters. She asked the Village Engineer to be of assistance.
Chairman Gallelli stated that each of the three lots being proposed has a significant area in the minimum wetlands setback area(s). Once the houses are built on these lots, there would be limited opportunities for homeowners to build any additional structures (i.e., swimming pools, tennis courts, etc.) on their properties. Chairman Gallelli suggested that there should be notes on the deeds and site plans regarding the building constraints on these properties. Also, in advance of building these houses, it would be important to look at whether or not any of these accessory structures could, indeed, be accommodated.
Mr. Brumleve pointed out that, on Lots #1 and #3, the property lines are such that the prospective homeowners might very well want to consider putting in additional amenities. He said that he could imagine the backyard of Lot #3 presenting a problem. He suggested that the Applicant should map the properties to show the environmental restraints. Chairman Gallelli suggested that it might be a good idea to map out or mark some physical location on these properties that would delineate the wetlands areas. Ms. Allen agreed and added that the markings of the property would not only be the usual survey posts but also the delineation of the minimum wetlands activity setback areas. Chairman Gallelli stated that, in the past, the Planning Board has required that purchasers of subdivision lots be made
aware, in some “real” way, of what their building limitations are. Ms. Allen thought that such constraints on the property really have to be noted on the deed and the site plan. They have to “go with the land.” Chairman Gallelli reiterated that the Applicant should give some thought to some kind of physical delineation on the property itself.
The Village Engineer noted to the Board that the building of any accessory structure on Lot #1 would require a Wetlands Activity Permit.
The Village Engineer noted to the Board members that the WCC has recommended that a barrier of some sort be installed around the detention pond. Chairman Gallelli recalled that the Planning Board went “back and forth” on whether or not a fence should be installed. She noted that the detention pond is designed to be dry except during periods of heavy rain.
Chairman Gallelli stated that the Village is close to passing legislation that will require approval by the Planning Board of any new house construction. Each of the houses in question will have to undergo site plan approval, which will also include an architectural review.
Chairman Gallelli suggested that the public hearing on this application should remain open.
Chairman Gallelli stated that the Village should be working cooperatively with the Applicant and Mr. DeSantis on the agreements/easements for the emergency spillway and the access drive. The Planning Board would like to know how many trees would have to be removed for the emergency spillway. The Applicant needs to delineate the wetlands setback areas on the property. The Applicant should also show on the plan(s) where possible future improvements would be located on the lots. Chairman Gallelli noted that, at a previous meeting, the Board discussed whether or not there should be a split rail fence around the detention pond. She could not recall how this matter was finally resolved. Chairman Gallelli asked the Board how they wanted to resolve this matter of the fence. It was the
consensus of the Board members present that it would be acceptable to install a split rail fence.
Ms. Allen wanted to know if, when the pond was redesigned to accommodate Dvirka & Bartilucci’s most recent recommendations, any consideration was given to having the spillway go in a different direction. She noted that a very nice cluster of trees is going to be destroyed with the spillway in its presently proposed location. Mr. Wegner told Ms. Allen that, in designing the spillway, they did not want to come any closer to proposed Lot #1. He pointed to the berm on the Applicant’s plan and stated that the spillway has to be situated somewhere along this berm. Mr. Wegner noted that they tried to locate the spillway as far away from Mr. DeSantis’ improvements as they could. Ms. Allen asked if the Applicant could perhaps work with Mr. DeSantis to find a better location.
Mr. Brumleve noted that if the spillway could be moved north about 20 feet, it would save four trees. Mr. Wegner explained to the Board members the reasons, especially the topography, why they (Cronin Engineering) had no choice but to put the spillway in the location now being proposed.
Mr. Wegner asked if the Planning Board would consider closing the public hearing tonight. Chairman Gallelli stated that the Planning Board has been away from this application for several months. There are issues that still need to be resolved. She thought that the public hearing should remain open. The other Board members all agreed.
Chairman Gallelli told the Applicant that the Planning Board meetings are held the first and fourth Tuesday of each month. The Applicant should be in touch with the Planning Board Secretary when they are ready to come back.
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.
Chairman Gallelli stated that the Amended Site Plan resolution for Zeytinia called for no deliveries in 18-wheeler trucks. Since this store opened last May, there have been deliveries in 18-wheelers. Zeytinia is here tonight to ask for an amendment to the resolution to allow one delivery per week in a 18-wheeler truck. Chairman Gallelli noted that Zeytinia has submitted to the Board members for tonight’s meeting documentation showing the number of 18-wheeler truck deliveries since their store opened last year. According to the chart submitted, Zeytinia receives one delivery per week in a 18-wheeler truck.
Chairman Gallelli noted that, at the time the Zeytinia resolution was approved, the Planning Board asked CVS to come before the Board to discuss the necessity of deliveries in 18-wheeler trucks to the CVS store. CVS came before the Board to discuss their particular situation regarding deliveries, and the Board members were satisfied with their response.
Chairman Gallelli noted that there have been issues raised regarding the garbage in the back of the Zeytinia store and the locking of the gate in the back. Chairman Gallelli stated that both of these matters fall under the purview of the Village’s Code Enforcement Officer.
Chairman Gallelli asked the Planning Board members if there was a consensus among the members to modify the resolution to allow one delivery per week in a 18-wheeler truck, to which there was a consensus.
Mr. Klein noted that it should be stated in the amended resolution that this would be an exception and would only apply during Zeytinia’s tenancy. Mr. Klein said that he would want to make sure that the change would be for the lifetime of this tenant only. Should a new tenant move in, the original resolution prohibiting 18-wheelers would go back into place.
Ms. Allen wondered if the “new” condition in the amended resolution should say “one per week” or “four per month.” Mr. Klein noted that, according to the monthly chart, there were instances when two of the 18-wheeler truck deliveries during that month were six days apart (less than a week) and the other two were eight days apart. Mr. Brumleve suggested that the condition could call for an average of four per month. Chairman Gallelli thought that the condition could say, “an average delivery cycle of no more than four per month.”
Mr. Klein noted that the Applicant’s chart does not give the number of trucks but, instead, gives the number of deliveries.
Joann Minett of 5 Van Cortlandt Place was present. Ms. Minett told the Board members that there are many instances when two 18-wheelers show up at the same time. An instance of this happening was on October 29th. Her neighbor, Ruth Waitkins, said that an ambulance was having difficulty maneuvering around the trucks. Ms. Minett stated that these 18-wheeler trucks are oftentimes parked along Route 129.
Chairman Gallelli noted that if the Planning Board’s resolution states that only one 18-wheeler truck per week were allowed to make deliveries, then, anything over and above the one delivery would be a violation.
The Village Engineer suggested to the Applicant that, if it becomes necessary at some future time to require more groceries from White Rose, then, perhaps, the Applicant could arrange for White Rose to make the delivery to another Zeytinia store. The Applicant could then transport the groceries back to their Croton store using a smaller truck.
Mr. Brumleve suggested to the Applicant that, as Zeytinia is an important customer to White Rose, perhaps Zeytinia could explain to White Rose the situation in the Village concerning the 18-wheelers. White Rose might very well want to cooperate. Mr. Kilic said that, if it would help, Zeytinia could designate a certain day of the week for White Rose to make their deliveries.
Chairman Gallelli told the Applicant that, should Zeytinia decide to make any changes in distributors, deliveries, etc., they should let the Village know immediately. She would not want the situation to be like it was this time. She would want the Village to be involved from the very beginning.
Mr. Klein suggested that, as a way of monitoring the situation, Zeytinia could be asked to report back to the Planning Board in a year. By being asked to come back, the Planning Board would have an opportunity to see how well Zeytinia performed during the course of the year. Mr. Klein suggested that the change in the resolution should be made “conditional.” Mr. Klein stated that he would like to have the option to go back to the original resolution if the Applicant cannot comply with the Planning Board’s “new” condition. Ms. Allen stated that another way of dealing with this would be to ask for an annual report. Chairman Gallelli suggested that, on an annual basis, Zeytinia could provide the Planning Board with a schedule of 18-wheeler deliveries similar to what
they provided tonight.
Ms. Minett asked how the Planning Board would know if the list of deliveries being provided is accurate. Chairman Gallelli told Ms. Minett that the Applicant brought with him tonight a stack of back-up materials. Ms. Minett stated that “they [Zeytinia] could have chucked a paper here and there.” How would the Board know? She told the Board members again that she sees White Rose trucks going in and out of there all the time. Ms. Minett added that she would have no objection to the “one delivery per week” condition if the Applicant actually abides by this condition, and the truck goes in an out of the back of the store safely.
Ms. Minett pointed out to the Planning Board members that Zeytinia lied to the Planning Board about the 18-wheelers. They were using 18-wheelers for deliveries “from the get-go,” and they still use 18-wheelers.
Ms. Allen told Ms. Minett that she thinks the Planning Board has taken Ms. Minett’s concerns very seriously. At the last meeting, the Planning Board asked the Applicant for a delivery schedule, which the Applicant has since provided. She (Ms. Allen) realizes there is no way for the Planning Board to completely validate the accuracy of the delivery schedule. Her feeling is, however, that the Planning Board has reached a good resolution tonight about the 18-wheeler deliveries.
Ms. Minett told the Board members that she was glad to hear Mr. Klein state before that whoever moves in after Zeytinia will not be allowed to use 18-wheeler trucks.
Chairman Gallelli stated that in the amended resolution, the Applicant, Zeytinia, will be asked to provide the Planning Board with an annual report on the 18-wheeler deliveries similar to the report they provided tonight.
Chairman Gallelli suggested to the Board members that the “new” condition regarding the number of 18-wheeler deliveries could say “an average of four a month.” Mr. Klein thought that the wording should be “on an average of one a week,” to which the Board members all agreed.
Mr. Kilic noted to the Board members that, at the last meeting, Mr. Burniston had asked him to follow-up on the garbage situation at Zeytinia and the problem regarding the locking of the gate. Mr. Kilic wanted the Board members to know that he has since provided the Village Engineer with a follow-up letter from the pest control company and the garbage company, respectively.
Chairman Gallelli told the Applicant that she would be preparing a draft resolution for the Planning Board to review at the next Planning Board meeting.
Croton Housing Network, Inc. – Mt. Airy Road (Sec. 67.20 Blk. 3 Lots 2 & 36) – Update on Symphony Knoll Affordable Housing Project
Nance Shatzkin, president of the Croton Housing Network, and Rick Turner, attorney for the Applicant, were present.
Ms. Shatzkin stated that she has provided to the Planning Board tonight some drawings and a short summary of the project, which is now being proposed. Several months ago, the CHN came before the Planning Board to discuss three possible project designs for senior housing at Symphony Knoll. The new project design is for a single three-story building. This new building design would minimize the disturbance to the land. Ms. Shatzkin stated that, with the primary focus on senior citizens, it was felt that all housing units should be accessible with no stairs. The building will have an elevator. Ms. Shatzkin noted that one of the previous proposals was a two-story building with an elevator. There would not be that much more expense incurred for a three-story building with an elevator. Ms.
Shatzkin noted that the new design would show a reduction in the footprint by one-third.
Ms. Shatzkin told the Planning Board members that the CHN came to the conclusion that, even though the three-story building would require variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals, this new design is better than those, which were previously proposed. Ms. Shatzkin stated that the CHN is scheduled to go before the ZBA on February 9th.
Ms. Shatzkin stated that the balloon testing is scheduled for Saturday, February 5th. The CHN thought that it would be better to do the balloon testing before the ZBA holds a public hearing.
Mr. Klein asked how high the balloons have to go, to which Ms. Shatzkin replied that they have to go up 34 feet. She noted that the height variance they are seeking is four feet. Mr. Klein suggested that CHN should use weather balloons for the testing, as they are bigger and sturdier than conventional balloons.
Chairman Gallelli asked if the CHN’s architect for the project, Stuart Markowitz, intends to do computer simulations. Ms. Shatzkin said that Mr. Markowitz would be able to do the computer models after they float the balloons.
Chairman Gallelli noted that CHN actually needs two variances, a variance for the height and a variance for the number of stories. The maximum permissible height of a building in the RC Zoning District is 30 feet, and the maximum number of stories permitted is 2 ?.
Ms. Shatzkin stated that, after they go before the ZBA, they can move forward with the site plan application to the Planning Board. It is her understanding that the CHN also has to go before the Planning Board for an Amended Site Plan for Mt. Airy Woods. Ms. Shatzkin stated that, as part of the proposal for Symphony Knoll, the lot lines between two adjacent properties have to be changed. As a result of the lot line change, the Mt. Airy Woods property will decrease in size. Ms. Shatzkin stated that she thought an Amended Site Plan would be required and that a public hearing would need to be scheduled. She had hoped that, perhaps, the public hearing could be scheduled tonight. Chairman Gallelli asked Ms. Shatzkin if there would be any changes to the Mt. Airy Woods property (e.g., changes
to the driveway, landscape, etc.), once the new lot lines have been established. Ms. Shatzkin stated that the only change they are making is to the size of the Mt. Airy Woods lot.
Ms. Shatzkin noted that, if the ZBA grants the variances for the three-story building, then, the project is “pretty far along.” Regardless of whether or not they grant the variances, Ms. Shatzkin thought that it would be in the Village’s best interest to move ahead with the Mt. Airy Woods application. Chairman Gallelli questioned whether the Planning Board could process an Amended Site Plan application for Mt. Airy Woods prior to the lot line change, to which the Village Engineer replied that the lot line change is (would be) “the starting point” for the Amended Site Plan. Chairman Gallelli stated that it would seem to her that the lot line change would have to occur first. Otherwise, she would have no objection to the Planning Board’s going through the process
and holding the public hearing.
The Village Engineer noted to those present that he sees potential changes to the Mt. Airy Woods site in the area where the dumpster is and in the back corner where the retaining wall is.
Mr. Brumleve referred to the current project design for Symphony Knoll and asked if there are trees that would have to be removed for construction of the building, to which Ms. Shatzkin replied that the current plan submitted to the Planning Board shows the trees that will remain. Mr. Brumleve told Ms. Shatzkin that the Planning Board would also need to see a plan showing the trees that will be removed.
Mr. Brumleve stated that, in order to understand the visual impacts, the Applicant would need to take photographs from different vantage points when they do the balloon testing. Ms. Shatzkin noted that, in her view, the greatest visibility of the building would be for someone driving down Mt. Airy Road. The building would be situated 130 feet back from the road and “quite behind the knoll.” There are a number of very large trees on the slope. Ms. Shatzkin did not think that the new building would have much of a visual impact. Mr. Brumleve said that he thinks the building might also be visible from Grand Street. Mr. Klein thought that rather than the height of the building being an issue it would more likely be the mass.
Mr. Klein asked if the Applicant’s architect, Mr. Markowitz, is going to do the photo simulations, to which Ms. Shatzkin said that he is. Ms. Shatzkin told the Board that he (Mr. Markowitz) has been talking about doing a computer rendering from the front corner closest to the parking lot. Mr. Brumleve thought that the real issue would be the back of the building.
Mr. Brumleve noted that the calculation of the habitable floor area might not be correct. Mr. Brumleve came up with a different square footage. He suggested that the Applicant’s architect should double-check the calculation on the plans submitted.
Mr. Brumleve asked if the management office is a temporary facility, or if it would remain there for the life of the project. He referred to the Applicant’s plans and noted that the management office has been laid out like an apartment. He wondered what the parking requirements for the management office would be.
Ms. Shatzkin noted to the Board that a fair number of the Village’s senior citizens do not drive. She thought that, for this reason, the parking activity at Symphony Knoll would be lower than at other multiple housing projects.
Ms. Allen referred to drawing A-1 – the first floor plan – and noted that there is a large tree in close proximity to the door, which opens to the outside. She asked if the design could be “flipped” so that the door would be on the other side. Mr. Klein said that he does not think the tree would be in the way. Ms. Shatzkin said that she does not see any reason why the door has to be where it is now. She thought it could be on the other side. She would look into the matter.
Ms. Shatzkin stated that they hope to have the second floor lobby space open onto a patio over the first floor. They hope to have double doors that would open out onto a communal outdoor patio.
Chairman Gallelli reminded the Planning Board members that on Saturday, February 5th, the balloon testing would take place at Symphony Knoll from 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Chairman Gallelli said that she does not see any reason why a public hearing could not be scheduled for the Amended Site Plan for Mt. Airy Woods. Ms. Shatzkin would need to contact the Planning Board secretary in time for the secretary to submit the notice to the newspapers.
Mr. Brumleve asked how the basement space in the building would be used. Ms. Shatzkin stated that there have been a few ideas on how to make use of the basement space. The first idea is to provide additional storage space; the second is to create a community room that could be used by the tenants.
Ms. Shatzkin stated that she would be in touch with the Planning Board secretary once she knows whether or not they are ready to schedule the public hearing.
Leonard Amicola – 119 Grand Street (Sec. 67.20 Blk. 3 Lot 24) – Application for a Change of Use – Preliminary Discussion
Burton Grusky, C.P.A., was present for this application.
Chairman Gallelli stated that the change of use being proposed at 119 Grand Street is from a hair salon to office space. Mr. Grusky wishes to move his accountant’s office to this location.
Chairman Gallelli asked Mr. Grusky if any exterior changes to the building are being proposed other than the sign, to which Mr. Grusky said that, indeed, the only change to the exterior is the sign. He told the Board members that he would bring the proposal for the sign to the next meeting.
The Village Engineer noted that the only other tenant in the building is a shoe repair shop.
The Village Engineer stated that, according to the code, the Planning Board would have to formally waive the off-street parking requirements for the proposed use. Chairman Gallelli stated that the Planning Board could waive these requirements at the time of the public hearing.
Mr. Grusky noted to the Board members that Leonard Amicola is the owner of the subject building.
The Village Engineer asked the Board if they would want to discuss whether or not parking could (should) be provided on the adjacent property. Chairman Gallelli pointed out that the property to which the Village Engineer is referring has historic significance. She thought that, as long as the law provides for waiving the off-street parking requirements in this location of the Village, the Planning Board should do so.
Chairman Gallelli suggested that a public hearing be scheduled on this application. She asked the Applicant to bring to the next meeting a sample of the sign being proposed.
The public hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, February 22nd.
D.D.R. Construction, Inc. – 1210 Albany Post Road (Sec. 67.19 Blk. 1 Lot 4) – Referral from the Village Board for a Steep Slopes Hardship Permit
John Alfonzetti, P.E., of MGM Burbon, LLC was present to represent the Applicant.
Mr. Alfonzetti stated that his client, D.D.R. Construction, is requesting a Steep Slopes Hardship Permit for Lot #2 of the Velardo Subdivision. The Applicant wishes to subdivide Lot #2 into two lots. In order to do so, the Applicant must, first, obtain a Steep Slopes Hardship Permit. Mr. Alfonzetti stated the property does not meet the steep slopes requirements; however, the property would meet the other requirements for a building lot.
The Village Engineer told Mr. Alfonzetti that his client should do an “as-built” survey of the property. An updated tree survey should be provided. The Applicant needs to determine if there are wetlands on the property. Soil survey information should be submitted. The Village Engineer noted that the steep slopes calculations for the two lots can only be estimated until an “as-built” survey is prepared.
Mr. Klein asked Mr. Alfonzetti why his client, D.D.R. Construction, thinks that they would qualify for this exemption. Mr. Klein wanted to know what the hardship was. Mr. Klein stated that, in his view, there was a rationale for subdividing the Velardo Subdivision Lots #3 and #4, which does not exist in this case.
Chairman Gallelli expressed concern about the amount of fill required for the project. Mr. Klein said that his initial reaction and/or concern would be the visual impact(s).
Mr. Alfonzetti stated that, to answer the question raised about the hardship, in his view the hardship is that the property owner’s land is potentially usable for a lot except for the steep slopes.
Mr. Brumleve stated that, if the Planning Board had known from the beginning that there was going to be five houses ultimately being proposed for the Velardo property, the houses would have been arranged much differently. He was bothered by the disjunctive way in which the property is being subdivided. Chairman Gallelli questioned whether or not there is justification in putting in more houses just because septic systems are no longer needed. Chairman Gallelli also questioned whether this proposal meets the criteria for a “hardship” in the Steep Slopes Law. In her view, the application before the Planning Board has nothing to do with “hardship” except for the fact that the property in question has steep slopes. Chairman Gallelli suggested that the Planning Board members
should review the criteria for a “hardship” in the Steep Slopes Law.
Mr. Klein asked what the nature of the Planning Board’s response to the Village Board actually has to be, to which Chairman Gallelli replied that the Planning Board has to make a recommendation to the Village Board on whether or not the Steep Slopes Hardship Permit application should be approved.
Mr. Alfonzetti asked if the Steep Slopes Hardship Permit is contingent upon the subdivision being approved. Chairman Gallelli told Mr. Alfonzetti that, even if the Village Board grants the permit, there is no guarantee that the subdivision would be approved. The Applicant could still come before the Planning Board and be denied. If the Steep Slopes Hardship Permit were not approved, then no further action would be taken.
Ms. Allen pointed out that, if one were to take into consideration the whole lot versus the two-lot subdivision now being proposed, the calculation for steep slopes would come out differently. Mr. Alfonzetti pointed out that the chart on the plans submitted shows the steep slopes calculations after the subdivision takes place. Ms. Allen noted that the “shrunken” Lot #2 would no long meet the steep slopes requirements. The Village Engineer noted that, indeed, the Velardo Subdivision lot with the house on it (Lot #2) would no longer meet these requirements. He noted that the Applicant would have to go back before the Village Board for a Steep Slopes Hardship Permit for Lot #2. Ms. Allen asked if the disturbance on Lot #2, as it currently exists, meets the requirements for steep slopes, to
which the Village Engineer replied that he would have to see the “as-built” survey. He noted that there has been more land disturbance on this lot than what was proposed.
Mr. Brumleve said that he, personally, is having a difficult time with the notion of approving a hardship permit for a lot that does not exist.
The Village Engineer noted to those present that the Village’s current Steep Slopes Law is now under review and various aspects of the law might change.
Chairman Gallelli stated that what is troubling to her about this application is the concept of taking a conforming lot and, by approving a permit, turning the (conforming) lot into two lots that no longer conform. Mr. Klein stated that he does not think the word “conform” is the correct word to use in this case. The word “conform” has to do with zoning requirements (variances). He thinks the right word is “comply” rather than “conform.”
Ms. Allen stated that she also has difficulty with the notion of allowing an Applicant to create two lots that would no longer be code-compliant.
Chairman Gallelli reiterated that the Planning Board members need to review the wording of the current Steep Slopes Law.
The Village Engineer noted to the Board members that there was more fill being shown on Ralph Mastromonaco’s site plan. Ms. Allen stated that, for comparison purposes, she would like to see Mr. Mastromonaco’s original plan for the Velardo Subdivision and the Applicant’s (D.D.R. Construction’s) new plan. Chairman Gallelli noted that, in order to have an accurate starting point for the review of this application, the Planning Board needs to see the “as-built” survey for Velardo Subdivision Lot #2.
Mr. Alfonzetti asked Chairman Gallelli if the Applicant could come back before the Planning Board again after the Planning Board has reviewed the Code but before the “as-built” survey is prepared. Chairman Gallelli told Mr. Alfzonetti that she does not think the Planning Board can proceed with the review until they have the “as-built” survey. She noted to Mr. Alfonzetti that, whatever the Planning Board’s recommendation is, this application has to go back before the Village Board for approval. The Village Board holds the public hearing and ultimately makes the decision.
Ms. Allen stated that she contacted the Village Engineer this afternoon regarding the shared driveway for the proposed subdivision. Ms. Allen noted that much of the driveway for existing Lot #2 has been built; the land has already been disturbed. She wanted to know how to account for the disturbance, since this driveway would now be a shared driveway. It is her understanding that Mr. Alfonzetti has accounted for the steep slopes disturbance area twice, both for existing Lot #2 and new Lot #5. Ms. Allen questioned how the disturbance of a shared driveway should be accounted for – should it be “as it exists” or “after construction?” Ms. Allen stated that Mr. Alfonzetti has made assumptions in doing his calculations. She wondered why he decided to do what he
did. Mr. Alfonzetti told the Board members that he purposely made these calculations “in a conservative fashion.” He has to be able to prove that once he does the subdivision, both lots will conform.
Ms. Allen referred to the steep slopes chart for Lot #5 on the Applicant’s plan and noted that the number given for “the slope area in lot sq. ft.” is incorrect. It should be 15,768 square feet as opposed to 15,568 square feet.
Chairman Gallelli stated that, since the Village Engineer feels that there is additional disturbance that is not shown on the plan(s), the Planning Board needs to see the “as-built” survey.
Ms. Allen stated that she would like to take a look at the original Velardo Subdivision plans with respect to the wetlands issue raised by the Village Engineer earlier tonight.
Chairman Gallelli told Mr. Alfonzetti that the review of this application would include site walks by the Planning Board.
Chairman Gallelli noted to the Applicant that, judging by the comments made at the meeting tonight, the review of this Steep Slopes Hardship Permit application would be a complex one. She stated that the Planning Board members are all in agreement that this is a very difficult lot, and that the way the subdivision of this lot has come to be proposed is not the best way. However, the Planning Board would treat this application fairly and fulfill its obligation to make a recommendation to the Village Board. The Planning Board will review the Steep Slopes Law before the next meeting. Chairman Gallelli would want the Applicant to know that the Planning Board’s review would be a complex and time-consuming process. Mr. Alfonzetti stated that he would have a conversation with D.D.R.
Construction regarding the comments made at the meeting tonight and get back to the Planning Board.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
The minutes of the Tuesday, December 28, 2004 Planning Board meeting were approved, as amended, on a motion by Ms. Allen, seconded by Mr. Brumleve and carried by a vote of 4 to 0.
Approval of the minutes of the Tuesday, January 4, 2005 Planning Board meeting was adjourned until the meeting of February 1st.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 10:50 P.M.