Planning Board Minutes 04/26/05
VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON, NEW YORK

PLANNING BOARD MEETING MINUTES – TUESDAY, APRIL 26, 2005

A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 in the Municipal Building.

MEMBERS PRESENT:        Ann Gallelli, Chairman
Fran Allen
Ted Brumleve
Tom Burniston

                        ABSENT: Joel Klein

                ALSO PRESENT:   James Steinberg, Village Board Member
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.

2.  OLD BUSINESS:

American Building Technologies (Galina Feit) – Prospect Place and Old Post Road North (Sec. 67.20 Blk. 4 Lot 19) – Application for Final Subdivision Approval for Hudson View Subdivision

Ron Wegner of Cronin Engineering and Galina Feit, owner of the property, were present.

Chairman Gallelli introduced to those present Mr. James Steinberg, the new liaison to the Planning Board from the Village Board.

Chairman Gallelli stated that the Applicant for the Hudson View Subdivision is before the Planning Board for Final Subdivision Approval.  The Applicant, Ms. Feit, is proposing a three-lot subdivision of her property, which is situated at the corner of Prospect Place and Old Post Road North.

Chairman Gallelli reviewed the history of this application, stating that the Applicant first came before the Planning Board for preliminary approval in May 2002.  During the very early stages of the subdivision review process, the Applicant was told that the Village’s drainage consultants, Dvirka & Bartilucci, were in the process of conducting a study of the Village’s drainage areas. The Applicant’s property was identified by Dvirka & Bartilucci as being one of the Village’s major drainage areas.  Chairman Gallelli stated that this Applicant has been working with the Village on developing an appropriate drainage system for the High Street drainage area. A storm water detention pond and spillway have been proposed.  At the last meeting, the Applicant was granted Preliminary Subdivision Approval.  There were conditions in the resolution of Preliminary Subdivision Approval that the Applicant had to meet.  Chairman Gallelli pointed out that the Applicant has added the notes to the final plat that the Planning Board requested.  Furthermore, the Applicant has submitted a Final Subdivision Plan, which does not differ in any significant way from the Preliminary Subdivision Plan.    

Chairman Gallelli noted that one of the conditions of approval was that the Applicant, Ms. Feit, must submit a letter to the Village, which states that she has agreed to provide replacement trees along the boundary between the High Street neighbors and the DeSantis property. This letter has not yet been received.  Mr. Wegner told Chairman Gallelli that he has the letter with him tonight.  He gave it to Chairman Gallelli.

Chairman Gallelli asked the Planning Board members if they had any comments on this application.

Ms. Allen noted that the second sheet of the final subdivision plan does not have a steep slopes analysis for Lot #1.  Mr. Wegner replied that there are no steep slopes on Lot #1; hence, no analysis is required.

Chairman Gallelli noted that the Applicant has received the necessary approval(s) from the Westchester County Department of Health.

Chairman Gallelli stated that the Planning Board has put together a draft resolution for final subdivision approval.  Chairman Gallelli referred to the conditions on page 2 of the draft resolution. She noted that all these conditions (#3, #4, #5 and #6) have to do with easements.  Chairman Gallelli referred to condition #3 pertaining to the access from Prospect Place to the drainage pond.  She questioned why, in this condition, the Village Engineer refers to the access easement as being on Lots #1 and #2. Mr. Wegner explained that, although the access easement is mostly on Lot #1, part of it touches upon Lot #2.   

The Village Engineer told the Planning Board that the Applicant’s attorney and the Village Attorney have put together in a single document the drainage and the access easements. In the Planning Board’s resolution, the access easement and the drainage easement are shown as two separate conditions.  The Village Engineer noted that the sewer line easement has been prepared as a separate document. Chairman Gallelli asked if conditions #3 and #4 of the Planning Board’s resolution should be combined, now that the drainage and access easements have been put into a single document, to which Mr. Burniston stated that he does not think this would be necessary.  The Village Engineer added that it would probably be easier to explain them (these easements), if they were kept as separate conditions in the resolution.  

Mr. Brumleve referred to the last sentence in condition #3.  He suggested that the word “driveway” be changed to “access” and that the word “mowed” be changed to “passable,” to which the others agreed. The Village Engineer noted to the Board members that it would be the homeowners’ and not the Village’s responsibility to maintain the vegetation and/or landscaping in the easement areas.  Mr. Burniston thought that it should be stated in the easement agreements that it is the property/homeowner’s responsibility for this maintenance.  A sentence should be added to the end of conditions #3 and #4 to this effect.  The Village Engineer noted that the Village would not want the prospective owners of these two subdivision lots to contact the Village at some point in the future and say, “mow the lawn and trim the bushes.”  He reiterated that the homeowners would be responsible for this type of maintenance.  

Chairman Gallelli noted that the initial drainage channel is primarily rock and moving water for a good part of the year, and there is not too much (to be maintained) on either side of this channel.  It is her understanding from tonight’s discussion that the property owner(s) would be responsible for maintaining the areas up to the edge of the drainage channel.  The Village Engineer told the Board members that, in his view, the easement areas should be left “natural.” However if, for example, a dead tree in the easement area becomes a safety hazard, then, it would be the responsibility of the homeowner, and not the Village, to take this tree down.  

Mr. Brumleve noted that the property owner of Lot #2 would, for the most part, be responsible for maintaining the drainage easement.  

Mr. Wegner suggested some new wording for condition #4.  A sentence could be added at the end that states that the Village has the right but not the obligation to maintain the facilities, to which Mr. Brumleve concurred.  Chairman Gallelli stated that the responsibility is primarily on the property owner(s), and this has to be made clear.  

The Village Engineer suggested that the Village Attorney and the Applicant’s attorney could review the documents to make sure that the proper language on maintaining the easement areas is included.   He noted again that the property owners’ responsibility would be to maintain the vegetation and/or landscaping within the easement areas.  The Village would be responsible for the maintenance of the drainage channel and the drainage basin (pond).   

The Planning Board members all agreed that a sentence should be added to condition #4 that the Village shall have the right but not the obligation to maintain the landscaping and the vegetation in the easement areas.   The Village Engineer stated that the same sentence should also be added to the end of condition #3.  

Chairman Gallelli stated that condition #5 has to do with cross-easements between property (lot) owners.  The Village would not be a part of these agreements.  Condition #6 pertains to the execution of an easement agreement between the adjacent property owner, Mr. DeSantis, and the Village.  

The Village Engineer asked if this condition (#6) should also say that the Applicant, Ms. Feit, has indicated that she would be willing to cut down trees on the DeSantis property for the pipe installation.  He noted that the Village could dig out the tree stumps.  Ms. Feit expressed her displeasure about being asked to cut down the trees.  She noted to the Board members that, as she had stated at the last meeting, she would be willing to replace the trees that had to come down.  However, she would not want to have to remove the trees.  If the Board insists upon it, she would do so.  Mr. Brumleve stated that he remembers the Applicant’s commitment to replace the trees but not to remove them.  Chairman Gallelli’s recollection from the minutes of the last meeting is that Ms. Feit also offered to remove the trees.  Mr. Brumleve did not think that the Planning Board should ask this Applicant to do this type of work on an adjacent property (DeSantis’ property). Ms. Allen wondered whose responsibility it would be to mitigate any damage that might be done. Who would be responsible, for example, if the Applicant’s contractor were to cut down the wrong trees?  Ms. Allen thought that asking Ms. Feit to remove the trees is going “a step too far.” Mr. Brumleve did not think it was fair for the Planning Board to ask the Applicant to remove the trees. The Planning Board decided not to change condition #6 but, instead, to leave the wording as is.   

Chairman Gallelli asked if there were any further comments from the Planning Board.  Mr. Brumleve thanked Ms. Feit for her endurance, cooperation and good spirit throughout the Planning Board review process.  Chairman Gallelli noted that it has been a lengthy process, and the Applicant, Ms. Feit, has, indeed, been very cooperative.  

Chairman Gallelli entertained a motion to approve this application for Final Subdivision Approval.  The motion was made by Mr. Burniston and seconded by Mr. Brumleve.

Chairman Gallelli read aloud the conditions (1 through 7) of the resolution of approval with the changes/additions agreed upon tonight.  She asked if there was any further discussion, to which there was none.

Chairman Gallelli asked the Planning Board for a vote on this final subdivision application.  The application was approved by a vote of 4 to 0.

3.     NEW BUSINESS:

Sky View Rehabilitation and Health Care Center – 1280 Albany Post Road (Sec. 67.18 Blk. 1 Lot 2) – Application for an Amended Site Plan Approval

John N. Cohen, architect for the Applicant, and Michael Bergen, Superintendent of Grounds at Sky View Nursing Home, were present for this application.

Mr. Cohen stated that this Amended Site Plan application is for a 10’ x 40’ terrace along the south wall of the administration wing; an 8’ x 17’ smoking room at the northeast corner of the main terrace; and a 12’ x 12’ open entrance canopy in the front of the building.   

Mr. Cohen stated that the present smoking room at the nursing home is insufficient in many ways.  It blocks the view of the Hudson River from the dining room area.  Environmentally, it is not the best design.  The Applicant is proposing a smaller room that can be easily ventilated.  The present room has electric heat, which is inefficient.  

Chairman Gallelli stated that it is her understanding that the existing smoking room would be removed and a new one would be built to replace it, to which Mr. Cohen replied that this is, indeed, the case. The smoking room would be situated in an open terrace area, which has a parapet.  The construction would be similar to that of the main building.

Chairman Gallelli asked how the proposed 10’ x 40’ terrace would be used and accessed, to which Mr. Cohen replied that the terrace would be accessed through the front door.  Now, the patients sit on the easterly side of the building, and they use the walkway at the front entrance as a place to sit.  The Applicant would like to continue the walkway on to the terrace so that the patients can sit outside in that area.  The patients would have a view of the Hudson River.  It would give the patients another option of a place to sit outside.  Mr. Bergen noted that smokers would be able to use this terrace.  Up to now, they have been obligated to smoke inside in the smoking room.  Now, they would have a place outside to sit and smoke.  Chairman Gallelli asked if the terrace would be covered by a canopy, to which Mr. Cohen said that it would not be covered.

Mr. Brumleve told Mr. Cohen that it would be a benefit to the Planning Board in the review of this application if both the Applicant’s site plan and floor plan showed the walkway/stair configuration.  Chairman Gallelli concurred.  She stated that it is possible, right now, to walk from the front entrance to the back of the building where the proposed smoking room would be.  This walkway should be shown on the Applicant’s plan(s).

Ms. Allen suggested to the Applicant that it might be useful to put an awning or some type of roof over the terrace now being proposed.  Chairman Gallelli noted that, if such an awning or roof was to be proposed, the Applicant should incorporate the proposal into the present Amended Site Plan application.  It would prevent the Applicant from having to come back before the Planning Board again.  Mr. Cohen told the Board that he did not know if the owner(s) of the nursing home would want an awning or roof over the terrace, but he would be willing to suggest it.

Ms. Allen wanted to know if the utility shed and sewer pump station near the proposed terrace were going to be shielded from view.  She also asked if there were any odors emanating from the sewer in that area.  

Chairman Gallelli noted to those present that Sky View came before the Planning Board with an Amended Site Plan several years ago.  The plan was approved but was never implemented.  The Planning Board spent a great deal of time looking at this area of the property.  She suggested that the Planning Board members might want to individually visit the site again.  Chairman Gallelli noted to the Applicant that Ms. Allen’s earlier comment regarding the visual impacts of the shed and sewer pump station would, indeed, need to be addressed.  She (Chairman Gallelli) reiterated that, if an awning or roof over the terrace were to be proposed, the Applicant should incorporate the proposal into the present Amended Site Plan application.

Ms. Allen noted that, in the past, there has been maintenance associated with the sewer tank at Sky View.  She asked the Village Engineer if there is any maintenance that is required to open up the tank.  If so, is there an odor associated with it?  The Village Engineer told Ms. Allen that, at that end of the sewer system, the odor from the sewage would be less noticeable; however, this does not mean that there might not be an occasional odor.  

Mr. Burniston wanted to know if there is any prohibition against doing construction that close to the municipal sewer system.  The Village Engineer noted that the construction for the outdoor terrace would probably have to take place within the sewer easement.  He would have to review the easement documents to be absolutely sure that this is the case.   

The Village Engineer asked Mr. Cohen to “blow up” that area of the plan that shows the sewer easement.  He noted that, as it stands now, vehicular access to the sewer pump station is “tight.” There has to be room for vehicles to have access.  The Village Engineer noted that, at this point in time, he does not know how the Applicant’s proposal to build a terrace in this location would affect the access.

The Village Engineer noted that the canopy being proposed in the front entrance overhangs the roof of the building.  There might not be enough clearance.  The Applicant should review the regulations and, if clearance is an issue, the Applicant might want to pull the canopy (somewhat) back.    

Chairman Gallelli asked if the material for the canopy is going to be canvas. Mr. Cohen said that it is not going to be canvas.  The canopy is going to be a permanent structure.

The Village Engineer noted that this application might require a Special Permit from the Village Board.  According to the RA-40 zoning regulations in the Village Code, a Special Permit is required for an expansion/extension to the existing building.  The question is whether or not the canopy, smoking room and terrace being proposed would constitute an expansion/extension.  The Village Engineer stated that he would ask the Village Attorney to look into this matter.  Chairman Gallelli noted that, if a Special Permit were required, the Applicant would have to go before the Village Board first and then come back to the Planning Board.

The Village Engineer noted that there should be erosion and sedimentation control details added to the site plan.

The Village Engineer asked if the terrace is being built over a drainage pipe, to which Mr. Bergen said, “No.”

Ms. Allen asked what the purpose is in raising the ceiling two feet in the areas opposite the entry doors.  Mr. Cohen stated that the purpose is purely aesthetic.  The Applicant wants the same ceiling treatment that is found in the main dining room.

The Village Engineer referred to the Applicant’s site plan and asked what the “detail plan” on the upper right hand corner represents. Mr. Cohen stated that the “detail plan” is not part of this application. For the next meeting, he would delete the whole upper right hand section of the current plan.

Mr. Brumleve suggested that, on the floor plan, the Applicant should show how the new canopy interfaces with the fascia that is already there.  The Planning Board would want to know how the new canopy interfaces with the existing face of the building.  Mr. Cohen told Mr. Brumleve that he would do a separate drawing and bring it to the next meeting.

Chairman Gallelli summarized the items required for the next Planning Board submission.  The Applicant should look into the possibility of putting an awning or roof over the new terrace.  If such an awning or roof is to be proposed, it should be included with this Amended Site Plan application. The issue of visual screening of the sewer pump station and shed should be addressed. The sewer easement agreement must be reviewed with respect to construction of the new terrace.  The site plan should be “blown up” in the area representing the sewer easement.  The issue of vehicular access to the pump station must be addressed.  The site plan should show the existing walkway/stairs to the new terrace.  Erosion and sedimentation control details should be provided.  The clearance issue pertaining to the canopy overhang needs to be addressed.  Finally, it has to be determined if this application requires a Special Permit.

The Village Engineer noted to those present that the Village is currently doing work at the pump station at Sky View.  The work involves a grinder for the pump station.  The Village Engineer suggested to the Applicant that they should eventually try to coordinate the two construction projects, i.e., the pump station work and the work associated with the expansion/extension being proposed.        

Mr. Cohen asked if this application is ready for a public hearing.  Chairman Gallelli explained the review process to Mr. Cohen. The Planning Board does not yet know if this application is going to require a Special Permit from the Village Board.  If so, the Applicant would have to go before the Village Board first.  The Village Board would refer the application to the Planning Board for a recommendation.  Once the Village Board receives the recommendation from the Planning Board, a public hearing before the Village Board would be held.  If the Special Permit is granted, the application would come back before the Planning Board for an Amended Site Plan approval.  Chairman Gallelli stated that, if a Special Permit is not required, then the Planning Board would schedule a public hearing, once the Planning Board feels that it has sufficient information to do so.  Chairman Gallelli noted that the Planning Board is not in a position to do that tonight.

The Village Engineer stated that he would fax a copy of the Sky View sewer easement and the relevant section(s) of the Village Code to the Village Attorney.    Mr. Brumleve suggested to the Applicant that, in the meantime, the Applicant’s drawings could be revised, as per tonight’s discussion(s).   


4.  OTHER BUSINESS:

Chairman Gallelli reviewed for the Board members the applications, which, at some point in time, would be coming before the Planning Board.  The owner of a Westwind Subdivision lot will be applying to the Planning Board for a proposed swimming pool outside the building envelope.  The sailing school will be making a change, which would require Planning Board review.  The Holy Name of Mary church is anticipating making some changes.  Chairman Gallelli stated that, at some point, the Planning Board would have to schedule a public hearing for the Sky View project that the Board looked at tonight.  Chairman Gallelli told the Board that the Croton Housing Network has been granted their variances for the Symphony Knoll senior housing project.  The CHN is preparing to come back before the Planning Board.  The Village Board has referred to the Planning Board Nextel’s proposal to install a cell tower in the Municipal Parking Lot.  Nextel is also proposing to put some cellular equipment on the upper façade of the Municipal Building.  This application for the cell tower and cellular equipment will be before the Planning Board on June 7th.  Finally, there are two Steep Slopes Hardship Permit referrals for the Planning Board. The first is the continued review of the Spagnoli application for the property on Grand Street and the second is a new application for a property on Old Post Road North.

Chairman Gallelli noted to the Planning Board members that Fran Allen would be receiving a Distinguished Citizen Planner Award from the Westchester Municipal Planning Federation at its annual awards dinner on June 2nd.  The Planning Board members have been invited to attend.  The Planning Board members should let her know as soon as possible if they are able to attend the awards dinner.

5.    APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The minutes of the Tuesday, March 29, 2005 Planning Board meeting were approved, as amended, on a motion by Mr. Brumleve, seconded by Mr. Burniston and carried by a vote of 4 to 0.

6.     ADJOURNMENT:

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 10:05 P.M.

Sincerely,



Sylvia Mills,
SECRETARY


        
RESOLUTION GRANTING FINAL SUBDIVISION APPROVAL FOR A
THREE-LOT SUBDIVISION OF PROPERTY OF AMERICAN BUILDING TECHNOLOGIES (GALINA FEIT)

        WHEREAS, the Planning Board adopted a Resolution at its regular public meeting held on March 29, 2005, on the application of American Building Technologies [Galina Feit ](the “Applicant”) which granted preliminary Subdivision Plat Approval of certain property located at the corner of Prospect Place and Old Post Road North, which property consists of approximately 4.19 acres identified as Section 67.20, Block 4, Lot 19 on the Tax Map of the Village of Croton on Hudson, on the terms and conditions more particularly set forth in said Resolution; and

        WHEREAS, the recitals in the March 29, 2005 Resolution summarize the proceedings on the application of American Building Technologies [Galina Feit] to and including the dates thereof; and

        WHEREAS, on April 21, 2005, the Applicant submitted a proposed Final Subdivision Plat to be considered by the Planning Board at its regular meeting to be held on April 26, 2005; and

        WHEREAS, the Planning Board reviewed the proposed Final Subdivision Plat at its April 26, 2005 meeting and deemed same to be officially submitted; and

        WHEREAS, the Planning Board, at its April 26, 2005 meeting, determined that the proposed Final Subdivision Plat was in substantial agreement with the approved Preliminary Subdivision Plat, and that no public hearing was required pursuant to Village Law Section 7-728 6.(b); and

        WHEREAS, the Planning Board carefully considered all comments received during the course of the Planning Board’s consideration of the application up to and including the date hereof, including those received during the public hearing held  on May 25, 2004 and continued to July 6, 2004, August 3, 2004, January 25, 2005, February 1, 2005 and March 29, 2005; and

        WHEREAS, the Final Subdivision Plat which is the subject of the following resolutions is entitled “Subdivision Plat of Hudson View” prepared by Riley Land Surveying dated April 7, 2005; and

        WHEREAS, the following resolutions are also predicated on the  plans entitled “Final Subdivision Plan” (#S-1.1) dated April 20, 2005, “Site Constraints and Profiles”  (#SC-2.1) dated May 20, 2002, last revised March 25, 2005 and “Tree Survey and Details” (#TS-3.1) dated May 20, 2002, last revised March 25, 2005, prepared by Cronin Engineering, P.E., P.C.

        NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved:  (i) That the foregoing recitals are incorporated in the resolution of approval, (ii) That the Final Subdivision Plat and plans before referred to are approved subject to the conditions set forth below; and

        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chairman and Secretary of the Planning Board are authorized to endorse the Final Subdivision Plat subject to the following conditions:

The Applicant shall have received all the following permits, approvals, or letters, and shall have delivered to the Planning Board a copy of each of them certified by the Applicant to be a true copy thereof:

- Approval of the Final Subdivision Plat by the Westchester County Department of Health as required by the County Sanitary Code;

- Approval of the Westchester County Department of Environmental Facilities of all connections to public utilities, or delivery to the Planning Board of evidence satisfactory that such approval is not required.

All conditions from the Preliminary Subdivision Approval dated March 29, 2005 are incorporated into this approval.

A Declaration of Easement & Maintenance Agreement  (access easement), in  substantially the form annexed, shall have been executed between American Building Technologies [Galina Feit] and the Village of Croton-on-Hudson with regard to access from Prospect Place to the drainage easement on Lots #1 and #2 as shown on the Final Subdivision Plat and that same shall be recorded in the Westchester County Clerk’s Office, Division of Land Records.  Such agreement shall specify that the responsibility for keeping the access easement open and passable is that of the Lots #1 and #2 property owners.  The Village shall have the right but not the obligation to maintain the landscaping and the vegetation in the easement areas.

A Declaration of Easement & Maintenance Agreement (drainage easement), in substantially the form annexed, shall have been executed between American Building Technologies [Galina Feit] and the Village of Croton-on-Hudson for the drainage channel, drainage pond and other drainage appurtenances as shown on the Final Subdivision Plan. The Final Subdivision Plat and drainage easement shall be recorded in the Westchester County Clerk’s Office, Division of Land Records.  The Village shall have the right but not the obligation to maintain the landscaping and the vegetation in the easement areas.

The sewer and utility cross-easements between the lot owners shall be shown on the final subdivision plat and plan and evidence of their execution shall have been given to the Village, and that same shall be recorded in the Westchester County Clerk’s Office, Division of Land Records.

Evidence of the execution of the easement agreement between the adjacent property owner (DeSantis) and the Village of Croton-on-Hudson for the purpose of providing drainage improvements and conveyance from the Feit  property to the pond on the DeSantis property as shown on the sketch entitled “Sketch Drainage Plan for DeSantis Property” dated March 29, 2005, prepared by Cronin Engineering, P.E., P.C., shall have been given to the Village and same shall have been recorded in the Westchester County Clerk’s Office, Division of Land Records.

This approval of the Final Subdivision Plat may be rendered void if:

- Within 180 days hereof, all requirements set forth in this Resolution have not been completed as required by Village Law Section 7-728 7.(c), and said periods shall not be extended for more than two additional periods of 90 days each and said extensions(s) shall not be granted unless, in the Planning Board’s opinion, such extension is warranted by the particular circumstances in effect.

- The Applicant shall file, in the Westchester County Clerk’s Office, Division of Land Records, the approved Final Subdivision Plat within 62 days from the date of final approval, as final approval is defined in Village Law Section 7-728 11.

        IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the foregoing Resolution was adopted at a public meeting of the Planning Board in the Village of Croton-on-Hudson held on the 26th of April, 2005.

                                        THE PLANNING BOARD OF THE VILLAGE OF
                                        CROTON-ON-HUDSON, NEW YORK

                                        ________________________
                                        Ann H. Gallelli, Chairperson

                                        Fran Allen
                                        Ted Brumleve
                                        Tom Burniston
                                        Joel Klein
                                        
The Motion to approve was made by Mr. Burniston, was seconded by Mr. Brumleve, and was carried by a vote of 4 to 0.  Mr. Klein was absent from the meeting. The Resolution was accepted with the minutes of the Planning Board Meeting held on April 26, 2005.