VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON, NEW YORK
PLANNING BOARD MEETING MINUTES – TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2005
A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, November 1, 2005 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.
2. NEW BUSINESS:
a) Proposed Development of the Katz Property on the corner of Maple Street & Municipal Place – Preliminary Discussion
Barry Milowitz, contract vendee for the property and architect with MSA Collaborative Architects & Planners, was present for this application.
Mr. Milowitz stated that the subject property is the wooded parcel of land situated between the Croton Auto Park and Larkin Manor. The property is situated in a Gateway Overlay District. Mr. Milowitz stated that he has attempted to design something in keeping with the community and, at the same time, something that is economically viable. The building would be approximately 19,200 square feet in size. The first floor would be 11,000 square feet and would house retail stores. The second floor would be between 8-9,000 square feet and could be used for either office or retail space. Mr. Milowitz stated that he is proposing to build a gazebo in the corner of the property for public use.
Mr. Milowitz stated that an emergency access ramp is being proposed so that fire trucks could come fully around the building. A vehicular ramp from the parking lot off Maple Street would provide access to the second floor. Mr. Milowitz noted that land berms would be built so that the parking lot in the front would be concealed from people traveling along Maple Street.
Mr. Milowitz stated that the front parking lot would be for easy access to retail stores for shoppers. He said that he did not want to force people wishing to shop to park in the rear of the building; hence, he created the parking area in the front. Mr. Milowitz noted that the access at the rear of the building would afford the possibility of offices and/or retail stores on the second floor.
Mr. Milowitz noted that he has been in contact with a day care operator who might be interested in utilizing the upper floor space of the building for a day care facility.
Mr. Milowitz told the Planning Board members that, having read the Village’s Steep Slopes Ordinance, it would be almost impossible to develop this piece of property without going into a regulated steep slopes area. He told the Board members that rather than making the area level he is proposing to use the back of the building as a “retaining wall” and thereby gain second floor usage. Mr. Milowitz noted that the building has been situated so as to “stay away from [the neighboring] residents.”
Chairman Gallelli referred to Mr. Milowitz’ earlier comment about people parking in the rear of the stores not being viable from a commercial point of view. She noted that there are many examples of retail stores in other (local) communities with parking in the rear and access via sidewalks along the front. She gave examples of buildings in Katonah and Mt. Kisco. Mr. Milowitz said that he would agree with Chairman Gallelli about these buildings, but it would not work with this site. People would not be walking down Maple Street to access this building. They would come by automobile. Chairman Gallelli told Mr. Milowitz that the Planning Board would be looking for incorporation of pedestrian thoroughfares, both within the site and to the site.
Mr. Milowitz stated that the second-floor tenant would be a different type of tenant than the first-floor tenant. The second floor could be a mix of retail and office space. The first floor would house retail businesses. Mr. Milowitz noted that the retailer on the ground floor would need the front door(s), to which Mr. Kehoe said that they (the retailers) could have front door “pull-up” at Maple Street with parking in the rear. Mr. Milowitz said that this would not be economically viable.
Chairman Gallelli stated that there are plenty of instances of offices (office space) on the second floor. Mr. Milowitz stated that they had looked into different types of uses for the building i.e., residential, pure retail use and office use. Residential use was dropped because it would not generate enough money to warrant the project.
Chairman Gallelli noted that another possibility for developing this site would be a “streetscape” approach to the building, which would be to put the building right up to the street rather than having it set back into the site. She added that another (third) option might be to have two buildings on the premises, both having direct on-grade entrances. Mr. Milowitz told Chairman Gallelli that, as far as having two buildings is concerned, there would not be enough room to “split the building in two” and have two separate buildings.
Mr. Milowitz noted that he had initially come to the Village with a concept showing the parking in the back of the building only. He said that he could create a design with the building coming right up to the street but, in his view, the building would not be appropriate for a “gateway” design. He told the Board members that he would come back with a new building design if they wanted him to. The building would be “L-shaped.” Chairman Gallelli noted that Mr. Milowitz discussed this building design option at an informal meeting with the Mayor, members of the Village staff and herself. Mr. Milowitz stated that such a building design would create the desired streetscape, but the land does not lend itself to this type of building design. Mr. Milowitz
distributed to the Board members plans showing two alternative building designs including the “L-shaped” building.
Chairman Gallelli stated that, in so far as people walking to these retail stores is concerned, she would not expect that people would be walking along Maple Street (from their homes) to get to these stores. Should this complex of stores be built, there would be three commercial shopping areas within walking distance of each other that people might want to go to. The idea would be for people to park in one spot and have pedestrian access to all three shopping areas. Chairman Gallelli thought that it would reduce the impulse to walk to the other shopping centers if there were parking in front of the new building. Mr. Milowitz said that, in his view, unlike the retail areas discussed earlier in Mt. Kisco and Katonah, this section of the Village does not lend itself to pedestrians. Chairman Gallelli
suggested that Mr. Milowitz present a drawing at the next meeting showing how he might accomplish having a building come right up to the street.
Chairman Gallelli suggested that the Planning Board should make a site visit to the Katz property. The Village Engineer asked if it would be helpful to the Planning Board to have him join them on the site visit, to which the Planning Board said that it would be.
Mr. Luntz expressed concern about the parking situation in this area of the Village. He noted that there already exists a shortage of parking in the shopping center across the street. He would not want to exacerbate the parking problem. It would not be a good parking strategy to create a parking situation that would be insufficient.
Mr. Milowitz noted that if a restaurant were to move into the building, it would take up most of the first floor. It would “obviate other things happening.” Mr. Milowitz noted to the Board members that he has been speaking to small retail storeowners, “Mom & Pop” outfits, to see if they had any interest in moving into the new building.
Ms. Allen asked what the dimensions of the ground floor would be, to which Mr. Milowitz said about 120 to 150 feet in length. Ms. Allen wanted to know how many small shops the building could support, to which Mr. Kehoe said that the Applicant’s plan shows nine shops.
Mr. Kehoe asked how the design of the building would be affected if there were fewer tenants, to which Mr. Milowitz replied that the building would not have as many doorways in the front.
Mr. Luntz said that the berm(s) being proposed would screen the parking lot in the front somewhat. He noted that, in order for this retail building to work from a commercial standpoint, there would have to be signage across the entire front of the building and signage in the back as well. Mr. Milowitz noted that if the building were brought up to the street, the signage for the retail stores would be right up to the street as well.
Mr. Luntz stated that he does not disagree with the Applicant regarding the parking in the front of the building even though this is not in keeping with the Gateway Overlay District design(s). He thought that the Applicant’s strategy regarding the parking seemed somewhat plausible. Mr. Luntz told the Applicant that he does not think the Applicant has adequately recognized the pedestrian implications. The Planning Board would most probably be looking for sidewalks along the front of the building.
Mr. Luntz said that, in his view, the gazebo seems a little “hokey.” Mr. Milowitz said that the area where the proposed gazebo is situated would be donated to the Village for whatever use the Village deems appropriate.
Chairman Gallelli noted that the Village is looking for sidewalks to go around the corner and onto the north side of Municipal Place to connect to the area where the Skateboard Park is located. Mr. Milowitz told the Board that he would be willing to commit to the idea of putting a sidewalk around the full length of the building. He was just saying that most people drive. Mr. Luntz said that there is, nonetheless, a fair amount of sidewalk (pedestrian) traffic.
Mr. Milowitz noted that the building currently being proposed has been designed to provide access to the second level for emergency (fire) vehicles. In his earlier concepts where “everything is in the back,” once the fire trucks arrive in the back they are “trapped” in there.
Ms. Allen stated that she worked in a building where the parking lot was on top of a hill and the building “took up the whole front.” The parking lot was “invisible” to everyone save those in the lot. Ms. Allen stated that she thinks, in this particular case, the Applicant could block the view of the entire parking lot by putting the building on the street level. Mr. Luntz said that, as he understands it, Ms. Allen is suggesting that the parking could be at the upper level. There would be a ramp in between the upper and lower level(s). The parking lot would be hidden in this way. Mr. Milowitz said that he does not think this would work from a practical standpoint. He did not think that people would park in one area and then walk the distance to the stores. Ms. Allen thought that the stores would be much more appealing to shoppers if they were closer to the sidewalk. Mr. Milowitz noted that the other designs that he showed the Planning Board tonight would block the cars from
view. It could be done. He did not think it would be the right approach for this site. Furthermore, it would not be the right approach from an economical standpoint.
Mr. Kehoe asked Mr. Milowitz if he thinks his proposed design equalizes the cuts and fills, to which Mr. Milowitz said, “Yes.” Mr. Kehoe said that the design being proposed would, in essence, create two ground levels, to which Mr. Milowitz said that this is, indeed, the case. Mr. Milowitz noted that the second floor becomes much more viable when a person can drive right up to the doorway.
Chairman Gallelli referred to the right-of-way on the northeast side of the property. She noted to Mr. Milowitz that the 50-foot right-of-way was meant to be an access point to the area, which is called Croton Meadows. Chairman Gallelli had heard that a portion of this area of the property was being contested in court in an Adverse Possession case. One of the neighboring lots has been using a significant portion of this section of the Katz property. She thought that it would be important to know the status of this situation. The Village Engineer said that he would look into this matter and report back to the Board.
Mr. Kehoe told the Applicant that the Planning Board should see a plan showing the house locations of the adjacent properties.
Chairman Gallelli noted to those present that the entire corner parcel, which makes up the Katz property, is a significant “chunk” of this particular Gateway Overlay District. We need to keep as many options open as possible for the development of this property.
Chairman Gallelli summarized the issues raised at tonight’s meeting, which should be addressed. The Planning Board would like to see a plan showing the building closer to the street. The Planning Board would like the Applicant to suggest some possible public use for the area of the property being donated to the Village. Chairman Gallelli noted that the Village has formed a committee, which is looking into these types of community spaces, to which Mr. Milowitz thought that it would be useful for him to contact this committee. Mr. Andrews said that it might be difficult to attract pedestrians to this public area due to the heavy traffic.
Chairman Gallelli told the Applicant that this application requires a Special Permit from the Village Board. The Village Board would refer the Special Permit application to the Planning Board for a recommendation. The Applicant must also apply to the Planning Board for Site Plan approval.
Mr. Luntz told the Applicant that, for the next meeting, the Planning Board would want to see a plan showing the footprints of buildings/houses on the adjacent properties. Mr. Andrews added that the Planning Board would also want to see the exits and entrances of all commercial/residential properties in the vicinity of the Katz property. Chairman Gallelli stated that a traffic analysis should be prepared. Mr. Kehoe noted that the Applicant would also have to apply to the NYS Department of Transportation for a road permit. The Village Engineer told the Applicant that a steep slopes analysis should be prepared. Mr. Andrews stated that the Applicant’s traffic analysis should include the Maple Street bus stop.
Chairman Gallelli told Mr. Milowitz that the traffic analysis for the new shopping center should take into consideration the trucks that make deliveries across the street to the Zeytinia Gourmet Market and CVS. The big delivery trucks, which make their deliveries in the alleyway behind these stores, have been known to hold up traffic on Maple Street. She reiterated that the Applicant’s traffic analysis should take this matter into consideration.
Chairman Gallelli told Mr. Milowitz that she would let him know when the Planning Board’s site visit to the Katz property would take place. Mr. Milowitz said that, in order for the Planning Board to have a better sense of where the building would be situated, he would put stakes in the ground at the corner of the building, and he would also put stakes along the right-of-way.
b. Meredeth M. Glenn, DDS – 102 Grand Street – (Sec. 78.08 Blk. 6 Lot 37.01) – Application for a Change of Use – Preliminary Discussion
Meredeth Glenn, DDS, the prospective buyer of the property at 102 Grand Street, was present.
Chairman Gallelli stated that Dr. Glenn would like to open a pediatric dental practice at 102 Grand Street. The two-story building is currently a mixed-use with a contractor’s office and flower shop on the first floor and an apartment on the second floor.
Dr. Glenn stated that her dental practice would be on the first floor. The first floor space is 1,200 square feet. She is before the Planning Board tonight for a Change of Use. She would also like to ask for a waiver from the parking space requirements. Chairman Gallelli noted that there is a section of the code that allows the Planning Board to waive the parking requirement in the O-1 (Limited Office) Zoning District.
Dr. Glenn said that she would probably live elsewhere for the first year and commute to the area (Croton).
Chairman Gallelli noted that this area is zoned for office and mixed use. The Applicant could rent the second floor of the building as an apartment, if she so chooses.
Dr. Glenn said that the exterior of the building does not look very good. Chairman Gallelli noted that, in her letter to the Planning Board dated October 15th, Dr. Glenn spoke about restoring the façade of the building and introducing landscaping in the front.
Chairman Gallelli asked Dr. Glenn if the paved area in the front of the building is part of the parking space count that she represented in her letter, to which Dr. Glenn said that it was. Chairman Gallelli noted that one or two spaces out of the seven spaces would be in the area that the Applicant is proposing to landscape. Dr. Glenn said that, with respect to the parking, she would think that on the side of the building, one could accommodate three spaces in a row. The whole parking area would be reduced by adding greenery (landscaping).
Mr. Luntz asked if the macadam driveway was a shared driveway, to which the Village Engineer stated that the pavement (macadam) goes across the property line.
The Village Engineer told the Board members that nine parking spaces are required: two for the apartment; four to satisfy the square footage requirement; and three for the professional office. The Village Engineer noted that, as far as the number of employees is concerned, four would be the maximum allowed in terms of square footage.
The Village Engineer told those present that in 1982 the Zoning Board of Appeals granted a waiver from the parking requirement. Three out of the nine parking spaces were waived.
Chairman Gallelli stated that she thinks this application should be treated as an Amended Site Plan application as opposed to a Change of Use. She would like to see a more detailed plan that would show the location of the six parking spaces. She would also like to see where on the premises the Applicant would introduce landscaping and what the changes to the exterior of the building would be. Chairman Gallelli told the Applicant that the Planning Board needs a more completed plan that shows the parking spaces marked on it. Chairman Gallelli noted that the current (retail) use of the first floor is a non-conforming use in the O-1 District. The Planning Board would want to see this building brought back into conformity with the Village Code.
Chairman Gallelli asked about the signage being proposed, to which Dr. Glenn stated that she is proposing a small wooden sign to be attached to the building. Ms. Allen noted that Dr. Glenn’s letter to the Planning Board implies that the sign would look like the professional sign on the building next door.
Mr. Andrews noted that the office hours for the practice would be minimal on Saturdays. He asked if there would be Sunday hours, to which Dr. Glenn said, “No.”
Mr. Andrews asked if there was any space in the back of the building for parking, to which Dr. Glenn replied that there is a drop in elevation and a retaining wall in the back of the building. Mr. Luntz said that he thinks there would be adequate on-street parking in that area of the Upper Village at the times that the office would be open. Mr. Kehoe said that he would like to see the exterior of the building restored and landscaping put in. He would “err toward the side of fixing up the way the building looks and losing a parking space.”
Chairman Gallelli thought that the proposal being discussed was a viable one. The Applicant would need to submit a more detailed site plan for the Planning Board to review. Chairman Gallelli told the Applicant that the Advisory Board on the Visual Environment (VEB) would be looking at the site plan application once submitted. Among other items, they would be interested in the landscaping, the sign being proposed and the exterior materials being used for the building façade. Dr. Glenn should let the Planning Board secretary know when she is ready to come back before the Board.
c. Rakis Inc. (Peter Tsagarakis) – 215 South Riverside Avenue (Sec. 79.09 Blk. 1 Lot 54) – Application for an Amended Site Plan for the Croton Colonial Diner – Preliminary Discussion
Edmond Gemmola, R.A. of Gemmola & McWilliams, Architects, and Gerald Klein, attorney for the Applicant, were present.
Mr. Gemmola stated that the Applicant would like to expand the diner and provide handicapped accessibility. The entranceway and bathrooms would be handicapped accessible. The Applicant would also like to redo the kitchen and part of the interior. The existing building is 2,700 square feet in size. The Applicant would like to add 1,300 square feet for a total of 4,000 square feet.
Mr. Gemmola described the existing condition(s) at the diner, stating that “everything is paved to the limits.” The parking has been maximized. There is no buffer. Blacktop ends at the sidewalks. Customers enter the diner through a vestibule, which is very close to the road. There are some shrubs along Bungalow Road, but they are too low. They should be 10 to 12 feet in height rather than 5 to 6 feet. Mr. Gemmola noted that the employees of the diner park their cars in the rear and the patrons park their cars in the front along Bungalow Road.
Mr. Gemmola stated that the survey of the property, prepared by Link Land Surveyors, shows the “topo” of the existing building and the trees and pond across the street. The Applicant owns additional parcels along Hudson Street. Mr. Gemmola said that this site plan depicts 44 parking spaces. The proposed occupancy of the diner would be 106. The dumpster and loading areas would be in the rear.
Mr. Gemmola stated that the Applicant would like to eliminate the front entrance and provide landscaping in the front. Shrubs would be planted along Hudson Street. Employee parking would be provided in the rear of the building where the dumpster and loading area would be located. The existing sidewalk along Bungalow Road would be retained. This sidewalk could be extended to the end of the owner’s property. Mr. Gemmola stated that more landscaping would be provided along the northern end of the property.
Mr. Gemmola referred to drawing #SY-1 and stated that this drawing shows the relationship between the existing retaining wall, as it is now, and the new retaining wall. The highest point of the wall would be due east of the parking lot. The Applicant proposes to provide islands, internal to the parking lot, to break it up. The curb cut along Bungalow Road would be eliminated with the main access along South Riverside Avenue. Mr. Gemmola stated that by eliminating the curb cut, the street would become a safer place. Mr. Gemmola added that the walkway could be extended, if desired.
Mr. Gemmola told the Planning Board that he and Mr. Klein came to the meeting tonight to see if the concept being presented “makes sense” to the Planning Board.
Ms. Allen referred to the survey and asked who owns the properties designated as No’s 95 through 103, to which Mr. Gemmola replied that these properties are owned by the Applicant, Peter Tsagarakis, and are all part of the same parcel.
Mr. Klein referred to the parking area for the diner off Bungalow Road, stating that this parking area is in a RA-5 (residential) zoning district. The parking in this area is subject to a Special Permit granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals in 1990-91. The Applicant realizes that he would have to go back to the ZBA to renew the Special Permit. Chairman Gallelli added that commercial parking in a residential zoning district requires a Special Permit. The Special Permit was granted with the stipulation that it had to be renewed after one year. The permit has expired. In order to sustain the parking in this area, the Applicant would have to apply to the ZBA.
Ms. Allen recalled that there had been an issue raised, sometime ago, regarding the use of Lot 100 for additional parking for the diner, to which the Village Engineer stated that the Applicant, Peter Tsagarakis, came before the Planning Board a year (or so) ago with a concept that included additional parking there (Lot 100). Chairman Gallelli noted that, as part of that application, the Applicant was requesting that this lot on Hudson Street be rezoned to C-1 from RA-5. The house on this lot would have eventually been demolished to create the additional parking. Mr. Klein noted to the Planning Board that the Applicant withdrew this application to expand the diner partly because he felt that it was the consensus of the community to leave that area alone.
Mr. Luntz said that the Applicant’s plan shows a large expansion for the parking area. He asked Mr. Gemmola how, in the design for the proposed parking, he arrived at this “stopping point,” to which Mr. Gemmola replied that it seemed to him the right point to stop. The design is “a nice arc,” which provides easy access. He realizes that it would require some (rather substantial) excavation work to put in the retaining wall, but the parking would be hidden from view. The current configuration/design seemed to him to be a logical one.
Mr. Luntz asked how many seats the Applicant is proposing to have in the diner, to which Mr. Gemmola said that the Applicant would like to have 106 seats. Mr. Klein added that, in so far as the seating is concerned, the Applicant has not yet focused on the interior renovation for the diner.
Chairman Gallelli told the Applicant that they are going to have to provide steep slopes calculations for the excavation that they are proposing for the parking. Chairman Gallelli noted to the Applicant that this application, as it is presently proposed, might be complicated by the regulations governing a Steep Slopes Hardship Permit. The Village Code states that, in a residential zone, an individual can seek a hardship permit to construct a one-family residence, but there is nothing in the code about obtaining a hardship permit for a commercial parking lot. Chairman Gallelli reiterated that this might present a problem. Chairman Gallelli noted that, because of the diner’s proximity to the Duck Pond, the Applicant would have to obtain a Wetlands Activity Permit from the Water Control Commission.
Ms. Allen wanted to know how the steep slopes would be calculated. She noted that these are existing lots, and the lots that are going to be affected are Lot #’s 96, 97, and part of 98. She asked if the steep slopes would be calculated “lot by lot.” Mr. Luntz wondered if, rather than lot by lot, the steep slopes calculations would be based on the entire (whole) property. The Village Engineer stated that it is his understanding of the Steep Slopes Law that the Applicant would be looking at the entire piece of property. Ms. Allen wanted to know if these lots had been treated separately on the tax rolls, to which the Village Engineer said that he could check with the Tax Office. Mr. Luntz wanted to know what the dark black lines on the survey meant, to which Mr. Gemmola said
that he does not know. He would have to ask the surveyor what the black lines signify. The Village Engineer thought that these lines represented tax lots. He noted that it appears on the survey that there are three separate tax lots, which are being defined by the darker lines.
Mr. Kehoe wanted to know what the parking requirements are, to which the Village Engineer replied that the formula for calculating the parking is: 4 spaces per 1,000 square feet of service floor area and 1 parking space for every 4 seats. Mr. Kehoe said that the parking for 106 seats would, therefore, be 16 + 27 = 43 spaces. Mr. Kehoe noted that the Applicant would not have to disturb the steep slopes quite as much if the parking were reduced. Mr. Klein said that the Applicant thought it would be helpful to have a few more parking spaces. Mr. Luntz thought that, with respect to the parking layout, the Applicant might be able to avoid the steep slopes to a greater degree if he were to change the design and “follow the line of Bungalow Road.” Mr. Gemmola noted that the layout
presently being proposed would offer somewhat more maneuverability to snowplows. Mr. Luntz said that if the Applicant had a way in and out on the other end of Bungalow Road, the snowplows could “run right through” the parking lot.
Ms. Allen suggested that the Planning Board should go on a site visit.
Mr. Kehoe asked about the employee parking in the back of the proposed addition, to which Mr. Gemmola said that there would be a total of five spaces: three directly to the rear and two to the side.
Chairman Gallelli said that she would be concerned about traffic. Mr. Kehoe thought that a limiting guide rail would be helpful. Mr. Andrews suggested that, with respect to the (expanded) parking lot, the Applicant could make it an “in only” from Bungalow Road.
Mr. Luntz said that he would be in favor of the Applicant’s proposal to provide handicapped accessibility at the diner. Mr. Klein noted that, right now, it is extremely difficult for handicapped people to get into the diner. Chairman Gallelli noted that the diner is a popular place, and she would agree that most everyone would like to see it handicapped accessible.
Chairman Gallelli noted that the two houses owned by the Applicant, which are located next to the diner, are in a deplorable condition. These two houses should be fixed up and maintained. Chairman Gallelli said that she realizes that the state of these houses is a separate issue; however, it would go a long way to resolving the Applicant’s problems with his neighbors on Hudson Street if the Applicant were to show some sensitivity to the neighbors in this regard.
Ms. Allen said that she would need to understand the Steep Slopes Law better as it applies to the lots on Bungalow Road that comprise the parking area. Chairman Gallelli noted that the initial Special Permit granted by the ZBA has expired and has never been renewed, so the Applicant would have to renew the Special Permit. The Village Engineer stated that the Village Code does not refer to “lots” but instead refers to “residential districts.” The Code says that commercial parking spaces in a residential area requires a Special Permit from the ZBA. The Village Engineer noted that there are multiple old subdivision lots, which are there from the original subdivision of land, but the property in question consists of three tax parcels. He reiterated that there is no limitation
about lots. The Code just says, “residential district.” Chairman Gallelli said that she would think the Special Permit that was granted was based on these three tax parcels. Mr. Kehoe asked if the old subdivision lots (95 and 96) have any status. Ms. Allen suggested that, assuming the calculations were based on these lots, there should be a requirement in the Planning Board resolution that this land could never be subdivided. The Planning Board should not allow the Applicant to preserve the benefit of having individual lots. The Village Engineer suggested that the Planning Board could ask the owner/Applicant to file a consolidation map.
Chairman Gallelli summarized the issues raised at tonight’s meeting, which should be addressed. A steep slopes analysis should be performed. The Applicant has to go before the ZBA for a Special Permit for the parking. The Applicant should look into an alternative parking lot configuration, which might result in reducing the amount of excavation required.
Mr. Andrews noted that the Applicant should look into the possibility of making it just an “in only” from Bungalow Road. Ms. Allen said that she thinks the Planning Board members need more guidance on how to define the basis for a steep slopes analysis.
Mr. Luntz referred to the plan showing the expanded parking area and asked if the proposed serpentine curve of the retaining wall, where major trees are located, could be tiered to cut down on the amount of excavation required. He said that he thinks terracing might mitigate the “giant cut” now being proposed. This would help the Applicant with the steep slopes calculations by reducing the impact on steep slopes. Mr. Luntz said that he thinks that it might look better to bring the wall in and do terracing. Mr. Gemmola said that he would look into this matter and come back with an alternative plan. Ms. Allen asked if the entranceway could be put further back so that the line of sight is better, to which Mr. Luntz replied that if this (the entrance) were an “in only,”
then there would not be a line of sight issue.
The Village Engineer stated that the revised plan should show the perimeters of the houses in the back.
Chairman Gallelli noted that, once the Applicant knows exactly where the new retaining wall would be located, the Applicant could go before the WCC for a Wetlands Activity Permit.
Chairman Gallelli said that she thinks Mr. Luntz’ idea about terracing is a good one. She noted to those present that many years ago there was much concern about the stability of the hill. Chairman Gallelli stated that very little has been done over the years to resolve the problem. She thought that terracing and a good landscaping plan would be a benefit.
Chairman Gallelli asked if changes to the façade of the diner are being proposed, to which Mr. Gemmola said, “Yes.”
Mr. Andrews noted that the Applicant mentioned shrubbery along Bungalow Road. He did not think there would be much room to install plantings, to which Mr. Gemmola said that the area that could be landscaped would be 36 inches in width.
The Village Engineer asked Mr. Gemmola if he could e-mail to the Village Engineer’s office the photographs that he presented tonight.
Harold Lockwood of 11 Hudson Street expressed concern about the parking situation and the stability of the hillside. He was also concerned about the number of families that are living in the Applicant’s two single-family residences on Hudson Street.
Chairman Gallelli told the Applicant that they could move forward with a formal site plan application, once the issues discussed at tonight’s meeting have been satisfactorily addressed.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 10:35 P.M.