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Planning Board Minutes 12/06/05
VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON, NEW YORK

PLANNING BOARD MEETING MINUTES – TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2005


A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, December 6, 2005 in the Municipal Building.


MEMBERS PRESENT:        Ann Gallelli, Chairman
Fran Allen
Robert Luntz

        ABSENT:        Vincent Andrews
                                        Chris Kehoe
                                                                
                 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.  OLD BUSINESS:

-  Meredeth M. Glenn, DDS – 102 Grand Street (Sec. 78.08 Blk. 6 Lot 37.01) – Application for an Amended Site Plan Approval

Michael Toto, AIA of Valus and Carpenter Architects, and Meredeth Glenn, DDS, the prospective buyer of the property at 102 Grand Street, were present.

Chairman Gallelli noted that this Amended Site Plan application is for a dental office in the first floor of a building, which is currently being used both as an office and as a retail space.  

Chairman Gallelli told the Applicant that the Planning Board has received a letter from the neighboring property owner, Maria Modica-Snow, regarding parking issues (the joint parking, the striping of spaces, etc.).     

Mr. Toto noted to the Planning Board members that the “Front Elevation – Alternate” plan, which the Planning Board received in their packets, is the Applicant’s preferred scheme for the façade.  Mr. Toto showed the Board members color samples for the stucco finish. The colors being used for the façade would be traditional colors of grays and creams.  

Mr. Toto said that he met with Maria Modica-Snow and delivered to her the same package that the Planning Board members have received.  Ms. Modica-Snow seemed to be impressed with the overall project.  Mr. Toto stated that he thinks that, with respect to the parking arrangement being proposed, Ms. Modica-Snow would actually have more room to pull in and out than she has at present.  Mr. Toto stated that the three spaces of her (Ms. Modica-Snow’s) parking area are (partly) on Dr. Glenn’s parcel.  He noted that Ms. Modica-Snow has one car that she drives over the sidewalk or if she arrives at her office first, she backs it in.  

Mr. Toto said that, according to the Village Engineer, a minimum curb cut is more desirable.  He (Mr. Toto) noted that, if the Planning Board felt that it was necessary to open up that curb cut, it would not be possible for the Applicant to do so on someone else’s (the neighbor’s) property.  

Mr. Toto stated that, as part of the new proposal, the four-foot walkway to the side door has been eliminated.  A common hallway has been created.  There is another door in the hallway, which leads from that space to the office and serves as a secondary exit.  Mr. Toto stated that by eliminating the walkway, the Applicant gains much more room in the parking lot.  

Dr. Glenn came forward and presented the Board members with a drawing showing the existing conditions of access and entry.  

Mr. Toto noted to the Board members that the side of the building facing the parking area would be protected with painted steel bollards, 48 inches in height.  A new gate at the top of the stairs leading to the lower terrace would be installed for safety reasons.   

Mr. Toto referred to the elevation drawings and stated that, as shown on these drawings, the street number of the building would be put over the entry door leading to the common hallway.  Mr. Toto stated that the Applicant’s sign application would be submitted for approval at a later date.

Chairman Gallelli questioned if there would be enough room to back into space #4 if this parking space were the only one left to park in.  Mr. Luntz said that there would not be enough room.  The Village Engineer noted that, if the driver of a vehicle had to exit the parking lot from parking space #5, he/she would have to back out into traffic.  Mr. Luntz said that, with the new parking arrangement, a car parked in space #4 could get blocked in.  The Village Engineer said that cars parked in spaces #1 and #3 could also get blocked in.  Mr. Toto noted to the Board members that several years ago three out of the nine required off-street parking spaces were waived. Tenants of the second-story apartment and employees working for Dr. Glenn would be parking in the proposed (new) parking spaces.

Chairman Gallelli asked Dr. Glenn how many people she expected to employ, to which Dr. Glenn said that she would be employing a dental assistant and a front desk person.     

Dr. Glenn said that she is presently teaching one day a week at Albert Einstein School of Medicine in the Pediatric Department.  She would want to continue doing that.  This would leave her four days a week to work in the Croton office.  Dr. Glenn said that, from her private practice experience, the onslaught of patient activity is from 1:30 to 5:00 P.M. or 2:00 to 5:30 P.M.  Sometimes in the morning, people bring in preschool-aged children.  There is usually a lull in activity in the middle of the day.

Mr. Luntz said that, according to the Applicant’s plan(s), the Applicant is reworking the blacktop on the driveway but is not taking it over the property line.  He asked why this is so, to which Mr. Toto replied that Ms. Modica-Snow did not want them to.  She also did not want them to do any striping of her parking spaces.   Ms. Allen asked how the distinction would be made between the Applicant’s and Ms. Modica-Snow’s parking areas.  Mr. Toto stated that Ms. Modica-Snow did not want any designation (made) of her parking spaces.  Chairman Gallelli asked if Dr. Glenn intends to delineate her five parking spaces by doing some sort of striping, to which Mr. Toto said that this is her intention.  Mr. Toto noted that Ms. Modica-Snow mentioned that she would not like white or yellow striping.  The Village Engineer noted that there are codes for the colors to be used for the striping of parking lots.  Ms. Allen asked if there would be some way of doing the striping more subtly.  Putting in yellow stripes would be an eye sore in that area.  Mr. Toto said that he would be willing to use a light gray color if the Village Engineer were to agree to it.

The Village Engineer referred to the Applicant’s site plan and stated that if this first (parking) space were shifted over to create a void area between the two properties, Ms. Modica-Snow could have her own entrance area.  Ms. Allen asked if, by creating this new driveway entrance, the Village would lose street parking in the front, to which the Village Engineer said that the Village would probably lose one parking spot.  The Village Engineer suggested that the Applicant could discuss with her neighbor, Ms. Modica-Snow, the possibility of creating another (new) entrance for Ms. Modica-Snow alone. The Village Engineer suggested that a “street tree” could be planted in the middle area to break it up.  He noted that he would have to check with the DPW to make sure that the parking along Grand Street would still be adequately met, should a second entranceway be created.  

Ms. Allen noted that, when one enters the Village from Old Post Road North, the Applicant’s building is in a prominent location at the corner of Grand Street and Old Post Road North.  She thought that it would be worthwhile to make an improvement in this area to the streetscape.  Mr. Luntz thought that it would definitely cut down on the “parking lot feeling” that exists now.  Mr. Toto also thought that the two entrances with the greenery in between would be an improvement.

The Village Engineer suggested that another option could be to make a wider break between the two entrances.  The Applicant’s driveway could be widened by 3 to 5 feet, thus increasing the width of the curb cut and providing more room for Ms. Modica-Snow to enter into her parking area.

Chairman Gallelli asked Dr. Glenn if she would be amenable to presenting these options, discussed tonight, to her neighbor, Maria Modica-Snow, to which Dr. Glenn said that she would be.  

The Village Engineer suggested once again that the Applicant should see if there is a way to create an intermediate area (island) between the two properties. Mr. Luntz said that he thinks that the Village Engineer’s idea of creating a separation and putting in a street tree is a good one.  Mr. Luntz suggested a possible way of changing the parking being proposed so as to be able to create this small island for greenery.  Chairman Gallelli asked Mr. Luntz if he thought this island would support trees, to which Mr. Luntz said that he thought it would. The Village Engineer said that he would be in contact with the DPW regarding the street parking.  They (the DPW) could measure where the street spots are to see if it would be possible to make the changes being considered tonight.   

Mr. Toto asked how Dr. Glenn would proceed with her application if she is tied up with this discussion regarding the parking with Ms. Modica-Snow.  Chairman Gallelli said that the Applicant could try to reach an agreement with Ms. Modica-Snow and if she is unable to, then the Planning Board will have to make a decision.  The Village Engineer said that he would meet with the DPW to make sure that the Village is set with the street parking.  He suggested that the Applicant could meet with Ms. Modica-Snow, and then a meeting of all the parties involved could be scheduled.  

Mr. Luntz asked Dr. Glenn what her proposed schedule is, to which Dr. Glenn replied that she has a certain (specified) time period to close on this property.  Chairman Gallelli suggested that the public hearing could be scheduled for Tuesday, December 27th.   The Applicant would have three weeks to work out the parking arrangement with her neighbor.  Mr. Toto thought that it would be better to wait until the meeting of Tuesday, January 10th because of the upcoming holidays and because he has to solve the problems regarding the parking.

Mr. Luntz referred to the Applicant’s elevation drawings and stated that the proposal for the exterior (façade, landscaping, etc.) would clearly improve the property.     

Ms. Allen asked if the changes being made to the façade could be carried around the side of the building.  Mr. Toto said that the coins would be carried around the corners so as to create a feeling of depth, as would the band around the top.  Ms. Allen asked if the sides of the building could be done using the two-color treatment being proposed for the front.  Mr. Toto said that the Applicant would like to make some future changes to the building.  When the Applicant comes in with the building plans, the side elevations might be different. Ms. Allen said that if the front scheme with the two colors were carried around to the sides of the building, it would break it (the surface) up entirely.  Mr. Toto described the building as “a box.” He suggested that he could break up the box-like appearance by creating an upper and lower band of color using the windowsills of the second-story windows as a dividing line.  Chairman Gallelli said that (just) having the whole building a single type of surface, i.e. stucco on both sides, would be an improvement.

Chairman Gallelli told the Applicant that, as requested, the Planning Board would schedule the public hearing for January 10th.  This would give the Applicant an opportunity to address the alternative parking proposals with her neighbor. If an agreement cannot be reached with the neighbor, the Planning Board would want to know the reasons why.  Chairman Gallelli stated that, as suggested by Ms. Allen, the Applicant should also look into the possibility of utilizing the two-color scheme on the sides of the building.

Mr. Toto referred to the Applicant’s landscaping plan.  He stated that the Heritage Birch tree and the Fothergila shrubbery being proposed for the front would make a nice contrast to the gray color of the stucco facade.  

The Planning Board scheduled the public hearing on this Amended Site Plan application for Tuesday, January 10th.

3.  ADJOURNMENT:

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 9:02 P.M.

Sincerely,



Sylvia Mills,
SECRETARY