VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON, NEW YORK
PLANNING BOARD MEETING MINUTES – TUESDAY, JUNE 27, 2006
A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, June 27, 2006 in the Municipal Building.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chris Kehoe, Chairman
ALSO PRESENT: Ann Gallelli, Liaison from the Village Board
Daniel O’Connor, P.E., Village Engineer
1. Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order at 8:00 P.M. by Chairman Kehoe.
2. NEW BUSINESS:
a) Croton Point DoneDeal, LLC – Croton Point Avenue (Sec. 79.13 Blk. 2 Lots 18, 19 & 20) – Request for a Second Extension of Site Plan Approval
Helen Collier Mauch of Zarin & Steinmetz Attorneys at Law was present to represent the Applicant.
Ms. Mauch noted that the Applicant was before the Planning Board in March 2006 to request an extension of the site plan approval for a mixed-use project on Croton Point Avenue. At that meeting, she had explained to the board that her client, DoneDeal, LLC, was having difficulty obtaining approval from the County DPW regarding parking in or near the right-of-way. The County DPW refused to approve her client’s project because of this project’s proposed use of the County right-of-way along Croton Point Avenue.
Ms. Mauch stated that the problem with the County is (being) resolved due to the fact that the Village has entered into an inter-municipal agreement (IMA) with the County to take over certain roadways along Croton Point Avenue, one of which is the subject County right-of-way.
Ms. Mauch said that, as she understands the process, it might take several months for the Village to finalize the IMA with the County. Her client’s time extension expires on August 1, 2006. DoneDeal is requesting that a second extension be granted, to December 1, 2006, so that their site plan does not expire before the IMA is finalized.
The Village Engineer stated that, through the IMA, the Village would take over roadways along Croton Point Avenue, between Riverside Avenue west to the easterly end of the bridge and South Riverside Avenue, from VanCortlandt Manor to NYS Route 129. The bridge itself would not be taken over by the Village. The Village Engineer noted that both he and the Village Attorney have reviewed the IMA. They are waiting for the Village Manager to return from vacation before going back to the County with the IMA. The Village Engineer said that he could not guarantee any time frame for its completion.
The Village Engineer noted that, with respect to the DoneDeal application, the County DPW had set a policy whereby they were not going to allow parking in or near the County right-of-way. There would be no such policy regarding the right-of-way with the Village as the new owner. The Village Engineer suggested that, perhaps, something could be worked out with the Applicant regarding the parking situation once the IMA has been finalized.
Chairman Kehoe stated that, as he understands it, the building would be a mixed-use building with retail space on the first floor and apartments on the second and third floors. He (Chairman Kehoe) was not a member of the Planning Board when this site plan application was approved. Ms. Allen recalled that the approval process for this application was a complicated one, which involved the merging of lots, the granting of a steep slopes permit, special permit, etc.
Ms. Mauch told the Village Engineer that she is in receipt of his two letters dated June 26, 2006. The Applicant would be providing to the Village Engineer the items requested in these letters e.g., the revised consolidation map filed with the County, a copy of the deed, etc.
Chairman Kehoe said that the Applicant is requesting a four-month time extension. He questioned whether the IMA would be finalized in four months. He asked the Village Engineer what he thought the time frame would be. The Village Engineer said that the Village would be actively working on this IMA during the next few months. He thought that the agreement would probably be negotiated within two to three months, although he could not be absolutely certain.
The Village Engineer noted that the subject IMA is a two-part agreement. The two parts of the agreement are 1) that the Village would take over the aforementioned County roads and 2) that the County would agree to construct the River Walk extension. Ms. Allen noted that the River Walk (trails) issue is unrelated to this Applicant’s project, but it (the trails) is part of the negotiations regarding ownership of the roads.
Ms. Allen recalled that there was an issue on the Applicant’s site plan, which still might be an open issue, regarding the neighboring property (Exxon) and landscaping. She asked if this matter regarding the landscaping had been resolved. The Village Engineer said that he thinks that the property owner at the time, Kieran Murray, approached Exxon about putting landscaping on their property and that Exxon told Mr. Murray that they were not interested.
Mr. Andrews said that the time frame for the completion of the IMA, suggested earlier in the meeting by the Village Engineer, is two to three months. He asked how long (after that) it would take to complete the negotiations between the Village and the Applicant. Ms. Mauch stated that there are two documents that would need to be prepared. The first would be the easement agreement between the Applicant and the Village for water utility purposes. The second would be an agreement between the Village and the Applicant regarding the parking/right-of-way issue. The Village Engineer suggested to Ms. Mauch that, while the IMA is being finalized, the Applicant, DoneDeal, could be working on these two agreements with the Village.
The Village Engineer stated that there should be a note included on the Applicant’s consolidation map stating that no access to the commercial part of the new structure shall be provided from Wayne Street. This condition was in the preliminary subdivision resolution and has to be noted on the consolidation map. The Village Engineer told Ms. Mauch that, besides the two conditions that were mentioned in his letter of June 26, 2006, there were a few other conditions, having to do with documents being revised, that need to be dealt with. He would send her another letter in this regard.
Mr. Sharma noted that the “composition” of the Planning Board has changed since this application was approved. Four out of the five Planning Board members are “new” to the board. Mr. Sharma wanted to know if there were any aspects of the original proposal that have been modified in any way. The Village Engineer told Mr. Sharma that nothing on the site plan has changed. The ownership of the parking lot/right-of-way will be transferred from the County to the Village. The Applicant, DoneDeal, is proposing to go with the originally approved building design. The Village Engineer noted that the dead end of Wayne Street would be improved as part of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. The road is going to be widened by about two feet. He did
not think that this would have any impact on the Applicant’s site plan. Ms. Mauch confirmed that there has been no change to the site plan since the original approval.
The Village Engineer noted that the Applicant is bound by the bonding requirements set forth in the site plan resolution of approval.
The Village Engineer told the board members that those conditions of the previous resolutions (special permit, preliminary and final subdivision, site plan, etc.) would remain as conditions for the project.
Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to extend the Applicant’s site plan approval for a period of four months – from August 1, 2006 to December 1, 2006. The motion was made by Ms. Allen, seconded by Mr. Luntz and carried by a vote of 5 to 0.
b) TGL Realty Co. Inc. – 49 North Riverside Avenue (Sec. 78.08 Blk. 3 Lot 81) – Discussion on Proposed Amended Site Plan (Installation of Handicap Bathroom) for the Ocean House Oyster Bar and Grill
Paula & Brian Galvin, owners of the restaurant, were present.
Ms. Galvin described the proposed changes to their restaurant. They would relocate the main entrance to the Farrington Road side of the building. A handicapped accessible bathroom would be created on the south side. Finally, they would install a deck on the south side of the building, which would be separated from the nearby residence by a six-foot high fence.
Ms. Galvin explained to the board members that there are two buildings situated on the subject lot. The restaurant is situated on the north side of the property on the corner of Farrington Road and North Riverside Avenue. Next to the restaurant is the residence, which is separated from the restaurant by an eighteen-foot grassy area.
Ms. Galvin stated that the landlord, TGL Realty, has made the space between the restaurant and the residence available to them for their deck/addition. The two buildings are on the same lot, so there is no issue in so far as the property lines are concerned. The lot in question is commercially zoned.
Mr. Sharma referred to the Applicant’s sketch of the proposed project and asked if the addition would be 15’ x 10’, to which Ms. Galvin said that it would be. The 150 square-foot addition would house the wheelchair accessible bathroom, a small service (work) area and a hallway with access to the deck.
The Village Engineer noted that, when this Applicant initially renovated their diner, they wanted to install two bathrooms. They had to do so in order to obtain a liquor license. The initial project that they looked into never materialized. The Applicant has since explored different design scenarios and has come up with the project being proposed tonight.
The Village Engineer stated that any new construction on a commercial building such as this one would trigger the American Disabilities Act (ADA) requirement to install a handicapped accessible bathroom.
The Village Engineer noted to the board members that the Applicant is going to have to come before the Planning Board with a site plan and architectural plans. There is a dumpster area behind the building, and that would have to remain. Electrical conduits would have to be shown on the plan(s). The Village Engineer noted that, when the Applicant submits a formal application, there would be other site plan issues to be addressed. Tonight’s discussion is just a preliminary discussion.
Chairman Kehoe told the Applicant that he knows people who live at the bottom of Farrington Road, who have expressed their concerns about the parking and traffic situation at the diner.
Chairman Kehoe said that it would seem to him that the Applicant would lose seating on the inside if the entrance door were relocated. Ms. Galvin said that, in order not to lose seating, they had to relocate the present work area.
Chairman Kehoe noted that one of the biggest concerns to people living in the vicinity of the restaurant is (would be) the impact(s) of increasing the seating area of the restaurant. Increasing the seating area would lead to “more cars and more people.” He would think that another concern would be a logical place to put the tables. Ms. Galvin stated that the deck being proposed would not be used as a food service area. It would be an area for people to congregate while waiting to be seated inside. Ms. Galvin noted that, in order to serve people on the deck, they would have to increase the size of the whole kitchen. The Village Engineer noted to Ms. Galvin that if more seats were being added to the diner, then, by code, more parking spaces would be required.
Chairman Kehoe asked if the deck being proposed would be flush with the ground or raised, to which Ms. Galvin replied that they have not yet decided whether to raise it or make it level with the addition. They are working with the architect, Neil Carnow, on the design. The Village Engineer stated that raising the deck would impact the screening vents. He suggested that even if the deck were at ground level, they might want to have a ramp for handicapped accessibility.
Chairman Kehoe asked the Applicant if they were proposing to have access to the new deck from North Riverside Avenue, to which Ms. Galvin said, no.
The Village Engineer noted that there might be a problem with head clearance for the new door going into the restaurant, to which Ms. Galvin said that she has spoken with the contractor, Adam West, about this matter. Mr. West said that he would do an adjustment to the roof at the door entrance.
Mr. Luntz asked if the Applicant is thinking about covering the deck or having it open, to which Ms. Galvin said that they are not sure yet.
The Village Engineer noted that, with the addition of the deck, there would be the possibility of having more people at the restaurant waiting to be seated. He thought that the parking in this area of the Village would be an issue that needs to be addressed. Ms. Galvin explained to the board members the way they presently handle this situation of people waiting for tables. Rather than having people gather outside, they call people at home by cell phone to tell them that there table is ready. This method works satisfactorily for the people who live locally. Ms. Galvin noted that about 25-30% of their clientele comes to the restaurant from out of town. These people have to wait at the restaurant to be seated. Ms. Galvin stated that, right now, they have twenty seats in the
restaurant and they have no on premises parking at all.
Mr. Sharma asked what the site plan issues would be for this application. The Village Engineer said they would be the typical site plan issues e.g., utilities, storm drain, air-conditioning (compressors), etc. The Applicant’s plan(s) should show the electrical conduits and water & sewer connections. The Planning Board would also want to see elevation drawings.
The Village Engineer noted that there is a residence across the street from the newly proposed Farrington Road entrance to the diner. The Applicant would have to provide to the Planning Board digital renderings showing how the diner, with the entrance now being on Farrington Road, would relate to the other buildings situated in this area.
Ms. Allen asked where the garbage bin is located. She noted that, when she visited the site, she noticed lots of boxes and “things” outside the restaurant. She asked if there was a specific area for the garbage. Ms. Galvin said that the garbage area is going to remain as is. Ms. Allen wondered if there would be a better way to dispose of things that are left outside. She thought that, as part of this application, the Applicant could look into the present situation concerning the garbage at the restaurant. Chairman Kehoe suggested that it would be helpful to the Planning Board if the Applicant could “tie in” this matter concerning the garbage with their amended site plan application. Ms. Allen noted that there needs to be a place for the garbage bin to be situated.
Chairman Kehoe stated that the Planning Board would want to see a detail of the proposed 27-foot long, 6-foot high fence.
Mr. Andrews said that some consideration should be given to the exterior lighting and to the new sign for the entrance being proposed on Farrington Road.
Chairman Kehoe told the Applicant that he personally thinks they are running a very nice restaurant establishment. He hopes their new proposal works out for them.
Chairman Kehoe told the Applicant to contact the Village Engineer’s office when they are ready to come back before the board.
c) Constructive Investments LLC (Hilmar Fenger) – 90 Old Post Road North (Sec. 67.20 Blk. 4 Lot 19.02) – Application for a Minor Site Plan Approval to Construct a Single-Family Dwelling on Lot #3 of the Hudson View Subdivision
Ronald Wegner of Cronin Engineering, Arthur Seckler of Seckler Associates and Hilmar Fenger, owner of the property, were present.
Chairman Kehoe noted that in June and July of 2005, the previous owner of the property, Galina Feit, came before the Planning Board with a minor site plan application for Lot #3 of the Hudson View Subdivision. The Planning Board approved the minor site plan. The ownership of the property has since changed. The new owner, Constructive Investments LLC (Hilmar Fenger), has made a change in the house design. Mr. Fenger is before the Planning Board tonight with a new minor site plan application for Lot #3.
Mr. Wegner stated that Mr. Fenger’s proposed residence would maintain the same setback from the on-site watercourse as that which was previously approved by the Water Control Commission. The proposed limits of disturbance and driveway location have also been maintained. The only change is in the house design.
Chairman Kehoe noted that the square footage of the house has increased. He questioned if this increase in square footage would have an adverse environmental impact. Mr. Wegner said that the house has been extended slightly toward Old Post Road North. The house has been increased in size, but the limits of disturbance have all been maintained. Mr. Wegner noted that, when Ms. Feit first came before the board with a minor site plan application, she was proposing a three-car garage. She ended up reducing the garage from a three-car to a two-car in order to maintain the limits of disturbance. Mr. Wegner stated that the new owner is proposing a two-car garage and a carport. The carport would be open facing both sides of the driveway, so access into this area should not be harmed.
Ms. Allen noted that that one of the issues with the Feit application was the screening of the driveway from the closest house on High Street. Mr. Wegner said that the screening has been kept on the plan. Also, the alignment of the driveway has not changed.
Mr. Andrews asked if the Applicant could explain to the Planning Board the changes in the house design. The Applicant’s architect, Arthur Seckler, told the board members that, in the new house design, they tried to maintain the footprint as much as possible. The house is in a slightly different style. They modeled the house after the old stone houses in the neighborhood. The house facade would be a stone veneer with architectural grade roof shingles. Mr. Seckler referred to the rear elevation plan and stated that the rear of the house would be three stories high with a full basement. The south (left side) elevation plan shows a two-car garage, carport and a wrap-around deck.
The Applicant distributed to the board members a colored rendering of the proposed house.
The Village Engineer asked if the new house sits within the limits of disturbance with all of the improvements included, to which Mr. Wegner said that it does.
Ms. Allen said that, in the review of this application, she tried to do a comparison between the previously approved (Feit) house and the new house. It looked to her as if the driveway had been moved slightly. Mr. Sharma pointed to the driveway on the Applicant’s site plan. He asked how close the driveway was to the property line on the new plan as opposed to the previously approved plan. Mr. Wegner measured the distance and said that the driveway is three feet closer to the property line on the new plan. Chairman Kehoe said that, as he understands it, the driveway has been moved three feet closer in that direction, but it is no closer to the designated wetlands area than it was before, to which Mr. Wegner said, this is, indeed, the case.
The Village Engineer asked if any more trees were being removed, to which Mr. Wegner said, no. The Village Engineer recalled that the WCC wanted the natural buffer area maintained between the new house and the residence on High Street.
The Village Engineer noted that there would be no public improvements on Lot #3 of the Hudson View Subdivision. The swale is on Lots #1 and #2. The retention pond is mostly on Lot #2. The only improvement for Lot #3 is the requirement for a curb along Old Post Road North.
The Village Engineer stated that there should be a condition in the resolution, which states that prior to the building permit being issued, a bond or equal instrument shall be submitted to cover the common or public improvements required. There should also be a condition, which states that prior to the issuance of a building permit, all easement agreements (drainage and utility easements) shall be completed and filed with the County with the documentation of the filing with the County being submitted to the Village Engineer.
Chairman Kehoe referred to the two conditions in the previous resolution of approval for Lot #3 and asked if the two conditions in this resolution would still hold true for the current application. The Village Engineer said that, indeed, they would. These two conditions pertain to the environmental site plan review by the Village’s environmental consultant. The Village Engineer stated that, in reviewing the environmental site plan, the Village’s consultant, Bruce Donohue, looks at the trees to be removed. He also provides his assistance with the installation of erosion control devices.
Mr. Andrews asked if the height of the house is 32 feet (total), to which Mr. Seckler said that it is. Mr. Seckler noted that the height requirement in the Zoning Code is 35 feet, so they are within the maximum height requirement.
Ms. Allen expressed concern about the trees outside the limits of disturbance area, which are designated to be saved. She questioned if it is clear on the Applicant’s plans that none of these trees should be cut down. The Village Engineer stated that it is the intent of the Applicant’s design that these trees be saved. The Village’s environmental consultant looks at these trees when he is at the site. It is ultimately up to the Village’s environmental consultant to make the decisions/judgement calls on matters concerning the removal of trees. Ms. Allen wondered if there was a way of “saying it more strongly.” She asked if, perhaps, there could be a condition in the resolution that these trees cannot be cut down. There should be a condition that
states that none of these trees can be cut down without the approval of the environmental consultant. Ms. Allen said that this condition concerning the trees should also be noted on the site plan.
The Village Engineer stated that the Applicant is required to mark the trees that are to be removed. The Village’s environmental consultant, Bruce Donohue, walks the site. If he feels that any of these trees need to be protected, he lets the Applicant know.
Ms. Allen noted to those present that, time after time, on one site after another, trees that were supposed to be saved are being cut down. She would like to “shift” the way the Planning Board currently handles matters concerning trees. In her view, a strongly worded condition should be incorporated into the resolution. Furthermore, a notation about the trees should be placed on the site plan that makes it perfectly clear how the trees outside the limits of disturbance are to be handled. Mr. Wegner suggested that he could add a notation that all trees outside the limits of disturbance are to remain until “named to go” by the environmental consultant.
Chairman Kehoe referred to a 10” (DBH) locust tree designated to be protected on the Applicant’s plan. He questioned how the tree would be protected, noting that the plan is not specific as to the exact type of protection. The Village Engineer referred to the Applicant’s tree detail(s) and stated that the drip line protects the root system of the tree. The tree armor is there to protect the trunk of the tree in case the tree is accidentally hit. Ms. Allen stated that what typically happens is that the construction workers (contractor) armor the tree and ignore the drip line. She asked the Applicant to look more at the “specifics” of what they are going to do to protect the trees, especially the vulnerable ones. Mr. Sharma said he believes Ms. Allen is especially
concerned about the trees that are close to the line of disturbance. The Applicant has to make every effort to protect these trees. Ms. Allen suggested that the note on top of the “tree note” needs to be more specific.
Ms. Allen said that she would expect the environmental consultant to be involved with matters relating to tree wells.
Chairman Kehoe referred to the previous minor site plan resolution for Lot #3 and stated that, as noted earlier in the meeting, the two conditions in this resolution would still hold true for the current application. They are as follows:
that plans submitted for the building permit be reviewed by an environmental consultant identified by the Village.
that construction milestones be established by the Village Engineer at which times inspections by either Village inspectors or the environmental consultant for the project be performed prior to construction proceeding further.
Chairman Kehoe stated that a condition should be included stating that, prior to a building permit being issued for Lot #3, a bond or equal instrument shall be submitted to cover public improvements. There should also be a condition that prior to the issuance of a building permit, all drainage and utility easements shall be completed and filed with the County with documentation of the filing submitted to the Village Engineer.
Chairman Kehoe stated that the resolution of approval for Lot #3 should include a condition regarding tree protection. A note should be added to the special tree note on the site plan that all trees outside the limits of disturbance shall be preserved. If, for some reason, it is deemed necessary for trees outside the limits of disturbance to be removed, none shall be removed without the express approval of the environmental consultant. Chairman Kehoe said that the condition could also say that if any of these trees are damaged and deemed necessary to be removed, the Village’s environmental consultant should be notified.
Chairman Kehoe said that it is his impression from the details provided on the Applicant’s plan that during construction trees would be protected with the fencing at the drip line. This would be the case unless the environmental consultant had a better way. Chairman Kehoe said that it would seem to him to be time-consuming for the contractor to provide this type of protection. He would think the contractor would choose to armor the trees instead. Ms. Allen agreed that this would probably happen. She said that the condition regarding the trees should also state that drip line protection of trees should be provided before construction.
Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to approve this minor site plan application with the conditions discussed tonight. The motion to approve was made by Mr. Andrews, seconded by Mr. Luntz and carried by a vote of 5 to 0.
3. OLD BUSINESS:
a) Nextel of New York, Inc. – Referral from the Village Board for a Special Permit for the Collocation of a Personal Wireless Services Facility at the Municipal Building – Report from the Village’s Consultant, Frederick P. Clark Associates
b) Nextel of New York, Inc. and New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC – Referral from the Village Board for a Special Permit for the Collocation of a Personal Wireless Services Facility at the DPW Facility, Veteran’s Plaza – Report from the Village’s Consultant, Frederick P. Clark Associates
Patrick LaRow, AICP, from Frederick P. Clark Associates, was present.
Chairman Kehoe noted that the Planning Board was also going to have the Village’s radio frequency consultant for these applications attend the meeting tonight, but he was unable to do so.
Mr. LaRow stated that his firm has been reviewing the two proposals and has submitted a fairly comprehensive report, taking into consideration the conditions of the wireless tower law of the Village and the general special permit standards.
Mr. LaRow said that he would like to begin with the review of the Village Hall application. He referred the board members to the Review Comments on page 2 of the FPCA memorandum pertaining to the Village Hall application, dated June 22, 2006. Mr. LaRow referred to item 1.a “Collocation Requirements” and stated that Nextel’s proposal at Village Hall accommodates the Village’s telecommunications law in that Nextel would be attaching their equipment to the existing building, which also contains antennas for various Village departments (Police, Fire, etc.). Mr. LaRow said that his firm would suggest that the Village raise the issue of collocation with Nextel. Potential additional carriers should be located at Village Hall, if it is at all possible to accommodate them. This would
prevent the need for additional cellular facilities elsewhere. Mr. LaRow noted that the Applicant has provided a Letter of Intent stating that they would not have any objection to sharing this location as long as it is technically and financially feasible.
Mr. Luntz asked if Mr. LaRow is suggesting doubling up the amount of antennas and equipment, to which Mr. LaRow said that the type of facility for another carrier would be similar to what is being proposed but at a lower height. Mr. LaRow noted that the gap in service that Nextel has identified might also exist for other carriers. The Applicant and the Village’s engineering consultant should examine the potential for other carriers to locate at Village Hall to prevent the need for additional locations. The Village Engineer stated that there might not be enough room to separate the antennas on the chimneys. However, there would be room in the attic to install the associated cellular equipment. The Village Engineer told Mr. LaRow that he does not know if the Village would want to have another
mast situated on the roof.
Robert Gaudioso, Esq. of Snyder & Snyder, LLP was present to represent Nextel. Mr. Gaudioso noted that Nextel’s engineers would be limited in their response regarding the collocation with another carrier because they do not work for these other carriers. They could provide their insights but could not “nail down” a definitive plan for the future. Chairman Kehoe noted that what the Village would want to avoid is the building of a facility on the roof that would preclude another carrier being able to collocate on the roof in the future. Mr. Gaudioso said that the design being proposed is a very basic design. The antennas are being stacked to take advantage of the chimney(s) versus having to install a new mast or tower. Ms. Allen said that, as she understands it, Mr.
LaRow is simply suggesting that the Applicant and the Village’s wireless (engineering) consultant should look into this question, to which Mr. LaRow said that this is, indeed, the case. He added that the Village would not want to preclude another carrier collocating on the building because of a design issue.
Mr. LaRow referred to item 1.e “Designation of Preferred Areas.” Mr. LaRow noted that by entering into a lease agreement with Nextel, the Village has given Nextel an opportunity to prove that the Village Hall is the best location. His firm would hesitate to say that this (the Village Hall) is the preferred area until the studies have been done.
Mr. LaRow noted that item 1.g “Proof of Non-interference” is the concern of the Village’s radio frequency consultant rather than the planning consultant.
Mr. LaRow referred to item 1.j “Signs and Advertising.” He noted that the only signage being proposed would be a sign giving Nextel’s emergency number and another sign having to do with radio frequency emissions. Neither one of these signs would be visible from outside the Municipal Building.
Mr. LaRow referred to item 1.m “Access to Antennas” and stated that access to the antennas would be provided by the existing ingress and egress. The parking at Village Hall should be sufficient for the monthly inspection/maintenance. The Village Engineer noted that, with respect to the parking situation at Village Hall, the Village Court is in session every Wednesday morning. Also, there is a large senior population at Village Hall on Fridays. The Village would have to coordinate with Nextel regarding this matter concerning the parking.
Mr. LaRow said that item 1.n “Setbacks for Antennas and Accessory Equipment” does not apply to this existing structure (chimney).
Mr. LaRow referred to item 1.o “Compliance with Subdivision Regulations.” He noted that this application involves the use of an existing building, so this requirement is not applicable. Furthermore, the Applicant’s lease agreement with the Village is for less than 10 years. The structure is temporary in nature by the lease agreement, so it is not subject to subdivision review.
Mr. LaRow stated that, as far as item 1.p “Screening and Security of Antennas…” is concerned, the antennas would be painted to match the existing exterior of the building. The Applicant should provide the board with color samples of the intended finishes before the antennas are installed. Mr. LaRow noted that other carriers have included additional sheathing to screen antennas. The Applicant should provide information to the board regarding the availability of such sheathing. The Village would want to mitigate the visual impacts as much as possible.
Mr. LaRow said that the next three comments (2.a, b, c) in the FPCA memorandum pertain to how the Nextel proposal at Village Hall would attempt to meet the Village’s general special permit standards.
Mr. LaRow referred to item 2.a “Cost Benefit Analysis.” He stated that the cellular facility being proposed would not require municipal services. Furthermore, the Village would receive compensation for having the antennas located on the roof, which would offset the expenses of the Applicant’s having to use any municipal services.
Mr. LaRow said that, with respect to item 2.b “Traffic and Circulation,” the proposed action would have no impact on pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
Mr. LaRow referred to item 2.c “Environmental Assessment,” and stated that this action is considered an Unlisted Action under SEQRA. A Negative or Positive Declaration would need to be issued prior to any final approval. Mr. LaRow noted that wireless telecommunications and transmissions are subject to strict FCC guidelines. The Village’s radio frequency consultant would be reviewing this application to verify compliance with FCC regulations.
Mr. LaRow referred to item 3.b “Compatibility with the Orderly Development of the Zoning District…” He noted that the Village Hall is zoned for office use. The intended (cellular facility) use is an allowable use by a special permit from the Village Board. No significant visual impact(s) is (are) anticipated
Mr. LaRow referred to item 3.d “Compatibility of Structure with Adjacent Buildings and Uses” and stated that it is anticipated that no site impacts (noise, traffic, fumes, etc.) would be produced by this facility that would affect the neighboring properties.
Mr. LaRow referred to item 3.e “Preservation of Ecological or Environmental Assets.” He noted that it is expected the proposal would not have significant environmental impacts over the existing conditions. The building (Municipal Building) is not going to be significantly changed.
Mr. Andrews asked if, with respect to the Cost Benefit Analysis mentioned earlier in the meeting by Mr. LaRow, there was a waiver from that code requirement that was granted to the Applicant. He wanted to know if there is a reason why this Cost Benefit Analysis was never submitted. Mr. Gaudioso stated that he thinks this Cost Benefit Analysis is not so much a formal requirement of the code as it is one of the criteria for a general special permit. Mr. Sharma noted that there would be cost benefits to the Village. Mr. Gaudioso said that, with respect to the cost benefits, it would be difficult to quantify the service that this is going to provide to the Village, but it is entirely possible to quantify the rent paid. The Village Engineer noted that in Chapter 206 (Telecommunication Towers) the
language pertaining to special permits is specific for telecommunication facilities; however, in Chapter 230 of the Zoning Code, the language is more generic and “zoning-related.” He stated that he would be willing to look into this matter of the Cost Benefit Analysis requirement with the Village Attorney. Mr. LaRow thought that this issue would be more relevant for the Board of Trustees than for the Planning Board; however, he saw no reason why the Village Engineer could not raise the issue with the Village Attorney.
Mr. LaRow referred the Planning Board members to the FPCA memorandum, dated June 22, 2006, on the proposed cellular facility (monopole) to be located at the DPW site, Veterans Plaza.
Mr. LaRow said that, with respect to item 1.a “Collocation Requirements,” the Applicant has identified a gap in coverage in the Village that would be fulfilled by installing the proposed 140-foot monopole at the DPW site. Nextel and Cingular Wireless have designed the tower in such a way as to accommodate two additional carriers to be located on the completed facility. Mr. LaRow said that the Applicant has stated that they want to operate at a height of 140 feet. He (Mr. LaRow) has spoken to the Village’s radio frequency engineer, Frank Rodriguez, who informed him that this height might not include lightning rods. Mr. Gaudioso told Mr. LaRow that the Applicant (Nextel and Cingular Wireless) is not proposing a lightning rod.
Mr. LaRow noted to those present that the location of the monopole is incorrectly identified on some of the maps included in the exhibits on this application. It is his understanding, after having spoken with the Applicant’s attorney and the Village’s radio frequency engineer, that this discrepancy is in the process of being resolved.
Mr. LaRow referred to item 1.c “Notice to Neighboring Municipalities” and stated that the Applicant has provided to the Village copies of the letters, which have been submitted to the neighboring municipalities. Ms. Allen asked if Mr. LaRow had seen this letter, to which Mr. LaRow told Ms. Allen that the letter is included in the Applicant’s Affidavit. Ms. Allen asked if the letter includes specifics of the visual impacts of the monopole installation, to which Mr. LaRow said that the letter, which was sent to the adjacent communities and to the County, is a form letter. There was no response to this letter except from the County. The letter from the County said that a location on an existing facility would be preferable to the monopole. However, if this is not possible, then the height
of the monopole being proposed should be verified and approved.
Mr. LaRow referred to item 1.d “Designation of Preferred Areas” and stated that the Applicant believes that the DPW site is the best location. Mr. LaRow noted to those present that the actual, physical location within the DPW site is still up for discussion.
Mr. LaRow said that, with respect to item 1.h “Tower Lighting,” no lighting is being proposed unless required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Mr. LaRow referred to item 1.i “Signs and Advertising” and said that a sign with the telephone numbers of Nextel and Cingular is required for emergency purposes.
Mr. LaRow referred to item 1.j “Tower Height Limitations.” He noted that the Village Code states that the maximum height of a cell tower cannot exceed 150 feet. Nextel and Cingular are proposing a 140-foot tower to achieve their objective. Nextel would be the topmost carrier at 140 feet. Cingular would be at 130 feet. Mr. LaRow noted that the Village’s technical (engineering) consultant would verify that the height being proposed is the minimum necessary to achieve coverage.
Mr. LaRow read aloud item 1.k “Tower Building Requirements” and stated that the building requirements, (i) and (ii), have both been addressed.
Mr. LaRow said that, with respect to item 1.l “Access to Towers,” the access route to the cell tower would be through the Croton-Harmon Train Station and the DPW site.
Mr. LaRow referred to item 1.m “Setbacks for Towers and Accessory Structures.” He noted to the board members that Nextel has indicated that they are seeking a waiver from the side yard setback requirement in the Light Industrial (LI) District from the Zoning Board of Appeals. Mr. LaRow said that FPCA thinks this application would most likely require a variance and would suggest that the Applicant make their formal application to the ZBA.
Mr. LaRow referred to item 1.o “Screening and Security of Towers and Accessory Structures.” He told the Planning Board that the Applicant’s proposal meets the requirements of Chapter 206-5.J in that no vegetation would be removed from the site for the construction of the monopole and appropriate fencing would be provided. Mr. LaRow noted that the site currently being proposed might not be the final location for the monopole. There might be impacts to the existing vegetation that come into play if the tower is moved.
Mr. LaRow said that Chapter 206-5.J.(2) specifically states that “the base of the tower and any accessory structures shall be landscaped.” Though in this instance his firm would not consider landscaping essential in that the subject site is far away from any residences or businesses, they are making mention of it because it is a requirement under the Village Code.
Mr. LaRow stated that, with respect to the lighting of the facility, they found that no lighting is being proposed for the tower. The Applicant should provide information regarding any lighting of the accessory structures at the base of the tower. Mr. LaRow said that on the whole, FPCA would assume that the cell tower site would not be lit up substantially.
Mr. LaRow referred to item 1.p “Design of Antennas, Towers and Accessory Structures” and noted that the Applicant’s intention is to design the tower in such a way as to match the existing light poles at the adjacent Croton-Harmon Train Station.
Ms. Allen noted to those present that the Waterfront Advisory Committee (WAC) has reviewed the two Nextel applications. The Committee discussed at length the visual impacts of the monopole project. At their last meeting, the WAC asked the Applicant to provide additional photo renderings to show the impacts of a fully populated pole with four sets of antennas mounted on it. Ms. Allen said that the monopole would not look like a light pole when it is populated with antennas. The similarity would disappear at that point.
Mr. LaRow stated that the colors being used for the monopole would hopefully match the existing light fixtures but to be absolutely sure that they would match, the Applicant should provide an explanation or details (samples) of the colors.
Mr. LaRow noted to the board that, in his experience, a monopole structure is designed to have a very slender profile to make it less noticeable.
Ms. Allen said that she would like to have Mr. LaRow come back to the Planning Board once the Applicant has submitted the additional photo renderings. She would want the Planning Board to have FPCA’s comments on the visual impacts of a fully populated monopole taken from various vantage points.
Mr. Gaudioso recalled that one of the suggestions made by the WAC at their meeting on this application was to look into the possibility of moving the cell tower closer to the train station parking lot. Mr. Gaudioso told the Planning Board that the Applicant would not have any objection to moving the monopole if the selected location is “okay” with the Village in so far as the parking is concerned. The Village Engineer told those present that he spoke with the DPW superintendent earlier in the day on the subject of an alternative cell tower site. They have a possible site that might work. The only issue would be losing parking spaces. Before proceeding any further, they would have to discuss this matter with the Village Manager. Mr. Gaudioso noted that if, in fact, the Village’s ultimate decision is to investigate a site farther north, then the Applicant would want to hold off on taking any further action(s) based on the present location.
Chairman Kehoe asked the Applicant if moving the monopole to a location farther north would require a new SHPO submission (FCC form 620). Mr. Gaudioso did not think so. He said, “I think that we are talking about the same area. The coordinates are the right ones.” Mr. Gaudioso noted that the new location would be closer to VanCortlandt Manor, but the visual impacts in this alternative location might be less than in the location presently being proposed.
Mr. Sharma said that the intent should be to color or paint the monopole to make it as obscure as possible. He would not expect it to “become one of the light fixtures.” Mr. Luntz agreed. He said that the intent should be to obscure it from view as much as possible. Chairman Kehoe said that he does not think the assumption ever was that it would totally blend in with the light fixtures. Mr. Luntz pointed out that if the monopole were to be moved to this new location closer to the train station, it would become a part of the “visual clutter” that is there already.
Mr. Gaudioso told the board members that the Applicant has made an inquiry with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services as to the effects of this application on the eagle population. Ms. Allen noted that the Planning Board would also want to know the effects of this application on other birds and species in this area.
Chairman Kehoe noted that, at an earlier meeting, Joel Klein had expressed concern about the Applicant’s “620”submission. The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) had reviewed the Applicant’s submission materials and had concluded that the proposed project would have no adverse effect. Chairman Kehoe stated that the Planning Board would want their consultant, FPCA, to review the submission that was made to SHPO to ensure that the state was given complete and accurate information. Mr. LaRow suggested that FPCA could provide the Planning Board with a more detailed explanation as to why this application was approved. Chairman Kehoe told Mr. LaRow that the Planning Board would like FPCA’s feeling (opinion) on the overall submission that was made to SHPO. Mr. LaRow
noted that even though there were discrepancies on the maps submitted to SHPO regarding the location of the monopole, FPCA does not think it is necessary for the Applicant to resubmit their application. The state’s historical analysis encompasses a large area. Even if the location on the maps varied slightly, the monopole was shown within that area (the peninsula).
Ms. Allen asked Mr. Gaudioso if he would be submitting the additional visual (photo) renderings. Mr. Gaudioso suggested to the board members that before taking any additional photos, it should be confirmed where the monopole is actually going to be located. Ms. Allen noted that one of the most critical issues of the monopole application is the visual impact(s). The Planning Board would want to know what the visual impacts are going to be from the location presently being proposed. The Village Engineer told the board members that he would try to provide the Planning Board with information on the alternative site within the next two weeks. At that point, some rudimentary photo simulations could be created. These photos might show that one spot is favorable to the other. Ms. Allen said that she,
personally, would not want to proceed in that way. She would rather know first what the visual impacts of the current proposal would be. The Village Engineer said that he does not think there are going to be multiple alternative sites for the monopole. There would probably be just the two locations presently being considered.
Ms. Allen noted that it might be decided that none of these sites are “right” in terms of coverage. She said, the whole north end of the Village would not be served by this (monopole). Chairman Kehoe said that the Planning Board has to have their radio frequency engineer come to an upcoming board meeting to discuss this matter.
Mr. Gaudioso told the board that the Applicant still owes some additional information to the Village’s radio frequency engineer (RCC Consulting).
Mr. Gaudioso pointed out that Nextel and Cingular Wireless were not planning to come before the Planning Board until next month. They came tonight because FPCA was presenting their report.
The Planning Board reviewed the issues to be addressed at the next Planning Board meeting. Chairman Kehoe stated that the Applicant would need to keep in touch with the Village Engineer for feedback on the alternative site. Mr. Andrews stated that, in order to move forward on these applications, the Planning Board would need more information from the Village’s radio frequency engineer. Chairman Kehoe stated that FPCA needs to provide the Planning Board with a more detailed explanation of the SHPO approval.
Chairman Kehoe noted to the others that, based on the information that the Applicant is able to provide to the Village’s radio frequency engineer during the next several days, the engineer may or may not be prepared to come to the next Planning Board meeting on July 11th.
The Village Engineer asked Mr. LaRow if, in the interim, FPCA could go through the Applicant’s Environmental Assessment Form (EAF). He noted that the Village Board is going to want FPCA to prepare Part II and, if necessary, Part III.
Chairman Kehoe told the Applicant to let the Village Engineer’s Office know when they are ready to come back before the Planning Board.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 10:40 P.M.
WHEREAS, the Planning Board reviewed a Minor Site Plan application on Tuesday, June 27, 2006, for Constructive Investments LLC (Hilmar Fenger), hereafter known as “the Applicant,” said property located at 90 Old Post Road North, and designated on the Tax Map of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson as Section 67.20 Block 4 Lot 19.02; and
WHEREAS, the proposal is for a new single-family dwelling on Lot #3 of the Hudson View Subdivision; and
WHEREAS, under the requirements of Local Law 7 of 1977, the Planning Board has determined that there will be no adverse impacts resulting from the proposed application that cannot be properly mitigated.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Minor Site Plan application as shown on Sheet S-1/2 entitled “Site Development Plan Prepared for Lot 3 of Hudson View,” dated June 22, 2006, and Sheet S-2/2 entitled “Detail Sheet,” dated June 22, 2006, prepared by Cronin Engineering, P.E., P.C., and Drawing #A-1.01 entitled “Foundation Plan, Specifications & Details,” Drawing #A-1.02 entitled “First Floor Plan,” Drawing #A-1.03 entitled “Second Floor Plan,” Drawing #A-1.04 entitled “Scenic Tower Attic Plan & Details,” Drawing #A-2.01 entitled “Elevations [Front and Rear]”, and Drawing #A-2.02 entitled “Elevations [Left Side and Right Side],” dated June 7, 2006, prepared by Seckler Associates Architects Planners, be approved subject to
the following conditions:
1. That, the Village’s Environmental Compliance Consultant review the minor site plan and construction activities.
2. Construction milestones be established by the Village Engineer at which times inspections by either Village inspectors or the Environmental Compliance Consultant for the project be performed prior to construction proceeding further.
3. A bond be submitted to cover the common improvements consisting of reconstruction of the drainage channel and construction of the retention pond including all piping and appurtenances to the property lines of the subdivision, curbing, etc.
4. Prior to the issuance of a building permit, all easement documents shall be completed and filed with the County with documentation of filing with the County being submitted to the Village Engineer.
5. A note shall be added to the special tree note on the site plan that all trees outside the limits of disturbance shall be preserved. If it is determined that any trees outside the limits of disturbance need to be removed, none shall be removed without the express written approval of the Village’s Environmental Compliance Consultant. If, during construction, any trees are damaged and it is deemed necessary to remove a tree or trees, the Environmental Compliance Consultant shall be notified. Drip line protection of trees shall be provided before the start of construction.
In the event that this Minor Site Plan is not implemented within three (3) years of this date, this approval shall expire.
The Planning Board of the Village of
Croton-on-Hudson, New York
Chris Kehoe, Chairman
Motion to approve by Mr. Andrews, seconded by Mr. Luntz and carried by a vote of 5 to 0.
Resolution accepted with the minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday, June 27, 2006.