VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON, NEW YORK
PLANNING BOARD MEETING MINUTES – TUESDAY, JULY 25, 2006
A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 in the Municipal Building.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chris Kehoe, Chairman
ABSENT: Robert Luntz
ALSO PRESENT: Ann Gallelli, Liaison from the Village Board
Daniel O’Connor, P.E., Village Engineer
1. Executive Session
Prior to their regularly scheduled meeting, the Planning Board went into Executive Session with the Village’s counsel, Michael Gerrard of Arnold & Porter LLP, to discuss the topic of 1A Croton Point Avenue and the pending litigation. Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to enter into Executive Session. The motion was made by Mr. Andrews, seconded by Mr. Sharma and carried by a vote of 4 to 0. Mr. Luntz was absent from the meeting.
2. Call to Order:
The regularly scheduled meeting of the Planning Board was called to order at 8:00 P.M. by Chairman Kehoe.
3. PUBLIC HEARING:
Sky View Rehabilitation and Health Care Center– 1280 Albany Post Road (Sec. 67.18 Blk. 1 Lot 2) – Application for an Amended Site Plan Approval
Michael Bergen, Superintendent of Grounds at Sky View Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, and John N. Cohen, Architect, were present for this application.
Chairman Kehoe stated that the public hearing tonight is for an application for amended site plan approval for a terrace extension and an underground storage area beneath the terrace at the Sky View nursing home.
Chairman Kehoe opened the public hearing on this application.
The Applicant’s architect, John Cohen, told those present that revised plans were submitted to the Planning Board in accordance with certain items that were requested at the July 11th Planning Board meeting, which he was unable to attend.
Mr. Bergen noted that, at the meeting of July 11th, the Planning Board had requested that the plans be revised to show the location of the proposed grinder. Also, the revised plans should show the sewer easement lines.
The Village Engineer said that he has met with the DPW at the Sky View site to discuss the proposed gate. The gate and fence being installed would provide a visual screening of the sewer pump equipment for those residents at Sky View using the outdoor terrace. The DPW has stated that the 16-foot opening of the gate would be sufficient for the DPW to do their required maintenance work at the sewer pump station.
The Village Engineer suggested that there should be a condition in the resolution of approval stating that Sky View shall be responsible for the maintenance and repair of the fence and gates.
Ms. Allen referred to the driveway extension being proposed and asked if this driveway is for access to the underground storage area, to which Mr. Bergen said, yes. She asked if the driveway would be paved, to which Mr. Bergen said that it would be.
The Village Engineer noted that, in case of a fire, it would helpful to the Fire Department if the stairs in the rear were eliminated and the driveway extended to the rear entranceway. Chairman Kehoe suggested that there could be a condition in the Planning Board’s resolution about the possibility of the driveway being extended.
The Village Engineer suggested that there could be a “whereas” clause in the Planning Board’s resolution acknowledging that the Village Board has mandated, as a condition of the approval of the amended special permit, that Sky View install a sewage grinder within 180 days.
The Village Engineer said that, by providing a very desirable outdoor space for the residents, the new terrace is going to be a great addition to the nursing home. Ms. Allen agreed and noted that the residents will be able to enjoy a beautiful view of the Hudson River now that the fence has been moved back.
Chairman Kehoe asked if the Applicant has submitted a Short Environmental Assessment Form (EAF), to which the Village Engineer said, no. Chairman Kehoe asked if it should be made a condition that the EAF be submitted. The Village Engineer told the board that he (the Village Engineer) had already started working on an EAF for this project. Rather than making it a condition, Mr. Bergen could stop by his office tomorrow to review and sign off on the EAF.
Chairman Kehoe asked if there were any members of the public present to speak on this application, to which there were none. Chairman Kehoe closed the public hearing.
Chairman Kehoe read aloud the draft resolution. He reviewed the conditions, discussed tonight, that should be incorporated into the resolution. Chairman Kehoe stated that one of the conditions would be that the proposed grinder for sewage should be shown on the Applicant’s plan(s). The Planning Board’s resolution should make reference to the condition(s) in the Village Board’s resolution pertaining to the ultimate construction of the grinder. Chairman Kehoe said that another condition of the approval would be that Sky View shall be responsible for the repair and maintenance of the fence and gates. Finally, there should be a condition that, if desired by the Applicant, the driveway on the southerly side of the building could be extended to the rear entrance provided that the details of the extension
be approved by the Village Engineer.
Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to approve the Sky View amended site plan with the conditions discussed tonight. The motion to approve was made by Mr. Andrews, seconded by Mr. Sharma and carried by a vote of 4 to 0.
4. NEW BUSINESS:
Referral from the Village Board for an Amended Special Permit for 1A Croton Point Avenue
David Steinmetz and Jody Cross of Zarin & Steinmetz, Attorneys at Law, and Andreas Gruson, chairman of Regus Industries LLC, were present for this application.
Michael Gerrard of Arnold & Porter LLP, special counsel to the Village, was also present.
Mr. Steinmetz stated that, as a result of the decision by Judge Nicolai, his clients, Greentree Realty, LLC and Northeast Interchange Railway LLC (NIR), have been directed to pursue a special permit to operate a construction and demolition processing facility, as a pre-existing nonconforming use, at 1A Croton Point Avenue. Mr. Steinmetz stated that the Applicant feels they have effectively applied to the Village Board. The operation would be the same as before with the same conditions. The extra-jurisdictional authority would be the same meaning that the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Westchester County Solid Waste Commission (WCSWC) would continue to have control and authority over this particular operation. The Applicant, NIR, has obtained a Solid Waste
Management permit from the DEC and a license from the WCSWC.
Chairman Kehoe asked the Applicant if, with respect to this application, the Applicant was familiar with Sec. 230-57 of the Village Code, which tells of the items that should be submitted for a special permit application. According to the code, a special permit application should include a site plan, cost benefit analysis, evidence that the proposed use is consistent with the Village’s Master Plan and traffic and circulation studies. Mr. Steinmetz told the board members that these items remain unchanged from the 1998 application for a special permit. He noted that there is no cost benefit analysis because the facility is not operational. Mr. Steinmetz stated that the Applicant is seeking to reopen precisely what was approved by the Village in 1998. If there are specific questions, the
Applicant would be happy to entertain them; but there is no site plan change.
The Village Engineer asked if there would be another company that would be operating on the site in the future along with NIR. Mr. Gruson said that, if the Village Engineer is referring to the Buffalo Southern Railroad (BSOR), he (Mr. Gruson) could not speak for BSOR. As far as the use of the property is concerned, it would be exactly the same as it was before. The Village Engineer said that, if someone else is using the property, then the situation is not exactly the same as it was before. The Planning Board would need to take into consideration during their review that someone else would be using a portion of the property in the future. Mr. Steinmetz said that he thinks the Village Engineer’s question is a legitimate one. The only answer that they can give to the Planning Board
tonight is that they do not represent BSOR. Mr. Steinmetz noted that BSOR is not operating on the property right now, to which the Village Engineer said that they would be operating on the property in the future and what they do would impact the property.
Mr. Gerrard said that it is his understanding from what the Applicant is saying tonight that BSOR is NIR’s tenant, but NIR does not speak for BSOR and NIR does not know what their plans are, to which Mr. Gruson replied that BSOR’s plans are to operate a railroad. The operations are limited by the length of the track. The number of railroad cars would be the same. There would be no difference in the scope of the operation.
The Village Engineer said that he would want to know, for example, where BSOR would be stationed on the property, to which Mr. Steinmetz said that, for the purposes of this (his clients’) application there is no operation on the property other that what is being proposed tonight. If and when something else occurs it would be dealt with by all parties present tonight.
Mr. Andrews had a question on the actual application. He wanted to know if it should be considered a new application, to which Mr. Steinmetz replied that it is a new application for the re-issuance of an old special permit. Mr. Andrews noted that, being that this is a new application, the requirements would be independent of whatever was submitted in the past. Mr. Steinmetz suggested to the Planning Board that, if they would like to see the previously approved site plan, this site plan is on file in the Village Engineer’s office.
Ms. Allen said that, from what she is hearing tonight, there would be two operations sharing the site. When the previous special permit was granted, there were limitations imposed on the amount of tonnage and the number of trucks. She questioned how these limitations would be imposed with the two operations sharing the site. Is the Applicant saying that the two operating entities would be “divvying up” the amount of tonnage and number of trucks? Mr. Steinmetz said that that is not what the Applicant is saying. He cannot speak for BSOR. He is here tonight for the construction and demolition operation facility. Mr. Steinmetz noted that the Applicant is not proposing any increase in capacity despite the fact that the NYSDEC in 2001 did increase the allowable capacity on this property and despite
the fact that NIR received a DEC Solid Waste Management permit for increased capacity. Mr. Steinmetz stated that this application is (would be) to operate exactly the same as they did in 1998. Ms. Allen said that she still thinks that it is strange to be asked to consider an approval request for only one of the two known entities proposed to be operating on this site.
Chairman Kehoe asked if BSOR is presently in front of the Surface Transportation Board (STB), to which Mr. Steinmetz said that they are. Chairman Kehoe said that it is his understanding the situation with BSOR has to “play itself out,” to which Mr. Steinmetz said that this is true. Mr. Steinmetz reiterated that the Applicant is before the Planning Board tonight to talk about the construction and demolition facility. He (Mr. Steinmetz) does not actually know if BSOR will ever operate on this property.
Mr. Gerrard noted that the judge (Judge Nicolai) said that prior to the issuance of a new special permit the Village has the right to impose conditions to prevent harm to the community and the environment. Mr. Steinmetz said that, with respect to the issuance of the special permit, NIR has voluntarily agreed to abide by the conditions and limitations imposed by the Village.
The Village Engineer asked if the Applicant could submit a report of the dust control system that was installed in the building. He noted that many times during the operation of the previous facility the debris spilled out past the door. The Planning Board would need to review this matter. The Village Engineer stated that another issue of concern to the Planning Board would be asbestos being brought into the facility. The Village Engineer stated that there are analytical instruments to monitor the waste coming in. A broad spectrum of waste contaminants would need to be looked at. Mr. Steinmetz stated that to his knowledge, in so far as the prior facility is concerned, there was a visual inspection at the scale house and a secondary analysis on the tipping floor. He told the Village
Engineer that if there were something specific that the Village Engineer is asking the Applicant to entertain, the Applicant would be prepared to respond in accordance with NYS solid waste regulations.
Mr. Gerrard asked the Applicant how they thought the Village should consider the cumulative impacts of both operations (NIR and BSOR) on the same site. Mr. Steinmetz said that his understanding is that this site has 1,600 linear feet of track. This site can only handle “X” number of rail cars, which equals “Y” number of truck trips. Mr. Gerrard asked how many rail cars there would be per day. He suggested that in the Applicant’s future submissions, it would be helpful if the Applicant would fill in the (“X” and “Y”) numbers. Mr. Gerrard thought that, in the review of this application, the Village might wish to consider the cumulative impacts of trucks generated by the BSOR operation “on top of” the construction and demolition operation.
Mr. Steinmetz noted that, when the traffic analysis was done for the previous operation, the empirical analysis was based on 1,000 tons a day. Mr. Gruson noted to the board members that any truck traffic was actually less than that. Mr. Gerrard asked if the traffic analysis was done based on 1998 baseline traffic conditions, to which Mr. Steinmetz said that it was. Mr. Steinmetz noted that Adler Consulting resubmitted the traffic analysis in 2001 and they concluded that the 1998 traffic analysis was very conservative. The truck counts taken in 2001 were dramatically lower than the Village Board and Planning Board assumed would be the case.
Mr. Andrews noted that there are certain elements to the present application that have not been fulfilled e.g., traffic plan, site development plan, etc.
Mr. Sharma asked if the present application should be considered a re-issuance of a permit or a new permit for a similar operation. Mr. Gerrard said that it is his understanding that the Applicant is seeking a new permit that is the same as the old permit. Mr. Sharma said that, if this is the case, the Applicant should be looking at the requirements in the code for a new permit. Mr. Sharma noted that the Planning Board might need to hire a consultant(s) to help with the review of this application.
Mr. Steinmetz said that it would appear from the Planning Board’s discussion tonight that the Planning Board would like to see a site plan and a traffic study. Also, the Village Engineer has asked to be provided with the operation protocol(s). Mr. Steinmetz said that he is unfamiliar with the cost benefit analysis mentioned earlier in the meeting. Chairman Kehoe told Mr. Steinmetz that the cost benefit analysis is one of the criteria enumerated in the code for a (new) special permit.
The Village Engineer noted that, in the past operation, there were times when there was a problem getting empty rail cars into the facility. The result was to cause the quantity of construction and demolition material to build up to a point way above the concrete wall. Trucks had a difficult time backing in and tipping into the facility. The Village Engineer noted that CSX plays an important part in their (the Applicant’s) operation. Perhaps, the Village needs documentation from CSX as to what the problems were in the past. Mr. Gruson stated that he could not speak about how Allied Waste worked their operation. The amount of material in the building is governed by the DEC. If Allied Waste broke the law, then the Village would need to deal with them directly. The Village Engineer thought
that there might have been management problems with Allied Waste. He said that oversight of the facility plays a critical role in the managing of the facility. Mr. Gruson assured the Planning Board and the Village Engineer that he was going to make himself available as far as the managing of the facility is concerned.
Mr. Sharma pointed out that in light of the experience the Village has had with the past operation at 1A Croton Point Avenue, the new special permit might have new conditions. For example, the new permit might require some kind of monitoring of the facility to be put in place. Mr. Sharma expressed concern that if DEC procedures were not properly adhered to and/or mitigation measures were not taken in a timely fashion, the health, safety and welfare of Village residents would be put in jeopardy. He would think that the Village would definitely try to put in place measures or conditions, which would be designed to prevent the experience of the past from repeating itself.
Mr. Steinmetz noted that the Planning Board has been asking questions tonight about traffic. The Applicant has consulted with a traffic consultant firm and would be providing a traffic report to the Planning Board at an upcoming meeting.
Chairman Kehoe noted that, when the Applicant comes back before the Planning Board, they should provide a report regarding the dust control procedures mentioned earlier by the Village Engineer.
Mr. Steinmetz told the board members that, as far as the monitoring of the facility is concerned, the DEC permit granted to NIR requires monitoring. Also, the Westchester County Solid Waste Commission license requires two layers of monitoring. Mr. Gruson noted that the DEC monitor could come to their processing facility at will.
Ms. Allen told the Applicant that the Planning Board would like to be able to hire their own consultants to review this application. The Planning Board would set the parameters of what these consultants are going to do. The Planning Board would prefer to have their own consultants rather than depending solely on the Applicant and their consultants for answers. Mr. Steinmetz said that the Village is free to hire its own consultants. This application is to the Board of Trustees. He suggested that, as was the case with the past application, the Village Board and the Planning Board should work together to coordinate this activity. Mr. Steinmetz said that the Applicant has hired one of the preeminent traffic consultants in the County to prepare their traffic study. He added that the
Applicant would have no objection to having the (review) process unfold in a fair and meaningful way.
Ms. Allen said that in addition to traffic there are a number of other issues to be addressed. The Planning Board might need multiple consultants to assure that the documents submitted are complete. Mr. Andrews stated that this (the hiring of consultants) is the Planning Board’s prerogative under the Village Code.
The Village Engineer told the Applicant that he would expand on some of the comments he made earlier tonight in a memorandum.
The Village Engineer asked the Applicant if a hydrant flow analysis was ever done. Mr. Steinmetz told the Village Engineer that the Applicant’s environmental consultant, who prepared the Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) for this application, might know if this analysis was done. If not, they could take a look at the hydrant to make sure it is functioning adequately.
Mr. Sharma said that in the preparation of their application the Applicant could attach old materials as a reference and for comparison only. The new application should contain all new materials.
The Village Engineer said that it still has to be determined how much of an escrow account should be opened up initially for the hiring of the consultant(s). Mr. Steinmetz noted that matters regarding the hiring of the consultant(s) should be coordinated with the Board of Trustees.
Chairman Kehoe told the Applicant that, should the Applicant decide to submit materials for the next Planning Board meeting, only three out of the five members would be present at that meeting.
Mr. Steinmetz stated that they (the Applicant) truly want to make sure that their operation is lawful, clean and safe, and functioning in a productive manner for the entire community.
Mr. Steinmetz asked the board members if they had any objection to the Applicant’s submitting application materials at different times. He asked if the Planning Board would be uncomfortable proceeding with the review of the application in that way. Chairman Kehoe told Mr. Steinmetz that he was not so sure how helpful it would be if, for example, the traffic study were done but the rest of the application was incomplete. The Village Engineer suggested that if the traffic study were done but other items were not ready yet, the Applicant could (still) come back to discuss the traffic. Mr. Steinmetz said that, if at all possible, the Applicant would like to come to the next meeting on August 8th and, at a minimum, address the traffic issue. Chairman Kehoe noted to the Applicant that
the first attempt to contemplate the recommendation of consultants to the Village Board would be the meeting on August 8th. Only three members would be present. He and Mr. Luntz would be absent from that meeting.
Mr. Sharma said that he, personally, would rather have all the board members present to discuss the Applicant’s traffic study. Mr. Steinmetz asked if more of the board members would be present at the second meeting in August, to which Chairman Kehoe said that in all likelihood, yes. Chairman Kehoe said that he also thinks it might be better to have the full board present. Mr. Steinmetz said that he would discuss this matter of meeting dates with the Applicant’s consultant and make a decision.
Chairman Kehoe noted that, even if the traffic study were ready in time for the next meeting, the Village’s consultant, who would be asked to review this study, would not have been selected by that time. The Village Engineer suggested that by the next meeting on August 8th he could have some recommendations to give to the Planning Board on the consultants.
Mr. Gerrard asked if the Applicant’s submissions on traffic would look at the cumulative traffic impacts, with both NIR and BSOR being taken into consideration, to which Mr. Steinmetz said that he would have to look into that. Mr. Gerrard noted that it might be difficult to make a decision on traffic impacts for 1A Croton Point Avenue if they (the Planning Board) are only looking at one of the two potential operating entities. Mr. Andrews asked if the Applicant has a lease arrangement with BSOR, to which Mr. Steinmetz replied that RS Acquisition Company LLC (RSA) has a sublease with BSOR. Mr. Andrews thought it might be helpful to know the terms of the arrangement between the two entities and how they are going to operate and/or interact on the site. The Village Engineer said that it would be helpful to
know, for example, if BSOR has a set amount of land being leased to them over which they have control. It would be useful for the Planning Board to know the basic parameters of the NIR/BSOR arrangement. Mr. Gerrard said that certain questions have to be answered, such as “Do they split up the land?” or “Do they have joint tenancy of the land?” Mr. Steinmetz said that the Applicant would get back to the board regarding these matters.
Mr. Steinmetz said that it would be preferable to the Applicant if this application could be kept on the agenda for the August 8th meeting, at least in so far as selecting a consultant is concerned. Chairman Kehoe suggested that the selecting of a consultant could be discussed at the Planning Board meeting on August 8th so as to have the recommendation to the Village Board in time for their meeting of August 14th.
Ms. Allen said that the Planning Board also needs to discuss the types (categories) of consultants that would be required to review this application. The Planning Board might want to have a consultant who specializes in railroad systems and how they operate. Chairman Kehoe agreed that the Planning Board needs to decide on the types (categories) of consultants. For example, should a planning consultant firm as well as traffic consultant be hired? Ms. Allen thought that the Planning Board would undoubtedly need help from a professional consultant to know if the application is complete with respect to the Village laws. The Village Engineer suggested that perhaps a traffic consultant could be selected at the next meeting. The Village Engineer said that the consultants would not have to be
selected all at once. The Planning Board could continue this discussion at their meeting of August 22nd. He said the Planning Board’s recommendation on consultants does not have to be sent to the Village Board “in one package.”
Mr. Gerrard noted to the board members that there are consultants who specialize in railroad operations. Ms. Allen asked Mr. Gerrard if he thought it would be important to hire this type of consultant for this project. Mr. Gerrard told the board members that it would probably be good to have a consultant who understands how the railroad transportation system works.
The Village Engineer told the Applicant that this matter regarding the selection of a consultant would be placed on the Planning Board meeting agenda for Tuesday, August 8th.
5. OLD BUSINESS:
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, RCC Consultants, Inc.
Robert Gaudioso of Snyder & Snyder, LLP was present to represent the Applicant.
The Village’s radio frequency consultant, Francis Rodriguez, M.S., of RCC Consultants, Inc. and the Village’s planning consultant, Patrick LaRow, AICP, of Frederick P. Clark Associates, Inc. were present.
Mr. Gaudioso noted to the board that the Applicant is not prepared tonight to discuss the DPW application due to the shift in location of the monopole at the DPW site. Mr. Gaudioso stated that the Applicant did respond to FPCA’s comments of June 22, 2006. The Applicant received RCC’s comments on Friday of last week. Mr. Gaudioso stated that he has prepared a letter to the Planning Board dated July 17, 2006, which provides answers to some of RCC’s questions. Mr. Gaudioso distributed to the Planning Board copies of his July 17th letter.
Mr. Rodriguez told the board that he would be speaking tonight about Nextel’s wireless facilities application at the Municipal Building. He would not be addressing the DPW monopole application because of the proposed change in location of the monopole on the DPW site. Mr. Rodriguez noted to the board that when there is such a change in location, it involves the re-calibration of the site.
Mr. Rodriguez referred to his “Report #1,” addressed to the Chairman and Members of the Planning Board, dated July 21, 2006. He noted that in a previous status report to the Planning Board he had raised certain questions to the Applicant in terms of additional technical data required for both sites. The Applicant responded by providing the requested information. Mr. Rodriguez stated that he has since completed his analysis and would like to go through the items enumerated in his “Report #1” tonight.
Mr. Rodriguez stated that he has reviewed FPCA’s comments of June 22, 2006. In a number of cases he uses the same details in his subject headings that FPCA used.
Mr. Rodriguez stated that he has reviewed the application materials that were provided to him by the Village. He has also reviewed the recent information provided by the Applicant. Mr. Rodriguez noted that in his report he has made reference to the current rules and regulations governing telecommunications facilities.
Mr. Rodriguez referred to item 1 entitled “FCC Authorizations.” He told the board members that he has researched the FCC records and determined that the Applicant’s three licenses are current. Furthermore, the authorized frequency bands of operation are consistent with the antenna type the Applicant is proposing to use. Mr. Rodriguez told the board members that the question he raises in item 1 regarding the relationship between Nextel of New York, Inc. and Nextel License Acquisition Corp. has been satisfactorily resolved.
Mr. Rodriguez referred to item 2 entitled “Antenna Locations as Related to Minimum Height.” He stated that the Applicant has proposed to put up panel antennas on the chimneys that would radiate from three different quadrants. The antennas would be side-mounted and would not exceed the height of the chimneys. Mr. Rodriguez said that RCC was able to use their own propagation model and predict the proposed coverage. He noted that the Village would want to be sure that the coverage that Nextel is predicting is accurate so that Nextel does not have to come back to the Village in the future to remedy the lack of coverage.
Mr. Rodriguez referred the board members to Attachment 4, which shows RCC’s prediction of coverage. He noted that RCC has detailed every element that was used in their calculations. The centerline of the antennas was calculated and used in the coverage study. From this (RCC’s) analysis, RCC concludes that the antenna heights are appropriate for the intended coverage.
Mr. Rodriguez told the board members that one item that was left open is Antenna Tilt. RCC has made an assumption that there was 0 degrees Tilt for all the antennas. If the Applicant were to say that the Tilt is different, then RCC would redo their propagation calculation(s).
Mr. Rodriguez referred to RCC’s map (Attachment 5A), which shows the RCC-predicted coverage to the same scale as the Applicant’s coverage map. Attachment 5T is the same as 5A except this map is a transparency to permit overlay onto the Applicant’s coverage map.
Chairman Kehoe noted that in RCC’s written report on the coverage, RCC is saying that their coverage prediction is close enough to the Applicant’s, but RCC’s map shows less coverage. Chairman Kehoe said that, according to RCC’s map, it would seem that there is an area on Route 9 that does not have any coverage at all. Mr. Rodriguez stated that his firm takes into account land use information. The fact that their map does not predict the same level of coverage in that area might indicate that the overlap of the two is less but not that this overlap is not there. Mr. Rodriguez said that, “You want to have umbrellas that touch each other but that do not overlap too much.” Mr. Rodriguez stated that it is RCC’s opinion that Nextel’s prediction model would satisfy their intent, which is to fill a
hole (gap) in the coverage that they currently have.
Chairman Kehoe said that it would seem to him from looking at the map(s) that there would not be a great deal of coverage, to which Mr. Rodriguez told Chairman Kehoe that most people are surprised by how small the coverage is. This prediction is for someone in a vehicle. The radius would be larger if this were “in-street” coverage. Mr. Rodriguez said that Nextel’s goal is to provide continuity of service. The green color on the map shows the extended coverage in other areas. They are required under FCC rules to provide a reasonable quality of service. They do not want to “over or under engineer” a site. In order to strike a balance the prediction model they look at is the model for “in-vehicle” rather than “in-street” coverage.
Mr. Rodriguez noted to the board members that the land use information that RCC has access to identifies forests, homes, etc. Buildings with thick walls could also cause a loss in coverage. Mr. Gaudioso noted that most of the limitations of signals in the Village are due to the topography of the land.
Mr. Rodriguez referred the board members to the RCC maps showing a comparison of “in-street” and “in-vehicle” coverage.
Mr. Rodriguez stated that item 3 of his written report pertains to the screening of the antennas. The Applicant proposes to paint the antennas to match the existing building. Mr. LaRow of FPCA suggested in his report that the Applicant could consider an alternative method of camouflage called “sheathing.” In Nextel’s response to FPCA, Nextel spoke about boxing-in and screening the antennas. Mr. Rodriguez said that he would recommend painting the antennas to match the brickwork of the chimneys rather than using the boxing-in screening technique. In his view, this (the painting) approach would provide a better camouflage, a smaller silhouette and less wind load. Mr. Gaudioso noted that, with respect to the painting of the antennas, there is a company called Stealth Painters LLC that paints by
hand. This company has been highly successful in achieving the right color match. It would be better to go through a company such as this one than to try to select a color from a Sherman Williams color chart. The Village Engineer suggested that it could be made a condition of the approval that the Village Engineer and the Village’s consultant (FPCA) must be satisfied with the manner in which the (camouflage) work is done. Furthermore, the Applicant must provide future maintenance of this work, to the satisfaction of the Village Engineer. Mr. Rodriguez said that it would be his recommendation to have it be their (Nextel’s) task to maintain this work. Nextel should provide written assurances that timely maintenance would be performed to keep the camouflage work in good order.
Mr. Rodriguez referred the board members to item 4 “Collocation by Other Carriers.” He told the board that he has seen roof areas of this size in other projects and has seen multiple carriers have their antennas successfully installed. Some antennas might be able to be mounted on the other sides of chimneys that already have side-mounted antennas. However, some of the sloping portion of the roof might eventually have to be used. Mr. Rodriguez said that his major concern would be the sufficiency of space in the attic. He reiterated that, in his view, this attic space would be the more important element to have secured. The Applicant should be required to install their equipment in a manner not to impede the optimal use of this space.
Mr. Rodriguez referred to item 5 entitled “FCC Rules Concerning Environmental Assessment and Preservation of Ecological or Environmental Assets.” Mr. Rodriguez noted to the board that the FCC has jurisdiction over the licensee (Nextel) with respect to some environmental issues. The Applicant should state for the record that the proposed facility would be in compliance with FCC Rules, Sec. 1.1307, “Actions that may have a significant effect, for which Environmental Assessments (EA’s) must be prepared.” Mr. Rodriguez noted that this is an additional item that would assure that the Applicant is in compliance with every environmental element (aspect) of this application. The Village Engineer stated that the Village has received notification that the adjacent St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church has been placed
on the NYS Register of Historic Places. He asked if this would affect the review of the Nextel application in any way. Mr. Gaudioso did not think that it would. He noted that the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is aware of the status of this adjacent building. Chairman Kehoe recalled that in the SHPO documentation, SHPO did not have a problem with the proximity of this historic church to Nextel’s proposed cellular facility.
Mr. Rodriguez stated that item 6 of his report pertains to antenna safety. The Village would want to be sure that when Nextel had their compliance study prepared, they took into account all the transmitters situated in the Municipal Building. The FCC requires that an assessment be done whenever antenna operations are added. Mr. Rodriguez stated that his recommendation would be that the Applicant should get together with the Village Engineer to discuss this matter. The Village would want to be assured that the existing radio operations in the Municipal Building are being taken into account. Mr. Rodriguez referred to item 7 of his report entitled “Non-Interference.” He noted that in both items (6 and 7) there is a discrepancy that may have some bearing on the outcome of the Applicant’s
report(s). In one of the reports of the Applicant’s Exhibit 1, the Applicant speaks of “existing VHF antenna operations by the Village…,” yet on the Applicant’s drawing Z2, the Applicant makes note of “existing UHF antenna…,” not VHF. The Applicant’s Non-interference Report only addresses the VHF. Mr. Rodriguez stated that either the drawing needs to be corrected or the Applicant’s Non-interference Report needs to be reassessed taking into consideration the proper data. As was the case for item 6, the Applicant should meet with the Village Engineer to look into this matter.
Mr. Gaudioso noted to those present that, with respect to the issues raised in RCC’s items 6 and 7, Nextel’s consultant, Pinnacle Telecom Group, LLC, has provided a response in their correspondence to Mr. Gaudioso dated July 25, 2006. Mr. Gaudioso stated that Pinnacle’s correspondence is attached to the Nextel materials provided to the Planning Board earlier in the meeting tonight. In brief, Pinnacle’s letter states that “UHF” should be “VHF.” Drawing Z2 is wrong and should be corrected. Pinnacle also states that there would be no unacceptable interference from the proposed antenna operation. However, in the unlikely case that there is interference, Nextel would be required by the FCC to correct this problem. Mr. Rodriguez reiterated that Nextel should meet with the Village Engineer to resolve
these issues relating to “UHF” vs. “VHF” antennas. Mr. Gaudioso said that they (the Applicant) would have no problem doing that. He would have Daniel Collins from Pinnacle meet with the Village Engineer. Mr. Collins would go to the site to make sure that their (Pinnacle’s) assessment is accurate.
At this juncture of the meeting, Pat LaRow of FPCA came forward to discuss the Applicant’s Full Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) for the cellular facilities project at the Municipal Building. He noted that Parts 2 and 3 of the EAF are the Lead Agency’s, rather than the Applicant’s, responsibility. The Lead Agency in this case is the Village Board. Mr. LaRow stated that, having reviewed Nextel’s application for the Municipal Building, FPCA does not find any potentially large impacts resulting from the antenna installation. From a visual standpoint, the mitigation being proposed is more than sufficient. Mr. LaRow stated that, with respect to the screening being proposed, FPCA would not have any objection to the reduction in size vis-a-vis taking away some of the sheathing. He noted to
the board members that, from his personal experience, the camouflaging being proposed by Nextel for the antennas is very “high end.” The chimneys with the antennas are not going to be easily seen from the front door or from the street.
Chairman Kehoe referred to page 10 of the EAF pertaining to impact on energy. He asked if the answer to question 16 “Will proposed action affect the community’s sources of fuel or energy supply?” should be “No,” to which Mr. LaRow said that it should be.
Chairman Kehoe noted that question 20 “Is there, or is there likely to be, public controversy related to potential adverse environmental impacts?” is answered, “Yes.” He asked why the answer given was “Yes,” to which Mr. LaRow replied that it is always better to be safe and answer, “Yes,” to this question.
The Village Engineer referred to page 7, question 4 relating to the potential impacts on bodies of water. He noted to Mr. LaRow that the wording “100-foot [wetlands] buffer areas” should be changed to “120-foot [wetlands] buffer areas.”
Chairman Kehoe noted to the other members that, now that the Nextel Municipal Building application has been reviewed by the Village’s consultants and Part 2 of the EAF has been completed, the Planning Board is in a position to make a recommendation to the Village Board. The Village Engineer noted that the Planning Board’s recommendation would include Part 2 of the EAF. Mr. LaRow suggested that, if the Planning Board is comfortable with the answers to Part 2, then the Planning Board could make its recommendation tonight. Chairman Kehoe asked what the “best case scenario” would be for making the recommendation. The Village Engineer said that he would like to meet with Nextel on the antenna question(s). There are a few items to “clean up.” The Village Engineer suggested that he could
prepare a draft memorandum for the Planning Board to review in time for the next meeting on August 8th.
Ms. Allen asked what the implications are of approving one of the Nextel applications (Municipal Building) without approving the other one (DPW site). Mr. Gaudioso stated that the Applicant, Nextel, would still have to pursue the Municipal Building site even if the other site is (ultimately) not approved.
Mr. Andrews asked how it would work for a carrier to collocate on this site, to which Mr. Gaudioso replied that the carrier would have to come to the Village for a new lease.
The Village Engineer reiterated to the board members that he would prepare a draft memorandum in time for the next Planning Board meeting on Tuesday, August 8th.
6. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
The minutes of the Tuesday, June 13, 2006 Planning Board meeting were approved, as amended, on a motion by Ms. Allen, seconded by Mr. Andrews and carried by a vote of 4 to 0.
The minutes of the Tuesday, June 27, 2006 Planning Board meeting were approved, as amended, on a motion by Mr. Andrews, seconded by Ms. Allen and carried by a vote of 4 to 0.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 10:45 P.M.
WHEREAS, the Planning Board held a public hearing on an Amended Site Plan application on July 25, 2006 for Sky View Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, hereafter known as “the Applicant,” said property being located at 1280 Albany Post Road and designated on the Tax Map of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson as Section 67.18 Block 1 Lots 1 & 2; and
WHEREAS, after consideration of proposed changes at the Sky View Rehabilitation & Health Care Center, the Planning Board had previously recommended to the Village Board that they grant an Amended Special Permit to the facility; and
WHEREAS, the Village Board held a public hearing on the Amended Special Permit at its meeting of July 10, 2006 and subsequently approved the Amended Special Permit; and
WHEREAS, the Planning Board acknowledges that the Village Board, in their resolution of July 10, 2006, has mandated the installation of a sewage grinder within a 180-day period from the date of their resolution; and
WHEREAS, the proposal is for a 650 square-foot extension to the outdoor terrace, located on the south side of the building, and a storage area beneath the terrace; and
WHEREAS, the Applicant has submitted a Short Environmental Assessment Form (EAF), dated July 25, 2006, and under 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 Amended Site Plan application, as shown on Drawing #1 entitled “Sky View Rehabilitation & Health Care Center, Croton-on-Hudson, NY, Amended Site Plan,” dated September 16, 1997, last revised May 8, 2006; Drawing #A1 entitled “Sky View Rehabilitation & Health Care Center, Croton-on-Hudson, NY, Alterations & Additions – Main Floor,” dated November 22, 2004, last revised May 8, 2006; Drawing #A2 entitled ““Sky View Rehabilitation & Health Care Center, Croton-on-Hudson, NY, Alterations & Additions – Plan – Administration Wing,” dated May 12, 2005, last revised May 8, 2006; Drawing #A3 entitled “Sky View Rehabilitation & Health Care Center, Croton-on-Hudson, NY, Alterations & Additions – Details, Elevations, Sections,” dated May 12, 2005, last revised May 8, 2006;
Drawing #L1 entitled “Sky View Rehabilitation & Health Care Center, Croton-on-Hudson, NY, Amended Site Plan,” dated September 16, 1997, last revised July 17, 2006; and Drawing #L2 entitled “Sky View Rehabilitation & Health Care Center, Croton-on-Hudson, NY, Amended Site Plan,” dated June 30, 2006, prepared by John N. Cohen, Architect, be approved, subject to the following conditions:
Sky View shall be responsible for the maintenance and repair of the proposed fence and gates. Sky View shall furnish the lock and four copies of the key to the Village.
The proposed grinder for sewage should be shown on the Applicant’s plan(s).
If desired by the Applicant, the driveway on the southerly side of the building can be extended to the rear entrance provided that the details of the extension be approved by the Village Engineer. A revised plan should be submitted showing the extended driveway.
In the event that this amended 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. Sharma and carried by a vote of 4 to 0. Mr. Luntz was absent from the meeting.
Resolution accepted with the minutes of the meeting held on July 25, 2006.