Planning Board Minutes 04/10/07


VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON, NEW YORK

PLANNING BOARD MEETING MINUTES – TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2007


A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 in the Municipal Building.


MEMBERS PRESENT:                Chris Kehoe, Chairman
                                        Fran Allen
                                        Vincent Andrews
                                        Robert Luntz

                ABSENT:         Deven Sharma
                                                                                        
                ALSO PRESENT:           Daniel O’Connor, P.E., Village Engineer
        

1.  Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order at 8:00 P.M. by Chairman Kehoe.

2.  OLD BUSINESS:

a)  Fernando Duce – 1307 Albany Post Road (Sec. 67.14 Blk. 3 Lot 9) – Application for a Preliminary Subdivision Approval

Ralph Mastromonaco, P.E., engineer for the Applicant, and Fernando Duce, owner of the property, were present.

Chairman Kehoe asked Mr. Mastromonaco to explain to the Planning Board the changes that have been made to the Applicant’s plans.

Mr. Mastromonaco stated that, upon the Village Engineer’s request, they have surveyed the area at the adjoining conservation easement.  They have located the wetlands vegetation and path of drainage that runs through the property.  This drainage path is actually part of the flood control project that was installed when the Arrowcrest Subdivision was constructed.  It extends out onto Mr. Duce’s property.  Mr. Mastromonaco stated that, as he understands it, Mr. Duce would have to go before the Water Control Commission for a wetlands activity permit for the new driveway for Lot #1 and for the new utilities being installed beneath the existing driveway.  Mr. Mastromonaco noted that a portion of the new driveway and the new utilities are situated within the wetlands buffer area.  Mr. Mastromonaco noted further that the existing driveway would probably be re-paved.  He asked if re-paving the driveway would require a wetlands permit, to which the Village Engineer said that he would not think so; however, the installation of the new driveway and the new utilities would, indeed, require a wetlands permit.

Chairman Kehoe noted that a principal building envelope line has been added to the Applicant’s plan.  Chairman Kehoe said that, according to the Zoning Law, when a house is constructed, the house has to meet the setbacks for the zoning district in which the house is located.  In this instance, the location of the house(s) is further restricted by the building envelope line.  Chairman Kehoe asked the Applicant why the houses are being situated where they are.  Mr. Mastromonaco stated that, on Lot #2, he set the house back 50 feet from the driveway so as to keep a good distance between the house and driveway.  He based the rest of the setbacks on the setback requirements for the RA-40 District.     

Mr. Mastromonaco stated that the Applicant’s subdivision plan, being shown to the Planning Board tonight, is the Applicant’s “offer” on where to draw the lines.  Should the Planning Board find a different way to approach this two-lot subdivision, the Applicant would be willing to look into it.

Chairman Kehoe stated that it is his understanding from the Applicant’s plan that the principal and accessory structures would be located within the principal building envelope line(s), to which the Village Engineer said that he did not think this was the case.  According to the plan, the principal building (house) would be situated within the building envelope. The accessory buildings/structures would follow the setback requirements set forth in the Zoning Code.  The Village Engineer noted to the Planning Board that the Planning Board would have the option to create a building envelope for the accessory structures.  According to the Zoning Code accessory structures have to be on the side or rear of the property.  They cannot be in front of the house.

Ms. Allen said that she thinks that the lines being shown on the Applicant’s plan are confusing.  She noted that this is the first time she had ever seen a “principle [principal] building envelope line.”  Ms. Allen asked what the difference is between a limit of disturbance and a building envelope line.  The Village Engineer explained the difference between them. The limit of disturbance line would designate areas to be disturbed for the house/garage construction. Land beyond these limits could not be disturbed. The Village Engineer stated that the building envelope line would stipulate where on the property the house and/or accessory structures could be situated.  The Village Engineer said that both of these lines (limit of disturbance and building envelope) are being shown on the plan, but they are not related to each other. The Village Engineer noted that, if the Planning Board so chooses, the Planning Board could “shrink” the building envelope line to co-exist with the limit of disturbance line.  The Village Engineer told the Applicant that because this proposal includes changes to existing structures it ought to be clearly spelled out in the notes on the plan(s) what exactly constitutes the limits of disturbance and the principal building envelope lines.  

The Village Engineer noted that the limit of disturbance line(s) might be modified in the field due to site conditions.

Chairman Kehoe pointed out that the limit of disturbance lines would have implications for a subdivision or minor site plan but not for a swimming pool.  In so far as a swimming pool is concerned the building envelope, and not the limit of disturbance line, would control the location of the pool.  

The Village Engineer suggested that, if the Planning Board were to require a building envelope for accessory structures, it should not be made so restrictive that the homeowner would have to come back before the Planning Board for the approval of minor accessory structures, such as tool sheds.

The Village Engineer described for the Planning Board a possible scenario for future building on Lot #2.  The Village Engineer said that if, “down the road,” the new homeowner of Lot #2 wants to construct a swimming pool at the rear of his/her property, there is nothing in the current steep slopes law that would prevent him from doing so.  In the current law, the numbers calculated for steep slopes are not “tallied up over the years.”  The Village Engineer reiterated that, if it is determined that the applicant now before the board, Mr. Duce, is in compliance with the steep slopes regulations, and a future owner wants to build a pool, the current steep slopes law does not address the cumulative impacts to steep slopes.  The Village Engineer told the Planning Board that this issue would be addressed in the new steep slopes law now being proposed.

The Village Engineer noted that, according to the Applicant’s plan, there is quite a distance to the rear property line on both Lots #1 and #2.  There are trees in the back of the properties and no wetlands areas. It might be determined that the backyards of these lots are large enough to put in an accessory structure (swimming pool).    

The Village Engineer told the Applicant that the Water Control Commission only meets once a month.  A public hearing takes place at the very first meeting.  The Village Engineer noted that what this means for an applicant is that, if all goes well, it is possible for an application to be approved in one meeting.  Chairman Kehoe noted that the Planning Board would not be able to schedule a public hearing until such time as the WCC has granted the Applicant a wetlands activity permit.  Chairman Kehoe suggested that the Planning Board should try to obtain a copy of the WCC’s resolution of approval before scheduling the next meeting on this application.  Mr. Mastromonaco asked if, to save the Applicant time, the two public hearings (subdivision and wetlands) could be held simultaneously.  Ms. Allen noted that the Planning Board and the WCC have rarely held joint public hearings in the past. She questioned whether it was the appropriate way to proceed as the Planning Board and the WCC are looking at different aspects of an application. In her view, it would make more sense to hold the two public hearings separately.  The Village Engineer told Mr. Mastromonaco that, in the Village’s proposed wetlands law, if an applicant is before the Planning Board with an application and a wetlands activity permit is required, the Planning Board, rather than the WCC, would issue the wetlands activity permit.  The same holds true with steep slopes.  

Ms. Allen said that she had expected to see, in the application materials submitted, a steep slopes analysis based on the individual lots.  The Planning Board had discussed at their last meeting whether the steep slopes calculations should be based on the site as a whole or on each lot separately.  Ms. Allen read aloud the paragraph from the January 23, 2007 minutes, which stated that the Applicant would provide steep slopes calculations based on each lot separately. Mr. Mastromonaco told Ms. Allen that they (his staff) tried to do the calculations based on the individual lots and discovered, in doing so, that they would be forced to make “bizarre looking” lot lines to meet the steep slopes requirements. Mr. Mastromonaco noted to the board members that there is actually nothing in the current steep slopes law that would require them to do the calculations in this way.  The Village Engineer told the Planning Board that the former Village Attorney, Marianne Stecich, had written a memorandum on this particular matter.  He would provide the board with this memorandum.  He would also seek the opinion of James Staudt, the current Village Attorney.  Chairman Kehoe said that it would be helpful to the Planning Board to have the calculations performed lot by lot.  If this were not required by code, indeed, it should be.  Mr. Mastromonaco noted to the board members that there are steep slopes in the front and in the back of the property.  “How do you gerrymander lot lines to comply with the law?”  The Applicant would end up with “weird looking” lot lines that do not make any sense. Mr. Mastromonaco said that it (also) seemed to him to be an extra financial burden on his client to have to pay for these additional calculations.

Ms. Allen said that, in so far as the steep slopes on the property are concerned, the calculations thus far show that it is “very tight” in certain areas, for example, in the back of Lot #2.

Ms. Allen said that whatever the outcome is with respect to the steep slopes, the Planning Board would want to make sure that, in approving this application, the disturbance to the land does not “grow any larger than is currently planned.”

Mr. Mastromonaco noted to the Planning Board that, for the steep slopes calculations, they used the same procedures that were used for the Arrowcrest and Westwind subdivisions.  Ms. Allen said that these procedures would not apply in this case.  She explained to Mr. Mastromonaco that the Arrowcrest and Westwind subdivisions were “cluster” subdivisions. For that reason, the calculations for steep slopes were based on the whole site rather than each individual lot.

Mr. Mastromonaco told the board that, if at all possible, he would want the Planning Board to make some decision tonight on the nexus for disallowing accessory buildings in backyards.  Ms. Allen said that the Planning Board would like to sort out the steep slopes issue(s) before making a decision on building envelopes.  Chairman Kehoe said that the Applicant would be going to the Arrowcrest Homeowners Association to obtain the utility easement and going to the Village Board for any approvals required by the conservation easement.  He asked if the language of the conservation easement would allow disturbance for utilities.  The Village Engineer said that he would have to look into this matter.

Chairman Kehoe said that he has concerns about the amount of steep slopes in the back of Lot #2.  He would like to have some form of a guarantee against disturbing, even more, the land at the back of this piece of property.  He would think that it would be worthwhile to limit the area of disturbance in some way.  Mr. Mastromonaco said that he would think that it would not be good planning to “create an artificial barrier between the house and the back yard.”  The Applicant would be subject to some steep slopes restrictions.  At the very least, the Applicant would have to apply for a building permit to build a structure (pool, gazebo, etc.) in the back yard.  Mr. Mastromonaco stated that, at the time the Applicant applies for a building permit, the Village Engineer would make suggestions as to how to mitigate the environmental impacts.  The Village Engineer noted again that, in so far as the cumulative impacts to steep slopes are concerned, this issue is being addressed in the newly proposed steep slopes law.

The Village Engineer told the Planning Board that he would get back to the board on these issues relating to steep slopes.  He would provide the board with Ms. Stecich’s memorandum and ask the current Village Attorney, James Staudt, to render an opinion.  In the meantime, the Applicant should contact the Village Engineer’s office and schedule a meeting before the WCC.

b)  Brian Ackerman/John Harbeson/Lael Morgan – Batten Road (Sec. 68.17 Blk. 2 Lots 7, 8.1 & 9) – Application for a Preliminary Subdivision Approval

Norman Sheer, attorney for the Applicant; Ron Wegner of Cronin Engineering; and Brian Ackerman, Ann Harbeson and Lael Morgan, owners of the property, were present.

Mr. Sheer referred to the section in the Village’s subdivision regulations involving lot line adjustments.  The code states in this section that an adjustment to a lot line could not affect more than two lots. Mr. Sheer stated that this proposal involves three lots; however, Sec. 230-120(C) of the Village Code allows an applicant to seek a waiver from the subdivision regulations.   

Mr. Sheer referred to the Applicant’s revised plans and stated that, as shown on the plans, the Applicant’s vacant lot has been enlarged to leave more room for building a house.  Enlarging the lot in this way would hopefully prevent his clients from having to come back before the Planning Board in the future for another lot line adjustment.

Mr. Wegner stated that the vacant lot has been expanded to the south by 40 feet.  The limits of disturbance lines around the proposed house have been redrawn to give greater room for the construction of retaining walls.  Mr. Wegner stated that the steep slopes have been recalculated, and the Applicant now has 400 square feet of “leftover steep slopes disturbance space.”  Previously, the limits of disturbance were very tight.  Mr. Wegner stated that the plans also show a proposed sewer connection to the residence and a proposed sewer easement location.   

Mr. Sheer said that it was decided at the last meeting that the Applicant should come back before the Planning Board tonight with a site plan for the vacant lot.  The Applicant would hold off on seeking the waiver from the Village Board until such time as the Planning Board is satisfied with the site plan being proposed.  Mr. Sheer noted that both the Applicant and the Planning Board would want to make sure that the vacant lot is a buildable lot.  
 
The Village Engineer said that Mr. Wegner and he have to do a site walk to confirm the location of the sewer easement.  He asked Mr. Wegner if there were any additional topographical maps that he could look at before going on the site walk.  He did not think that the “topo” map supplied by the Applicant was sufficient.  The Village Engineer said that Mr. Wegner and he would want to verify the route for the sewer easement in the field. They would need to check the bedrock outcroppings.  The Village Engineer suggested that they could walk the site early next week.  It would probably take less than two hours.

The Village Engineer noted that, when the Planning Board reviews a minor site plan, the Planning Board would typically want to see the drainage and how it could be handled. The Village Engineer asked Mr. Wegner if there could be a location at the end of the driveway for a dry well. Mr. Wegner said that he thinks that a dry well could be installed in the front of the house to handle some of the roof drainage.  The Village Engineer noted to Mr. Wegner that the drainage system should, at least, be shown conceptually on the Applicant’s plan(s).

Chairman Kehoe noted that the retaining wall in the back would be sixteen feet in height.  He asked if there were others like that in the Village, to which the Village Engineer said that most of the retaining walls are six to eight (or so) feet in height.  Ms. Allen noted that there are some retaining walls of considerable height along Quaker Bridge Road.  Mr. Luntz said that there are also some on High Street.  

Chairman Kehoe referred to the Applicant’s plan(s) and noted that, at the corner of the house, there is a straight black line that has been drawn at the top of the wall at elevation 212.  He asked if in theory that area would be a grassy area, to which Mr. Wegner said that it would be.

The Village Engineer said that, according to the plans, the back wall is at elevation 220 and the basement is at elevation 204, which is a sixteen-foot excavation cut.  It would probably be a seventeen-foot cut with the footings.  The Village Engineer said that the majority of the excavation for the driveway, house foundation and rear deck is going to be through rock.  There is potential for a great deal of noise from the hammering.  Blasting might also be required.  The Village Engineer said that he would think that possibly some of the retaining wall could be rock face rather than wall.

Chairman Kehoe referred to the letter received from Jan Wines, chairman of the Trails Committee, regarding the connecting trail link at Valley Trail.  He asked if the Planning Board members had any comments on the letter.  Mr. Andrews said that he would think that the trail connection described in Mr. Wines’ letter would be a good way to connect the trails in this area of the Village. He would think that the adverse impacts would be minimal. Ms. Allen noted that, from the very beginning, the Trails Committee looked at this connector trail through the Harbeson property as a good way to connect to the trails at Batten Road and the Croton Dam.

Chairman Kehoe referred to the Village’s trails map.  He asked if the green dash line on Valley Trail meant that there was an existing trail in this location, to which Mr. Luntz said that the green dash line signifies that the trail follows the roadway.

Mr. Sheer recalled to the Planning Board that, at the last meeting, the Applicant told the Planning Board that they are not interested in providing this trail link at Valley Trail.  Mr. Sheer said that he does not know if there are any other trails in the Village, which are that close to privately owned lots.  Ms. Allen said that there are trails at the River Landing Subdivision, which are close to privately owned homes.  Ms. Allen said that, at the last meeting, Ms. Harbeson expressed a concern about a potential parking problem at the top of Valley Trail resulting from people using the connecting trail.  Ms. Allen said that the fact is that the trails are not heavily used.  To her knowledge, there is almost no parking at any time at the trailheads.  Mr. Sheer noted that the Applicant would not have a problem granting the sewer easement to the Village; however, the Applicant would have a problem with this trail connection.  Chairman Kehoe noted that, at present, the trail follows Valley Trail and then comes to an end.  It is conceivable that the continuation of that trail to Batten Road could increase the pedestrian traffic on Valley Trail.  Mr. Sheer said that a connecting trail would also affect the new owners of the vacant lot.  “What you [the Planning Board] are talking about is having people walk down their driveway.”  Ms. Allen told Mr. Sheer that the trails are well marked, and the Trails Committee does the maintenance and the trail markers.  

Ms. Allen explained how the trail system in the Village came about.  The Trails Committee, which was created in1993, laid out a trail plan over existing vacant land.  As this land was being developed the Village negotiated with the landowners and developers to bring this trail system into fruition.  Ms. Allen gave as an example the trails that were created for Village residents at the Hudson National Golf Course.  Negotiations took place between the golf club and the Village and, as a result, all new trails were created.  Ms. Allen said that in this particular area (the Valley Trail area) the trail connector being discussed through the Harbeson property is the only piece that goes through private land.  The rest of the trail follows the streets.  

Mr. Andrews noted that the Applicant has to go before the Village Board for a waiver from the subdivision regulations.  He suggested that the Planning Board could recommend to the Village Board that this request for a waiver be approved subject to the granting of this trail easement.  Mr. Andrews noted that, in the end, it would be up to the Village Board to decide whether or not to make the granting of this trail easement a condition of their approval.

Ms. Allen noted that there was a great desire on the part of the Trails Committee to establish a trail in this area of the Village.  The committee particularly wanted a connection to the trails leading to Croton Dam (i.e., the Black Rock and the Croton Gorge trails).  Not having this trail connector at Valley Trail would break the connection with the trails system.  Ms. Allen said that this would be the case even though it has always been thought that this particular trail would not be heavily used.

Mr. Sheer stated that, because of the steep slopes on the property, the Applicant’s vacant lot is a difficult lot to develop.  There is virtually only one location on the lot that would be suitable for the house and driveway.  Mr. Sheer said that, in so far as the trail link is concerned, he would think that it would be very difficult to have to tell a potential homeowner that, “By the way, the Village trail runs down your driveway.”  

Ms. Allen questioned if the trail connector could be somewhere else on the property, to which Mr. Sheer said that he did not think it could be.  The area in question is a steep cliff.  Ms. Harbeson suggested that a person could walk down North Ledge Loop.  At the end of the loop there is a trail that goes down Sunset Trail.  This trail has been used to get down to Grand Street the back way without having to go down Mt. Airy Woods.  

The Village Engineer noted that there is a “pinch point” between the proposed retaining wall and the stone wall on the Applicant’s vacant lot.  This area could be used for the trail; however, it would depend on the outcome of the rock excavation. After the rock is excavated this “pinch point” could be reduced in size from four feet to two feet.  Mr. Sheer said that the area to which the Village Engineer is referring is too close to the house. Anyone using the trail “would be looking into the windows of the house.”  Mr. Luntz said that he, personally, would not think it makes sense to cut a trail through this “pinch point.”      

Ms. Allen suggested that the chairman of the Trails Committee, Jan Wines, and the Village Engineer could go on a site visit to look for possible options for the trail.  The Village Engineer said that the members of the Trails Committee could all go on the site walk.  “We need to physically walk along the old stone wall to see how difficult it would be.”  Mr. Sheer suggested that the Applicant could join them on the site walk.  They (the Applicant) know the property and they may have ideas for an alternative trail location.  Ms. Allen said that she, too, would like to join them on the site walk.  The Village Engineer noted that the same discussion regarding the trail is probably going to take place at the Village Board meeting on this application. The Planning Board, with the assistance of the Trails Committee and himself, could do the fieldwork and provide this information to the Village Board.

Chairman Kehoe stated that the next step for the Applicant would be to go before the Village Board to seek the waiver from the subdivision regulations.  As a matter of procedure, the Village Board has to refer this application to the Planning Board for a recommendation.  Mr. Sheer noted that a “plus” to the Village would be the sewer easement through the Applicant’s property.  The Planning Board could recommend that the Village Board approve this request for a waiver subject to the Applicant’s granting the sewer easement to the Village.  Mr. Sheer said that the issue regarding the trail connection would have to be discussed at the Village Board level. Chairman Kehoe said that he would think the Planning Board would need to address, in their recommendation, the issue regarding the steep slopes and whether or not the lot is buildable. Chairman Kehoe noted to Mr. Sheer that, for a minor site plan review, a future applicant would need to provide to the Planning Board additional site information, including a tree survey, a complete drainage analysis, etc.  Chairman Kehoe said that he still questions why the Applicant is before the Planning Board at this time if they already know, having done the steep slopes calculations, zoning analyses, etc., that the vacant lot is buildable. Ms. Allen said that they are here tonight to assure the Planning Board that this is, indeed, the case. She reiterated that the Applicant is before the board to establish the feasibility of this lot as a building lot.  

The Village Engineer asked Mr. Wegner to check out where the water lines are situated on the property.

The Village Engineer told those present that he would make the arrangements for the upcoming site visit.  

Tom Szoboszlai of 1 Eklof Court was present.  Mr. Szoboszlai told the Planning Board that he lives right across the street from where the proposed house and driveway are going to be.  He had significant concerns about how this proposal for a house on the vacant lot would burden the adjoining properties.  Mr. Szoboszlai said that he is also concerned about the application procedure being followed.  The Applicant is asking the Planning Board tonight to make a positive recommendation on their site plan to the Village Board, but the Planning Board would not be reviewing the application for a minor site plan for a house on this lot until some time in the future.  He did not think it was a good idea to “split the decision-making into two parts.”  He would think that the Planning Board would need to see more information on the site plan before making a recommendation to the Village Board.  The Village Engineer told Mr. Szoboszlai that most applications before the Village Board are special permit applications. An applicant would go before the Village Board for a special permit, at which time the Village Board would refer the application to the Planning Board.  In this instance, the Applicant came before the Planning Board for a preliminary subdivision approval, during which time the Applicant decided that they wanted to stop the process and seek a waiver from the subdivision regulations from the Village Board. In his (the Village Engineer’s) point of view, the Applicant was following the proper procedure(s).

The Village Engineer noted that because Mr. Szoboszlai lives on the block he would have firsthand knowledge of the area.  He suggested that if Mr. Szoboszlai had specific items that he wanted the Planning Board to address, he should bring them to the Planning Board’s attention.

Mr. Sheer noted to Mr. Szoboszlai that the vacant lot in question is a pre-existing lot and, as such, an applicant could come before the Planning Board to ask for a minor site plan approval to build a house on this lot without any further activity.  Mr. Szoboszlai said that, if this were the case and another applicant came before the Planning Board with a minor site plan application, the house being proposed would be in a different location. Mr. Szoboszlai said that he thinks many of the problems being raised for the construction of the house are self-made.  It has to do with the way the lines are being drawn.  Mr. Szoboszlai said that there is plenty of land at the top, which is flat.  He thought that the Planning Board should take into consideration, in the review of this application, that many of the Applicant’s problems with the house construction are self-created. Mr. Szoboszlai expressed concern about the application procedure(s) being followed, to which Mr. Andrews said that he would like to have it confirmed with the Village Attorney that the process has been followed properly so far. This matter should be resolved before looking more closely at the site plan issues.

Mr. Szoboszlai brought up the issue of the connecting trail.  He thought that the nature of the discussion tonight and the position taken by the Applicant was that the house being proposed would be less saleable if “people would be walking around outside it.”  Mr. Szoboszlai said that the current location for the house is “a severe burden on the adjoining properties [Mr. Trendell’s and his property].”  He hoped that the Planning Board would consider the implications on their two properties of building this house.

Mr. Szoboszlai expressed concern about the drainage from the new house.  He said that the storm water runoff problem would be exacerbated channeling all water onto the property across the road.  He would be worried that this excess runoff would turn his property into “a wetlands.” Chairman Kehoe told Mr. Szoboszlai that the Village Engineer has asked the Applicant to provide additional drainage information.  The Village Engineer has asked that seepage pits be conceptually shown on the Applicant’s plan(s).  Mr. Szoboszlai reiterated that he would not want the drainage situation to become worse than it already is.

Mr. Szoboszlai said that the retaining walls being designed are huge.  These walls would be a significant obstruction for anyone driving on Batten Road.  He thought that the issue of the line of sight should not be put off for a future time but should be looked at now.  The Village Engineer said that he could have the Applicant look into this matter concerning the sight distance.  The wall starts 12 feet back from the pavement, so he (the Village Engineer) would not think that the wall being proposed would interfere with the line of sight.  

Chairman Kehoe questioned how much review of the site plan the Planning Board could do now keeping in mind that the Planning Board is not approving a minor site plan at this point.  The Village Engineer said that he would think the Planning Board would want to know that the concepts being proposed for the building of a future house would work.  Chairman Kehoe noted that the house design might change when a future applicant comes before the board with the minor site plan.  He questioned why the Planning Board would be asking for sight distance information at this point in time.  Ms. Allen said that it is her understanding that the Planning Board wanted to assure themselves that there would be no major issues left unresolved.  The purpose of looking at a site plan at this point in time is for the Planning Board to do their “due diligence” and gain the assurance that building a future house on the vacant lot would be feasible. Mr. Szoboszlai said that the way he sees it the Planning Board will have bound themselves to this land in this configuration.  In his view, the Planning Board has to know that it is really going to work, not that it may work.  Mr. Szoboszlai expressed concern that if the Planning Board makes a positive recommendation to the Village Board and the Village Board approves this application, then, when the minor site plan application comes before the board, the approval will be a “fait accompli.”  The Planning Board’s “hands will be tied.”  Mr. Szoboszlai said that the entire burden of this application rests on the neighbors living at the bottom of the hill. Mr. Szoboszlai said again that, in his view, there are other places on the property where the house could be built.  

Mr. Szoboszlai said that the house being proposed would be the highest and closest to the road of any house on that road (Batten Road), to which Mr. Luntz said that it (the house) would be in line with the other houses.  Mr. Szoboszlai noted that Mr. Trendell’s house on 39 Batten Road would be lower, to which Mr. Luntz said that, indeed, this is true, but Mr. Trendell’s piece of property is at a different elevation.  He (Mr. Luntz) did not see how it would be a burden on the neighbors.  Mr. Szoboszlai noted that the Applicant has considered their own privacy concerns with respect to the trail.  He did not think it was fair that as a result of the house presently being proposed people using the trail would be able to see into his house.  

Mr. Szoboszlai noted that this application has never been noticed in the newspaper(s).  Chairman Kehoe told Mr. Szoboszlai that this application has not required any noticing thus far.  Chairman Kehoe suggested to Mr. Szoboszlai that he could contact the Village Engineer’s office to find out when this application would be back before the board.  

Mr. Sheer told those present that this Applicant would be back before the Planning Board for the second meeting in April (April 24th.)

3.         ADJOURNMENT:

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

Sincerely,



Sylvia Mills
SECRETARY