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Village of Croton-on-Hudson
1 Van Wyck Street
Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520

Phone: 914-271-4781
Fax: 914-271-2836


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Planning Board Minutes 08/14/07
VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON, NEW YORK

PLANNING BOARD MEETING MINUTES – TUESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2007


A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 in the Municipal Building.


MEMBERS PRESENT:        Fran Allen, acting as Chairperson
                                Vincent Andrews
                                Robert Luntz
Deven Sharma

               ABSENT:          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 Chairperson Allen.

2.  PUBLIC HEARING:

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

Ralph Mastromonaco, P.E., P.C., and Fernando Duce, owner of the property, were present.

Chairperson Allen opened the public hearing on this application.

Mr. Mastromonaco stated that the property in question is approximately two acres in size.  The property is situated on the northwest corner of Arrowcrest Drive and Albany Post Road.  

Mr. Mastromonaco noted that there have been several meetings on this application.  The Applicant has been before both the Planning Board and the Water Control Commission several times.  The steep slopes on the property have been calculated, and the trees have been surveyed.  The most recent change pertains to the proposed “new” location of the utility connections. In the original proposal the utility lines were to cross over the Arrowcrest Subdivision conservation easement.  The Applicant attempted to obtain the approval of the Arrowcrest Homeowners Association however to date the request for approval had not been acted on.  Because the process of obtaining the HOA’s approval is taking so long the Applicant has decided to change the location of the utilities. The utilities, as shown on the revised plans, would cross over the Applicant’s (Mr. Duce’s) own property.   

Chairperson Allen asked if there were any members of the public present who would like to comment on this application, to which there were none.

Chairperson Allen asked if the Planning Board had any comments.  Mr. Andrews noted that the principal building envelope line on Lot #2 has been moved.  He asked the Village Engineer if the new location of the building envelope line was satisfactory to him, to which the Village Engineer said that it was.  The Village Engineer stated that the building envelope line has been moved downhill to an area very close to the bottom of the slope on Lot #2. It would appear that the building envelope on Lot #1 has also been reduced in size, to which Mr. Mastromonaco said that this is, indeed, the case.  Ms. Allen stated that, as she understands the process, if a future homeowner were to go outside the building envelope in the building of the primary structure (house), this homeowner would have to come back before the Planning Board and request a modification to the building envelope.  The Village Engineer said that this would be the proper procedure to follow.

The Village Engineer asked Mr. Mastromonaco when the existing garage, which is situated on the property line, would be demolished.  Mr. Mastromonaco said that the Applicant’s intent is to remove the garage prior to the sale of Lots #’s1 and 2.  The Village Engineer said that another other option for the Applicant would be to remove the garage prior to the subdivision map being filed with the Westchester County Land Records.  Mr. Mastromonaco suggested that he and the Village Engineer could set up a meeting to discuss this matter of the garage.  He reiterated that, at this point, the Applicant’s intent is to remove the garage prior to the sale of the two lots.  The Village Engineer noted that a building permit could not issued for the construction of a house with the garage situated on the property line, to which Mr. Mastromonaco responded that it is possible the Applicant will have to take down the garage prior to the map being filed.  

Chairperson Allen referred to sheet #3 of the Applicant’s plans pertaining to disturbance of the steep slopes.  She told the Applicant that, having compared the most recently revised plan of July 31, 2007 to the plan dated January 25, 2007, she had noted changes in the size of the steep slopes area.  Chairperson Allen pointed out that there has been a significant increase in the “20% or greater” number.  The total slope area appears to be much greater than it was before.  Mr. Mastromonaco told Chairperson Allen that they have recently re-shot the “topo.” The Applicant is no longer in the Arrowcrest Subdivision conservation easement for the installation of the utility lines, so the numbers would be different. Chairperson Allen said that, perhaps, there is a problem with the dates on the plans.  She questioned the date of the plan with the different number for the total slope area.  Mr. Mastromonaco suggested that he and the Village Engineer could look into this matter.

Chairperson Allen noted that, according to the Applicant’s most recently revised plans, the location of the silt fence is (would be) in the wetlands setback area.  She questioned putting the silt fence in this (the wetlands buffer) area.  The Village Engineer suggested that, rather than placing the silt fence in this location, the Applicant could move the silt fence out of the wetlands buffer and closer to the driveway.  Mr. Mastromonaco noted that the silt fence was put in this location (the wetlands buffer) to follow the contour(s) of the land.  He did not foresee any problem in moving it.

Chairperson Allen said that she would like to see added to the legend on the plans some additional information on the meaning of the various lines (Proposed Disturbance Line, Principal Building Envelope Line, etc.).  She thought that the lines should be more clearly identified.  

Chairperson Allen referred to the tree plan for the proposed subdivision and questioned the choice of Austrian pine trees for screening the driveway from Albany Post Road.  She noted that Austrian pines are tall trees that do not have much of a canopy.  She agreed with the choice of coniferous trees for the screening but did not think that Austrian pines should be used.  Chairperson Allen suggested that as long as the trees are coniferous, and the sizes of the trees are noted on the plan(s), the species could be determined by a professional landscapist in consultation with the Village’s environmental consultant, to which the Applicant agreed.   

Mr. Sharma noted that a number of trees (13 or 14) are being removed to the left of the driveway.  There are only six (6) replacement trees being proposed.  He questioned if the number of replacement trees being proposed is adequate.  Mr. Mastromonaco reminded the board that at the last meeting he had told the board that they (the Applicant) would be looking for open/exposed areas and would plant replacement trees in those areas.  They would not have room to plant any extra trees due to the driveway installation.  Mr. Mastromonaco explained that the Applicant’s plans show the trees that would “cover up” the exposed areas.  Mr. Sharma said that the Planning Board would need to be satisfied that the newer trees being planted would screen these openings or exposed areas. He wondered if, perhaps, the Village’s environmental consultant should be consulted on this matter.  The Village Engineer said that a note could be placed on the plan(s) as to the type and size of the trees being used.   The Planning Board could then ask for a “performance standard” on the trees being selected as replacements.  Mr. Andrews suggested that there could be a condition in the Planning Board’s resolution stating that the Applicant shall provide sufficient screening of the driveway, to the satisfaction of the Village Engineer and the Village’s environmental consultant.

Chairperson Allen noted that the WCC had requested that the Applicant should provide a landscaping plan as part of the Planning Board’s subdivision approval process.  At the last Planning Board meeting, it was decided that preparation of such a landscaping plan should be postponed until such time as a more specific minor site plan application comes before the board.  Mr. Mastromonaco noted to the board that, in the meantime, the Applicant would be planting the trees indicated on the subdivision plan(s).  The Village Engineer asked when the tree plantings would be done, to which Mr. Mastromonaco said that the tree plantings would be a part of the improvements of the subdivision.

Chairperson Allen asked if there were any further comments on this application, to which there were none.  Chairperson Allen closed the public hearing.
        
Chairperson Allen read aloud the draft resolution.  The Planning Board members present all agreed that this preliminary subdivision application could be approved with the following conditions:

that an environmental site plan be submitted and approved by the Village Engineer prior to the issuance of a building permit.  

that it be verified by the Village Engineer that the steep slopes calculations, as shown on the Applicant’s slope disturbance plan(s), are accurate.

that, for screening purposes, trees be planted between the new driveway and Albany Post Road.  The final selection of the plantings (trees) would take place after the driveway is built and in consultation with the Village’s environmental consultant.

that information be added to the legend on the plan(s) to more clearly identify the lines being shown (Proposed Disturbance Line, Principal Building Envelope Line, etc.).

that, as part of the subdivision review process, right-of-way easements and utility easements be submitted to the Village Engineer’s Office for review.

that the silt fence be moved outside the wetlands buffer zone.

Chairperson Allen entertained a motion to approve this application with the conditions discussed tonight.  The motion to approve was made by Mr. Sharma, seconded by Mr. Luntz and carried by a vote of 4 to 0.

3.  OLD BUSINESS:

a)   Constructive Investments LLC – 48 Prospect Place (Sec. 67.20 Blk. 4 Lot 19.01) – Application for a Minor Site Plan Approval for Lot #2 of the Hudson View Subdivision

Ron Wegner, P.E. of Cronin Engineering; William Spade, architect for the Applicant; and Hilmar Fenger of Constructive Investments LLC were present.

Mr. Wegner told the board that since the last meeting they have updated the zoning data chart on the Applicant’s plans. They have made minor grade changes and added a retaining wall.  Mr. Wegner stated that, in so far as the steep slopes are concerned, they are “at the limit” of what they have to be.  The “tight” ones are in the 15% - 20% slopes category.   Mr. Wegner stated that the architectural plans have been revised based on the comments made by board members at the last meeting.

Donald Fannon, a neighbor residing at 32 Prospect Place, was present.  Mr. Fannon had some questions about the engineering aspects of this application. Chairperson Allen suggested that Mr. Fannon could come forward to have a closer look at the Applicant’s plans.  Mr. Fannon asked about the proposed grading and house elevations.  He questioned the adequacy of the drainage system (swales) and stated that he would want to make sure that the trees are being adequately protected.  Mr. Fannon noted that if there were a substantial amount of runoff from this lot (Lot #2) then provisions would be needed to protect the trees.        

Chairperson Allen asked if, since the last meeting, any architectural changes to the proposed house had been made. The Applicant’s architect, Mr. Spade, explained to the board the revisions to the architectural plans.  The average grade and building height calculations were added to both the Prospect Place and Old Post Road building elevations.  The side elevation drawing from the Prospect Place side has been provided.  In so far as the exterior of the structure is concerned, a stone finish to the eave of the roof has been indicated on the garage elevations.       

The Village Engineer noted to the Applicant that it is “almost treeless” along Prospect Place and Old Post Road North, to which Mr. Wegner responded that the Applicant would need to provide screening/buffering in this area of the property.  Mr. Wegner suggested that, if the board so chooses, the Applicant could put together a landscaping plan for the board to review.  The Village Engineer said that there should be some form of buffering between the street and the sidewalk.  Chairperson Allen noted that there have been significant trees destroyed in the development of this (the Hudson View Subdivision) site.  The Planning Board would be looking for a landscaping plan that would include significant trees.  Mr. Wegner said that some specimen trees would be placed in the yard.  The Village Engineer pointed out that the subject lot is a corner lot, which means that it is visible from both sides (Prospect Place and Old Post Road North). Because this lot (Lot #2) is a corner lot, the landscaping is (would be) a major factor.  

Chairperson Allen pointed out to those present that the limits of disturbance lines are not being shown on the plans submitted for Lot #2.  She recalled that limits of disturbance were imposed on all lots during the subdivision process. She questioned why they were taken off the plans.  Chairperson Allen thought that the Planning Board should look carefully at the limits of disturbance.  The limits of disturbance lines should be reestablished.  She would also think that the Planning Board should impose a building envelope line around the house on Lot #2.  The Village Engineer noted that the zoning setback lines are being shown on the Applicant’s plans.  In so far as changing the building location is concerned, he thought the garage could be moved slightly closer to Prospect Place; however, the only way the house could be moved would be to situate the house farther away from Prospect Place.  Moving the house farther down the hill would “sink the house into a hole.”  The Village Engineer noted that when a plan for a house reaches this step in the process, the intention is that “that is where the house is going to be built.”

Mr. Luntz said that he was not a member of the Planning Board when this subdivision was approved.  He asked if, at that point in time, building envelopes were imposed on the lots, to which Chairperson Allen said that they were not.  Mr. Luntz said that he would think that this would, therefore, be a “non-issue.”  Mr. Luntz pointed out that the house, as situated, does meet the setback requirements for the zoning district in which the property is located.  Mr. Sharma suggested to the other members that, beginning with this application, the Planning Board could establish a policy whereby, if it could be demonstrated that the effects of any changes are inconsequential and would not cause any negative impacts the Planning Board would be willing to accept these changes.  Chairperson Allen said that the Planning Board has before it tonight a very different plan from what was presented when the subdivision was approved.  She would strongly suggest imposing a building envelope line on Lot #2. Then, if there were any changes to the plan, the Applicant would have to come back before the board.

Mr. Wegner noted to the board that on the minor site plan for Lot #3 the Applicant voluntarily imposed a restriction on where the house could be situated.  This is not the case with the house on Lot #2.  For this particular application the Applicant is proposing to put the primary building exactly as shown.  Mr. Wegner did not think they needed to impose any additional restrictions on the primary building on this site (Lot #2).  Chairperson Allen expressed concern about possible changes being made in the field and the Planning Board not being made aware of the changes.  She would want the Planning Board to have an opportunity to review the changes being made. She would hope that the Planning Board could establish a procedure to make it possible to do such a review.  Mr. Wegner said that he would not want to impose restrictions on the site that would make it difficult for a future homeowner “down the road” to make a modification. The Village Engineer noted that an addition/modification to the primary structure (house) would not be subject to a minor site plan approval.  Chairperson Allen said that she proposes leaving this application as it stands but, for future applications, the Planning Board should come up with ways to more effectively regulate the process.

The Village Engineer told the Applicant that when they come back before the Planning Board, they should be prepared to do a comparison for the Planning Board of the limits of disturbance lines.  A landscaping plan should also be provided.

Mr. Wegner said that he would be in contact with the Village Engineer’s Office when the Applicant is ready to come back before the board.
          
b)  Nextel of New York, Inc., New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC and Omnipoint Communications, Inc. – 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

Robert Gaudioso of Snyder & Snyder, LLP was present to represent the Applicant.

Mr. Gaudioso said that the Applicant came before the Planning Board approximately one year ago with an application for a cell tower at the DPW site.  A suggestion was made at that time to relocate the cell tower.  The original location was very close to the canoe launch and within the wetlands setback area(s).  There was also a concern expressed by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and this board (the Planning Board) on the impacts of the cell tower on raptors.  The final concern was “the aesthetics.”  The cell tower, in its original location, was adjacent to the view shed to the Croton River and the Hudson River.  Mr. Gaudioso stated that the new location being proposed is closer to the utility poles of Metro North.  

Mr. Gaudioso said that the revised proposal for the cell tower includes additional collocators.  The packet of materials submitted includes a Letter of Intent from Verizon.  The packet does not include “visuals” and radio frequency coverage tests.  The Applicant wants to do the visual simulations and the radio frequency tests at the same time.

Mr. Gaudioso told the board that the Applicant would like to set a date for the visual testing.  He explained the testing procedure.  They (the Applicant) would have a crane placed at the proposed location for the tower.  Balloons would be put on top of the crane.  Photographs would be taken from various vantage points.  They would then superimpose what the cell tower would look like with the antennas included.  Mr. Gaudioso noted that when they did the crane test the last time, the date discussed for the testing was a Saturday.  They would be willing to do the testing on a Saturday, if this is acceptable to the Planning Board.  He thought the Planning Board might also want to have a back-up date in case of inclement weather. If, for example, the testing was scheduled for a Saturday and the weather was bad, the back-up date could be that Sunday.  The Village Engineer noted that the Village Board would also want to be notified of the testing date.  There would need to be a consensus of both boards (Village and Planning boards) on the testing date.  

Mr. Gaudioso said that, with respect to the photographs, the Applicant does not want to miss any spots.  The Applicant would ask that the Planning Board visit the site in order to determine what the various vantage points should be for the photographs.  Mr. Gaudioso stated that he would provide the Planning Board with the photographer’s telephone number so that in case there is a last-minute decision on a spot for a photograph, the Planning Board could let the photographer know.

The Village Engineer thought that it might be interesting to have a photograph of the tower with the Metro North lights in the background so as to be able to do a comparison.

The Village Engineer distributed to the Planning Board members a map showing the location of the proposed cell tower.  He asked the board members to mark with dots on the map the spots (vantage points) for the “visuals.” He would then give the maps back to Mr. Gaudioso for the photographer’s use.

Mr. Gaudioso asked that, the day the photographs are taken, a member of the Planning Board or the Village Engineer meet the photographer in the field to make certain that no spots are missed.  They (the Applicant) want to be certain that they are doing the most thorough job possible with the “visuals.”  Mr. Gaudioso noted that the Applicant is using a different company for the photographs.  The “new” company, VHB, has a reputation of taking outstanding photographs.

The Village Engineer told those present that he would circulate an email regarding possible dates for the crane/balloon testing.  Mr. Gaudioso said that the Applicant would like to have the testing take place the middle of September.  The Village Engineer noted that it would probably be best to do it on a weekend.  He stated that the Applicant is using USGS for the mapping.  The County’s GIS is more accurate.  The Village Engineer said that he would speak to the Applicant about using the County’s GIS map(s).

Chairperson Allen asked what the status of the consultants’ review is, to which Mr. Gaudioso said that he has sent materials on the new cell tower location to Frederick P. Clark Associates and RCC Consulting, Inc.  Mr. Gaudioso noted that he does not know how much money remains in the Village escrow account to pay the consultants.  The Village Engineer should let him know, via email, if the escrow monies for these consultants would need to be replenished.    

4.  NEW BUSINESS:

a)   Brian and Maureen Fitzpatrick – 7 Ackerman Court – (67.20 Blk. 3 Lot 34.03) – Application for a Minor Site Plan Approval for a New Single-Family Dwelling

Roger Pellaton and Javier Taborga of Roger A. Pellaton, Architects, were present to represent the Applicant.

Mr. Pellaton stated that the house being proposed has been designed to accommodate a handicapped person with a wheelchair.  The entrance tower contains an elevator, which goes from the basement level to the second floor.  The house is approximately 3,200 square feet in size.  The exterior of the house would be covered in stucco with a brick base. The tower would be finished in cultured stone.  Mr. Pellaton stated that the driveway access would use the existing curb cut, as laid out in the approved subdivision plan.

Chairperson Allen noted that when one views a profile of the proposed house, it is difficult to see the silo (tower) feature.  It takes on a square shape from that angle.

Chairperson Allen referred to the site development notes on the Applicant’s plan.  She said that she noticed that these notes are not associated with the project in question.  Mr. Taborga said that, indeed, this is a mistake, which needs to be corrected.  The computer printed these notes in error.  The notes do not coordinate with the table being shown on the plan.  He would make the necessary change(s).

Chairperson Allen noted that the minimum lot area for the RA-40 Zoning District is 40,000 square feet.  The existing lot area for the subject lot is 28,863 square feet.  Trustee Gallelli stated that the River Landing Subdivision in which this property is located is a “cluster” subdivision, which means that the lots do not necessarily conform to the underlying zoning requirement(s).  The zoning setback requirements for the RA-40 district are not going to apply in this case.  Trustee Gallelli stated that the River Landing lots all have building envelopes, which are not necessarily in conformance with the zoning setback requirements.

Mr. Pellaton stated that, to facilitate automobile maneuvering, the have “swapped” the setbacks on the north and south sides.  The 30-foot setback is now on the south side and the 25-foot setback is on the north side. The Village Engineer noted that, because the setbacks on the north and south sides have been “swapped,” a modification to the building envelope is now required.  The Planning Board would have to approve a modification to the building envelope as part of their approval of the minor site plan.  Mr. Luntz said that it would seem to him that “swapping” the setbacks in this way makes sense relative to the slope and entrance to the site.

The Village Engineer noted that, as proposed, the new house would be 70 feet from the house on the right and 55 feet from the house on the left.  The distance to the neighbor’s house would be 50 feet if the Applicant were to build right up to the setback line.

Mr. Pellaton stated that, in terms of the elevation, the subject lot is one of the highest on Ackerman Court.  The Village Engineer said that the house on the right is very close, if not at the same elevation as the house being proposed.  Chairperson Allen said that she would think the new house would have the potential of sitting higher than the house on the left; however, the Applicant’s plan does not give a clear sense of the relative height.

Robert and Tammy Flaherty of 9 Ackerman Court were present.  Ms. Flaherty noted that the elevations of the two properties (7 and 9 Ackerman Court) are just about the same.  The elevation of 5 Ackerman Court is “a fair amount” lower. Mr. Pellaton stated that there is a five-foot slope across the front of the Applicant’s property. The Village Engineer noted that the house on the right would have a view of the garage, to which Ms. Flaherty added that they (the Flaherty’s) would be looking down on the Applicant’s driveway.  The Village Engineer noted to the Flaherty’s that, as part of their minor site plan application, the Applicant is proposing to provide some screening.    

Chairperson Allen said that the Applicant needs to submit a revised plan with the corrected site plan notes.

Chairperson Allen said that she would think it would be useful to see a plan showing more of the surrounding area.  She would like to see a plan showing the contours of the surrounding area rather than just the contours of the site itself.  Chairperson Allen expressed concern about the height of the house relative to the neighboring houses.  She did not think that the Planning Board had enough information at this point to know whether the house being proposed would “tower over” the neighborhood. Mr. Sharma said that the house being proposed is a two-story house on the natural grade.  Mr. Pellaton noted to the board members that, according to code, the house meets the size requirements.  The house has to be a minimum of 2,500 square feet in size, and the house being proposed is 3,200 square feet.  Furthermore, the house, as proposed, would comply with the height restrictions.

The Village Engineer referred to the GIS aerial map of the site and noted that the wetlands are being shown crosshatched in orange.  On the River Landing Subdivision map there was a trail, which was shown going around the wetlands.  Ms. Flaherty said that the location of this trail has changed.  She described to those present the modified trail route.  

The Village Engineer explained to the Applicant that the Planning Board’s minor site plan review is a two-part process.  The first aspect of the review pertains to site-related issues such as grading, retaining walls, utilities, etc.  The second aspect is the architectural review.  Mr. Andrews said that, in so far as the architectural review is concerned, part of the review would be how the house would fit into the neighborhood.  Mr. Sharma added that the Planning Board has to take into consideration the size of the house, shape, siting, etc.  Mr. Sharma said that he, personally, is “perfectly happy” with the architectural plans.  Mr. Luntz said that he, too, does not have a problem with the architectural plans submitted. The castle-like appearance for the house is not necessarily what he would do, but there is no consistent architectural style on Ackerman Court.

Mr. Luntz expressed some concern about the size and scope of the retaining wall being proposed.  He also thought that it might be helpful if, perhaps, the brick treatment could be carried around the house. Mr. Luntz said that he would think it would be useful to the Planning Board members to see a materials and/or color board.  It would be beneficial to the board to have more information on the “look and feel” of the building.

Mr. Andrews said that he, personally, is having trouble “warming up” to the design of the proposed house, but as previously stated there is no consistent character to the architecture of houses in this neighborhood.

The Village Engineer asked if the retaining wall could be pulled in slightly so as to be able to have continuous landscaping around it, to which Mr. Pellaton said that this would, indeed, be possible to do.  Ms. Flaherty noted to the board that her concern about the retaining wall is (would be) that the children in the neighborhood could get hurt on it, to which the Village Engineer told Ms. Flaherty that there would be a three-foot high guardrail on top of the wall.  

Mr. Sharma said that he would think the silo (tower) could be lowered somewhat, and it would still appear to be higher, given its shape and design.  

Mr. Andrews referred to the Applicant’s tree survey and stated that this survey does not clearly show what trees are coming down.  Chairperson Allen added that the tree survey does not identify the species of trees.  Chairperson Allen pointed out to the Applicant that, in their review of applications, the Planning Board is concerned about protecting the significant and specimen trees in the Village and would, therefore, like to know what trees are coming down.  She suggested that the Applicant should hire an arborist to do the tree survey. The Village Engineer noted that there is a damaged tree on the site, which the arborist should look at and give his/her opinion on its condition.  

Chairperson Allen stated that, for the next meeting, the Applicant should provide more detailed zoning data.  It should be stated on the plan(s) that the 25-foot and 30-foot setbacks on the north and south sides have been switched for better maneuverability in the driveway.  A color board should be provided.  A tree survey done by a professional arborist should be submitted. The retaining wall should be pulled back (in) to provide continuous landscaping around the wall. Finally, a landscaping plan should be submitted.

Mr. Pellaton said that he would let the Planning Board know when they are ready to come back before the board.  

b)  Holy Name of Mary Church – 110 Grand Street (Sec. 78.08 Blk. 7 Lot 2) – Referral from the Village Board for a Special Permit for the Montessori School at the Parish Center

Cheryl Comitto, Parish Administrator, was present.

The Village Engineer stated that the Montessori School at the Parish Center has been in operation for the last ten years.  The Applicant, the Holy Name of Mary Church, is requesting a special permit for the existing pre-school use.

The Village Engineer noted that some typical site plan issues are (would be) parking, traffic, etc.  The Applicant has a parking lot at the rear of the school, which has been a benefit to them.  The Village Engineer noted that the Church is currently undergoing renovations to their pre-school (Montessori) facilities at the Parish Center.  

Ms. Comitto told the board members that the staff of the Montessori School has not increased over the years; hence, no additional parking would be required.  Chairperson Allen asked where the instructors at the school park their cars, to which Ms. Comitto said that they park in the rear parking lot in the spots situated (right) along the guardrail.   

The Village Engineer noted to the Planning Board that in the Grand Street (C-1) area of the Village in which the Parish Center is located the Planning Board has the authority to waive the off-street parking requirements. The Village Engineer stated that in order to verify code compliance for the number of off-street parking spaces, he would need to do a complete parking analysis/file review.  It would be necessary to know what variances, if any, were granted for this facility in the past.  He would be willing to go through this exercise, but he wanted the board to know that they have the right to waive the off-street parking requirements. The Village Engineer noted that, as discussed earlier, the Church does have some off-street parking in the back. Happy Tots is no longer using the church facility for their day care center, which frees up some additional parking spots. The Village Engineer pointed out that there were 70 students enrolled in the Happy Tots day care program.  To his knowledge, even when Happy Tots used the Parish Center building for day care, the parking at the Church was sufficient.  Mr. Andrews said that, having observed the parking at this site over the years, he has never noticed a problem with the parking on weekdays, which is when the Montessori School is (would be) in session.

Ms. Comitto noted to the board that the playground area that the Happy Tots day care was using has been completely removed.  The Montessori School uses the neighboring Vassallo Park for outdoor play.  They also use the gym inside the Parish Center.  The Village Engineer asked if the Church had any plans to put more playground equipment outside the building, to which Ms. Comitto said, “No.”

Mr. Andrews had a question about waiving the off-street parking requirements. If the Planning Board were to waive the parking requirements and the use were to change, would the waiver granted for the off-street parking go with the new use?   The Village Engineer suggested that the waiver from the parking requirements should be for the pre-school use only.  He told the board members that the Planning Board could state in their recommendation to the Village Board that the waiver is for the existing (pre-school) use and, if the use were to change, the Applicant would have to come back before the Planning Board for a change-of-use approval.

The Planning Board members all agreed to recommend to the Village Board that they grant a special permit to operate a pre-school on this site. The letter to the Village Board should “recap” the Planning Board’s discussion tonight regarding the off-street parking. The letter should say that, based upon the Planning Board’s observations over time, it would seem that the parking on the site is sufficient. The Planning Board has the authority to waive the off-street parking requirements in this area of the Village.  The Planning Board would be willing to waive the off-street parking requirements for the subject pre-school use, should the Village Board decide to approve the special permit.  
  
Chairperson Allen asked that the Village Engineer’s Office prepare a draft of the letter of recommendation and email it to the Planning Board members for their review.  The letter should be prepared in time for the Village Board meeting of Tuesday, September 4th.
5.  APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The minutes of the Tuesday, June 26, 2007 Planning Board meeting were approved on a motion by Mr. Sharma, seconded by Mr. Luntz and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.  Board member, Vincent Andrews, abstained.

The minutes of the Tuesday, July 10, 2007 Planning Board meeting were approved, as amended, on a motion by Mr. Luntz, seconded by Mr. Sharma and carried by a vote of 4 to 0.   

The minutes of the Tuesday, July 24, 2007 Planning Board meeting were approved on a motion by Mr. Andrews, seconded by Mr. Sharma and carried by a vote of 4 to 0.

6.  ADJOURNMENT:

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 10:45 P.M.

Sincerely,



Sylvia Mills
SECRETARY

RESOLUTION


WHEREAS, Fernando Duce has applied to the Planning Board for Preliminary Subdivision Plat Approval on property which is located at 1307 Albany Post Road, in a Residential RA-40 District, and is designated on the Tax Map of the Village as Section 67.14 Block 3 Lot 9 (formerly #59 401 3); and

WHEREAS, this property, consisting of 2.15 acres, is proposed to be subdivided into two lots; and

WHEREAS, the Applicant has submitted to the Planning Board a Short Environmental Assessment Form (SEAF) dated July 19, 2006; and
                                                                                                                                                  
WHEREAS, the Planning Board, having reviewed this Project under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and the Village’s Environmental Review Law known as Chapter 116 of the Village Code, thereby finds that the Project will not have a significant adverse impact on the environment; and

WHEREAS, the Applicant went before the Water Control Commission and was granted a Wetlands Activity Permit; and

WHEREAS, a Public Hearing before the Planning Board was held on this application on Tuesday, August 14, 2007; and

WHEREAS, on Tuesday, August 14, 2007, the public hearing was closed.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Planning Board approves the application submitted by Fernando Duce for a two-lot subdivision of property located on 1307 Albany Post Road, as shown on the plans entitled “Preliminary Plat Proposed Subdivision Duce Property Village of Croton-on-Hudson Westchester Co., NY;”  “Tree Plan Proposed Subdivision Duce Property Village of Croton-on-Hudson Westchester Co., NY;” and  “Slope Disturbance Map Proposed Subdivision Duce Property Village of Croton-on-Hudson Westchester Co., NY,” prepared by Ralph G. Mastromonaco, P.E., P.C. Consulting Engineers, dated August 3, 2006, and last revised July 31, 2007, and a plan entitled  “Details/Profiles/Notes Duce Property Village of Croton-on-Hudson Westchester Co., N.Y.,” prepared by Ralph G. Mastromonaco, P.E., P.C. Consulting Engineers, dated August 3, 2006, last revised January 16, 2007, and a plan entitled “Tree Schedule Proposed Subdivision Duce Property Village of Croton-on-Hudson Westchester Co., NY;” prepared by Ralph G. Mastromonaco, P.E., P.C. Consulting Engineers, dated January 3, 2007, last revised January 16, 2007, subject to the following conditions:

1)      that an Environmental Site Plan shall be submitted and approved by the Village Engineer prior to the issuance of a Building Permit.

2)      that it be verified by the Village Engineer that the steep slopes calculations, as shown on the Applicant’s slope disturbance plan(s), are accurate.

3)      that, for screening purposes, trees be planted between the new driveway and Albany Post Road.  The final selection of the plantings (trees) would take place after the driveway is built and in consultation with the Village’s environmental consultant.

4)      that information be added to the legend on the plan(s) to more clearly identify the lines being shown (Proposed Disturbance Line, Principal Building Envelope Line, etc.).

5)      that, as part of the subdivision review process, right-of-way easements and utility easements be submitted to the Village Engineer’s Office for review.

6)      that the silt fence be moved outside the wetlands buffer zone.

7)      that the garage on the common property line between Lots #’s 1 and 2 shall be removed prior to the Planning Board chairman signing the final subdivision map.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that, as part of the Final Subdivision Plat approval process, the Applicant shall seek the necessary approval from the Westchester County Department of Health.  Evidence of approval by the Westchester County Department of Health shall be in the form of the Department of Health’s endorsement of the Final Subdivision Plat.


                                                The Planning Board of the Village of
                                                Croton-on-Hudson, New York

                                                Chris Kehoe, Chairperson                                                                                                                                 Fran Allen
                                                Vincent Andrews
                                                Robert Luntz
                                                Deven Sharma

The motion to approve was made by Mr. Sharma, seconded by Mr. Luntz and carried by a vote of 4 to 0.  Planning Board Chairman, Chris Kehoe, was absent from the meeting.  

The resolution was accepted with the minutes of the Planning Board meeting held on August 14, 2007.