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Planning Board Minutes 02/12/08


A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 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.


*    Sarina & Antonio Tucci – 325 South Riverside Avenue (Sec. 79.13 Blk. 1 Lot 60) – Application for an Amended Site Plan Approval for Installation of Solar Panels on the Roof of the Umami Cafe

Craig Purdy, proprietor of the restaurant, was present.  

Chairman Kehoe noted that, at the last meeting, Mr. Purdy and his contractor, Alan Paul, of Apex Thermal Services gave a presentation to the Planning Board on the solar panel system being proposed. There was some discussion at that time as to whether the roof was sufficient to support the weight of the solar panels.  

The Village Engineer stated that he has since visited the site and looked at the structural support of the roof.  Steel beams support the roof rafters.  The Village Engineer noted that, after the last meeting, the Applicant’s contractor, Mr. Paul, tried to get an engineer involved with this project, but it did not work out.

The Village Engineer noted to the Planning Board that this matter concerning the roof support would normally be looked at as part of the building permit application.  He would be reviewing all of the engineering aspects of the project at that time.  He still thought that it was good for the Planning Board to bring the matter up at a Planning Board meeting.      

Chairman Kehoe noted that, at the last meeting, the Planning Board also discussed the aesthetics of the panels.  The Applicant has provided for the meeting tonight two additional photos showing views of the roof from the rear and side of the building. The Planning Board had asked the Applicant for a view from the rear because there are some houses situated just behind the restaurant.  Mr. Purdy referred to one of the (two) photos and pointed to the power line that extends across the top of the roof.  He said that his contractor, Mr. Paul, estimates that the solar panels would be at the same height as this power line.  

Ms. Allen said that she was not present at the meeting when this application was first discussed.  It is her understanding from tonight’s discussion that the solar panels would not lie flat on the roof but would be on an angle, to which the Village Engineer said that this is, indeed, the case.  He showed Ms. Allen a simulated (computer) rendering showing the panels on the rooftop.
Mr. Purdy explained how the solar hot water system would operate.  The water goes into holding tanks that are warmed.  The water is then fed into the existing commercial hot water heater.

Chairman Kehoe opened the public hearing.  He asked if there were any comments from the public, to which there were none.  Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to close the public hearing.  The motion was made by Mr. Luntz, seconded by Ms. Allen and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.  (Mr. Andrews had not yet arrived at the meeting when the vote was taken.)  

Chairman Kehoe read aloud the draft resolution.  He asked if there were any conditions that should be included in the resolution. Chairman Kehoe noted that the matter of the roof support would be handled with the building permit application; hence, he would think that it would not have to be a condition of the approval, to which the other members present agreed.

Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to approve this amended site plan application.  The motion to approve was made by Mr. Luntz, seconded by Ms. Allen and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.    

The Village Engineer told the Applicant that the architect or engineer, hired to look into the matter of the roof support, should send him (the Village Engineer) a letter confirming that the roof is sufficient to support the solar panels. A complete building permit application should be submitted.


*    Bell Property – 175 Old Post Road North (Sec. 67.15 Blk. 1 Lots 8 & 8.01) – Application for a Preliminary Subdivision Approval – Declaration of Intent to Become Lead Agency

The Village Engineer told the Planning Board that, after reviewing Part 1 of the Applicant’s Full Environmental Assessment Form (FEAF), he made some revisions and sent the marked-up copy to Ron Wegner, the Applicant’s engineer, who, in turn, has made all of the changes/additions that he had requested.  

The Village Engineer referred to page 3, question 16, pertaining to wetlands within or contiguous to the project area. The Village Engineer said that for item 16.b “Size (in acres),” Mr. Wegner inserted, as requested, the wording “areas TBD [to be determined] following wetland survey.”  Ms. Allen pointed out that, in so far as the wetlands are concerned, it would appear, having reviewed the Applicant’s plan(s), that some of the wetlands areas situated offsite are missing from the plan(s).

Mr. Luntz asked if it is the Planning Board’s intention tonight to declare itself Lead Agency for this project, to which the Village Engineer said that, indeed, it is.  The Planning Board did not have an opportunity at the last meeting to review the FEAF, so it was held over until tonight.  Once the Planning Board has declared its intent to become the Lead Agency, the Planning Board would distribute its letter of intent, along with the FEAF and a copy of the Applicant’s plan, to the interested/involved agencies.  These agencies would have 30 days to respond.  The Village Engineer said that Part 1 of the FEAF would be sent to the interested/involved agencies.  Parts 2 and 3 have not been completed yet.  The Village Engineer noted that, for ease in mailing, a copy of the Applicant’s plan in an 11” x 17” format would be sent.  

The Village Engineer noted to the board that the wetlands shown on the plan(s) are those, which were picked up by the land surveyor.  The wetlands have not yet been delineated by a wetlands specialist.  What has been submitted thus far should not be considered a “wetlands delineation.”  Ms. Allen referred to the Applicant’s current subdivision plan showing the adjacent properties along Finney Farm Road. She reiterated that these properties contain wetlands areas, which have not yet been delineated.  Ms. Allen pointed out that although the (water) flows are on these properties, the wetland buffers might very well be on the Applicant’s property.  
The Village Engineer referred to item 1.i on page 3 of the FEAF pertaining to the dimensions (height, width and length) of the houses being proposed.  Mr. Wegner had left the height blank.  Mr. Wegner has since inserted the wording “less than 35 feet” for the height of the houses.

The Village Engineer noted that on page 4, question 16 “Will the project generate solid waste?” the Applicant answered, “Yes.”  The Applicant answered, “1.2 tons” to item a., “If yes, what is the amount per month?” The Village Engineer noted that this amount represents the average solid waste generation per month for all six houses and not for each individual dwelling unit.  

The Village Engineer recalled that there was a question raised, during a previous discussion on this application, about “cluster” subdivisions.  The question was whether a “cluster” subdivision would supercede the requirement(s) for variances.  This matter has been referred to the Village Attorney for an opinion.

Ms. Allen noted that the Planning Board would ultimately need to involve the Village Attorney in the review of this application.  The Village Engineer said the Planning Board should let the Village Attorney know when they are ready for the Village Attorney to become involved.

The Village Engineer referred the Planning Board to page 4, item 23 “Total anticipated water usage per day” and noted that the +/-1,800 gallons/day would be for all six residences (+/-300 gallons/day per residence).  The Village Engineer told the board that a higher water usage might occur during the summer months due to (the use of) irrigation systems, swimming pools, etc.

The Village Engineer said that on page 5, item 25 “Approvals Required,” he added “subdivision” under the “County Health Department” approvals.  He also added under “State Agencies” a Phase 2 storm water SPDES permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).

Chairman Kehoe noted that on page 2 under “Site Description” the Applicant has put, for the approximate acreage of “lawn & landscaping,” 3.35 acres.  According to the same chart, this acreage amount would increase to 4.77 acres after completion of the project.   The Village Engineer said that he would assume that Mr. Wegner (probably) based these numbers on the limits of disturbance lines.  He could check with him to find out. The Village Engineer said that, if the Planning Board so chooses, they could ask Mr. Wegner to provide a justification for these numbers prior to mailing out the FEAF. The Village Engineer noted that these numbers would continue to be analyzed throughout the review process, and they could conceivably change. They have been formulated at this point in time (just) for the purpose of the Planning Board’s declaring itself the Lead Agency.

Ms. Allen referred to the zoning chart on the current subdivision plan and asked if the front and rear yard setbacks were consistent for all the houses.  The Village Engineer said that, in so far as the setbacks are concerned, all of the proposed houses would meet the setback requirements.  Chairman Kehoe noted that, on Lots #’s 4 and 5, the houses being proposed are closer to the property line(s), to which the Village Engineer replied that, if deemed necessary during the Planning Board’s review of this application, these property lines could be (somewhat) modified. The Village Engineer said that he would think there is enough maneuverability on all of the lots to make modifications and still meet the setbacks.  Ms. Allen noted that on Lot #6 the front yard setback is 2,096 feet and the rear yard, 137 feet.  She was not questioning the accuracy of the numbers. She was (just) questioning what, on these “flag lots,” is considered the front, rear, etc. The Village Engineer referred to the Applicant’s plan and identified the front, rear and side yards, noting that Lot #6 is one of the “flag lots” that obtain their frontage off of Old Post Road North.  

Ms. Allen said that, at this point in time, the Planning Board has to concentrate on making its recommendation to the Zoning Board of Appeals.  The Planning Board’s first order of business should be how we view this (proposal) as a board.

Chairman Kehoe noted that on Saturday, February 23rd the Planning Board would be going on a site visit to the Bell property.  After the site visit, the next step would be for the Planning Board to declare itself the Lead Agency for the project.  The Planning Board would, then, hold meetings to discuss the environmental issues and send its recommendation on the variances being requested to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The Village Engineer noted that, with respect to the variances, the Zoning Board would be looking at each lot separately. The Applicant should provide in the zoning data chart on the subdivision plan specific information on each of the variances being requested. The Village Engineer recalled that at the last meeting, there was a discussion about the possibility of designing a public road for the subdivision. A public road would eliminate the need for the variances. The Village Engineer stated that, for the next meeting, the Applicant should come back to the Planning Board with a design for a public road.  Chairman Kehoe noted that the Planning Board would have to “balance” the impacts of the current proposal, in which a number of variances are required, with the impacts of the alternative proposal (public road).  

At this juncture, Mr. Andrews arrived at the meeting.  He had been delayed due to the inclement weather (snow storm).

Ms. Allen referred to Mr. Wegner’s letter to the NYSDEC’s NY Natural Heritage Program in which he inquires if there would be any endangered or threatened plant or animal species affected by this subdivision.  Ms. Allen said that the Prickly Pear plant is almost certainly on this (the Bell) property.  This plant is rare in the Hudson highlands areas.  Ms. Allen noted that these plants can be found in the Prickly Pear Hill area, and there might very well be Prickly Pear on the Bell property.  The Village Engineer suggested that the wetlands specialist hired for this project could look into this matter.

Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion for the Planning Board to declare its intent to become the Lead Agency for this project.  The motion was made by Mr. Andrews, seconded by Ms. Allen and carried by a vote of 4 to 0.  


The minutes of the Tuesday, January 15, 2008 Planning Board meeting were approved on a motion by Mr. Andrews, seconded by Mr. Luntz 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 8:45 P.M., on a motion by Mr. Luntz, seconded by Mr. Andrews and carried by a vote of 4 to 0.


Sylvia Mills


WHEREAS, the Planning Board held a public hearing on an Amended Site Plan application on February 12, 2008 for the Umami Café, hereafter known as “the Applicant.”  The subject property, owned by Antonio & Sarina Tucci, is located at 325 South Riverside Avenue and designated on the Tax Map of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson as Section 79.13 Block 1 Lot 60; and

WHEREAS, the proposal is for the installation of solar panels on the roof of the Umami Café; and

WHEREAS, under the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), the Planning Board has determined that this project is an Unlisted Action and that there will be no adverse impacts resulting from the proposed application.  The Planning Board hereby issues a Negative Declaration.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the amended site plan application as shown on a site plan (undated), received by the Planning Board on January 22, 2008; a set of construction drawings (eight sheets), received on January 22, 2008; manufacturer’s specifications on support cables from Worldwide Enterprises, Inc., received on January 22, 2008; and visual renderings of the panels, received on January 22, 2008 and February 12, 2008, respectively, be approved.

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, Chairperson
                                                Fran Allen
                                                Vincent Andrews
                                                Robert Luntz
                                                Deven Sharma
Motion to approve by Mr. Luntz, seconded by Ms. Allen and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.  Mr. Sharma was absent from the meeting.  Mr. Andrews was not present when the vote was taken.

Resolution accepted with the minutes of the meeting held on February 12, 2008.