Planning Board Minutes 12/23/08
VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON, NEW YORK

PLANNING BOARD MEETING MINUTES – TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2008


A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, December 23, 2008 in the Municipal Building.

MEMBERS PRESENT:                Chris Kehoe, Chairman
                                        Mark Aarons
                                        Vincent Andrews
                                        Robert Luntz

ABSENT:                         Fran Allen

ALSO PRESENT:                   Daniel O'Connor, P.E., Village Engineer

1.  Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order at 8:15 P.M. by Chairman Kehoe.

2.  NEW BUSINESS:

  • Mapleby LLC – 171-187 South Riverside Avenue (Sec. 78.12 Blk. 3 Lot 4) – Application for a Change of Use Approval from a Fitness Center (“Curves”) to an Ice Cream Store (“The Purple Monkey”) at the Croton Commons Shopping Center
Stephen Ferreira, P.E., of SJF Engineering Services and Philip Profeta, proprietor of the proposed ice cream store, were present for this application.  

Chairman Kehoe recused himself from the review of this application.  Mr. Luntz acted as chairperson.  

Mr. Ferreira noted that the Planning Board received in their packets for tonight’s meeting the floor plan for the proposed ice cream store.  

Mr. Ferreira said that the calculations to determine the number of parking spaces have been performed, and it was determined that, even with the eight tables (32 seats) being proposed for the ice cream store, the Code requirements for the total number of parking spaces for the shopping center would be met (113 parking spaces).   

Mr. Andrews asked what the hours of operation would be, to which Mr. Ferreira said 11:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. in the spring and summer months.  In the wintertime, the hours would be less to meet the lesser demand. The proprietor of the proposed ice cream store Philip Profeta noted to the board members that, in so far as the hours of operation are concerned, he would cut the hours during the winter months. He (Mr. Profeta) has another ice cream store in Ossining, and he cuts the hours in the winter.    

Mr. Profeta told the Planning Board that his ice cream store would sell ice cream products only e.g., ice cream cones, ice cream cakes, etc.

The Village Engineer referred to the Applicant’s floor plan and noted that this plan shows a long counter space.  He asked if there would be seats/stools along the counter, to which Mr.  Ferreira said, no.  He explained that the “counter” to which the Village Engineer is referring is actually the display case(s) for the ice cream.  

Mr. Luntz asked if the bathroom being shown on the plan meets the Code requirements, to which Mr. Ferreira said that it does.

Mr. Luntz noted to the Applicant that a public hearing is required for a Change of Use approval. It would seem to him (Mr. Luntz) that the Planning Board could schedule the public hearing tonight.  The parking requirements for the shopping center are being met and the application is “in line” in other respects.  The Village Engineer asked if, in conjunction with the review of this application, the Planning Board could discuss the complaint that the Village has received about parking in the Chase ATM area of the shopping center parking lot. The Village Engineer noted to the board members that, for convenience purposes, people using the ATM have been parking along the curb. The Village has received a complaint that people parking along this curb has caused an ongoing parking and traffic problem.  Mr. Andrews noted that, in order for the Planning Board to have this discussion about the ATM parking, the owner of the shopping center would have to be present.  He asked if the owner or their (the owner’s) representative was present, to which Barbara Groden of West-Ex Associates, Inc., managing agent for the property owner, came forward.  Ms. Groden explained to the Planning Board the action on the complaint that had been taken thus far.

Ms. Groden told the board members that, in order to answer to the complaint they sent their superintendent to the site for two days to monitor the traffic/parking situation at the ATM.  While there a Metro North truck pulled up to the ATM.  Also, two cars pulled up to the ATM and were in the facility for no more than two minutes.  Ms. Groden said that, to date, no accidents have been reported at the ATM.  

Ms. Groden said that, recently, the property owner had the parking lot re-striped. They considered taking the advice of the Village to post a “No Parking” sign and paint yellow cross-hatched lines on the road at the west side of the ATM; however, it was thought that having another hatched-out area in the parking lot would create a problem. Furthermore, in so far as the “No Parking” sign is concerned, it would be expensive for the property owner to have another sign made up.  The sign could get damaged and there would be the added expense of maintaining the sign.  Ms. Groden noted that people using the ATM are there for a very short time.  Unless someone were to park there all day long, it would be difficult to enforce the “No Parking” restriction.  Ms. Groden referred to the site plan for the shopping center and pointed to the area at the entrance to the ATM where people pull up and park their cars.  She told the Planning Board members that, in their capacity as the managing agent for the property owner, they would be happy to monitor the traffic/parking situation at the ATM, but in their view, it would not make any sense to do so.

The Village Engineer noted to the board that the Village staff has discussed this issue at a staff meeting.  The Village has received only the one complaint so far.  

The Village Engineer noted to Ms. Groden that although this issue about the traffic/parking situation at the ATM is unrelated to the Change of Use application, it is the Planning Board’s past practice to discuss any open issues relating to a piece of property when an application comes before the board. This is (would be) the opportune time for the Planning Board to discuss the matter.  The Village Engineer reiterated that, generally speaking, when an application comes before the board and an issue such as this one is raised, the Planning Board would take the opportunity to discuss it.  Mr. Luntz explained to Ms.  Groden that, “Everything is brought into question” when a Change of Use comes before the board.  He suggested that this item could be discussed at the public hearing at which time members of the public could come forward to express their concern(s).       

Mr. Aarons asked if, at the Croton Commons, there is restrictive parking for the shopping center employees, to which Ms. Groden said that there is.  She referred Mr. Aarons to the site plan and pointed out the employee parking area.  She noted that all employees working at the stores in the shopping center have to register their vehicles with the Village and are then issued parking stickers.    

Mr. Luntz asked how many parking spaces there are at the shopping center, to which Mr. Ferreira said 113.  

Mr. Luntz entertained a motion to schedule the public hearing on this application for Tuesday, January 27, 2009.  The motion was made by Mr. Andrews, seconded by Mr. Aarons and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.  

The Village Engineer noted to the Applicant that they would eventually have to come back before the Planning Board with a sign application.  Ms. Groden said that, at the moment, the shopping center stores all have sign boxes.  They intend to change the signage at the shopping center in 2009 but, at this point in time, the ice cream store would have to conform to the signage (box signs) that is currently there.  The Village Engineer noted that the signage would also have to go before the Advisory Board on the Visual Environment (VEB) for their review and comments.

Mr. Aarons suggested that the Applicant could take a photograph of their ice cream store in Ossining so that those members of the public present at the public hearing could see what the store is going to look like.

Ms. Groden wanted to know when the building permit application for the interior work at the ice cream store could be submitted, to which the Village Engineer suggested that the Applicant could prepare the necessary paperwork for the building permit; however, the application could not be processed until the Planning Board has approved the Change of Use.

3.  APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The minutes of the Monday, November 10, 2008 Planning Board meeting were approved on a motion by Mr. Luntz, seconded by Mr. Aarons and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.  Planning Board member Vincent Andrews had left the meeting before the vote was taken.

The minutes of the Tuesday, November 25, 2008 Planning Board meeting were approved on a motion by Mr. Luntz, seconded by Mr. Aarons and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.  Planning Board member Vincent Andrews had left the meeting before the vote was taken.

4.  ADJOURNMENT:

There being no further business to come before the board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 8:55 P.M.

Sincerely,



Sylvia Mills
Secretary


Sylvia Mills
Village of Croton-on-Hudson
Engineer's Office
tel: 914-271-4783
fax: 914-271-3790