VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON, NEW YORK
PLANNING BOARD MEETING MINUTES – TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 2009
A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 in the Municipal Building.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chris Kehoe, Chairman
ABSENT: Mark Aarons
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. NEW BUSINESS:
- MetroPCS New York, LLC – 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
Anthony Gioffre III, Esq. of Cuddy & Feder LLP was present to represent the Applicant.
Mr. Gioffre stated that the Applicant, MetroPCS, is seeking approval from the Village Board to collocate on the cell tower that will be installed at the DPW Veteran’s Plaza site. Mr. Gioffre said that five carriers could collocate on the cell tower; Metro PCS would be the fourth carrier to seek approval from the Village Board to collocate. Mr. Gioffre said that MetroPCS’s antenna installation would be at a height on the cell tower of approximately 100 feet. The installation would consist of a platform of six panel antennas, and the equipment associated with the antenna installation would be located in the fenced compound at the base of the tower. There would be no need to expand this compound for MetroPCS’s equipment.
Mr. Gioffre noted that the MetroPCS wireless telecommunications facility being proposed would comply with FCC license requirements.
Mr. Gioffre stated that, as part of the previously approved application submitted for the installation of the cell tower, photo simulations of the proposed cell tower were provided, which included the antennas/equipment for five carriers. Mr. Gioffre noted again that MetroPCS is the fourth carrier to seek approval for collocation on the cell tower. The other (three) carriers are Nextel, AT&T and T-Mobile.
Mr. Gioffre stated that it is his understanding that the Planning Board has received a quotation for consulting services from RCC Consultants, Inc., and an escrow account would need to be established for RCC’s services. Furthermore, escrow monies would need to be provided for the consulting work performed by Frederick P. Clark Associates (FPCA).
Mr. Andrews asked Mr. Gioffre if, with respect to this proposal, there would be any changes/differences from what was anticipated in the previous (Nextel) application. Mr. Gioffre said that, in the previous plan, Nextel’s generator was proposed to be located on the pad at the base of the tower. Now, MetroPCS’s equipment would be installed in that location. Chairman Kehoe asked where, on the site, the Nextel generator would be relocated, to which Mr. Gioffre replied that the new location for the Nextel generator would have to be identified by Nextel. Mr. Gioffre said that he brought up this issue about relocating the generator because, to his knowledge, this would be the only change from the previous application. There would be no difference in the number of antennas and no need for expansion of the compound.
Chairman Kehoe asked when the work on the installation of the cell tower would begin, to which the Village Engineer replied that he would think construction would begin in a couple of weeks. The Village Engineer added that the Applicant is in the process of finalizing the tower design in terms of the foundation. Once the Applicant has completed the design for the foundation, the structural engineering firm hired by the Village would be “on board” to perform their structural review.
Chairman Kehoe noted that the Applicant, MetroPCS, would have to go before the Waterfront Advisory Committee (WAC) for a determination of consistency with the policies set forth in the Village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP). Ms. Allen noted that the Applicant has included, in their application materials submitted for the Planning Board tonight, a Coastal Assessment Form (CAF). Ms. Allen stated that the WAC would review the CAF as part of their consistency review.
Chairman Kehoe asked the Village Engineer if he knew what the escrow would be for Frederick P. Clark Associates (FPCA), to which the Village Engineer told the board that he has not yet heard back from FPCA. As soon as he receives their proposal, he would forward it on to the Applicant. Chairman Kehoe noted that FPCA would be looking at site-related issues and/or issues relating to the environment, historic preservation, etc. Chairman Kehoe said that he would think that these matters relating to the site itself were, for the most part, dealt with in the previous application for the cell tower installation. Mr. Gioffre said that the SHPO issue was resolved at the time of the cell tower approval. Mr. Gioffre said that tonight’s application is for a collocation on the cell tower and this (a collocation) is not a SHPO
issue. Mr. Gioffre noted that RCC would be reviewing the Applicant’s technical reports/data. Mr. Andrews said that he would think that the radio frequency analysis being performed by RCC would be relevant; however, he would question the relevance of FPCA’s services for this application. The Village Engineer pointed out that, as part of their review, FPCA would verify that this application meets all of the requirements and/or standards set forth in the Village’s Telecommunications Law and the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). He (the Village Engineer) would think that the process would be straightforward.
Chairman Kehoe noted that the Applicant is before the Planning Board tonight for a recommendation to the Village Board on the Special Permit. The Village Board and not the Planning Board would be holding the public hearing. The public hearing before the Planning Board would be held for the site plan approval. Chairman Kehoe said that once the Applicant has been before the WAC and once the reports by the Village’s consultants have been submitted and reviewed by the Planning Board, then, the Planning Board would be in a position to make a recommendation to the Village Board.
Ms. Allen asked if the Planning Board would be looking at coverage this time, to which Mr. Gioffre said that they would be. Mr. Gioffre said that Exhibit C in the application materials is the “radio frequency statement of need.”
Mr. Gioffre said that MetroPCS is a FCC-licensed provider that is now licensed to provide cellular service to this area. In the past, MetroPCS’s services were mostly in California, Florida and Texas. Mr. Gioffre said that MetroPCS provides cellular service in Manhattan. They are now in the process of building out their network north of New York City. Mr. Gioffre noted that once their sites are approved, they can “flip the switch on and start their services.”
Mr. Gioffre explained the color-coded map in Exhibit C3 stating that the color green indicates the proposed coverage from this facility and the color blue is the anticipated coverage from other sites in the area.
Chairman Kehoe said that the Applicant should make arrangements to go before the WAC. The Applicant should also be in touch with the Village Engineer regarding the escrow monies required for FPCA’s review. Once the Applicant has been before the WAC and the Village consultants have reviewed the materials submitted and prepared their reports for the Planning Board, the Applicant could come back to the Planning Board. Mr. Gioffre suggested that in the interim, and to expedite matters, the Applicant could “reach out” to RCC to the extent that RCC might need verification of any of the information submitted.
Mr. Gioffre said that he would be in contact with the Village Engineer’s office once the Applicant is ready to come back before the board.
3. OTHER BUSINESS:
- Ronald Marans of 18 Lounsbury Road told the board members that his property abuts the Croton Community Nursery School property. He has been made aware that the subject property might be developed. Mr. Marans said that, to date, the parties involved with the development of this land have not been “good neighbors.” There have been people trespassing on his property marking his trees with orange paint and tying ribbons on his trees, bushes, etc. Mr. Marans said that no one ever notified him about the work being done. He realizes that, generally speaking, surveyors are not obligated to make an announcement to neighbors about when they are coming to a site; however, it would have been more neighborly to leave a message or note to this effect.
Mr. Marans expressed concern that the trees, which have been marked in error on his property, would be cut down.
Mr. Marans said that he knows that a wetlands study has already taken place on the nursery school property. He realizes that the person doing the tree survey on the nursery school property is someone that the Village “trusts;” but it would have been better for the Village’s tree surveyor to contact the neighbors about the work being done.
The Village Engineer told Mr. Marans that, as he understands it, the nursery school has made an agreement with a developer, John Nikic, about purchasing this property; Mr. Nikic is the contract vendee. The Village Engineer said that he is not too sure that the nursery school is aware of what is going on in the field. Mr. Nikic would be the one talking to the surveyors, engineers, wetlands consultants, etc. Mr. Marans said that he would agree that the nursery school probably does not know what is being done “in their name.”
Mr. Andrews asked Mr. Marans if he had written to the nursery school board to let the board know about his concerns, to which Mr. Marans said that he had not done so.
Chairman Kehoe told Mr. Marans that the Planning Board is still waiting for information from the Applicant on threshold questions regarding the development of the nursery school property. Before moving forward with the review of this subdivision proposal, the Planning Board would need to know whether or not there are any stipulations on the development of this land. Chairman Kehoe said that the Applicant has not yet come back to the Planning Board with this information. Chairman Kehoe noted that the Planning Board had told the Applicant that they could go ahead with the environmental work but, in order to move forward, any pending issues regarding the right to develop the land would have to be resolved.
Mr. Andrews suggested that, instead of calling the chairman of the nursery school, Mr. Marans could write a letter expressing his concerns or, perhaps, Mr. Marans could set up a meeting with the chairman of the nursery school. Mr. Marans said that he came to the Planning Board meeting tonight because he thought the Planning Board should be made aware of the “murky structure” of what has taken place at the site so far. Mr. Marans said that he is concerned that the behavior exhibited thus far would be indicative of what would happen in the future.
Mr. Luntz said that, in so far as the wetlands delineation is concerned, the Village’s consultant, Bruce Donohue, would want to be certain that the delineation performed by the Applicant’s wetlands consultant is consistent with what he believes to be true. Mr. Luntz noted that Mr. Donohue was asked by the Planning Board to mark the trees at the back of the nursery school property. Mr. Luntz said that, of course, the Planning Board would not want anyone (surveyor, consultant, etc.) to be surveying trees or delineating the wetlands on Mr. Marans’ property. The Village Engineer said that it is his understanding that the tree survey has been completed. Once the trees are on the map, the markings on the trees could be taken off. Mr. Marans said that he owns the land across the brook and, indeed, someone
was on his side of the brook for the purpose of marking the trees and flagging the wetlands. The Village Engineer said that it was a mistake in the field for someone to go onto Mr. Marans’ property. The Village Engineer told Mr. Marans that if someone were on his property with markers of any sort to delineate the wetlands, identify trees, etc., he (Mr. Marans) would have every right to tell them to leave and to remove the markers.
Chairman Kehoe told Mr. Marans that as the Planning Board moves forward with this application, Mr. Marans would be welcome to come to the Planning Board meetings to express his concerns.
Ms. Allen said that she would think that it would be worthwhile for the Planning Board to make a site visit to this property in the springtime before the leaves come out on the trees.
- The Village Engineer updated the Planning Board on the work being done on the Francy property on Old Post Road North. The Village Engineer said that John Nikic has had the trees identified. The corners of the proposed house have been marked out. The Village Engineer noted that the Applicant would like to set up a site visit.
Ms. Allen recalled that she had also requested that the Applicant identify in the field where the proposed driveway enters Old Post Road North. Ms. Allen said that it would be useful to the Planning Board for the Applicant to prepare a tree survey with a table indicating the trees to be saved and to be removed. The trees should be identified by type and size. Ms. Allen noted that this tree survey would help the Planning Board to know in the field which trees are to be saved and to be removed.
The Village Engineer suggested that he could circulate an email to the board members for the purpose of scheduling the site visit.
4. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
The minutes of the Tuesday, January 13, 2009 Planning Board meeting were approved, as amended, on a motion by Mr. Andrews, seconded by Mr. Luntz and carried by a vote of 3 to 0. Ms. Allen abstained.
The minutes of the Tuesday, January 27, 2009 Planning Board meeting were approved, as amended, on a motion by Ms. Allen, seconded by Mr. Andrews and carried by a vote of 3 to 0. Mr. Luntz abstained.
There being no further business to come before the board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 8:50 P.M.