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Planning Board Minutes 05/12/2009


A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, May 12, 2009 in the Municipal Building.

MEMBERS PRESENT:        Chris Kehoe, Chairman
                                Mark Aarons
                                Fran Allen
                                Robert Luntz

ABSENT:                 Vincent Andrews

ALSO PRESENT:           James Staudt, Village Attorney
                                Ann Gallelli, Member of the Board of Trustees
                                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.

Chairman Kehoe informed those present that, prior to the regularly scheduled meeting tonight, the Planning Board is going to meet in an informational session with the Village Attorney on the Francy application. Chairman Kehoe noted that he has recused himself from the review of the Francy application and Ms. Allen would be acting as chairperson for that part of the meeting.  Mr. Aarons said that it is his understanding from the last meeting that the Village Attorney would be meeting with the Planning Board tonight on the Fallacaro application, to which the Village Attorney replied that this is not the case.  The Village Attorney added that he is waiting for background information on the Fallacaro application, which is being gathered for him by the Village Engineer.  He would meet with the Planning Board once he has received this background information and has had an opportunity to review it.

The Planning Board went into an informational session with the Village Attorney.  When the session ended and the Planning Board returned to the meeting room, Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to resume the Planning Board meeting.  The motion was made by Ms. Allen, seconded by Mr. Luntz and carried by a vote of 4 to 0.

  • Liz Jacobson & Amy Rosato (Property Owner, Estate of Paul Hoffman) – 139 Grand Street (Sec. 67.20 Blk. 3 Lot 18) – Application for a Change of Use from a Law Office to a Specialty Boutique
Liz Jacobson and Amy Rosato, principals of the prospective specialty boutique, were present.

Ms. Jacobson stated that Ms. Rosato and she are proposing to open up a specialty boutique at the property located on 139 Grand Street.  Their intention would be to sell new, “restockable” items and items on consignment.  Ms. Jacobson said that their focus would be on merchandise that is unique and “one-of-a-kind.”  They also intend to showcase the works of local artists. Ms. Jacobson said that, in order to make their boutique a welcoming place, they would put seating on the front porch for people to have a place to come together and “hang out.”    

Chairman Kehoe opened the public hearing on this application.  He asked if there were any comments from the public, to which there were none.  Chairman Kehoe noted to those present that the Planning Board had discussed this application at the last Planning Board meeting. At that time, the Applicant gave a presentation on their proposal for the boutique; he, personally, is satisfied with the presentation given at that time. Chairman Kehoe asked if the board members had any comments.  Mr. Aarons asked if there would be seating on the front lawn, to which Ms. Jacobson said that they would allow people to sit on the front lawn during the annual “Summerfest” event in early June; otherwise, they would not be providing seating on the front lawn.  The tables and chairs would only be on the porch (itself).  They intend to bring out “bistro” tables. Mr. Aarons asked if there are any code issues to be considered with respect to the seating, to which Chairman Kehoe said that he does not think so.  Chairman Kehoe recalled that, at the last meeting, the Applicant said that they would like to have seating on the porch and that they might offer coffee but no food items.  Chairman Kehoe noted that this (the porch use) would be accessory to the main use, which would be the gift shop/boutique.

Ms. Jacobson noted that, with respect to the handling of the trash, there would be two standard garden-size trash cans and a recycling container.  She did not think that they would need any more than that for their establishment. Chairman Kehoe asked if there would be boxes that would need to be discarded from the new merchandise being sold, to which Ms. Jacobson replied that there would be some items to be disposed of; but, they do not anticipate the need for a dumpster.

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 4 to 0.

Chairman Kehoe read aloud the draft resolution. Chairman Kehoe noted that the first condition states:

“that the sign application be submitted to the Village Engineer’s office for approval including review of the application by the VEB. If the design of the sign is not generally consistent with what was presented to the Planning Board, it shall be referred back to the Planning Board for approval.”

Chairman Kehoe noted that, at the last meeting, the Applicant said that there is an existing frame on-site for holding a sign, which they intend to use for their sign, and the font would be similar to what was there before. Chairman Kehoe asked Ms. Jacobson if they had been before the VEB for their sign, to which Ms. Jacobson said, no, but they intend to submit an application to go before the VEB.

Chairman Kehoe read the second condition, which states:

that the parking lot on the southwesterly side of the property [shall] be restriped.”  

Chairman Kehoe noted that, with respect to the parking, the Planning Board has the authority to grant a waiver from the required number of off-street parking spaces.  The required number of spaces in this case is eight spaces and there are only seven.  Chairman Kehoe said that a third condition should be added to the resolution which reads:

“that the Planning Board grants a waiver from the required number of parking spaces (from eight to seven spaces).”  

The Village Engineer said that condition #3 should also state:

“that one parking space should be made a handicap parking space.”    

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

  • Margo Francy – 57 Old Post Road North (Sec. 67.20 Blk. 2 Lot 27) – Application for a Steep Slope Permit
John Gochman, Esq., attorney for the Applicant, and Ron Wegner, P.E., of Cronin Engineering, were present.

Chairman Kehoe recused himself from the review of this application.  Fran Allen acted as chairperson.

Mr. Gochman said that in view of the fact that Chairman Kehoe has recused himself and board member Vincent Andrews is absent from the meeting tonight, he would like to request an adjournment of the public hearing until such time as the full board is present.  Ms. Allen noted that some of the Applicant’s neighbors are here tonight.  She would prefer to open the public hearing so as to be able to hear from these neighbors.  Ms. Allen said that the vote would not take place tonight. The public hearing would remain open and the vote on this application would be taken at a future meeting.

Mr. Gochman noted that a few of the Planning Board members recently had a site visit to the Francy property.  Mr. Gochman stated that Mr. Wegner and he are present at the meeting tonight to answer any questions the Planning Board might have regarding the steep slopes on the property and the configuration of the proposed house.

Ms. Allen asked if the board members had any questions.  Mr. Luntz expressed concern about the aesthetics of the retaining walls being proposed.  Mr. Luntz said that after having walked around the site, he would be interested to know what could be done to soften the look and feel of these walls.  Mr. Luntz noted that the house foundation would be exposed. He would also want to see a proposal for the aesthetic treatment of the house foundation.  Finally, there are many trees being removed to build the new house. The Planning Board would want to know what kind of landscaping is being proposed.  Mr. Luntz suggested that the Planning Board should obtain the advice of an expert in the field, perhaps a landscape architect, as to how to deal with these aesthetic issues.  Mr. Luntz noted again that there are two large retaining walls being proposed that would flank both sides of the house. The Planning Board would like to see what type of plantings/landscaping could be installed to make these two retaining walls more “palatable” to the neighboring property owners.

Mr. Aarons recalled that during the recent site visit a discussion took place regarding the top elevation of the proposed structure (house) off of ground level.  He suggested that the Planning Board could discuss with the Applicant tonight the house elevations.  Mr. Wegner said that these elevations vary. Mr. Wegner said that while at the site, he took photographs of the houses uphill and downhill from the Francy property.  He showed the Planning Board the photographs.  Mr. Wegner displayed a poster board that showed the front view (elevation) of the house and gave, as the height of the house, 29’ 4”.  Ms. Allen noted that there is a ten-foot difference in the grade between one side of the house and the other (88 feet to 98 feet).  Mr. Aarons referred to the Applicant’s proposed site plan and noted the eight-foot rise from side to side (84 feet to 92 feet).  The Village Engineer stated that, according to code, the height elevation is measured to the peak of the roof.  The Village Engineer told Mr. Wegner that he should add to the plan(s) the dimensions to the average roof line to meet the definition of “height” in the Village’s Zoning Code.

Ms. Allen referred to the construction sequence shown on the Applicant’s site plan and noted that there are fifteen steps outlined in the construction sequence.  Ms. Allen said that, as she understands it, all access for construction vehicles is going to be on the driveway being proposed.  This driveway would eventually be the driveway for the house.  Ms. Allen asked how the Applicant proposes to cut down the tall trees in the middle of the property where the proposed driveway is situated, to which Mr. Wegner responded that, with respect to the tree cutting, the Applicant would “leave that up to the professionals who do that for a living.” She would think that the Planning Board would need to know the steps involved. The Planning Board would want to know how this activity is going to take place so that there would be no negative impacts to the neighbors.  Mr. Wegner said that the Applicant has an area of disturbance, which is 65 feet in width.  They (the tree professionals) could fell the trees to the center of the property so that they would not fall off the property.  He noted that the trees are no higher than 65 feet, which is the width of the area of disturbance.  

Ms. Allen said that, in so far as the construction activity is concerned, the Village would eventually have to ask the Applicant/developer for a performance bond, to which Mr. Wegner replied that bonding is standard for any site development plan.  Also, an additional erosion and sedimentation control plan would be required.  Mr. Wegner added that [he is certain that] tree cutting would fall under one of these measures.  

Ms. Allen said that she would assume that the clear-cutting of the trees would take place all at once. Ms. Allen noted that, according to the Applicant’s plan, tree armor would be installed to protect the trees.  There are (also) requirements in place to protect trees to the drip line.  Ms. Allen asked Mr. Wegner if there would be room enough on site to maneuver and remove the trees that have been cut down, to which Mr. Wegner replied that they have a total of 8,000 square feet (65’ x 125’).  They would work within the parameters of the lot.  Ms. Allen asked if they are going to leave the roots (of the trees) in, to which Mr. Wegner replied that they are not going to pull the trees out until it is absolutely necessary.  The contractor/developer would not want to disturb the land until such time as they are required to do the grading.  Ms. Allen asked if they would be able to guarantee that there are no organic materials left in the ground, to which Mr. Wegner said that the roots associated with the tree stumps and the stumps themselves would be removed and disposed of.  Ms. Allen noted that it is essential that no organic material remains in the ground as this could cause problems such as sink holes later on, to which Mr. Wegner assured Ms. Allen that the removal of the trees would be done according to customary practice(s).  Ms. Allen said that the Village would want to make certain that there is ample supervision of all of the tree-cutting activity on site, to which Mr. Wegner responded that he would expect the tree-cutting would be supervised.  

Ms. Allen referred to item #12 under the construction sequence, which reads: “Rough grade entire site.  Proceed with residence construction.” Ms. Allen asked if it would really be the entire site that would be rough graded, to which Mr. Wegner said, no.  Mr. Wegner said that he would change the wording to read “the disturbed areas.”  Ms. Allen asked Mr. Wegner if he had any idea what the time line for the construction would be, to which Mr. Wegner replied that it would certainly be within one season.  Ms. Allen stated that she would be concerned about a site that has been graded and/or disturbed and left that way for a prolonged period of time.  Mr. Wegner referred the Planning Board to item #5 under the Erosion and Sediment Control Notes on the Applicant’s plan and noted that, as stated in item #5, the disturbed areas would be mulched or seeded within seven days for stabilization purposes.  

Ms. Allen pointed out that Mr. Wegner has built his drainage criteria on the basis of a 10-year storm which, she assumes, is the standard measure for drainage.  Ms. Allen questioned whether a 10-year storm is the proper standard to be used for drainage on sloped areas.  Mr. Wegner stated that a 10-year storm is one in which 5 inches of rain falls within a twenty-four hour period.  Mr. Wegner said that a 10-year storm constitutes a substantial rainfall and would apply to the steep slopes on the Francy property.  Ms. Allen said that she is surprised that the steepness of the slope is not a factor.  She would think that the extent/degree of the steep slopes on the Francy property is such that the standard being used (10-year storm event) would not be adequate.  The Village Engineer noted that a 100-year storm event is one in which 7 inches of rain falls in a twenty-four hour period.  Mr. Wegner described the drainage system being proposed on the Francy property and stated that the excess runoff would head into the Village’s storm water pipe on Old Post Road North. Mr. Wegner stated that water from all of the new impervious areas would flow into the Village’s drainage system.  Mr. Wegner noted that not all of the water would be channeled into the storm drain system; the water from some of the remaining vegetative areas on-site would continue to flow as it does now.  

Ms. Allen suggested that the Planning Board might consider hiring an expert who could review this application from a technical standpoint. For example, she would like it verified by an expert that the soils are what the Applicant’s engineer says they are.  She would also want someone (an expert in the field) representing the Village during construction.  Ms. Allen noted that the Village Engineer has a number of other responsibilities, and the Francy lot is a very difficult lot.  She would think that it would be appropriate in this case to hire a consultant to monitor this project.

The Village Engineer suggested that, with respect to the proposed drainage, the Applicant’s engineer could prepare a drainage analysis based on a 100-year storm event. Mr. Wegner said that he would venture to guess that, even if he were to base his analysis on a 100-year storm event, any overflow would go into the drainage pipe on Old Post Road North.  The Village Engineer said that Mr. Wegner should modify his drainage analysis to include the 100-year storm.

Mr. Gochman asked Ms. Allen if, when she was discussing the hiring of experts, she was talking about the hiring of a hydrologist and a landscape architect, to which Ms. Allen said, yes.

Mr. Wegner noted that this project involves 8,000 square feet of total disturbance.  A drainage analysis has been prepared, and soil tests have been performed.  Mr. Wegner questioned if the hiring of experts is, indeed, warranted, given the engineering work that has already gone into this project. Ms. Allen noted to those present that, during Hurricane Floyd, the neighboring property owners, one neighbor in particular, suffered extensive flood damage.  The area in question is a very sensitive area with a great potential for slippage.  She would like to have an expert(s) look at this application and, perhaps, identify issues that might have been overlooked.  She would want an expert in the field during the construction.  Ms. Allen noted that, for the tree restoration plan, a professional arborist would have to be hired.

Ms. Allen opened the public hearing on the Francy application.  Ms. Allen noted that the Planning Board received in their packets tonight a document (memorandum) from Ira Lipton, the adjacent property owner residing at 55 Old Post Road North.  

Mr. Lipton came forward and said that it would seem to him that the purpose of the photographs and front elevation plan shown to the Planning Board tonight is (would be) to demonstrate how the new house would fit into the neighborhood.  Mr. Lipton said that what the photographs and elevation plan do not show is a side view rendering of the house from the perspective of a person standing in his driveway looking up.  Mr. Lipton said that the house would have a walk-out basement and from his vantage point on his driveway he would see an embankment, a retaining wall, the house foundation, a first story, second story and a gabled roof.  He would see before him a “towering” structure in the range of 40’ to 45’ in height.  

Mr. Lipton said that, with respect to drainage, the Applicant has assured the Planning Board that there would be no adverse impacts on the Lipton property.  Mr. Lipton noted that puddles of water form on his lawn even after a routine rain storm.  Mr. Lipton reiterated that he experiences some flooding even with a modest rain.  Mr. Lipton expressed concern that the flooding on his property would be exacerbated, given the fact that the land in front and uphill from him would be denuded of vegetation. Mr. Lipton pointed out that his front yard “is on the receiving end of water flowing downhill.”  He questioned how a 100-year storm could not result in more water in his front yard.  He was concerned that even a 10-year storm could cause flooding with the scrub brush, trees and their root system(s) no longer there to absorb the water.

Mr. Lipton made reference to the catch basins being shown on the Applicant’s plan and said that in his research catch basins and drywells often fail.  They collect sediment from runoff, and the drains become clogged.  When clogged, the water backs up and floods out of the catch basin. Mr. Lipton said that he would have to depend on his neighbor to clean out the catch basins.  Mr. Lipton suggested that the Village should hire their own expert on drainage systems.  He is confident that, if the Village were to hire an expert, he/she would say that the Applicant would require something better for the drainage than what is currently being proposed.  Mr. Luntz pointed out that there is a sediment collection device at the bottom of the driveway, which would make what Mr. Lipton just said about the catch basins a moot point.  Mr. Luntz added that, according to the Applicant’s engineer, all the water from the newly created impervious surfaces would be captured and directed to the Village’s drainage system through drywells. The Applicant’s engineer has (also) stated that the water currently being discharged onto the Lipton property would still do so; however, the amount of water would not increase in volume but would be the same as it exists today.  Mr. Lipton said that the Planning Board does not have a plan before them to ensure that, once the trees and vegetation are removed and replaced by a lawn (grass) and landscaping, the volume of water would remain the same.  Mr. Lipton said that another issue that might affect the drainage is the installation of retaining walls.  He has not yet seen a construction drawing for the retaining walls. The Applicant has provided a cross section, but he (Mr. Lipton) does not know if this cross section pertains to the retaining wall being proposed along his driveway.    

The Village Engineer asked Mr. Lipton if, when it rains, water accumulates in his basement and in his front yard, to which Mr. Lipton said that, indeed, it does. Mr. Lipton said that, if it is a torrential rainstorm, he gets water in his basement; this happens about twice a year.  

Mr. Lipton noted that the lot in question is a small lot in a tightly packed neighborhood.  He would be concerned about the increase in traffic on this section of Old Post Road North.  Mr. Lipton was concerned about traffic congestion on this already heavily travelled road during construction.  He gave as an example the congestion that would undoubtedly occur on the days when the trees are being removed and carried off-site.  Mr. Lipton was also concerned about the impact on the neighbors of the noise from the construction.    

Mr. Lipton said that, to date, the engineering work performed by the Applicant’s engineer for this lot is the same as for any routine lot, yet the lot in question is not just “any old 8,000 square-foot lot.”  Mr. Wegner pointed out to those present that the lot in question is actually 12,000 square feet in size.  It is a 12,000 square-foot lot with 8,000 square feet of disturbance being proposed.  Mr. Lipton stated that, with respect to the steep slopes and the overall disturbance being proposed, the entirety of the building is on a steep slope.  Mr. Lipton stated that there would be a house and terraced land and no steep slopes on the property after the house is built.  Mr. Lipton said that his understanding of the law is that a house would have to be built in such a way as to avoid the destruction and disturbance of steep slopes.  He pointed out that on a large scale development the houses would be sited accordingly.  Mr. Lipton said that the current situation is “odd” because, due to the small size of the lot, there is no way in which to move the house to avoid the steep slopes. As a result, the slopes are being disturbed in their entirety.  Mr. Lipton reiterated that the Planning Board is being asked to allow a house to be built that would eradicate the steep slopes.  Mr. Lipton said that he, personally, would think that this parcel is unbuildable.  He suggested that the Planning Board should seek the advice of the Village Attorney in this regard.

Mr. Lipton said that he is unable to tell by looking at the drawings where exactly the wall along his driveway is going to be built.  He would think that the retaining wall would be built on top of the embankment.  He would assume there would be some kind of foundation.  He questioned how this wall could be built without destroying the trees on his side of the property line.  Mr. Lipton said that the Planning Board does not have enough information on how the retaining wall would be built to know whether building this wall would destroy the trees on his side. He questioned again the legality of building a house on this lot and suggested that the Planning Board should seek the opinion of the Village Attorney. Mr. Lipton said that he would agree with Ms. Allen that experts in the field should be hired by the Village to review various aspects of this application e.g., potential traffic problems, drainage issues, etc.          

Janet Regis of 63 Old Post Road North came forward and told the Planning Board about the flooding problems she had during Hurricane Floyd.  Ms. Regis said that during Hurricane Floyd water flowed down the road and accumulated behind her house undermining the earth and uprooting the trees.  The trees came down and her land collapsed. Ms. Regis noted that it was very costly to correct the problems on her property caused by Hurricane Floyd. She described the course of action and the remediation measures that they had to take.  Ms. Regis expressed concern that building on the Francy lot would cause a recurrence of the flooding that took place on her property during Hurricane Floyd. Mr. Aarons asked Ms. Regis how building a house on the Francy property is going to change the water course that she is describing.  Her (Ms. Regis’) house is the neighboring house situated uphill from the Francy property. Ms. Regis said that she would be concerned about the impact on the drainage of the retaining walls being proposed.  She said that these walls “create a problem in and of themselves.”  Ms. Regis explained to the board members that, at present, any excess water runoff goes into the forest and spreads out. She would be concerned that the walls would change the course of the drainage. Ms. Regis expressed concern that, during heavy rains, the retaining walls would force the excess storm water to form a gully and flow like a river. Ms. Regis suggested to the Planning Board that, to protect the neighboring property owners from these potentially adverse impacts, the Planning Board should require a bond from the contractor/developer that covers the value of their (the neighbors’) houses.           

Ms. Regis noted that, as part of this project, the Applicant would be adding another driveway onto Old Post Road North.  The driveway would be on a blind corner. Ms. Regis noted that there are far more children than there used to be on this road.  Ms. Regis said that she would think that the Village should be thinking very carefully about potential liability issues.

John Mastracchio of 49 Old Post Road North was present.  Mr. Mastracchio said that he has seen some of the homes that the developer (John Nikic) has built and they are “quite nice.”  He would be curious, however, about the “saleability” of this or any other house in this economic climate/recession.  Mr. Mastracchio noted that aesthetically, from the side and rear view, this house is going to be a “poke in the eye” to the neighbors.  Mr. Mastracchio said that it is his understanding of Village Law that there are zoning laws in place to protect neighboring property owners. He would think that, before approving this application, the Planning Board would have to look closely at “Who’s profiting [from the building of this house] and at what expense?”  

Christopher Mahoney of 45 Old Post Road North expressed concern about the storm water drainage system being proposed stating that, when it rains heavily, water courses down the middle of Old Post Road North. Mr. Mahoney noted to the board members that he has seen significant problems with drainage during the summer months and in the wintertime the situation can be dangerous with ice forming on the road.  Mr. Mahoney said that the impacts of the drainage should be examined very closely.  He agreed that an expert in the field should be hired to look into the drainage issue(s). Mr. Wegner noted that the storm drainage system for the Francy property would tie into the Village system underground and not be a “surface flow.”  

Mr. Wegner pointed out on the Applicant’s plan the catch basins being shown.  

Mr. Lipton noted that it states in the Steep Slopes Law that the proposed disturbance should “constitute the minimum disturbance necessary to ensure the property owner a reasonable use of the property.”  Mr. Lipton said that the question he would ask is: “Does one have to have a house that is more than the minimum required?”  In this case, the house exceeds the minimum floor area required. Mr. Lipton also questioned the necessity of having flat yards, which require extensive retaining wall construction. He pointed out that the developer of the Francy property has not yet established the necessity for these features.  Mr. Lipton said that there has been no showing at all from the developer that this house is economically necessary and essential.  

Ms. Allen said that the Planning Board would postpone the closing of the public hearing tonight and continue the public hearing at some point in the near future (probably one month from now).  

Mr. Gochman asked if the Planning Board would want the Applicant to submit to the Planning Board recommendations on experts. Ms. Allen said that the Planning Board would ask the Village Engineer to submit these recommendations.  The Village Engineer should identify experts in the field on issues that were brought up tonight.  Mr. Aarons noted that hydrology/drainage and landscaping were a few of the areas of concern brought up tonight.  Ms. Allen said that she would (also) want an engineer hired who could look at the overall construction sequence being proposed.  Ms. Regis said that she would think the Planning Board would also want to hire a traffic engineer.  The Village Engineer said that he would collect resumes from the various professionals that the board desires and come up with a list.  Ms. Allen suggested that, perhaps, the Village Engineer could prepare this list in time for the Planning Board to review at the next meeting.   Ms. Allen said that the financial arrangements for hiring these professionals would have to be sorted out by the Village Engineer’s office.  The Applicant would be responsible for providing escrow monies.

The Planning Board decided to continue the public hearing on this application at the first Planning Board meeting in June.

  • 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 – Report from the Village’s Consultant, RCC Consultants, Inc.
Anthony Gioffre III, Esq., of Cuddy & Feder LLP; Christopher Olson of Airwave Solutions, Inc.; Vincent Xavier of HPC Development; and Donald Dedrick of Tectonic Engineering were present to represent the Applicant.  Douglas Fishman of RCC Consultants, Inc. was also present.

Mr. Gioffre noted that, at a previous meeting of the Planning Board, he (Mr. Gioffre) gave a presentation on the MetroPCS collocation application. Mr. Gioffre stated that the Village’s radio frequency engineering firm, RCC Consultants, Inc., has since reviewed this application and has provided to the Planning Board their report dated April 30, 2009.  Mr. Gioffre noted that his office has submitted a supplemental report dated May 7, 2009 in response to the comments in the RCC report.

Chairman Kehoe stated that he has read the report from Douglas Fishman of RCC Consultants, Inc., and he would think, judging by the report, that the issues raised were not substantial in nature. It is his (Chairman Kehoe’s) understanding that some clarification and/or additional information from the Applicant are required.  Mr. Fishman noted to the board members that he has reviewed tonight the responses to his report provided by the Applicant, and the responses would adequately address the technical issues that he brought up.  Mr. Fishman said that, in his view, the MetroPCS application is “in order” from a technical standpoint.

Mr. Aarons referred to the Applicant’s radio frequency compliance report and noted that, according to this report, MetroPCS’s antennas would be operating at the 2130-2140 MHz frequency level, to which Mr. Gioffre said that this is, indeed, the case.  Mr. Gioffre said that Cingular (AT&T) is licensed to operate in the 850 MHz frequency band and Sprint-Nextel in the 851 MHz frequency band.  Mr. Gioffre said that each carrier must “propagate signals within its designated spectrum.”

Chairman Kehoe referred to the Applicant’s coverage map(s) and noted that, with the installation of the MetroPCS antennas, the cell phone coverage “is still not great but better than it was.”  Mr. Gioffre referred to the coverage map shown in Exhibit 3 and stated that the green area represents the coverage from the subject site.  Mr. Gioffre said that MetroPCS’s antennas would be at the lowest position on the monopole.  MetroPCS would be proposing additional sites, as designated on the map by the blue rings with yellow dots in the center.  Mr. Gioffre noted that all of the sites being proposed by MetroPCS are for collocations.  MetroPCS would not be “reinventing the wheel” by proposing to build a new cell tower.  Mr. Gioffre stated that the green area on the map is the coverage from the subject site; the blue area is the coverage from the surrounding planned sites including the existing and proposed sites.     

Mr. Aarons referred to the Applicant’s elevation drawing that showed the proposed location of the MetroPCS antennas.  He asked from which point, at ground level, the height of the antennas is measured.  Mr. Gioffre said that the height of the antennas is measured from the average grade level to the middle of the antenna(s).  Mr. Gioffre stated that the MetroPCS antennas would be situated at the 100-foot mark on the monopole.  

Mr. Gioffre noted that it was always contemplated that there would be five carriers collocating on the monopole at the DPW site.  Metro PCS is the fourth carrier proposing to collocate on the monopole.  Chairman Kehoe said that it is his understanding that the Planning Board would be going through the review process once again for Verizon, to which Mr. Gioffre said that, indeed, Verizon would be coming before the board with a collocation application. Mr. Gioffre said that five carriers were depicted in the visual simulations provided to the Planning Board at the time that the tower (monopole) application was before the board.  Verizon would be the fifth and final carrier to seek the board’s approval.

Mr. Aarons referred to the diagram on the Applicant’s plan showing the configuration of the antennas and asked the Applicant to explain the “3 o’clock position” of the antennas.  Mr. Gioffre said that the aerial view of the cell tower shows three sectors of antennas with two antennas per sector.  The antennas are pointed in a 3 o’clock, as opposed to a 6 o’clock or 12 o’clock, position.   Mr. Gioffre referred the Planning Board members to the diagram on page 6 of the radio frequency report and said that this diagram shows the vertical-plane pattern of the antennas in the 3 o’clock position.

Mr. Gioffre noted to the Planning Board that they (the Applicant) used projected reliable modeling for determining the amount of coverage.

The Village Engineer noted that, should the Village Board grant this application for a special permit, the Applicant MetroPCS would have to come back before the Planning Board for a site plan approval.  A public hearing would be required.  Ms. Allen noted that MetroPCS would also have to come 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).

Chairman Kehoe asked if there were any other comments from the board members, to which there were none.

Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to make a positive recommendation to the Village Board on the granting of a special permit to MetroPCS for the collocation on the monopole at the DPW site.  The motion was made by Ms. Allen, seconded by Mr. Aarons and carried by a vote of 4 to 0.  

Chairman Kehoe noted that the Planning Board would prepare a memorandum to the Village Board and include, as an attachment, a list of the technical reports/materials submitted in support of this application.     

The minutes of the Tuesday, April 14, 2009 Planning Board meeting were approved on a motion by Mr. Aarons, seconded by Ms. Allen 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 10:35 P.M.


Sylvia Mills


WHEREAS, the Planning Board held a public hearing on a Change of Use application on Tuesday, May 12, 2009 for Liz Jacobson and Amy Rosato, hereafter known as “the Applicant,” said property owned by the Estate of Paul Hoffman and located at 139 Grand Street.  The property is in the C-1 Zoning District and is designated on the Tax Map of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson as Section 67.20 Block 3 Lot 18; and

WHEREAS, the proposed Change of Use is from a law office to a specialty boutique; and

WHEREAS, the Planning Board has discussed the proposed sign with the Applicant and approves the concept of the sign and the sign location; and

WHEREAS, under the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), the Planning Board has determined that this project is a Type II Action, which is not subject to review under SEQRA.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Change of Use application, as shown on a site plan of the property provided by the Village Engineer to show the railing being proposed for the existing porch, and a site plan submitted for a previous building permit provided by the Village Engineer to show that the parking lot is to be re-striped, received by the Planning Board on April 24, 2009, be approved subject to the following conditions:

that the sign application be submitted to the Village Engineer’s office for approval including review of the application by the VEB.  If the design of the sign is not generally consistent with what was presented to the Planning Board, it shall be referred back to the Planning Board for approval.
that the parking lot on the southwesterly side of the property be re-striped.

that the Planning Board waives the required number of off-street parking spaces (from eight to seven spaces). One parking space shall be made a handicap space.
In the event that this Change of Use 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, Chairman
                                                Mark Aarons
                                                Fran Allen
                                                Vincent Andrews
                                                Robert Luntz
Motion to approve by Mr. Luntz, seconded by Ms. Allen and carried by a vote of 4 to 0. Board member Vincent Andrews was absent from the meeting.    

Resolution accepted with the minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday, May 12, 2009.

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