VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON, NEW YORK
PLANNING BOARD MEETING MINUTES – TUESDAY, JUNE 23, 2009
A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 in the Municipal Building.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chris Kehoe, Chairman
ABSENT: Robert Luntz
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.
2. PUBLIC HEARING CONTINUED:
- Margo Francy – 57 Old Post Road North (Sec. 67.20 Blk. 2 Lot 27) – Application for a Steep Slope Permit – Second Request for an Adjournment
Chairman Kehoe stated that he is recused on this application; board member Fran Allen will act as chairperson.
Ms. Allen stated that the Planning Board has received a letter from the Applicant’s attorney John Gochman dated June 18, 2009 requesting a second adjournment of the public hearing on Margo Francy’s application for a Steep Slope Permit. The Applicant is requesting that the public hearing be adjourned to the first Planning Board meeting in July (Tuesday, July 14th). Ms. Allen read aloud Mr. Gochman’s letter. Ms. Allen asked if the Planning Board had any objections to this request for an adjournment, to which the board members had no objections.
Ms. Allen entertained a motion to adjourn the public hearing to the next regularly scheduled Planning Board meeting to be held on Tuesday, July 14th. The motion was made by Mr. Andrews, seconded by Mr. Aarons and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.
3. OLD BUSINESS:
- Tom & Carlene Fallacaro – 3 Arrowcrest Drive (Sec. 67.15 Blk. 1 Lot 33) – Applications for a Modification to the Building Envelope, a Steep Slope Permit and a Wetlands Activity Permit for an Existing Retaining Wall and Other Site Improvements
Norman Sheer, Esq. of Bank, Sheer, Seymour & Hashmall and Tom Fallacaro, owner of the property, were present for this application.
The Village Attorney James Staudt told the board members that he has informed the Applicant’s attorney Norman Sheer that, before discussing the Fallacaro application tonight, the Planning Board would like to go into a private session to seek advice of counsel.
Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to go into a private session with the Village Attorney. The motion was made by Mr. Aarons, seconded by Ms. Allen and carried by a vote of 4 to 0.
The Planning Board left the meeting room. Upon returning 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. Andrews and carried by a vote of 4 to 0.
Mr. Sheer noted that, at the last meeting on this application, the Village Engineer said that he would review the two engineering reports submitted, i.e., the Ground Penetrating Radar Report prepared by Bernard Grossfield and the Drainage and Hydrology Analysis prepared by Ralph Mastromonaco. The Village Engineer told Mr. Sheer that, with respect to the structural analysis of the wall, he is probably going to have McLaren Engineering review the Ground Penetrating Radar Report. He would ask for a quote and let the Applicant know the cost(s) involved. Mr. Sheer said that, according to Mr. Mastromonaco, an annual test could be performed on the wall to see if any movement has taken place. Mr. Mastromonaco explained to him (Mr. Sheer) how the test works, stating that certain points are fixed in the wall,
which are then checked with a laser on a yearly basis. Mr. Sheer noted that McLaren Engineering might have some other ideas on the types of tests that could be performed.
Chairman Kehoe asked the Village Engineer to explain the drainage report submitted. The Village Engineer noted that Mr. Mastromonaco refers to Watershed 1 and Watershed 2 in his drainage analysis. Mr. Mastromonaco states in his report that the water flows into two pipes, which are designated as Pipe 1 and Pipe 2. The method used to test the flow is to put a camera through the pipe and take a video. The Village Engineer said that he would think that Mr. Mastromonaco measured the capacity of the pipes at the catch basins. The Village Engineer said that he would want to see a map of both Watershed 1 and Watershed 2 to check the boundaries and be certain that they are acceptable. He would want to be certain that the full capacity of these pipes is available to handle the flow. Ms. Allen noted that, according
to the report, Mr. Mastromonaco’s topographical mapping for the watersheds is taken from digital maps dating back to 1996. Ms. Allen questioned what was “going on” with the drainage at this site in 1996 and if the larger watersheds in this area were taken into consideration. The Village Engineer reiterated that he would want to take a look at the watershed maps to be certain that the information gathered from these maps corresponds to what would be appropriate for a present-day analysis.
Ms. Allen asked Mr. Sheer when the Arrowcrest Subdivision was approved by the Planning Board, to which Mr. Sheer said that the subdivision was approved in 1993 or 1994. Ms. Allen noted that the site plan for the subdivision was laid out with the knowledge of the water flows at that point in time. Ms. Allen noted further that the layout of where the drainage system would go was done before 1996. She questioned whether this date (1996) is (would be) relevant to this application. Ms. Allen asked if there was an earlier “topo” that Mr. Mastromonaco could have used, stating that the site plan on the Fallacaro property was based on conditions that were earlier than 1996. The Village Engineer said that he does not know why Mr. Mastromonaco is using a 1996 “topo.” Arrowcrest Subdivision was approved
earlier than that. Mr. Sheer told the Planning Board that he would ask Mr. Mastromonaco why he used this particular “topo.” The Village Engineer said that he would recommend that Mr. Mastromonaco use the most up-to-date “topo” for this drainage analysis. Ms. Allen said that the Planning Board should also examine the site plan for this development (Arrowcrest) because the site plan was carefully thought out taking into consideration all of the existing watercourses.
Mr. Sheer noted that in the end the house on the Fallacaro lot was not built as the Planning Board’s approved site plan required it to be built. Furthermore, Mr. Fallacaro did not build the house on this lot. Ms. Allen said that it is true that Mr. Fallacaro did not build the house; however, when the house on this lot was built, the drainage was in a different place than it is now. Ms. Allen said that this raises an issue about the value of Mr. Mastromonaco’s documentation. Mr. Sheer said again that he would ask Mr. Mastromonaco why he used the 1996 “topo” and if it would make any difference in the analysis if he had used a 1993-94 “topo.”
The Village Engineer said that the Planning Board is the approving authority for the Wetlands Activity Permit. The Planning Board would ask the Water Control Commission (WCC) to make a recommendation. Mr. Sheer noted to the board members that the Applicant has been before the WCC; the WCC is waiting for the Planning Board to do their review/analysis of the drainage.
Ms. Allen said that the Planning Board would need to review the original site plan to know why the drainage system on the property was put where it was. Mr. Sheer said that he is not certain that this question about the drainage could be answered. “We don’t know why it [the drainage] was moved from the front to the back of the house.”
The Village Engineer said that he would ask for a quote from McLaren Engineering on the cost(s) of doing a structural analysis on the wall. Mr. Sheer told the board members that he would have Mr. Mastromonaco contact the Village Engineer regarding the drainage.
Chairman Kehoe noted that one of the Applicant’s earlier submissions contained a document that laid out the approvals required from the various Village boards. Chairman Kehoe thought that it would be useful for the Planning Board to look at this document again. Mr. Sheer asked Chairman Kehoe if he would like the Applicant to resubmit to the board this outline of the approvals required, to which Chairman Kehoe said, yes.
Mr. Sheer asked that this item be put on the agenda for the meeting of July 14th. Mr. Sheer said that they (the Applicant) would try to submit the materials required well in advance of the meeting.
- Rakis, Inc. (Peter Tsagarakis) – 215 South Riverside Avenue (Sec. 79.09 Blk. 1 Lot 54) – Application for an Amended Site Plan for the Croton Colonial Diner – Declaration of Intent to Become Lead Agency
The Village Engineer explained to the Planning Board that this application for the expansion of the parking lot at the Croton Colonial Diner is considered an Unlisted Action under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). The project is an Unlisted Action because the area involved is more than 4,000 square feet in size. The Village Engineer said that, typically, for an application such as this one, the Planning Board would act as the Lead Agency. The Declaration of Intent to Become Lead Agency starts the SEQRA process. The Village Engineer noted that this item is going before the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). He would think that the ZBA would not object to the Planning Board’s being the Lead Agency.
Ms. Allen asked the Village Engineer to explain the scope of the project being proposed. The Village Engineer stated that the basic application is to expand and modify the parking lot. The Applicant’s vacant lot on 6 Hudson Street would be used for parking. The Village Engineer noted that the ZBA would have to issue a Special Permit for commercial parking in a residential zoning district. Also, the Special Permit granted by the ZBA for parking along Bungalow Road has expired and must be renewed. Finally, the Applicant is seeking a variance for the removal of the guide rail between the back parking area on Bungalow Road and the main parking area.
Chairman Kehoe recalled that, at a previous meeting on this application, Mr. Luntz had asked that the garbage/dumpster area be redesigned. Chairman Kehoe referred to the Applicant’s revised plan submitted for tonight’s meeting and noted that the dumpster has been moved to a location directly behind the diner next to the truck loading area, as was discussed.
The Village Engineer noted that, in their review of this application, the ZBA would address many of the same issues as the Planning Board e.g., the screening of the new parking area from neighboring properties.
Chairman Kehoe recalled that the Applicant’s revised plan submitted for the last meeting showed that the steep slopes disturbance required for the proposed parking had been greatly reduced; a Steep Slopes Permit would no longer be required.
The Village Engineer noted to the Planning Board that the Applicant demolished the house on 6 Hudson Street and had the right to do so.
Chairman Kehoe asked if the next step would be for the Applicant go before the ZBA, to which the Village Engineer said, yes. The Village Engineer added that, if the Applicant were granted the approvals from the ZBA, then, the Applicant would be in a position to come back before the Planning Board.
The Village Engineer noted that the Planning Board had made a recommendation to the ZBA in February 2009 to grant the approvals, which are required for the parking and guide rail.
The Village Engineer said that the only reason this application is before the Planning Board tonight is for the Planning Board to declare its intent to become the lead agency under SEQRA.
Chairman Kehoe asked if there were any other comments, to which there were none.
Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion for the Planning Board to declare its intent to become the lead agency. The motion was made by Mr. Andrews, seconded by Mr. Aarons and carried by a vote of 3-0-1. Ms. Allen abstained.
- Belarmino & Virginia Anton – 337 South Riverside Avenue (Sec. 79.13 Blk. 1 Lot 62) – Application for an Amended Site Plan Approval
Belarmino & Virginia Anton, owners of the property, were present.
Chairman Kehoe stated that the Planning Board has received a revised set of plans with a cover letter from the Applicant’s architect that explains what has transpired since the last meeting.
Chairman Kehoe noted that the first revision to the Applicant’s plans described in the architect’s letter is doubling the size of the addition in the back for the purpose of reducing the construction costs to the Applicant. Mrs. Anton stated that, at some point in the future, she and her husband would like to add an additional apartment on the second floor. It would be less costly in the long run to do the construction in this way than in the way originally being proposed. Chairman Kehoe noted that the proposed addition in the back of the building was revised from a two-story addition of 441 square feet per floor to a one-story addition of 858 square feet. Chairman Kehoe noted that this addition would extend farther back on the property, which would affect the ability to put additional parking spaces in
the back area.
Chairman Kehoe said that the second revision pertains to the on-site parking requirements. The Village Engineer explained the way in which the parking requirements were ultimately interpreted, stating that a factor of 1 space per 250 square feet was applied to all “service floor” areas. The dining area was considered to be a “service floor” area; the bathrooms, storage rooms, entry vestibule and mechanical areas were excluded from the parking calculations. Excluding these areas reduced the number of parking spaces required to 27 spaces. The Village Engineer stated that the total spaces provided would be 28. One additional parking space would be provided by creating three compact car spaces. The Village Engineer noted that the critical issue would be the eight-foot width of the compact car spaces. Chairman Kehoe said that if it is agreed that 27 spaces are required, he would prefer having space #29 eliminated and increasing the size of spaces #’s 13 and 14 to make it easier for
vehicles to maneuver in and out. He would think that #’s 13 and 14 would otherwise be difficult to get in and out of. The Village Engineer noted that the architect counted the future dwelling unit (second-floor apartment) in his parking calculations. Chairman Kehoe asked if there is an existing apartment above the restaurant, to which Mrs. Anton said that, indeed, there is. The Village Engineer said that he would contact the Applicant’s architect and work with him on revising the plan for the parking.
Mr. Aarons asked the Applicant if they intend to use landscaping to screen the dumpster area, to which Mr. Anton said that the area would be enclosed by a wood fence. The Village Engineer noted that, with respect to the garbage pick-ups for the restaurant, the Village would pick up the garbage twice a week. If a daily pick-up were required, the Applicant would have to “contract out with a commercial establishment.” Chairman Kehoe stated that, in so far as the garbage is concerned, he would want to try to prevent any issues with the Village’s sanitation workers regarding parking in front of the dumpsters, double-stacking, etc.
Chairman Kehoe brought up the issue of on-street parking for employees of the restaurant and asked the Village Engineer if there were any time restrictions on the parking along the street in the front, to which the Village Engineer said that he does not think so.
Mr. Aarons asked about the possibility for valet parking, to which the Village Engineer replied that, to date, he has never seen any valet parking in the Village.
The Village Engineer noted that, at the last meeting, Mr. Luntz had suggested that a centralized curb cut be installed for entering the parking lot from South Riverside Avenue. The Village Engineer said that the Applicant’s revised plan does not include relocating the entry into the parking lot but instead proposes to keep the curb cuts as they are. The Village Engineer noted that, if the curb were centered, it would be possible to create a few additional parking spaces; however, the Applicant meets the parking requirements with the revised parking arrangement presently being proposed.
Chairman Kehoe said that he would think that the pedestrian outdoor eating component of the Applicant’s proposal would be important for the Planning Board to discuss. He noted that the architect was very general in his description of the outdoor dining area. The Planning Board would want to have more details on this aspect of the proposal.
The Village Engineer suggested that the Planning Board could decide tonight whether or not to call the public hearing on this application. Chairman Kehoe said that he, personally, thinks that the public hearing could be scheduled; any remaining issues, such as the outdoor dining, could be discussed at the public hearing. Mr. Andrews agreed and said that he, too, would like to have a more detailed explanation of what is being proposed for the outdoor dining. Mr. Anton expressed concern about the suggestion made at the last meeting to raise the area for the outdoor dining, stating that it might be a tripping hazard for the customers, waiters, etc.
Ms. Allen said that she would suspect that the purpose of the pavers in the front of the building would be to soften the “squareness” of the building. The Village Engineer described the layout/arrangement for people entering the restaurant stating that a person would go from the sidewalk to the pavers to the raised seating area and would eventually reach the front door. The curb cuts on both sides along the front would remain with landscaped islands in between. The Village Engineer noted to those present that there is an existing paved area on the other side, which could be an unwanted heat source in the summertime. He would also be concerned about a possible tripping hazard for people walking on and off the pavers. Chairman Kehoe said that he would like to see from the architect some samples or
photographs of the types of pavers that might be used. Chairman Kehoe said that he realizes that Mr. Aarons had suggested having a raised outdoor seating area defined by planters. Chairman Kehoe said again that the Planning Board would want more detailed information on the treatment for the outdoor dining area.
Mr. Andrews said that he, personally, does not like the oval-shaped planting area being shown on the Applicant’s revised plans. It “cuts into the heart” of the outdoor dining. Mr. Aarons said that, for him, the oval-shaped planting area would be a “plus,” as it would separate (screen) the street from the outdoor dining area. Mr. Aarons said that he, too, would want more details on the architect’s treatment for the outdoor dining.
Mr. Aarons said that it is his understanding from the architect’s cover letter that the Applicant intends to re-use the existing sign pole by cutting it down and mounting a new sign on it.
Chairman Kehoe referred to the Applicant’s elevation plans and noted that the Applicant now intends to paint the existing stucco surfaces to match the color of the new EIFS exterior of the proposed additions and front facade.
Ms. Allen said that she, personally, thinks that the proposed additions/renovations to this site are going to be a big improvement.
Chairman Kehoe pointed out that, at the last meeting on this application, Mr. Luntz had questions/concerns about the parking arrangement, curb cuts, etc. Mr. Luntz had recommended that the entry into the parking lot should be centered. His reasons for recommending a centralized curb cut included the aesthetics of the parking lot from the street, the maneuverability of vehicles in and out of the parking spaces, etc. Chairman Kehoe noted that the Applicant proposes to keep the curb cuts as that presently exist. Unfortunately, Mr. Luntz was unable to attend the meeting tonight to provide his comments. Chairman Kehoe said that, for the next meeting (public hearing) the Planning Board would want to have Mr. Luntz’s input.
Chairman Kehoe suggested that, for the next meeting, the Village Engineer should talk to the Applicant’s architect about condensing the three compact car parking spaces down to two spaces.
Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to schedule the public hearing on this application for the next regularly scheduled Planning Board meeting to be held on Tuesday, July 14th. The motion was made by Ms. Allen, seconded by Mr. Andrews and carried by a vote of 4 to 0.
4. NEW BUSINESS:
- MetroPCS New York, LLC – Application for Site Plan Approval for the Collocation of a Personal Wireless Services Facility at the DPW Facility, Veteran’s Plaza
Anthony Gioffre, Esq. of Cuddy & Feder LLP was present to represent the Applicant.
Chairman Kehoe noted that the Planning Board had recommended to the Village Board that the Special Permit for MetroPCS be granted. The Village Board granted the Special Permit at their meeting of June 15, 2009. The Applicant is presently before the Planning Board for a Site Plan Approval.
Mr. Gioffre reviewed the SEQRA process for this application, stating that the Village Board adopted a Negative Declaration for this Unlisted Action at their meeting of June 15, 2009. Also the Waterfront Advisory Committee (WAC) found this project to be consistent with the Village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) at their meeting of Wednesday, June 10, 2009.
Mr. Gioffre stated that the equipment for the antennas would be located within the fenced-in compound at the base of the cell tower. The antennas themselves would be situated on the cell tower 100 feet above grade level.
Ms. Allen said that, with respect to the WAC’s review of this application, the documentation on the MetroPCS proposal received by the WAC was not up-to-date. She would want to be sure that the Applicant submitted for the final record a complete set of documents including all of the revisions. Ms. Allen stated that, once the review process is complete, the documentation for the final record should be put into one packet. Mr. Gioffre stated that they (his firm) had submitted all supplements/revisions to all boards, to which Ms. Allen reiterated that a complete set of documents put into one packet should be submitted. The final record should not be by reference to other documents. Mr. Gioffre assured Ms. Allen that the documentation the Village has received during the application process is “supplemented
and not replaced,” to which Ms. Allen said that the documentation should be altogether in one packet. She noted that this would (also) make it easier for someone who, in the future, might wish to look at the MetroPCS documentation.
Ms. Allen referred to the condition in the Special Permit regarding the batteries for the MetroPCS installation and noted that the site plan submitted for the meeting tonight has no mention (note) on it about this condition. Ms. Allen said that this condition requires that a note be placed on the Applicant’s plan(s) that would give the types of batteries being used and the requirement(s) for their disposal. Ms. Allen told Mr. Gioffre that the WAC had recommended to the Village Board that this condition about the batteries should be a condition of the granting of the Special Permit. Mr. Gioffre suggested to the Planning Board that, rather than revising the site plan, the Applicant could put this note about the batteries on the construction plans submitted with the Building Permit application. Mr. Gioffre
suggested that the Planning Board could make it a condition of their Site Plan approval that this note be placed on these construction drawings. The Village Engineer noted to the board members that a building permit is (would be) issued subject to the conditions of the Special Permit and Site Plan approvals. Any conditions of these approvals would have to be complied with in order for the Certificate of Occupancy to be issued.
Chairman Kehoe asked the Planning Board members if they had any further comments on this application, to which there were none.
Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to schedule the public hearing on this application for the next regularly scheduled Planning Board meeting to be held on Tuesday, July 14th. The motion was made by Mr. Andrews, seconded by Ms. Allen and carried by a vote of 4 to 0.
5. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
The minutes of the Tuesday, May 26, 2009 Planning Board meeting were approved, as amended, on a motion by Mr. Andrews, 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 9:52 P.M.
Village of Croton-on-Hudson