Planning Board Minutes 07/28/2009
VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON, NEW YORK

PLANNING BOARD MEETING MINUTES – TUESDAY, JULY 28, 2009


A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 in the Municipal Building.

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

ALSO PRESENT:           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:

  • Margo Francy – 57 Old Post Road North (Sec. 67.20 Blk. 2 Lot 27) – Application for a Steep Slope Permit (Public Hearing, Continued)
John Gochman, Esq., attorney for the Applicant, was present.

Chairman Kehoe stated that he is recused on this application; board member Fran Allen will act as chairperson.

Mr. Gochman noted that at the last meeting, he submitted a letter to the Planning Board which had, as an attachment, copies of the minutes of the meetings on the Francy application. Mr. Gochman said that these minutes provide a history of what was submitted to the Planning Board by the Applicant’s engineer, Ronald Wegner, who “supplied the board with what they requested.” Mr. Gochman said that he would think that it would be appropriate at this point in time to request that the Planning Board close the public hearing and make a decision on this application.  

Janet Regis of 63 Old Post Road North was present.  Ms. Regis said that she would be opposed to closing the public hearing at this time.  She made note of the present economic downturn in the building industry and said that she would be concerned that a potential builder would start the project and not complete it due to the lack of financing. She would be concerned about the land being cleared and then the house not being built. Mr. Gochman said that the Applicant submitted a site plan to the Planning Board showing the building that would be erected on this site.  Mr. Gochman said that the issue for the Planning Board to address is not the financing of the project; it is whether a steep slope permit should be granted.  Ms. Regis asked if it is known at this time who the builder is (would be), to which Mr. Gochman said that he believes that the builder’s name came up at a prior meeting.  Mr. Gochman said that, “Everything was discussed at various prior meetings.”  He is, therefore, asking the board tonight to close the public hearing and make a decision.

The Village Engineer noted that a steep slope permit, if granted, is valid for three years.  The Village Engineer said that for the building of the house, an applicant (builder/developer/homeowner) would have to seek a minor site plan approval in conjunction with the steep slope permit.  A building permit would then be required for the construction of the house.  The Village Engineer said that (the issuance of) a steep slope permit is the jurisdiction of the Planning Board and, if approved by the Planning Board, there would likely be a set of conditions, which would have to be adhered to.  The Village Engineer noted that the board’s conditions would ultimately have to be met for a Certificate of Occupancy to be issued.  The Village Engineer noted that the applicant for the steep slope permit may not be the individual who builds the house.

The Village Engineer stated that there are also provisions in the Village Code for bonding.  There would have to be bonding for the sedimentation and erosion control and another (second) bond for the improvements that are installed in the ground e.g., the house foundation, retaining walls, etc.  

Michele Patterson of 2 Michael’s Lane asked if this steep slope permit application is subject to an environmental impact study, to which the Village Engineer replied that this application is subject to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA); however, it does not require an environmental impact study. The Village Engineer said that the environmental issues are being addressed through the mitigation that is being proposed.  The Village Engineer noted that an environmental impact study is usually associated with projects of a greater (larger) scale.  Mr. Andrews noted to Ms. Patterson that the environmental issues for this application, to which he believes Ms. Patterson is referring, are addressed in the Steep Slope law.

Ms. Patterson said that it is her understanding that, in order to build on a property, a 100-foot circumference around a natural watercourse is required. She noted that there is a brook that runs behind the Francy property.  Ms. Patterson said that, with respect to the drainage from this site, redirecting the flow of water from a property is not permitted. The Village Engineer told Ms. Patterson that the subject (Francy) property is outside the regulated wetlands area. The regulated wetlands buffer area is 120 feet.  This application falls outside the regulated area and is, therefore, not subject to a wetlands permit. The Village Engineer noted that, in so far as the drainage from this site is concerned, issues pertaining to water runoff/drainage are covered in the Village’s Steep Slope law.

Mr. Luntz noted that, at a previous meeting, the Planning Board had requested that a landscape architect be hired to look at the design and/or the aesthetics of the retaining walls being proposed.  Furthermore, the Planning Board had requested that an engineering consulting firm be hired to look at the drainage, geology of the soils, etc. Mr. Luntz pointed out that the Applicant is coming back tonight to close the public hearing and ask the Planning Board for a decision without abiding by the Planning Board’s request for input from these consultants. Mr. Gochman said that the Applicant’s position is that many of the items requested by the board have already been provided by Ronald Wegner, the Applicant’s engineer.   

Ira Lipton of 55 Old Post Road North recalled that the outcome of the last meeting was that the board needed “independent expertise beyond the Village Engineer.”  This independent consulting firm would be asked to look at landscaping issues having to do with the drainage, water and soils, tree removal, etc.  Mr. Lipton said that the Planning Board decided that it needed an “independent assessment.”  Mr. Lipton noted that the Village Engineer was charged with the responsibility of supplying the Planning Board with names of engineering firms that he deemed capable of providing these services.  Mr. Lipton said that he believes the Village Engineer had begun the process of researching these firms.

Mr. Lipton said that he, too, would be concerned about what Ms. Regis said earlier in the meeting that the project might be started and not completed.  He would be concerned that after the land has been cleared and the foundation put in, the project would “go bust.”  Mr. Lipton said that the end result would be a foundation just sitting there for years on end.  Mr. Lipton expressed concern that the drywells being proposed would become clogged over time, which would create additional drainage problems.  He said that, “[One] cannot depend on neighbors to clean out drywells.” Mr. Gochman said that he would think that most of the issues raised by the board were taken up by the Applicant’s engineer.  The Village’s Steep Slope law makes clear that there are 16 points that have to be followed.  Mr. Wegner went through the points, one by one, and showed where he had submitted documentation that he was in compliance with these 16 factors (points). Mr. Gochman noted that it states in the Steep Slope law that the owner of a property is entitled to a reasonable use of his/her property; if this application is continued for a long time, then Ms. Francy is not going to have a reasonable use of her property. Mr. Gochman reviewed the history of this application, stating that it first came before the board in 2006.  There was a question raised at that time about whether this lot constituted a building lot in the subdivision, which had previously been approved.  This matter was finally resolved. Mr. Gochman said that he came back to the board in August 2008 and asked what the next step would be, to which the Planning Board said that the next step would be to make a formal application.  Mr. Gochman noted that there have been numerous meetings since then.   The Applicant feels that it would be appropriate to close the public hearing at this time.  Mr. Gochman said that, “Whatever the decision is we will go by [it].”

Mr. Lipton said that, with respect to this matter of a reasonable use, it would seem that the Applicant’s attorney is saying that it is a reasonable use “because he said so.”  Mr. Lipton said that there has been no economic analysis offered to ascertain what the least disruptive project could be and still be economically viable.  

Mr. Lipton said that the project being proposed is being built on the entirety of the steep slope.  After the house goes in, the steep slope will be no more.  Mr. Lipton said that he is not sure that this lot is buildable under the Steep Slope law.  He would think that this law was probably intended for development on a larger scale.  The Planning Board should seek the opinion of the Village Attorney in this regard.  

Mr. Gochman said that there is nothing in the Code that defines “reasonable use.”  

Mr. Gochman stated that the Planning Board has to decide whether or not to approve this application. If approved, the work would have to be done in compliance with the steep slope approval.  

Mr. Luntz noted that Mr. Wegner did go through the 16 points in the Steep Slope law and claims to have met all 16 points.  Mr. Luntz said that he is not sure, based on his recollection of the discussion that took place at the meeting, that the board was in agreement with Mr. Wegner on all these points; the board asked for additional information and input from experts in the field.  Mr. Luntz stated that the Planning Board has not received this information, which puts the Planning Board in a difficult situation.  Mr. Luntz said that, “We can close the public hearing and make a decision but it may not be the decision you [the Applicant] want.”

Ms. Allen said that she, personally, would be willing to close the public hearing, as requested.  She asked if there were any other comments from the Planning Board or members of the public, to which Mr. Andrews said that he would be opposed to closing the public hearing as he was not present at the last meeting and is, therefore, not familiar with the requests that were made for additional information.

Ms. Allen asked if there were any other comments, to which there were none.

M.s Allen entertained a motion to close the public hearing.  The motion was made by Mr. Luntz, seconded by Mr. Aarons and carried by a vote of 3 to 1.  Board member Vincent Andrews was opposed.

The Village Engineer noted that, now that the public hearing is closed, the Planning Board has 62 days to make a decision.

Mr. Aarons said that, before taking a vote on this application, he would like to have the opportunity to review what was said on record (board minutes) against what is in the Steep Slope law (the 16 points).  Mr. Andrews said that he would rather not take the vote tonight.  He would think that it would be more appropriate to wait until the next meeting.  Mr. Luntz stated that the next meeting would take place on August 25th.  Mr. Lipton noted that people are on vacation during the month of August; he, personally, would like to be present when the vote is taken.  The Planning Board decided to table the decision/vote on this application until the meeting of Tuesday, September 8th.


3.  OLD BUSINESS:

  • Belarmino & Virginia Anton – 337 South Riverside Avenue (Sec. 79.13 Blk. 1 Lot 62) – Sign Application
Daniel Couto of Dream Awning; Sandra Aceituno, interpretor for Mr. Couto; and Belarmino & Virginia Anton, proprietors of the proposed restaurant, were present.

Chairman Kehoe noted that the Anton’s are before the Planning Board tonight with an application for signage. Their sign application was not submitted with their application for an amended site plan, which was recently approved by the Planning Board.    

Chairman Kehoe noted that the Applicant has been before the Advisory Board on the Visual Environment (VEB) with their sign application. He asked the Anton’s if the VEB had any comments about the free-standing sign being proposed, to which Mr. Anton said that the VEB was concerned about how they (the Applicant) were going to restore and secure the sign. Chairman Kehoe said that, as he understands it, the Applicant would be reusing the existing sign post. The sign sits atop the sign post.  Chairman Kehoe asked Mr. Anton if the VEB had any concerns about the sign being too big. Mr. Anton did not recall any discussion about the size.  Mr. Anton said that they (the Applicant) intend to shorten the sign post. The actual sign would be 54” wide by 36” high.  

Chairman Kehoe said that he would question the need for a free-standing sign, given the wall-mounted building sign also being proposed. Mr. Luntz said that he, personally, could see the Applicant’s desire to have the two signs.  Mr. Aarons noted that the free-standing sign would be between the two curb cuts as opposed to the far side of a curb cut.  His (Mr. Aarons’) observation is that this would be “a bit crowded.”  Chairman Kehoe pointed out that the new free-standing sign would be situated quite close to the street (South Riverside Avenue).

Mr. Luntz asked why the Applicant chose to put a different type face on the two signs.  Mr. Luntz said that he prefers the type face being used for the building sign.  Mr. Anton told Mr. Luntz that the type face on the free-standing sign would also be used for the logo on the menu. Mr. Aarons said that he, too, would prefer the type face on the building sign as opposed to that being used for the free-standing sign.  He said that it is more appealing to the eye.

Mr. Aarons asked what the material of the proposed light box (free-standing) sign would be, to which Mr. Couto replied that the base of the free-standing sign would be aluminum.  Mr. Couto said that the sign would be one foot thick because of the lights inside.  Mr. Anton said that they decided on a light box because they thought that a light box would be preferable to spot lights.  Chairman Kehoe said that he personally thinks that the free-standing sign is too big.  He also did not like the fact that the sign would be internally illuminated.  Ms. Allen agreed that it was too big and said that the sign, as proposed, might also be too bright.  Mr. Couto said that the existing sign is 28” high by 43” wide.  Ms. Allen pointed out that the free-standing sign presently being proposed is considerably bigger (36” high by 54” wide).    

Mr. Aarons said that from the discussion tonight it would seem that the general preference among the board members would be for a flood-lit sign rather than an internally illuminated sign. Mr. Andrews said that what the Planning Board is struggling with is the difference in appearance between the sign on the façade of the building and the free-standing sign. Mr. Andrews said that the façade of the building, with the changes being proposed, has a “classy feel.”  The concern is that the free-standing sign would detract from the aesthetics of the building. Mr. Luntz said that the Planning Board would prefer a spot-lit sign rather than a sign lit from within.  Mr. Anton said that the reason they chose the light box (illuminated) sign is so that people driving from the south to the north would see the sign; otherwise, they might just drive by.  Mr. Luntz told Mr. Anton that, in so far as the illumination is concerned, the board’s suggestion would be to make the sign slightly more understated rather than giving it a “fast-food restaurant” feel.   Mr. Luntz said that the changes to the sign being suggested by the board tonight would be more in keeping with what is being proposed for the building.  

Mr. Luntz noted that, with respect to the height, the existing free-standing sign is higher than the one presently being proposed.  He (Mr. Luntz) would not have a problem with the height or size of the sign being proposed. Chairman Kehoe said (again) that he thinks the sign is too big, too bright and out of scale for the vehicular travel on South Riverside Avenue.  Chairman Kehoe said that he would recommend “rethinking” the free-standing sign.  Ms. Allen said that the Planning Board would also want to see the comments on the signage made by the VEB.  

Ms. Aceituno noted to the board members that the color ivory being used for the free-standing sign would make the lighting somewhat more subdued.  She said that, “It is not going to look like Las Vegas.”  

Chairman Kehoe said that the next meeting of the Planning Board would be Tuesday, August 25th. The Planning Board would want to see the written comments from the VEB by that meeting. Chairman Kehoe suggested that, for the next meeting, the Applicant “may want to think of a sign [design], which is more in keeping with the pedestrian corridor.”  Mr. Andrews said that it would be helpful to the Planning Board to see a photograph of the light box sign described earlier by Ms. Aceituno i.e., a sign with an ivory background illuminated from within.  Mr. Aarons said that he would also like to see an “incandescent” concept for a sign.  Mr. Luntz said that he would agree with the idea, discussed earlier, of spot lighting in this location.  

Mr. Anton asked if the Planning Board would want to see a wooden sign, to which Chairman Kehoe responded that a smaller, indirectly illuminated wooden sign would be “the best.”  Mr. Luntz said again that, in his view, the sign being proposed is not too large.  

Chairman Kehoe told the Anton’s to be in touch with the Village Engineer’s office when they are ready to come back before the board.
        
  • Brian Ackerman/John Harbeson/Lael Morgan – Batten Road (Sec. 68.17 Blk. 2 Lots 7, 8.1 & 9) – Application for a Final Subdivision Plat Approval
Norman Sheer, Esq. of Bank, Sheer, Seymour & Hashmall and Ronald Wegner, P.E. of Cronin Engineering, were present for this application.

Chairman Kehoe stated that he is recused on this application; board member Fran Allen will act as chairperson.

Mr. Sheer said that the final subdivision plat being presented tonight is the same as the preliminary subdivision map except for the relocation of the trail. Mr. Sheer noted that the Applicant received Preliminary Subdivision Approval from the Planning Board on January 15, 2009. The Applicant is before the board tonight for the Final Subdivision Approval.

Mr. Sheer noted that the Village’s Trails Committee has approved the relocation of the trail.

Mr. Sheer stated that the trail and sewer easements have been prepared but not signed. Mr. Sheer suggested that the Planning Board chairman could sign the final subdivision plat tonight but hold the plat and not release it until such time as the easements have been signed.

Ms. Allen suggested that Mr. Sheer could give a brief history of this application.  Mr. Sheer said that, several years ago, the Applicant – Brian Ackerman, John and Ann Harbeson and Lael Morgan – purchased the subject property together. They adjusted the lot lines of the three existing lots without the required subdivision approval. Mr. Sheer noted that they (the Applicant) were unaware of the Village requirements for a subdivision approval.  Once they were made aware of these requirements, they prepared and submitted their application materials and came before the board.  Mr. Sheer noted that they (the Applicant) appeared before the Planning Board with a new arrangement for the three lots. In the new arrangement, the vacant lot was “stretched” so that the lot would be in compliance with the Village’s Steep Slope law.  

Mr. Sheer noted that the Applicant went before the Village Board and asked the Village Board to waive the subdivision requirement.  The application for a lot line adjustment/change was such that, by Code, a waiver could be requested. The Village Board was unwilling to waive the requirement for a subdivision, so the Applicant came back before the Planning Board with their application for a preliminary subdivision approval.

Mr. Sheer noted that the Applicant’s subdivision map has been signed by the Westchester County Health Department.  

Ms. Allen stated for the record that the Planning Board is in receipt of a letter from Chuck Trendell dated July 23, 2009 in which Mr. Trendell asks that the Planning Board reject this application.  Ms. Allen asked if there were any further comments on this application.  Mr. Aarons noted that he was not on the Planning Board when the preliminary subdivision was approved. He asked what the Village Board’s reasoning was for not waiving the subdivision requirement.  Mr. Luntz said that there was much discussion on the part of the neighbors at the meeting of the Village Board.  The neighboring property owners wanted to see a full blown subdivision analysis in front of the Planning Board. The Village Board decided not to waive the subdivision requirement.  Mr. Andrews noted that there are already houses on two of the subject lots.  Only one out of the three lots is vacant. Mr. Andrews noted further that before any construction could take place on this vacant lot, the Applicant would have to come back before the Planning Board with an application for a minor site plan approval.         

Mr. Sheer said that he does not believe that his clients (the Applicant) were trying to “trick the Village” in any way when they moved the lot lines without the necessary approval(s). They simply did not understand the Village requirements for a subdivision.

Ms. Allen asked if there were any further comments, to which there were none.

Ms. Allen said that a draft resolution was prepared for this application. She read aloud the draft resolution. Mr. Sheer noted that the first condition in the resolution regarding the placement of monuments at locations agreed upon by the Village Engineer has been met. Likewise, condition 5 pertaining to the County Health Department approval has been met.  Mr. Andrews suggested removing these items from the conditions and putting them in the recitals, to which the other board members agreed.

Ms. Allen said that condition 2 states that “a note be added to the final subdivision plan that the Village’s environmental consultant shall oversee the site construction.” Ms. Allen suggested that rather than the final plat, the Planning Board could require that this note be put on the plan submitted to the Planning Board for the minor site plan approval.  Ms. Allen said that, likewise, condition 3 regarding the selection of trees/plantings could be changed to read that “the final selection of plantings (trees) shall take place in consultation with the Village’s environmental consultant at the time of the minor site plan approval.”     

Mr. Sheer suggested that a condition should be added that states that the Planning Board Chairman shall sign the final subdivision plat, but the plat shall not be released until the easements (sewer and trail) have been signed.

Ms. Allen entertained a motion to approve this application with the conditions discussed tonight.  The motion to approve was made by Mr. Luntz, seconded by Mr. Andrews and carried by a vote of 3-0-1.  Mr. Aarons abstained.

Ms. Allen, acting as chairperson for this application, signed the Applicant’s final subdivision plat.

  • 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 was present to represent the Applicant.

Mr. Sheer noted to the Planning Board that the Applicant’s engineer, Ralph Mastromonaco, has not yet had an opportunity to run the camera through the drainage pipes to measure the capacity of the flow of water going through the pipes.  Mr. Sheer said he would like to request an adjournment to allow for the completion of this (engineering) work.  The Planning Board had no objections to Mr. Sheer’s request for an adjournment.


4.  NEW BUSINESS:

  • Referral from the Village Board for an Amended Special Permit for Skyview Rehabilitation and Health Care Center
Steven Share, Facility Administrator of Skyview; Michael Bergen, Superintendent of Maintenance and Gene Vetrano, AIA, architect for the Applicant, were present.

Chairman Kehoe stated that it is his understanding that the 470 square-foot addition would be for the sunroom, to which Mr. Vetrano said, yes.  Mr. Vetrano noted that the subject area, which is between the existing driveway and building, is currently a landscaped area.

Ms. Allen said that she, personally, would not be willing to discuss this application until such time as the grinder for the existing sewer system has been installed and is working.  Ms. Allen noted that it was a condition of the approval of the last Amended Special Permit that this grinder be installed within 180 days of the granting of that permit.  The permit was granted in July of 2006, and the grinder was never installed.  Mr. Vetrano said that he believes that Mr. Share had discussed this matter of the grinder with the Village Engineer and the Superintendent of the Department of Public Works.  Mr. Share noted that, with respect to this issue about the installation of a grinder, he was not working at Skyview when the aforementioned Amended Special Permit was granted.  Mr. Share said that he did speak with the Village Engineer about the grinder; he thought, based on their meeting(s) that the grinder was not needed.  Mr. Share said that, in his view, the grinder issue is a separate issue from the current request being made to add a sunroom and patio area. He said that, “For me, [the goal is] to give better care to my residents.”  Mr. Share added that he would not want this application for an addition/patio delayed based on a past, although important issue.  Ms. Allen stated that the grinder issue is, indeed, important.  The problem of odors emanating from the municipal sewer system in this area of the Village is persistent.  Ms. Allen said that in this area (down North Riverside Avenue and in her neighborhood on the north end) odors emanating from the sewer are most prevalent early in the morning around 8:00 A.M. and again in the late afternoon around 5:00 P.M.  Ms. Allen noted that as a result of this problem with sewer odors the neighbors in the vicinity of the nursing home can never plan on being able to use their backyards.

Ms. Allen noted that the opportunity presented itself in 2006 for the Village to “insist” that the grinder be installed.  It was made a condition of the approval for the granting of the last Amended Special Permit. Ms. Allen recalled that Skyview had been asked once before to install the grinder and they did not do it “the first time around” either.  The Village Engineer noted that, in 2006, the Village Board referred the Skyview application to the Planning Board for a recommendation; the condition about installing a grinder was a part of the Planning Board’s recommendation to the Village Board.

Mr. Luntz asked the Village Engineer if he agrees that Skyview does not need a grinder, to which the Village Engineer recalled that, at the meeting(s) he had with the Skyview staff Skyview’s alternative proposal was to pump out the wet well.  The Village Engineer noted that the sewage at Skyview is difficult to handle with pumps.  It is not a typical sewage in that it has a lot of rags in it. The Village Engineer said that a grinder would grind up these rags.  Chairman Kehoe stated that it would seem from what the Village Engineer is saying tonight that the potential solution for the sewage problem at Skyview would, indeed, be the grinder.   

Mr. Share noted that at the time the Village asked that the Applicant install a grinder, the cost of a grinder was $100,000 not including an additional $20,000 for electricity.  Mr. Share said that, in this day and age, the cost would be even more prohibitive. Mr. Share said that, as an alternative, Skyview has offered to double the amount of pump-outs.  Ms. Allen said that, if the Village were to go that route and agree to this alternative proposal, she would want to see a penalty system put in place, given the record of Skyview’s past failure(s) to comply.  Mr. Bergen pointed out that, in so far as this sewage issue is concerned, Skyview is agreeing to absorb the expense of doubling the amount of pump-outs.  This matter has been discussed with the Village Engineer.  Mr. Bergen thought that it was unfair to hold up the application in this way.  

Chairman Kehoe said that if an arrangement has been made to satisfactorily resolve this problem, he would like an explanation of it in writing. Chairman Kehoe said that he is “sorry that the [project for a] sunroom and patio are in the middle of this.” He would think that the Planning Board should have had this information (on the alternative proposal to the grinder now being offered) prior to being given this referral.

Mr. Andrews said that, with respect to the cost of a grinder, he does not remember any discussion the last time the Applicant was before this board about the grinder being cost-prohibitive.  Mr. Andrews asked if any research had been done at that time on the cost of a grinder. He questioned why this issue about cost is coming up now.  Mr. Share said that, due to the cost of a grinder, he would be willing to do whatever it takes to resolve the odor problem that would circumvent putting in a grinder.

Chairman Kehoe reiterated that he would want the Applicant to submit a memorandum to the Planning Board explaining the alternative solution to a grinder presently being proposed.  Mr. Andrews said that the Applicant should explain in their memorandum how this alternative method is going to work to alleviate the odor problems.   

Chairman Kehoe said that he, too, does not remember a discussion about the prohibitive cost of a grinder the last time this Applicant was before the board. Chairman Kehoe said that he understands the Applicant’s position tonight i.e., that the changes being proposed (sunroom/patio) are relatively minor in nature, and these changes would be a benefit to the residents of the nursing home.  Chairman Kehoe said that this new project is not going to “cause more [sewer] odors;” nevertheless, the Planning Board is owed an explanation of why the grinder is not being installed.  

Ms. Allen told the Applicant that, in so far as this project for a sunroom/patio is concerned, they (the Applicant) should not go ahead and build something without the Village’s approval. Ms. Allen recalled that this is what happened the last time.

Chairman Kehoe suggested to the Applicant that they try to submit their memorandum in time for the Planning Board meeting of Tuesday, August 25th.  

  • Referral from the Village Board for a Special Permit for a Child Care Center at 10 Old Post Road South
Desiree Drapala and Tara Drapala, proprietors of the day care facility, and Michael Norton of Ten Old Post Road South Corporation, owner of the property, were present.

Ms. Drapala said that her mother, Tara Drapala, and she have been running Happy Hearts Nursery & Day Care School for the past three years and would like to expand their operation.  Ms. Drapala said that a day care center on 10 Old Post Road South would require a special permit from the Village Board. They were told to go before the Planning Board for a recommendation to the Village Board on the granting of the special permit.

Chairman Kehoe said that the Planning Board is familiar with the subject building, which was formerly Elliott’s.  Ms. Drapala said that they would be taking the top floor of this building for the day care center.  The bottom floor is being used by the former mayor, Gregory Schmidt, for his chiropractic practice.  

Chairman Kehoe said that, according to the Applicant’s letter to the Village Board dated July 6, 2009, the Applicant is proposing a pick-up and drop-off of children at the back of the building. The children would use the side door for access to the inside.  

Ms. Drapala stated that the hours of operation would be 6:30 A.M. to 6:30 P.M.  The day care center would be closed on Saturdays and Sundays.  

Mr. Andrews asked where the employees would park their vehicles, to which Ms. Drapala said that they would be willing to work with the Village on where employees of the day care center would park.  Ms. Drapala noted that her mother, sister and she would car pool; they would need 12 more spaces for their employees.  Chairman Kehoe questioned how the Village would handle all-day parking when the parking in that location is only two-hour parking, to which the Village Engineer said that he would have to review the Code to see if the granting of a special permit overrides the parking restrictions.  Mr. Norton noted that there are 45 spaces in the back parking lot including the side parking and the parking up against the building.  Mr. Luntz said that it is his understanding that the Holy Name of Mary Church and the Village have an agreement that the church can use the municipal parking lot(s).  Mr. Norton said that, with respect to the two-hour limit, he has seen stickers in tenants’ cars that say they can park longer than two hours.

Mr. Aarons asked where the entrance is from the back, to which Ms. Drapala said that the entrance from the back is where the aisle is. Mr. Norton added that to meet their (the day care center’s) needs for an entrance, they would have to build out where the vestibule is now.

Chairman Kehoe said that, as he understands the plan, there would be construction done to the inside of the building but not to the outside, to which Ms. Drapala replied that this is true.  Ms. Drapala noted that they are trying to use everything they can in the building.  She added that the building is workable with their finances.  

Mr. Aarons asked what the age range of the children would be, to which Ms. Drapala said that the range would be from six weeks to five years old.  

Mr. Aarons said that he would think that parents who work in New York City would not be able to get back by 6:30 P.M., to which Ms. Drapala stated that she would be willing to stay open later, if need be. She would do whatever the residents of the Village need.  Mr. Aarons suggested staying open until 7:00 P.M. or, perhaps, even 7:15 P.M. for those parents coming (home) from the City.  

Chairman Kehoe told the Applicant that he, personally, would be willing to move forward with a recommendation; however, before doing so, the Planning Board would require some additional information on the parking, for example, how the employee parking would be handled. Mr. Aarons questioned if, perhaps, to accommodate the parking required, the parking spaces in the back could be rearranged.  Mr. Andrews said that Mr. Luntz mentioned earlier the parking agreement between the Holy Name of Mary Church and the Village. He would think that before the parking in the back could be reconfigured, the Planning Board would need to have an understanding of this agreement. The Village Engineer said that he would look into this matter and get back to the board.  

The Village Engineer said that there are stairs that go up the side of the building; one improvement would be to have the proper lighting on those stairs.  Mr. Norton said that the owner (Ten Old Post Road South Corporation) assumes that for this tenant to move in, some “updating” of the building would need to be done.  Mr. Aarons asked who would be doing the improvements, to which Mr. Norton said that this is being negotiated. Mr. Norton noted that they cannot go forward with a full set of construction plans until such time as the special permit is granted.  They (the owner) would be working with the tenant on the level of costs and how the construction project would be paid for.

The Village Engineer asked if there is a striped area where the stairs come down the side of the building and enter the parking lot, to which Mr. Norton said that, indeed, there is.   

Mr. Luntz said that he has observed that the municipal parking lot is usually empty during the day. He would think that the issue with parking would be during the evening.  Periodically, this parking lot fills up (at night) for special occasions.  Mr. Andrews said that he would be concerned about the traffic pattern in the morning when the children are being dropped off.  There would be a rush to drop off the children at the day care center and get to the train station on time. Mr. Andrews noted that school-aged children are walking to school between 8:30 and 9:00 A.M., and sometimes the sight distance in that location is problematic. The Planning Board should look into these matters.  Mr. Aarons said that another matter to consider is what business would be going into the building that was formerly Wondrous Things and what the parking demand(s) would be, to which Ms. Allen said that this would be a problem for the Planning Board to look at when an application for that space (Wondrous Things) comes before the board.

Chairman Kehoe told the Applicant that the Planning Board would be meeting again on Tuesday, August 25th.  Hopefully, the Village Engineer would have the information on the parking situation by that time.  He (Chairman Kehoe) would think that, if this were the case, the Planning Board could make their recommendation at that meeting.


5.  APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The minutes of the Tuesday, June 9, 2009 Planning Board meeting were approved on a motion by Ms. Allen, seconded by Mr. Luntz and carried by a vote of 4-0-1. Mr. Aarons abstained.      

The minutes of the Tuesday, June 23, 2009 Planning Board meeting were approved, as amended, on a motion by Mr. Aarons, seconded by Ms. Allen and carried by a vote of 4-0-1. Mr. Luntz abstained.      


6.  ADJOURNMENT:

Following the close of the last order of business there was a discussion amongst the board members regarding the Steep Slope law. The meeting was duly adjourned at 10:34 P.M.

Sincerely,



Sylvia Mills
Secretary



RESOLUTION GRANTING FINAL SUBDIVISION APPROVAL OF PROPERTY OWNED BY BRIAN ACKERMAN, LAEL MORGAN, AND JOHN & ANN HARBESON

        WHEREAS, the Planning Board adopted a Resolution at its regular public meeting held on Tuesday, January 15, 2008, on the application of Brian Ackerman, Lael Morgan, and John and Ann Harbeson (the “Applicant”) which granted preliminary Subdivision Plat Approval of certain property located on Batten Road, in a Residential RA-25 District, which property consists of approximately 11.93 acres identified as Section 68.17 Block 2 Lots 7, 8.1 and 9 (formerly #56 180 2A) on the Tax Map of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, on the terms and conditions more particularly set forth in said Resolution; and

        WHEREAS, this property consisting of three existing lots is proposed to have the lot lines of the existing three lots modified, which is considered a subdivision under the Village Code; and

        WHEREAS, the recitals in the January 15, 2008 Resolution summarize the proceedings on the application of Brian Ackerman, Lael Morgan, and John and Ann Harbeson to and including the date thereof; and

        WHEREAS, the Planning Board granted three six-month time extensions for presentation of the Applicant’s Final Subdivision Plat at their meetings of July 22, 2008, January 13, 2009 and May 26, 2009, respectively; and

        WHEREAS, as requested by the Village Engineer, the Applicant placed monuments within the property at locations agreed upon by the Village Engineer; and

        WHEREAS, the Applicant received approval of the Final Subdivision Plat by the Westchester County Health Department as required by the County Sanitary Code. The approval of the County Health Department is shown on the Final Subdivision Plat; and

        WHEREAS, on July 9, 2009, the Applicant submitted a proposed Final Subdivision Plat to be considered by the Planning Board at its regular meeting to be held on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 and continued to Tuesday, July 28, 2009; and

        WHEREAS, the Planning Board reviewed the proposed Final Subdivision Plat  and Improvement plans at its July 14, 2009 & July, 28, 2009 meetings and deemed same to be officially submitted; and

        WHEREAS, the Planning Board, at its July 14, 2009 and July  28, 2009 meetings, determined that the proposed Final Subdivision Plat was in substantial agreement with the approved Preliminary Subdivision Plat, and that no public hearing was required pursuant to Village Law Section 7-728 6.(b); and

        WHEREAS, the Planning Board carefully considered all comments received during the course of the Planning Board’s consideration of the application up to and including the date hereof, including those received during the public hearing held on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 and continued to Tuesday, January 15, 2008; and

        WHEREAS, the Final Subdivision Plat which is the subject of the following resolutions is entitled “Subdivision Plat Prepared for Brian Ackerman & Lael Morgan + John & Ann Harbeson,” prepared by J. Henry Carpenter & Co. Land Surveying & Mapping, dated April 23, 2008;  and

        WHEREAS, the following resolutions are also predicated on the plan entitled “Easement Map Prepared for Brian Ackerman & Lael Morgan + John & Ann Harbeson,” prepared by J. Henry Carpenter & Co. Land Surveying & Mapping, dated May 20, 2009.

        NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved:  (i) That the foregoing recitals are incorporated in the resolution of approval, (ii) That the Final Subdivision Plat hereinbefore referred to is approved subject to the conditions set forth below; and

        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chairman of the Planning Board is authorized to endorse the Final Subdivision Plat subject to the following conditions:

  • that the Applicant shall abide by all of the conditions set forth in the preliminary subdivision resolution of approval dated January 15, 2008.
  • that, at the time of the minor site plan approval, a note shall be added to the Applicant’s plan that the Village’s environmental consultant shall oversee the site construction.  The hiring of this consultant shall be at the Applicant’s expense.
  • that the final selection of plantings (trees) shall take place in consultation with the Village’s environmental consultant at the time of minor site plan approval.
  • that the trail and sewer easements shall be filed at the same time as the Final Subdivision Plat.  The Planning Board Chairman shall sign the Final Subdivision Plat, but the plat shall not be released until such time as the sewer and trail easements have been signed by the Applicants and delivered to the Village with the associated filing documents and fees.
  • that approval of the Final Subdivision Plat be rendered void if the Applicant shall fail to file, in the Westchester County Clerk’s Office, Division of Land Records, the approved Final Subdivision Plat within 62 days from the date of final approval, as final approval is defined in Village Law Section 7-728 11.
        IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the foregoing Resolution was adopted at a public meeting of the Planning Board in the Village of Croton-on-Hudson held on the 28th of July, 2009.

                                        THE PLANNING BOARD OF THE VILLAGE OF
                                        CROTON-ON-HUDSON, NEW YORK

                                        ________________________
                                        Chris Kehoe, Chairman
                                        Mark Aarons
                                        Fran Allen
                                        Vincent Andrews
                                        Robert Luntz
                        
The Motion to approve was made by Mr. Luntz, was seconded by Mr. Andrews, and was carried by a vote of 3-0-1. Mr. Aarons abstained. Chairman Kehoe was recused.   The Resolution was accepted with the minutes of the Planning Board Meeting held on July 28, 2009.


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