VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON, NEW YORK
PLANNING BOARD MEETING MINUTES – TUESDAY, AUGUST 25, 2009
A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 in the Municipal Building.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chris Kehoe, Chairman
ABSENT: Mark Aarons
ALSO PRESENT: Demetra Restuccia, 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. OLD BUSINESS:
- Belarmino & Virginia Anton – 337 South Riverside Avenue (Sec. 79.13 Blk. 1 Lot 62) – Sign Application
Kevin Davignon of EDA Architecture, Inc. and Belarmino & Virginia Anton, proprietors of the proposed restaurant, were present.
Chairman Kehoe suggested that the Anton’s sign application and their new application for an amended site plan approval, which is under “New Business” on tonight’s agenda, be reviewed together.
Mr. Davignon told the Planning Board that the Applicant has revised their design for a free-standing sign. The original idea called for the existing pole to be cut down in size and, then, to have a sign mounted to it. Mr. Davignon showed the Planning Board a sketch for the new sign and said that instead of the body of the sign being mounted to the one existing pole, in the new design the sign would be mounted between two new poles.
The Village Engineer asked if the sign would be illuminated, to which Mr. Davignon said that it would be. Mr. Davignon said that the sign would be illuminated by fluorescent lamps inside of the plastic box.
The Village Engineer asked if the existing sign post would be removed, to which Mr. Davignon said, yes.
The Village Engineer noted that, currently, the electrical wiring is overhead, to which Mr. Davignon responded that the electricity for the sign would be underground.
Mr. Andrews said that he, personally, likes the design for the new free-standing sign. Ms. Allen said that she, too, likes the new design. Chairman Kehoe said that he thinks the design is better than it was before. He said that he likes the idea of having the sign suspended between two posts rather than mounted on one post. Chairman Kehoe said that he would think that the sign is still too high and would rather have had it lower, but he appreciates the efforts made to improve the design.
Ms. Allen noted that the restaurant name has been changed from Anton’s to Anton. She questioned why the name was changed and pointed out that, even though the Advisory Board on the Visual Environment (VEB) suggested that the name be Anton rather than Anton’s, she would think that the name of the restaurant should be left up to the owner(s). Mr. Davignon explained to the Planning Board that he had made an error on the drawing showing the name of the restaurant. He had made it possessive (Anton’s) when it should have been Anton. Mr. Anton told the board members that he had always intended that the name of the restaurant be Anton.
Chairman Kehoe asked if there were any further comments, to which there were none.
Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to approve the free-standing sign, as shown on the rendering of the sign received on August 19, 2009, with the conditions that the old sign post be removed and that the electricity for the sign be installed underground. The motion to approve was made by Ms. Allen, seconded by Mr. Andrews and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.
Mr. Davignon presented to the Planning Board the Applicant’s new amended site plan application. Mr. Davignon stated that the Applicant had originally proposed to build a one-story addition in the rear of the building and put in the second-story apartment at some point in the future. Mr. Davignon said that the Applicant has since decided to have the second-story built now. The new plans reflect this second story. Mr. Davignon noted that, from a construction standpoint, it would be more economical to build both stories than to have to remove the roof and build the second-floor apartment at a later date. Mr. Davignon said that the revision to the site plan also includes a change to the proposed footprint. The footprint has been extended to the west by approximately 3’8” in order to make the second-floor
apartment more efficient. Mr. Davignon said that the stairs going to the second floor were taking too much room out of the apartment, so these stairs have been moved over 3’8”. Mr. Davignon said that, in the new plan, the rear of the second floor apartment would cantilever two feet past the rear wall. The exterior stairway in the back of the building would be removed. In the new plan, the entryway (stairway) to the second-floor apartment would be fully enclosed. Mr. Davignon noted that all of the revisions are within the requirements of the Village’s Zoning Code. The Floor Area Ratio (FAR) requirements are being met. Mr. Davignon stated that the parking calculations have not been affected by the changes to the plan(s) presently being proposed.
Mr. Davignon said that there were some outstanding items from the last meeting on this application that he would like to address tonight. Mr. Davignon said that the dumpster location has been revised by moving the dumpster slightly to the east and off of the existing fence/property line. The new plan includes a new concrete pad for the dumpster. Mr. Davignon said that, in so far as the landscaping is concerned, they (the Applicant) have abided by the advice of the VEB and have removed parking space #13 and have redesigned this area into a plant bed. A landscaping plan/schedule has been included with tonight’s application submission. Mr. Davignon said that the plants in the front will remain as is; the area would be cleaned up, the plants trimmed, etc. Mr. Davignon stated that ornamental bushes and a
flowering tree would be installed in the area now designated as parking space #13. Mr. Davignon showed the Planning Board the elevation plan of the new site wall with plantings (“Skyrockets” and “Yucca”) at the (right) side of the building.
Mr. Andrews referred to the Applicant’s site plan showing the front entrance and asked Mr. Davignon what would be in the semi-circular area at the left, to which Mr. Davignon said that the surface material being proposed for this semi-circular area is concrete. Mr. Andrews asked if there was a reason why plantings would not be continued into that area, to which Mr. Davignon said that they would not want plantings in the front of the building itself. He described the front entrance stating that the front area(s) would consist of concrete where the semi-circle and the tables (outdoor dining area) would be. A curved walkway consisting of decorative pavers would be situated between the semi-circular area and the tables.
Mr. Andrews asked what would be in the second-floor apartment at this stage of the process, to which Mr. Davignon responded that the second-floor apartment would be “raw space.” There would be no interior walls. Mr. Davignon noted that, when completed, the new apartment would be a two-bedroom apartment as is the existing apartment. The floor plan for the second-floor apartment has been redesigned to create a more open space. The living room and kitchen would be one continuous space.
The Village Engineer asked if, for the next meeting, the Applicant could submit a curb detail sheet and a cross section detail for the concrete patios, to which Mr. Davignon said that he would do so. The Village Engineer asked if there was curbing in the area where the dumpster is now, to which Mr. Davignon said, yes. Mr. Davignon added that the reason for moving the dumpster is to “get out from under the tree roots.” The Applicant also wanted to be able to provide a good base (slab) for the dumpster to rest on. Ms. Allen asked if there would be enough room for the garbage truck to back into this area, to which Mr. Davignon said that he would think that there would be enough room. The truck would have about 50 feet to maneuver. Mr. Davignon added that they moved the employee parking to the dumpster
area of the parking lot so that if need be the employees’ cars could be moved for the garbage pick-up.
Mr. Andrews asked what approvals would be required for the Anton’s to finish the second-floor apartment, to which the Village Engineer said that if the Planning Board were to approve this new amended site plan, the Planning Board would be approving the use of this (the second-story) space as an apartment. The Village Engineer said that the Anton’s would not be required to come back before the Planning Board. They would, however, have to apply to the Village Engineer’s office for the necessary permits e.g., building, plumbing, etc.
The Village Engineer asked the Applicant about the fence located at the front of the property, to which Mr. Davignon said that the Anton’s would like to replace the existing wooden stockade fence with a new chain-link fence with green slats to hide the dumpsters.
The Village Engineer asked about any possible changes to the drainage resulting from this project, to which Mr. Davignon said that, at present, the water drains off of the lot from both curb cuts. Mr. Davignon said that he would think that the drainage flow would not change as a result of this project. Mr. Davignon said that the water might be moved differently, but he would think that the runoff would still go into the catch basins on the street. Mr. Davignon said that, for the next meeting, he would look into this matter regarding the direction of the drainage flow and let the board know.
The Village Engineer questioned what the view of the second-story apartment would be from the neighbors’ properties. He asked the Applicant to describe the existing plants/trees in the back area, to which Mr. Davignon said that there are mature trees in the back, 60 to 70 feet in height. There are also some smaller trees. For the next meeting, he would check the types of plants/trees that exist in the back.
Chairman Kehoe asked if there were any other comments, to which there were none.
The Planning Board scheduled the public hearing on this amended site plan application for the next regularly scheduled meeting to be held on Tuesday, September 8th.
- Referral from the Village Board for a Special Permit for a Child Care Center at 10 Old Post Road South
Tara Drapala, co-owner of the child care facility, and Michael Norton from Ten Old Post Road South Corporation, owner of the property, were present.
Mr. Norton said that the Village Engineer and he visited the site earlier this afternoon to discuss the parking issues raised at the last meeting. Mr. Norton noted that the municipal parking lot behind, and to the side of the building has 41 spaces; the pie-shaped parking lot that is situated behind the Holy Name of Mary Church has fewer spaces than the Village-owned lot. This pie-shaped lot belongs to the church. Mr. Norton said that the Village has a lease agreement with the church for the use of this parking lot. Mr. Norton showed the board an aerial view of the municipal parking lot behind 10 Old Post Road South and said that the rectangular area outlined in the color red indicates the three parking spots situated along the curb. There are, presently, no handicapped parking spaces in this (the Village-owned) lot.
The Village Engineer suggested that the Planning Board could recommend to the Village Board that the Village designate two of the five parking spaces, which are situated closest to and up against the building, as handicapped parking spaces.
Chairman Kehoe asked if the entrance to the back parking lot is the paved (Macadam) area to the right of the building, to which Mr. Norton said, yes.
Mr. Norton noted to the board members that there is an existing concrete walkway at this site that could use upgrading. Also, some of the lighting on the side of the building needs upgrading. Mr. Norton added that some general clean-up work needs to be done including the removal of weeds.
Ms. Drapala noted that the drop-off and pick-up of children would take place in the back. In the mornings, there would be an employee of the child care center stationed at the back to meet the children. The children would be escorted from the back parking lot up to the side door.
The Village Engineer pointed out that there are no signs designating two-hour parking for the five spaces in the back closest to and up against the building, to which Mr. Norton said that they (the owner) would have no problem putting in two-hour parking signs in that location.
The Village Engineer said that it is his understanding that, if this application were approved, employees of the child care center would be issued permits from the Village for all-day parking at this site. The Village Engineer noted that, typically, employees are asked to park farther away from the buildings so as to free up parking spots closest to the buildings for shoppers/customers. The Village Engineer said that according to the Applicant, 12 parking spaces would need to be allocated for the child care center employees. Mr. Norton suggested that to make up the 12 spaces required the employees could use the nine spaces in the back row and the three spaces on the side curbing area. The Village Engineer noted to the board members that it would be proper for the Village to put the two handicapped spots in the row closest
to the building. The handicapped spots are wider, which means that a parking space might be lost. He would look into this matter and let the board know. Chairman Kehoe summed up the proposed parking for the back, stating that the employees of the child care center would be issued permits for all-day parking and the remainder of the lot would continue to be designated two-hour parking.
Chairman Kehoe noted that there are a few on-street parking spaces at the front of the building. He asked if parents dropping off their children could park in the front and go through the front door, to which Ms. Drapala said, yes. Ms. Drapala noted that, if a person bringing a child to the center were to use the front door, he/she would be required to put in a code to enter the building. Mr. Norton said that what the Applicant is envisioning for drop-off and pick-up of children is to enter the parking lot in the back and go through the side door. Chairman Kehoe said that he would think that because there might be traffic congestion in the front, the Applicant would want the drop-off and pick-up to take place in the back, and they would want to recommend that to the parents.
Mr. Andrews noted that to enter the side of the building, one would have to ascend a flight of stairs. He suggested that, if a parent were dropping off a baby or toddler, a ramp as opposed to stairs might be more convenient.
Chairman Kehoe said that it would seem from the Village Engineer’s investigation of the parking situation in the back of the building that there are no restrictions/prohibitions about the parking in the back other than the two-hour parking limit. Mr. Norton said that the parking lot in the back is empty most of the time. In so far as the employee parking for the child care center is concerned, he, personally, does not foresee a problem. Mr. Norton said that if, at some point in the future the lot were being used to a greater degree than it is now, they (the Applicant) would have to come up with another solution for the employee parking.
Mr. Andrews asked the Village Engineer if the church-owned parking lot was used that much, to which the Village Engineer replied that it is being used but not as much as the other (Village-owned) lot. There are some reserved spaces in the church parking lot. Also, the church parking lot does not have the quantity (number) of parking spaces that the municipal lot has.
At this juncture, Desiree Drapala, co-owner of the child care facility, arrived at the meeting.
Mr. Andrews asked which of the Village parks would be used for the proposed child care center, to which Ms. (Desiree) Drapala said that, at present, they use Vassallo Park and Dobb’s Park; their intention is (would be) to continue using both of these parks. The Village Engineer noted that there would be a much larger number of children in the proposed facility at Old Post Road South. He asked how the Applicant would handle trips to the parks with this larger number of children, to which Ms. (Tara) Drapala said that they would take the children to the parks in shifts. The different age groups at the center would have different schedules. They would handle each age group differently.
The Village Engineer noted that there are some old light fixtures inside the building that should be upgraded.
The Village Engineer pointed out to the board members that the real estate office of Houlihan & Lawrence changed the design of one of the windows of the building façade so that the windows in front are no longer consistent in style. For aesthetic reasons, the style of these windows in the front should be consistent throughout. Chairman Kehoe suggested that the Planning Board could bring up this matter in their memorandum to the Village Board. The Planning Board could suggest that the style of the windows in the front of the building should be unified.
Chairman Kehoe said that he, personally, would think that the Planning Board could make a recommendation to the Village Board that the special permit be granted subject to the conditions that were discussed tonight. Chairman Kehoe reviewed the conditions. Chairman Kehoe stated that there should be some general clean-up of the site including the removal of weeds. The exterior lighting should be upgraded and/or replaced. The windows in the front of the building are no longer consistent in style and should be unified. The other exterior site work that should be done includes upgrading the concrete walkway, railing, stairs and canopy at the side entrance.
Chairman Kehoe noted that, with respect to the parking, the Village should install two handicapped parking spaces in the area of the back parking lot closest to the building. Chairman Kehoe said that, in so far as the employee parking is concerned, employees should park their vehicles in the rearmost section of the lot. 12 spaces would be required. The Planning Board would agree with the idea suggested earlier by Mr. Norton that employees should park in the nine spaces in the back row and the three spaces on the side against the curbing. Furthermore, there should be a provision that if the Upper Village were to become active and there were a higher demand for parking, the Applicant would be required to scale back the number of spaces for employees. These employees would have to find parking spots outside the
restricted zone(s) on Grand Street and Maple Street. The Village Engineer said that the five parking spots up against the back of the building should be designated as “two-hour parking;” signs should be posted accordingly. The Village Engineer said that the parking lot needs to be re-striped. The striping of the three parking spots along the side has become worn. The Village Engineer said that the Village should re-stripe the remainder of this parking lot “as a normal maintenance activity.”
Chairman Kehoe asked if there were any further comments, to which there were none.
Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to make a positive recommendation to the Village Board on the granting of the special permit for a child care center with the conditions discussed tonight. The motion was made by Mr. Andrews, seconded by Ms. Allen and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.
3. NEW BUSINESS:
- Franzoso Contracting, Inc. – Request for an Extension of Minor Site Plan Approvals for 16 Beekman Avenue (Sec. 78.08 Blk. 6 Lot 46) and 18 Beekman Avenue (Sec. 78.08 Blk. 6 Lot 49)
The Village Engineer noted to the board members that the Applicant, Franzoso Contracting, has fulfilled the (one) condition of the minor site plan approvals for 16 and 18 Beekman Avenue, which was to remove and replace the old retaining wall on the two properties. The Applicant has removed the old retaining wall and has replaced it with a new modular concrete wall. The Village Engineer said that he, personally, does not find the new wall that attractive, but it is safe.
The Village Engineer stated that the Applicant applied for building permits to build a house on each of these two lots and, then, after the retaining wall was built, the Applicant put these applications on hold. The Village Engineer stated that Mark Franzoso told him to keep the fees submitted with the building permit applications, but the applications should be put on hold. The Village Engineer said that in both cases (16 and 18 Beekman Avenue) the minor site plan approvals expire on October 24, 2009. The Village Engineer noted that this is a “first” for an applicant to be granted a minor site plan approval and then not to build the house.
Ms. Allen recalled that there was an issue with the adjacent neighbor, to which the Village Engineer responded that at the time the Applicant came before the board for the minor site plan approvals, the neighboring property owner expressed concern about how the new retaining wall would match up to their wall.
The Village Engineer noted that the proposed houses on these two lots would meet the Village zoning requirements. The Village Engineer said that, from an architectural standpoint, the proposed houses would “fit in” with the other houses in the neighborhood.
The Village Engineer stated that the Applicant is asking for a one-year extension. The Planning Board would normally grant a six-month extension for a commercial building but for a residence, he (the Village Engineer) would “feel comfortable” with a one-year extension. The Village Engineer said that more than likely, the reason for this request for an extension is that the current housing market is “not that great.”
Chairman Kehoe said that he, personally, would have no problem granting the Applicant a one-year extension.
Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to grant the Applicant’s request for a one-year extension of the minor site plan approvals from October 24, 2009 to October 24, 2010. The motion was made by Mr. Luntz, seconded by Ms. Allen and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.
4. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Approval of the minutes of the Tuesday, July 14, 2009 Planning Board meeting and the Tuesday, July 28, 2009 Planning Board meeting was tabled until the next regularly scheduled meeting to be held on Tuesday, September 8th.
There being no other business to come before the board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 9:20 P.M.
Village of Croton-on-Hudson