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Village of Croton-on-Hudson
1 Van Wyck Street
Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520

Phone: 914-271-4781
Fax: 914-271-2836


Hours: Mon. - Fri., 8:30 am - 4 pm
 
Planning Board Minutes 04/27/2010
VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON, NEW YORK

PLANNING BOARD MEETING MINUTES – TUESDAY, APRIL 27, 2010

A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 in the Municipal Building.

MEMBERS PRESENT:        Chris Kehoe, Chairman
                                Fran Allen
                                Robert Luntz

ABSENT:                 Mark Aarons
                                Vincent Andrews

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.

  • PUBLIC HEARINGS:
  • Croton Community Nursery School – Lower North Highland Place (Sec. 67.20 Blk. 2 Lots 5, 6, 9 & 25 [formerly Lots 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 & 25] – Application for a Preliminary Subdivision Approval – Request for an Adjournment
Chairman Kehoe stated that, at the request of the Applicant, the public hearing on the CCNS application for a preliminary subdivision approval is being adjourned. This item would be put back on the agenda for the next Planning Board meeting to be held on Tuesday, May 11th.  

  • Sky View Rehabilitation and Health Care Center – 1280 Albany Post Road (Sec. 67.18 Blk. 1 Lots 1 & 2) – Application for an Amended Site Plan Approval – Request for an Adjournment
Chairman Kehoe stated that the Applicant Sky View has requested that the public hearing on their application for an amended site plan be adjourned. This item would be put back on the agenda for the next Planning Board meeting to be held on Tuesday, May 11th.  

  • New York SMSA Limited Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless – Application for Site Plan Approval for the Collocation of a Personal Wireless Services Facility at the DPW Facility, 26 Veteran’s Plaza
Michael Sheridan, Esq. of Snyder & Snyder, LLP and Anthony Botta of Tectonic Engineering were present to represent the Applicant.

Mr. Sheridan summarized the history of the application stating that on March 9th, the Planning Board voted to give a favorable recommendation to the Village Board on the granting of the special permit. On March 10th, the application went before the Waterfront Advisory Committee (WAC) and the WAC found this project to be consistent with the Village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) policies. At their meeting of April 5th, the Village Board adopted a Negative Declaration under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and granted the special permit.  Mr. Sheridan said that the Applicant is before the Planning Board tonight for a site plan approval.  

Chairman Kehoe opened the public hearing.  Chairman Kehoe asked if there were any comments from the public, to which there were none.  

Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to close the public hearing. The motion was made by Mr. Luntz, seconded by Ms. Allen and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.

Chairman Kehoe read aloud the draft resolution.  Chairman Kehoe noted that the only condition in the draft resolution is that the Applicant shall abide by the conditions of the Village Board’s special permit resolution. The Village Engineer noted to the Planning Board that this condition, to which Chairman Kehoe is referring, is also the only condition of the Planning Board’s resolution of approval for the MetroPCS collocation application.

Chairman Kehoe asked where the antennas would be located on the cell tower, to which Mr. Sheridan said that the antennas would be at the 110-foot level. Chairman Kehoe noted that, after Verizon, there would only be one more carrier applying to the Village for collocation on the cell tower.

Ms. Allen asked if there is a condition in the Village Board’s resolution pertaining to the disposal of batteries, to which the Village Engineer said that the WAC brought up this matter regarding the disposal of used batteries during their consistency review. The Village Engineer said that he had discussed this matter with the Applicant’s attorney Michael Sheridan, and the Applicant has since included on their plan(s) information on the batteries, e.g., the type of batteries, installation instructions, recycling, etc.

The Village Engineer told the Applicant that, as part of their building permit application, they should supply information on the crane work that is anticipated. They should state how long the crane would be on site, what part(s) of the work the crane is going to be used for, etc.

Chairman Kehoe asked if there were any further comments, to which there were none.

Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to approve this application with the condition discussed tonight.  The motion to approve was made by Ms. Allen, seconded by Mr. Luntz and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.     

  • OLD BUSINESS:
  • 157 Maple Street, LLC (Daniel Merritts) – (Sec. 68.17 Blk. 4 Lot 41) – Application for a Preliminary Subdivision Approval
Steven de Young, P.C., attorney for the Applicant, and Daniel Merritts, owner of the property, were present.

Chairman Kehoe noted to the board members that this item is under “Old Business” because it had been before the Planning Board once before in November 2008.

Mr. de Young noted to the board that he has recapped in his recent letter to the Planning Board dated April 20, 2010 the issues that were discussed at the November 2008 meeting.  

Mr. de Young said that there already exists on the property a two-family residence; the two units are currently being rented.  The Applicant is interested in dividing the lot into two separate parcels.  The two dwellings that make up the two-family residence on the existing parcel would be sold as two single-family attached homes.  Mr. de Young said that the property in question is 21,500 square feet in size.  The area is zoned for 5,000 square feet, so the lot is much larger than is required by zoning.  Furthermore, the lot is much larger than the surrounding lots.

Mr. de Young said that to accomplish this proposal for subdividing the property, the Planning Board would have to agree to a cluster as opposed to a conventional subdivision.  Before the Planning Board’s review could take place, the Village Board would have to give authorization to the Planning Board to entertain a cluster subdivision. Mr. de Young said that in 1985 the Planning Board approved two similar cluster subdivisions across the street from the subject parcel.  Mr. de Young showed the Planning Board photographs of the houses and said that each of the two houses contains two single-family homes.  Mr. de Young distributed to the board members the minutes of the August 6, 1985 meeting at which meeting these two cluster subdivisions were approved.  Mr. de Young referred the Planning Board to the paragraph on the first page of the 1985 minutes that cites a resolution adopted by the Village Board in October 1984 giving the Planning Board the power to consider a cluster subdivision.   

Mr. de Young said that, in order to move forward, the Applicant must, first, prove to the Planning Board that a conventional subdivision could be accomplished on this lot. Mr. de Young said that they have produced a plan that shows that a conventional subdivision could be done.  Mr. de Young noted that with the cluster layout, more open space could be preserved.  They would be able to preserve 12,000 square feet of open space as opposed to 5,000 square feet in a conventional layout.  Mr. de Young said that, if they were to move forward with a conventional subdivision layout, trees would have to be removed and the houses would have to be moved farther back on the property to meet the “mean lot width.”  

Mr. de Young noted that they would not be proposing any changes to the existing two-family structure.  The common property line would go through the middle of the structure; a party wall resolution would be filed with the County Clerk.  

Chairman Kehoe said that just as this request for a cluster subdivision seemed odd to him back in November 2008, it still seems odd to him. Chairman Kehoe said that his “day job” is as a planner for the Town of Cortlandt. The Town deals a lot with cluster subdivisions. Chairman Kehoe noted that, generally speaking, a cluster subdivision involves large parcels of land; an important feature/characteristic of a cluster as opposed to a conventional subdivision is the (further) protection of environmental resources such as wetlands areas and steep slopes. Chairman Kehoe questioned if the board would be setting an undesirable precedent by approving this cluster subdivision. He said that he does not know if this is a real concern. Mr. de Young noted that the subject lot is unusually large for the zoning district in which it is located.  He would think that approving this subdivision as a cluster would not set a precedent.  Mr. de Young suggested that the Planning Board could make a restricted development area in the rear so that the land could remain open space. Another positive environmental feature of this cluster is that the existing structure would remain.  A conventional subdivision would require the demolition of the existing structure and the construction of two new homes.

Mr. Luntz asked where the “mean lot width” line is on the plan, to which Mr. Merritts pointed out this line and also showed the board members the area at the rear of the property that would constitute the restricted development area.   

Ms. Allen asked when the house currently on the property was built, to which Mr. Merritts said that he thinks it was built in the 1960’s.  

Mr. Merritts referred to the color photograph showing the wooden fence in the back yard of the subject property and noted that this fence serves to separate the patio areas used by the current tenants.

Mr. Luntz said that from a financial standpoint an advantage for the Applicant is that the Applicant would have the ability to sell each half of the house as opposed to renting each half.  Mr. de Young said that selling these properties would (also) be good for the Village because people tend to take better care of a property if they own it.

Chairman Kehoe asked if a two-family house is permitted in this zoning district, to which the Village Engineer said that it is.

Chairman Kehoe asked what the sizes of the two separate dwellings would be, to which Mr. Merritts replied that the dwelling on the left is 2,000 square feet in size and has four bedrooms; the dwelling on the right is 1,800 square feet in size and has three bedrooms.  Mr. Merritts said that when they purchased the house three years ago, they built a party wall down the center all the way up to the roof.  It had been a one-family house.  

Mr. Luntz asked Mr. Merritts if he is proposing to remove the asphalt parking area at the front left of the property, to which Mr. Merritts said that, indeed, he is.  He would clean up the front and make it look like two separate homes. Mr. Merritts noted that the dwelling on the right does not have a garage; as part of the project, he would install a driveway on the right side of the property.  

The Village Engineer asked what depth of the rear yard would be left outside of the restricted (open space) area, to which Mr. Merritts said that the back yard for each single-family dwelling would be 35 feet in length; the open space area would be beyond the back yard.

Chairman Kehoe noted that if the Planning Board were to agree to consider the cluster subdivision, the Planning Board would write a memorandum to that effect to the Village Board. The Planning Board would ask the Village Board for authorization to entertain a cluster subdivision. The Village Engineer suggested that the Planning Board might want to consider going on a site visit first.  The Planning Board could, then, include in the memorandum to the Village Board any recommendations on the cluster subdivision that they might have.  The Village Engineer noted that before the Village Board could authorize the Planning Board to entertain this application, the Village Board would have to pass a cluster subdivision local law. Mr. de Young suggested that, perhaps, the Applicant could go before the Planning Board and Village Board simultaneously. Chairman Kehoe noted that there would be public hearings held for both (i.e., passing of the local law and approval of the cluster subdivision).

The Village Engineer said that, in the past, the Village Board gave the Planning Board authorization to entertain an application for a cluster subdivision by resolution. The state law on cluster subdivisions has changed, and the Village is now required to have a local law in place for such an authorization.  The Village Engineer said that he does not know exactly when the state law got changed.  The Village has never adopted a cluster subdivision local law.  The Village Board would have to do so in order for this application to go back before the Planning Board.  Chairman Kehoe questioned if, under the “new” local law, the Village Board would give their authorization to the Planning Board on a case by case basis, to which Mr. de Young said that, in his experience, towns/villages have passed local laws that give “blanket authorization” to the Planning Board.

Ms. Allen asked what, if anything, is being envisioned for the proposed open space area. Where would the access to this area be?  The Village Engineer said that the open space area would remain as is. Chairman Kehoe said that as he understands the Applicant’s intent for the open space, the agreement pertaining to the open space would be more like a “no disturbance clause” rather than a “conservation easement.” The land (open space) would not be used by the public.  Chairman Kehoe questioned how the mechanics of this agreement would be worked out.  Would they (the Applicant) have to draft up the standard conservation easement language? Mr. de Young said that there would be a note pertaining to the open space area on the final subdivision plat.  There would also be language in the deed of record so that whoever bought the property would be aware of it.  Chairman Kehoe noted again that a true conservation easement is different than what is currently being proposed; the mechanics of this would have to be worked out.

Chairman Kehoe questioned the necessity of going on a site visit. Mr. Luntz said that he would think that it is not necessary.  Ms. Allen said that she would think that the Planning Board does not need to go on a site visit at this stage in the process.    

Chairman Kehoe said that the next step would be to write the memorandum to the Village Board.  The memorandum should say that the Planning Board supports the concept of a cluster subdivision. The Planning Board understands that, in order to move forward, the Village Board would have to adopt a cluster subdivision local law. Mr. Luntz added that the memorandum should also say that the back of the property would be a restricted development (open space) area; the front of the property would be cleaned up and made to look like two separate single-family homes.  

Chairman Kehoe asked if there were any other comments, to which there were none.

Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to ask the Village Board to grant the Planning Board authorization to contemplate this cluster subdivision proposal.  The motion was made by Mr. Luntz, seconded by Ms. Allen and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.

  • NEW BUSINESS:
  • Referral from the Village Board for a Recommendation on the Proposed Amendments to Chapter 120 of the Village Code, “Excavation, Filling and Topsoil Removal”
Chairman Kehoe said that, in their packets for tonight’s meeting, the Planning Board received strikeout and clean versions of the proposed Excavation, Filling and Topsoil Removal law.  Chairman Kehoe asked the Village Engineer what motivated the changes to this law, to which the Village Engineer said that making changes to this law is a part of the Village’s environmental law update. Other environmental laws that have been or are being updated are SEQRA, the wetlands law, the storm water law and the steep slopes law.   

The Village Engineer noted to the board members that much excavation and fill is associated with a building permit application. When the excavation and fill for a given project reaches a certain level or threshold, the Planning Board would be the approving authority for an excavation and fill permit.

Ms. Allen referred to paragraphs A, B, C and D under Section 120-1 Declaration of Policy and suggested that each of these paragraphs should begin with the word “may.”  Ms. Allen said that using the word “may” would give the approving authority more leeway.  Chairman Kehoe noted that paragraph A would, then, say “May create hazardous or dangerous conditions….” rather than “Creates hazardous or dangerous conditions…..” Ms. Allen said that each of the four paragraphs should begin with the word “may” because what is being stated in each of these four paragraphs is “a possibility and not a fact.”  Ms. Allen noted that the language of these paragraphs would have to be changed to accommodate the word “may.”

The Village Engineer said that in the strikeout version of the law under paragraph E in Section 120-5 Application for permit, the beginning of the first sentence reads, “A site plan, prepared by a New York licensed engineer or land surveyor…..” The Village Engineer said that rather than “engineer” or “land surveyor” he would prefer that a more generic term such as “licensed design professional” be used.  

Chairman Kehoe referred to Section 120-12 Penalties for offenses in the clean version of the excavation and fill law and asked if this section on penalties can also be found in the old (existing) law, to which the Village Engineer said that, indeed, it can be found in the old law. Ms. Allen noted that the fines for violations are specified in the law. She questioned if the law should be so specific in terms of these fines. Chairman Kehoe said that the Village “can’t just put in $50,000” as an amount for a fine.  He could understand limiting the fines to a certain extent.         

Chairman Kehoe referred to Article IV Commercial Excavations on pages 16 and 17 of the strikeout version and noted that the Village’s consultant on the environmental laws Lester Steinman, Esq. is saying that this entire chapter can be removed because commercial excavation is not a permitted use within any of the zoning districts in the Village.

The Village Engineer referred to Section 120-17 Duration of permit and noted that the duration of an excavation and fill permit is three months. The duration of a site plan approval is three years.  The Village Engineer pointed out that if the Planning Board were ever to issue an excavation and fill permit in conjunction with a site plan approval, the excavation and fill permit would expire long before the site plan approval.  He (the Village Engineer) would think that the board would want the expiration dates to be somewhat consistent.  Ms. Allen suggested that, perhaps, this language on the duration of an excavation and fill permit had been incorporated into the Code because the Village would not want the land excavated and exposed for long periods of time. She was under the impression that after the excavation and fill operations take place, the soil has to be reseeded within twenty days.

Chairman Kehoe referred to the wording of footnote #1 on page 16 of the strikeout version in which the Village’s consultant recommends that Article IV Commercial Excavations should be eliminated from the excavation and fill law. Chairman Kehoe questioned the reasoning for including footnote #1 if, indeed, Article IV is going to be eliminated, to which the Village Engineer said that this is just a temporary footnote for clarification purposes.  

Ms. Allen referred to Section 120-1 Declaration of Policy in the strikeout version and noted that the word “trees” is crossed out of the last sentence.  Ms. Allen said that there should be language in the excavation and fill law about removing tree roots.  Ms. Allen noted that organic materials create sink holes over time. The Village Engineer said that the reason the word “trees” was stricken from that sentence is because there is another local law on trees, to which Ms. Allen pointed out that there is nothing in the tree law about removing tree roots.  The Village Engineer noted that from an excavation standpoint removing the roots of trees is not an issue.  It becomes more of a problem during filling operations.  Chairman Kehoe suggested that this language about removing tree roots could be incorporated into Section 120-5 on page 5, Application for permit. Chairman Kehoe noted that this section (120-5) of the excavation and fill law contains language pertaining to the preservation and removal of trees, so the discussion of trees has not been eliminated altogether from the “new” (updated) excavation and fill law.  The Village Engineer said that he would think that this language about the tree roots should probably be incorporated into Section 120-8 Review Standards, to which Mr. Luntz agreed.

Ms. Allen referred to Section 120-5E on page 4 of the clean version and said that there should be language added to paragraph E to the effect that, as part of the preparation of an excavation and fill application, a tree map should be prepared, to which Mr. Luntz noted that this section (120-5, Application for permit) starts off with the requirement for an applicant to produce a tree survey.

Ms. Allen referred to paragraph D under Section 120-8 Review standards and asked what is meant by the phrase, “…..graded to the level of the adjoining property…..,” to which Mr. Luntz responded that during filling operations one would want to avoid a drop-off in the grade right before the neighboring property. The fill would be leveled off right up to the property line. The Village Engineer suggested that the language of paragraph D could be made clearer. Ms. Allen said that, likewise, the language of paragraph H pertaining to slope excavation needs to be made clearer. The intent of this paragraph (H) could be better stated.

Ms. Allen had a question on the wording of paragraph L on page 7, which states that “The approving authority shall take into consideration the intent of this chapter regarding the replacement of topsoil and the restoration, reseeding and stabilization of the land.”  The Village Engineer suggested that it might read better to change the word “intent” to “declaration of policy.” He noted that the term “declaration of policy” incorporates some broad policy statements.

Ms. Allen read aloud paragraph M on page 7 pertaining to the safeguards that should be taken during excavation operations. Ms. Allen said that this paragraph (M) is made up of one long sentence and is very confusing.  Mr. Luntz said that, to him, the language is clear.  If a person is cutting (excavating) next to the adjoining property and materials are going to be removed, then, this person has to do what is necessary (sheet piling, retaining walls, etc.) to keep the earth of the adjoining property from caving in. Chairman Kehoe said that, in his view, paragraph M is a run-on sentence. Perhaps, this sentence could be made into two separate sentences. The first sentence about sheet piling and bracing would end with the word “excavation.” The “and” would be eliminated and the second sentence about retaining walls would begin with the word “Whenever.”     

Ms. Allen said that, all in all, she thinks that the “new” (updated) excavation and fill law is better than the old law, to which the others agreed.

Chairman Kehoe asked if there were any further comments, to which there were none.

Chairman Kehoe said that the Planning Board would submit a memorandum to the Village Board with the changes and/or additions made tonight.
  
  • APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
The minutes of the Tuesday, March 9, 2010 Planning Board meeting were approved on a motion by Mr. Luntz, seconded by Ms. Allen and carried by a vote of 3-0.   

The minutes of the Tuesday, March 23, 2010 Planning Board meeting were approved on a motion by Ms. Allen, seconded by Mr. Luntz and carried by a vote of 3-0.   

  • ADJOURNMENT:
There being no further business to come before the board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 9:40 P.M.

Sincerely,



Sylvia Mills
Secretary

RESOLUTION


WHEREAS, the Planning Board held a public hearing on a Site Plan application on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 for New York SMSA Limited Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless, hereafter known as “the Applicant,” said property located at 26 Veteran’s Plaza and owned by the Village of Croton-on-Hudson.  The subject property is in the LI (Light Industrial) Zoning District and is designated on the Tax Map of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson as Section 79.17 Block 1 Lot 10; and

WHEREAS, the proposed Site Plan is for the collocation of a personal wireless services facility at the DPW (Veteran’s Plaza) site; and

WHEREAS, this application went before the Village Board on February 1, 2010 for a Special Permit approval, at which time the Village Board referred this application to the Planning Board for a recommendation; and

WHEREAS, the Planning Board, in their memorandum to the Village Board dated March 10, 2010, recommended that the Special Permit for a personal wireless services facility be granted; and

WHEREAS, this application was also referred to the Waterfront Advisory Committee for a Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) consistency review, and the Waterfront Advisory Committee, as stated in their memorandum to the Village Board dated March 11, 2010, found this project to be consistent with the policies set forth in the LWRP; and

WHEREAS, the Village Board, as the Lead Agency for the review of this application under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), issued a Negative Declaration on April 5, 2010; and

WHEREAS, on April 5, 2010, the Village Board granted the Special Permit; and

WHEREAS, the third condition of the Village Board’s Special Permit states that the construction of the personal wireless services facility (collocation) shall be in accordance with the plans and specifications submitted  and all representations and agreements made by the Applicant in the application process; and

WHEREAS, a list of these plans and specifications, representations and agreements were described in a two-page document prepared by the Applicant (this document is attached to the minutes on file in the Village Engineer’s office); and

WHEREAS, for the public hearing on April 27, 2010, the Applicant provided to the Planning Board an 11” x 17” copy of the plans submitted for this application as described in Exhibit A of the Village Board resolution (attached).

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Site Plan application, as shown on the aforementioned plans and specifications, representations and agreements be approved subject to the following condition:

1)      that the Applicant abide by the ten conditions set forth in the Village Board’s         resolution of approval dated April 5, 2010.

In the event that this Site Plan is not implemented within three (3) years of this date, this approval shall expire.

                                                The Planning Board of the Village of
                                                Croton-on-Hudson, New York

                                                Chris Kehoe, Chairman
                                                Mark Aarons
                                                Fran Allen
                                                Vincent Andrews
                                                Robert Luntz
                                                        
Motion to approve by Ms. Allen, seconded by Mr. Luntz and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.  Board members Mark Aarons and Vincent Andrews were absent.  

Resolution accepted with the minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday, April 27, 2010.



EXHIBIT A


Plans Submitted for Review of the New York SMSA Limited Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless Special Permit Application for the Collocation of a Personal Wireless Services Facility on the Existing Cell Tower at the DPW Site at 26 Veteran’s Plaza


  • Drawing No T-1 entitled “Title Sheet – Project Number: 2009384043 Croton-on-Hudson 26 Veteran’s Plaza Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520, dated January 22, 2010, last revised March 8, 2010, prepared by Tectonic Engineering & Surveying Consultants P.C.
  • Drawing No. C-1 entitled “Plot Plan, Owner’s List & Notes – Project Number: 2009384043 Croton-on-Hudson 26 Veteran’s Plaza Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520, dated January 22, 2010, last revised March 8, 2010, prepared by Tectonic Engineering & Surveying Consultants P.C.
  • Drawing No. C-2 entitled “Site Plan/Setback Map & Site Detail Plan – Project Number: 2009384043 Croton-on-Hudson 26 Veteran’s Plaza Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520, dated January 22, 2010, last revised March 8, 2010, prepared by Tectonic Engineering & Surveying Consultants P.C.
 
  • Drawing No. C-3 entitled “Elevation & Details – Project Number: 2009384043 Croton-on-Hudson 26 Veteran’s Plaza Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520, dated January 22, 2010, last revised March 8, 2010, prepared by Tectonic Engineering & Surveying Consultants P.C.
  • Drawing No. S-1 entitled “Foundation Plan, Sections & Notes – Project Number: 2009384043 Croton-on-Hudson 26 Veteran’s Plaza Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520, dated January 22, 2010, last revised March 8, 2010, prepared by Tectonic Engineering & Surveying Consultants P.C.




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