Planning Board Minutes 05/11/2010



A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 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.

  • 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 25th.  

  • 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 25th.  The Village Engineer updated the Planning Board on the status of this application stating that the sewer improvements that the Planning Board and Village Board have required of Sky View are moving forward. He (the Village Engineer) is presently in the process of reviewing the design plans for the odor control improvements provided by the Applicant’s engineer.  He would be in touch with the Applicant’s engineer regarding any changes/additions that need to be made.

  • David & Lorraine Munoz (Hilmar Development Group, Property Owner) – 46 Prospect Place – (Sec. 67.20 Blk. 4 Lot 19) – Application for a Modification to the Building Envelope for the Construction of a Swimming Pool
David Munoz, prospective owner of the property, was present.

Chairman Kehoe noted that the Planning Board received two packets of information on this application. The first packet included a narrative explaining the proposal for the swimming pool and a plan showing the site and pool. The second packet included the approved preliminary subdivision plan for Hudson View Subdivision and the approved landscaping plan for Lot #1.

Mr. Munoz said that his family and he currently live at Half Moon Bay condominium complex.  They have a baby and want to move to a larger home. They had hoped to be able to stay in the Village and have signed a contract to purchase the property at 46 Prospect Place.  They chose the property at 46 Prospect Place because it has a beautiful back yard. Their goal would be to create an environmental “oasis” in the back with a pool, decking and landscaping.  

Mr. Munoz said that he met with the developer Hilmar Fenger and the Village Engineer to discuss this project.  The Village Engineer explained the concepts of the property lines, limit of disturbance lines, building envelopes, etc.  Mr. Munoz said that there was a condition in the preliminary subdivision approval for the Hudson View Subdivision that the building envelope has to correspond to the limit of disturbance line. In the case of 46 Prospect Place, the limit of disturbance line runs through their back yard. He would like to request tonight that the Planning Board modify the limit of disturbance line to fit the pool in the back yard.  Mr. Munoz said that the back yard is flat and wide open.  

Mr. Munoz noted that included in the application materials for the Planning Board were photographs of the back yard that show the tree damage caused by the winter storms.  For the pool installation his wife and he would not want to take down the healthy trees, just these damaged ones. Mr. Munoz said that for each tree that they take down they intend to plant two new trees.  He noted that four to six trees are dead or cut in half; they would plant new trees to take their place.  

Mr. Munoz said that the developer is in the process of finishing the inside of the house.  They hope to be able to have the pool built while the interior work on the inside is being done.          

Chairman Kehoe asked if the patio in the back had been built yet, to which Mr. Munoz said, “not yet.” Chairman Kehoe noted that according to the plan the deck in the back of the house is large (1,900 square feet). He asked if the Applicant is planning to put in the deck being shown, to which Mr. Munoz replied that they do plan to have a deck but a smaller version.  Rather than a 1,900 square-foot deck it would probably be more like 600 to 800 square feet in size.  Their goal is not to have an expansive deck.  

Chairman Kehoe noted that the plan that was attached to the Applicant’s narrative shows a system of pipes going to a dry well and into a detention pond, to which the Village Engineer said that in order for the swimming pool to be built these pipes would have to be rerouted around the pool.

The Village Engineer said that under the old wetlands law some of the wetlands on Lot #1 were regulated due to soil type.  The Village Engineer said that under the new (updated) wetlands law, the Village does not regulate soil groups as wetlands. The Village Engineer noted that rainfall drainage channels were taken out of the wetlands law and were put into the Village’s new storm water regulations. The Village Engineer pointed out that there exists on Lot #1 a drainage channel, which only flows when it rains.  The Village Engineer said that a storm water detention pond larger than what was required for this subdivision was designed to alleviate some drainage issues that exist in that area of the Village.

Chairman Kehoe asked where the pool would be situated, to which the Village Engineer said that if one were to look at the old subdivision map, the pool would be situated in the hatched-in area at the rear of the house.  

The Village Engineer referred the board members to the minor site plan for Lot #1 and said that the highlighted line is the limit of disturbance line.  This line was designated as the building envelope at the time of the preliminary subdivision approval. Mr. Luntz said that as he understands it, this line (the limit of disturbance line) was transferred from the original subdivision map to the minor site plan for this lot (Lot #1); the line is situated roughly 10 to 20 feet outside of the house on the back side.

The Village Engineer noted that the previously approved minor site plan for Lot #1 supersedes the subdivision plan.  

The Village Engineer said that when the original developer Galina Feit put together the subject subdivision proposal, some typical examples of houses were being shown. The minor site plan showing the house, driveway, etc. represents the actual construction. Ms. Allen said that it is troubling to her how significantly the plans changed from the subdivision to the minor site plan.  The footprint of the house, location of the driveway, etc. were changed substantially.

Mr. Andrews asked where exactly the pool is going to be situated, to which Mr. Munoz referred the board to the site plan showing the pool location and noted that the pool location being shown is actually incorrect. In the location currently being shown, the pool is situated too close to the house.  Mr. Munoz said that his architect Gregory McWilliams had put the pool 23 feet closer to the house than he would want to have it.  Mr. Munoz said that in the desired location, the pool would be farther away from the house but still in the lawn area.

Chairman Kehoe said that judging by the photographs taken by the Applicant of the back yard, the area in question, which is protected by the limit of disturbance line, is a flat lawn with a number of dead and/or damaged trees on it. He did not see any difference(s) in the land from one side of the limit of disturbance line to the other.

The Village Engineer said that curtain drains have to be put in the back and water would have to be rerouted around the pool.  

The Village Engineer noted that the minor site plan for Lot #1 shows a deck that was approved as part of the building permit.  The Village Engineer noted that this deck has not been constructed yet.

Mr. Luntz said that, generally speaking, trees get damaged when other trees around them get removed. It is too bad from an environmental perspective that this had to happen here. Mr. Luntz said that these trees would probably not have been damaged had there been trees around them to bolster them up.  Mr. Luntz referred to the photographs taken by the Applicant and noted that these photographs show a smaller number of trees on this lot than there was before and there will be an even smaller number as a result of the trees that were damaged this winter.

Mr. Munoz said that he has met his neighbor who is in contract to buy the house next door on 48 Prospect Place.  In so far as landscaping is concerned, both he and his neighbor have decided to do more landscaping than what is being shown on the existing (approved) plan.  Mr. Munoz said that these are beautiful houses but there needs to be more of an environment created around them.  

Mr. Andrews said that it would be helpful to see a plan showing the actual (desired) location for the pool including the decking around the pool.  The Applicant should also provide a plan showing exactly which trees are proposed to be removed.  Chairman Kehoe said that the Planning Board would like some more information on the proposed plantings. Mr. Luntz said that he would be sympathetic to allowing this Applicant to do what he chooses on his property (pool, decking, etc.) to the extent that the surrounding environment is being protected.  Ms. Allen suggested that the Applicant should hire an arborist to see what kind of trees would survive on this property.  Mr. Munoz said that he has hired a landscape architect to put together the landscaping plan. The individual preparing this plan happens to be a Croton resident.  Mr. Munoz said that the plan is not done yet but once completed it will show extensive landscaping.  

Chairman Kehoe referred to the landscaping plan that had been approved for this lot (Lot #1) and asked if this plan is what has to be installed, to which the Village Engineer said that what is being shown on this plan is the minimum of what would have to be installed.  Chairman Kehoe asked what would happen if the Applicant’s landscape architect comes up with something totally different than what was approved.  The Village Engineer told Mr. Munoz that if he does not like what the previously approved landscaping looks like and he is proposing a “wholesale change” to the landscaping, then, he would have to go before the Planning Board with his new landscaping plan.

Ms. Allen asked what, from a procedural standpoint, has to be done about “violating” the approved limit of disturbance, to which the Village Engineer said that the limit of disturbance line would be modified by resolution of the board. The Village Engineer noted that the preliminary subdivision resolution contains a condition, which states that the limit of disturbance line and the building envelope are one in the same.  The Applicant is before the Planning Board tonight to extend the building envelope/limit of disturbance line. The Village Engineer noted that the site plan shows an elongated limit of disturbance line in the shape of a finger to allow for a drain.  No building activity would be permitted in this area. The Village Engineer said that it would be impossible to coincide completely the two lines (limit of disturbance and building envelope).  Mr. Luntz noted that the limit of disturbance line is for the contours, grading, etc. so, generally speaking, it serves a different purpose from the building envelope line.

Mr. Andrews told the Applicant that when his architect revises the site plan to show exactly where the pool is going to be, he should show on the plan the setbacks from the detention pond.  The Village Engineer noted that there is a 20-foot buffer zone around the storm water drainage channel that runs through the site, to which Mr. Andrews said that it would be helpful to see on the revised plan this 20-foot buffer.

Chairman Kehoe said that, for the next meeting, the swimming pool being proposed should be shown on a larger scale plan. The plan should show how the drainage is being rerouted around the pool.  Chairman Kehoe said that an “X” should be put on the trees to be removed. It would be helpful to know which trees are living and which are dead. Finally, it would be helpful to the board to have more information on the landscaping plan currently being developed by the Applicant’s landscape architect. The Village Engineer said that, as he had noted earlier, the Applicant should take a look at the previously approved plan to see if he is making a “wholesale change” to the landscaping. Mr. Munoz asked the board if it would be helpful to bring his landscape architect to the next meeting, to which the board said that it would be helpful.  Mr. Munoz said that he is proposing to install three times as much landscaping as that, which was previously approved. Ms. Allen noted that there are two other houses in this subdivision. The landscaping being proposed has to be consistent to some extent with the landscaping for the other houses.

The Village Engineer said that the Applicant’s architect needs to be investigating the drainage system.  Mr. Aarons asked if the pool contractor would be doing the drainage work, to which Mr. Luntz said that he would think that the pool contractor would probably be responsible for the piping. The Village Engineer noted that the pool contractor would be applying for a building permit to install the pool/decking.  There would be details on the plan pertaining to the drainage system. Mr. Luntz noted that the drainage system being proposed would have to be shown on the plan, to the satisfaction of the Village Engineer. Chairman Kehoe said that for building permits on pools, the Village Engineer would be dealing with the drainage as part of the normal approval process, to which the Village Engineer said that he would be approving all that goes into it, e.g., plumbing work, electrical work, etc.  

Chairman Kehoe told the Applicant that he should contact the Village Engineer’s office when he is ready to come back before the board.  The next regularly scheduled meeting would take place on Tuesday, May 25th.  

  • Chairman Kehoe noted to the Planning Board that, unfortunately, board member Vincent Andrews is leaving the Planning Board.  Mr. Andrews explained to the Planning Board why he had to resign his position on the board stating that due to cutbacks at his law firm his job responsibilities have increased. He has had to do much more travelling. Also, now that his children are growing older, he has more personal/family responsibilities than before.  Mr. Andrews said that it has been a pleasure to work with the members of the Planning Board.  Mr. Andrews said that he has agreed to stay on until the mayor appoints his replacement. He would be unable to attend the next two meetings.  He wanted to let the board know that he could not make these meetings just in case his replacement had not been appointed yet.  Chairman Kehoe told Mr. Andrews that as he is not going to make the next two meetings and as the mayor might choose his replacement in the interim, he would like to take the opportunity tonight to thank Mr. Andrews for his years of service on the board. He wished him the best. Chairman Kehoe noted some of the contributions that Mr. Andrews made to the Planning Board including his insight(s) on applications and his pleasant demeanor with the applicants. Chairman Kehoe said that Mr. Andrews will be greatly missed, to which the board members all concurred.        

The minutes of the Tuesday, April 13, 2010 Planning Board meeting were approved, as amended, on a motion by Mr. Aarons, seconded by Ms. Allen and carried by a vote of 3-0-2.  Board members Vincent Andrews and Robert Luntz abstained.   

There being no further business to come before the board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 9:35 P.M.


Sylvia Mills

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