Planning Board Minutes 05/25/2010


VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON, NEW YORK

PLANNING BOARD MEETING MINUTES – TUESDAY, MAY 25, 2010


A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 in the Municipal Building.

MEMBERS PRESENT:        Chris Kehoe, Chairman
                                Mark Aarons
                                Bruce Kauderer

ABSENT:                 Fran Allen
                                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.

Chairman Kehoe welcomed to the Planning Board new board member Bruce Kauderer.  Chairman Kehoe noted that board member Vincent Andrews had to resign due to business and family commitments.


  • 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, June 8th.  

  • 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, June 8th.  

 
  • OLD BUSINESS:
  • 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, and Scott Neave, CLP of Neave Landscaping, Inc., were present.

Chairman Kehoe noted that, for the last meeting, the Planning Board had received background information from the Engineer’s Office on the preliminary subdivision approval for Hudson View Subdivision and the minor site plan approval for Lot #1. Chairman Kehoe said that, at the last meeting, the Planning Board had asked the Applicant to provide additional information on the pool and the landscaping being proposed.  The Applicant has provided this information for the meeting tonight.

Mr. Munoz said that, at the last meeting, the Planning Board had requested a diagram showing what they (his wife and he) are proposing to do in their backyard in conjunction with the installation of the in-ground swimming pool. Also, at that meeting, the Planning Board had questions about the drainage system and the trees to be removed.  Mr. Munoz said that on the revised plan the trees to be removed are marked with an “X.” These trees were damaged or killed by the winter storms. Mr. Munoz said that the revised plan also shows the landscaping and the pool location.  

Mr. Munoz said that board member Fran Allen had asked for a letter from his (Mr. Munoz’) landscape architect explaining the selection of plants/trees being proposed. Mr. Munoz introduced to the board Scott Neave, his landscape architect, and said that he has asked Mr. Neave to join him tonight in case the board had any questions regarding the landscaping.

Chairman Kehoe said that on the revised plan the Applicant has noted the trees to be removed that are dead.  Chairman Kehoe asked if there are any being removed that are not dead, to which Mr. Munoz said that there is one tree that is still alive that needs to be removed.  This tree is in the pool deck area.  Mr. Munoz said that this tree was split in half during the last storm.  Mr. Munoz noted that they would not be taking down any fully live trees.

Chairman Kehoe noted that another issue raised at the last meeting had to do with drainage and/or the existing dry well system on site.  Chairman Kehoe noted that the existing (system of) pipes and drywells are being shown on the Applicant’s plan. Chairman Kehoe said that it would seem from the plan that the dry wells under the deck would continue to exist, to which the Village Engineer said that this is, indeed, the case. The Village Engineer said that, as shown on the plan, the pipes going around the swimming pool are new (proposed). There would also be a new (proposed) drywell near the garage at the bottom of the pool area.  Chairman Kehoe asked if the pool contractor would be made aware of the existing drywells on the premises. Are they being preserved? Mr. Munoz said that they would be preserved.  Mr. Munoz said that there are actual markers on the property to show where they are.

Chairman Kehoe said that, as he understands the landscaping plan, the Applicant is proposing a total of eight trees – 4 Sweet Gum and 4 Tulip trees – to which Mr. Munoz said, “yes.”

Chairman Kehoe noted that the major construction for this pool project would be for the in-ground swimming pool itself, the decking and the fence, to which the Village Engineer said that the fence is really a “linear disturbance item.” The Village Engineer said that even though the limit of disturbance is shown at the fence location, the fence is going to be less in terms of the actual disturbance. Mr. Munoz said that they would just be disturbing the grass. “We are not really disturbing anything.”

The Village Engineer asked about the circle being shown on the Applicant’s plan in the upper left corner of the pool deck, to which Mr. Munoz said that this circle represents a pattern in the paving and not a separate patio area. Mr. Munoz said that this circular pattern in the paving would be done for aesthetics purposes. They would probably put a table and chairs there.

Mr. Munoz referred to the area of the pool decking plan showing a circular deck and a terrace and said that there is a retaining wall underneath the stairs in that location. Mr. Munoz said that the thought behind this deck design was that the deck would flow more easily by having this circular deck with steps leading down to a terrace and, then, more steps leading down to the main pool deck area.  

Chairman Kehoe questioned if the landscaping plan that was previously approved by the Planning Board is going to be mostly implemented or if it is going to be tweaked, to which the Village Engineer noted to the Planning Board that in order for the Applicant to move forward with the landscaping and not have to come back before the board, the overall intent of the previously approved landscaping plan would have to be met. The Village Engineer gave an example of what he meant by “intent,” stating that the Munoz’ could change some species of shrubs; however, they could not drastically depart from the number of trees to be planted.  Mr. Munoz said that, if anything, they would be increasing the number of trees. Their landscaping plan is more extensive than what was previously approved.  Chairman Kehoe said that, before moving forward with the landscaping, the Applicant should go to the Village Engineer and let him take a look at the plan, to which Mr. Munoz said that they would do so.  Before installing any of the plants, they would let the Village Engineer know exactly what their proposal for the landscaping is (would be).

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

Chairman Kehoe read aloud the draft resolution with the following (three) conditions:

  • that the eight trees shown on the site plan shall be installed as part of the pool construction.
  • that erosion control measures shall be installed.
  • that all soil excavated from the pool shall be removed from the site.
Chairman Kehoe asked the board if they had any other conditions to be incorporated into the resolution, to which there were none.

Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to approve this application for a building envelope modification with the aforementioned three conditions. The motion was made by Mr. Aarons, seconded by Mr. Kauderer and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.


  • NEW BUSINESS:
  • E/T Equipment Co. (Jodine & Jennifer Realty, Property Owner) – 425 South Riverside Avenue – (Sec. 79.13 Blk. 2 Lots 66 & 91) – Application for an Amended Site Plan (Lot Line Adjustment)
Edmond Gemmola, architect for the Applicant, and Thomas Fallacaro, owner of the property, were present.

Mr. Gemmola said that, for the meeting tonight, they have submitted two drawings, one showing the Applicant’s two lots as they exist today and the other showing these lots with the proposed lot line adjustment. Mr. Gemmola presented a colored map showing Lots #’s 66 & 91 and pointed out the existing E/T Equipment building on Lot #91. Mr. Gemmola pointed to the zoning district line that cuts through the two lots and said that in the current configuration, both lots have land in two zones, i.e., the C-2 commercial zone and the RA-5 residential zone. Mr. Gemmola noted that when the Village’s zoning law was first enacted in 1931 this whole parcel was in a commercial zone.  In the mid-1960’s the zoning was changed.  Mr. Gemmola said that his client Tom Fallacaro would like to sell Lot #66 as a residential lot. Mr. Gemmola noted that, with the lot line adjustment being proposed, this lot (#66) would be totally out of the commercial zone and solely in the RA-5 zone.

Mr. Gemmola pointed to the location on Lot #66 for a future house and driveway.  Mr. Gemmola said that they have performed a steep slopes analysis and, in the location(s) for the house and driveway currently being shown, a steep slope permit would not be required.  Mr. Gemmola said that, in the newly proposed lot configuration, both lots would conform to the front, rear and side yard setbacks.  Mr. Gemmola noted that there was a variance granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals for the commercial parking when E/T Equipment was first established.

Chairman Kehoe said that, as he understands it, the subject lots are “split-zoned” with some of the land in a commercial zone and some of the land in a residential zone, to which Mr. Gemmola said that this is, indeed, the case. The Applicant is proposing to adjust the lot lines so that the lot with the house on it would be totally in a residential (RA-5) zone. The lot with the proposed house would be approximately 17,400 square feet in size when (a minimum of) 5,000 square feet is required.

The Village Engineer explained to the board that the reason why the Applicant is coming before the Planning Board with an application for an amended site plan is that a portion of land is being separated from a previously approved (commercial) site plan. The Village Engineer said that, with the lot line adjustment being proposed, the lot that existed when the original commercial site plan was approved is being changed.  The Village Engineer noted that this application would not require a subdivision approval by the Planning Board.  He referred the Planning Board to Sec. 230-121B under definition of “subdivision” in the Village Code and said that this application does not require a subdivision approval because:

1.      It neither increases nor decreases the number of preexisting lots.
2.      It affects no more than two lots.
3.      It does not result in any nonconformity with this Chapter 230, Zoning, of the Code.

Chairman Kehoe asked if the Applicant could build a house in the location being shown (the back corner bordering on Devon Avenue) without a lot line adjustment, to which the Village Engineer said that in the current lot configuration a part of the existing tax lot #66 is encumbered by elements that were part of the site plan for the commercial property. A small section of the commercial parking lot and a portion of the retaining wall are located within this lot (#66). The Village Engineer said that, with the current lot configuration, a house could not be built on Lot #66.  The lot line would have to be altered (adjusted) for a house to be built.

Chairman Kehoe expressed concern that, if the Planning Board were to approve this application for an amended site plan/lot line adjustment, the Planning Board would be put in an uncomfortable position later on when the application for the house comes back before the board. He would want to make sure that the board is not creating here a “you said” scenario. The Village Engineer said that what the board is entertaining tonight is an amendment to the site plan. The question that the board should be asking is: “Does the proposed lot line change adversely affect the site plan?”  Chairman Kehoe asked if with the change in the lot line the commercial site plan would have 16,000 square feet less area associated with it, to which the Village Engineer said, “yes.”  The Village Engineer added that this (lot line adjustment) results in a zoning-compliant site plan for the commercial parcel.

Chairman Kehoe said that a public hearing would be required for an amended site plan application.  Village residents within 200 feet of the property are notified. Chairman Kehoe said that he would think that although the entire focus of the Planning Board would be on the amended site plan, the focus of the interested members of the public present at the meeting would be on (the location of) the house.  Chairman Kehoe said that he, personally, does not relish telling the neighbors that this is solely for an amended site plan and “they are not supposed to be talking about the house.”  Chairman Kehoe said that he understands that the Planning Board is really not supposed to be focusing on the lot line adjustment or residential component. The issue under consideration is that the dimensions of the E/T Equipment commercial parcel are being amended.    

Mr. Aarons wanted to know what the next steps would be for changing the lot lines once the amended site plan is approved, to which the Village Engineer replied that a surveyor would prepare a survey of the two properties (lots) and draw up the metes and bounds descriptions.  Deeds would be drawn up.

Mr. Aarons asked what approval, if any, is required for a lot line adjustment, to which Chairman Kehoe replied that, in the Village, no approval is required.  Chairman Kehoe noted that in the Town of Cortlandt the Planning Board approves lot line adjustments.

Chairman Kehoe questioned again why a house could not be built in the back corner bordering on Devon Avenue the way the lot exists now, to which Mr. Fallacaro said that they went to the Village Engineer about this matter of a lot line adjustment and he told them that adjusting the lot line would “clean up the zoning of the split lot.”  The Village Engineer noted again to the Planning Board that the house could not be built the way the lot exists now. One could not have a commercial accessory use (in this case a commercial parking lot) on a residential lot with a house on it.  Mr. Aarons said that, as he understands it, a person does not have to come before the board for a lot line adjustment; however, if the lot line adjustment affects the property within a prior (commercial) site plan, an amended site plan approval is required.  

Mr. Kauderer said that he still does not see why an amended site plan approval is required. He noted that the land area that is being “taken away” from the commercial lot is undeveloped. Nothing is really changing.  Mr. Kauderer questioned how this would fall underneath something that needs a site plan approval, to which the Village Engineer said that his interpretation of the Code was that this application should go before the board. The Village Engineer said that, in making his determination, he referred to Sec. 230-153C Site plan approval that pertains to an applicant’s being subject to continued compliance with an approved site plan. The Village Engineer said that the Planning Board is the approving authority; any building permit for the development of the land could only be issued subject to compliance with the previously approved site plan.

Chairman Kehoe noted that the Village Engineer has stated tonight that he would not permit a residential dwelling on a lot with an accessory commercial use; if this is the case, an amended site plan approval would be required. Chairman Kehoe suggested that this matter regarding the amended site plan should be brought before the Village Attorney.  If the final determination is that this constitutes an application for an amended site plan, then, a public hearing would be required.  Chairman Kehoe said that he, personally, is not really keen on a house in the location being shown.  “There is [would be] a lot of steep slopes impact up there.” Chairman Kehoe said that he realizes that the board has not had that discussion yet.  Mr. Gemmola said that they have already done the calculations; a steep slopes permit would not be required.  Chairman Kehoe said that he would want to be clear that the Planning Board’s action on the current application is based on the proper analyses/data.  He would want to be convinced now that one could put a house there.

The Village Engineer explained again his logic for determining that this application requires an amended site plan approval.  He read aloud Sec. 230-153C of the Village Code as follows:

Site plan approval. In all cases, where site plan approval by the Planning Board is required by Chapter 230, Zoning, the authority for final action on the approval of such site plan is delegated to the Planning Board, and any building or use permit for the development of such land shall only be issued subject to compliance with such approved site plan and any restrictions imposed in relation thereto by the Planning Board and any certificate of occupancy or compliance shall only be issued subject to continued compliance with such site plan and restrictions imposed in relation thereto by the Planning Board…..”  

The Village Engineer said that land is being taken away from the originally approved (commercial) site plan; hence, an amended site plan approval is required. The Village Engineer noted that although the subject land is open space and taking it away does not change the real essence of the site plan, he still considers this to be an amendment to the site plan. The Village Engineer said that, ultimately, someone is going to be back before the board with a minor site plan application for a house on the newly configured residential lot. The Village Engineer noted to the board that there exists at the top of the incline a flat area.  No steep slopes permit would be required.

Mr. Gemmola said that it seems unfair to him that this Applicant would have to go through a public hearing for this application.  The Applicant had met with the Village Engineer and was trying to “please” the Village by adjusting the lot line in such a way as to “clean up” the zoning of the two lots.  The current proposal is at the behest of the Village.  Chairman Kehoe told Mr. Gemmola that if he feels that the Applicant does not need and/or should not have to go through the public hearing process, he should take this up with the Village Engineer.  Mr. Gemmola questioned how they (the Applicant) should proceed if Chairman Kehoe has made up his mind already that “it feels wrong” to have a house in the location currently being proposed. He noted that Chairman Kehoe had said earlier tonight that he is not “keen” on having a house there.  The Village Engineer said that at the rear foundation line for the house, the ground does drop off, but there is level land on the side and front of the house.  The lot would be zoning-compliant and would be over the required lot area for the RA-5 district.  No steep slopes permit would be required.  Finally, like any new house in the Village, it would require minor site plan approval. The Village Engineer noted that during the minor site plan review process the Planning Board would discuss the issues that might have an impact on neighbors such as the blocking of views.  The Village Engineer reiterated that the Applicant is before the board tonight with an amended site plan application for the lot line adjustment, as this was his (the Village Engineer’s) interpretation of the relevant sections of Chapter 230 of the Village Code.  The adjustment of the lot line triggered an amended site plan approval.

Chairman Kehoe questioned if there would be a way for the Applicant to do a lot line adjustment without amending the site plan. Mr. Kauderer said (again) that he finds it hard to understand why an amended site plan approval is required.  Mr. Kauderer noted that nothing on the site is really changing; the land area that is being “taken away” is undeveloped land. If an amended site plan is, indeed, required, he would like to know the reasoning behind it. Chairman Kehoe noted that the Village Engineer has said tonight that he is going to run this matter by the Village Attorney and report back to the board.  

  • APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Approval of the minutes of the Tuesday, April 27, 2010 Planning Board meeting was tabled until the next regularly scheduled meeting to be held on June 8th.   

  • ADJOURNMENT:
There being no further business to come before the board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 9:16 P.M.

Sincerely,



Sylvia Mills
Secretary

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, the Planning Board approved the Hudson View Subdivision on April 26, 2005; and

WHEREAS, each lot in the Hudson View Subdivision had a building envelope defined for it, beyond which no construction could occur without approval of the Planning Board; and

WHEREAS, David & Lorraine Munoz, prospective owners of Lot #1 in the Hudson View Subdivision (46 Prospect Place – Sec. 67.20 Blk. 4 Lot 19) have requested an expansion of that lot’s building envelope for the purpose of building an in-ground swimming pool; and

WHEREAS, under the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), the Planning Board has determined that this project is a Type II Action, and no Negative Declaration is required.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the modification of the building envelope on Lot #1, as shown on drawing #SP-1 entitled “Site Plan – Proposed In-ground Pool:  Munoz Residence 46 Prospect Place, Croton-on-Hudson, NY,“ prepared by Gregory J. McWilliams, AIA, dated April 28, 2010, last revised May 21, 2010, is hereby approved, and the original maximum limit of disturbance as indicated on the approved Hudson View Subdivision plans is increased as shown on the aforementioned site plan, subject to the following conditions:

1.              that the eight trees shown on the site plan shall be installed as part of the pool construction.
2.              that erosion control measures shall be installed.
3.              that all soil excavated from the pool shall be removed from the site.

Failure to implement this approval in three years will result in the expiration of this approval.

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

                                                Chris Kehoe, Chairman
                                                Mark Aarons
                                                Fran Allen
                                                Bruce Kauderer
                                                Robert Luntz
                                        
                                                                                        
Motion to approve by Mr. Aarons, seconded by Mr. Kauderer and carried by a vote of 3 to 0.  Board members Fran Allen and Robert Luntz were absent from the meeting.  

Resolution accepted with the minutes of the meeting held on May 25, 2010.



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