VILLAGE OF CROTON ON HUDSON, NEW YORK
PLANNING BOARD MEETING MINUTES – TUESDAY, JUNE 8, 2010
A regular meeting of the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Tuesday, June 8, 2010 in the Municipal Building.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chris Kehoe, Chairman
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 – Public Hearing, Continued…
Norman Sheer, Esq., attorney for the Applicant, and Ronald Wegner of Cronin Engineering were present.
Mr. Sheer said that he would like to bring the Planning Board up to date on the discussions with the Westchester Land Trust. Mr. Sheer said that the Westchester Land Trust continues to be interested in obtaining ownership of the conservation parcel. The Westchester Land Trust has met with the Village Board to discuss this matter. Mr. Sheer noted to the Planning Board that the Village Board is interested in having the Westchester Land Trust take over the adjoining parcel as well.
Mr. Sheer said that at a previous meeting the board discussed a possible route for accessing the proposed Village trail on the conservation parcel. It was thought that the most suitable route would be through the second adjacent lot from the nursery school parcel(s); however, this lot belongs to a different property owner. Mr. Sheer noted that the owner was contacted, and he would not be willing to provide access. Mr. Sheer said that, as an alternative, the Applicant would propose using the western portion of the nursery school parcel to provide access.
Mr. Sheer said that, in so far as the continuation of this public hearing is concerned, he would be unable to attend the next regularly scheduled Planning Board meeting to be held on June 22nd. Mr. Sheer requested that the application be put back on the agenda for the first meeting of July so that he would be able to attend.
Mr. Wegner explained to the board the revisions made to the Applicant’s plans. Mr. Wegner said that he has changed the rear lot line of Lot #2. The new configuration would limit the development potential at the rear of that parcel (Lot #2). Mr. Wegner said that the adjustment of the lot line(s) has increased the size of the conservation parcel to 5.9 acres.
Mr. Wegner said that, for tonight’s meeting, he has put together two different development scenarios for Lots #’s 1 and 3 and has done the corresponding steep slopes analyses. Mr. Wegner said that the relocation of the house on Lot #1 results in a decrease in the overall steep slopes disturbance; however, there would be an increase in disturbance to slopes greater than 35%. In the revised layout, the house on Lot #1 has been moved farther away from the neighbor’s house. Mr. Wegner said that he is showing on the plan(s) a house approximately 3,000 square feet in size, which is the size of houses recently built in the Village. Mr. Wegner said that in the new layout he has gone with a more traditional ranch style house. The house would be narrower and deeper than the house previously proposed. Mr. Wegner said that
this house design would work better in the newly proposed location. Mr. Wegner said that he has moved the house on Lot #3 closer to the front of the property. The overall steep slopes disturbance for this lot (Lot #3) is about equal for the two development scenarios; however, moving the house closer to the front more than doubles the impacts to the slopes greater than 35%.
Mr. Wegner said that he has done a preliminary drainage analysis. In his drainage analysis the “center” house on Lot #2 would redirect the drainage toward the rear of the parcel. Mr. Wegner reiterated that for Lot #2 he is going to change the drainage from the street to the back of the parcel. Chairman Kehoe said that, as he understands it, Mr. Wegner is going to create a report as well as show the drainage features on the plan(s). This report would go to the Village Engineer and also to Dvirka & Bartilucci the Village’s consulting engineers. Mr. Wegner said that he would be able to get this report to the Village Engineer “in short order.”
Chairman Kehoe asked if there were any comments from the public. Gary Kogan of 42 Old Post Road North came forward and expressed concern about the drainage. Mr. Kogan said that during a major storm event water flows down the street (North Highland Place) and also from the brook itself. During Hurricane Floyd the drainage ditch and brook turned into a “raging river.” Mr. Kogan did not see how any new houses could be added upstream with the drainage situation downstream the way it is now. Chairman Kehoe noted to those present that the Applicant’s engineer would be producing a drainage report, which has to demonstrate that the drainage from this subdivision would be handled in such as way so as not to adversely affect the drainage offsite. Chairman Kehoe pointed out that the Applicant is not expected to be
responsible for correcting other existing drainage problems in the area. The Village Engineer said that the drainage work that would be designed would have to retain enough so as not to increase the peak flow any more than what it is now.
The Village Engineer described for those present the existing drainage system from Brook Street to the Hudson River. The Village Engineer noted that over a period of 100 years people have been putting in their own drainage. These private drainage systems are undersized. The Village has hired Dvirka & Bartilucci to look into the Brook Street drainage. The Village Engineer said that it is a difficult situation because the drainage channel goes from public to private property and back again. Developing a solution to the drainage problems is difficult, but the Village is looking into it.
Chairman Kehoe told Mr. Wegner that he appreciates the alternatives that Mr. Wegner has shown tonight for the location of the houses on Lots #’s 1 and 3. As he understands it, pulling the house forward on Lot #3 more than doubles the impacts to the slopes greater than 35%. Chairman Kehoe noted that, as Mr. Wegner said earlier in the meeting, the overall steep slopes disturbance on Lot #3 is about equal for the two development scenarios. Chairman Kehoe said that, with respect to the impacts, it would seem that nothing much is gained by pulling the house forward. This answers the question that he raised at the last meeting.
Chairman Kehoe said that, with respect to Lot #1, even though pulling the house over increases the impacts to the “greater than 35%” slopes, he prefers having the house farther away from the neighboring property. Mr. Luntz said that as much as he would like to protect the steep slopes on Lot #1 he, too, would prefer having the house farther away from the neighbor. In the original location, the house seemed to be looming over this neighbor’s property. Mr. Luntz said that he would like to see a section drawing to understand better how the terracing now being proposed for Lot #1 might impact the steep slopes, to which Mr. Wegner noted that there would have to be two retaining walls installed and the walls would be larger in size.
Ms. Allen expressed concern about the trees that would have to be removed on Lot #3 with the house in the original location toward the back of the property. There is a grove of trees in the back that include American Beech trees and Black Oak trees. She would be concerned that the disturbance to this area for the construction of the house would result in endangering and/or destroying many of the trees. Chairman Kehoe thought that this was an important point. He told Mr. Wegner that in addition to the slopes, the Planning Board is also interested in the impacts on trees. He asked Mr. Wegner if, for the next meeting, he could provide more information on the trees to be removed and to be saved. The Planning Board would want to be able to compare the impacts on trees in the two development scenarios for Lot
Chairman Kehoe asked Mr. Wegner if he has a preference on the house location for Lot #1, to which Mr. Wegner said that he does not have a preference. Chairman Kehoe noted that in either case the homeowner would not have much use of a back yard. Mr. Luntz noted that the house on Lot #1 would have woods around it and slope areas. There would be some room on the side of the house for gardens. Mr. Wegner noted that Lot #1 would not have much of a lawn.
The Village Engineer noted that there would not be much rock excavation for the house on Lot #1 in its original location. He asked Mr. Wegner how much rock would have to be excavated in the new (alternative) location, to which Mr. Wegner said that he would imagine that some excavation would be required. Mr. Wegner said that he would think that it would benefit the neighbor to move the house farther away from the neighbor’s house. Chairman Kehoe asked about the retaining wall(s) being proposed for Lot #1, to which Mr. Wegner said that there would be 12 feet of cut at the bottom of the wall. Chairman Kehoe asked how common that is in the Village, to which the Village Engineer said that there are walls like that in the Village. Mr. Wegner pointed out that the wall(s) would have 12 feet of cut. They
would not be 12 feet tall. Mr. Luntz said that in order to better understand the impacts he would ask that the Applicant provide section drawings for both lots (Lots #’s 1 and 3).
Mr. Luntz noted that, in so far as the drainage downstream is concerned, the Applicant has to make certain that no additional adverse impacts are created from the proposed subdivision. Mr. Luntz pointed out that it is not the responsibility of this developer to fix the drainage problems that already exist. Mr. Kogan said that with the new development the drainage channel water still ends up in the culvert under Brook Street. He would think that drawing water away from the new house(s) is only going to exacerbate the downhill drainage problems that exist now.
Ms. Allen told Mr. Wegner that she was puzzled by the wording of the second paragraph of his letter regarding the change in the lot line(s) for Lot #2 limiting the development potential. Mr. Wegner said that in the new (revised) plan for Lot #2 the lot lines have been pulled forward so that there is, now, no potential for any building. Chairman Kehoe said that, as he understands it, the change in the lot lines would make it more difficult for any future development in the back. Ms. Allen said that the last sentence in this paragraph states that “The configuration of the rear yard setback and the rainfall drainage channel to the rear of the parcel will assure that no development on this parcel will take place…..”, to which Mr. Luntz suggested that rather than saying “will assure,” perhaps, Mr. Wegner should
have said “makes it less likely.”
Ms. Allen asked Mr. Wegner if the drainage from Lot #2 would go back into the drainage channel, to which Mr. Wegner said that the water would be directed toward the back of the property, and this water would go naturally where it does now. Ms. Allen noted that there is a drainage point between contours 192 and 194, which is on the downhill side of the channel that is going to have to be reached, to which Mr. Wegner responded that because of the complaints about the water in the street, it was thought that it would be better to put an outfall pipe running in the other direction. The Village Engineer said that in either case the water is ultimately going to end up in the same place downstream. It was thought that it would probably be better to have the water dispersed behind the house where it would dissipate into the
ground rather than having it flow through the piping system. Ms. Allen noted that the Planning Board had heard from the neighbors that the street drainage is very destructive, to which Chairman Kehoe said that this is why the Applicant is proposing keeping the water out of the Village’s piping system. Chairman Kehoe said that the water would still end up in the same place downhill but not through the piping system.
Ms. Allen said that, at the last meeting, she requested a complete mapping of the houses and elevations all the way out to Old Albany Post Road, to which Mr. Wegner said that he would be providing this mapping. He would need to do so as part of his drainage analysis. The subject mapping would show the drainage divides and the water sheds. Chairman Kehoe pointed out that, with respect to the drainage, “What happens there now is going to happen there afterwards.” The Planning Board has to be assured that the drainage problem would not be worse than it is now. Chairman Kehoe said that it needs to be made clear that this Applicant is not responsible for fixing up and downstream drainage problems. Ms. Allen said that the developer would be destroying vegetation and putting in impervious surfaces, to which Mr. Wegner said
that all of this would be taken into consideration in his drainage analysis.
Ms. Allen said that the Planning Board would have to make certain that the house sizes do not change. She would like to avoid a situation whereby a future developer comes back before the board with a completely different proposal for the house – a proposal that the Planning Board had not analyzed. Mr. Aarons said that if this were the case, there would have to be a re-analysis done. Mr. Sheer noted that each of the three houses would require a minor site plan approval. It is conceivable that the proposal for houses might change. Mr. Sheer noted that the tests required would remain the same. The questions would be the same, e.g., “Will the level of flow be increased?” etc.
Mr. Aarons said that he would be interested in knowing more about the impacts on the trees of the house in the “new” location on Lot #3. He would want to know what the tree displacement is going to be in the alternate scenario. No tree survey was prepared for the house in the new (alternate) location. Mr. Aarons said that he does not know which trees would be better to be preserved for drainage purposes. There are trees in both the original and the alternate location for the house that would be affected. Mr. Sheer suggested that the Applicant could do a drainage analysis for both. Mr. Aarons asked if, perhaps, the Applicant would rather come back after they had done the tree analysis for Lot #3, to which Mr. Sheer said that they would think about it.
Robert Olsson of 5 Hamilton Avenue came forward. Mr. Olsson said that he does not live in the area of the future development but he appreciates its natural beauty. Mr. Olsson said that the forces working against the development of this property are “water and gravity.” It is not an easy property to develop because of the slopes. Mr. Olsson asked if any blasting would be involved, to which Mr. Wegner said that they would avoid doing blasting as much as possible. Mr. Olsson said that Lower North Highland Place has a 15 to 20% grade. He questioned if any consideration had been given about the future homeowners being able to get up their driveways, to which Mr. Wegner said that the driveways are relatively flat. Mr. Olsson said that the houses would be 3,000 square feet in size. He asked if this
would include the non-heated garage area, to which Mr. Wegner said, no. Mr. Wegner added that when people buy these lots, they will decide what house plans to use. Mr. Olsson said that he would be concerned about the impacts on the drainage downstream of an increase in impervious surfaces, to which Chairman Kehoe mentioned the “chain of engineers” that would be looking into the drainage, i.e., the Village Engineer; the Applicant’s engineer (Ronald Wegner); and Dvirka & Bartilucci. Mr. Aarons noted that this application is for a subdivision approval. The future homeowners would come back before the board later on for approval of the houses.
Mr. Kogan came forward and said that the subject nursery school property is a beautiful piece of property enjoyed by residents. It is easily accessible from the (center of the) Village. He would hope that the nursery school would consider holding on to the land so that it could continue to be enjoyed for recreational use by Village residents.
John Grant of 6 Valley Trail asked if a tree plan/survey had been prepared for this subdivision, to which Chairman Kehoe said that, indeed, it has. The Village Engineer noted that the alternate designs for the houses were not placed on the tree plan. He would think that once the house locations are finalized, this could be done. The Village Engineer suggested that Mr. Grant could take a look at the existing tree plan, to which Mr. Grant said that he has seen this plan and he saw nothing about the trees that are going to remain. Mr. Grant asked the Planning Board what is being done for the trees that are supposed to be preserved. Chairman Kehoe said that, as the Planning Board moves further along in the process, there would need to be tree preservation details specified. He (Chairman Kehoe) would think that,
perhaps, this should be done at the time of the minor site plan approval(s). The Planning Board would need to see the tree preservation details, when there is actually going to be tree removal. Ms. Allen said that she would think that this (more specific) information on the preservation of trees would be useful to the Planning Board now in the siting of the houses, driveways, etc. Mr. Grant said there are big trees on the property that are irreplaceable. He expressed concern about the removal of vegetation/trees and the potential for more drainage problems downstream. Chairman Kehoe said that, during the minor site plan review, decisions are made on a “tree by tree” basis. At this point in the process the Planning Board is looking at the environmental impacts of the subdivision “on a grand scale.” The houses, driveways, etc. are still being shifted around. Nothing has been finalized. Chairman Kehoe said (again) that he does not see any need for specifics on tree
preservation now. Mr. Grant questioned how the Planning Board could implement best management practices for the construction of the houses and driveways given the environmental constraints of this site and the impact(s) on steep slopes, the significant trees, etc. Chairman Kehoe noted that with respect to the trees there would be a 5.9-acre conservation easement in the back of the property within which all trees would be preserved.
Chairman Kehoe questioned if, with respect to the preservation of trees, the Planning Board should consider bringing in an arborist to guide the board on potential house locations, to which Ms. Allen thought that this was a good idea.
Mr. Grant recalled that on the original plan for the house on Lot #1 there were 16 trees that were located on the limit of disturbance. Mr. Grant noted that he is an arborist by profession; in his professional opinion, this should not be the case. The Village Engineer suggested that when the subdivision plan is finalized, the Planning Board could send the final tree plan to Bruce Donohue the Village’s environmental consultant for his review. The Village Engineer said that once Mr. Donohue has the final design, he could verify for the Planning Board the trees to be removed and to be saved. Ms. Allen expressed concern about the trees on the limit(s) of disturbance. She questioned if it might be too late to do anything about these trees once the final design is in place. Chairman Kehoe said: “At some point we [the
Planning Board] will have to make a decision on how many trees we can tolerate being removed.”
Chairman Kehoe said that an escrow account would have to be established for the hiring of the Village’s drainage consultants. The Village Engineer said that he would ask Dvirka & Bartilucci to make up a proposal and he would forward this information on to the Planning Board.
Chairman Kehoe said that, as requested earlier tonight by Mr. Sheer, the public hearing on this application would be adjourned until the first meeting of July scheduled for Tuesday, July 13th.
- 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 22nd.
- Tom & Carlene Fallacaro – 3 Arrowcrest Drive (Sec. 67.15 Blk. 1 Lot 33) – Applications for a Modification to the Building Envelope, a Steep Slope Permit and a Wetlands Activity Permit for an Existing Retaining Wall and Other Site Improvements
Norman Sheer, Esq., attorney for the Applicant, and Thomas Fallacaro, owner of the property, were present.
Mr. Sheer noted to the board that the Village Engineer has forwarded to him a proposal from McLaren Engineering for consulting engineering services on his clients’ (the Fallacaro’s) retaining wall. The cost to his client would be $13,000, and this would be exclusive of the core drilling. Mr. Sheer noted that, at the request of the Planning Board, Ziad Maad, P.E. of Geotechnical Engineering Services (GES) had done a visual analysis of the wall and saw problems with it. Mr. Maad had found certain issues with the wall that he would want to take a closer look at. Mr. Sheer said that, prior to the GES site visit, the Applicant’s engineer Bernard Grossfield had performed ground penetrating radar tests on the wall and had concluded that the wall is safe. Mr. Sheer said that if the Planning Board were to narrow the scope of work that has
resulted from GES’ (Mr. Maad’s) visit to the site, then, the cost to the Applicant would be less. Chairman Kehoe noted to Mr. Sheer that both the Applicant and the Planning Board want to reach an end to this project but they have not yet agreed upon the scope of study to that end.
The Village Engineer said that he conducted the site visit with Mr. Maad and, after he looked at the wall, Mr. Maad said that he did not want to be involved with this project. The Village Engineer then approached McLaren Engineering about submitting a proposal to review work (tests, etc.) that would be done by the Applicant’s consulting engineer. McLaren submitted the aforementioned proposal for $13,000. The Village Engineer noted that he had approached the Village Attorney about how to proceed with this application and the Village Attorney recommended that the Applicant should hire an engineer, after which the Planning Board would hire their own engineer to review the work that was done. The Village Engineer noted that the first analysis for McLaren would be to review the scope of study. McLaren’s proposal
includes this analysis. Their proposal also includes the site work and the time involved.
Chairman Kehoe noted that the first proposal from McLaren was for $39,000; the second (revised) proposal is for $13,000. Chairman Kehoe explained the difference in cost stating that, in the first proposal McLaren was to do all of the engineering work (tests, etc.) and analysis required. In the second, the Applicant’s consulting engineer would do the work and McLaren would do the review of the work. Chairman Kehoe noted that this matter was discussed at a previous meeting at which time some of the Planning Board members present did not want the Applicant to hire an engineer; instead, they wanted the Planning Board’s consulting engineer to be in charge of (in control of) the project.
Mr. Sheer asked if the Planning Board would agree to the Applicant’s (re)hiring Bernard Grossfield to do the work being required.
Mr. Fallacaro said that he had a qualified individual build this wall. There are a couple of cracks in it, but it is solid. He is not concerned about the wall’s stability.
Chairman Kehoe questioned if the outcome of the ongoing discussions on this wall would have been different if the Applicant’s engineer Bernard Grossfield had “signed and sealed” his work on the wall, to which Mr. Sheer said that an engineer “would not put his seal on it if he did not build it.”
Mr. Sheer said that he is concerned that the Applicant will go to the expense of hiring an engineer, have the Village’s engineer review the work, and then end up “back where we are today.”
Ms. Allen said that her position on the wall is to take it down. Mr. Fallacaro said that, if he were to take it down, the impact(s) on the neighbors would be far more than if he were to leave the wall up. He noted that at this point in time a substantial amount of vegetation has grown up around the wall. Mr. Aarons expressed concern about the Village’s liability should the wall collapse. Under normal circumstances, when a structure is built, an engineer certifies the safety of the structure. A permit is applied for, and the Village is exonerated from any liability. In this case, no one will certify that the wall is safe. Mr. Aarons said that this is a dilemma for the Planning Board. He does not know how this should be handled. “How does the Village say that it’s okay to leave this wall up?” Mr. Sheer said that, in his view, there is not much of a difference between a report prepared by an engineer and a drawing with an engineer’s seal on it. Mr. Grossfield has rendered an
opinion that the wall is safe. Mr. Sheer noted that the Village has had an engineer (GES) say that the wall has problems. Four areas of concern were identified. Mr. Sheer suggested that the Applicant could have their engineer look at these four areas of concern. Mr. Sheer said that they (the Applicant) have seen no evidence that the wall has moved at all. Mr. Aarons questioned what would be required to allow an engineer to certify that the wall is safe, to which Mr. Sheer said that he would be willing to look into that. Mr. Sheer said that he does not know if they could get an engineer to certify “something that he can’t see behind.” Mr. Sheer suggested again that they could ask Mr. Grossfield to look at the four areas of concern that were raised. Mr. Aarons asked if under normal circumstances there would have been inspections done in stages on a wall such as this one, to which the Village Engineer replied that besides the inspections that would have
been done by the Village’s building inspector, a retaining wall of this height would have required the hiring of a professional consulting engineer.
Mr. Sheer noted that the engineers performing the tests and analyses of this wall would have to show that they had made an adequate investigation. Mr. Sheer said that “This is all to do with the concern with being sued.” The Village Engineer suggested that a written indemnification or hold harmless agreement could be established so that if the wall were to collapse, there would be one more layer of protection for the Village.
Mr. Kauderer said that, perhaps, it would be less costly for the Applicant to take the wall down than to go through the process of hiring engineers. Mr. Sheer suggested that the Applicant could be in touch with Mr. Grossfield and have him look at the aforementioned four areas of concern. Chairman Kehoe questioned who would review Mr. Grossfield’s findings, to which Mr. Sheer said that the Planning Board and the Applicant could discuss this matter once Mr. Grossfield’s report has been received. Mr. Kauderer suggested that the Applicant might want to ask for a quote for taking the wall down, to which Mr. Sheer pointed out that there are many issues that would need to be addressed to take it down, e.g., the Applicant would need site plan approval from the Planning Board, variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals, etc. Mr.
Aarons noted that these approvals would (also) be required to leave the wall up. Ms. Allen noted that Mr. Kauderer was not on the Planning Board when this application first came before the board. The other members have been on site visits. Ms. Allen suggested that it might be helpful to Mr. Kauderer to go on a site visit to see the wall firsthand.
The Planning Board agreed to Mr. Sheer’s suggestion to have the Applicant’s engineer Bernard Grossfield take a look at the four areas of concern that were raised. Mr. Sheer said that he would be in touch with the Planning Board secretary once they are ready to come back before the board.
- 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 explained the Applicant’s proposal to board members Fran Allen and Robert Luntz who were not at the meeting when this item was discussed. Mr. Gemmola said that the Applicant wants to sell Lot #66 as a residential lot. The Village Engineer told them that not only would a lot line adjustment be required, but the Applicant would have to come before the Planning Board with an application for an amended site plan. Mr. Gemmola said that the lot line has been readjusted so that the lot with the proposed house would be totally out of the commercial zone and solely in a residential zone. Mr. Gemmola referred to the Applicant’s plan(s) and said that he has shown a potential residence on Lot #66. The Applicant is well under the threshold of needing a steep slope permit. Mr. Gemmola said that the house would be
parallel to the street so as to have less of an effect on the adjoining neighbor.
The Village Engineer said that an amended site plan approval is required because, with the lot line adjustment being proposed, land is being taken away from the originally approved (commercial) site plan. The Village Engineer said that the previous site plan included both tax lots (Lots #’s 66 and 91). With the proposed lot line adjustment approximately 16,000 square feet of property is being taken away from the site plan. The Village Engineer noted that changing the lot lines does not cause any violations of the Zoning Code. In the new lot configuration both lots would conform to the front, rear and side yard setback requirements. The Village Engineer said that a public hearing is required for an amended site plan approval.
Chairman Kehoe noted that, for tonight’s meeting, the Village Engineer submitted a memorandum to the Planning Board dated June 4, 2010 on the Code requirement(s) for an amended site plan approval. In his memorandum the Village Engineer refers to Section 230-70A, which states that “The Planning Board shall review the site plans or any amendment of such plans in the same manner as is prescribed by state law for the review of subdivision plats,EN with public notice for hearing to be identical to those required by Section 230-76A for the Zoning Board of Appeals.”
Chairman Kehoe said that, as discussed at the last meeting, the critical issue with this application is how to define an amendment to a site plan. It was noted at the last meeting that nothing on the site is actually changing; the land being “taken away” is undeveloped land. Chairman Kehoe said that if the Planning Board agrees that this application constitutes an amendment to the site plan, then, a public hearing would have to be held.
Mr. Sheer referred to Section 230-71 Variations or waivers in Article XI Site Plan Approval of the Zoning Code, which states that “Variations or waiver of the general requirements outlined above may be permitted by the Board when, in its judgment, special factors warrant such variations or waiver.” His (Mr. Sheer’s) interpretation of Section 230-71 is that the Planning Board could waive the public hearing for the amended site plan. The Village Engineer pointed out that there are no “special factors” in this case, to which Mr. Sheer said that he would think that the “special factor” is the small piece of the commercial parking lot on Lot #66 that makes the lot line adjustment necessary. A house could not be built without moving the lot line which, in turn, triggers an amendment to the previously approved site plan.
Mr. Aarons asked how far the house would be from the neighbors, to which Mr. Gemmola said 20 feet.
The Village Engineer asked the Planning Board if they would want him go back to the Village Attorney for an interpretation of Section 230-71 Variations or waivers. He noted that if the Planning Board were to decide tonight that they want to hold a public hearing, then, it would be unnecessary to take this matter to the Village Attorney. Planning Board members Kehoe, Allen and Luntz all said that they would want to hold a public hearing on this application; there would be no need to take the matter about waiving the public hearing to the Village Attorney. Board members Aarons and Kauderer thought that this matter should be brought to (the attention of) the Village Attorney. They did not want to hold a public hearing; it was unnecessary in their view.
Chairman Kehoe noted that a majority of the board thinks that a public hearing should be held on this amended site plan application. A discussion ensued on the date for the public hearing; the board decided to schedule the public hearing for the first meeting in July.
Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to schedule the public hearing on this application for the Planning Board meeting of Tuesday, July 13th. The motion was made by Ms. Allen, seconded by Mr. Luntz and carried by a vote of 5 to 0.
- Giovanni & Robin Arnone – 133 Upper North Highland Place – (Sec. 68.13 Blk. 1 Lot 41) – Application for a Modification to the Building Envelope for the Construction of a Swimming Pool
Mando Insignares of Cool Pool & Spa and Giovanni Arnone, owner of the property, were present.
Mr. Insignares said that his client the Arnone’s would like to install an in-ground swimming pool in their back yard. In order to do so, they have to come before the Planning Board for a building envelope modification.
Chairman Kehoe noted that he drove by the property to take a look at the Arnone’s back yard and it would seem to be a standard back yard.
Mr. Arnone referred to the colored computerized rendering of the patio and pool area and noted that the brown fence being shown is an “imaginary” fence put there to demonstrate that the patio and pool would be outside the wetlands buffer area.
Chairman Kehoe asked if there would be any trees removed for the pool construction, to which Mr. Arnone said, “no.”
The Village Engineer said that when the Applicant first spoke with him about their proposal, the pool was located inside the wetlands buffer; the shape of the pool has since been modified so that the pool is outside the buffer.
Mr. Aarons asked what the thick grey line around (a portion of) the patio represents, to which Mr. Insignares replied that this grey line represents a small four-foot wall. Mr. Arnone added that they would use a unilock system so that the surface is permeable and any water would seep through.
Chairman Kehoe read aloud condition #10(a) in the preliminary subdivision resolution for River Landing Subdivision, which states that a property/homeowner would have to come back before the Planning Board to have an accessory structure (e.g., tennis court, swimming pool, etc.) placed outside the designated building envelope.
Mr. Kauderer asked if the pool would have an effect on the drainage from the property, to which Mr. Arnone said that the aforementioned unilock system being used would help with the drainage. The Village Engineer said that one of the conditions of the Planning Board’s resolution of approval would be that a silt fence be installed on the downhill side of the project area. Another condition would be that any pool filtration system with a back wash wastewater flow must be connected to the Village’s sewer system. Mr. Insignares said that there is (would be) no back wash on the cartridge filter (system) being proposed, to which the Village Engineer said that he would still want the aforementioned condition in the Planning Board’s resolution.
Mr. Luntz asked if they would be using salt for the pool, to which Mr. Arnone said, yes. They would be using a salt water generator. The Village Engineer noted that when salt is used for pools there is no need to buy chlorine tablets.
Chairman Kehoe asked if there were any other comments, to which there were none.
Chairman Kehoe read aloud the draft resolution with the following three conditions:
- that the modification of the building envelope be extended solely for the siting of the swimming pool.
- that any pool filtration system that has a back wash wastewater flow shall be piped into the sanitary sewer system of the Village.
- that a silt fence shall be installed on the downhill side of the project to the satisfaction of the Village Engineer.
Chairman Kehoe entertained a motion to approve this application with the conditions discussed tonight. The motion to approve was made by Mr. Kauderer, seconded by Mr. Aarons and carried by a vote of 5 to 0.
The minutes of the Tuesday, April 27, 2010 Planning Board meeting were approved on a motion by Ms. Allen, seconded by Mr. Luntz and carried by a vote of 3-0-2. Board members Mark Aarons and Bruce Kauderer abstained.
The minutes of the Tuesday, May 11, 2010 Planning Board meeting were approved on a motion by Ms. Allen, seconded by Mr. Luntz and carried by a vote of 4-0-1. Board member Bruce Kauderer abstained.
There being no further business to come before the board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 11:10 P.M.
WHEREAS, the Planning Board approved the River Landing Subdivision on October 2, 1990; and
WHEREAS, each lot in the River Landing Subdivision had a building envelope defined for it, beyond which no construction could occur without approval of the Planning Board; and
WHEREAS, Giovanni & Robin Arnone, owners of Lot #2 in the River Landing Subdivision (133 Upper North Highland Place – Sec. 68.13 Blk. 1 Lot 41) have requested an expansion of that lot’s building envelope for the purpose of constructing 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 #2, as shown on a computerized (digital) rendering of the swimming pool and patio area prepared by Cool Pool & Spa, received by the Planning Board on June 2, 2010; a drawing entitled “Arnone Pool Drawing,” prepared by Cool Pool & Spa, received by the Planning Board on June 2, 2010 and a copy of the plan entitled “Environmental Site Plan Prepared for DT Merritts Development Ltd.,” dated December 30, 1997, last revised January 23, 1998, be approved, subject to the following conditions:
- that the modification of the building envelope be extended solely for the siting of the swimming pool.
- that any pool filtration system that has a back wash wastewater flow shall be connected to the sanitary sewer system.
- that a silt fence shall be installed on the downhill side of the project to the satisfaction of the Village Engineer.
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
Motion to approve by Mr. Kauderer, seconded by Mr. Aarons and carried by a vote of 5 to 0.
Resolution accepted with the minutes of the meeting held on June 8, 2010.
Village of Croton-on-Hudson